Sunday, April 28, 2013

Stockholm Precedent Study

As I may have mentioned, Stockholm is our determined bathhouse site. We have been working on precedent studies for the past couple weeks in studio. My group was assigned to study contemporary architecture, and to provide the class with information on contemporary trends in the region, and different aspects of the contemporary buildings in Sweden that we can take from and implement in our own designs. There's a few different studies we've been doing but I wanted to blog about this one because I found it pretty stunning. It's visually interesting, but also incredibly sustainable. It's versatile with its space by use of moving walls, ceilings, seating, etc (more information in the image, click to expand). This is a draft of the study that will be edited tomorrow. 

Friday, April 26, 2013


I got introduced to the concept of tiling, and did my own for Exercise 4 of my Design Media class. I did a simple pattern on Rhino, mirrored it, and colored/switched line weights on illustrator. I quickly discovered the use of layers on Rhino.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Portland water study trip

On Friday (19th) we headed over to Portland for the day to study the city's beautiful integration of water and plants (but mostly water).

 Most of Portland's fountains are interactive, and allows for people to experience the water in degrees of playfulness. Here, steps cross the fountain, and the water even drizzles over a few of the steps.
 Here some of us are climbing up on the fountain. This one was interesting because as we climbed we discovered new parts of the fountain that can only be seen at certain heights.
 Here the waters creates a thin later over the steps.
 Dramatic cascades of the fountain, and the sharp angles used to create certain motion.
 The Ira Keller fountain. Oh how I wished I had an actual camera with me...
 Its reference to the cascades, bordered by trees and urban buildings lies the Ira Keller! Here is the stage-like area, with the beautiful cascade backdrop. A floating stage.
 Closer view of the beautiful fountain. This was my favorite fountain of the trip. So many ways the water was used here.
 The flat tops of the structures invite people to climb.
 Here you can go behind the water, where the person in blue is. it's an interesting effect and perspective on experiencing falling water.
Here someone is sitting on the fountain, pants completely soaked undeniably.

4th Degree Generative Diagrams

 For the Design Media class, we are looking into "4th Degree Generative Diagrams"
These diagrams are made up of four parts:
// 1. Observing: “d” diagram (communicate a single relationship)
// 2. Cataloging: differentiate (language of line weight, line type, hue, dot size, line geometry, etc)
// 3. Callibrating: pattern (push differences until a pattern emerges)
// 4. Acting: consider something that shifts the pattern (I interpreted this step as an implementation into design).
In my exercise below, the first column is my little d ("d") diagram. It shows movement of people in a bath house. Starting at point A, one enters and bathes in a communal area, then disperses out into more private (hot bath) areas. Later, one would reconvene in a communal area, and then separate once again. I then differentiate these areas by color and size of circles. Large, light spaces engage groups of people, cool water, and more sunlight. Dark, enclosed spaces allow for reflection, peace, solitude, mysterious light. The third column indicates a pattern of immersing in warm and cool water (similar to the pattern of a Finnish sauna in which one repeatedly lounges in a sauna, then plunges in a cool pool). Lastly, a simple floor plan may be structured around this concept of private spaces interwoven with open light spaces.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sensory Vessel Final

 Here it is, the final sensory vessel with much needed decoration (the fabric on the sides had to be hidden). Since we had a ton of extra time we added some paint to it.
Once you put your hand in the hole, you'll reach the marbles, hopefully it gives a "water" type of sensation.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wilson Smith Design Charette

The amazing HOPES conference happened last weekend, and I just recently stumbled upon this picture on my phone, taken during the Design Charette:
yes, lattice is spelled wrong on the poster

Firstly, HOPES is the only student run Architecture Conference for students (and staff, and open to public) that runs for three days. It hosts a series of lectures and workshops and panels usually talking about sustainability and the future, and to inspire our minds as architects and designers to create in an Eco-consious, and global conscious way (at least that's what I took out of it as a first year).

This year's topic was "Collaborative Futures," the idea to gather professors and speakers and guests from other fields other than architecture that also study "sustainability", and to infuse ideas, and collaborate with one another in order to progress inclusively as a society.

Amazing speakers such as Neri Oxman, a material ecologist, and environmental designer known for her "digital morphogenesis" introduced the idea of mimicking biology as a base foundation for her product design. I have never heard of this process, of studying the complex structures in biology, and using it as a resource for design, and found it fascinating.

Anyway, Wilson Smith, a designer for Nike held a design charette and so of course I wanted to join in. The charette (this is a term used for a bunch of people gathering over a large piece of paper and spewing out ideas) was for a flash flood resistance solution on the east coast (based off the hurricane sandy). Mr. Smith decided to join my team of 5, which was quite exciting, as I've never worked with a professional designer before. We came up with a "lattice" to help slow water flow into the city. There were three architecture students, one environmental designer, and one journalist as well (so exciting!). Anyway, this structure has a wide lattice, with a large grid at the front of the boardwalk, and begins to condense and filter out debris, and further slows down water flow. Because we did not know where this water can flow into, I came up with the impractical solution to attach an underground canal like feature that water could flow into and eventually reach a man made reservoir/lake in which the community may gather around and use for recreational purposes.  This lake allows for a community center, and also a natural water source that helps protect the community. I also added trees to the diagram to show how the roots of these trees may reach the underground canal (a sustainable solution for watering urban trees?).

Anyway, it was a fun way to get some ideas out and work with some neat people.

wood shop and nail guns (wk 2)

This week, we have started working on our next group project, that is, the "sensory vessel". To further understand water behavior, and human's interaction with water each group was assigned to one sense (touch, smell, sight, sound) of water, and to emulate this sense through wood (and modest amounts of other material such as metal, cloth, etc).

We were not allowed to have any type of water in the vessel, and the vessel must imply a 16" cube.

My group was assigned to touch. we first thought about ways humans feel water: through pressure under a shower or waterfall, dunking
 ourselves in water, getting sprayed by water, running our hands along the surface, etc.

We finally chose to emulate the sensation of dunking one's hand into water. Because this feeling is usually cool, we thought of materials that are usually cool to touch--metal, silk, etc.

Our final design is a rectangular wooden container, and a giant pocket filled with marbles  placed into it. We would then have a silk pouch placed into the marbles, big enough for a hand. When you put your hand into the hole, you will feel the marbles swarm around your hand.
We then constructed the wooden elements of this model. Because this was to imply a 16" cube, the easiest way to construct this was to cut about 40 16" long 3/4"x3/4" wooden rods, and to stack them up, as shown in the photo.

The wooden design surprisingly created a beautiful affect.

The finished product for next week will have the large pouch with marbles, and the smaller pouch inserted into it.

I am no longer scared of table saws, band saws, or any other type of saw I used in the woodshop. Nor am I scared of staple guns any longer. I am actually quite fond of those staple guns and sanders!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

exercise 1b Design Media.

pre sketches in notebook
This week in the design media class, we have been introduced to the process of diagramming through AutoCAD and Adobe Illustrator. Exercise 1a focused on the concept behind diagramming. We were given two readings, and were to take 5 concepts and diagram them.  We were to spend 10-20 seconds on a diagram that showed the concept (3 for each concept). We pinned them up during class and found that the most successful diagrams were ones that showed the least information possible, and the most abstract form of communicating an idea.
Unfortunately I had to turn in the homework, but I will post it when I receive it in about a week. I do however have the 5 concepts I focused on written out:

In classical architecture, the geometric shapes and their relationships between each other present an overall unity (Judd 93). The spaces and shapes between these geometric figures together create a more complete whole
The overall shape is a fluid, less important aspect than the internal relationships of the elements, as they determine the behavior of the field. The internal figures and proximities are what define the nature of the field (meaning small spaces between elements would create a denser field).

Diagrams are used to show the organization and distribution of the program in an abstract manner in order for one to understand material in a simple way (NJIT 23.26).  These diagrams simplify a more complicated idea in order for the viewer to understand the organizations of the system. 

The field unifies diverse elements while respecting the identity of each element, thus for a field to become unified, elements themselves need not to be similar (Judd 92).  Each element in these diagrams, placed in a single field, is unique from one another.
Looking closely, seemingly complex and apparently irregular behaviors in fact result from the combination of elements that are themselves regular and repetitive (Judd 98). These figures, seemingly complicated, derive from simple, common elements. This was all done in illustrator.

exercise 1b (shown above)
We were to take 3 photos of variations of water. I chose water dropping in a pool (which I very luckily took a shot of),  waves of water at the river, and water interacting with a rock.
We diagrammed these photographs, one for each concept we studied. I simplified these concepts into titles :Geometry, Proximity, Organization, Shapes, Complex into Simplicity.
water drop