Hello! I hope your school year has started off on the right foot! Here at USC, I am deep into Week 5 of school. Yeah I know, Week 5. However, this school year in particular is especially interesting for me because it is the first year I get to actually take Building Science classes! I get to play around with a lot of different materials and I get to build stuff (finally!).

Wait, what even is Civil Engineering Building Science? Well, this particular program is kind of a hybrid of both architecture and civil engineering. I get to take classes at both Viterbi and the Roski School of Architecture. The Building Science portion of it involves taking studio classes for the last 3 years of my undergraduate career. This first year in studio, we focus on building the foundation necessary to be successful in the last 2 years of Building Science. We work on fundamental issues like playing around with materials like paper, cardboard, and wood, and drafting plans, sections, and elevations of buildings.

One of my favorite projects was actually the first project. It involved playing with black and white, or the fancy-shmancy term, figure-ground. This project was just to get us acquainted with space and “emptiness.” Although it seems simple, it was actually very, very thought-provoking and makes you realize what isn’t there is just as important as what is there. We had to have two overlapping squares while simultaneously having some sort of method as to why we placed certain figures where and including some of the concepts we learned in class. Can you spot my two squares?

Can you spot my two squares?

Can you spot my two squares?

My other favorite project is actually the one I’m currently working on: building a paper tower out of solely paper! That is, no glue, no tape, nothing! It’s not just any old 1-foot tower; it is at least going to be 6 feet tall (or at least that’s what I’m aiming for!) Some projects in the past have gone up to 16 feet tall! This project helps me get familiar with sheet material; while paper seems simplistic, a ton of materials in the real world are sheet materials and share many properties of paper, like the ability to bend, fold, rip, cut, etc. I’m going to give y’all an exclusive sneak-peek into my unfinished tower. Stay tuned to see how high up I can go before it collapses!

It'll look cooler once it's finished!

It’ll look cooler once it’s finished!


If you are interested in seeing more cool projects, check out my professor’s page where she uploads pictures of previous projects or if you want to learn more about the Building Science program, visit the Building Science page or ask me!

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