Archinect

University of Washington (Erin)

  • A belated ending

    Clearly I slacked on my blogging duties during my last month of school. So much happened that I didn’t have time to blog, and by the time I did I felt it was too late. However, the powers that be assure me that it’s never to late to end things right, so I thought I’d wrap up the story for the few people who were following along.

    In June, I presented my thesis, previously chronicled here, here, here, and here. It included a redesigned version of the Seattle Bicycling Guide Map, a plan for BikeStops (bus-stop sized structures that deployed the map and other navigation and physical support into neighborhoods), and a plan for new signage and path markings for the City of Seattle.
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    Oh, and of course a fatty book explaining and detailing it all. My project was well received, and several members of the Seattle Department of Transportation attended as well. The faculty were most interested in the BikeStops; the city was most interested in the map. As a result, the project has ended up winning an AIGA (re)design Award over the summer, and earning me a contract with SDOT to work with them on a redesign of the Bicycling Guide Map based on my ideas. The city has of course added a lot of content that they wanted to include, but I think it will turn out really well. It should be available here in a few months. A sidenote though, probably the best feedback I got out of all the pieces was on the logo. I’d never thought of myself as a branding person, but maybe I should be!
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    I also had the chance to take point on the design of the MFA Exhibit, which was a part of Design ‘09. It was a ton of fun to do, and was a great opportunity not only to get something designed and put up quickly, but to really see what all of my colleagues had been working on. Of course I talked with many of them about their projects throughout the year, but seeing the final results and the detail and depth of ideas presented was really amazing. We laid out the space with an intro wall, and then each MFA grad got a space in which to display their work, which was entirely up to them (though we set a couple of loose guidelines to help people coordinate). Since the six of us plus a few friends and spouses built this ourselves, it was a lot of fun; building walls, dragging other walls up stairs, painstakingly painting all those letters til the finish was right… yeah, can’t say I miss that. But it was very satisfying to see the result.
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    So after graduation, go figure nobody was banging down my door to go work for them. I had a whole lot of emails and phone conversations that basically amounted to “Love your work, but there aren’t any jobs to be had here.” So when my lease ran out in Seattle, I drove down to spend some time with my mom in Phoenix. After some seriously lack-of-job-related depression set in, I hopped a bus to Los Angeles and stayed with some absolutely saintly friends for a month. A bit after that I finally landed work in the research department of a respected industrial design firm. I design client presentations and corporate collateral. I wish I could be more specific, but I suspect that most of my stuff is covered under non-disclosure agreements. The exciting thing is that I get to exercise all the grad school theory muscles pretty frequently. Anyway, the point is that after many very rough months, life is finally back on track for me and I can look back on the grad school adventure with fondness, and finally had time to write about it. I miss Seattle and all my classmates and students, but I think I’m where I’m supposed to be. So, I guess this is me signing out. For continued updates, see my website which should be getting a makeover in the next couple of months. I may even add a blog. : )


  • thesis update

    First off, congratulations to all the bloggers who have graduated already---I'm incredibly jealous!!! I don't graduate until June 11th, so I'm in the middle of thesis crunch right now. I have to have my book designed by next wednesday to get it to the printer, so I'm about to hibernate for the...


  • what's the matter with paper?

    Right now, I really wish I could be a normal graphic designer and just print things on paper and be done with it. It would be so much less work. But I can't bring myself to do it, so I end up building things, melting things, making things out of strange stuff for every big project that I do. It's...


  • exhibit going up

    It is FINALLY time---the exhibit I've been working on since September is opening this Friday! Today we visited the builder, Turner Exhibits at their work space to see how it was coming. Because of budget, this is the first time we've been able to see most of the design at full scale in any...


  • what to send, what to send...

    Anyone want to take a gander at my new website and tell me, what do you think my best three projects are? It's getting to be job-hunt time, and I'm trying to decide what projects to put into a teaser portfolio. I'm a little conflicted on which projects to use, have a lot of thoughts running around...


  • publication design

    I've been a bad, bad blogger all quarter. But I promise, I'll make it up to you! I'll start with pretty pictures of a book I worked on all quarter for my publication design class (and follow up with an exhibit later this week, and some thesis stuff next week)... The book is supposed to be a...


  • Quick Survey!

    I haven’t had much sleep and my judgement is off. I talk myself into one thing one minute, and the opposite direction the next. So, this is where you come in… I’m searching for a big attention grabbing bicycling statistic for a feature position on a poster, and I’d love...


  • Still alive! and considering a (screen)name change

    My archinecting has really dropped off recently. I don’t post comments because I figure I should be blogging, but then I don’t have time to actually blog! Winter quarter of second year is known for being a killer in my program, and it truly has been. The reason for this is that...


  • Wait, you mean the quarter is over?! (aka, HELP!)

    Because I couldn’t tell. Seriously, I’m still working! Open to Question is scheduled to debut in April, so we’re full speed ahead with design refinements and talking to fabricators on that, and the thesis won’t be done until June. So really, the end of the quarter only...


  • Learning from Teaching

    I have been meaning to post about this for a long time… I swear I started this blog entry months ago and have never gotten around to finishing and posting it. No more! I’ve been TAing a course called Information Visualization and Aesthetics, and I think it’s finally time to go...


  • Good News!

    So I’ve mentioned that I am re-taking Environmental Design for my fall studio, and hinted that there was a good reason for this. I didn’t really know that at the time, but I hoped it, and I know it now. I did not fail environmental design the first time around, in fact my grou’s...


  • Global Green: Urban Design for Walkable, Bikeable Cities

    Just a quick post because I thought some of you would be interested… Tuesday night I attended a lecture panel at the UW CAUP. We heard presentations from four different speakers, and then I presume there was some discussion, but to my extreme embarrassment I had to skip out during the...


  • Road Hazard

    To start with, I offer my deepest apologies to any motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians who may have been disturbed by my research this morning, and thank everyone whose image I captured. I spent the morning working on how to take pictures and ride my bike at the same time, while ostensibly doing...


  • Shoot, better get to work on my thesis.

    So I started school last week. Finally. I know we’re one of the last campuses to get going, and I took advantage of this by spending 7 weeks abroad: 5 in Rome as part of the design program, one in Paris, and one in London, just for fun and because I was over there already. I had never been...


  • Catching Up Post #2: Winter Quarter + good news

    So I like the idea of recapping last year, but my last post just got too dang long. Please bear with me as my editing skills hopefully continue to improve... For the Winter quarter catchup, I’ll just give the highlights, and some exciting current related news. The class most worth noting in...


  • Catching Up Post #1: Fall Quarter

    Since I am starting this blog at the beginning of my second year of school, I wanted to recap my first year and explain the structure of the program I am in. I had envisioned that as one post, but have now decided to do a separate post for each quarter, because apparently I’ve been quite...


  • Hi, my name is Erin, and I am a recovering architect

    So I’m sure when you read that this blog is by a student in an MFA program in Visual Communication Design, you probably wondered what on earth it was doing in the Archinect school blogs. I actually graduated from the USC B.Arch program in 2005, and despite having interned at a number of...


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