College of Architecture + The Arts

Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts

Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199

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Architecture Students Walk on Water

IMG_6645On Thursday, November 7th, the College of Architecture + The Arts’ Department of Architecture held its 24th annual Walk on Water competition. Professor Jaime Canavés’s Methods and Materials of Construction course participated in this activity of crossing the 175-foot lake between the Engineering & Computer Science building and the Steve and Dorothea Green Library.

Canavés started Walk on Water in 1989. He explained that, for a final assignment, Architecture students usually make cardboard boats and hold a boat race. “It was a good learning experience, but I felt that the students could do…something a little bit more unique,” said Canavés. For Walk on Water, students create their own “shoes” to wear on the lake. In this way, Canavés’s students face the challenge of designing something that can work pragmatically and to their benefit. If a student crosses the lake successfully, he/she receives an “A” for the class and is able to drop an exam grade. Additionally, the first student to cross the lake wins $500. For others that may struggle in crossing the lake, Canavés takes into account their distance from the starting point. Nevertheless, the professor pushes and encourages his students to try their best. “[Competition is] part of the field of architecture…It’s very competitive how you get clients and how you get commissions.” Students may find it frustrating to try to cross the lake, but the frustration is no comparison to the enjoyment that surrounds this twenty-four-year-old tradition in the Department of Architecture.
For more information, visit the event’s blog and Facebook.

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