Rice students build upside-down dorm room
No, your eyes are not deceiving you—that is an upside-down dorm room.
Three Rice University students from Martel College drew inspiration from comic book character Spider-Man and put their creative and engineering skills to work building a replica of Peter Parker’s bedroom for Willy Week, when each residential college participates in themed activities leading up to Beer Bike, Rice’s annual intramural bicycle competition.
While the other colleges typically build floats for a parade, Martel often goes one step further by constructing interactive sets they call “builds.” In the past, Martel students have constructed replicas inspired by “Game of Thrones” and other popular culture references.
Sophomore Jonathan Bunt, junior Gigi Rill and freshman Amanda Suarez spent about two months designing and constructing the dorm room, which sits in the college’s commons area.
“Usually, we build these outside, but we knew it would get ruined, so we knew we would have to do this one inside,” said Rill, a mechanical engineering major. This is her third year leading the creation of the builds.
The room originated from an idea the trio found on Instagram, posted by a movie theater in Spain.
With the goal of making the space as authentic as possible, they decorated the room with blinds, a desk strewn with some of Rill’s old homework, headphones, and a shelf outfitted with graduated cylinders—a throwback from last year’s build of Rick’s Garage from the Adult Swim show “Rick and Morty.”
As it turns out, building something that will eventually be turned upside down isn’t as easy as it seems.
“We had to screw things into the wall instead of the floor, and we had to keep things light,” said Suarez, a materials science and nanoengineering major. “It also took lots of super glue and packing tape to get the headphones to look realistic and for the hat to sit right.”
To finish it off, Rill donated her floor lamp to illuminate the space.
That’s been helpful since students are flocking to Martel to strike Spider-Man poses for pictures.