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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My Experience Walking on Water

On November 7th, FIU Architecture hosted its 30th Annual ‘Walk on Water’ (WOW) event which brings together students enrolled in Professor Jaime Canaves’ “Materials & Methods of Construction” class to compete in a uniquely styled race in which participants work in teams to create ‘shoes’ that can ‘walk’ across the FIU Green Lake. Participants race across the water for a chance of winning $1000 for first place with an additional $1000 awarded to anyone who beats the previous record of 1:01.

CARTA News followed second year Architecture student, Hunter Rego, who took part in the event for the first time (students are able to compete more than once), and learned about his experience “walking on water”.

What was your inspiration in creating your shoes?
“My inspiration for my shoe was to make it look black and yellow to represent lightning. We also added a wooden end to make my shoe efficient and quick. Tweaks to the design can make a huge difference in performance.”

Describe your process of practicing and preparing in the weeks leading up to the race.
“The practicing was a really fun part of the process because you spend time designing something, and then you test to see if it works. You truly learn the meaning of “trial and error”. I kept testing our designs and falling in the water until I crossed the lake and that feeling of crossing was an indescribable moment, making the whole process worthwhile.”

What has been your biggest takeaway from the experience?
“My biggest takeaway was the diligence I learned from moments spent testing, discussing, and helping others with their shoes. I believe that moments like these gave the class a sense of community and are truly great bonding experiences.”

How will your experience in Professor Jaime Canaves’ class and in Walk on Water help you in your pursuit of a career in Architecture?
“Professor Jaime Canaves is truly a great professor and he’s great because he always discusses his process of design and tells us advice that can help in our careers in Architecture. He has told and taught us the process of designing something and one of those things is our shoe for WOW. He’s told us not to give up on a design, but to rather develop it more and keep moving forward with it. With WOW, the process of designing is really crucial because it forced us to try and test our shoes and it also made us come up with solutions to fix these problems. So, he really helped us with teaching us about the process of design.”

Although he did not have the quickest time, Hunter was able to complete the race without getting a drop of water on him and met his teammate, Raquel, on the other side of the lake. Great job Hunter!

Walk on Water would not be possible without the hard work of Professor Jaime Canaves and his team, and the generous support of the event sponsors and providers (CGI Impact Resistant Windows and Doors, AIA Miami, Robert Chang – 1989 WOW Winner, MIA Beer Brewery, brandQ, Bienal America, Key Bites Catering, DYPLAST products, Costal Construction). Thank you so much and we’re already looking forward to WOW 2020.

To see more photos from the event click HERE.

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