Third-Year B.Arch Students Excel with Award-Winning Designs for Accessible Spaces in Bisbee

Jan. 18, 2024
Building design

Bisbee’s Echoing Melody- Elian Moreno (1st Place)

Third-year Bachelor of Architecture students, under the guidance of  Teresa Rosano and fellow architecture faculty members Michael BechererCraig NealySiri Trumble and Trevor Watson, took part in a universal design awards program resulting from a partnership between AGM Container Controls, Ascension Wheelchair Lifts and CAPLA.

The challenge was to design a performance and art center in Bisbee, Arizona. It serves to engage the community and short-term visitors through the facilitation and exhibition of art, performances and events that contribute to Bisbee’s art culture and economy. 

A combined $3,000 was handed out in prize money to seven students who produced exceptional work.

The jury selected projects for recognition based on the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability or status in life.

Elian Moreno took first place for Bisbee’s Echoing Melody. When crafting her project, she thought of her aunt, who is physically impaired and relies on a wheelchair. 

“I wanted to create a space where people like her, with disabilities, could equally access and enjoy,” said Moreno. “I always like to see the assigned projects as real-life projects that will be built one day, motivating me to create beautiful places that people would enjoy and want to be a part of.”

Moreno highlighted the importance of collaborations such as this one between AGM Container Controls, Ascension Wheelchair Lifts and CAPLA. 

“It inspires me to know that there are people out there who truly value universal design and understand the significance of creating spaces that are accessible to everyone, despite their disability, or physical impairments,” said Moreno.

Dayton Bay received second place for his work Rhythm ‘n Refreshments. His inspiration for the project was rooted in fostering a dynamic social hub by creating a universally designed music venue and rooftop bar. 

He aimed to cultivate a vibrant, inclusive open space where the community could gather, share experiences and connect through the universal language of music against the stunning backdrop of Bisbee's landscape.

“This experience taught me the profound impact of designing spaces that accommodate diverse abilities and prioritize accessibility, recognizing that this inclusive approach is fundamental in creating an environment that consistently draws people back,” says Bay. “It underscored the importance of curating experiences that cater to a wide range of preferences and needs, ensuring there's something meaningful and enjoyable for everyone, ultimately fostering sustained engagement and community connection through music.”


View all Fall 2023 AGM/Ascension Wheelchair Lifts Universal Design Prize student projects. 


Fall 2023 AGM/Ascension Wheelchair Lifts Universal Design Prize Winners

  • 1st Place: Elian Moreno for Bisbee’s Echoing Melody (Studio Watson)
  • 2nd Place: Dayton Bay for Rhythm ‘n Refreshments (Studio Trumble)
  • 3rd Place: Gabriel Garcia for Sensory Shed (Studio Rosano)
  • 4th Place: Skylar Ma for ABC Culinary School (Studio Becherer)
  • Honorable Mention Award: Paige Daniels for Bisbee Art Center (Studio Nealy)
  • Universal Award: Doyin Oduwole for Bisbee Art Hub (Studio Becherer)
  • Graphics Award: Joy Chou for Con-so-nance (Studio Nealy)

Studio Faculty

AGM Universal Design Student Award Jury

  • Eric Bell, Access Consultant, Physical Access, University of Arizona Disability Resource Center
  • Caroline Lobo, AIA PHD LEED-AP, Principal Architect, Suoll Architects
  • Nathanial Miller, Assoc. AIA, Swaim Associates
  • Kate Stuteville, B.Arch and MS Arch, The University of Arizona


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