Alumna MaiHoua Vangs BLOG from Cal Poly Pomona

Alumni-News_MaiHoua-Vang_Sp16%5b1%5dAlumna MaiHoua Vang (10’) is in her final year of Master of Architecture graduate studies at Cal Poly Pomona, Department of Architecture!

Mai Houa described her experience after graduating from Otis as follows.




After graduating from Otis in 2010, I took a couple years off before pursuing a graduate degree to explore the work environment. I first worked for Andrew Obermeyer, who is also an Otis College alumnus, at OXA ARCHITECTURE. OXA ARCHITECTURE specialized in private residential projects and celebrity homes. I also interned at Built Inc., where I was on the design team for the Pink Taco Restaurant, which opened on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in 2013.

In 2013, I began architecture graduate studies at Cal Poly Pomona, which I will complete this June, 2016. In addition to my studies, I have been working for the last four years at Irish Communication Company where I am the Senior CAD Operator and in charge of drafting all telecommunications facilities for prisons in California. We are also a contracting company for Southern California Edison and create base maps for Edison projects.

My team project shown in the images is from fall quarter 2015.

Cal Poly Pomona Architecture and Landscape Architecture Topics Studio
Bobby Brooks Memorial Interdisciplinary Design Studio

Our team began the project by researching Japanese fishing culture, which had been present on Terminal Island, and the tragic experience that Japanese Americans suffered after the attack on Pearl Harbor when they were forced to leave their homes on the island. Today Terminal Island continues to manifest its legacy of incarceration, imprisonment, and social injustice as the site for the Terminal Island Federal Prison.

Our team proposed a design intervention, “Liberated Ground,” that would unbind Terminal Island from what we saw as inappropriate land use, that would not shy away from showing uncomfortable histories, and would encourage the exploration and interpretation of the space as a means of commemorating the loss of freedom. My own portion of the project, “Unbound Threshold,” was a pavilion in which viewers would learn and experience the history of the Island in a linear physical experience, via a path that started underground and rose above the site.

Our team received the Bobby Brooks First Place Prize for our project!

Congratulations MaiHoua!

top left: MaiHoua Vang and her “Liberated Ground” teammates, left to right, Jeff Palmer (4th Year Undergraduate Landscape Architecture), MaiHoua Vang (3rd Year Graduate Architecture), Eddy Mejia (4th Year Undergraduate Architecture), Chris Anderson (4th Year Undergraduate Landscape Architecture), Max Lam (4th Year Undergraduate Architecture)
bottom left: “Liberated Ground” board
top right: “Liberated Ground” exhibit at Cal Poly Pomona
middle and bottom right: views of MaiHoua’s portion of the project, “Unbound Threshold”

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