Friday, April 29, 2011

Refelcting on Learning

The spring 2011 studio proved to be a rigorous and challenging semester throughout. With all of the hard work lessons, and a valuable learning experience was obtained. First of all, this semester was our writing intensive studio; different from any other class I have taken in the department in terms of both assignment load and inevitably the great amount of produced work bolstering my time spent in studio. Writing has always been a task I have enjoyed, but it can be quite challenging translating my design language into paragraph from. Through the various writing assignments this semester, I feel I have reached the point where I can express this language of design process and decision making into written form. I learned numerous aspects about myself as a designer, and my own processes along this journey, expression being a crucial element to being able to wrap my head around my thoughts and ensuing practices. I found in order to process an effective design; I must take advantage of both verbal and written communication. “Talking it out” clarified a number of my encounters in designing this semester and allowed me the opportunity to truly analyze what path I needed to pursue.

[pic] Working at an individual scale to groups of three, six, and finally twelve, required different scales of communication, verbal and written expression linking all the Jenga projects together, and becoming not only an integral part of the designs required for this semester’s assignments, but also a lesson learned in how both forms of expression must be embedded in all of my own design work. Everybody learns about his or her process in a different way. Although some aspects I had previously charted as integral such as sketching, diagramming, and building models are still very much a part of my processes, this semester encouraged my to incorporate further verbal and written skills, which I must continue to practice upon throughout my life as a designer.


I started out this semester with a shaky approach on time management. It was one of my main goals for the semester that I’d like to think I’ve come along way in. Learning many new skills while producing deliverables at a fast rate was a great challenge for me individually in Jenga 1.0 and 2.0. For starters, working in group projects helped foster my learning individually a fantastic amount. As everyone brings their own strengths to the table, working at all levels allowed me to gain new skills. The largest ones skills I improved upon were time management in groups of three, model building and team communication/ digital work in the group of six, and a big step for myself in the group of twelve was learning how to render in sketch-up plug in Podium while balancing group/individual work. There were features that bolstered each project throughout in terms of gained strengths such as hand rendering and Adobe workshop skills, which for the most part I learned on an individual scale, practicing through trail and error to achieve results that I was both proud of and my team members felts strongly standing behind. All in all, through the great amount of group work I learned an incredible amount. To list some things; Rhino, illustrator line weights, digital plans, diagramming, model building, time management, effective communication, and digital rendering were all crucial strengths I learned and built upon this semester with the help of my peers. I am not the same designer I was when I wrote wii-1, I believed my skills have changed dramatically in the past three months. Hard work at a fast pace pays off, especially when I can look back at the work I have completed this winter and spring and clearly see the improvements and strengths I have gained. All the way through this journey my classmates and I have been required to reflect and contemplate design in our writing, just as I am now. The last line of my essay on initial goals was “to reach an equilibrium in strengths of my ideas, results, skills, and designs”. Although I realize now that this is a never-ending goal, I feel a great jump closer to a unified designer coming out of IAR 202 this spring semester.

[pic] "Trotting away with a whole new mind of growth"

First year review

Upon attending first year reviews this semester, I observed and critiqued Ms. Paige Hohlt in her work and presentation for the writers residence project. In terms of eye catching presentations for starters, it was clear Ms. Hohlt had been studying the famous chair cards assigned to her in her history class (I TA that class) as recognizable chairs showed up in her renderings such as the BRNO chair by Mies Van der Rhoe and also his Barcelona chairs. Sitting down to see something immediately recognizable caught my eye and keep my attention, I thought it was a classy touch. In a first year critique it is tough to evaluate all considerations of the project which would dictate a person actually being able to live in the space, but Paige addressed three considerations that I thought were quite successful. Everything in the space could easily have gone into much more detail such as attention to light and shadow in renderings more so in watching how the designed light would actually hit the space, but she included ceiling height changes to provide a sense of greater coziness in the space. With this, she also added recessed lighting by not carrying the ceiling heights all the way to the edge of the walls. In this I noticed that all of the ceiling height changes were the same however, I would be curious to see how different ceiling heights could add to different feelings in the space as one transitions through the rooms. Perhaps next time taking that into consideration as spaces transition from public to private, how does that affect the feeling of the space, and also how can you manipulate the room to achieve that effect. Reciting that the outside view to the residence were not the most lovely, she addressed her window treatments as well, a small attribute of the presentation that made her stand out from her peers. Built-ins helped define her space instead of an array of organized clutter which I commend her for as well. In terms of overall presentation, it is important to show to the audience all of these fine attributes before questions are asked, so I would recommend really analyzing what to present beforehand closer, the rule of thumb is; if you don't address it, you will probably get asked about it. In this and almost all presentations, there were a lack of labels. This is a good touch to add especially as a viewer, I am trying to connect all of your work together and understanding say were the section cuts were taken and were the perspectives lie without and finger pointing is relatively crucial in my opinion. This is something I have missed myself and seeing it in an others presentation brings even more clarity to how this can confuse the audience. Overall practicing speeches would help greatly, the audience for first year was rather large but she needed to look more at the audience and speak louder. Comments aside, a successful first year presentation in my opinion.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Portmanteau: jenga 7.0

Our Selected Models

The Prospectus



[Trepide] Jenga 5.0 + 6.0

(Left exterior, Right interior)
In this step (Jenga 6) one exploration further brought us back to our individual units in a postcard formatted rendering of what our unit's door would look like. I kept mine the light ash colored wood coming in the form of small horizontal grain strips. The design relates what to the circulation set forth in my unit as one walks in the door, the narrow strip cues the same route an occupant would travel to go into the bedroom. I wanted to keep the design simple with the wood bringing in the natural decoration to the door, simple steel framing, a glass transom, and opaque white plastic stripping on the actual door accompanying the wood.

Above is the result of a quick charette after our Jenga 5.0 digital presentation upon exploring a site for our building.