Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s architectural engineering (ARCE) program has a rule- some may not like it, but it still stands.
Here it is; first year architectural engineering students (ARCEs) must take studio- an architecture class- for all three quarters of their freshmen year.
Like every other first year architecture student, first year ARCEs have to trudge through studio’s endless projects and tasks.
But, it wasn’t always like this.
According to ARCE and occasional architecture studio professor Edmond Saliklis, there was a time where architecture and ARCE students had the same exact curriculum. They then chose between the two professions after graduation.
The university stopped this after the 1980s, Saliklis said. Current first year ARCE students now only take studio.
At the start of her first studio class, first year ARCE student Katie Breyman was not happy about this requirement.
“In the very beginning, it kind of felt like glorified art class,” she said.
For Breyman, another problem with studio was the fact that it focused more on design instead of the stability and function of a structure.
“ARCE students, for the most part, always take into account the structural integrity of something,” Breyman said, “architecture students look at the overall design and composition of it.”
This ARCE tendency inside Breymen came out during a group project- called the Pier Project- during fall quarter.
“I remember when I was on the Pier Project and I was the only ARCE on my team,” Breyman said, “They (her project group) were spewing ideas back and forth and sometimes they weren’t always the most structurally stable ideas. I was popping in like, ‘physics says no to that.’”
But, Breyman did admit studio had benefits.
“You can kind of speak architect, per se. You understand how the architects work,” she said.
Saliklis also mentioned how studio could benefit ARCE students.
“The number one benefit is to be able to recognize there are multiple solutions for one problem,” he said.
First year architectural engineering student Scott Lindquist, unlike most ARCEs he knew, loved the artistic side of studio.
“I love doing architecture stuff, then again I am not the conventional ARCE student,” he said.
Lindquist will miss having studio when his freshmen year ends, he said.
“I’ll probably pop into the architecture studio every now and then and be like, ‘what are you guys doing,’” Lindquist said.
Some ARCEs won’t miss it that much.
“Architects definitely appreciate studio more because some ARCEs are like, ‘I love it,’ while some ARCEs are like, ‘I’m surviving,” Breyman said.