Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Graphic Design lesson part 2

Throughout this term, I am producing graphics for the plasma screens for the lecture series, as a sort of follow up to the lecture poster task.
This past week was a bit more challenging, however, as I was asked to design a separate poster for a lecture.

This would be a typical template for the plasma screens. Of course, not every project image would be similar, so these yellow blobs would be annoyingly irritating to move around to fit... but a decent enough concept to work for the lectures.

But this week I was asked do design a poster, using the image below:

thus my bright pink photo adjustments would be a terrible idea!

 The image itself has its own colors, and shapes, and to mix it with my poster's concept seemed odd.

Below, the first draft.

I was then encouraged to 1/ use the image as the full background, as I did the plasma templates, and 2/ to use a shape from the stained glass image, instead of the Jean Arp shapes and 3/ reduce the amount of colorful blobs.

The text seemed strange on this poster, and I was then asked to 1/ make the image blur using gaussian blur, in case of pixelated image quality and 2/ widen the yellow shape to make the words read more smoothly
as in "Bauhaus Design" instead of "Bauhaus" on one line
Basically, understanding the importance of how a poster's information is read for the viewer,
to make it as simple and clear as possible
The size of the poster was scaled up as well.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Arch Lecture UO!


I spent the past three weeks developing the fall lecture posters :-)

It was a graphic experiment so to speak.
Inspired by artist Jean Arp

I learned a lot about the sad limits of CMYK spectrum :-(

But a helpful link to figure out how to accurately print and resolve some issues...

My final year of architecture school is approaching :-)



This was a bit of a crash course for graphic design
I worked with professor Landry Smith
He would advise me on each draft, and I'd make iterations, learning about the importance of 

 themes I tend to stray away from by my strange chaotic nature!

A beginning scheme/ concept
complete arbitrariness
playing with color and contrast

We decided to tie these shapes into some sort of architectural theme
here the peach, a noguchi lamp
pink,  noguchi table
peach 2, a shape from Calder mobile
blue, kiesler table
and yellow, a kiesler chair

The shapes weren't as interesting as I'd like. And so I took the forms from a Jean Arp painting
and using the outlines more abstractly,
to show the outline less of a duplicate, more of a shape of its own
I also adjusted the text on a three column grid
against the four column large lettered grid

We reformated the smaller text to read with clarity and order
using underlining and font size, indicating importance of information

And lastly, adjusting the colors
 so that the yellow column didn't look quite as strong adjacent to the pink columns
and to use the white as a subject color for general information

Jean Arp !

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sketchup basic tips for beginners

So, I'm not very familiar with sketchup, its always confused me honestly. It's supposed to be a pretty quick and easy program, but sometimes I think it's just slower than similar programs such as rhino. But sometimes, you just can't choose, and you have to deal with it.
So I did, and learned two basic things that have helped me at least carry through the task I was assigned during my last internship.

1. Before creating 3d form, make it into a group! Otherwise, it will continue to merge with other lines/ shapes/ objects you try to make that touches it. Once you group, then you can extrude the form to make an object, and then it'll act like one piece, rather than get affected by a bunch of other things you'd like to make. You have to double click into the group to be able to edit it, and single click to get out of it. To make a group, draw a rectangle (for example), double click so that the shape is highlighted, right click to select "make group." You can no go into the group an edit by extruding into a prism, etc.

2. the arrows are your orthogonal friends! Arrow keys will keep you drawing within the x/y/z planes...

3. components- this helps if you'd like to change a bunch of similar objects at one time, with the same exact change. Once an object is a component, it can be edited, and it will affect all other objects assigned to the same component group

Sunday, August 28, 2016

helpful rhino commands

Some rhino commands discovered from work over the few months...

merge faces- this will bring a split up shape from lines into one nice looking whole shape
scale 1D,2D this helps to scale an object
Rotate 3d- to help with rotating objects when the normal rotate does not work out...
soften edge- literally softens the edges of an object
extract wireframe- SO helpful if you deleted line work and need it back!
zoom selected- to get really into the details..
fillet edge- similar to soften edges.. but fillet
TAB key- helps to snap to any direction while working
show edges- highlights edges
extract surface- separates or copies a surface

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hood Loop

At the end of the winter term, I was invited by our studio teaching assistant to work on a competition with her. She is a visiting Fulbright Scholar from Ukraine, and I got to know her much better outside of studio. She became one of the most influential mentors of my education, and I am extremely thankful to have worked with her. 

Iryna Volynets, Mary Protysk, Tyler Duncan and I worked on an entry for Portland's "Hood Loop" competition. Portland would like to integrate a pedestrian/ bike loop to encourage a "green" way of transportation, throughout the east and west sides of the river.

Iryna (Ira), my mentor, and I share such similar visions and inspirations for architecture, it was really great to be able to talk and share ideas so easily. 

The team came up with the idea of using the Mt. Hood form as the guiding concept for our project.
 Within two weeks, we produced our design proposal, below.

We wanted to take all aspects of the topographical lines the rhino model of Mt. Hood produced for us, and integrate it into this "green" loop.

 These curvy lines became a playful way to integrate and create layers of pedestrian, bike, and public/garden space in a variety of ways.

 We all focused on a "node" of the loop, each responding to an aspect of Portland's culture (art, theatre, garden, food).

Below is Ira's node. She took the upper east side of the loop's open space, and created a sort of public sculpture park and outdoor event space, using the mount hood topo lines.

Here is my node. I focussed on the highway underpass near the OMSI/ Portland Opera production space. The idea was to create a flexible artistic opportunity under the highway, for performances, art display, or music shows.

Outside of the freeway underpass, would be an open air performance space, with extrusions taken from the Mt. Hood rhino model to form sloped seating and enclosure.

Below is Mary's work, she created stepped seating, a sort of performance/ amphitheater space integrated with nature.

And lastly, something urban. A rose garden with the topography lines painted 2D on the ground, guiding people into the seating areas.

It was so exciting to work in a group that shared similar ideas and architectural styles. It surprised me that this group experience became much more successful than my last one. We worked with Mary overseas, since she works in the Netherlands, which was much easier than expected. I'm so happy to have gotten closer to my mentor, and to learn from her imaginative style of blending landform with architecture.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Winter Studio 2016

 The studio was about gas pipelines, which made no sense in relation to architecture, at least in the beginning. 
 We created our own projects and programs about these energy transportation lines, which deeply connect within our daily lives, often hidden away from view. We had to take a stance on how we feel about these deep marks on the landscape- do we support fossil fuel energy? Do we not? What about its relationship to other countries that we supply for? What are alternatives? What do we want to say, through architecture, about these lines?

Below are snippets of the pages of my project booklet we had to create at the end of the term.

We started with analyses of a particular pipeline. I chose the Ruby Pipeline, which expands from Oregon to Wyoming. 4 states. 680 miles. about 3 feet deep. 100 yard wide clearance. 
Using Google Earth, I collected images of the visibility of the line, and its relationship to different ecological conditions (trees/ mountain/ river). The images show the landscape before, during construction and after the pipeline was installed. 

I then graphically communicated the human's relationship to the physical aspects of the pipeline, by placing the construction of the pipeline into the environments they were damaging. In color, the pipeline understands nature, whereas in black and white, how humans understand nature.

To narrow our focus, our professor wanted us to focus on three projects regarding the representation of our interests regarding these lines. Beginning with "erasure," or the process of erasing the line, "disruption," or the process of dis-forming the line, and "daylighting," or bringing the public eye's attention to the line. 


The program of my line was quite confusing to be honest. I wanted it to be just recreational nodes with architectural installations in certain areas of the lines that were close to higher populations but also in the context of the ecology types I had studied. My professor wanted me to re purpose the pipeline into a bike path, so that the public may physically experience the whole 680 mile stretch, and I would design shelters. I did a sort of mix of the two, to come up with this "manifesto." 

We have little understanding of the ecology of the environment
surrounding us.  If we are lucky, our transitional spaces provide
landscaping and trees, strategically placed to mimic the beauty of
nature. But our daily activities consist of routines in which we
confine ourselves to desks, chairs, vehicles, shops and streets.

The majority of the energy which supplies our indoor environments
comes from fossil fuels, and arrives conveniently at our light
switches and buttons from the power plants served by the underground
gas pipelines we construct. Most of us have little understanding of
what these long stretches of pipe travel through to supply our
isolated urban worlds.

The natural gas pipeline itself has far more contact with the natural
world than we do. The Ruby Gas Pipeline traverses a rich and diverse
environment, spanning 680 miles of desert, forest, mountains and

I call for an exposure of this division between the spaces of energy
transport and of consumption. I intend to close the divide between our
energy habits and its effects on the environment. With the opportunity
to reinterpret and highlight the regenerative beauty of nature in the
destructive context of the Ruby Gas Pipeline, we may understand our
effects on the landscapes, and the experiential and physical qualities
of space missing in our everyday lives.  We must reflect upon the
impacts of our convenience based lifestyles on both these natural
places and ourselves.

This is basically saying I wanted to make the bike path become a sort of awareness of the stretches of nature we may not be exposed to every day, while also providing nodes that are closer to populations for people to understand the pipelines without doing some 680 mile ride. I wanted to provide the opportunity for people to experience the scar of the pipeline, the beauty of nature, all in one piece, and make their own judgment on what the pipeline means, in regards to global warming and environmental concern, based off the architectural experience I provide.


The first study was to erase the pipeline. The 100' wide requirement along the lines for maintenance purposes was the visual described previously on google earth. I wanted to erase this mark. Thus, I chose the ecological type of "trees" as my first "site", and decided to "restore" the spatial qualities of the environment, through architecture. That is, analyzing the boundaries of surfaces (walls, canopies) that trees create, and build the experience back into the 100' wide space. I decided to create a site of 100'x 100', and created a module of 25'x25' to be populated into this grid by mirroring or rotating the module around.


I then looked at my next project, that is, how to disturb the line. I looked at the forms of the rivers in the desert of Nevada, as they had idiosyncratic twists and turns. Adorable, and interesting and organic! But the line! It was rigid and straight and "man made." Thus, I wanted to disturb this orthogonal rigidity into the fluidity of the curves. I created a sort of ramp that forms along the pipeline until it crosses the river. It then mirrors the river's shape, and curves all the way back down. At the crux, one is able to see the curves wind down (if I had the structure level to the ground, we would only experience the curves in a 2 dimensional way). 


How do I bring the pipeline to light? How will people be able to understand the affects of the pipeline onto the landscape? I wanted to reinterpret the pipeline's experience to human scale. For the mountain ecology, I decided to bring the user up the hill, but enclosed by walls, with equally spaced view points that diminish in width the closer they reach the top. It begins to be a frustrating experience, as you are enclosed and cannot see beyond, the walls being 3 feet above head height (about the height the pipeline is underground).  The viewer reaches the viewing platform at the top, and then takes an open ramp back down. The compressive, uncomfortable qualities of being underground, and the energy needed to climb the mountain, creates a sort of allusion to the aggravating marks the pipeline causes against the landscape, hidden from view below.

What did reviewers think?

People from all sort of professions and backgrounds came to review us, outside the practice of architecture. It was a bit entertaining, to have a textile artist, environmentalist, ecologist/ activists etc come see our work. 

My architectural reviewer had the opinion that something more educational and informational for the user would have been a stronger direction. I think he just wanted some sort of museum, but that completely defeated the direction I wanted. He advised to expose, physically, the pipeline, by revealing parts of it hidden underground, such as Italy does with the Roman ruins, protected by glass. One reviewer wanted my daylighting proposal to emerge from the ground, and then return to earth (which was an appealing idea to me). Another reviewer (alongside the opinions of my professor) thought my strongest point was my initial research, that is, revealing the visibility of the line through time on google earth, and wanted a project that better enhanced this research. 

All in all, most people thought it was extremely playful and intriguing. It challenged so many parts of my brain, trying to piece together the bigger issue of global warming, this abstract issue of architecture's role and representation. Days and nights were spent contemplating and thinking how to create something artistic, but meaningful. Something convincing, and understood. The studio made so much sense to me at the very end, when we all looked back at our projects, and found the accumulation of work connecting to one another. At the time, we had no idea what we were doing, not even at the very start. Looking back, it was extremely amazing to see all sorts of approaches and stances people had, politically, and architecturally towards the design problem. This studio challenged me to see the problem, outside of the immediate realm, and into the larger picture. It taught me how to integrate research, analyses, communication, and graphic representation into a project. It taught me to think of architecture in words and information, and mappings, understanding that sometimes the design problem has a connection to something greater than itself.