ECC Students Explore Design Through an Interdisciplinary Lens

April 3, 2023 Torrance, CA

TORRANCE, CA – Have you ever wondered why a building or place looks the way it does? The process of design in architecture is the result of imagination and numerous considerations to create spaces that have yet to exist. These considerations include factors from multiple areas of study and inquiry, such as history, literature, and even dance, for which design draws upon to inform and influence the development of a project’s design evolution.  This process of inquiry helps students view architecture beyond the simple task of building a floor, four walls and a roof. Instead, they approach design in a manner where their curiosity is catalyzed by the simple question, “What if…?” 

In addressing that question, students and designers alike look for meaning beyond the field of architecture. Demonstrating the cross connection between architecture and other disciplines, an exhibition titled, X-Connected, demonstrates how architecture design is influenced by a broad range of topics. The interactive exhibit represents the artistic outcomes of student work from El Camino College’s architecture program. “The design projects helped me to see architecture not simply as a building, but an opportunity to tell a story and create an experience,” states architecture student, Maryam Alsheyab. 

The majority of the projects on exhibit will represent student work from Design Studio 1.  In this ‘design fundamentals’ course, the focus is not on buildings, but rather our connection to form and space. The students are taken through a series of abstract exercises that introduce the design process that is expressed artistically and viewed through the lens of disciplines beyond architecture. “Since the first year of the ECC Architecture Program focuses on an artistic approach to architecture, the student design process is channeled through exercises on topics that are rooted in other disciplines,” explains Marc Yeber, instructor for Design Studio 1 and Design Studio 2.  “During their exploration, they uncover concealed meanings, imaginary places and forgotten histories, to name just a few,” he continues.

The exhibition also includes a variety of sketches done by students in the architectural drawing classes known as Graphic Communications I and Graphic Communications II.  From napkin sketches to drawings of cities in the future, these works further demonstrate the imagination that is cultivated while pursuing an architecture education at El Camino College.  The exhibition is now open through Friday, April 7, at the Schauerman Library.