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.

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