Design Village competition

Diablo Valley College students recently participated in the Design Village Competition sponsored by California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. DVC had two teams competing, and its team ACE Club (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) won the People’s Choice for best overall design.

ACE Club team members were Dominique Molinari, Nicholas Naumann, Marlon Cruz, Sherrilyn Mulyono, Regina Ntongo, and Marlyn Williams, with team advisor Joe Valdez. DVC competed against 50 teams from 41 schools, which included both universities and two-year programs. Only three schools won awards, and DVC was one of them.

“We start the process in January,” Valdez explained. “The students choose their teams and design the projects, and the two teams don’t even meet at the same time, so they’re not taking ideas from each other. It’s impressive that these students won, as they’re competing again students from UC Berkeley, Cal Poly and many other four-year schools, and it was really stiff competition.”

In this competition, teams from across the United States designed and built a theme-based structure that had to meet several additional requirements:

  • the structure’s parts had to be hand carried up a mile trail into the canyon,
  • the structure had to be assembled in 12 hours, without the use of plugged electricity, and
  • all the team members had to live in their structure for the entire weekend.

The event is a challenging opportunity that usually produces creative and impressive results.

This year, the theme for Design Village was Landfill Luxury. During the Great Depression, Central Park became a city of lean-tos and shacks, occupied by those who had been ejected from their homes dues to their inability to pay the rent. Shelters were thrown together with whatever they could find, including re-used materials and some pirated (stolen) products.

DVC’s winning team used cardboard, plastic (bags and bottles) and aluminum cans to build their structure, which they actually lived in for the weekend.

Teams and their structures were judged on craftsmanship, sustainability, excellence in design, suitability to the theme, and public response. While the judges discouraged the theft of anything used in the structures, they based a large portion of the judging on the criteria of reused materials. Teams were required to use no more than 20 percent of materials that had been purchased, which meant they had to scavenge for 80 percent of their building materials.