The American Institute of Architecture Students created a competition to allow students in the College of Architecture to design and build a desk for a security worker on the ground floor of the Architecture building.
Students were challenged to create a design for the desk, create models and then pitch their ideas to board members. Once the committee approved the plans, the winning teams then had to gather materials and build the desk.
Gerardo Perez, a senior architecture major from El Paso, and Humberto Ramirez, a senior architecture major from El Paso, were the winners of the competition.
“It’s been a great opportunity because as a young undergrad student about to graduate in May, both of us feel really grateful that we got this opportunity because it’s giving us the chance to step beyond a conceptual phase,” Perez said. “As students in the projects that we have here, we only think conceptually and we don’t really get the chance to build something, so getting that opportunity to build something from an idea to something physical it means a lot.”
It took four to five days to think about how they were going to approach the design of the desk, Perez said. The two wanted to go with a design that was modern, elegant and somewhat timeless.
Along with the desk, they decided to also re-design part of the area where the desk would be built.
“The first design took us about a month, but that has changed throughout the whole semester,” Ramirez said. “We started changing once we started seeing the scale of the actual model, and due to some specification with the professors and the dean of the school.”
The design was constantly changing as the design went from the conceptual stage to physically building the desk.
The team ran into several problems, Perez said, including scaling and budgeting for materials.
“Sometimes you have to compromise, it becomes real, sometimes you have to think about budget,” Perez said. “It’s like, ‘oh, I have all the money in the world and I can design all this,’ no you have a budget and it’s hard and you have to think about what’s the best way to build something, how you’re going to build it and what resources you have available in Lubbock.”
The team did not have enough money for the materials they wanted, Ramirez said, and they did not want to have to ask the board members for more money.
They were able to get donations from local businesses from around Lubbock, he said, and gathered a total of almost $3,000.
The hardest part of the project was trying to get their idea and design across to the board members, Perez said, but in the end they were able to show them they would be able to make their design a reality.
The project helped the two students realize what architecture is really about, Perez said, and they went through hard work to push their design.
“Right now we are in the process of building it, so we’re fabricating as of now,” Ramirez said. “I feel pretty neutral about, but I know once we start actually putting it up against the wall, I am going to feel pretty good.”