ST. THOMAS, USVI – Students enrolled in the Architectural Drawing I & II class at Charlotte Amalie High School were tapped for a unique opportunity to design the layout for the St. Thomas Carnival Food Fair that residents and guests will enjoy on April 27 at Crown Bay.
According to Drafting & Architectural Drafting instructor, Shamang Straun, Department of Tourism Division of Festivals organizers contacted her with a request to design a fresh, new layout for the Food Fair, which is taking place at Crown Bay for the first time in Carnival history.
“We took the chance and accepted the challenge, and we invited the chairperson who oversees the food fair to our classroom, where she explained to the students exactly what she wanted,” Straun explained. “She wanted the layout of all the vendors, including mobile, food, arts, crafts, and everyone else. So, we laid out the parking spots that existed at Crown Bay, and we just started to collaborate and get to work.”
Four students out of the class of six were assigned specific tasks to complete for the layout of one of Carnival’s most popular events. Student Jamyka Smith was responsible for the layout features involving the Crown Bay terrace.
“My contributions to this layout includes the terrace, as well as the arts-and-crafts tents lining the terrace, and the walkway attached to the terrace, along with the parking lot,” she said.
Student Li’Nia Hermon was responsible for transferring onto the layout the current entertainment buildings that tourists patronize when cruise ships dock at Crown Bay.
“Although [these buildings] won’t be playing a big part in the Food Fair, it was important that we laid the buildings out so we can get a proper understanding of how the current layout of Crown Bay looks,” she said.
Student Jaquani Hanley was responsible for laying out the roadway and sidewalks onto the design.
“We did the layout in a 3D software called SketchUp, then later transferred it to AutoCAD, where we could create models, buildings and objects that could be published in various mediums,” he explained.
And student Vinclan Philbert was responsible for creating the scheduling on the layout.
“The scheduling, in layman’s terms, is like the legend of a map, but is an architectural term that we use,” he said. “In doing the scheduling, I had to research the symbols of the various departments so that I could implement them onto the scheduling in order to be placed on the layout.”
The class also engaged in an assignment to design a conceptual layout for the Carnival Village near Fort Christian. While this layout is not being used for the current 2022 Village, it allowed the students to flex their design creativity for Villages of the future, featuring vendor booths, rides, and the entertainment stage.
In describing a portion of the Village set up, student Quincy Diaz said, “We have nearly perfectly captured the moments where all of our fellow U. S. Virgin Islanders and tourists gather together to celebrate Carnival in one big town.”
Student Jaelan Sibilly showcased futuristic vendor booths the class designed, with names like Maximo’s Disco Kitchen, Ting Taste Gud!, and Island Vibe.
“Each of these booths, we created ourselves with our point of reference of how we imagine our own booths would exist in real life,” he said.
Throughout the course of the school year, students enjoyed other assignments, including designing the layout of the foundation of a house with a bathroom, kitchen and living room, and other features.
“As they got into it, what I love about teaching this course, is that every student is unique,” Straun said. “If you give an assignment of laying out an apartment loft, every student’s apartment will look different; none would look alike. It’s very unique the feedback I would get back from each student.”
Straun said she hopes her students will take with them the experiences they have gained in the class and expand upon it.
“My basic goal is that when they leave here, they won’t forget what they have learned,” she said. “As an educator, I’m very grateful. One of the things I’ve learned over the years, especially this school year, is never say you can’t learn from your students. We collaborate and research things together. I have learned so much from my students and they have learned a lot from me.”