Archinect - ETH Z├╝rich (Samuel) 2014-08-01T22:49:53-04:00 http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453194/nearing-the-end nearing the end Samuel Mortimer 2009-12-12T10:16:10-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>4 (or is it 5?) days away from deadline now. and 10 away from a flight back to Tennessee.<br><br> Continuing to have computer problems, but what's new. My laptop did decide to turn on today though, so I felt compelled to write something.<br><br> As I haven't updated in a while, I'll give the quick rundown of what I have been up to.<br><br> -Thermal Vals was AMAZING. I have always been impressed with Zumthor's chapel, but the baths felt like a whole new level. The human element and degree of engagement was something I don't think I have experienced before. Just really, really spectacular. (Plus, the breakfast buffet in the morning was really good too. Ha.)<br><br> -Winding down my studio project. Presenting next week on Wednesday. I am a bit ahead of schedule, though I won't count my chickens before they hatch. Something always goes wrong-- so I am just waiting for the inevitable bump in the road. Hoping to plot soon and spend the next few days in model mode. (Nice alliteration.) Supplies are so expensive here ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21452384/minarets-zumthor-and-swiss-turkeys minarets, zumthor, and swiss turkeys Samuel Mortimer 2009-11-20T07:15:04-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>-Another review this week. Not quite the disaster of 2 weeks ago, though it was certainly an improvement. Mateo said no less two times, it was the best images I had produced all semester. He never said it was good, or that the design itself was okay-- but certainly better than what I got two weeks ago.<br><br> -I've been watching this stuff about UC's budget cuts via the internet. I don't really know all the details, but is this 931million figure correct? If these numbers were passed on from the state, shouldn't protests be directed at the state level? It would seem like the hands of the university system are tied to generating 931million in one way or another. <br><br> -Another political debate--- but this time on my side of the pond. In Switzerland there is a fierce battle ragging over a proposed ban on new construction of Minarets at mosques. These posters have been put up all over the city and I am sure the rest of the country as well.<br><br> Here is the poster, it is quite scary.<br><img src="http://bnp.org.uk/files/2009/10/swiss-poster-minarets.jpg"><br><br> And here is the ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453356/bad-reviews-etc bad reviews, etc, Samuel Mortimer 2009-11-06T06:41:53-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>As you may have deduced from my previous entry, my computer is more or less dead at this point (thus a lack of updates, photos, etc). I managed to turn it on again after a 2 full sweeps of the harddrive and giving it about a week to think about what it had done, but I am heistant to start investing time restocking it with applications, etc. <br><br> But another quick entry today because I am on my way out of town. (Paris, oh la la)<br><br> Had a review on Tuesday. A lot of work put into it... for what turned out to be the absolutely worst, most negative review I have ever received. Not one single positive thing was said about my project-- which might I add is "not architecture". Hm. <br><br> So perhaps I will try to fix that. The critics did not want to listen to anything I had to say and in general seemed a bit taken back when I tried to challenge them with my design's reasoning. (Which may also have simply fueled the fire for more negative criticism.) I think they made up their mind very early on and ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453129/barcelona-studio-blue-screen-of-death-jungfrau barcelona, studio, blue screen of death, jungfrau Samuel Mortimer 2009-10-27T13:01:36-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>updates!<br><br> -Barcelona was great. <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/samuel.allen.mortimer/SwitzerlandPhotosFive" target="_blank">Posted photos online.</a> Sketches are better, but i haven't scanned them yet. Of course I didn't get to see everything I wanted, but that is just the way it works, right?<br><br> -People everywhere in Barcelona wear white glasses. In my [not so important] opinion, white glasses look good on only one person: <a href="http://www.karimrashid.com/" target="_blank">Karim Rashid</a>. On everyone else they look bad. (And as a sidenote, Karim designed his own white glass-- one more reason he is allowed to wear them.)<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_karim_rashid_glasses.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> -Midterm review in 1 week. Lots to do. Footprint and sections pretty much set. Still a bit of tweeking necessary, some beginning thoughts about detailing. Renderings. I could use some renderings.<br><br> -Oh yes, my computer is about to die. I have had the blue screen of death 3 times in the past 5 days. And don't even give me the Apple talk, because I don't want to hear it. PC for life. 4.5 years of architecture school simply takes its toll. How long did my fellow archinects notebook computers last from architecture s...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453306/review-barcelona-a-pumpkin review, barcelona, a pumpkin Samuel Mortimer 2009-10-13T14:36:49-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:18-04:00 <p>Review #2 went well. A lot better than I was expecting actually. Main criticisms spawned from how the drawings were reading (compared to what I was saying), but that is just a consequence of rushing to complete before the pinup today.<br><br> I am still really intrigued by the relationship we are afforded with the chair of the design studio here. It is still very foreign to me that he is only here once every two weeks. And when he is, i have never seen him coming or going, he always just descends out of the upstairs of the pavilion and then later slowly floats back up the stairs. (It is a very surreal-- not kidding.) It's like he is an angel. A Spanish one.<br><br> Leaving for Barcelona on a night train tomorrow night. Thanks for the suggestions-- I'll post photos and sketches when I get back.<br><br> In the meantime, enjoy this pumpkin which is currently gracing/ haunting my front stoop.<img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_pumpkin22.jpg" alt="image" name="image"></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453295/obama-barcelona-smelly-people-and-the-heisman obama, barcelona, smelly people, and the heisman Samuel Mortimer 2009-10-09T10:27:33-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:16:03-05:00 <b>Bullet points today because I'm bussssy.</b><br><br><br><br> -<b>Design project coming along. </b>Facade/section/structure falling in place. (Until I get told to change it all at the review on Tuesday.)<br><br> -<b>Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize?</b> okay.<br><br> -<b>I'm going to Barcelona next week for 4 days.</b> Rough list of things to see below. Anything missing? First time in the city. (And Spain for that matter.)<br><br><i>MACBA<br> BARCELONA PAVILLION<br> MERCAT SANTA CATERINA <br> LA SAGRADA FAMILIA<br> PARK GUELL<br> PICASSO MUSUEM<br> LAS RAMBLAS<br> LA BOQUERIA<br> ARC DE TRIONF, AND PARC DE LA CIUTADELLA<br> LA PLAYA</i><br><br> -<b>Trying to rate all my songs in iTunes - only 4917 left.</b> Made a "never rated" smart playlist and giving each song it's fair chance to earn an appropriate amount of stars.<br><br> -<b>Yesterday this woman sat next to me on the bus and she smelled literally like a wet dog.</b> Not a wet person- a wet dog.<br><br> -<b>This video is hilarious. </b>UT at it's best. (ps. "Eric Berry- yo, he scary.")<br><br><b></b><b></b><b></b><b></b> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453283/the-metric-system the metric system Samuel Mortimer 2009-10-05T16:46:00-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:16:03-05:00 <p>Four years of architecture school in Imperial Units is not easily unlearned. The metric system is such a pain in my ass. <br><br> I don't care if it is superior, base ten, whatever- I can't quickly reference it in my head.<br><br> Rode my bike to Basel this weekend. 95km (In miles??? 60ish.) It was so great though- we did probably 90% of the trip on dedicated bike/walking paths completely separate from the vehicular road. The regional connectivity of the network is absolutely unbelievable.<br><br> Studio tomorrow and Wednesday. Another review next week. Working on structure, thoughts about materials, detailing site plan/ first real iteration of floor plan. And a nice section. And a rendering. Turns out I have more to do than I thought.<br><br> Saw a lecture from Mark Lee from <a href="http://www.johnstonmarklee.com/" target="_blank">Johnston Marklee &amp; Associates</a> today in my Urban Mutations class today. More about the class later.<br><br><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/samuel.allen.mortimer/SwitzerlandPhotosFour" target="_blank">Posted new photos yesterday (fourth album)</a><br><br><br> Pop quiz: an 18inch concrete wall is approximately how many centimeters wide?<br><br><br><br><br><br></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453272/chicago-eliminated-situation-plan-bikes Chicago eliminated/ "situation plan"/ bikes Samuel Mortimer 2009-10-02T12:40:20-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I have been watching the IOC selection process for the Olympics. I think it will go to Rio. (Has anyone been to Rio? I would like to go some day- not necessary for the Olympics, but I wouldn't mind that either.) Chicago was just eliminated in the first round of voting. I kind of saw that coming, personally. I think their entry was so strong it started to work against them. I can just imagine everyone voting saying something in their heads like, "Oh, I won't vote for Chicago, but I know everyone else will- so I don't feel bad about it."<br><br> Probably not the case, but disappointing none the less. When the Olympics were in Atlanta (which is only 2 hours from where I grew up) we didn't go down to see any events, but I would have made serious considerations to go if they were in Chicago. The tickets are outrageously expensive though- all my friends that went remember telling me their parents bought really obscure, preliminary events because everything else was too expensive. I guess they ha...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453264/rule-7-reviews-will-go-on-as-long-as-they-have-to-week-something Rule #7: Reviews will go on as long as they have to [week something] Samuel Mortimer 2009-09-29T14:20:00-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Just got out of our first formal review with Professor Mateo.<br><br> Maybe it is just me, but spending literally the entire day (8 hours) to talk about schematic programming of every project in the class just doesn't seem like a good use of time.<br><br> I see the point in participating in/ watching the review of other people's work as well (because everyone usually runs into the same problems usually). But for 8 hours? Is this like a standard European thing or something? Everyone else seemed relatively unphased by an entire day of program placement.<br><br> It was really odd the beginning of the review (maybe this is a european thing too). We came in and no one knew anything about what to do, etc- so we were just all standing around. One of the assistant came down from the offices above our studio and put up a schedule and told the first two groups to pin up. We did. Then we stood around for a while. Then we started to mull over to the pin up wall. Then the assistants all came down and everyone starti...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453238/classes-start-moving-hiking-week-4ish classes start, moving, hiking [week 4ish] Samuel Mortimer 2009-09-19T07:01:01-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Not a lot of posts lately. "Things" have been getting increasingly busier. I hate it when people start out blogs like that, but hey-- it'll be okay.<br><br> Studio started on Wednesday. Officially we are in class from something like 8am-6pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is obviously a bit different that my UT studio model and quite a bit different that any other undergraduate class I can imagine. So it should be interesting to see how the studio dynamic is of off and on instruction, class meetings, pinups, critiques, etc for the entire day. I'm excited.<br><br> Professor Mateo seems great and the assistants are all young and enthusiastic-- which is of course nice. I think there are...3 or 4 primary assistants. Then several more that will come in for specialized things? Rendering and digital stuff, CAD/CAM workshop, etc. <br><br> We are designing a factory for the Henniez mineral water company in Western Switzerland. I will post more details about the program and such soon. We have an entire book with i...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453208/mt-pilatus-studio-kuhl-und-sonnig-wetter-week-3 MT. Pilatus, Studio, kuhl und sonnig Wetter [week 3] Samuel Mortimer 2009-09-07T11:49:39-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:17-04:00 <p>Hoi. (look i speak swiss german)<br><br> Two weeks of German class just about finished. It is hard to make an honest/ accurate assessment about where I stand now vs. where I stood before 60 hours of classroom time, but I feel at least a lot more comfortable speaking and not worrying so much about making mistakes. It sure doesn't make it any easier when everyone here speaks english (for the most part - especially if you are under the age of 30). <br><br> Real classes start next week and I am looking forward to getting into my design coursework. I haven't finalized my schedule yet, but can confirm I will be in the Josep Louis Mateo studio for this semester. Got an email today telling me to bring portfolio and CV to the first day of class. <br><br> CV: check.<br> Portfolio: not check.<br><br> Seems one of my tasks that never was completed/started from this summer has caught up with me. I am only supposed to bring three A4 sheets though, so it would seem it's not a full-on presentation, thankfully. I can pull somethi...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453070/ich-wandere-in-die-alpen-berge-week-2 Ich wandere in die Alpen Berge. [week 2] Samuel Mortimer 2009-08-30T18:30:30-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>-Preregistered for Josep Llu&iacute;s Mateo's studio. [Real] classes start in two weeks.<br><br> -Started my language course on Wednesday. It's going OKAY. I can't really understand what is going on most of the time (because the instruction is entirely in German) but I can do all the work. So I guess that's a good thing[ish]. The class last 6 hours a day. yikes. <br><br> -Meeting lots of people in language class. It's nice that everyone doesn't know anyone-- easy to make friends.<br><br> -Still looking for a place to live after I move out of where I am in 3 weeks. I have probably sent out literally 100 interests notes. Not even kidding.<br><br> -Finally did some laundry. Whew-- what a relief. Hung out all my clothes on the line to dry and it was pretty satisfying. They have a kind of stiff feel when I took them off (pants at least) but I don't really care. My pants are all shot/stained/have holes/excessively worn anyway.<br><br> -Went hiking today in Engelberg. (Switzerland) Absolutely amazing. It's about a 2 hour train rid...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453191/swiss-bank-accounts-a-flat-luzern-week-1-5 Swiss Bank Accounts. A Flat. Luzern. (Week 1.5) Samuel Mortimer 2009-08-24T11:42:56-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Another short update because school hasn^t really started yet and everything is kind of happening in bullets/ to do lists anyway.<br><br> -I have a flat to live in! I can only stay for a month however. it is quite nice- will post a photo or two later. I have a place lined up for when i have to move out already too- going to check it out this afternoon.<br><br> -Spent a day in Luzern this weekend. Calatrava. Nouvel. Medieval bridges. etc. Sketches below. Photos to come. <br><br> -Opened up a Swiss bank account today. Wire your money to my numbered account and I will hide it from the IRS for you. I opened with <a href="http://www.postfinance.ch/pf/content/en.html" target="_blank">Post Finance</a> (a division of Swiss Post) and I am interested to know more about how they operate. Imagine if USPS had a national private and buisness banking division. <br><br> -German class starts wednesday<br><br> -Still having problems pre-registering for studio professor. I can`t get the woman who oversees mobilty students to email me back, and she wasn`t in her office today either. We`ll see what happens - I ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453182/days-1-7 Days 1-7 Samuel Mortimer 2009-08-20T11:25:27-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I will keep this short because I am paying for my internet in a hostel and it's easier/more fun.<br><br> -Got here 1 week ago<br><br> -Weather is hot, but the Swiss are very excited about it. This is just another hot, sweaty day in Tennessee.<br><br> -I'm living in a hostel right now, which is expensive and difficult because I can't unpack<br><br> -My first night here I almost gave a dying man CPR outside a McDonalds at 5am. It was scary, but felt good to know I didn't freeze up)<br><br> -Housing is very difficult to find. People with open rooms have these open-houses and everyone (10-30 people) meets and greets, then several days later the flatmates choose who they liked the best. It's like reality TV.<br><br> -My language course starts this monday. (Ich spreche nur ein bischen Deutsch.) <br><br> -Architecture classes start in September<br><br> -There are only two studios in English, can't remember them off the top of my head. Next post....<br><br> -Bikes are expensive, but everywhere! It's wonderful. I might purchase one this weekend.<br><br> -I'll ...</p>