From the hallowed clay of Berlin's Rot-Weiss Tennis Club to the concrete courts of Savannah's Bacon Park, SCAD women's tennis #1 and German national Camille Gbaguidi (buh-GHEE-dee) puts power into play.
This weekend the defending NAIA national singles champion travels to Key Biscayne, Florida with co-captain Paige Murdock and the Lady Bees tennis team to compete for the Sun Conference Championship. On-court accolades are only part of her story, as the architecture major explains: "At SCAD I can pursue both a really high level of tennis and a really high level of academics."
"Whether in tennis or architecture, Camille is intrinsically motivated to achieve," remarks Scott R. Singeisen, SCAD professor of urban design and architecture. "Her work is always inventive, rigorous, and striving to move the disciplinary conversation forward."
She's also a fun conversationalist.
SCAD: How did you create your "arTchitecture" wearable headpiece?
CAMILLE GBAGUIDI: Two quarters ago, I had Architecture Design Studio with Professor Singeisen, who really wants to push conceptual boundaries. We had to create a "spectarium," a space where you gaze and are gazed upon. One project was based on the film "The Royal Tenenbaums." We drew characters out of a hat, and I selected Margot, and the platonic object I got was a sphere.
I thought, how do I make Margot's personality translate to a sphere? Margot is really isolated at the beginning of the film, but tries to open up and gives hints of her feelings. I had an idea about "isolated exposure." I designed a pavilion that would interact with the humans outside it, with floating rings that move to create opaqueness or transparency. After the quarter was over, I was with friends talking about the piece and one said: "Why don't you wear it on your head?"
SCAD: You made the "Margot" crown in your own time?
GBAGUIDI: Yes, the hat I just made for myself. I built the file in Rhino, made the sphere, the cut-outs and extrusions. I went online and found dreamcatchers that had rings the diameter I needed. I worked in the wood shop and laser cut the files, 72 plates. The red pieces are wood, the other acrylic glass. I painted and sanded, painted and sanded, then put it all together. What I tried to do in class as a pavilion design actually worked on a smaller scale on my head.
SCAD: What's it like to wear?
GBAGUIDI: You feel exposed because you know everybody sees you — it's fire truck red! Yet you felt isolated, only seeing through slots on the side. I made a friend wear it around her neck, that looked great.
SCAD: How does the joy and intensity of your tennis game correlate to your academic work?
GBAGUIDI: Not a lot of schools allow you to study architecture while being an athlete, because it's such a tough profession to learn. SCAD allows me to do that, so it made my decision to come here clear. I love Savannah, I love studying architecture at SCAD, and I love being part of the SCAD tennis program. The team is family, the girls are awesome. Our goal is to win the national championship. This is our year! But if we weren't having fun pursuing our goals I don't think we'd be as successful.