Student Josiah Henley wins top AIA honor

AIA Regional Student Awards: Congratulations are in order for M.Arch student Josiah Henley, whose project “Transit Studio for the Insomniac Printmaker” has been selected by the AIA Northwest & Pacific Regional Student Design Awards jury for the Honor Award in the 2013 program.

Josiah developed this project in Architecture 580, the first architectural design studio in the graduate program, under the tutelage of Associate Professor Jeff Schnabel.

“The goal of the studio was to research issues surrounding the nighttime condition and explore different ways of addressing them through the process of architecture. Students conducted research and created maps and artifacts in order to generate topics relating to the night that each student could explore through different means of architectural representation,” said Schnabel.

“The final product was to be an architectural proposal that could both express an acute understanding of the research conducted and illustrate new ways of thinking on how architecture can address these ideas, all of which related to the night.”

Josiah’s research led him to think about the connection between creativity and both making art and using public transportation during the nighttime hours. In his narrative explaining his process and intentions for the project, Josiah wrote:

 “Personal areas of interest relating to the night included the creative link between insomnia and the arts and the public perception of fear while riding public transportation at night. I chose these topics after stumbling upon Louise Bourgeois’ book titled The Insomnia Drawings in which she documented her sleepless nights through drawing. Simultaneously I was riding public transit at night and noticing a shift in the behavior of passengers at night. These research topics manifested themselves in two different forms: The first in a slide made of oiled paper that was stored in a wooden box which acted as a lantern. The latter was explored through the creation of a map after riding light rail at night and documenting the conditions of each stop in order to compare their perceived level of safety with information from the city on the frequency of crimes committed there. After this a site was chosen based on criteria developed during the mapping phase.

“My architectural proposition is an effort to heighten the perception of safety for nighttime commuters by introducing natural surveillance to the site, as well as enhancing the sense of activity and orientation. Providing a structure for the insomniac printmaker to work does this while creating an opportunity for interaction between the transit riders and the artist through public display of both artwork and the process of printmaking. Program elements include a smoking deck, changing room, restroom, and studio space.

“The insomniac printmaker accesses the studio via public transportation and works into the next morning, exhibiting the printmaking process. Afterwards the night’s creations are displayed at the front of the building for daytime commuters as the insomniac printmaker takes the train home to rest.”

The award will be presented at the regional conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, in October.

School of Architecture