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University of Houston (Michael)

 

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Sep '06 - Nov '08

 
  • Skin Studies

    I know we all have heard it expressed in many different ways how the bottom-up design process works for us in school as a design student. Quite honestly, I really enjoy the concept, but it is not like I specifically think "I must design with the bottom up process to achieve desirable and interesting Architecture School results." I am experimenting...the process is vague, not well documented, and I am loving it.

    I struggle between two schools of thought...literally. For 2 years, I was shown how to make Architecture based on a functional approach or how buildings can be organized, then detailed well with materials...this apparently makes Architecture. Then, I had the opportunity to go to Vienna and hang out with the Wolf D. Prix school of thought that essentially says "fuck program..space is the program!" We experimented and made stuff and then considered its Architectural implications and possibilities. Apparently, this too makes Architecture. Personally, I enjoy the latter much more.

    So, now I feel as though I am conflicted, but maybe more so I am applying a hybrid of these concepts to where I am now. My studio (as well as my final one) is a comprehensive design studio. We need to cover structure, MEP, where firestairs are located, and where delivery trucks can arrive. So, my approach at the beginning was basically a model sequence defining where program was located all with an underlying agenda or concept guiding me. The past semester haunted me while doing this. I can just hear past comments made there by Prix, Reiner, and anyone else asking "so, do you have anything else to talk about besides where program is located?"

    My work took a dramatic turn after the hurricane. It was basically a free for all. At coffee shops, at a borrowed kitchen table, or any other work space I could find that accommodated a macbook pro and a wireless mouse, I was there. Since then, I have been experimenting with scripts that are allowing me to formulate a strategy for how skin, light openings, and structure can all work together. Basically, it starts with a polygon surface built in maya that encloses the programmatic functional models created early on...built by hand with sytro and some museum board. The skin was highly specific in what I hoped for it to accomplish: suggest relationships between space and structure, and to provide a system to define where more or less light is allowed in...roughly based on orientation, but more so on view.

    I am also fascinated with the notion of machine meeting organism(no not orgasm). I am not sure why...it might be because of all the late nights in Vienna looking at old school Coop Himmelb[L]au models while trying to work out 3D models for presentation that roughly look like cells, insects, etc...maybe all of this resulted in my weird fascination (or normal one depending on who you talk to). Attached is basically where I am at. I have this outer shell thing that wraps around what appears to look like some sort of animal bone you might find laying out in West Texas close to Marfa...or maybe something completely different.

    I am lucky. My profs are letting me develop my ideas despite the fact that everyone else is basically making really nice detailed boxes. Sorry guys, I don't get the box. It is irrelevant to me and holds no information anymore. I better get use to it though, I suppose my first "real job" days will quickly familiarize me with how great the box is after all...oh how safe the box is.

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  • Recent Work: Mine+Undergrad Studio

    Here is what I have been working on an investigating. It might appear so, but the study is not completely formal. The models came out yesterday. I let them clean for about 12 hours, but I couldn't get all the support material off. I am going to try again soon. So, the darker parts that show up is...


  • Studio Space Update

    I have not posted much about what is actually being made in Studio because, honestly, it is not much. I am not interested in making excuses, but it has been difficult. Personally, Studio for me is where I can focus, make things, and even relax when I need to. Unfortunately, I have not had the...


  • UH Lecture: Mark Mueckenheim

    Come if you can


  • UH+Ike: All School Meeting and Building Pictures

    Today, Dean Mashburn along with various representatives from the College as well as the University held an all College meeting to discuss the course of action after hurricane Ike hitting last week. Our building suffered the most damage within the entire University (ironic?), and therefore, a whole...


  • Riding out Ike

    Thursday was a waste of time as far as actually going to school. I spent the night building models and working on drawings for our first review,but studio was quickly canceled with the majority of Houston evacuating due to the hurricane. Since I am teaching undergrad studio, I had to make an...


  • Back from Vienna

    I haven't posted in a long while. It has been too long actually. The past year was spent in Vienna at Studio Prix at die Angewandte. Overall, I had a blast and learned a lot. Honestly, the studio culture was quite confusing at times, but I was very fortunate to be able to listen to people like...


  • Angewandte Guest Review: The Bartlett Interactive Architecture Workshop

    per email from school: Students of The Bartlett Interactive Architecture Workshop (unit 14), led by Prof. Stephen Gage, Phil Ayres and James O'Leary, will be presenting studio work in progress (*). Critics will include staff of both Bartlett School and Angewandte schedule: 11:30 introduction...


  • Diploma+Studio Final Reviews: Die Angewandte

    If you're in Vienna you ought to stop by:


  • Beyond the Blue Coop Himmelb[L]au Exhibit at the MAK + Crit with Jeffrey Kipnis and Thom Mayne

    The past two nights have been interesting and rewarding. The Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna just opened a show displaying all of Coop Himmelb[L]au's work over the past 30+ years. Present was Prix, Kipnis (who envisioned with the curators the exhibit), the President of Austria, and the President...


  • Studio Prix Mid Review: Neuroplasticity+Turkish Delight

    I haven't posted in a while. To say I am busy is silly-of course we're all busy. We've only had about 2 weeks dedicated to the development of our Istanbul project, but mid review is still mid review. Prix will be in Studio at noon with a few other outside reviewers. I think we all get about...


  • Studio Prix "Turkish Delight Trip"

    Well, after a week and a half of a stomach virus and an infection, I have found the time to post an entry. It was as if the virus was waiting to overcome me until I got back to Vienna, because as soon as we landed, it was hell for a week and a half. I guess it was all the Kebabs I ate on both the...


  • Vienna-University of Applied Arts, Studio Prix

    Well, in a few weeks I will be headed off to Vienna.  I anticipate learning a lot from fellow students in addition to the professors that will be there while I attend. Essentially, I will take the studio sequence there and fulfill the remainder of my course requirements by myself. The...


  • Final Review: Pittsburgh Steel Museum...Vienna...

    I have neglected to update this blog and I commend those who were able to in the midst of crazy studio deadlines. Tomorrow is our final review of the work we've done for the Steel Museum competition for Pittsburgh. It will be a "walk through" review open to the school in addition to specific...


  • Spring Break...Almost

    Today: Materials & Methods Mid Term Wednesday: Crit (model and drawings) Friday: Quantitative Environmental Systems Mid Term A busy week indeed. I finished a model this weekend. It's huge. The requirement for the crit was a 1"=50', but I did 1"=20' because I wanted to look at it in greater...


  • Project 1 Done. Starting competition Thursday

    Here are some images of the work I completed for our first project. I guess everyone has to design a house in architecture school. I was a little frustrated in regard to the way final requirements are handled: we spend all kinds of time talking and considering the project with rough study models...


  • I got second place-I get to choose a book-Ideas Please

    I got second place for my symphony poster design. Anyhow, the Dean is paying for each of the four finalists to get any architecture book they want. We're going with our studio professors after studio today. I'll take suggestions.


  • First Diagram Model

    This is the first diagrammatic model I have built for the house we're designing. I should have a few more that I will build this week. We're spending about 2 more weeks on it and then we're moving into a 10 week competition project.


  • Symphony Poster...second try

    Here's my second shot for the Symphony Poster competition: I changed the text in the background to be read as a gradiant rather than the radmon opacity changes in the earlier poster:


  • The House After Joseph Cornell

    I feel like there is a similar train of thought that guides the minds of design professors over the age of 50. When they look at your work, they try to relate it to anything they can think of and then try to understand it in those terms. If your work begins to deviate from that notion even the...


  • My First Stab at Marketing/Graphic Design

    The Houston Symphony has held a national competition for young people for the past 31 years. This year, our studio was asked to design the posters that will go out to all the universities advertising the event. The past posters have been pretty traditional. I wanted to try to make mine a little...


  • Almost Done

    Well. It doesn't look like too may people are checking out my previous entry-maybe I don't blame you. The review was pretty frustrating but also a relief. It was informal in the sense that we only had one outside reviewer. I guess that makes sense as we only spent 2.5 weeks on the project. We did...


  • Walden 3 Crit Tomorrow

    Here is the outcome of our 3 week study of how to "design" a new city. We have all been a bit discouraged as the program seemed to be similar to one that should really take a whole semester or even a year, but we had to consider it in only 3 weeks. It is really rough with a lot more left to be...


  • Walden III: Seeking A New City

    We've been charged to discover new implications for the city. We've been given a program that allows for a city to evolve in phases-2-4 thousand each phase to a maximum of 30 thousand. the Site is in the desert in Nevada about 80 miles from a medium sized city. A research and manufacturing plant...


  • Final Review:Public Gallery & Criticism for Bozeman, Montana Municipal Airport

    It has been over a month since I posted last. I am impressed with guys like +q who manage to post with the demands of the GSD. I poured myself into this project. I have been working on presentation drawings and the final model for a while. Today was our Final Review of sorts;however, it was more...


  • Montana Airport: Specific Diagrams & Section Studies Deadline

    Bruce Webb headed to Chicago today for something. So, studio was a little more relaxed. We have a week to work on updated plans, a site plan, and a section model. The section model is to be a 40' section detailing the construction of the airport. I was still in limbo as to how I am going to...


  • 2 Week Review: Montana Airport

    Yesterday, I presented the work accomplished after 2 weeks of developing the Montana airport studio project. The presentation was pretty rough. It was a quick compilation of anything I had, but I tried to put it in some sort of cohesive presentation. Here is essentially what I presented-except for...


  • Montana Airport Terminal: Mid Review and Recent Work

    Yeah, so we're criting next week in two groups. I am going Wednesday and then people in the other group will go on thursday. Essentially, we just have to have a a plan, section, site plan, and a model. Right now, the model isn't in a finished state. Primarily, it will be something like a diagram...


  • Design Build Picture Show

    Damien, one of the guys in my design build studio worked with his manual camera while at the site this past weekend. I got some of the photos off the cd made while the role was being developed. I think these pictures are beautiful:


  • Project 2: The Airport Terminal

    We pinned up our first project yesterday. None of us really knew what to expect. During our first year of school, we were conditioned to have to defend our work. In this case, Bruce Webb, had us pin up in a lecture room around the walls. We got that taken care of in about 15-20 minutes and then...


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