The large glass art installation on view at Lubert Plaza as part of DesignPhiladelphia 2017 designed to highlight the merger that created the new Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) has won a National Design Award from the Society of American Registered Architects. The association made the announcement at its recent annual meeting in Miami.
Created by students from Jefferson and the Finishing Trades Institute (FTI), Merge symbolized the combination of the two universities, with the greatest transparency, views and reflections seen where the two glass walls overlapped.
By partnering on this exhibit, Jefferson architecture students and FTI glazier craft workers complemented their classroom instruction with real-life experiences.
Six architecture students and six glaziers collaborated under the guidance of Jeff Kansler, assistant professor of architecture at Jefferson; Jim Doerfler, program director of the architecture programs at Jefferson; and FTI instructor Steve Metzger. In addition, three industrial design students working with faculty member Lyn Godley designed lighting for the exhibit. The Architectural Glass Institute, Mid-Atlantic Region—led by marketing manager Stephanie Staub—served as another key stakeholder in the project.
Kansler said simulating the professional project delivery process proved to an invaluable experience for the students and it presented them with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of fabrication and construction methodologies.
“They came away with the notion that project design and construction doesn’t have to be a unidirectional process where one professional hands things off to the next in a purely linear fashion,” he said. “But rather, there’s a more fluid environment where all the project participants can help inform the work of one another to realize a more efficient process and higher quality product.”