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Design: Gimme Shelter

Student building wood frame

Student in yurt

Gimme Shelter

Jesse Grauer ’08 and Laura Lawler ’08 thought about home a lot last year, but not because they were lonely. They were building art installations on the lawn of the Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Visual Arts Center. For her senior thesis, Lawler imagined a post-apocalyptic year 2125 and designed a survivalist, mobile yurt equipped to detoxify poisoned air, water, and soil using carefully chosen plants. Grauer looked to the past for his conference project, hand-building the skeleton of a timber-frame house using joinery techniques popular in early American carpentry. (Look, Ma, no screws!) Past, present, or future, shelter is a basic human need, but it’s more than just a refuge from the elements, they discovered. “Shelter is establishment of the familiar in an unknown and daunting situation,” Grauer says. “It is stability, assurance, home.”

Tour the yurt and the timber-framed house here.

Photos by Don Hamerman