2012 Laskey Design Challenge

When Studio L started giving awards in 2008, we elected to hold a competition for a student-defined creative project and invited all students in the College of Architecture and
Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design to participate. In 2010, the format changed from a call for original proposals to a call for creative solutions for a problem authored by Leslie Laskey and Studio L. The first four years of the award yielded small built environments at the Sam Fox School campus, downtown St. Louis, and the Danforth Butterfly Garden.

However, in 2012, the board of Studio L decided to try a different approach that would still be in keeping with Studio L’s mission of encouraging students of design to have learning opportunities outside the parameters of the curriculum, but allowed for participation by more students and encouraged direct collaboration between art and architecture students. Sophomores were targeted because of Professor Laskey’s focus on the early years of design education.

The outcome of this different approach was the Laskey Sophomore Design Challenge. During the first weekend of the spring semester, student teams combined of art and architecture students were formed, and a visiting professor challenged the students to a weekend charette.

Studio L is delighted to have selected Kyna Leski to author and administer the challenge. Ms. Leski is Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design, and principal of the firm 3SIXØ Architecture. Professor Leski spent a January weekend with the students, taking them through a fascinating and challenging project combining geometry, scale, materials, intersections and connections…as well as team building, collaboration, time management and partnership. Her well-conceived process helped the students explore new ways of thinking and seeing. At the conclusion of the intensive weekend of team work, a jury of art and architecture faculty together with Studio L board members, led by Professor Leski, awarded a cash prize to the winning team, a book award to a second team, and an honorable mention to three other teams.

We are grateful to Professor Leski for her enthusiasm, and are delighted to share with you the creative fruits of the sophomore classes’ efforts.