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People | Damon Serves as UIUC Student Reviewer

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This month, Damon Wilson, an alumna of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s graduate architecture program returned to campus as a reviewer for a graduate-level course final. The program for the architectural project was to design a cultural center that houses exhibits on the history of human migration in Bogota, Colombia. The project challenge was to create a facility capable of housing exhibits, lobby, laboratories, classrooms, theater, parking and administrative offices.

Students presented their projects to their professor, Damon, and another UIUC faculty member. Damon’s role on the panel as a design professional was to provide meaningful feedback to the students’ projects and presentation skills. Damon’s experience interviewing with potential clients and discussing design intent for current projects helps him understand what presentation skills grad students will need in their architectural careers. “One of the hardest parts is being able to communicate your ideas fully to people who aren’t familiar with the project, you have to remember that your audience won’t necessarily fill in the blanks if they are starting from square one,” Damon says, “Each of the groups had very unique and impressive solutions to the challenge, but it’s important that all of those ideas are represented clearly and effectively.”

Another interesting feature of the project was the student’s use and access to digital fabrication equipment, allowing students to create a design process that incorporates analog and digital tools. The University hosts a laboratory in the architecture annex that houses various equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutting, sewing machines and other high-tech crafting equipment for students and the public to use.

Many of our architects at Bailey Edward are alumni of the UIUC graduate architecture program and we are proud to have them give back to the University community through projects and volunteerism. Coincidentally, Lauren Garriott, an intern at the BE Champaign office was a student of this class! We plan to continue to grow our relationship with UIUC in support of their architecture community through similar opportunities.