By Chase Reavis
One student in the Fay Jones School’s summer 2018 Design Camp spent his last night in studio with his friends working on an architectural model that he hoped would make his family proud.
Jack Carswell, 18, who’s going into his senior year at the School of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri, first came to Design Camp in summer 2017. He returned this summer as part of the advanced group and also stayed in the residence hall.
After his second year at Design Camp, Carswell said he thought he was ready to pursue a degree in architecture.
In this summer’s Design Camp, the students worked on designing and building models of markets that theoretically would be located in downtown Fayetteville. The students visited the Fayetteville downtown square one day for inspiration, Carswell said.
“We’ve been working on our projects all week and really brooding over them, and then we have nights like this where we’re in the studio working on our projects,” Carswell said during the camp. “And it’s fun for the parents to come and see that you’ve really learned stuff at architecture camp.”
Carswell called his approach to this year’s project a bit unconventional. He chose to design something that was Gothic rather than modern, to promote order and respect. Although his take on the assignment was different from his peers, he said the professors and student teaching assistants were very supportive of him because they encouraged creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Carswell has learned a lot about architecture in his two years at Design Camp, but some of the best memories he has of the camp are with the friends he made here.
“I came because I wanted to be exposed to college itself and also kind of the experience, and I’m really happy with it,” he said.
Although he is not completely sure about majoring in architecture, Carswell said that Design Camp has equipped him with the skills to succeed in whatever he chooses to do.
“I really like the real-life experience of the camp and how it’s set up: you get your own desk, you go around places. You really feel like a student,” he said.
As Carswell finished his project, he kept in mind that his grandfather would be there for the final review on the last day to look at the model he made during camp.
“I always try and work a little harder because he wants me to come to school here,” Carswell said.
He first heard about Design Camp in summer 2016 when he came to the University of Arkansas with his grandmother and his sister, who was thinking of attending at the time. While walking around campus, he and his grandmother saw Vol Walker Hall and, on a whim, decided to go in.
“We met with Judy Stone, and she kind of told us all about the place. She gave us a tour of the building, then she told us about Design Camp,” he said. “I showed up here the next summer.”
Carswell said the camp was a very fulfilling experience, both personally and artistically.
“It gives you an outlet to actually take action in designing something, which is hard to do on your own at home,” he said.