Beautiful thesis projects abound at the presentations last Friday... a busy semester coming to a close giving way to a promising Summer and a formal beginning of my own thesis. My work this semester has focused on becoming literate in various scripting languages and diving deeper into the possibilities enabled by Building Information Modeling, parametric softwares and simulation tools to assist and enhance the quality of design. Themes in the thesis projects ranged from bio-remediation and adaptive re-use of neglected spaces, utilization of infrastructural space such as the spandrels beneath bridges and adaptive or customizable architecture that imitates infrastructure. A group research thesis designed community oriented housing for the rapidly urbanizing Tianjin, China.
Ileana Acevado's 'Extreme Modalities' analyzes and presents possible utilizations of space under an Emeryville highway, striving to create an architectural procession while preserving the unique skating/vagrant culture that exists on the current site.
David Dana's adaptive re-use and bioremediating solution for a bayview shipyard.
Gunwook Nam's layered acrylic/e-flute site model rendered the aquatic scene in a clear and unique way.
My own trip to China was an invigorating and surprising experience as I was exposed to the speed and vibrancy of Chinese culture. The challenges are being faced here are more of a tangible reality when one breathes the sticky chemical laced air of South Chengdu, where the air from the industrial sector is funneled by predominant Northeast winds. We visited the Sichuan Design Institute, Sichuan University and had a great time visiting the students of Tongji University in Shanghai who are also submitting to the competition.
Back to work! I look forward to posting updates with the work from this semester and two great group projects come to a close.
Architecture Research Lab specializes in design and construction technology and is located in Berkeley, California - www.archresearchlab.com