For this week’s featured engineering project, I talked to Professor Karolina Kawiaka. Professor Kawiaka is an architecture professor that also teaches courses in Drawing, senior seminars in art, and courses in environmental studies. Her profile on the Studio Art department faculty page states that Kawiaka “is a registered architect and the principal of the Karolina Kawiaka Studio in Vermont. Her firm’s work includes building, landscape and furniture design focusing on sustainable design and infrastructure, as well as digital drawings and installations. [Her] recent work includes projects in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York and Washington State.” She has also been invited as a critic to prestigious architecture and design schools, has had her work published in national magazines repeatedly, and has won many coveted awards and fellowships
Professor Kawiaka’s students are often in Thayer’s machine shop as they are asked to use the machine shop’s resources in their projects. Professor Kawiaka says that her “advanced architecture students are currently studying biomimicry and designing and fabricating biomimetic architectural elements” for structures. The students use the 3D scanner, laser cutter, rapid prototypers, and routers the machine shop offers. Professor Kawiaka says she enjoys working in the machine shop because the staff has “unlimited patience in helping technically with complex architectural design projects.” She adds that the machine shop staff is “extremely hekpful and welcoming to art and architecture students,” and that “the equipment is fabulous.”
Professor Kawiaka is quick to state that Dartmouth is “very lucky to have so many students studying art and architecture and engineering at Dartmouth and [Thayer's machine shop] really helps to bring together these disciplines.” Professor Kawiaka has been bridging the gap between engineering and architecture at the machine shop for the past fifteen years.