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By Doris MacFarquhar

The Pioneers of tomorrow: Alfred State architecture students solving the problems of tomorrow

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BY JULIUS KORYTKOWSKI, special to the Sun

As populations grow higher and higher, the need for more facilities is ever present.

Cities, towns, factories, or roadways are just a few examples of such structures. The hubs of human society have a need to grow into more space just like the people do.

And who is going to plan out these areas where facilities are in need?

At Alfred State College, students in the architecture program are answering these important questions.

Alfred State has evolved over the years. The college now offers the prestigious B. Arch Program, a five-year, bachelor’s degree in architecture.

The B. Arch Program has a focus on keeping up with newer modeling technology and standard practices. Alfred State students in the same program offered at colleges like Cornell University College of Architecture and the Syracuse University School of Architecture.

Alfred State students in this program are seeking to design future cityscapes.

Here is a look at the designs of three Alfred State architecture students and what they are working on:

ERIC LEAVITT, fourth-year student at Alfred State

This interesting plaza building resides as one of Eric’s original favorites.

“It was my first project where I felt proud of what I produced,” Leavitt said. “It is something that takes full commitment and many times you want to quit, but you continue every time because you love the profession.”

Leavitt’s insight puts forth a real stone-cold work ethic that seems to captivate in the minds of architecture students.

HUNTER BAUERfourth-year student at Alfred State

This image is a project of an actual place, Mercato della Terra Slow Food Costiera Sorrentina in Italy.

“This was a large project that I worked on with a group of classmates. It kind of showed me that great things can come about when working together,” Bauer said. “It is okay to take inspiration from others but add your own styles and ideas into it as well.”

Accompanied by a real-world example, Hunter was able to get some insight from a building in another part of the world.

He first made a model of the existing structure to then use those similar design elements in his future career as an architect.

This creates a loop of learning that can help make new versions of old concepts for an idea to come full circle in the world of architecture.

SINAN ISIKDEMIR, fourth-year student at Alfred State

In this piece, Isikdemir created a museum inspired by the countryside.

He spoke about what buildings may elicit in everyone who sees them.

“It is inspiration that is all around us, and then being innovative with those very concepts is what we do as students,” Isikdemir said.

This project stands out in that it is different from standard museums which may just have art inside the building with a bland exterior.

Here this country-inspired museum adds to the art that may be found on the inside someday by creating an exterior that is unique.

THE CHALLENGES OF GROWING POPULATIONS

In each new project, an architect and or student works on there can be circumstances that present limitations or challenges.

Bauer explained the technical problems in his field of study.

“It’s more complicated than you would think. Zoning, codes, etc., all of which are things that an architect needs to take deep consideration towards,” Bauer said.

Leavitt added, “We spend a lot of time going through concepts and developing ideas.”

In either case, architecture has steps that involve using creativity to find a solution in the wake of architectural challenges that change with every project.

Larger scale problems for the architecture industry can include material shortages, affordable housing, and changing technologies to name a few. These challenges were presented in an article, “Top Challenges Facing Architects in 2022,” by Danielle Fauteaux. With such difficulties, many of which stemming from human populous needs, mainstreaming minds like the ones in these very students can give solutions to the urban problems that are being faced today.

Each of the students said having such different challenges, the commonality was in each project’s purpose, which is to create new versions of satisfying buildings that serve everyday people in ways that may not have been thought of in years prior.

In a wider perspective, these Alfred State students may be a few of the future architects who solve some of the issues facing the industries humans value so dearly, giving some hope for the years ahead.

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