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The Cielo Project: Inspiration

Cielo-collage

Look up this summer and daydream!

The Cielo Project is a ceiling sculpture by Jeff Ponitz, assistant professor of architecture at Cal Poly, to be installed this summer near Julian’s Patisserie in Kennedy Library. Cielo is both a beautiful and functional solution to the acoustic issues on that part of the second floor, a popular collaborative space.

So what was the inspiration? The long answer involves giraffes…

Hands-on response to student feedback

“Jeff and I began discussing the project soon after his arrival in Fall 2011,” said Jesse Vestermark, architecture librarian. “It’s an opportunity to integrate his experience with sound-moderating architecture and my involvement with the Student Library Advisory Council, which is responding to student requests for quiet, more comfortable spaces within the building.”

Jeff teaches 2nd year design courses and seminars in computer-aided fabrication at Cal Poly. He enjoys the art of making and working with his hands and integrates parametric modeling and computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) manufacturing into his design process.

For Cielo, Jeff studied the built aspects of the existing library and addressed spatial and human needs in his design.

“Jeff absorbed input from our SLAC surveys, library meetings and campus facilities guidelines before experimenting with his designs,” Jesse said.

He also found his inspiration in the clouds, which is where the giraffes come in. Watch the video to learn how:

Renee Jain, architecture student, contributed to this article. Read more about digitally fabricated design in Renee’s interview with Cal Poly assistant architecture professor Clare Olsen.