Information kiosks to hit campus in spring

Out of 60 designs contributed by third year architecture students, only one was chosen to be used in the construction of information kiosks around campus next spring.

As part of an initiative to create more gathering places for students, campus planner Janet Gavarrete asked the School of Architecture to design kiosks that would provide a place to post flyers, banners and posters and allow students to receive official UM announcements via electronic media.

“This was such a good experience!” said first place winner Abraham Gordon, 23. “It should become a tradition to include architecture students when making improvements around campus.”

Senior Vice President David Lieberman presented Gordon with first place last Wednesday, after a committee composed of members from different areas throughout the University selected the three best designs out of the ten that had been pre-selected.

Among the committee members were professor and associate dean for the School of Architecture Denis Hector, Vicky Rivas-Vasquez from University Relations, Judith Antinarelli from Disabilities Services, and Richard Walker from Student Life.

“It’s great that the University gives this responsibility to the students and makes them get involved,” Hector said. “To students it says, ‘They really take us seriously.'”

Second place was awarded to Maria Solovieva and third to Florian Klee.

“This project was very important to me,” Solovieva said. “I know somehow I am valuable as a designer.”

Under the direction of Professor Luis Trelles, students dedicated two and a half weeks to the designs and were given a grade on their work. Some issues taken into consideration with regards to the evaluation of the designs included ease of maintenance, durability, low cost of construction, lightning, adaptability to future sites, pavement and drainage.

“It was my intent to create an object that serves a utilitarian function and is an eye-pleasing landmark around campus as well,” Gordon said.

According to Gordon, his design is a slender, four-sided structure with an orange hat that is intended to attract attention to the piece. He says that the boards that are located on all sides can hold any type of information and can be removed easily, leaving ample room inside for equipment.

“The main structure is a basic lightweight metal framing wrapped in a wire mesh coated on the outside with plaster,” Gordon said.

Lieberman approved $15,000 as the construction budget for one kiosk. In all, three will be constructed around campus: one at the McArthur Building bus stop in front of the McArthur and Memorial buildings, one at a site near the UC and another in front of the Wellness Center.

I can’t wait to see them,” Gordon said. “My sister is going to school here for two years so she can tell her friends that her brother did that.”

Gil Arias from Public Affairs said that, after the kiosks are constructed, there will be a committee that will decide the information posted on the boards.

“The committee has not been set up yet but we will definitely be a part of it,” Arias said. “This project will definitely become a reality.”