2010 AIA Sand Castle Competition

July 12, 2010

“What do you get when you mix sand, water and architects? How about a swarm of teams on the beach in Galveston competing in the AIA Sandcastle Competition! This annual event has been carefully orchestrated by the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for the past 24 years, refining the rules and regulation which must be strictly adhered to. Over the years it has grown from a dozen teams to over 70, plus tens of thousand spectators and sponsors. Each team is given a 23’x25’ site with a huge pile of sand and access to the water. For five intense hours, water is pumping; sand is flying and creative juices flowing as teams vie for the coveted Golden Bucket. The Silver and Bronze Shovels are awarded to 2nd and 3rd place.” From Galveston.com article.

STG Design has participated in this competition for the last 3 years after a several year hiatus.  This year we teamed up with DPR Construction and PKB Structural Engineers to form team ‘Austin Soup’.  We ended up with around 23 people, total, who participated in the construction on the beach. STG Design’s Austin participants were Michael Paynter, Michael Pennington, Gregory Mertens (Mertens 3D) and Chris Covey.  We also had friends join from former years that are not employed by STG.  Our project ‘name/theme’ was ‘There’s an app for that’, originally submitted by Michael Pennington, and the objects and designed evolved over a short time to include the octopus with the iPhone, building a sandcastle. 

We did produce a clay model and a digital 3d model to help in the design process.  Teams have only 5 hours to start moving sand, filling forms, packing sand and water, take down the forms and carve your sculptures to be ready for judging at 3:30.  There are different themes that you try to categorize your project into and the judges award along the lines of the theme and overall quality and then there is also judging on signage, Tshirts, costumes, and a category for public favorite.  It was very hot this year, but a great ‘sandcastle’ was made, a lot of hard work and a lot of fun was had and we are looking forward to next year’s 25th anniversary competition with a lot of the same team members and a whole lot more people who have said they want to be a part of next year’s team. http://www.aiasandcastle.com/

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