Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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May 7, 2012

GHS students win state design award

GOSHEN — Three Goshen High School Computer and Design students have been named as award winners through the 2012 Indiana High School Architectural Design Competition.

Hosted by the Indianapolis chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the design competition featured 13 high schools from across the state with a total of 129 entries submitted.

According to the AIA, the goal behind the competition is to help entrants develop an appreciation and understanding of architecture and design, and to encourage the next generation of potential architects to consider entering the field.

“We only had four students submit designs this year, and all four were selected as finalists,” said JJ Johnson, engineering technology education instructor for GHS. “Then when we went down to attend the awards ceremony on April 20, we found out that three of them had been selected to receive the Award of Honor, which is the second highest award you can earn in the competition.”

All in all, three Awards of Excellence, five Awards of Honor and two Judges Distinctions were awarded to contest entrants. Earning the Awards of Honor from GHS were seniors Megan Sherck, Diego Garcia and Tam Huynh.

“The students had been working on their design boards ever since they got back from winter break,” Johnson said. “As part of the contest, a program is given to the students at the beginning of the second semester which outlines the project background and criteria for design. Students then utilize skills obtained in the Computer and Design (CAD) course to develop and perfect their deigns.”

This year’s theme required the students to design a bicycle shop/rental/competition facility to be located at the current Pan AM plaza in Indianapolis.

“The students are given numerous constraints that they have to follow as far as what rooms are to be included, the square footage of those rooms, and even right down to the furniture that should be included,” Johnson said. “So in my class, the students used their knowledge of CAD software to create very detailed, elaborate 3D designs on the computer. Then at the end of all their work, they take the design and create a large poster that they then have to submit to the judges. It includes all of their floor plan views and elevation views, the 3D renderings and section views, and also a detailed description of the key features of their design.”

So how are the students feeling about placing amid such tough competition?

“They are really excited,” Johnson said. “Going into it I said that while I didn’t want to get their hopes up, I was so pleased with their designs and felt that we had some really talented designers this year. And it seems like the judges agreed.”

On his end, Johnson said he couldn’t be happier with the outcome, noting that this year’s performance by the students was the best he has seen in the competition since he first started teaching at GHS five years ago.

“As far as my teaching this program, we’ve never had three students get Awards of Honor before,” Johnson said. “We’ve had individual students get Awards of Honor and students get Judge’s Distinction, but never three Awards of Honor from the same class. So it’s an outstanding achievement for our students, and I’m really proud of them.”

Established in 1892, the Indiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is a non-profit professional association representing the interests of and providing services to nearly 700 architects and affiliated design professionals. For more information visit www.aiaindiana.org.

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