Students from Sergio Lainez’s Design II architecture class pose after presenting their designs of dog houses. The proposals will be built and auction to raise funds for the RGV Humane Society

TSC design students have dog house models reviewed by professional Architects  

Students in Mr. Sergio Lainez’s Design II architecture course at Texas Southmost College presented their drafts of original and creative dog housesThe students participating are in their second semester in the program.   

Following feedback from their instructor and other members of The American Institute of Architects Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter, students will fully construct their models.  

As part of the learning-service projects, the dog houses will be auctioned at the Rio Grande Valley Humane Society’s annual Wine and Whiskers fundraiser.  

Gabriella Martinez was one of the students who presented and heard feedback along with teammate Fernanda Villarreal. Their doghouse was made to be used as a table with storage built in for dog toys or other uses.  

“It was difficult to come up with a model,” Martinez said. We were inspired by a treehouse and ended up going a different way and decided on this one that works as a table and has several functions. It is a long process to reach a design proposal.”  

Students were divided in the class were divided into eight pairs and had only two weeks to develop a design with specific height, width and depth requirements along with a model and poster to explain the design. 

The architecture critics did not hold back in the feedback, but this is an important part of the process when preparing students for tight deadlines and demanding customers or contractors in the field.  

Maria Sustaeta serves as executive director of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects. She explained that Barkitecture 2023 was the brainchild of Mr. Lainez who is a member of the LRGVAIA 

“We have initiatives throughout the year as part of the services we provide,” she said. “One of my favorites is supporting future architects from the lower Rio Grande Valley. [Mr. Lainez] wanted to involve the students in the design process and prepare them for presenting concepts and ideas. We support these typeof activities and events. We also have a great scholarship program that helps students from this area, no matter if they are two-year studentsfour-year students or even master’s students.”  

Mr. Lainez’s instructions were to design and build an indoor doghouse with 3’ x 5 x 3’ dimensions in two weeks. After feedback, the pairs of students are given another two weeks to build the doghouse.”  

“The goal of being an architect is absolutely being creative,” Lainez said. We are problem-solvers, and we try to solve problems creatively. Everything that they design has come from them. 

He also explained that design criticism may come off as blunt or harsh but getting a design approved in the real world is in the hand of the client 

“As students, the biggest thing to learn is that your design fits you and your personality but ultimately, we are designing for a client,” He said. “They might not like your personality or what you are designing so you have to be able to be adaptable and flexible to the design.”  

Students will present their final dog houses on April 2 at ITECC.