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Drury Architect students get hands on experience creating innovative drop trailers

Students spend a weekend camping in trailers to help spark ideas to make them better.
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 7:00 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - College is all about getting real-life experiences before stepping out into the world. For a group of architecture graduate students at Drury, that meant sleeping out in it.

No classroom, no chalkboard, not a laptop in sight in this classroom. Instead, these students have been sleeping in teardrop trailers all night.

“The goal is to give them the same type of experience of staying in a camper that folks will rent, Traci Sooter, the professor leading this class says.

It’s a Collaboration with Eden Village and Center Creek Campers in Carl Junction to design and build two teardrop campers for Revive 66 in Springfield.

An affordable campground for both those stopping through-- or that don’t have a home.

“It’s an attraction the community can enjoy that helps people on the margins of our city. And is a fun destination point for our city and the travelers coming in,” says Nate Schluter from Eden Village

And while most students don’t want more work on their course load the 10 architecture students involved in this collaboration asked for it.

“I was really hounding her about doing a design-build project and this is what she brought to the table and so far I’m loving it,” Kyle Dauphin, a fifth-year student in the program says.

The assignment goes beyond just making a four-by-eight trailer work.

“I expect the students to push the design limits when they approach their teardrop design,” Sooter says.

From small kitchens, to unique materials at play, after just one night these student’s wheels are turning.

“I think having the ability to just open up the camper and get tons of fresh air and have plenty of space to look out and enjoy the views, Grant Taylor, a fifth-year architecture student says. “I think that would be the main thing I’d like to see.”

The project lasts all semester-long, but the campfire conversation is already focused on how to make a better living situation for those who need it, or just those passing through.

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