Aug '05 - Jan '11
Okay, so I'm going to close out the summary of the first year and then try to mix things up a bit here. I've been reading other peoples' blogs all day and I'm starting to think that my blog is boring in comparison. The goal is to ramble less about my projects and to make more pithy observations. No guarantees, mind you!
This was the flyer for a party I threw at the beginning of the year. It is supposed to represent the inevitable loss of innocence, a reference to the day I lose my irreverance for the Almighty Le Corbusier. (That happened this summer, by the way, when I traveled to Poissy and walked through Villa Savoye.)
So anyway, here is the abbreviated, whirlwind tour of the rest of my first year.
Winter Quarter '06
I started learning CAD on my own, since they don't teach it in class. That's fine with me, I prefer teaching myself software anyway. Plus all of us classmates share knowledge when necessary. Next year we'll have a 3D class on FormZ, Rhino, 3DS Max.
Got heavily into Sketchup... taught it to myself (and some of my classmates) and used it to develop pretty much all of my projects for the end of last year. Here are a few samples of the work:
This next one was my final project for winter quarter. I think the fenestration is really messed up, I did some of it at the last minute (I know, not a good strategy). But the reviewers liked my programmatic approach to the unique program, which was for a divorced couple who shared a business and a daughter. It was chosen for the school's website gallery and student archives, so I have already written some text about it. However, I have sworn not to ramble, so I'm going to resist pasting it in here.
Here's a shot of the mayhem at the end of Winter Quarter:
This was a rougher quarter. Started with a pretty serious crisis in confidence. Ideas were hard to come by, nothing seemed to be working. I really respected my studio professor's opinion, and wanted her to love my projects. Once I let that go, things got easier. Still didn't love my projects, though. Here are a few pics:
I was pretty exhausted by the end of the year, despite never pulling an all-nighter (it's my goal to maintain this distinction for all 3 years)... I guess the key is to be working on a project pretty much every waking minute (playing ping-pong counts).
I was a bit dispirited by studio the final quarter, but in the end it didn't matter much, because they were dangling the big "summer trip" carrot and that was pretty hard to not be excited about. More about that later.
I think I need to completely revamp my design process. I found that I spent too much time refining my digital models (down to the handrail details, etc) and not enough time building and exploring with my physical models. I would finish my digital model and drawings at about 1am the night before final crit, leaving me 5 or 6 hours to build a model based on computer generated templates and laser-cut pieces. It worked fine, and I was able to resolve a lot of design issues in the 3D environment, but there is something missing. I want to be more free with my creative instincts and work free form with physical materials throughout the process. I think I've hemmed myself in a bit with the computer.
I get stuck in a rut sometimes because I feel like I need a real REASON to do something, to design something in a certain way. I am both inspired and revolted by the idea of integrating the "accident" into the design, like a warbly line from an Alvar Aalto sketch. It's OK to be whimsical, they say. I suppose it is a fear of not having a rational, logical, or even literary or filmic explanation for any specific design component.
In review, I got some compliments on my drawings and a few of my projects were very well received (we won't talk about the others)... but I feel like I haven't unlocked my spatially inquisitive side in any meaningful way. I'd like to take more risks this year and at least have some beautifully crafted physical models. Frankly, my models looked like crap this year, I just didn't put the hours into them. Anyway, I feel like I'm in a better position to do this, particularly after having had the spatial experiences of this summer (blog coming soon) as a reference. We'll see.
Up next: Lecture Series and Knowlton Banvard Gallery 2005-06