Professor Carlos Barrios at Clemson University is now in his fifth year of running the PCI Foundation studio. His partners are the Georgia/Carolinas PCI who have helped make this program a popular and meaningful studio at the school. Clemson typically divides its studio into three parts. The first is having the students explore the work of architect Tadao Ando, who works in cast in place concrete. They take apart one of his buildings and redesign it as a precast structure.

“The second project that we typically do is one that has been classical in our studios which is a tessellations, in which I asked the students to take one single element that gets repeated,” says Barrios. “Peter [Finsen of PCI] always talks about the efficiency counts and repetition, and I respond back with, ‘Repetition doesn’t mean it’s boring, it means that there’s opportunities to actually grow.’”


• Brazilian Consulate
• Georgia/Carolinas PCI

• KCCP Architects
• Metromont Corp.
• Tindall Corp.
• US State Department

• US Formliner

This year, one student was inspired by MC Escher and a tiger eating off a gamecock-- illustrating the rivalry between Clemson and South Carolina Gamecocks.

Next, students take on a “real-time” project. This year, as in the last few years, the students worked with the US State Department and with the Office of KCCP in Washington DC to design an Embassy. The students travel not only to the precast industry partners but also make a trip to Washington DC to see other embassies and work in conjunction with the architecture firm.