Golf View: Neighborhood Infrastructure Studio
Since 1993, a college-wide interdisciplinary academic competition has been held as an opportunity for students to better understand the collaboration among design, construction and planning. This year, the Witters Competition was built into an integrated studio where students had a semester-long project to learn this fundamental concept.
“The Witters Competition has played an important role in encouraging collaborative interdisciplinary design in the College of Design, Construction, and Planning (DCP) for many years,” said Kim Tanzer, architecture professor at the University of Virginia and visiting lecturer at DCP. “This year’s competition, built into the Integrated Infrastructure Studio, brought added intensity to a semester-long project, and allowed the City of Gainesville, Gainesville Regional Utilities and the Golf View neighborhood to participate in this important DCP tradition as members of the Witters jury.”
This project was designed by students from a variety of disciplines who focused collaboratively on one local neighborhood throughout the semester. Going beyond repairing existing, aging infrastructures, the studio focused on envisioning an integrated 21st century neighborhood.
“Today’s grand environmental design challenges – sea level rise and fresh water crises, crumbling infrastructures, health and the environment – require interdisciplinary teams, with members from various disciplines working together to develop smart approaches towards preferred futures,” Tanzer said. “This spring’s interdisciplinary studio, with students and faculty from architecture, construction management and landscape architecture, gave our students a great first experience working collaboratively. Upon graduation, they will be well prepared to contribute professionally. The students were enthusiastic about the experience and the new friendships they formed in the process. The City of Gainesville and the Golf View neighborhood appreciated the amazing effort and smart proposals the students put forth.”
Rob Holmes, landscape architecture assistant professor, and Ravi Srinivasan, construction management assistant professor, also took part in heading the studio collaboration, along with support from Chris Silver, dean of DCP.
“In essence, students, beyond just being students and working in silos, transformed into promising professionals and entrepreneurs through constant discussions and deliberations within themselves, with faculty mentors and industry experts to solve problems in a collective manner,” Srinivasan said. “What a true sustainable approach to problem solving.”
The Witters Competition is endowed by Arthur G. and Beverley A. Witters.
Following the semester, the studio’s final proposal, which was presented to the neighborhood, the City, university experts and the public, was composed into a book.
Winners of this year’s Witters Competition included:
Shreyansh Parakh – Construction Management
Bali Pawar – Construction Management
Maria E. Barrios – Construction Management/Architecture
Eric Eslinger – Architecture
Naomi Kupier – Architecture
Yan Chen – Landscape Architecture