Styrene is commonly found in polystyrene foam (styrofoam), a material used for making models and maquettes. In 2014, styrene had been "reasonably anticipated" to be a "human carcinogen" by the National Research Council and now the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis plans to ban its use by next fall. Styrene is also found ABS and even rubber, though it's toxicity in these compounds is still up for debate. As news of polystyrene's hazardous potential spreads however, schools and even cities have started to ban the substance. As reported the university's independent newspaper Student Life, "As of June 2015, cities in 10 different states have officially banned styrene with three others considering to follow suit." New York was one of those cities, banning EPS (Expanding Polystyrene Foam) due the how difficult it can be to recycle. "These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City. We have better options," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio back in June last year. The ban was later overturned. With regards the compound's environmental impact, propylene has subsequently surfaced as a viable alternative. The material is inexpensive and easy to work with, however, when used for model-making styrene has a tendency to be inhaled. This is especially the case when particles enter the air after being melted or laser cut. The Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry outline the consequences of inhalation listing nausea, respiratory problems and in some cases liver damage. The full list of health defects post styrene exposure can be found here and here. Sophomore student Eve Bobrow spoke of her experience with styrene exposure to student life. “When everyone is using it, you could definitely feel a difference in the air,” she said in Student Life. “Sometimes I have to leave studio because I get such bad headaches. There were even times where I felt like I had chronic headaches because everyone was using styrene for their final models.” Fellow sophomore Kevin He said how despite being in his second year at Sam Fox, the issues styrene can cause were never fully detailed. “When I came into the art school, the professors just told us that styrene was dangerous, but never told us about all the problems with it,” he said. “We never had a safety tutorial. I learned how to use styrene through trial and error and out of all the materials we use here, styrene puts us in the most amount of danger.”
Posts tagged with "architecture school":
Elizabeth Danze, FAIA, will take over the University of Texas at Austin's School of Architecture as Interim Dean. Her previous roles at the school include associate dean of graduate programs, professor, and associate dean of undergraduate programs. She's an alumna of the University of Texas at Austin's School of Architecture and the Yale School of Architecture. Danze co-edited the book Architecture and Feminism. She has also authored CENTER 17: Space and Psyche and Psychoanalysis and Architecture (volume 33 of The Annual of Psychoanalysis). The school's former dean, Frederick “Fritz” Steiner, left his post earlier this year due in large part to new state laws that would permit licensed students, faculty, staff, and visitors to carry concealed guns into campus buildings. These new rules go into effect as of August 1, 2016. Steiner has moved to the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Design, where he will start as Dean on July 1, 2016.
In what is good news for architecture students across the country, the names of the first 13 accredited architectural programs to be accepted for participation in the the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Integrated Path Initiative has been announced. The scheme aims to give students more flexibility in terms of their architecture courses. The news signals the success of NCARB’s Licensure Task Force's (LTF) two-year plan to allow students to have academic flexibility within the program while still adhering to the requirements needed to gain architectural licensing. The proposal by NCARB was covered earlier in the year by AN. NCARB has formed a new Integrated Path Evaluation Committee (IPEC) to monitor the initiative. IPEC is also expected to continually "coach accepted programs, promote engagement with jurisdictional licensing boards regarding necessary law or rule changes to incorporate integrated path candidates, and oversee the acceptance of future program applicants." These 13 accepted schools comprise a range of accredited B.Arch and M.Arch programs and are split between public and private institutions. The accepted schools are: —Boston Architectural College; Boston, Massachusetts —Clemson University; Clemson, South Carolina —Drexel University; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania —Lawrence Technological University; Southfield, Michigan —NewSchool of Architecture and Design; San Diego, California —North Carolina State University; Raleigh, North Carolina —Portland State University; Portland, Oregon —Savannah College of Art and Design; Savannah, Georgia —University of Cincinnati; Cincinnati, Ohio —University of Detroit Mercy; Detroit, Michigan —University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Charlotte, North Carolina —University of Southern California; Los Angeles, California —Woodbury University; Los Angeles, California “Each of these programs has impressed our Licensure Task Force with their creativity, commitment to maintaining their NAAB-accreditation, and desire to provide a conduit for students who choose a rigorous path that will enrich both the academic and experience elements of architectural licensure,” said NCARB President and LTF Members.
Marking the end of a design competition for the new home of its College of Architecture & Environmental Design, Kent State University has chosen Weiss/Manfredi’s “Design Loft” over submissions from Bialosky & Partners of Cleveland with Architecture Research Office of New York; The Collaborative of Toledo with Miller Hull Partnership of Seattle; and Westlake Reed Leskosky of Cleveland. The college is moving from three separate buildings including Taylor Hall, where it has been for decades, and which served as a gathering spot for the 1970 Vietnam War protest that would end in four deaths. Kent State University has one of Ohio’s four architecture schools, and the site of its new home is intended to engage the greater community of Kent. During a public forum at KSU in January, Michael Manfredi called the design “a three-dimensional diorama,” connecting studio life to the outside at all times with continuous sightlines from one studio to the next. “The idea is that there really is no such thing as a circulation space, but always a place of interaction,” Marion Weiss said. The team said they were investigating adjustable shading controls for the stepped glass box design. Richard L. Bowen & Associates of Cleveland will be the architect of record.
Once again the courtyards at the USC School of Architecture are bubbling with installations as part of the second-year 2b studio, in which several teams of undergraduate students design and build structures in a very short period of time. Perhaps the most striking is the shimmering pavilion created by the 14-student class of professor Roland Wahlroos-Ritter. The studio focused on glass' structural, reflective, and refractive qualities. All of those attributes are apparent in the installation, in which 800 translucent and triangular polycarbonate pieces (actual glass was deemed too expensive and time-consuming) were folded like origami and zip-tied together. Each piece was drilled with several holes and inserted with vinyl tubing to reinforce the connections. In fact, the model for the structure was made with paper, then translated into its new, highly refractive form. The installation was brought to the site in five segments and then pieced together on site. The students see this as a 1:1 prototype for a future pavilion to be built in glass.