Cal Poly Architecture Students’ Work on Rebuilding in Paradise Now Accessible Online

SAN LUIS OBISPO — During fall quarter, Cal Poly students in Lecturer Kent Macdonald’s third-year architectural design studio worked on projects to reconceive the fire-ravaged town of Paradise, California. The students’ work now has been uploaded to Cal Poly’s Digital Commons, the university’s institutional repository, making it accessible to individuals and communities around the world.

Operated through the Kennedy Library, the Digital Commons collects, preserves and provides access to scholarly work created at Cal Poly.

The “Re-envisioning Paradise: Cal Poly Students Initiate a Path to Recovery” collections contain the students’ projects that depict Paradise as a more socially cohesive, ecologically sustainable, and environmentally secure community while exploring how architectural building projects could realize these goals and additional priorities based on feedback from the city’s residents

While the students in Macdonald’s course had the opportunity to present their ideas to Paradise residents and lawmakers in person, the library team ensured that the class’s work was accessible, discoverable, and compliant with copyright laws while keeping the effect and spirit of the original presentations.

Since the projects were uploaded to the Digital Commons, documents from the work have been downloaded nearly 500 times by readers in countries including Australia, Germany, Japan and Nigeria.

To make the work ADA-compliant, all students’ images and design drawings had to be described in words so that individuals with visual impairments could understand the content using screen-reader technology. Some posters needed to be reworked to change text sizes and uses of color and contrast. 

“I trust that all members of our campus community will view the students’ projects in the Digital Commons and see that the library supports the institutional repository to make all Cal Poly student and faculty work known to the world,” said Adriana Popescu, dean of Library Services. “I invite anyone beginning a new research project to work with the library at the outset and think about how we can partner to make sure Cal Poly’s distinctive Learn by Doing pedagogy and its outcomes can be freely shared by the library-supported institutional repository, the Cal Poly Digital Commons.”

The see the projects and read about the work behind uploading them, go to:

Contact: Keegan Koberl

January 9, 2020

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