15 students from the School of Architecture just returned from a field trip to Hawaii

Oct. 28, 2019

The 3rd Year Architecture group travelled to Hawaii for a site visit of Honolulu Harbor power-station and their project for adaptive reuse. The project brief for the 'Waterfront Regenerator Site Analysis & Concept Design Study for a Development Site on Honolulu Harbor' is attached below. 

Urban Transformation and Healthy Careers

Dr Steffen Lehmann, AIA, RIBA, RAIA, AoU - Director of the UNLV School of Architecture 

Once upon a time, the university years were viewed primarily as a time for young adults to discover their interests and passion, and develop skills for adulthood. However, in the 21st century this has changed: today’s pressure to educate workforce-ready graduates has shifted the role that universities play in preparing young adults for both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills needed for a meaningful life and smooth transition to the world of work. Everyone – universities, graduates, and employers play an important role in building a healthy and rewarding career journey for our emerging next generation of architects.

At the UNLV School of Architecture, we strongly believe that healthy careers start with a healthy education and a diversity of experiences. We support our students with opportunities to travel and experience architecture in other cities and countries, and to develop real-world professional skills in new work environments. Field trips are an essential part of any architectural education, and it is not sufficient to study buildings just online or by photo. Nothing can replace the experience of the ‘real thing’, such as the circulation through space, the changing light conditions, and the sound and smell of a building or public space. 

In the academic year 2019-2020, we were fortunate to recruit two Transformation Fellows at the UNLV School of Architecture: Dean Sakamoto FAIA from Honolulu, and Dr Igor Peraza from Barcelona.  Both Transformation Fellows, similar to visiting professors, act as critics, teachers and mentors within the programs of the School of Architecture and engage the school with new communities beyond Las Vegas. They present a public lecture at the SoA and form a bridge between the School and critical areas of research-based practice. 

Dean Sakamoto has brought us closer to the architecture of Hawaii and its capital city Honolulu. For a long time, there has been a close relationship between the cities of Honolulu and Las Vegas, and we always have students from Hawaii studying at the SoA, adding to the diversity of our student body. 

Our 3rd Year Architecture students just returned from a 4-day field trip to Honolulu which was organized by Transformation Fellow Dean Sakamoto (see group photo below). 15 students in 3rd year architecture will work in November and December on the design of an adaptive reuse project of a disused power-station on Honolulu Harbor. For the next two months, and with the support of the City of Honolulu, they will develop ideas and concepts for a mixed-use waterfront development. The project is financially supported by King Tide Development Ltd., SHADE Institute, and the UNLV School of Architecture. We are grateful for the generous support and wonderful hospitality we experienced during our stay on Hawaii. This projects is the first of a series of urban waterfront development projects the SoA will be engaged in with the City of Honolulu, and we are excited to be invited to contribute to the urban transformation of this beautiful and unique city. 

This project initiative is a good example of what is possible when government and university collaborate to create real-world learning outcomes to prepare our students for an exciting future ahead. 

I invite you to join our diverse School of Architecture, be part of a flourishing creative community, and celebrate with us our remarkable history and exciting future ahead. Support our students so they can travel to places such as Honolulu, Mexico City, and Barcelona, and widen their horizons by learning from other cultures.