Student teams from NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) earned three of the six first-place awards, four of the six second-place awards, and two of six third-place awards at the annual Cal Poly Design Village competition in San Luis Obispo. It was the fourth time in five years that NSAD teams came home with the top prizes. Fifty-one teams representing 17 California colleges and universities competed at the event April 15–17.
NSAD's structures won for:
- Best Overall Design by students Matthew Devan, Erick Morales, Tran Pham, Matt Palumbo, and Dane Torrens;
- Structural Craftsmanship by students Carlos Chaparro, Henry Chi, Ei Khin Khin and Francisco Nunez; and
- Best Community Space by students Forrest Agnew, Jared Barrios, Alex Pisch, Justin Shepard and Kevin Spenla.
NSAD maintains the distinction of winning in at least one category each year since 1995. Additionally, NSAD's teams took second place in the categories of Best Overall Design, Structural Craftsmanship, Best Community Space and Best Livable Space and third place in categories of Creative Portal and Best Livable Space.
"This is a taxing competition that requires students carry their structures a mile into a canyon, assemble them and then live in them for a weekend," said faculty advisor Hussein Munaim. "I am extraordinarily proud of their efforts and accomplishments."
The theme of the competition was social parametrics. All entries were required to have three portals and incorporate at least two physical connections to other structures on the competition grounds. Teams could not link either of their two required portals to other structures from the same school. While individual entries were judged on their design, an interconnected mega-structure formed, literally reinforcing the idea of network building. Ultimately, the linked structures became a physical manifestation of the socially networked present and its ability to create something greater than the sum of its parts.
The categories included Best Overall Design, Structural Craftsmanship, Most Creative Portal, Best Livable Space, Best Community Space and People's Choice Award. There also was an honorable mention award for Innovative Lighting. Six judges reviewed the structures and ranked each category on a scale of one to 10. The scores were averaged to produce the final winners. The People's Choice Award was voted upon by the participants and visitors to the competition site.