December 5, 2016 by 2019-2020 Equity & Diversity Task Force, 2019-2020 Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, 2020-2021 Council of Global Representatives, 2020-2021 Learning & Teaching Culture Advisory Group, 2021-2022 Professional Development Advisory Group

Art students have art galleries, film students have film showings, and fashion students have fashion shows, but what do we have?

In Fall 2012, Graham Hart, our recent D.Arch graduate and Past President for AIAS Hawaii, started PAN as a way to answer this question and give fellow architecture students a chance to present their work to the local community. Inspired by the term “paper architect,” Paper Architecture Night is the one night where students’ unbuilt work can leave the paper and be shown to all students, professors, and professionals alike.

In previous years, the School of Architecture here at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, only had a few main gatherings hosted by our local AIAS chapter. With the key social events being our Sandcastle Esquisse, Pumpkin Carving Esquisse, and Gingerbread Esquisse, activities within the school felt disconnected from each other. In addition, there was separation between studios as well as across class years. As a result, this formed communication boundaries.

pan_1With PAN now turning four, its impact on our school has become essential in bringing us all together. Every month, our chapter’s office organizes the event in our school’s courtyard. Starting at 6pm on a Friday, music starts to call students and professors into the central space to share food and stories. Once the sun sets, the projector goes up and background noise comes to a halt for the four presenters. Students show their work in 20×20 format based on that month’s theme for PAN. After the presentations are over, it’s time for more food and socializing to go on through the night, making it a perfect way to end the week.

Having been a freshman during the first PAN, I’ve been lucky enough to grow alongside the event and see firsthand how much the school’s culture has changed as a result of it. New students are excited to go to the event and experience it for themselves while graduate students and professors join the celebration and appreciate the continued effort that’s been put into it. It’s amazing to see first years talking with fifth years and professionals reaching out to grad students, and of course professors being able to laugh with their students. PAN allows everyone to let go of daily stresses while learning about each other’s work in a more informal and fun light.

pan_3With new officers this year, we at AIAS Hawaii are proud to keep our school’s young tradition up to its full potential. PAN has evolved with different themes, presenters, and has grown to encompass the entire school. It’s a night worth spending with us here in our humble courtyard and we look forward to seeing new and familiar faces at our next Paper Architecture Night.