Friday, October 31, 2008

more concept reading?

try james c. snyder + anthony j. catanese, editors. introduction to architecture. there's a section in that book related to concepts that you might find useful.

a matter of scale

we keep forgetting to announce that the scale for the long section and cross section should be 1/2"=1'0" for your submissions at the end of the semester. you may find it most convenient to be working at that scale.

expanding upon a brand

No matter your political leanings, the designers whose work is featured on Design for Obama, offer many lessons in how to take a brand and manipulate it to communicate a variety of messages.  The site, designed to prove that "poster art is not a dead medium", hints at the impact your efforts (especially those of the postcard and communication groups) can have within our community.

stains for obama by dumbrobot
something is stirring by Dylan Lindstadt
States United for Obama by renee823
Polar Bears for Obama by craftysquid

In an effort to remain non-partisan, we searched for Designers for McCain but didn't find a site featuring this work.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

design spotlight: i.arc

follow the links below to learn how other disciplines within the interior architecture department are impacting the community through design:

[us] urban s t u d i o -a design/build studio- broke ground this past tuesday on a project that will house five underage mothers who are in need for a shelter to live.

the uncg IIDA campus center was involved with an all night design charrette this past friday to develop design ideas for the renovation of the local salvation army family store on lee street. click here to read more from news + record.

group photo taken at 3am after stomachs were filled courtesy of steak and shake!

students hard at work developing design ideas for the interiors of the salvation army store

design spotlight: greensboro 10-year plan

sara easterling has found a direct example on how greensboro is impacting the community through design. read below to read the explanation of greensboro's 10-year plan to end homelessness:

design spotlight: greensboro october exhibit

thanks to lily glover for the find - look whats happening in october in greensboro,nc:

"There is an exhibit at the Blue Diamond Gallery on Elm Street this month that would be worth seeing. I feel that art and design are very closely related. Art galleries, like the Blue Diamond Gallery, are full of inspiration for designers. This particular exhibit will be lasting until the 31st of October and will feature the art of five local artists, Sterling Edwards, Vicki Johnson, Scott Harris, Ken Hobbson and Windy Lampson as well as the international artist Michelle Courier. Designers can pull inspiration from color, texture, composition, subject, and meaning of the artwork. I especially enjoyed the work of Scott Harris through his use of unique compositions as well as geometric forms, like in the image shown above. Sterling Edwards was also noteworthy with her use of texture, creating blurred landscape paintings with her short brush strokes. The use of repetition in Windy Lampson’s Sugar Packets is a common theme in many furniture, graphic, product and architectural designs seen today. Both artists and designers alike take inspiration from the environment surrounding us, why not get inspiration from each other?"

Friday, October 24, 2008

If you can't explain your ideas to your grandmother in terms that she understands,you don't know your subject well enough.

Some architects, instructors, and students use overly complex (and often meaningless!) language in an attempt to gain recognition and respect. You might have to let some of them get away with it, but don't imitate them. professionals who know their subject area well know how to communicate their knowledge to others in everyday language.

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School
-Matthew Fredrick

A good designer isn't afraid to throw away a good idea

Just because an interesting idea occurs to you doesn't mean it belongs in the building you are designing. Subject every idea, brainstorm, random musing, and helpful suggestion to careful, critical consideration. Your goal as a designer should be to create an integrated whole, not to incorporate all the best features in your building whether or not they work together.
Think of a parti as an author employs a thesis, or as a composer employs a musical theme: not every idea a creator conjures up belongs in the hand! Save your good but ill-fitting ideas for another time and project- and with the knowledge that they might not work then, either.

101 things I learned in architecture school
-Matthew Fredrick

Good designers are fast on their feet

     As the design process advances, complications inevitably arise- structural problems, fluctuating client requests, difficulties in resolving fire egress, pieces of the program forgotten and rediscovered, new understandings of old information, and much more. Your parti-once a wondrous prodigy-will suddenly face failure. 
     A poor designer will attempt to hold onto a failed parti and patch local fixes onto the problem areas, thus losing the integrity of the of the whole . Others may feel defeated and abondon the pursuit of an integrated whole. But a good designer understands the erosion of a parti as a helpful indication of where a project needs to go next.
When complications in the design process ruin your scheme, change-or if necessary, abandon-your parti. But don't abandon having a parti, and don't dig in tenaciously in defense of a scheme that no longer works. Create another parti that holistically incorporates all that you now know about the building.

101 things I learned in architecture schoo
- Matthew Fredrick

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Improved design process,not a perfectly realized building, is the most valuable thing you gain from one design studio and take with you to the next.

Design studio instructors, above all else, want their students to develop good process. If an instructor gives a good grade to what appears to you to be a poor project, it is probably because the student has demonstrated good process. Likewise, you may see an apparently good project receive a mediocre grade.Why? Because a project doesn't deserve a good grade if the process that led to it was sloppy, ill-structured, or the result of hit-and miss good luck.

101 things I learned in architecture school
-Matthew Fredrick

design spotlight

research. explore. discover

travel outside of studio and find a design project, event, place or person [associated with any design field] that is currently taking place within Greensboro. write a succinct 150 word narrative describing and explaining its importance to Greensboro and the design world. submit your narrative -along with a visual[s] supporting your narrative- to the design drop box [under the community by design folder] by 4pm Friday October 24th.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

student spotlight : sara easterling

During the analysis of the semester, thus far, the class requested feedback about projects that could be used as examples for students to follow.  We believe that Sara Easterling's bus | shelter project illustrates: clarity of writing and drawing; well-rendered sections; useful diagrams; informative details; and appropriate sheet composition.  Sara had some challenges with the concept and title congealing with the other words, some of what she wrote did not appear in what she drew.  Because second-year studio is about learning how to communicate in writing, speaking and drawing, we feel Sara's work exemplifies a good place to be as we continue forward in the semester.  Well done, Sara!

detailing details

Earlier this semester I stumbled upon the website of Greneker Solutions, a company that's mission is to provide retail clients with "exciting solutions, conceptual ideas and manufactured products." While it appears that Greneker is most known for it's production of mannequins, I enjoyed looking through it's portfolio of "thematic presentations." What was most impressive to me were the drawings used to illustrate some of their themed fixtures and interactive displays.

Look how clearly the designers' ideas come across. These are the quality of drawings we should all attempt to produce in order to explain the details behind our ideas this semester. Bear in mind, however, that the designs presented here are examples of "themes" not "concepts."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

design with conscience

in architectural record this month, i discovered an interesting article i found about students making an impact in society while they are still learning in school. well worth a read. i have posted it in the documents section of blackboard for studio. --april

Thursday, October 2, 2008

spinning around connections

as we continue making connections within the community this semester it might be helpful to explore the linkages among people and groups using diagrams similar to this one found in a recent issue of Spin Magazine.  while the relationships we are searching for may be of a different sort (in that they are likely to not include rock stars and models) this example reveals how degrees of separation can be illustrated in a manner legible to all.

Thinking outside of the card deck

So here is a page from the book ecoDesign: the source book by Alastair Faud-Luke. In it there was this example of various approaches to bus stops. Hope this inspires you to mix it up.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

evaluation + more evaluation

after reading the class evaluations from last week, the teaching team has a few observations for you:
[1] most students saw great value in working in teams, though some expressed concern about group dynamics and the ability to find time to meet as particular challenges of this group student remarked "before this charrette, i considered myself a loner; now i think that working with people opens you up to new ideas." another student suggested that letting go and being open to the ideas of others represented a strategy for group work. finally, some students expressed concern their frustration at establishing a meeting schedule for the group only to show up at the appointed time and have others in the group show up late or not at all. in the end, all of these group dynamics are about communication and the spirit of inquiry, both foundations for this studio...and the practice of design.
[2] in thinking about what types of information students wished to hear more about, they noted that explicit information on public speaking would be good as well as how to get our work into the community. both of these issues raised will be addressed explicitly in the coming weeks.
[3] students had many ideas about changes they would propose in the world including something as vague and important as world peace, but also broad topics of sustainability, equality, and integration were mentioned. moreover, students suggested that water provision systems, transportation systems, and university/community relations illuminated other areas of work about social change through design. one student summed it up by writing: "we are a generation of great thinkers but lazy people and it is up to us to actively engage the world around."
[4] students identified the wealth of resources around them (peers, teaching team, clients, human beings) as their greatest surprise, as well as shock and concern over the quality of public transportation and the number of people who rely on it as a sole mode of transportation.
[5] on this issue of the class blog and individual blogs, all students (except one) believed the process of sharing information outward in the digital realm through the blogs to be a significant positive for the studio. some queried about the audience for the blogs beyond faculty and students, many noted challenges technically in getting information up in a timely way. some students requested more analysis of student work, more summary comments as a way to recognize relevant and engaging work in the studio and the community. importantly, one student noted that one's world should be balanced from this digital realm by looking at physical work in the studio. the teaching team believes this to be an exemplary practice.

shelter : shipping container

FYI : you might find this link of interest.