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Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Hosts Spring 2015 Charette

Mar 19, 2015
Spotlight Category: Event

Architecture/Landscape/Interiors (A/L/I) students at Otis College recently proposed renovations for what has been dubbed “the most depressing Starbucks in America” for their Spring 2015 Charette.

A charette consists of a design project completed within a limited amount of time and with no prior knowledge of the requirements. Accordingly, A/L/I students received information about the charette project at 8 am on Monday, March 9th, 2015 and turned in their entries at 1 pm on the same day. All work was done by hand (no computers allowed) with students participating in teams of two. 

The existing and much maligned Starbucks, located in Highland Park, is geared toward the automobile, primarily acting as a drive-thru location. Although it has a fenced open-air patio and a covered space with a small seating area, there is no interior space for customers except for a public restroom, making it almost intolerable to visitors not passing through in their cars.

Each team presented their designs to a jury of five members - Reid Cigolle, Designer, Cigolle X Coleman; Gary Lai, Senior Landscape Architect and Business Class Leader, HDR; Richard Lundquist, Principal, Studio/RCL; Shannon Starkey, architect; and Gregory Van Grunsven, Principal, VG Design.

Juniors (pictured from left to right) Paulina BenavidesGhadeer Alburaiki,  and Timothy Jordan won First Place in the Spring Charette for their project “Starbucks LED, “ which rejected the typical Starbucks layout and branding. 

Paulina Benavides is from Venezuela and first studied architecture at the Central University of Venezuela. She explains, “I had to leave my country because of the violent attacks against my university and students, so I transferred to Otis as an Architecture/Landscape/Interiors’ junior in fall 2014.”

Ghadeer Alburaiki is from Saudi Arabia and says she’s always been interested in world architecture. “I used to think that architecture is only about engineering, however, Otis has changed my mind about that,” she says. “The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors program here is amazing and very thoughtful about many aspects of the world.” 

Timothy Jordan was born, raised, and currently lives in Long Beach, CA. “I’ve always had a passion for architecture and design but never really considered it as possible major and career until I took a Summer of Art class at Otis a few years ago. Upon completing that course, I realized that not only do I want to study architecture, but I wanted to be at Otis.”

Their project, Starbucks L.E.D., is a reimagining of the Starbucks experience. According to the project description, "it will change how customers interact with the coffee shop and its employees by enhancing the ordering experience through technology.  Our proposal deploys three different means of ordering, the existing drive-thru, a walk up window for online orders, and iPads embedded in a gallery wall as well as tables in the seating area, which eliminate the traditional Starbucks queue-ordering system. We turned one exterior wall into a large LED screen that displays local artists’ work and advertises art exhibits or events, further utilizing technology and connecting this location to its surrounding community." 

Architecture/Landscape/Interiors charettes are held once each semester and focus on interior design. Previous charette projects have been a toy store, shoe store, automobile showroom, restaurant, internet café, and taco stand, among others.