Sep '06 - Dec '09
I just realized today that I haven’t worked on a project by myself since our first studio project in the fall. The Professors were discussing what our groups should be producing on Friday and it dawned on me that I was in a group once again. It’s not that I don’t like working it groups it’s just that our studio always brainstorms together, well most of us. We feed of each other and bounce ideas back and forth. It makes for a “healthy” studio as one of our professors would say. Even though I would like to work by myself I like the happy little accident that I fell into. My two teammates are always upbeat and ready to work. I think I’m paired up with the two most opinioned people in class. Which is great for our project because we are just bouncing away with ideas but not agreeing on a cohesive program is becoming quite a nuisance.
For our group evaluation we are to identify our weaknesses and work to build these skills up, whatever they maybe. Not to toot my own horn but I think I’m balanced in my skills. I can draw, model, sketch, and formulate ideas satisfactory but I’m not “GREAT” at any particular skill, which I would like to be. I think I want to work on drawing skills even more from last semester. One can’t over practice right? I know I can’t express my ideas in architectural terms consistently. You know like point, line, plane, and volume to describe the features you used to create your architecture. I usually use the “column here, an arch there, or this triangle here” method of describing things. Looks like I need more Unwin in my life right now. I found out recently that I have to un-teach myself certain things that I have learned in the past but I’m confident that it will benefit me in the future.
On another note I have been preparing a discussion that I want to bring up with my first year Professor who is definitely a fan of Seaside, Florida, a model town for New Urbanism. I just found out that approximately 30 families live there year round. The rest of the time it’s vacation homes. What kind of community is that? I thought these towns were supposed to encourage “community.” Is this the model for a New Urbanist town? Half the families are not even there for more than half the year. It’s this in-fill housing project and my constant discussions with my boss about building more affordable housing that has got me thinking on how to implement these ideas into Urban Towns. I know that the initial agenda for these planned communities are to incorporate mixed used units but it doesn’t always end up that way. For example, East Beach in Norfolk, Virginia was designed by UDA to be a mixed used community. However, it didn’t turn out that way. These homes started turning out to be around the $500,000+ range. Well what middle average income family could afford that? It ended up gentrifying the community. I mean across the GIANT field they decide to separate themselves from the rest of the community is a strip club. Platinum the Gentlemen’s club. So I decided to read up to prep for this discussion. This will be weird since I’m a New Urbanism fan but I’m starting to see holes in the way they implement their ideas. This requires more research on my part. Maybe I’ll turn this into my thesis but that’s still a ways off but certainly not a bad topic to argue.