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USFers Win for Haitian Orphanage Design 


Ian Deyoung, Lauren Corke, Daniel Conaty, Ana Munoz, and Zohair Rizvi (left to right).

A team of University of San Francisco art + architecture students recently won second place at the de Young Museum’s New Generations Student Showcase for their design of an orphanage to house homeless children in Haiti.

Working with the orphanage’s directors and the nonprofit Action Santa Cruz, which is raising money to build the orphanage, the team’s orphanage would house 25 girls ages 5 to 17 and include sleeping and eating quarters, staff quarters, play spaces, and a courtyard. With an eye toward the environmentally friendly, the team’s design included solar panels and natural lighting to save electricity, and a traditional Haitian building style. Haiti has more than 400,000 orphans among a total population of 9.7 million.

Students Daniel Conaty ’11, Lauren Corke ’11, Ian DeYoung ’11 (no relation to the museum), Ana Munoz ’11, and Zohair Rizvi ’11 entered their design in response to the showcase’s theme of artwork representing positive change in the world. The team created a wall panel describing the design and pamphlets outlining how the orphanage would be built. They also built a three-dimensional wooden model. 

Actiona Santa Cruz first proposed the orphanage project to Seth Wachtel, USF art + architecture professor, when he visited after the earthquake in January 2010. Wachtel is also designing a health clinic to be built in Port au Prince. “When I was in Haiti in January (2011) I met with the directors of a girls orphanage in Carrefour-Feuilles Port au Prince,” Wachtel said. “They asked if I could take this project on too. I said ‘Yes’ and introduced it to my international projects class this spring semester.”

The New Generations Student Showcase has drawn art, architecture, and design-based entries from students across the Bay Area since its inception in 1996. 

“There were times when we were working on the model, boards, and design when we truly questioned our efforts, but when we found that we had won it made all of our efforts worth it,” said Rizvi, who graduated in May and majored in architecture and community design. “It was an honor to be chosen by the curators of the de Young Museum and to be able to spread the word about USF architecture.

Written by Laura Waldron »email usfnews@usfca.edu | Twitter @usfcanews