Architecture & Urban Planning

Colene Encarnado redesigns CSULB FA4 East Stair Access

a view of the traffic mess in trying to access the stairwell
Before: CSULB FA4 East Staircase

In order to fix the wedge problem at FA4, I decided to remove the lamp post and the pillars of the portico (canopy-like structure) because they were the largest features to get in the way of traffic. Since I removed the pillars and the lamp post, I had to find another way to hold up the portico and provide light at night. The solution was to support the portico by holding it up from the top using metal bars attached to the building. The new portico would also be wider to allow more lights to be attached to the front border to illuminate the walkway. These changes allow more traffic to flow so I added more pavement to widen the walkway. I think this fix would be appreciated by the students because the wedge problem is resolved without removing any greenery or lighting.

Colene Encarnado

A view of the new, easier access, east staircase of FA4 with Colene Encarnado's modifications
After: CSULB FA4 East Staircase

Thida Mongkolvipakul redesigns The Wedge at the University Student Union

Before: Thida Mongkolvipakul's photo of "The Wedge" before her redesign
Before: Thida Mongkolvipakul’s photo of “The Wedge” before her redesign

Every time I have to walk to Brotman Hall for my exams I always decide to go through the wedge even though there is traffic there majority of the time. I feel like it’s because we college students are too tired to walk around the black wall that is creating the wedge and it just seems like an easier choice. Although it is famous for creating traffic, it is still a pain to go through because you have to walk in a certain way to avoid people or if you are carrying a big load. For my design, I decided to just take down the black wall all together in order to get rid of the wedge. This new design will create a natural flow of traffic and people won’t have to wait for other people to walk through because there is enough room for everyone.

Thida Mongkolvipakul

After: Thida Mongkolvipakul's redesign of "The Wedge" at the CSU Long Beach, University Student Union
After: Thida Mongkolvipakul’s redesign of “The Wedge” at the CSU Long Beach, University Student Union

Jacob Siciliano decides not to redesign “The Wedge”

The Wedge with a poster added. The poster reads, "The world doesn't make sense, why should our architecture?"
Intervention at “The Wedge” by Jacob Siciliano

I have encountered this questionable architectural feat day in and day out. The choice, or maybe the mistake, makes this part of the USU seem rather absurd. But yet for some reason, this small crevice has a strange charm. I propose that we do not change anything but rather embrace its absurdity.

I would like to instead place a sign, making this architectural mishap seem like something done on purpose (because we all know our tuition money isn’t going to such silly things as fixing architectural annoyances).

This sign would read “The world doesn’t make sense, why should our architecture?” (Here I photoshopped a picture of how this sign may possibly look) It is inexpensive, creative, and lets our students know our existential stance on life. Camus and Vonnegut would be proud that we have solved one of CSULB’s glaring problems in such an absurd way.

Jacob Siciliano