Architecture Students Host Juried Exhibition in Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery
The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) chapter at Temple University is hosting a juried exhibition of drawings and posters ranging from freshman through graduate levels of Tyler's architecture program, organized by AIAS President Ranzen Ocampo (BArch ‘23) and faculty advisor Chris McAdams, Assistant Professor of Instruction. Work will be on display in the Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery from October 3 through October 22.
Ocampo says the inspiration for this exhibition arose at the end of last spring’s final architecture review when students would display elaborate posters and models — products of hundreds of hours of work — and then immediately take them down afterward. The extremely limited amount of time for everyone to appreciate each other’s work frustrated Ocampo, who wanted to learn more about their peers’ projects.
“I wanted to take the time to celebrate students’ work and exhibit in a way that people could understand what architecture students really do. For someone who’s not an AED major, or for someone who is interested in the program, this is our chance to teach them what real work looks like,” Ocampo explains.
McAdams feels this is an encouraging collaboration between the fine art and built environment disciplines at Tyler, and that the exhibition “leverages each side’s talents and possibilities as well as serving as a reminder that we’re one school. The difference between studio art and architecture is that our final product is a representation of what the real built product will look like. The final result in the art world is the final product,” he said. “There’s a difference in the way we discuss a work of architecture; the work that AIAS did with this exhibition is a way to highlight the most successful projects of every year and to generate an incentive for students to show great work that can live on.”
When curating work for display, Ocampo reached out to architecture studio directors and asked for one to four of the strongest projects from the year. “This exhibition is a way for all levels of architecture students to keep in touch with what each other is doing. Freshman can look on to juniors to see what they’ll work on in the next two years. They can give each other advice and feedback and see where each other is situated in a multi-year program,” Ocampo says.
The scope of work that will be on display ranges from 3-D printing to housing design to plans for self-sustaining cities. “It’s moments like this that also serve as a good internal barometer for what’s working well within the architecture program and to highlight the most successful projects, which is very helpful for faculty,” McAdams says of AIAS’s curatorial process.
Regarding future collaboration between Tyler’s art and architecture courses, Ocampo says “architecture is the intersection of art and technology,” and highlighted a project between Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Ceramics Chad Curtis and Associate Professor of Architecture and Graduate Curricular Head Andrew John Wit that will be on display at the 2022 Design Philadelphia festival Oct. 12-23. The pair worked together on an installation that combines 3-D printed clay with wound carbon fiber. They will discuss the project during an October 20 presentation at the Cherry Street Pier. “[That collaboration] serves as a conversation,” Ocampo continues. “It’s a whole different mode of creation.”