SUNY Morrisville architectural studies & design students build person pods for semester-end project

Published date
11 a.m.

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. — Architectural studies & design students combined their skills and talents to build life-size person pods during a semester-end project that turned classroom lessons into real-world experience. 

Teams of students in Professor Brian J. Kelly’s Architectural Design 1 class congregated in the lobby of the Sheila Johnson Design Center to construct three full-sized model person pods, a project that took them through sketch and design phase to full-scale framing and modeling on a $75 budget.

Criteria for the pods included that they be constructed to be entered, occupied and used, contain an entryway, sleeping space for one person and storage. The pods also had to be enveloped and waterproof. 

Teammates Jacob Sanders, of Dix Hills, Long Island; Dante Kraft, of Norwich; and Hannah Lake, of Lyons; took a lot of things into consideration while framing their model, which was designed by Lake, who also served as project manager.

“I wanted a lot of room above me, so we are making our model higher,” she said. 

Spare shingles, a window and other leftover materials from house projects were handy items she picked up to help defray costs and stay on budget. Plywood was provided to teams.  

Hands-on was an appealing part of the project and the architectural studies & design program overall. 

“I wanted hands-on when I went to college and that is why I chose Morrisville,” Lake said. 

In addition to hands-on experience, the project also gave students a taste of architectural sustainability.   

“When selecting the enveloping materials, they had to consider the material’s ability to be reused, upcycled or recycled,” Kelly said. “The architectural profession considers reusing, upcycling and recycling materials important so they do not end up in a landfill.”

When the models are complete, students will give presentations on their final projects, which will be on display in the courtyard of the design center.