Student Center

Meet Ian Siegel

Ian attends the New Jersey Institute of Technology and aspires to become a licensed architect who creates responsible, energy-efficient buildings. Learn about Ian and his project, created for the AIAS/Autodesk Sustainable Design Challenge, where he designed a multifunctional temporary one-room schoolhouse using Autodesk® Revit® Architecture and Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis software.

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Design a better world like Ian


What inspired you to study architecture?

The architects’ impact on the lives of those who live in their buildings, work in their buildings, play in their buildings, pray in their buildings…even the lives of the people who pass them on the street are impacted in some way. I want to impact peoples’ lives for the better, to make the world a better place.

Describe your project. Why did you create this? What do you want other students to know about the project?

The challenge was to design a temporary one-room schoolhouse for areas of the world recovering from natural disaster, and it also needed to function as a sleeping shelter by night. This competition was launched as a response to the earthquake that shook Haiti several weeks prior. At the time, I had been learning how to use some of Revit software’s new advanced parametric pattern-based curtain panel design tools and saw this competition as a chance to test some of my skills with these new features.

For a few weeks over the summer, I thought about what concept should drive the project, what the “big idea” should be. After a few weeks of letting ideas marinate, I decided the shelter should primarily be constructed of local corrugated aluminum panels, which is commonly used as a roofing material in Haiti, and could be harvested from nearby fallen buildings. The shelter would be a kit of structural aluminum tubes designed to snap together, then aluminum panels would clip onto the structure.

The angles at which these aluminum panels could clip into the structure could be designed to shield direct sunlight (whose heat and glare is uncomfortable to easily distracted students) but reflect and diffuse the light into the classroom, brightening the space and supporting a positive learning environment.

After deciding on the idea, it took me about one week to build the Revit model; analyze it and make refinements in Ecotect; take some renderings; and polish up the drawings.

Toward the end of the process, I decided to color the structural ribs each with a different color of the rainbow. These colors serve two purposes: to enhance the atmosphere of the children’s learning, and to simplify coordination of the structural tubes during the build―the color coding is easier and faster to read than ordering the tubes by letter or number.

Finish this sentence: “I never stop…”

I never stop thinking. Everything I see I wonder about, whether it’s how it’s made, why it looks the way it does, how it could be applied to other things, how it could have been done better, why it wasn’t something else―why is everything the way it is?

When you’re not working on changing the world, what are your hobbies and interests beyond design?

Acoustic guitar and travel (including local spontaneous adventures).

Where can we learn more about you?

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