Students design buildings, costumes

The average formal event involves purchasing a beautiful dress or renting a snazzy tuxedo from a local store.

The average night in studio for students in the College of Architecture (CoA) involves designing and creating models and buildings.

Combining these two widely different activities resulted in the unique Beaux Arts Ball on Friday, April 1.

Hosted in the Hinman Research Building, the ball allowed students to express their creativity with different takes on both fashion and architecture.

“The whole night and week leading up to it inspired camaraderie throughout the [college], renewed artistic spirit and a much needed break, during which we were all able to celebrate our hard work and passion for the profession,” said Brittany Porter, a former member of Tech’s chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and a second-year ARCH major.

Historically, the Beaux Arts Ball was an annual costume ball of the late 1800s in which students of the School of Fine Arts in Paris, France, would showcase their work and products in building design.

As the concept made its way to New York City, similar events began to involve architects dressing up as the buildings they had designed.

The website for Tech’s Beaux Arts Ball encouraged its attendees, from both within and outside the college, to be everything from a building to an idea to a character.

“A celebration in the ‘Theater of Our Imagination’ begs wildly fantastic visions of grandeur and apparel to inspire and provoke,” according to the Beaux Arts Ball website.

As part of the event, teams established within the college each had two days to design elaborate costumes that related to architecture in some way. More specifically, they were expected to “wear” their project and architectural design.
To showcase their work, students participated in a red carpet fashion show at the event. The ball also featured performances from interpretive dancers, a DJ and a live band.

“Student’s studio work from throughout the semester was proudly displayed throughout the newly restored Hinman studio space, lending the evening to fully accomplish its theme of ‘The Theater of the Imagination’,” Porter said.
Porter noted that the idea of the Beaux Arts Ball has been neglected by the CoA for a large amount of time, but this year’s celebration was a testament to the college itself and was entirely student-organized by members of the AIAS.
“It was a marvelous opportunity to celebrate both the foundation of our school, as well as its future endeavors in its new building,” Porter said.

Along with students, professors and faculty members were in attendance at the Beaux Arts Ball, making the event particularly unique.

“I never imagined that Hinman would so quickly become–demonstrably–the theater of our imagination. Splendid performance all around,” said Alan Balfour, Dean of the College of Architecture.


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