The Studio 64: Podcastigration

by Tim Alatorre

David Spittler, B’Arch ’13 and winner of the 5th Annual Best of Show, shares about his last minute effort to get into the competition and how his class dominated the show. We mourn the loss of Dan Penetta and discuss the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

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Show Notes

Cal Poly News

Dear students,

I regret to say that the Japan Program has been cancelled. This is not a decision we make lightly, but after thorough discussion at all levels of the university, we all agree that we cannot send students to a nation suffering through its worst catastrophe since WWII.

One factor is simply the state of the nation. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people have lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands still occupy emergency shelters. Rolling blackouts will continue for weeks. In all good conscience, we cannot impose on a nation that needs to focus its energy and resources on addressing this calamity.

The second major factor is the clear risk of nuclear catastrophe. There is no way to predict what will happen at the reactors currently in crisis. Every day has brought increasing danger, with reports continually underestimating the difficulty of controlling the reactors. We all hope that they will be brought under control, but we cannot risk anyone’s safety.

I know that all of you are very disappointed. I share your feelings. I developed the Japan program out of my love for the country, my belief in the value of studying abroad, and my desire to help all of you learn and grow. Getting to know many of you this last quarter has only reinforced these feelings.

At a time like this, though, let us all remember the broader context. However inconvenienced and disappointed we may be, our troubles are as nothing compared to the incomprehensible suffering of tens of thousands of victims in Japan.

Don Choi, PhD
Associate Professor
Architecture Department
California Polytechnic State University

  • Best of Show competition
    • Best of Show:
      • David Spittler (Fowler Studio)
    • Honorable mentions:
      • Melissa Peter (Neveu Studio)
      • Linsey Wood (Fowler Studio)
      • Brandon Sampson (Cabrinha Studio)
      • Olivia Calalo (Fowler Studio)
      • Jie Liang (Yin Studio)
  • Donna Duerk has retired
    • Last class was last Friday
  • Dan Penetta passes
  • Spring quarter starts March 28th

General News

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Cal Poly or Berkeley? Cal Poly
  • Autocad or Revit? Revit
  • Parallel bar or T-Square? T-square
  • Facebook or LinkedIn? Facebook
  • Arch Record, Arch Digest, or Architect? Arch Record
  • Drafting dots or tape? Drafting dots
  • Yellow trace or white? white trace
  • Ad Markers or Prisma? Prisma
  • Pen or Pencil? both
  • Mac or PC? Mac
  • What’s the Meaning of Life? ARCHITECTURE!!

SCORE: %3a1063


  • Why did you choose to study architecture?
    • A High School counselor helped him to decide on that career path
  • Why did you pick Cal Poly?
    • It was one of the only schools he got into, had to change majors into the architecture program
  • What is the “Best of Show” competition?
    • The top three students from each studio are chosen by the professor or the students in the class, then they display their work and are judged to determine winners, they get an opportunity to explain their project to the judging panel
  • How did you first hear about it? Had you been to a previous “Best of Show”?
    • went to it last year, knew a bit about what to expect
  • Did you know what to expect? Did you set out with a goal to get in the show?
    • not really, just tried not to think about being nervous!
  • Did the knowledge of the competition change how you worked this quarter?
    • made him work harder but not necessarily change his design or intent
  • Tell us about your project?
    • Transitional Housing Assistance Center for homeless individuals trying to get back on their feet in society.
  • What are you thoughts about Tom Fowler’s studio compared to your other design professors?
    • more work than any studio he’s had, but seemed reasonable considering how much he’s learned
  • Who do you have for design next quarter and will you try to top yourself?
    • Tom again, it’s a two quarter studio!!!
    • It may be good to develop his project further, spend time on the interiors and circulation
  • What are your plans for 4th year?
    • Spring in San Francisco, but talking to Henri about possibly going to China and doing independent study
  • Do you plan on getting licenced in the future?
    • “Yes! Of course… do a lot of people not do that?”


About the Author

Tim Alatorre