Designed for success

Laura Daniels’ final exam was so good that you’ll soon see it displayed all around Broward County.
“We designed a building, then a bus shelter. My teacher said I should submit my design to Broward County,” says Daniels, a part-time architecture major at FAU.
Daniels’ bus shelter design includes bike racks, solar panels and protection from the weather.
“I think it’s functional as far as needs for the sun and rain. It’s an interesting, attractive design that people would like to see on the side of the road,” she says.

The bus shelter is self-sufficient due to its use of solar power. The panels are specially tilted toward the sun and provide additional shelter from the sun and rain. The power collected from the sun is used to notify traveling passengers of when a bus is on the way and to provide light at night.
“It’s designed for our climate,” explains Aron Temkin, director and associate professor of the architecture department. “It’s the best thing we’ve seen for bus shelters.”

Daniels, an undergraduate, designed the bus shelter for her advanced architecture design class. Although she spent her spring semester in this graduate-level design course, she was quick to come up with the design.
“The actual design took a couple hours to design. It didn’t take too long,” says Daniels.

According to Anthony Abbate, Daniels’ professor for advanced architecture design, this is the first time a student’s project has been implemented.
“All the students’ works were exhibited, and her [design] was selected. The person who [selected Daniels’ design] thought it was feasible; they saw it as something they could build,” says Abbate.

Temkin explains that a bachelor’s degree in architecture consists of a five-year program, in which students’ designs are expected to increase in higher resolutions.
“Every semester of every year, students have a studio class where they have multiple things to draw and design,” says Temkin.

Broward County recently received $35 million in extra funding for transportation projects. Daniels’ design is one of the projects that will be funded by the county.
“I’m working with a structural engineer and my teacher [Abbate] for construction,” explains Daniels. “I will eventually receive compensation; I don’t know how much.”

Bus travelers will soon be sitting comfortably as they wait for transportation. Daniels’ design is set to be built in 2010.

When Daniels isn’t designing architecture, she’s a full-time mother to three children, ages 5, 2 and 1. She explains that being both a full-time mother and a student is a difficult task, but that’s not stopping her from pursuing a career.
“I pulled a lot of all-nighters. I have a good husband; that’s the only way I’ve survived,” says Daniels.

She explains that her whole family is proud of her achievement and thrilled about the upcoming design. “It’s exciting after all the years I put into school to see something pass like this.”

Temkin feels that Daniels’ success not only reflects well on her, but also on FAU.
“We are very excited for her. It’s not like this type of thing happens often. It takes years before someone [gets] to be a primary designer. For a student to have their design used is rare,” says Temkin.