Nichole Letizia found a job that not only pays her bills but also gives her life meaning. What follows below is a first-person account of travels across the country, where she is using her NJIT...
Every spring semester, all second year architecture students are assigned a studio project to design a masonry building with a specific program. The rest of the second year curriculum is arranged to support and contribute to the studio design project. In each studio section, each student designs his or her individual project. The studio section as a whole then selects the best design from among their group and forms a team to refine the selected design. All of the studio teams compete for best design at the end of the semester.
Once the design is selected and refined, a fragment of that project is developed to be built as a full scale mock-up. Students in each team work together with skilled masons to develop construction details, select and estimate materials, and plan the actual construction of their mock-up. Finally, over a single week-end in April, the students work with an army of masonry journeymen to build the structures which line the walkway leading to the entrance of the College.
On the following Monday, verbal and graphic presentations are given by the student teams to a panel of jurors. Awards are presented at a gala dinner sponsored by the NJ Masonry Contractors in the COAD Gallery that evening. Teams compete for over $25,500 in cash prizes amidst much cheering and congratulations by all.
The program is sponsored by the Masonry Contractors of New Jersey in cooperation with the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, NJ Locals 2, 4 and 5, and the International Masonry Institute.