Architecture Project

The project

This project was created by Ridgewood High Art History/ Architect Design teacher, Paul Cronk. It involved students designing and constructing a model house. The students' drawings had to include floor plans, floor elevations, plot plans, a sketched up version of their house (including interior) and a scale model. The students had to consider the environment, their building materials and aesthetics.

The house plans had to include:
- a family room
- a Kitchen
- a Dining Room
- a Utility room
- at least 2 Bedrooms
- at least 1 Bathrooms
- a Basement (optional)
- a Garage (optional)
- a Living Room (optional)
- a Mud Room (optional)

There were few limitations: the total area of the house could be a maximum of 2500sq foot, the hall area could be no more that 10% of the total square footage, basement area was not to be part of the 2500sq feet, the total size of the property could be 150ft x 75ft maximum. 
floor-plan.jpg


This project, lasting from December through to March, allows students to apply their ideas and creativity to a situation faced by professional architects; successfully reflecting the skills needed for the job. Students have the opportunity to experience the tasks and strategies architects follow, helping them to further understand the career.


Balance of skills and variation in assessment
The project is evaluated on 5 different aspects:
  • Preparation
  • Design/execution: Plot Plan
  • Technical Skill: Sketch Up
  • Hands-on Activity: Model Making
  • Critique & Presentation

By splitting the evaluation into these different categories, Mr Cronk has created a lesson which challenges both the academic, practical and social skills of his students. They require knowledge of the structural necessities, they challenge their individual practical and creative skills and through communication between class and teacher their social skills are also incorporated into the project.


Autonomy
The class involves the students applying their individual skills and style into their lesson creating a piece of work different from all other classmates. This individuality really reflects the tailoring in education which we envisage in the future.

Teacher as a facilitator
The teacher, Mr Cronk, acted as a facilitator and guide to the students when they felt they needed it but the majority of the work relied on the students taking responsibility and finding out the information for themselves. Our research found that the role of teacher and student within the classroom would take place with the teacher no longer being relied on for the source of information, they were seen to become more of a guide as to where you could find the information for yourself.



Relevant to real life
This Architecture class was of particular interest to us and our project as it involved a lesson being structured around a real-life activity. Through taking part in the project, students gain an insight into a particular profession, which they may be interested in working in.
This Architecture class was of particular interest to us and our project as it involved a lesson being structured around a real-life activity. Through taking part in the project, students gain an insight into a particular profession, which they may be interested in working in. This class challenges the stereotypes that practical classes lessons are less impactful as academic, it is through the practical task that the students gain the true insight into the profession of architect and thus gives them a clear grasp of the requirements of architects and the profession itself. Through making the students keep the environment, their materials and aesthetics in mind throughout the project, Mr Cronk, keeps the task very much relevant to the current situation faced by architects of today and the future.



Observation based on previous