Sixteen Arizona State University architecture students were tapped to provide design work around one of the most important large-scale artworks in the world — Roden Crater, the installation created by James Turrell in northern Arizona.
The undergraduates participated in a fourth-year studio course in the spring that had a unique assignment: propose designs for temporary housing for construction crews who are working on Roden Crater, an immersive observatory inside a dormant volcano. Through the course, the students got an exclusive chance to visit the site early in the semester, and the move to an online format following the COVID-19 outbreak gave the students an opportunity to present their work to experts from around the world.
Turrell’s artwork is still under construction and is not yet open to the public. It is seen by only a few hundred people every year. The experience was awe-inspiring, and the project was a challenge, according to Marc Neveu, head of the architecture program in The Design School at ASU.