Coed elective course has students creating real-world structures for clients

Senior+Allie+De+Anda+helps+sophomore+Declan+Ebeling+design+a+parklet+for+a+North+Beach+restaurant.+The+architecture+students+are+partnering+with+Modus%2C+an+urban+planning+firm.

Senior Allie De Anda helps sophomore Declan Ebeling design a parklet for a North Beach restaurant. The architecture students are partnering with Modus, an urban planning firm.

Senior Allie De Anda helps sophomore Declan Ebeling design a parklet for a North Beach restaurant. The architecture students are partnering with Modus, an urban planning firm.
Senior Allie De Anda helps sophomore Declan Ebeling design a parklet for a North Beach restaurant. The architecture students are partnering with Modus, an urban planning firm.

Tatiana Gutierrez
Senior Reporter

Coed groups in the Arts and Architecture elective have moved on from designing projects for imaginary clients to proposing a parklet for a North Beach restaurant.

The elective partnered with Modus, a land acquisition, urban planning and architecture firm, to create a mini park in front of the restaurant, bar and venue Tupelo.

“This new project is really interesting because our ideas might actually make a difference,” freshman Horacio Leon said. “It’s nice to finally advance from our previous projects to something as intricate as a parklet.”

Students drew possible designs for the parklet in class and will eventually reference the drawings to create a final plan.

“This will be presented to the parklets board on April 19,” art teacher Rachel McIntire said. “All the funding is there and all the partnerships are there. All we need is a really good design.”

Senior Allie De Anda assisted McIntire three years ago in creating the architecture elective.

“I was interested in architecture by the end of my sophomore year,” De Anda said. “That’s about the time that [curriculum coordinator Doug] Grant first introduced the idea of Elective Period being added to the schedule. He asked if any students had suggestions for the upcoming year.”

The elective is taught by McIntire and SHHS art teacher Patter Hellstrom.

“I have a background in interior architecture, so I started teaching it last year as a pilot,” McIntire said. “I then pro¬posed it to Ms. Hellstrom who was really interested in doing it, and we decided it would be an awesome class for a coed elective.”

Projects leading up to designing a real public space have ranged from creating an affordable house for an imaginary client to a model chair.

“All the projects we’ve done have been really conceptual and design-based,” De Anda said.

As an introductory project, small groups created an installation that promoted civic engagement on one of the four campuses.

“Students created ideas like a sand castle where the community could work together to build it in the style of a pyramid,” McIntire said. “Another group created this huge bubble where it was an area for both young and old to come together to play.”

Another project had students creating affordable housing for an imaginary client moving to San Francisco.

“Designing a house was a challenge to accommodate all their needs into their price range,” freshman Stella Smith-Werner said. “My family wanted to be by the water, have a garden and space for their cat — all with four bedrooms — but didn’t want to be in the Richmond or Sunset [districts], so I put them into a houseboat in China Basin with an eco grass roof for more yard space and insulation.”

SHHS head Tony Farrell asked the architecture students to create new chairs for the school’s courtyard as a project.

“I really enjoyed that our chair project demanded focus,” Leon said. “It was necessary to have a sense of creativity to construct a chair that made sense.”

The Arts and Architecture elective is open to all students and is taught at SHHS.

“The elective is perfect for high schoolers of any grade level — we don’t need to have any background experience or knowledge to be successful in our elective.”

(Visited 544 times, 1 visits today)