El Camino Students Make the Case for Architecture as Science

February 28, 2024 Torrance, CA

TORRANCE, CA –A new student exhibition and event series entitled, “Getting to ZERO,” officially begins tomorrow, featuring El Camino architecture students who are putting a spotlight on the technological innovations and performative nature of buildings as they relate to our environment and climate change. The exhibit’s kick-off reception will take place in the El Camino College Art Gallery on Thursday, Feb. 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Getting to ZERO” is an exhibition and event series that centers around the topic of “de-carbonization” within the design and building industries. Considering that the construction and operations of buildings account for nearly 40% of the total carbon emissions and 23% of the construction debris that is sent to our waste streams, El Camino’s architecture students have designed sustainable strategies that aim to generate minimal or zero carbon and waste.

Held at the new El Camino Art Gallery, the exhibition highlights the science that goes into creating spaces and buildings in a manner that not only minimizes ecological impacts, but also nurture the natural environment. The projects on exhibit represent student work from two El Camino College courses; “Materials & Methods,” and “Design Studio 3.” The central idea on display is the influence science has on education and the architecture profession, and this influences the way buildings are being designed and built. “I've come to recognize the significance of re-establishing our connection with the environment, highlighting the essential role architects and designers play in encouraging sustainable and regenerative practices within the built environment,” states El Camino College architecture student, Mariana Torres. 

Indeed, science plays an intentional role during the second year of the architecture program helping students to better understand the positive impacts the profession can have on the environment.

Anchored by an interactive exhibition of student case studies, construction models, and design proposals that demonstrate sustainable practices in architecture and building technology, the series will explore what it means to achieve zero. This will include industry presentations, student exchanges, and discussion forums all designed to engage visitors on ways to be stewards of our environment. “This effort breaks new ground on several levels for the college; it puts sustainability at the forefront by shining the spotlight on student-conceived ideas and it charts an educational pathway that students can pursue who are interested in sustainability,” explains Marc Yeber, an El Camino College’s Assistant Professor who is focused on sustainability topics. “Even more inspiring is that this has been a student-led effort where students built and designed the exhibit that showcases their work and decided on many of the topics to be featured throughout the program,” he continues.

The “Getting to Zero” exhibition and event series will host multiple opportunities for members of the El Camino College and the broader community to participate over the next three months. The exhibit will run through Thursday, April 25, at the El Camino Art Gallery in the Arts Complex Building.