Marky Mark and the Puzzle Bunch

Who are we?

Marky Mark

and the

Puzzle Bunch

So, let's get serious

What are we doing?


Over the first few weeks, we kicked off double quarter by designing board games. But these aren’t your grandma’s puzzles. We designed these games to suggest spatial relationships and preferred adjacencies. Pieces were assigned general spatial typologies, i.e. outdoor gathering space, interdisciplinary workspace, HOTSPOTS (small spaces with high densities), and were guided by rules set by the masters. These rules encourage specific relationships between game pieces that relate directly to basic programming. This allows us to communicate our ideas of adjacencies with people who are not necessarily architects, and to experiment with spatial relationships using a custom-made platform.

Cue high school students. [Because who better to take us off our high horses than kids with senioritis.]

The senior class of High Tech High Chula Vista, our esteemed jury, put our puzzles to the test, giving both us and the students a chance to talk about our aspirations for this project.  Most of us came out unscathed but all of us came out with valuable lessons on what these students envisioned for the future of Chula Vista.

How does this all relate?

Our main project for the next two quarters challenges the idea of standardized higher education and explores the possibilities of project based learning. Our task is to create/ design/ explode/ plan the facility for the newest university of California– basically the next Cal Poly. This university is not only going to be an educational facility but also a place where the Chula Vista community can find their identity. From our site visit and talking to some of the people spearheading this project, we realized that Chula Vista itself doesn’t have a true identity. The area itself remains a transient area and an incredible cultural mix due to its close proximity to the border.  So our project is mashing up two major programs- project based learning with a community/cultural center for the community. But at a smaller scale, our prompt for this quarter is to create a building which will be the “gateway” building to the campus. A building that will both inspire future development and foster stronger ties with the community and the greater San Diego area.

Stay tuned for Puzzle Party Palooza @ our studio. Coming soon!

Where is all this happening?

Engineering West, Building 21, Room 132. Also known as the former ‘Electronic Systems Lab’. The heart of our operations and base for all the genius.

High Tech High Chula Vista, San Diego.  Green pastoral hills reminiscent of the Sound of Music. But not. Also our site location.

Pictured to the left: These are just some iterations of our “masterplans” and how we  in our groups applied our puzzle pieces for their intended use– not just a game, but an exercise in spatial relationships. From this and some precedent research, we were able to, collectively, develop a program for our “innovation center” and actual project for this quarter.

When is it going down?


Almost. We have a program (progress!) and hopefully a building by the end of winter quarter. We’ll keep you updated on that.

Why are we doing this?

Blame Mark? Thank Mark? TBD.

Over the next two quarters, we are challenging the traditional institutional values of higher education to kick off a conversation on the spatial problems involved in an educational overhaul. As students we may find it difficult to be a vehicle for change in our world today. But as architects, we can promote radical change through the spatial problems involved in change. We can foster these fundamental shifts by shaping the environments that shape everyday life, that shape us as human beings.

Here are the issues we plan to address over the remainder of the year: