Cal Poly | Courtesy Photo

Dozens of student-built structures will pop up in the hills in Poly Canyon April 20-22. Don’t be alarmed: the structures are temporary.

Design Village gives students a chance to build a structure they inhabit for two nights. Students hike their structures out to Poly Canyon in pieces to be put together. The structures must be built using off-the-grid electricity.

Design Village typically takes place during Cal Poly’s Open House weekend, but was moved this year to coincide with Earth Day. The theme of this year’s Design Village is “Balance.”

Design Village is one of the biggest projects freshman architecture students complete. Architecture junior Courtney Petrella said Design Village is her favorite memory of her first year at Cal Poly. She said she especially values the time she slept under the stars.

“Seeing our design evolve from start to finish was really rewarding,” Petrella said. “It was one of my first experience[s] that made me feel really great about my choice to go to Cal Poly.”

Current freshmen will start the project next quarter.

Architecture freshman Jacob Bodinger attended Design Village last year at Open House.

“Design Village helped me choose Cal Poly,” Bodinger said. “I’m excited to come back from spring break and have another huge project to work on.”

The event is open to the public all weekend. Student designs will be judged on public response, craftsmanship, sustainability and adherence to the theme.

A free shuttle will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 21 to anyone who wants to see the structures. This shuttle leaves every 20 minutes from the intersection of Village Drive and Truckee Road.

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