Woodbury's First Year Architecture Studio Wins Coveted 2017 Studio Prize from Architect Magazine

Prize Acknowledges 'Natural Tendencies' as Among Most Compelling Studios in Architectural Education
By: Woodbury University
LOS ANGELES - Oct. 23, 2017 - PRLog -- Woodbury University (http://woodbury.edu/) School of Architecture first year B.Arch studio Natural Tendencies has been honored with a 2017 Studio Prize (http://www.architectmagazine.com/awards/studio-prize-natural-tendencies_o) by Architect Magazine, an award that acknowledges the most compelling studios in architectural education, the university announced today.

Coordinated by Heather Flood, Chair of Undergraduate Architecture, and co-taught by Nate Imai and Yi-Hsiu Yeh, the Natural Tendencies studio introduced first year B.Arch students to a range of architectural concepts, tools, and skills as a means of laying a foundation for growth.  Focusing on tectonics, the studio delved into materials, site and fabrication to produce a comprehensive understanding of design.  The studio used the tectonics of structure and architecture to guide students toward rich spatial and formal investigations.

Students were asked to design a 10,000-square-foot rectangular library through four phases.  The studio began with a material exploration in which students built three bar-shaped models of the library by hand.  Students then created models using Grasshopper architectural software and digital fabrication, which led them to incorporate GIS data and produce site plans.  Students brought these phases together by forming five models based on the synthesis of their previous studies.  Impressed by the simplicity of the approach, Studio Prize juror Renee Chung said this: "It was nicely crafted -- you could really see what the students were learning in the series of things they produced."

According to the competition criteria, "if the studio course is the bedrock of architectural education, then it follows that as the studio goes, so eventually, goes the profession.  By highlighting the most innovative courses in architectural schools across North America, the Studio Prize offers a glimpse into the concepts shaping today's design students, and into the ways they might influence the built environment in the future."

Prof. Heather Flood's work integrates the disciplines and techniques of cultural research, graphic art, and architectural design to create experientially dense environments.  Founder and principal of F-lab, Flood's work has been published and exhibited internationally.  Nate Imai, an adjunct faculty member at Woodbury, received a Master in Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has worked at the offices of Daly Genik Architects and Michael Maltzan Architecture.  Adjunct faculty member Yi-Hsiu Yeh is a licensed architect and the founder of Yeh Design Lab in Los Angeles and a Senior Associate at Verse Design LA.

The Studio Prize follows on the heels of a $30,000 sponsorship (https://woodbury.edu/ir-architects-supports-first-year-st...) from Ignacio Rodriguez Architects (https://woodbury.edu/ir-architects-supports-first-year-studio-with-30000-sponsorship/) to support the School of Architecture's first year studios.

About Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California.  The university ranks 15th among the nation's "25 Colleges That Add the Most Value," according to Money Magazine, was voted "Best Graduate School" in the Los Angeles Daily News 2017 Readers Choice Awards,and is a 2017-18 College of Distinction.  Woodbury was a finalist for the General Community Service Award, a part of the 2015 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognition program.  With campuses in Burbank/Los Angeles and San Diego, the university offers bachelor's degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and College of Liberal Arts, along with a Master of Business Administration, Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture and Master of Science in Architecture.  The San Diego campus offers Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees, as well as a Master of Science in Architecture, Real Estate Development. Visit woodbury.edu for more information.

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