A group of high school students from the Warsaw district of Warren benefit from a new class of residential architectural design offered by the Indian College of Public Administration.
The “Housing Design and Building Information Modeling” class is taught by Richard Hunt, a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in architectural engineering technology.
“The idea is to let them know how the house will come together. We focus primarily on housing, ”Hunt said. “(How to understand) the elements that need to be there, how to communicate with the customer and meet the customer’s needs and translate it into the language of construction.”
Students study at the Indian Public College facility, which has new iMacs, 3D printers and state-of-the-art plotters where students can hone their skills. Now they are learning how to use modeling software to build their design house.
“So this is basically a virtual build, right?” Hunt said. “The idea is that you design every aspect of the building details before you hit the first nail.”
The software used by the students allows them to design a usable and detailed construction project plan.
“It’s able to print a list of materials, full specifications and everything,” Hunt said. “It can give you detailed cost estimates and things like that.”
The course focuses not only on architectural design. Hunt’s class will also study the commercial aspects of construction.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, Hunt worked in the construction industry. Now he is trying to pass on the knowledge he wanted to know before entering the field.
“When I started working, I didn’t know what to accuse people of. I didn’t know how to talk to them about the money part, ”Hunt said.“ Teaching them how to value and trust customers when talking about money is a really important thing. I think if they don’t take anything else off course, the ability to know their value … and knowing the value of their work is one of the most important things I hope they’ve gotten in this class. ”
Hunt said the design process is a “moving experience”. He tries to show students that moving from the sketch stage to the final stage of design and even to the construction stage is a rewarding experience.
“When you see something that was in your brain and you put it on a piece of paper,” he said. And then someone makes it and you see it for the first time in real life, it’s a “moment of rage”.
Hunt said he hopes the course will continue for his first year, but he actually needs to increase it to remain stable in the school district.
“Now I have five students,” he said. “I really need to have 10 of them. So I have to get a little bit of attention from the students to bring them here.”
Hunt is also seeking support from the community.
“I actually have a few friends who are in the construction industry and some real estate agents, a few developers that I’ve talked to and everyone has offered support,” he said.
These types of professionals are interested because it benefits them … I try to teach (students) that they can do it here. And it can directly benefit this community, ”he said.
Hunt thinks this course is a way to invest for students and the community to invest in a bright economic future.
“There’s a housing shortage in this country,” Hunt said. “Getting your students involved in the design process by learning it is the first step to fixing it.”
Several students believed that the skills they learned in the course could be used in their future careers.
Trinity Adam, a senior coursemate, said the course is directly related to the areas she is interested in.
“It helped me figure out what I really wanted to be (in construction),” Adam said. “But I also want to be an architect; I want to do everything. “
Several students enthusiastically explained the architectural concept of the “work triangle,” a general set of rules for designing a floor in the space where the work is performed (such as a kitchen) in order to increase the efficiency and ease of use of the working person.
Another student, Owen McCardle, said he was more interested in the artistic aspects of the course and that the skills learned here were not limited to the fields of architecture and construction.
“Definitely take it. I mean, it’s not that you just have to get it because you want to be an architect, “McCardle said.” You can just use it to get a basic idea of how to do some other things. “
Hunt repeated the idea.
“You learn something about construction, you learn something about design,” he said. “You learn something about building a community and being part of a community (and how to do it) running a business.”