Archinect - Columbia GSAPP (George Showman) 2014-04-21T06:11:20-04:00 Summer update... lifeline George Showman 2005-07-07T01:25:40-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Hello again,<br><br> Well, I graduated, thank God, so it's not too clear what further purpose my blog entries can serve. I am hoping to keep this blog open long enough to get my professional webpage and portfolio online, so that I can put a link in here.<br><br> Since graduating, I've mostly been traveling, but part of it was work. I've been lucky enough to find a friend who may commission me to build a house for him and his parents in Fiji. So, he flew me to Fiji and we researched the possibilities. What an eye-opener of a trip! The house-building industry there is quite solid and well-equipped, but the political situation is so tenuous that it's not clear how my client would be able to rent the place once we build it. So we ended up spending a lot of time brain-storming on how to differentiate the house from other rental properties, and perhaps how to define a larger community on our little island that would attract tourists. It's tricky to put forward an environmentally-aware agenda in ...</p> Open-source vector graphics George Showman 2005-05-01T16:47:35-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Okay, people out there in archinect-world don't seem to want to talk about tools, but for those few souls who might care, I just ran across something I probably should have known about long ago: SVG. It's a vector-graphics standard as open as HTML (since it's written by the same people). Apparently Firefox 1.1 may have built-in support for SVG-viewing, allowing vectors to be integrated with HTML documents rather than locked in an image or plug-in frame. Here's the wikipedia entry about it:<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br> I'm excited because I don't think vector graphics should be the domain of Illustrator and Flash and that's it. Ever since I wrote some code in postscript to draw fractals for a computer science class in undergrad, I've been waiting for a wider adoption of open, scriptable vector formats and tools. Obviously SVG is just a format, the tools matter too. Apparently Illustrator already offers support (you can export SVG files).<br><br> I guess that's it. I'm in the fina...</p> Final review notes, thoughts on drawing, digital tools George Showman 2005-04-26T18:53:47-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Well, the final review was yesterday. Overall it was great, the panel was probably the smartest group of people I've ever interacted with. Smart, and varied in their approaches to design. Here's the list of who showed up (as opposed to the 23 people Ed invited, and the 18 who "confirmed"!):<br><br> Brett Steele<br> Joeb Moore<br> Perry Hall (painter and composer/musician, among other things)<br> Andrew McNair<br> Alysa Andracek (sp?)<br> Chris Perry<br> Karl Chu<br> Hernan Diaz-Alonso<br> Urtzi Grau<br> Daniela Fabricius (sp?)<br> Carlo Leitao<br> Mark Wigley (just briefly)<br><br> I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. I was especially impressed by Brett's, Joeb's, and Perry's thoughtful comments, but everybody participated in a spirited way. I was pleased to find that Hernan had interesting things to say after having received the impression he was "anti-theory".<br><br> Anyway the reason I say the review was great is that the critics were really eager to talk about ideas rather than, say, pick projects apart and question the quality ...</p> Cellular automatic fog George Showman 2005-04-20T18:40:30-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Here are some pictures from my ongoing cellular automata work. I had put this aside after an early flirtation with coding in processing early in the semester, but have now come back to it and have finally made a system that exhibits some pretty interesting (if un-surprising) properties. Well, I suppose I would say that while it's not surprising, the overall affect of the thing is very beautiful and shows the kind of rippling change, a ground-swell of a kind, that I am very interested in this semester.<br><br> I wish I could just post the processing code as an applet somewhere, but unfortunately I migrated the code to a java development platform (Eclipse, which isn't too bad) early in the semester, and haven't taken the time to re-wrap the code for export to the internet. You are perhaps scratching your head now. Anyway the point is, I would like to show you this thing moving because basically the cells go through endless cycles of birth, differentiation, and epidemic, and it's quite co...</p> Terra-Nova George Showman 2005-04-18T22:11:50-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:02-04:00 <p>This is a quick one, because I have slightly less than one week until my final review.<br><br> I just wanted to throw in a link to Terra-Nova here, both because I think everybody with any interest in virtual space and virtual communities should read it, but also because there's an entry that is particularly relevant to my studio project:<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br> That's it for now. My virtual fog over L.A., complete with chunks of narrative flotsam that wash up on the beach and circulate through the populace, is still in the works. I will try to post images throughout this week as I produce them, as a way to push myself.</p> Brief trip report, etc. George Showman 2005-04-04T23:51:47-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> We found this plastic baby in the concrete spillway. He became our mascot.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> Tracking radio signals from the sun in the Owens Valley. These dishes were amazingly beautiful, and we were able to walk right up under them.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> The beaches of the Salton Sea are made of fish bones and shells of some kind. Like walking on a bowl of cereal.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> Near Glamis, CA, there is a large chunk of the desert set aside for Off-Highway Vehicle fun. The culture down here involves huge, glossy RVs, big pick-up trucks, and suped-up dune buggies paired Confederate flags. Somewhat creepy.<br><br><br> Finally, a brief breather. It has nothing to do with time, everything to do with confidence. I spent this past weekend trying to kick-start a coherent final project based on all the scattered research I've been doing, but I ended up basically doing more brainstorming and no designing. I almost pulled an all-nighter Saturday night, just trying to get myself to produce. BUT, for some reason after my desk crit today I am ... midterm review report, off to LA George Showman 2005-03-06T22:08:55-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:02-04:00 <p>HI. Well, the midterm review (this past Friday) went fairly well. The discussion was interesting and relatively wide-ranging, and some of my studio-mates' project proposals were fairly clear and interesting. I was kind of all over the place, unfortunately, so I neither made much of an impression nor got too much direction from the review. Did I mention that I really just want to graduate and get out of here?<br><br> But really, I've rarely found reviews to be very helpful to me, probably because my work is never really sufficiently complete to elicit the right comments. Usually critics will try to help me sort things out, but in fact I've already figured out what I should have done, I just didn't get around to doing it.<br><br> This review was a little different, and this studio is a little different, because my ideas are still all over the place and I haven't found a way to focus them. The studio brief is so wide open, and Ed is so tolerant of new directions, that it's very difficult for a...</p> Rem, Wigley, Bouman... Introduction to voluME George Showman 2005-03-01T13:19:26-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Alright, two topics to cover here:<br><br> 1) the "launch" of voluME here at the GSAPP last night, involving Rem, Wigley, Ole Bouman, etc.<br><br> 2) my ongoing studio struggles<br><br> So, voluME... basically these three guys (listed above) gave brief lectures arguing for a "new kind of architectural publication/event" whose only guaranteed constant feature (so far as I can tell) will be its periodicity (bi-monthly, for now). I was generally interested and pleased to hear the range of perspectives the three put forward (basically, the problems facing offices, schools, and magazines). In retrospect I had heard a lot of this before, but not packaged in quite this way.<br><br> See <a href="" target="_blank"></a> for a pretty good description of what they're trying to do. In brief:<br><br> Rem: <br> - architects do lots of custom research (e.g. "how to work with the Portuguese construction industry") that they never re-use, never publish... i.e. just throw away. This is wasteful and is holding the profession ...</p> Some studio work George Showman 2005-02-16T02:50:10-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Okay, let's talk a bit about my studio work.<br><br> Above is a pic of some cells living off each other's energy. As I mentioned before, I got the code for this from a guy named Michael "Flux" Chang who is a student at UCLA, and a very helpful fellow. I have since migrated the original proce55ing code into java and am writing pure java from here on out.<br><br> proce55ing, incidentally, is a free scripting language for simple graphics written in a subset of java by a couple of guys who started the work at MIT, I think. Check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a> if you're curious. It's much better than Flash for any images that are algorithmically driven... i.e. anything that requires a lot of computation to decide what to draw.<br><br> My little cellular system is a work in progress... basically these individuals form networks (as seen in the second image, above) of energy exchange, which keeps them alive. I've added a whole class of information objects that the individuals exchange each time they meet. What I... Hang in there... George Showman 2005-02-10T23:05:11-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I'll post for real this weekend. We're starting to produce some work in studio, so there will be some images (nothing too cool yet, though). I'm working with proce55ing and an awesome cellular automata script by Michael Chang (who generously shared his code with me). Check out his website at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and look for his proce55ing work (it's all right there on the front page).<br><br> See? I'm already starting to babble. More on the weekend.</p> Week 3 (right?) George Showman 2005-02-01T00:46:36-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> Here is my stack of books I'm reading or browsing or trying to remember the contents of for studio. I'm not sure that Ed Keller advocates all of these; some are my own additions to his reading list. Tonight I'm reading the top book, Fernandez-Galliano's "Fire and Memory". It's quite enjoyable, gets into a history of science and draws parallels in 20th-century architecture. But I'm only forty pages in.<br><br> What's new? We are still in an absorption phase in studio, which is fine since the material to absorb is very interesting and Ed has been away for a few days. I want to have something like a thesis for the project for Wednesday when we next meet, plus perhaps a diagram of some kind describing the systems into which I would like to intervene.<br><br> I'm not ready yet to coherently describe this studio, but scale is<br> definitely going to be a major issue. To me, the challenge is to make the presence of 'world system'-scale operations evident to the individual inhabitant of a city. I'... First studio meeting, other classes, rant George Showman 2005-01-24T22:21:59-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> Some people in this school like to smoke. Very few people seem to like the snow (fools).<br><br> Okay, I had my first studio session today with Ed Keller. You may have noticed that one of the other GSAPP bloggers, John Kher Kaw, is also in this studio, so I guess you will all be hearing a lot about Ed Keller this semester. He seems like a really approachable guy with a broad and deep range of interests. The basic premise of the studio is framed around ideas from three books... actually, it's best if you just read the blurb on the GSAPP website, or give me a couple of weeks to synthesize the material; if I try explaining it now, I will be incoherent. Fortunately, though he talks a LOT, Ed is a pretty coherent guy. He wants us to come up with individual theses within the framework of ideas he's laid out -- something about the flow and storage of energy in landscapes, both cultural and physical. So that will be the next week's work. Then we will be analyzing a variety of films, look... 3rd-year Studio Lottery George Showman 2005-01-22T17:58:21-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Hello! It's Saturday evening on the 7th floor of Avery Hall.<br><br> I'm sitting in studio surrounded mostly by empty desks. Almost all of the studios met on Friday, but there is as yet very little stress. My studio critic, Ed Keller, will not be coming until Monday, so I am in limbo. I've been running around trying to get as many of the books from Ed's quirky reading list as possible.<br><br> But more on the content of the studio later. For now, I will tell you a little about the studio lottery process here, which was particularly trying this year. Basically, for the 3rd year students and AAD's (that's "Advanced Architectural Design" -- people who are here for a one-year Masters' after having worked for a while), there were 16 studio choices. Only a handful of them were really popular, though, with Steven Holl's overshadowing all the others (I heard something like 60 people put him first). Given a studio size limit of 13 or so, this means a lot of people ended up with their third, fourth...</p>