CETA Architecture Students Collaborate with Hartford Art School Students to Design a Gathering Space in the Art School's Courtyard
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CETA Architecture Students Collaborate with Hartford Art School Students to Design a Gathering Space in the Art School's Courtyard

University of Hartford Alum has been appointed Deputy Minister

Students from CETA’s Architecture’s AET 123 class, and the Hartford Art School’s Public Projects and Proposals class worked together to create landscape designs for a shared outdoor gathering space near the Art School building.

Three teams of three CETA students met with two art majors to discuss Art School culture, campus culture, and the design elements students and faculty might be seeking in a gathering space. This first-time interdisciplinary collaboration between the two departments has exposed students to the importance of incorporating client needs into design development. 

“Discussing the Art School students’ requirements allowed us to plan a design based on the way the space would be used by them, taking into account traffic patterns and the atmosphere they wanted us to create," says Nohemi Arpi ’20. "Some of them emphasized the desire for an open yet closed structure where there is no loss of trees or natural space provided by the gap between both wings of the art school."

Frank Novello, ’18 saw it as an opportunity to connect with students outside of CETA. “We were able to talk about the overall shared campus spaces and how we used them which will be helpful for future projects,” he says.

CETA course instructor Julie Chen says the Department of Architecture has many projects that use locations on campus as a theoretical site, but having students directly engage and obtain input from art school students toward their designs hasn’t been done before to her knowledge. 

“I wanted to stress to students that design is for people. Collaborative, interdisciplinary, human-centered work is my focus, so when Assistant Professor of Sculpture Colin McMullan approached me about our students working together, integrating this into our mid-semester project was a natural fit,” she says.

The students presented their designs for evaluation and input to “guest critics” Assistant Professor of Architecture, Seth Holmes, graduate architecture student Jameson Gay ’17, and professional artists Amy Merli and Justin O’Brien. Participating students were also invited to critique each other’s work.