Wednesday, August 05, 2015

UTSA architecture students install structure at San Antonio's Travis Park

installation at Travis Park
installation at Travis Park
installation at Travis Park

UTSA architecture graduate students' design project at Travis Park

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(June 4, 2014) -- Graduate students in the UTSA College of Architecture recently installed a 15-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide and 40-foot-long dome sculpture in Travis Park as part of an end-of-semester project for their graduate-level studio, "Design on Topic: Thinness."

The sculpture, "F2," is the first major public art installation featured at the newly renovated Travis Park. It is scheduled to be on display on the south side of the park for three months. The architectural installation will have public, docent-led tours every Tuesday at 7 p.m. during that time.

The installation received partnership support from the City of San Antonio Center for City Development and Operations Department and the Department for Culture and Creative Development.

The installation is a grid shell dome made of interweaving pieces of wood covered with folded plastic panels. It was designed by 14 graduate students studying the fundamentals of parametric design, and it was fabricated and installed by 13 volunteers that included members of the original graduate studio.

All of the work was completed under the supervision of Kevin McClellan, senior lecturer in architecture, and Andrew Kudless, the UTSA College of Architecture Dean's Distinguished Visiting Critic for 2014.

"Our students are ecstatic to see their work displayed so prominently in a major city park," said McClellan. "Not many universities give their students the opportunity to build their foundational knowledge of form and design through hands-on projects such as these, which give students a better understanding of the complexities inherent in building and assembly."

The installation is a study in the design technique known as "form finding," which explores the relationship between structural forms and forces. In this case, that force is gravity. The students chose their design, a dome shell that forms an arch, in order to test its performance against this natural force.

Throughout the process, the students experimented with several different grid shell designs, covering fabrics and bracing materials. The class updated a blog detailing their efforts. Their experiments and reports can be viewed at the Design on Topic website.

>> The UTSA College of Architecture and the City of San Antonio will host an opening reception featuring food, entertainment and related activities from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 5 at Travis Park. For more information, visit SanAntonio.gov or Facebook.

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Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

Read More »
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Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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