SoA Team’s Winning Design Honors Orlando Shooting Victims

March 24, 2017

A UNC Charlotte team of School of Architecture faculty and students has won the 2017 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Small Project Practitioners (SPP) Small Project Design Competition. Sponsored by AIA National, the SPP Small Project Design Competition is open to architects, associate architects, and architecture students. The UNC Charlotte team is made up of architecture professors Marc Manack and Rachel Dickey, Director of Fabrication Labs Alex Cabral, Lecturer and Fabrication Lab Manager McKenzie Canaday, and students Jon Warner and Elizabeth Shue. Their winning entry will be constructed and showcased at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 in Orlando, Florida, April 27-29.

The 2017 competition challenged participants to design a temporary structure for a 10'x10'x8' space that could be easily and inexpensively built. The theme for the competition was “reflection,” and projects had to evoke a strong sense of place by encouraging human interaction.

Acknowledging the location of the AIA national convention, the winning submission, EFFERVESCE, responds to the Pulse nightclub shooting of June 2016. EFFERVESCE is a plastic lattice wall that will stand in the middle of the installation site. Within the wall’s structure are 49 “vessels,” one for each life lost in the shooting. Each of these modules will contain a simple mechanism with plunger, siphon, and bubble wand, allowing visitors to release bubbles into the air, creating a moment of joy in remembrance of the Pulse shooting victims. The names of the 49 will be subtly inscribed into the structure. “Rather than a monument, this memorial is an encounter and an event – a place of interaction and contemplation amid the commotion of the convention environment,” the team wrote in the design proposal.

The elements of EFFERVESCE will be fabricated in the School of Architecture fabrication labs prior to the convention, then assembled at the convention site on April 26. A session on April 28 will allow the team to present their design concept. Following the convention, the team will donate EFFERVESCE to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Central Florida.