High School Design Competition

2018 Santa Barbara County High School
Architectural Design Competition Winners

Name School Grade
First Place Vivian Zhan Dunn 12
Second place Sullivan Israel Laguna Blanca 11
Third Place Lucy Cao Laguna Blanca 10
Honorable Mention Blanca Diaz St. Joseph’s 12
Honorable Mention Theo Soderman* Dos Pueblos 11

*Not Pictured

Have you ever imagined how much fun it would be to design a home for yourself or create a truly unique building in town?

Be the first of your friends to take part in a

Design Charrette (Shuh-ret)!!

What: A fast-paced, exciting, mind expanding, creative experience designing a building or space in a limited amount of time. ***Drafting Skills Are Not Required***

When: Design Charrette:          Tuesday, March 13, 2018:             7:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Juried Review:                Saturday, March 17, 2018:            8:00 a.m. – 1:30 pm

Where: Design Charrette:         Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, Hwy. 246 and Refugio Rd. Ynez

Juried Review:              Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort – Santa Ynez Valley

Past Design Charrettes have challenged students to create everything from:

  • a home for returning recovering war veterans
  • a community center
  • a youth hostel
  • a desert research center for a University
  • a tiny house community for homeless families

You find out what you will be designing when you arrive at the Charrette. Each participant will originate a building design based on an entirely new written design program.

Although you may be one of 50 designers at the charrette, no two solutions will be alike. There is no right or wrong design.  Each student will address the issues presented in their unique way bringing experiences and insights to their work.

You can draw, sketch, paint or use any media to illustrate your ideas on paper. Architects will then evaluate your work and select 12 finalists, who will later be invited to appear at a Jury Review to present their design to a panel of four design professionals and educators. Competition winners will then be determined.

  • The Competition is open to all 9th to 12th grade students in any Santa Barbara County school.
  • There is no cost to the students or their schools to enter.
  • Food is provided for students during the Charrette and for those attending the Jury Review.
  • “Certificates of Participation” are awarded to all participants, with special cash awards and prizes for the 12 finalists.
  • Designers must arrange to be dismissed from regular classes the day of the Charrette and for transportation to and from the event site.
  • This is an “open book” competition. You may bring reference materials, even Google.
  • Your completed work will be done by hand on paper provided to you. Again, drafting skills are not required, however you must draw with drafting tools or freehand to scale.  That means that your drawings must be measured.  This is required so you can be sure that the room you design, for example a bedroom, is large enough to contain a 6’-0” x 5’-0” bed, and a dresser, etc.

You will find several helpful movies that explain design creativity, scale, and drawing techniques, and other competition material. Contact the Architectural Foundation for more information at (805) 965-6307.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How can you sign up to participate in this Competition’s Design Charrette?

It’s easy. Let your teacher, counselor, or advisor know that you are interested in participating no later than Wednesday March 6, 2018 and have them notify the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara. (contact info at the end). Or you may call directly. It is important to let the competition sponsors know so they can prepare the Charrette site to be ready for you.

  1. What do I have to draw to complete the design Charrette?

You will be expected to draw Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Elevation to scale with drafting tools or freehand.  That means that these drawings must be measured. The judges will also determine whether your design fits the criteria of the design program.

You will receive (3) 18”x24” sheets of drawing paper in your design packet.

  • Sheet 1: This will be a pre-printed Site Plan where your project will be built. It will show roads, site slopes, trees and whatever else might impact your design. You will draw the building outline you design and other site elements on this sheet.
  • Sheet 2: This will be a blank sheet where you will draw your Floor Plan at 1/4” per foot scale of your design. Plus one exterior Elevation of your design.
  • Sheet 3: This will be a blank sheet also, where you will draw one other drawing to illustrate your design. This could be another elevation, a perspective, a sketch or whatever you think will get the idea across to the judges and jury.
  1. What can I expect upon arriving at the Design Charrette site?
  • A cold gym. (see FAQ #5) The site is a high school gym where 25+ long tables have been set up, some posters and notices mounted on the walls and 40 to 50 other student designers all wondering what will happen next.
  • You will be welcomed with an introduction of the Charrette and will then be read the 2018 Design Program. This is a written description of the building or structure you will be designing.
  • You will choose a workstation at the ends or middle of one of the long tables and set up your tools for the event. Limited tools will be available at the site for your use.
  • You will be given a design packet including a copy of the Design Program and the drawing paper for your presentation.
  • You will spend the next 6+ hours designing, sketching and drawing your project. So have fun!
  • At the end of the day, you will exit the building. A panel of Architects will review your design and score them on a numerical basis. The 12 highest scoring designers will be invited to participate in the Juried Review on Saturday, March 17th.
  1. What do I need to bring to the Charrette?

Registration Form: (download here). Fill it out completely. Note whether you are available to attend the Juried Review on Saturday, March 17th. (this is extremely important) Bring the registration form with you to the Charrette site the day of the event.

Design Tools:

  • Drawing Board at least 18” x 24” and not much larger
  • Straight edge (T-Square) if you intend to draft your drawings
  • Triangles and templates, as needed
  • Eraser and erasing shield
  • Scale, Architectural, 1/8” and ¼”
  • Sketching and scratch paper
  • Dusting brush
  • Drafting tape
  • Any reference material

Please bring your creativity, yourself, your insights, experiences and individuality!  Your critical thinking and reading skills and your desire to do the very best you can!

You may bring an iPod or other musical device with earphones.

  1. How should I dress for a Charrette?

Are you kidding? There’s no dress code! Well, dress comfortably, but in layers. It’s a long day. The competition site can be quite chilly in the morning and get warm in the afternoon.

  1. How do I get to the Charrette site?

You must arrange for your transportation, through your school or individually, to the site.  Carpooling is encouraged.

Design Competition Location:
Santa Ynez Valley Union High School
2975 E. Hwy 246
Santa Ynez, CA 93460

  1. What don’t I need to bring to this event?

Food: The sponsors will provide morning and afternoon snacks for you as well as a healthy and nutritious lunch, at no cost to you at all.  Drinks are included.  You may, however, bring food of your own, if you really wish.

Paper: For your design presentation. Three sheets of 18”x24” paper, either plain or graph, will be provided to you by the sponsors of the competition.

  1. What if I don’t know anything about drafting, scale, design or architecture but I really want to design a building? How can I prepare for this event?

We’re glad you asked that.  There are 2 ways you could prepare for this Charrette:

  1. Go to the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara website (asfb.org).

…   and look for the High School Design competition tab.  Here you will find several videos which will introduce you to basic ideas about design, creativity drawing, presentation, and scale.

  1. Contact the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara office (contact info at the end).

…   and a workshop led by one or several local architects can be arranged at your school or at the Architectural Foundation’s office in downtown Santa Barbara or other convenient locations throughout the County.

  1. What’s in it for me?

A “Certificate of Participation” will be issued to all designer completing the Charrette.

The 12 finalists, in addition to receiving a “Finalist Certificate” have an opportunity to win awards and cash prizes as follows:

First Place                                                                    $ 300.00

Second Place                                                               $ 200.00

Third Place                                                                   $ 150.00

Two Honorable Mention Awards                                  $ 100.00

Finalist Awards                                                             $   50.00

  1. Who is responsible for this event?

Our three very generous and helpful sponsors:

  • Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara
  • Santa Ynez Valley Rotary Club
  • Santa Barbara County Education Office, Regional Occupation Program