3RCHITECTURE: My message in a bottle

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This program reached title one students enrolled in English Immersion Studies (EIS) at Coronado High School. Members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Phoenix Metro Chapter mentored 21 students of several nationalities organized by teams. They identified potential projects and worked on preliminary ideas. These were discussed among the whole group to choose several key concepts and work in one collective project. Additionally, the students had field trips to the architectural firm that designed the renovation of their High School, to Taliesin West and to The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

Karla Grijalva
818 207 4997

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June 18, 2013
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"We want to make our school more comfortable, prettier, functional... we want to work in courtyards, empty walls... our main idea is to recycle materials... we can do it and we can influence others"
During breaks, students are naturally drawn into this space to play soccer. Recognizing this fact, the design team identifies its potential to be transformed into a more significant social space.
"We got new vocabulary, a basic step to know how architecture works"... "This project was a great experience, because we got to work in a team and giving ideas that popped in my head".
Students who desire to make statements are encouraged to write messages on sheets of paper of any color and place them inside the bottles.
The project provides the necessary comfort during the harsh summer months. The environmental statement it makes, the simplicity, and the colorful messages contribute to the aesthetics of this design.

Students identified several challenges for their design proposal: The need of providing shaded areas during lunch hour, the disposal of more than one thousand beverage plastic bottles per day, and having a better understanding of diversity and how to respect each others cultural background to unite the student community.


The students’ proposal is to build a shading canopy entailing the participation of the whole student community. Reusing the plastic bottles discarded at school, the canopy will become a sea of bottles holding multicolored paper messages written by the students to capture their thinking and environmental statements.