Gingerbread used in architectural engineering competition
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Saturday, December 01, 2012
12/01/12 at 5:50 AM
The scent of icing and gingerbread replaced the smell of pottery clay and paint in one section of the WaterWorks Art Studio this week for the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering's gingerbread house competition.
Classes, groups and individuals in four categories used their engineering and math skills, as well as their creativity, to build a structure for the competition.
"I don't know anyone who doesn't like to make a gingerbread house," said Xan Black, coordinator of the alliance. "It's a wonderful problem solving activity. 'I love this building. How am I going to re-create it on a 2-by-2 board and then how do I make it out of food?' "
The four categories included elementary school, middle school, high school and adult. Architects from three area firms judged the structures Friday, and each firm chose a best in show. The participants will get to tour the firms' offices and have lunch with an architect.
The Tulsa Alliance for Engineering is a partnership among TCC, the University of Tulsa, Tulsa Technology Center, Oral Roberts University, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.
The alliance was formed two years ago with the goal of better educating, developing, recruiting and retaining engineers in the Tulsa area.
Black even recruited her daughter-in-law, Tristen Black, to participate in the adult category.
Tristen Black started working on her scale model of the London Bridge before Thanksgiving.
"I went to London last summer, so it's actually something I saw in person," she said. "I thought it would be fun to do a bridge."
She spent a day brainstorming how to build it, then another eight hours, spread out over a few weeks, putting the bridge together.
"It was a lot more complicated. Figuring out how to get it to stay together and stand up," said Tristen Black, who doesn't have any experience with engineering or architecture. "I'm just a creative person who likes to do things like this."
Bailie Henry and Brock Martin, juniors at Owasso High School, are in the pre-engineering program at Tulsa Tech and made a gingerbread model of a restaurant in Japan that actually sits on its roof.
"We wanted to be different. How about an upside down one," Martin said.
The pair started on their house over Thanksgiving break figuring out proportions and scale, then rolling out gingerbread and making icing.
"It was a lot of math," he said. "Part of it was stressful, but once we got to the decorating part, it was fun."
They tried to stay as true to the original building as possible, but with some seasonal touches.
"We still wanted it to look a little like a gingerbread house with holiday decorations," Henry said.
Their Tulsa Tech class is learning about architecture right now, so this project fit in perfectly, she said.
"We learned so much from this," Henry said. "I'm definitely not going to design my own house, for sure."
Gingerbread house winners
Elementary school: 1st - Heberlin, Christian Montessori Academy; 2nd - Larson, Christian Montessori Academy; 3rd - Snyder, Tulsa Public Schools
Middle school: 1st - Thomas, Christian Montessori Academy; 2nd - Hutton, Thoreau Demonstration Academy; (tie) 3rd - Hutton, Thoreau Demonstration Academy and Snyder, Tulsa Public Schools
High school: 1st - Bailie Henry and Brock Martin, Tulsa Tech; 2nd - Halvey, Edison Preparatory School; 3rd - Snyder, Tulsa Public Schools
Adult: 1st - Tristen Black; 2nd - Brad Bump
Best in Show
SGA Design Group: Thomas, Christian Montessori Academy
The McIntosh Group: Larson, Christian Montessori Academy
Pohlenz Cucine Moderne: Bailie Henry and Brock Martin, Tulsa Tech
Original Print Headline: In gingerbread, amateur architects stand tall
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Tristen Black makes some repairs on her gingerbread building Thursday at the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering competition. She won first place in adult category. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Gingerbread buildings are lined up Thursday at the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering competition. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World