Monday, April 26, 2010

design[ing] happiness

i couldn't decide on just one space that makes me happy, so i decided to post three. different elements of each appeal to me and make me happy.

this room makes me happy because of the neutral colors and the large windows. i like a lot of natural light and floor-to-ceiling windows are a must-have for me! the stone walls on the interior give the room a natural, earthy feel which puts me at piece.

this second room also has the same neutral, calm effect as the previous one. the contrast between furniture frames and cushions, as well as the subtle bursts of color, appeal to me. the horizontal lines of the room make me feel comfortable and embraced.

this final room appeals to my new sense of color. i have recently fallen in love with the color scheme of grey, white, and one other color, preferably yellow or coral. this room uses grey, but manages to stay bright and cheery with the use of yellow and white to keep everything light, airy, and clean.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

process reflection

overall, i am happy with the final phase of the unity village project. it was interesting the way we narrowed our focus through the three phases from the entire range of residents down to a specific set of users. although i felt the project was a little rushed for the time frame we were allotted, i did learn more about how i work as a designer and the process i must go through. for example, using the trace paper to draw quick floor plan variations helped me step outside of the floor plan i thought i wanted to use and kept me from being stuck with one design. i also used this project to try a new rendering style. i printed out a sketchup perspective with textures. i then hand rendered over it, adding pen marks and shade and shadow using markers. it took several tries to get the final result, which i still felt could have been better. i would use this technique in the future with minor changes to make it look perfect.

looking back through the project, i appreciate the process work we had to collect because it is nice to follow the project from conception to realization. being able to see how the design developed is helpful not only for me as a designer, but also for clients. design is all about revisions because the first design is never the final design. after looking at the process books of my classmates, i realized how different everyone's process was. a good designer knows how to recognize which ideas can be developed further and which should be left behing. this semester has helped me improve this skill and appreciate the work and development that is required to create a good design.

Monday, April 19, 2010

floor plan development

i tried this floor plan in which the two students share a bedroom. although it seems to help with the layout and integrating the communal spaces, i realize the importance of privacy and personal space. college students want a sense of ownership over their room and a place to call their own.

... so i went back towards the first plans i developed with two bedrooms. after desk critiques, i was encouraged to integrate the poker and living areas. the shape of the space is difficult to create a cohesive room. i also have been struggling on how to make the poker table adaptable/storeable. in this floor plan, i had the table folding out of the wall. however, it would be difficult get all the seats around it when poker is in session. back to the drawing board...

more inspiration...

originally, i planned to use floor seating to manipulate the scale in the living room and create a new experience when viewing the television.

my idea for floor seating came from video game chairs. every guy i know that plays video games does so in a reclining position. my brother and cousins all have these game chairs, which sit on the floor. in the final space, i also will add ottomans as an alternative seating position. when i see people watch spots, including myself, they usually are in an upright forward position, often on the edge of their seats. the ottomans will offer that alternative in the living room.

i chose this kitchen because of the open shelves and simple colors that make it look clean and uncluttered. the contrast draws the eye to the countertop and emphasizes the horizontal lines in the room.

the entertainment center shelves are one continuous surface, which provides a fluid, integrated look. it also has a sleek, modern feel, which is what i want to bring to the space.

Friday, April 16, 2010

floor plan

this is closer to the final floor plan for the apartment. it includes a living room, bar, kitchenette, poker area, full bath, and two bedrooms. the struggle was working with the curves and angles to accommodate all necessary space while minimizing wasted space. it is still a work in progress, but this is the stage i'm at right now.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

jeff linn [design strengths]

when asked to discuss the strengths of another classmate, i chose to talk to jeff linn. he told me he was good at bridging the gap between aesthetics and function with his designs. it is easy to design something purely aesthetic or purely functional, but a satisfactory balance is not as easily attained. thinking about jeff's work throughout the past semesters i find that i agree with strength. in our foods lab project last semester he created a healthy balance between the two. he found creative ways to solve spatial dilemmas while also creating an interesting and stylish interior. this is an important skill for any designer to possess. having knowledge of precedents that handle problems successfully and being open to unexpected sources of inspiration will help me also achieve the same success.

Monday, April 12, 2010

living area development

in the living area, i wanted to create a multimedia environment that manipulated scale. there are four screens that can collectively show one picture (like a movie theater) or each can have a separate picture (great for watching multiple sports games or multi-player video games). the seating is at the floor level to make the user feel smaller compared to the screen
and the whole area.

these are the initial models done in sketchup. the top of the seat has an extended bar area, which can be used for dining.

a little inspiration for shape and scale...

space planning

phase III : clients and concept

for the final phase of the unity village project, my clients are grant jones and jamel clark. grant is a 23 year old undergraduate at uncg. he is an english major who needs complete silence when working on writings. he does not cook and eats most of his meals out. every tuesday and thursday, he hosts a poker night with his roommate. jamel is 21 years old, also an undergraduate at uncg. his major is computer science. he is captain of the lacrosse team and needs storage for his athletic equipment. he enjoys having friends over to watch sports and play video games. like his roommate, he eats most of his meals out or on campus.

based on the previous phase of this assignment, my concept about making connections between different times, styles, and people. in the design of the first floor, my group focused on using a mix of old and new elements, while also putting new twists on old ideas. i will push the latter idea further in the design of this apartment. i want to rethink the traditional atmosphere and feeling of an apartment and the elements within it... a new twist on apartment living.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

collection of standards

-minimum bedroom width : 2.1 m
-minimum floor area : 11.4 sq. m
-minimum size for secondary bedroom : 10' x 12'
-double occupancy bedroom : net area 14.7 sq. m
-24" for major circulation path (door - closet, etc)
-36" in front of dresser, closet, and chest of drawers
-42" at one side of bed for dressing
-6" between side of bed and side of dresser
-22" on one side of bed for circulation
-12" on least used side of double bed (lease used side of twin bed can be placed against wall)

-depth : 2'
-length : at least 5 linear ft
-at least 5'4" of clear hanging space
-lowest shelf not over 6'2" above floor
-one shelf and rod with at least 12" clear space above shelf

[living room]
-minimum width of living/dining room : 11 - 12' (but preferably 14')
-minimum floor area : 180 sq. ft (but preferably 200 sq. ft)
-desirable conversation distance : 10' in diameter

-shower minimum size : 36" x 42" (24" door/entrance)
-minimum area (for bathroom with double sinks) : 63 sq. ft
-sink dimensions : 19 - 24" deep ; 37 - 43" above floor
-distance from front of sink to wall : 48" (with 36" circulation space)

[furniture dimensions]
-stools : H - 36" W - 18" D - 20"
-sofas : -apartment size : 72 - 80" x 32 - 36"
-sectional : 92 - 96" x 72 - 76" x 32 - 36"
-loveseat : H - 30 - 36" W - 60 - 66" D - 32 - 36"
-lounge chair : H - 30 - 33" W - 26 - 39" D - 29 - 36"
-beds : -twin : W - 39" L - 75 - 80"
-full : W - 54" L - 75 - 84"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

my strengths as a designer...

my strength as a designer is in designing for the specific user group of the space. i strive to take a variety of elements into account and really design the space to suit their needs. in all that i do, i create an environment that is inviting and draws people into the space. i stay true to my concept and use that central idea to drive subsequent design decisions. the result is a cohesive environment that is tailored to the users.

user needs :: undergraduate male students

Saturday, April 3, 2010

unity village : floor plans

[reflected ceiling plan]

[dimensioned floor plan]

unity village : first floor perspectives

[main entrance hallway]

[reception desk at entrance] : this serves as an information hub for residents and guests alike. it is one of the main focal points on the floor.

[views of administrative offices]

[central lounge]

[convenience store] : rather than a traditional store atmosphere, we created an intimate boutique feel with the convenience store. the store hold all the essentials for each resident group without feeling impersonal or overcrowded.

[looking from the entrance to the community cafe] : with the intended aesthetic of old vs. new, i incorporated new interpretations of old ideas. instead of a coffered ceiling, i lowered the ceiling panels and made them lights. the carved legs as columns is an idea inspired by the work of marcel wanders. the central coffee counter has bar seating on the back side, also working to foster social interaction.

[view of computer lounge and back of community cafe] : the long, conference style table is meant to get strangers to sit together, encouraging conversation and community.

Friday, April 2, 2010

uv critique : neighborhood c


Reviewing the Unity Village projects, I was pleased to see a range of solutions to the design challenges associated with the project. The neighborhood I evaluated was Neighborhood C.

Clairissa and Carlos designed the ground floor. Their main inspiration was the jellyfish and the organic, integrated lines associated with it. A major strength within their design was that they integrated all elements in a seamless way. They thought outside the box and did not get stuck in what a typical workout area looks like. With the idea of compression and release, I would challenge them to make the contrast between more areas more dramatic. I would also ask how the spaces meet the needs of all the users. How did you come up with the concept and how does that relate to the function of the space and the intended users. Overall, I think the final product will be very creative and unique.

Cassandra and Hailey Allen designed the first floor around the idea of chaos and order. The vibrant colors created an energetic feel and unified the space. However, using green on every wall became a bit monotonous and boring. Perhaps using different colors or variations of green to add a bit of differentiation between rooms on the floor.

The second floor was designed by Veronica, Wes, and Hailey Preston, with a concept of oasis : release. The open floor plan and circulation paths worked well with the concept, allowing free movement through the floor in all directions. Merging interior and exterior through the greenhouse was also a great way to increase the open feel. Some possible improvements are different seating arrangements or seating sizes to encourage social interaction. The forms in the space now do not seem to serve that function well. I would also utilize a recurring graphic to unify the space more than it is now. The images in the visual presentation were well rendered, but many of them were too small to be seen clearly. In the future it would be helpful to have the images larger for the audience.


Our design of the first floor in unity village as developed greatly from the beginning of the project. We did a good job of integrating new and old elements and starting to use old objects in new ways. This idea of new interpretations of old elements could be developed and pushed further throughout the entire space to make a bolder statement. The design was successful in creating an inviting environment that made users feel at ease and at home. In the future I would approach the inspiration-finding stage differently. I was just looking for images of vintage and new patterns, rooms, etc. It would have been more helpful for me to take the idea of old and new and abstract it to come up with a wider variety of ideas. I would have also trusted my crazy (out of the box) ideas from the beginning. For example with the large columns as old legs, which is an idea I got from Marcel Wanders. I considered using this in the beginning but thought it was too farfetched. This project has taught me a lot about my design process and how to start developing a concept and a subsequent design. In the future, I will be able to successfully abstract an idea to yield a strong concept that guides my design decisions. I will also start by thinking outside the box and voicing all my crazy ideas. From this I can tone down the ideas if necessary, but still have an interesting, creative design.

lobby from marcel wanders' mondrian south beach hotel : used columns as inspiration for community cafe in unity village

community cafe in unity village