Introducing The Wall

For more than 10 years, the grand staircase from the Spitzer School lobby had a dark underside that was used for storage or nothing at all. Fast forward to December 19, 2023, and the school now has a beautiful, student-designed, and built exhibition space in its main lobby to display an ever-changing array of student drawings and models.⁠

The dream for this beautiful new space dates to Spring 2022, when the Student Advisory Board and the Dean’s Office convened the “Under the Stairs” competition. Students Mateo Penafiel B Arch ’24 and Rodrigo Montano B Arch ’22 submitted the winning design, proposing an exhibition space to showcase student work. ⁠

To bring the design to life, the school committed funds for materials and offered an elective in Fall 2023, “Under The Stairs: Design Build.” Students enrolled from B Ach and M Arch programs and worked with Prof. Christian Volkmann and Fabrication Director Ali Askarinejad throughout the semester. Construction unfolded in four stages. From reinforcing partitions to crafting modular shelves and boards, every detail was meticulously planned. Faculty and alumni, including Ilva Dodja B Arch ’11, contributed insights on fabrication and lighting.⁠

Please find the list of all participants in the comments below. For more information about the process and how to submit work for the wall, please visit @thewall.ssa.

Design and Project Management:
Mateo Penafiel

Secondary Designers:
Florjan Plepi
Rodrigo Montano

Curation and Social Engagement:
Shiva Abbaszadeh
Ashley Gordon
Mouhamadou M Dieng
Grace Lombardo

General Assembly:
Leora Santoriello
Nilly Baratian
Enna Sezaire
Juan E Jimenez

Panel Fabrication and Installation:
Gema Cabrera
Maria Manukovskaya
Mateo Penafiel

Lighting Design and Installation:
Fabrizio Chamorro
Loui Apostol
Lolita Bogdanova
Mateo Penafiel

Shelves Fabrication:
Miriam Perel
Evelyn Krutoy
Juan E Jimenez

Lighting Consultant:
Ilva Dodja (Faculty)

Construction Advisor & Class Lead:
Christian Volkmann (Faculty)