Wednesday, November 25, 2009

case piece :: pantry

this is just a snippet of my final studio project. we each designed a customized case piece for the space. mine was a pantry. it has a pentagonal shape with a tv, cabinet for ipod dock, and dry-erase board on the exterior. because of brother ali's hip-hop background, i felt the music and tv were important to make the space feel personalized.

concept composite

our final project in studio is to design a residential kitchen for a celebrity. my client is brother ali and i chose a geode for my concept. i felt this fit him because he has two sides [hip-hop artist vs. family man]. the center of a geode is bright, bold, and unexpected, all qualities that i find in brother ali after researching him.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

[F, F & E] close-up

we are designing a residential kitchen in studio, so our drawing assignment this week was to show a furnishing, fixture, or electrical element that was unique to our space. I drew my wall cabinets and emphasized it by making everything else grey.

sytycd :: header

we had a chance to re-do any previous assignment. since i was exempt from designing a blog header that week, i decided to do that assignment. the clock and hour glass symbolize the time we have spent in the major so far, but that our journey is only just beginning.

Friday, November 6, 2009

case study 9 :: axonometrics

after we drew the floor plan, the next step was to do an axonometric drawing. these have gotten a lot easier for me since first year. the biggest challenge with these drawing was getting the level changes right. of these two drawings, i like the black and white better.

case study 9 :: rendered plan

our running project has been working on the entenza house designed by eames + saarinen. we used their floor plan but put some of our own furniture in the space. here is my final rendered plan of the house.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

so you think you can(t) draw

our subject for the drawing competition last week was to draw scale figures. i tried three different styles of figures, while keeping the composition unified with them being beach scenes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

foods lab [re]design

our second studio project was to redesign the nutrition foods lab in the stone building on campus. my concept was at thunderstorm weather system and i channeled the top-heavy, dark quality of the storm. i also used green materials throughout the room to have less of an environmental impact.

entrance into room - personal belonging storage area and laundry

view of student stations and cooking area

looking toward the teacher's station

Thursday, October 1, 2009

gotta get some camera time!

the drawing task for so you think you can draw was to draw a camera and show scale. i chose to draw an old camera because i thought the accordion folds were interesting. the style is a little looser than i normally use, but i had fun with the colors in the picture.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

photoshop [experiment]

in this image, i wanted to increase the contrast and make the shadows dramatic. i used the burn tool to get this effect. i like the fact that it makes the colors themselves darker, not just adding black or grey.

i flattened the colors to get a more cartoon-like feel. i used the brush tool with the darker color setting. this one took the most time out of the three because i had to color over each section.

for the last image, i used the polygonal lasso tool to highlight the couch, rug, floor and ceiling. i then used the hue/saturation tool to change the colors from the originals. the tutorial we had in photoshop was extremely helpful to begin to learn the effects we can create in our pictures.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

color study

our assignment was to render sketchup perspectives in different styles using four colors from a maud gatewood painting. the first perspective was a mixture of loose and tight rendering. i used no straight edges and only markers. i also tried adding shading on the back of the paper... but the color was too dark and ruined my back corner!

in this loose style, i referenced the style of ivo drpic. i added color in layers the way he does, which made this the most challenging of the three renderings.

this is the clean, precise style that i feel most comfortable with. i used colored pencils on top of markers and showed light in a slightly different way than i usually do. overall, i liked this assignment for the fact that it helped me step outside my box.

so you think you can(t) draw: wk 1

this is my entry from week one. they task was to draw a joint... i am almost never caught without jewelry so this was an easy choice for me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

design autobiography

i'm never caught without earrings [and coral is my favorite color]

i definitely want to go back to sydney

it doesn't get much better than natural light

fallingwater [amazing!]

citrus fruits [great taste and colors]

blandwood mansion [historic buildings in general]

venice [city of floating stone]

curves [graceful, elegant]

absolutely love the beach [relaxed, laid-back feeling]

i usually would rather have thunderstorms than a sunny day

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

final [drafting] portfolio

...coming full circle...

As designers get more creative and pull from new resources, INNOVATION is something to strive for. In my sacred space, I used copper walls, molded bamboo furniture, and movable louvers to set my design apart from others. “Botta has added a primal imagery that makes his buildings look very old and yet very new” (Roth 587). This is a hard thing to do, but it is something that can be achieved through innovation and forward thinking. This is what I hope to do in the future. My dream job is to design new houses with the old feel and character, but with a twist. Putting a new spin on old ideas, bringing something new to the table is what innovation is all about.

In my eyes, AUTHENTICITY is achieved in design that has strong roots. “Architecture is conceived of as a collective public entity, built up over time, continuing a dialogue with the past in the present” (Roth 593). I think this speaks to the authenticity of an object, building, or place. Like the nautilus shell, we carry the history of design along with us. This authenticity stems from designers recognizing this fact and taking that into consideration when formulating a design. They pay homage to the past in some way while also moving forward “not simply alluding in obvious ways to adjoining buildings, but by making a multilayered connection to a more encompassing history” (Roth 596).

When designing, it is important to consider the COMMUNITY around it. It is also necessary to consider the types and volumes of people using the space. It is about “creating environments for groups of people, living and working together in ancestral traditional ways” (Roth 607). For our final project in studio, we designed a sacred space for the graduate students. I created an area that could accommodate multiple students, but they could also get privacy in another area. Although it seems we have gotten away from catering to specific functions with our architecture, I think good design has to respond to the surroundings and intended use of the space in some way.

STEWARDSHIP means protecting and caring for places or property. With the threat of global warming and environmental pollution, designers are striving to protect and care for the earth as a whole. Ken Yeang’s Menara Mesiniaga and Malayan Borneo Finance Building in Malaysia are examples of being a good steward for the environment. The open areas allow for easy air circulation throughout the building. The deep recesses in apartment terraces provide shade from the sun (Roth 609). Both buildings respond to the environments, which puts them on the path to more efficient and sustainable design. As we move further into the 20th century and environmental problems, it is more important to develop sustainable design.

This week (and semester) has been about discovering who I am as a designer. I know that I am interested in historic preservation, but how can I use what I’ve learned in these classes to further that exploration and create a unique niche in the world of design. I like older buildings so much because I’ve found, especially through this class, that everything can be traced back to something before it. I also love the fact that no matter how many years pass since antiquity, that period and its architecture will never be forgotten. Designers still reference qualities of ancient architecture. I hope to create timeless designs that are viewed in much the same way.

Roth, Leland M. (2007). Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and Meaning. Boulder, CO: Westview Press

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

[pair]ing down

Every building has some sort of conversation, whether it is a MONOLOGUE or DIALOGUE. Architecture takes multiple elements from a variety of places. Hans Scharoun’s Schminke House has a noticeable dialogue with the buildings of Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. It uses the same materials as Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, but has more energy. Sharp angular forms connect it with the dynamics of Expressionism (Roth 537). With the precedent analysis, the dialogue my building has with the HSB turning torso is best understood when considering the intention of the architects: to create a unique skyline. While these two buildings have a dialogue on one level, my building has a different dialogue with the surrounding skyline, and yet another conversation within itself.

Is it possible for a space to hold two opposing conversations simultaneously? This is the struggle I have with my Sacred Space design. I want to find ways to seamlessly integrate areas of CELEBRATION and MEDITATION into a cohesive whole. Aalto had some success with the library for Mount Angel Benedictine Abbey. The furniture is all wood, black leather upholstery on grey carpet. The color is meant to come from the books (Roth 547). This could be seen as a complete celebration of the purpose of the library – the books. Yet it is also a meditation. The neutral tones keep the energy subdued and restful, which is important in libraries. The effect of celebration vs. meditation can vary based on interpretation, time of day, or by looking at different elements within the room.

The rise of interior designers meant a change in what was ‘good taste’ in home decoration. Interior designers have a way JUXTAPOSING different elements to TRANSPOSE a space. The highly decorative, sometimes cluttered, Victorian features of the past were stripped away. Interiors were transposed to a simpler, cleaner, elegant look (Massey 127). This new style also involved the juxtaposition of dissimilar elements, such as a bold check curtain with a hand-painted wallpaper. Good designers can put elements together in unconventional ways that are still aesthetically pleasing. Surrealist painters “attempted to illustrate the threatening world of the subconscious in their paintings, most often by juxtaposing incongruous elements within the picture-frame to startle the viewer and undermine everyday expectations” (Massey 135). My goal as a designer is to take this same approach. In my sacred space, I have found a way to use marble, bamboo, and copper together in new ways to create a unique room.

In any design, LIGHT and SHADOW are important. Syrie Maugham’s signature was the ‘All White’ interior. She was successful with using shades of white and neutral tones to fill a room in a way that was still interesting. Richard Meier has similar success with his buildings, which were often all white. Yet there was simplicity and a play with light that was intriguing and immensely successful, such as at the Douglas House and the High Art Museum. The significance of the use of white and light in both of these cases is that light seems to represent something new, almost divine. The interesting thing is that Notre-Dame-du-Haut, white materials were used as well, but the emphasis was on shadow on the interior. Throughout history, designers have continued to explore the relationship between light and shadow.

One thing our teachers in studio have beaten into our heads is move away from the LITERAL! Get more ABSTRACT! I have found it easier to take inspiration and abstract it to get ideas for a design. It is helpful to start with the literal interpretation, but eventually this can limit the design and thought process. It is hard to push a design further without thinking deeper. In the image above, I created a pattern by painting around the edges of a leaf. However, sometimes literal is where the design stops. Michael Graves’ design of the Team Disney Building features actual caryatids of the seven dwarves. Instead of trying to convey the essence of Disney, he represented it literally. Salvador Dali took the same approach when designing the ‘Mae West’s Lips’ sofa. These designs communicate in a more straightforward way.

This week is about the voice that architecture has. The story or conversation it has with viewers and other buildings around it. Mario Botta recognized “…a need for architecture to speak once again to people, to become ‘presence’ once again…. a need to reestablish a partnership with people after decades in which architecture was so antiseptic, distant..” (Roth 567). These words get back to the idea of an architecture parlent. All architecture has a voice, an idea it conveys, an emotion it evokes. The words this week remind us of that.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

action verbs...

When we view architecture, we usually SPECULATE about concepts, what’s the purpose/idea behind the design. We may not know the designers thoughts, but from the architecture itself, we can speculate about the original thought process. This is what we are doing with the precedent analysis. Thinking about how that building relates to the context and the experience of the designers. Some designers make it easy to interpret the design because they had a clear, strong concept to start with. Architecture is made to challenge the norms and to make you think. The works of certain designers are considered modern because they were ahead of the times. Le Corbusier felt that "it is a question of building which is at the root of social unrest today: architecture or revolution" (Roth 530). They forced people to rethink the rules of design and to think about what’s possible.

To encourage speculation, a space has to have a certain energy that draws people in. Designers employ a variety of techniques to ENERGIZE the space, product, etc. At Fountain Place, the architect used angled sides and a classic tapering ‘wu-wu’ construction to bring energy to the building. Not only is energy created in the building with the oddly shaped floors and angled windows, the city of Dallas itself is energized with the addition of this building to the skyline. The fact that he outside is all reflective glass indicates that a common way to energize architecture is with natural light. Alexander Girard used natural light wherever possible to provide a natural element within his spaces (Massey 150). At the Postal Savings Bank, Wagner brings energy to all the floors through a skylight and glass block floors that filter natural light through all the floors.

We SHAPE ideas, concepts, furniture, and perceptions (among other things). We posses the ability to craft things into what we want them to be. Charles and Ray Eames used a new technique to mold plywood in unconventional ways. The result was the famous Eames chairs that were like nothing else. The same can be said of a lot of modern furniture designs. “New techniques for moulding and glueing plywood had been discovered by American manufacturers during wartime production for the navy and were now exploited for furniture design, as were plastics with fibre-glass reinforcements” (Massey 155). Molded woods and plastics bring a new fluid aesthetic that is unprecedented. The mark of a good designer is to use already available and cmmon materials to create something unique and interesting. One of the reasons I like Fountain Place and the HSB Turning Torso so much is that they use glass, steel, and aluminum to create works like no other.

The way a design or presentation is COMPOSED reflects the original driving concept of the work. Every detail is important and works together to convey an overall idea. A musical composition involves the juxtaposition and layering of parts to create a harmonious whole. This definition of composition carries across disciplines. Designers must take into account the qualities of the individual parts and integrate them into a seamless whole. The Eames’s home “was constructed from industrial components.. that provided an appropriately Modern setting forth their furniture-designs” (Massey 156). Everything from the steel joints and decking kept with the Modern aesthetic. The TWA Terminal is also a great example. Saarinen took everything into account to express the idea of flight. Every single thing, down to the handrails, has a form that speaks to the idea of flight in some way. These parts flow into one another to create a well-integrated design. My goal is to do the same thing in my ‘sacred space’ project.

Designers are constantly STRETCHING the limits and thinking outside the box. This is the only way to advance. With the changing times and urbanization, there has been a consistent stretching upwards as skyscrapers become the norm. In some areas, the stretching outward of the prairie and ranch houses provides different emphasis on being connected with the land and staying grounded. There has also been a stretching outward across nations. Movements like the Pop, Modern, International styles are spreading internationally. Modernism became "the appropriate progressive image for multinational corporations" (Massey 145). Designers are no longer reaching backward, but reaching laterally within the same time period to different locations. This brings more similarity across nations, rather than distinctions between regions as in antiquity. The result is more international integration of design.

Overall, this week was about how designs and concepts are formulated. Designers have a clear idea of what they want to convey and how they want the viewer to react. A lot of the modern architecture pushes boundaries and forces us to rethink everything we thought we knew about design. Thinking and speculating is the only way to learn and move forward into the future.

Massey, Anne. (1990). Interior Design of the 20th Century. London: Thames & Hudson

Roth, Leland M. (2007). Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and
Meaning. Boulder, CO: Westview Press