Students, faculty and clients building a changing world.
CAPLA Design/Build involves students in hands-on projects via studio courses, independent study and other courses with lab components.
The pedagogy of design/build centers around the belief that learning by doing is a powerful method of gaining and retaining knowledge because of the immediate application to tangible problems.
CAPLA Design/Build Spring 2020 Recap
Design/build intertwines the way you learn with what you learn. Its setting combines studio, workshop, laboratory and jobsite, and the things you make there are constantly talking back to you at full scale, in real time and alongside the shared experience of others.
Charlie Hailey, Design/Build with Jersey Devil
Featured Design/Build Projects
The Design/Build Partnership
Instructors bring real-life projects to the classroom, along with funding and clients who participate in the design process. Students develop designs with the intention of participating in construction.
Many times, the projects are cross-disciplinary, and involve students across the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and other University of Arizona programs, such as Materials Science and Engineering.
CAPLA Design/Build projects range in scale from furniture and room-sized installations to shade structures, playgrounds, residences and classroom buildings. Our Materials Laboratory and Underwood Family Sonoran Landscape Laboratory have supported many hands-on learning endeavors.
Drachman Design-Build Coalition
Drachman Design-Build Coalition, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes and facilitates the design and construction of affordable housing for low-income and underserved populations in Arizona.
The objectives of Drachman Design Build Coalition are to:
- Provide architectural, landscape architecture, urban design and planning services for low-income populations
- Provide quality design and construction for the segment of the population earning below 80 percent of the median income in Pima County, Arizona
- Establish a standard of design quality that encourages dignity and price of ownership in dwellers
- Provide the staff of CAPLA with opportunities for continuing education in order to promote personal and professional growth and development as it pertains to service delivery and public policy.
Drachman Design-Build Coalition has constructed several design/build residences in Pima County, with grants from the City of Tucson and Pima County, as well as other funding sources making the projects possible.
Learn more about the process of designing and building Residence No. 6 from Meg Schubert, who participated in the design/build studio.
CAPLA Design/Build Awards
Thanks to their collaborative planning, innovative designs and meticulous construction, CAPLA Design/Build projects regularly win prestigious awards, including:
- Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) 2023 Design-Build Award
Stadium Rowhouses: Macro to Micro, Tucson, Arizona (Mary Hardin, The University of Arizona)
- Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) 2020 Architectural Education Award for Collaborative Practice
Sustainability Garden and Urban Laboratory (SLUG), Tucson, Arizona (Linda Samuels, Washington University in St. Louis, and Christopher Trumble, The University of Arizona)
- Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) 2019 Architectural Education Award for Design Build
Sentinel House, Tucson, Arizona (Mary C. Hardin, The University of Arizona)
- American Institute of Architects (AIA) Arizona 2019 Research Design Award
Post-Occupancy Testing of Thermal Dynamics of Design-Build Residences in Tucson, Arizona (Mary C. Hardin, The University of Arizona)