Current VPA News

“Transitional Refugee Housing,” an exhibition by the environmental and interior design (EDI) program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design and the construction management program at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), will be on view March 29-30 at 914Works, 914 E. Genesee St., Syracuse.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 29, from noon-2 p.m. Regular hours for the exhibition are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

The exhibition is presented as part of the Community Design Studio, a joint research and studio effort of the EDI program and the construction management program. The Community Design Studio affords students the opportunity to reach out to the community as well as facilitate an understanding of the social and environmental challenges faced by the residents of Syracuse.

Working with various housing organizations in Syracuse, the Community Design Studio learned that approximately 1,800 vacant properties exist within the city of Syracuse, and there is a significant lack of housing for low-income and refugee families. While these organizations are seeking better opportunities to secure homes for refugee families upon their arrival, the students put this challenging project into their own hands and titled it “Transitional Refugee Housing.”

In the Fall 2017 semester, the students selected two potential housing properties of the organizations’ interest in North Syracuse. The EDI students surveyed the existing structures and proposed and delivered design packages from conceptual drawings to construction documents based on specific housing needs. In the Spring 2018 semester, the EDI students collaborated with the construction management students to prepare cost estimation, construction schedules, value engineering and sustainable construction recommendations. This effort evidenced meaningful collaboration between learners of both design and construction management while creating effective and practical proposals for the local housing organizations to pursue. 

For more information about the exhibition, email