Builder Battles 1

By Matt Lubin

Building off the successes of last year’s first “Builder Battles” competition, the Eco Reps and Environmental Society joined together with Stern’s Architecture Club to organize a second “Builder Battles”, and it was just as fun and exciting as the first! This year, we had a panel of highly qualified judges review the artistic creations of seven different groups of students who each worked on building impressive models of famous city landmarks. The catch? Teams could only use materials that were recyclable in NYC. Luckily for them, NYC has been increasing the amount of material that can be sent through the city’s recycling streams, and the teams had lots of fun while they learned exactly what type of ‘trash’ can be recycled. Each team had about two hours to compete for a rather impressive prize: a $200 gift card to amazon!

Our panel of judges spanned the range of what we were looking for in the competition: creativity, sustainability, and architectural impressiveness. The judges included Bonni-Dara Michaels, Collections Curator of the YU Museum, Prof. John Kriskiewicz, architectural historian, and Michael Winkler, YU’s Director of Energy and Sustainability.

The battle was fierce, as judges had to decide between so many impressive models of world city landmarks, from a statue of liberty made mainly of newspaper, to a huge

Builder Battles 3

model of the bull from the Bowling Green downtown, made out of cardboard boxes. Congratulations to the winning team – Adam Kurnick, Elias Atri, Jacob Cherney and Aitan Magence – who built a highly detailed model of the Kotel Wall complex, complete with plastic people and the #1 Egged bus station!

Changing laws and new materials might be confusing with regard to what materials can be recyclable, but we showed that they can be broken down and are actually simple and straightforward. As all the teams got to work on their building, they all ‘got the hang of it’, and left the exciting competition with the knowledge and inspiration to continue recycling wherever they are!


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