Studio IV Goes To Black Mountain College

Students in TEC 4748 Architectural Design Studio IV, the senior capstone course for those concentrating in Architectural Technology and Design, are exploring the various context(s) of R. Buckminster Fuller and his time at Black Mountain College (BMC) via an on-campus design project during the spring 2018 semester. Guided by BMC Fellow D. Jason Miller, AIA, the studio is experientially immersing itself in the cultural and educational models deployed at Black Mountain College (1933-1957) as part of the Black Mountain College semester at Appalachian.

The outdoor roof terrace at Plemmons Student Union is a highly visible yet severely underutilized space in the heart of the Appalachian campus. Using a competition project format sponsored by PSU, students will develop comprehensive design proposals for the terrace to better harness its potential as an educational place and event space.

The applied nature of design thinking and design making in this type of project recalls the educational models of LIVE / LEARN / WORK promoted at BMC, while finding design specificity in the principles underlying the geodesic works of Fuller. “Lightness” of construction and the potential of prefabrication were highly influential concepts for Fuller; the studio plans to deploy these ideas as the predominant organizing devices for design research and design application with respect to this project. In essence, the sponsored studio project provides an opportunity to frame the legacy of Fuller at Black Mountain College and to learn that legacy forward through new design applications of his design ideas.

Stay tuned to see how the experiment progresses!

 Note: image provided - extracted from - shows the Supine Dome (1948) @ BMC

Supine Dome (1948) at Black Mountain College from
Published: Jan 25, 2018 3:49pm