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Student Achievements

Architecture Students Earn Honors at National Competition

Architecture seniors were singled out among 900 participants from 56 colleges and universities.

Two teams of Cal Poly architectural engineering and architecture students earned honorable mentions in a national steel design competition sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

The 2020 ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition offered upper-level architecture students from 56 colleges and universities across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico the opportunity to develop project designs using steel as the primary material. The 900 participants were from such schools as Auburn, Princeton, Syracuse and Texas A&M universities, Rochester Institute of Technology, and UC campuses including Berkeley.

Jacob Bodinger, an architecture senior from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, was honored for “Adaptive Infrastructures,” which rethinks the concept of car-centric communities and supporting traffic infrastructure. Judges liked his proposal for “its conceptual approach, which proposes a design that could be applied to many cities.”

Bodinger said that America’s love affair with the automobile “is driven by the permanence of our highway and road systems as well as housing built with a new understanding of range and convenience.”

“Adaptive Infrastructures” proposes transitioning Los Angeles’ existing freeway system to rail-based transit that would connect to hubs that also function “as centers of travel, commerce, industry and community. Each hub is constructed as a framework for the programs … confronting new fast-paced and nomadic cultural and socioeconomic norms by envisioning programs as temporary installations amid a permanent structure,” wrote Bodinger, who was advised by Margarida Yin, an emeritus architecture faculty member.

The second Cal Poly project was “The HOODOO,” a proposed residential high-rise to be erected at 1 Oak Street in San Francisco, near the historic City Hall.

Judges were impressed by the design “for its aesthetically beautiful and interesting idea as a formal strategy,” they wrote. “The students present the building through amazing renderings and intricate steel detailing.

The interdisciplinary team of students included three architecture seniors: Solanda Magnuson of Paso Robles, California; Alena Nagornaia of Saint Petersburg, Russia; and Amy Tang of Rosemead, California; and architectural engineering senior Elitsa Vutova of San Diego, California. Their faculty advisors were Thomas Fowler, architecture, and Kevin Dong, architectural engineering.