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Design + Build

The design + build program in the School of Architecture is long-standing and public-serving.

The School of Architecture has a long-standing design + build program. Each summer student teams, led by experienced faculty, design and build a project for community clients. During the intensive studio, students experience and understand the design-make-design cycle, address client parameters, learn design development and construction documents phases, integrate universal design principles, respond to multiple contexts, integrate landscape and architectural design, learn collaborative design skills, and physically build a permanent project.

In 2010, the School of Architecture relaunched its design + build program. The Summer Design + Build Studio has deservedly earned its reputation for incredibly well conceived and executed projects that make a positive impact for the client and community. Lead Instructor Randy Lanou promotes the benefits of the design-make-design cycle “where designers realize the consequences of their design decisions in a tangible and direct way.” If you design it, detail it, and build it yourself, you will design it differently the next time. The Summer Design + Build Studio takes projects from inception to completion in just eleven weeks. Students experience client relationships, site planning, schematic design, design development, construction documentation, permitting and approvals, budgeting, site preparation and development, construction and detailing, vendor and trade partner management, project closeout and delivery. Industry professionals have described what they do as “impossible.” We believe there is no other program like it on the planet. Most importantly, there is no other way for designers to more immediately complete the feedback loop of the design-make-design cycle than to execute this abundance of work in eleven weeks.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this studio, students will:

  • Experience the design-make-design cycle.
  • Address client parameters.
  • Develop schematic design to design development and construction documents phases.
  • Integrate universal design principles.
  • Respond to the context of the site.
  • Integrate landscape and architectural design.
  • Collaborate a large team with a common goal and describe the benefits and challenges of collaboration.
  • Divide tasks to successfully complete a collaborative project.
  • Design, detail, and build a permanent project.
  • Determine and assess performance measures

Design + Build Community Collaborator Information

Project Criteria

  • Applicant: 501-c3 Non-profit organization
  • The project must serve the public.
  • Scope: Within ability of fourteen students to design and construct in 10 weeks
  • No thermal enclosure at this stage
  • No plumbing, mechanical electrical at this stage
  • Construction funding required: $40,000 for materials (does not cover costs of donated labor)
  • Site owned or secured with zoning suited to project
  • Access to the site during the semester
  • Access to decision-makers and the ability to make timely decisions on a fast track
  • Location: within 30 minutes’ drive to NCSU College of Design
  • Ability to measure outputs and outcomes of public benefit

Schedule for application and selection process:

  • September 15: Collaboration proposals due
  • Mid-September through Mid-October: Finalists selected
  • Mid-October through Mid-November: Interviews of finalists completed and primary stakeholder selected
  • Mid-November through January: Secure approvals
  • February through April: Announce studio to recruit students
  • May 1: Start of Design/Build Studio

Design + Build Request for Collaboration

"*" indicates required fields

7. Site owned and secured with zoning suited for project?*
9. Access to decision makers and ability to make decisions on a fast track?*
10. Location: within 30-minutes drive to NCSU College of Design?*
11. Ability to measure outputs and outcomes of public benefit?*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.