2015 Laskey Design Challenge

Handshouse Studio co-founders Laura and Rick Brown moderated the 2015 Laskey Charrette at Washington University. Sophomore architecture students worked to tackle the design challenge “Toys for Elephants.”

Handshouse Studio is an innovative nonprofit educational organization dedicated to hands-on exploration of history, science, mathematics, literature, arts, culture, and technology. Among other projects, it is spearheading efforts to bring a special design/build project, Toys for Elephants, to university art and architecture programs across the country, working in collaboration with local and regional zoos. Started in 2011 as an interdisciplinary elective course at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where Rick teaches, Toys for Elephants provides students an opportunity to create objects and activities that will enhance the quality of life for elephants in captivity. Rick Brown received his MFA from Washington University in 1975.

After learning more about their “clients,” the Asian elephant, student teams spent the weekend designing and fabricating toys, which they exhibited for review by a jury featuring the Browns, dean of architecture Bruce Lindsey, professor Igor Marjanovic, and Studio L members Dennis Cope, Angelyn Chandler, and Warren Ashworth.

The first prize of $1,500 was awarded to the team of Aria Griffin, Nina Lang, and Alicia Morris. Honorable mentions were awarded to two teams: the trio of Ciara Hackman, James McClanahan, and Lucas Rasmussen, and the duo of Jack Lynch and Joshua Stevens.

See more photographs of the event on the Sam Fox School Facebook page here.