Students Excel in Creative Uses of Wood in Design

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Residential Environments and Design students participating in the Mitchell O. Carr Symposium included, from left, Alexandria Hubbard, Joshua Andes, Adam White, and Austin Parris. Not Pictured: Alisa Chance, a double major in Residential Environments and Design and Architecture.

Several students in the Residential Environments and Design program were members of the winning teams of a recent design competition.

The three-day competition kicked off the Mitchell O. Carr Symposium on Creative Uses of Wood in Design, hosted by Virginia Tech on the Blacksburg campus March 18–21.

Five interdisciplinary teams of 10 students each designed and built a wooden pickup truck camper fit for cross-country travel. Residential Environments and Design students joined students in Sustainable Biomaterials, Architecture, and Building Construction in designing and building sleep and lounge areas. Creativity, sustainability, effective use of space, innovation, and effective use of wood were among the criteria for the competition.

Adam White’s team tied for first place. Austin Parris was a member of the second-place team, and Joshua Andes was part of the People’s Choice Award team.

Following the student competition was a daylong symposium at the Inn at Virginia Tech. There architects, builders, and designers from across North America presented innovations in using wood in the design, engineering, and construction of interiors and structures.

The symposium was made possible by the Carr Family Foundation and family patriarch Mitchell O. Carr, who began his career as a log buyer and eventually developed a hardwood manufacturing company with facilities across Virginia. His company was ultimately sold to Bailey Lumber, now the largest broker of hardwood lumber in the United States.

It was recognition of wood’s versatility and importance as a structural and aesthetic material that led Carr to join with Virginia Tech in providing students, practitioners, and scholars a unique opportunity to learn, explore, and appreciate recent developments in wood design and construction.

The symposium was jointly organized by the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials in the College of Natural Resources and Environment; the Myers-Lawson School of Construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies; and the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.