By Karen Okamoto, Senior Administrative Manager

Today, 4th grade students from Curtner Elementary School visited our San Jose studio to learn about the similarities between the process of inventing an object and the design of a building. It all started a couple of months ago when HMC was invited to participate as judges at Curtner Elementary School’s first Inventor’s Fair; the top 10 winners of the fair were invited to visit our studio and learn about design and architecture firsthand. Our own Katia McClain and Marko Blagojevic gave a presentation to the students about a current project they are working on: the South Campus and Fitness Center at Evergreen College. They explained how through several iterations, the design concept evolved from glass beakers, abacus, and a 100m race into the design of buildings with slanted walls, windows following mathematical series, and horizontal lines in metal panels representing movement.

During their visit, the students were tasked with a design assignment—build a small scale dog house for a specific breed of dog. The group discussed the needs of each user (in this case, the dogs), their specific physical characteristics, and their individual personalities. The students were encouraged to come up with a design concept for each dog, use the materials most appropriate, and have fun building a house for their furry friends. Dog breeds included an English Sheepdog, Dalmatian, Poodle, Sharpei, and Siberian Huskie.

Small scaled dog house designed by 4th graders visiting our San Jose studio.