Click to read about the best places to eat on campus, freshman packing tips, and how to keep in touch with friends.

A Different Perspective

Architecture has found its way into Centre Gallery once again with the new exhibit, Form, Space and Light: An Exploration. Gina Benedetto, assistant director for Centre Gallery, said the School of Architecture has been putting on an exhibit there for several years.

“It’s not something that’s set in stone, but they generally have a show once a year,” Benedetto said.

Though some might not consider architecture part of the arts, it’s clear why this exhibit ended up in an art gallery. With models, drawings, computer renderings and mixed media presentations and graphics all thrown into the mix, the exhibit shows not only the craftsmanship of the graduate students but also their creativity.

Models constructed by students for a health club design contest show that even something as common as a fitness center can have a radical look while still catering to function. Each piece is completely different from the next, and completely different from anything that can be found on the streets of Tampa.

Mike Bellester took the creativity one step further in his “boatel” design. Not only is the structure of the piece unique, but the concept itself stands out, featuring a waterside motel with boat docks connected to the main structure.

Benedetto said that most visitors seem to enjoy the exhibit, regardless of whether they know anything about architecture. Art students, in particular, have found a connection with the show.

“A lot of the artists can relate to the work that’s being done,” Benedetto said.

The work itself comes from in-class projects done last semester by the graduate students.

Laura Lake, a member of the gallery production crew and a featured architect, said, “Everyone does their work for their normal assignments and then at the end of the semester, we have a committee that sits down and tries to choose the best representations for the exhibit.”

With dozens of pieces displayed, it’s clear that there is no shortage of talent in the School of Architecture.

Aside from the health club competition designs, the exhibit includes a thesis level project for a law center and school in Orlando, competition submittals for an Oldsmar Cultural Arts Center and “student explorations in the poetics of structure and the nature of space.”

Perhaps the most compelling component of the exhibit, however, is the display of several designs for a Sept. 11 memorial at USF. Though there is little chance of any of the designs being built, the students felt that the memorials were the most appropriate way for them to respond to the tragedies.

“There was a consensus in our design class that we all thought there should be a tribute,” said Bellester, who also designed a memorial.

The projects took about four weeks for the students to complete.

Bellester said that his design focuses on “time standing still while everything else is changing,” which reflects the impact of the attacks.

“There’s a whole new ideal now,” he said.

Kendra Ammons, who also created a Sept. 11 memorial design, said the emotions and feeling of that day are what caught her attention.

“I tried to capture this in the approach and feeling of the space,” she said.

Each of the memorial designs look at the events with a different perspective, though all comment on the tragedies in a powerful way.

If for nothing else, it is this expressive element that undoubtedly qualifies each piece in Form, Space and Light as a work of art. This, along with the stunning aesthetics of the work, makes the exhibit a solid one.

But, this was no surprise for Benedetto.

“The architects always put on a great show,” she said.

  • Contact Dustin Dwyer at