Article By: E. Christina Spitz
Published: Jan 27, 2009
SCAD students are taking shot at a monumental project. On. Jan. 8, students of interior design professor Kathleen Fritz, architecture professor Daniel Brown, industrial design professor Joel Wittkamp, and dean of the School of Communication Arts John Lowe gathered at the Fort Pulaski National Monument on Cockspur, Island, Ga., to take the first step towards creating new collaborative exhibitions for the fort's Visitor Center.
The students and faculty were there for dual purposes. Students in the Collaborative Partnerships: Re-envisioning the National Park Experience class, taught by Fritz, Lowe and Wittkamp, were there to design three exhibitions as part of a task order with the National Park Service.
Brown's class was there in preparation for LINK'D: The 2009 International Interior Design Competition
, an international contest presented by SCAD that invites students from international colleges and universities to develop a 4-D visitor experience that incorporates the historical, ecological, economic and cultural issues surrounding the site. "We seek to gain an in-depth understanding about Fort Pulaski- its history and its continuing evolution as a National Monument," Fritz said. Led by Ranger Mike Weinstein, the students and faculty toured the site, took photographs and notes, and created sketches.
Weinstein's lecture focused on military technology and was peppered with amusing historical anecdotes. He pointed out the "Damaged Wall" which was hit with 5,275 shots during the Civil War, and encouraged the group to look down the barrel of a cannon. The students and faculty entered the prison where confederate soldiers had been denied food and warm clothing and had to resort to eating rats.
"I saw the monument before with my in-laws," said Trista Coy, an M.F.A, student in graphic design. "I now see it more in terms of history rather than antiquity. It is not just a cool relic."
The project emphasizes collaboration between majors, with students working in multidisciplinary teams. "I hope to gain exposure to other majors," said Charlie Payne, a fifth-year M.Arch. student. "I hope to learn from my peers. We don't get out of our own building very often." The United States National Park Service is preparing nationally for its centennial anniversary in 2016.
"We will always be figuring out ways to defend ourselves," said Weinstein. "The technology changes, the vocabulary changes, but the issues stay the same."
The students revisited Fort Pulaski Jan. 22 to present a branding master plan and exhibit concepts to Superintendent Randy Webster and Rangers Mike Weinstien and Mike Hoste.