Architecture club steps out on campus and in community

College of the Desert Architecture club students fund projects with clubmember-run kiosk. 

by Debbie Fried
Staff Reporter

Architecture students take part in real-word entrepreneurship, filling a need for snacks and supplies on the northeastern part of the campus. (Debbie Fried/The Chaparral)

Today’s college experience, specifically here at College of the Desert, offers students opportunities to put knowledge gained in a chosen field to be put to work immediately. Exemplary examples of the entrepreneurial spirit are found on campus with the springing up of student-run kiosks offering snacks, drinks, school supplies and a dash of good customer service.

One such on-campus enterprise is “The Quandary,” affectionately known as “The Q.”  This convenience store of sorts caters to all students who may need some refreshment, or those last-minute drafting tools on the fly. The Q is operated by the College of the Desert’s Architecture Club, known as CODAC, for short.  The kiosk is currently located just north of the Applied Technology (AT) building, across from the Diesel Mechanics (DM) building.

Upon the demolition of the AT structure following this current semester, the new student-designed and student-built Q kiosk will be relocated to the front of the DM building by the 2012 Fall semester. Proceeds earned from The Q will help fund an annual CODAC educational trip “to provide students exposure to a broader architectural field” explains faculty advisor, Bert Bitanga.  Bitanga found the perfect name to compliment the Solutions kiosk run by business students, under the direction of Dr. Kelly Hall.  It was this play on words that inspired the name, The Quandary.

This year the students are planning a trip to Chicago, a city which provides a look at a much denser urban environment than the Coachella Valley, and a setting which boasts a rich architectural history.

Partial funding will come from proceeds from The Q and from proceeds earned during their first-ever Moderism Week exhibit at the Palm Springs Convention Center. CODAC students accepted the challenge to design and construct birdhouses inspired by the Cubism era of abstract modern art, which sprang from artist Pablo Picasso.  An additional caveat to the challenge was that only environmentally friendly, reusable and recyclable materials were to be utilized in their construction.

The birdhouse creations by architecture students displayed at the Convention Center can be “used as a functional birdhouse, or as an art piece,” explained Bitanga.  Public bidding was held at the exhibit, with funds going toward the upcoming educational expedition to study the sites of Chicago.

Bitanga describes the club as “a very aggressive and hardworking group.”  And as Chris Young sees it, “It’s fun to see peers come from within with all kinds of ideas, and to learn about and respect others work.”

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