Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Year Critiques

From what I know about the project, the studio class did a renovation of St. Mary's house, in which they were to transform into a space to be used as a retreat for writers. This renovation was to provide a communal public space and private spaces for the writers themselves. Much like the artists space my studio class designed last year, much study went into the tasks and needs of the client so that these working conditions may be provided to them to create an environment which allowed for only the best work to be created.
After my experiences last year as a freshman in the program, I can definitely look back and see things I did, that I would change now, and wish I had someone there to point out to me. I find that in the first year of the program, you enter trapped in this box of what you think “design” might be. This box is comprised of what the media tells us design is. The goal of first year is to bring you out of this terrible box, and force you to think differently and abstractly about design and what it is to you. Design is not simply paint colors and pushing a bed into the corner of a room, but it is thinking outside of this box to find creative ways to supply ordain needs in an aesthetic way.
After attending the review, I very quickly found myself drawn towards the proposal of Shirley Bircher for this writers space. With the idea of “water” in mind, I quickly found that she was successful in breaking out of her box, as she fully explored this idea beyond colors, bringing it to not only interior structures, but concept. By pushing the boundaries of the project, I believe much success was found in her hard efforts. Right down to the use of shadow, line weights, and scale figures, she provided us with beautiful and very expressive renderings, detailed and correct technical drawings. She also did a great job with her presentation was she was sure to talk directly to her audience and not her board, and her clothing choice which was mute and natural and ran streamline with her palette.
These are just a few things I saw in her project that she could reconsider in the future:

-Be careful with the way you portray curtains. Just as with any window treatment, it can be hard to read, and really take away from what matters most in the space.
-Look further into the “wave” art piece which occupies one of your interior spaces. Could it have been made habitable by an individual?
-Be confident in what you have created! Although it is hard to stand in front of an audience, and know that what you do is solely based off of others opinions, you have worked hard and created something you should be proud of.

The goal is to break away from this traditional idea of design and create something new and different. If we all stuck to the common and usual stuff, there would be no reason for us to be in this field, for we would all be coming out with slight differences in essentially the same things. I commend Shirley for her efforts in this project, and I personally believe she has found her voice as a designer.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lets get started...but beware because there is a

So here we are once again, except this time, it's the beginning of the end. Friday we received news from our professors of project Jenga 7.0, and once again we MERGE. The four teams of six are now two teams of twelve, and [E]merge is teaming up with Trepide. Today we met for almost two hours and discussed the similarities and differences in our two structures and contemplated the possibilities including the pros and cons of bringing them together. Needless to say, this ended up taking a lot longer than we thought it would, and we found that this wasn't something we could just throw together. Tomorrow we have a 3-hour design charette broken into three parts, which we now understand is going to be a crucial part of our design process as a newly 12-person team. We then picked two people who would co-lead our team of twelve, one person from each team of six. Austin and Dajana got assigned this task due to their great leadership skills, encouragement, drive, and excitement they bring to the team. Lastly,and most importantly, we decided on a team name...


Although we haven't decided on what exactly we have in common, except for the use of materials, here are the overall concepts for each team...
[E]merge: the use of horizontals and verticals and how they join. Emphasis on harmony and rhythm.
Trepide: Dematerialization. Architecture of an illusion. Light used to create loss of structure through transparent materials.

...after the charette tomorrow, there will be more to come!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


...So here we are at Jenga 6.0 already! I can't believe that we are only one away from the final project of the semester. For this project we continued working in our teams of six from Jenga 5.0. Our team, [E]merge, being comprised of Austin Loman, Kathryn Frye, Abigail Buchanan, Corry Mears, Kacie Leisure, and myself, truly came together on this project and realized what it was that our concept was all about. We found reason in joinery as community and the idea of togetherness became a major part of our strategy this round.














Through collaboration as a group, we have found that group work is a positive thing, and that we shouldn't run from it. When working in a team great things can be produced as each individuals bring their talents to the table.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Making World Connections [iar 432]

Beautiful Architecture with design language derived from some of history's most popular pieces of the built environment, can be found all over the world...even in our nation's capital. Over Spring Break I took a visit to Washington, D.C., where I experienced first hand, how history influences modern architecture, and how it is applied to places of importance to imply power, strength, and solidity. These buildings house some of the most important meetings, documents, pieces of art, and even memories which make America what it is today. My photographs (above) are paired with some of the places we have discussed in class...

-Washington Monument | Washington, D.C.

-Trajans Column | Rome, Italy

-National Gallery of Art | Washington, D.C.

-Crystal Palace | Hyde Park, London, England

-United States Botanic Garden | Washington, D.C.

-Hall of Mirrors | Versailles, France

-United States Capitol Building | Washington, D.C.

-St. Nicholas' Church | Helsinki, Finland

-National Gallery of Art | Washington, D.C.

-Parthenon | Athens, Greece

-Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool | Washington, D.C.

-Gardens of Versailles | Versailles, France

-National Gallery of Art | Washington, D.C.

-Pantheon | Rome, Italy

As we can see... Architecture has been borrowed from all over the world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jenga 5.0 Design Charrette

Jenga 5.0 was started off differently from the previous projects with a 2-hour design charrette, in which we paired our group of three with two other groups of three and experimented with the combination of our buildings. For each hour we were assigned with a different team.

My team, Allure, was first paired with team Jive. I was personally assigned, along with Austin, to work on the three stages of diagrams- design language, circulation, and systems. For the design language portion, we further studied the exteriors of the buildings, focusing on the façade, and breaking them down into geometric patterns where we would find similar shapes. For the circulation portion, we put our focus towards the layout of the individual complexes and studied how the public met the private spaces. Lastly, for the systems portion, we took a different approach, finding ourselves looking back towards the Italian Renaissance and their idea of public spaces being closer to the ground and outsides of the building, and the private spaces being higher up and closer to the inner core of the building.

After our charrette was over, we found ourselves very successful in the marriage of our two buildings, and excited to move forward in Jenga 5.0.

Secondly, my team was paired with team Carravaggio. I again was placed on the diagramming team along with Dajana. We found that our concepts were similar, but the way our individual teams went about it was completely contradictory to one another. The buildings were very different and we found diagramming to be a challenge after trying to further grasp one anothers concepts. For the system portion of diagramming, we focused on the buildings exteriors, grouping floors one and two, and three and four. We then alternated floors creating a staggered façade. For the circulation portion, we focused on the egress and progression of an individual through both buildings. The exiting and entering of the elevators, we found important and slightly similar to one another, so in turn we placed a diagram for each building on top of one another. Finally, for the design language portion, we focused on materiality and its importance to each of our buildings. We found glass to be a major material in both and created a diagram focused on the vertical and horizontal elements of each.

At the end of the charrette, we found it extremely difficult to bring these two buildings together. We all put our best foot forward at it, and did as much as we could, but even then found that it would be a challenge to be married into one group of six.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Iar 212 | Precedent Analysis 1.0

What started out as a wire frame...

turned into this.

Using only photoshop, we were to fully render the first image. After watching hours of tutorials, and never using Photoshop before, I have to say I'm proud of my first rendering.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Music and Architecture

Today, the students were to fashion a blog post combining an image we selected in class with a poem. After reviewing all of the posts, I chose to put the spotlight on Cory Odell this week from our group, the Lynx. He successfully pairs the image with beautiful words about how Music and Architecture intertwine in his mind, making it obvious that he grasps the relation between the two.

a rhythmic scale flowing up and down like the sun's rise and fall
waves cannot challenge a tempo of these sorts, for waves fall and break
sails try to mimic, but the style isn't quite their speed

up and down my eyes follow the ridges, a man-made mountain raising up into gods sky, but his hand didn't do so much for this creation

his order has been thrown. no longer is his unity in effect.

this is nothing short of visual opera, with highs and lows
with tones that give the skin chills

no beat or lyrics can be heard
but emotion pours out into my soul
and the very echos of the stone call to me to say
music is my legacy, and my existance is part of the worlds harmony.

and just like a clap of thunder, silence falls back into place
and i am left appulading all alone
within my head, and within my heart.

photo of a building in Kansas City, MO
photo credited to Scott Beck

Sunday, February 13, 2011

IAR 202: Reflection

My Circle Will Never Be Complete.

I believe education is a lifelong journey which I will always be on. As long as I have the ability to learn, I will do so, as I have learned that what I know is the only thing someone can never take from me. With every new assignment, comes a new design, a new set of ideas, a new concept, a new strategy of how to do things, new failures, new successes, and most importantly, new lessons learned in the end. The mistakes I make are not regretted, but appreciated, as they are vital to my growth as a designer. I have learned to embrace my flaws, and use them to my advantage in knowing that I can always do better than what has previously been done. Although nerves are always present on critique day, I am more than anything anxious to learn what I can do to make my work better. your work becomes personal to you, and having it torn down to pieces is quite hard, but very helpful. I see it as encouragment to do my best, as I continue to learn new things about design. I have also learned to embrace my talents and use them to the best of my ability, which is why I am most excited about the upcoming Jenga 3.0. With two other team members, I feel this could be one of my best projects as we combine our individual strongest areas in the design realm to create something beautiful.