More than 70 architecture and construction management students filled the black box theatre in Daggy Hall for the School of Architecture and Construction Management’s fifth annual Integrated Symposium. The students spent two days working together on problem-solving and learning how to be a cohesive team to accomplish specific goals.
“The symposium is designed to help third year architecture and construction management students understand skill sets and attitudes to be effective outside WSU in a team environment,” said Greg Kessler, the Director of the School of Architecture and Construction Management at WSU.
Sponsored by the School with support from the Seattle-based architecture firm CollinsWoerman, the symposium is required for third year architecture and construction management students. It provides a chance for the students to work together and brings professionals to campus to interact with them.
“Next year we are planning on expanding it to include interior design and landscape architecture students,” Kessler said. “After that, we hope to include engineering students as well.”
The day opened with students participating in a collaborative ranking exercise game.
Split into teams, the groups are given a scenario in which they are shipwrecked on an island and have 16 items that have survived with them. They are asked to work together to rank the most important items.
The symposium forces students to think about things as a team, whether hypothetical, as in the shipwreck team game, or actual, says Jason Peschel, assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Construction Management.
Another exercise the students had to perform as a team was a “build game.”
The task combines decision making relative to the triple bottom lines of environment, economy and equity with design work at an abstract level, said Peschel. As the students determine the type of building (based upon user groups) they also create an abstract design using both physical pieces and Revit modeling software.
“The students worked on the task for roughly six hours and ended the day with presentations to a panel of judges consisting of faculty and advisory board members,” Peschel said. The top three teams were awarded small scholarships for the spring academic semester.
For the “build game” in addition to the concept of the development was the implementation of design strategies that would improve the overall energy performance of the project along with methods of energy creation such as solar and wind energy, said Peschel.
“The beauty of it is there will be internal conflicts between members and they will have to find a way to work it out,” he added.
Industry representatives Arlan Collins and Mark Woerman from CollinsWoerman, Doug Moore from McKinstry Construction, and Mark D’Amato from DCI Engineers also led a panel discussion on “Sustainable Living Initiative: A Case Study for Collaboration and Integration.”
The idea throughout the symposium is to get students to work together to solve conflicts in teams that include diverse fields and personality types.
More than 14 architecture and construction management professionals on the advisory board attended the symposium, interacting with the students and providing industry advice.