Archinect - UC Berkeley (Nick) 2014-10-22T18:34:58-04:00 http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453640/a-farewell A farewell Nick Sowers 2010-06-18T00:14:10-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <br><i>We-ell, I can't quit you baby, <br> but I got to put you down a little while <br> We-ell, I can't quit you baby, <br> but I got to put you down a little while </i> <br><br> --Willie Dixon, 1968 <br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_kwai-350_s_w.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> I can quit this baby. A student no-more, I reckon it's time to finish this school blog. Graduation was a month ago. I can probably check my grades, but I don&rsquo;t think I&rsquo;ll bother. Most importantly, the thesis document has been submitted with signatures from my advisors. It. Is. Over. Yes!! <br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_kwai-335_s_w.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br> {<i>Please excuse me:</i> To the stragglers hanging around the <i>Echo Red</i> Conference, we have word that the architect is out playing golf with the military engineer, and so there will be no conclusion after all. Sorry to disappoint. See you on the 18th... <br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_kwai-325_s_w.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br> ...hole, that is} <br><br> But also: the 18th of June. I&rsquo;ll be rocking the military soundscape with two familiar faces on Archinect: Bryan Finoki and Javier Arbona. We are leading a workshop titled Decoding Military Landscapes as part of the conference <a href="http://justmetropolis.org/home" target="_blank">Toward a Just Metropolis...</a> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453628/branner-lecture-video-military-atmospheres Branner Lecture video: Military Atmospheres Nick Sowers 2010-06-05T19:45:56-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>Before we get to the concluding report from this past Monday's Conference <i>Echo Red</i>, check out this video from my February 10th lecture titled "Military Atmospheres" given in the main lecture hall at UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design.<br><br></p><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/12325438" target="_blank">Military Atmospheres</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/soundscrapers" target="_blank">nick sowers</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com" target="_blank">Vimeo</a>.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453626/the-sonic-archivist The Sonic Archivist Nick Sowers 2010-05-31T16:58:06-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>The following report is an abridged version of "Ears Eyes Nostrils Open!" to be presented today at the Conference <i>Echo Red: Military Archaeologies and Architectural Trajectories</i>.<br><br><b>Ears Eyes Nostrils Open!</b><br><br> The soundscape of Guam has undergone a profound sonic metamorphosis. Listening today, we hear the sounds of visitors and commuters on the busy roads, a general bustle of development which continues to amass at the edges of the former base. By contrast, the interior of the base once full of deafening military noise is now devoid of the sounds of machines. We have instead an abundantly rich soundscape of bird calls: CHIT TAT SEEWWOP SEEEUWOP TAT TAT; the rustling canopy of the emergent rainforest: FRRRRRRRRRRSHHHUHH KASHHHHH KITK KUTK HHHHHHHSSSSSHHH; and hollowed landforms in which gusts of wind produce low resonances, recalling jets returning from a sortie over the Philippine Sea: OOOOOOOOWWOWN OOOOOOOOOWWWWWERR WWWWERRRRRRRRRRR.<br><br> This is the material I work with (and sound <i>is</i> ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453620/the-ornithologist The Ornithologist Nick Sowers 2010-05-28T21:29:45-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>The following report is an abridged version of "Ornithology and Camouflage: A shroud of Swiftlet-space" to be presented at the Conference <i>Echo Red: Military Archaeologies and Architectural Trajectories</i> on 31 May.<br><br><b>A Shroud of Swiftlet-Space</b><br><br> Guam is an exciting place to study birds due to the varied habitats in which you may find them, from cliff-top roosts to subterranean nests. My particular interest is studying bird life that is found in or depends upon the presence of caves. This work is more aptly described as chiroptology&mdash;&mdash;the study of bats. My particular area of study is the <i>Aerodramus vanikorensis</i>, known as <i>yayaguak</i> in the native Chamorro language, or commonly referred to as the Island Swiftlet. <br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_o_swiftlet_f35.jpg" alt="image" name="image"> [Fig. 5-1, 5-2: The Island Swiftlet, once nearly extinct on Guam and now thriving in the former military bases, and the F-35, a noisy bird extirpated from Guam in 2038]<br><br> The most remarkable characteristic of this species of bird is that it navigates with the same sonic mechanism o...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453621/the-forensic-engineer The Forensic Engineer Nick Sowers 2010-05-26T14:56:13-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>The following report is an abridged version of "Mechanisms Behind the Failure of the Jet Noise Barrier Structure" to be presented at the Conference <i>Echo Red: Military Archaeologies and Architectural Trajectories</i> on 31 May.<br><br> The National Park Service has brought me to Guam to measure the progress of the jet noise barrier-structure as it falls into ruin. The problem is essentially one of documentation. How is ruination measured and tracked? A forensic engineer typically studies the mechanism behind collapse, not the ruins themselves. A forensic engineer is asked to be a witness to some failure which has already occurred and to document how and why it occurred. In the instance of the jet noise barrier, failure is widespread and pervasive&mdash;&mdash;indeed, it is unstoppable. There is not a &lsquo;wrong&rsquo; to make &lsquo;right&rsquo;, no particular wound to be healed, and no representation to be made in a legal court which will determine fault. What I am instead going to show is that fracturing was intentiona...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453605/the-landscape-preservationist The Landscape Preservationist Nick Sowers 2010-05-20T02:28:24-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>The following report is an abridged version of "Toward an American Military Pastoral" to be presented at the Conference <i>Echo Red: Military Archaeologies and Architectural Trajectories</i> on 31 May. <br><br><br> Military bases help to preserve landscapes from development and thereby produce valuable spaces of difference. Precisely how these spaces of difference are produced and then transferred is at the heart of the preservation concern at Echo Red. The most profound statement on the preservation of military bases came to me from a South Korean man who had served in the South Korean army and worked on a US army base in Seoul. While the South Korean government eagerly awaited the opportunity to redevelop this land once the US army would leave, his one wish was that it remained an &ldquo;exotic&rdquo; place. He recalled the feeling of walking along Itaewon Street at the base&rsquo;s entrance, where it felt like a piece of America, or at least something like going to Hawaii in the middle of Seoul. For him what mu...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453597/the-geologist The Geologist Nick Sowers 2010-05-09T19:33:21-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>The following report is an abridged version of "Zones of Military Speleology and Laminae Along a Linear Band of Uplifted Karst in Northern Guam" to be presented at the Conference <i>Echo Red: Military Archaeologies and Architectural Trajectories</i> on 31 May.<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_fig1-1.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br> [Fig. 1-1: Pacific Faults. Guam lies on the edge of a tectonically active region.]<br><br><b>Introduction</b><br><br> Geologically, Guam began as two islands. Two volcanoes erupted and collapsed in separate epochs, resulting in two land masses. We perceive it as a single island due to a second geologic process, the accretion of limestone coral which gradually fused the two volcanic formations into one. The two original islands are defined by the Pago-Adelup Fault, which bisects the island at the waist. The northern half of Guam is covered by a well lithified to friable white detrital limestone.<a href="http://www.speleogenesis.info/archive/publication.php?PubID=3255" target="_blank">1</a> The southern half is predominantly volcanic rock at the surface and contains the only rivers and streams on the island.<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_fig1-2.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br> [Fig. 1-2: Guam, geologically ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453580/the-archaeologist-presents The Archaeologist Presents Nick Sowers 2010-05-03T16:54:37-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I am standing at the edge of a precipice. From below the dense jungle of new growth rainforest sweeps away toward the horizon, where the island of Guam ends and the ocean begins. The rainforest is consuming the remains of Andersen Air Force Base, once part of a global network of United States military bases. It&rsquo;s been fifteen years since the last C-130 Hercules lifted off the tarmac in a scene reminiscent of the last chopper lifting off the roof of the US Embassy in fallen Saigon. <br><br><img src="http://news.3yen.com/wp-content/images/saigon-helicopter.jpg"><br> [Fig 1: The US Embassy evacuation and collapse of South Vietnam.]<br><br> The military was ultimately driven off of Guam by the <i>indepentistas</i> and environmental activists, who protested the military&rsquo;s parabolic increase in production of noise, detrimental to the health of the base&rsquo;s neighbors and endangering the wildlife habitat forming on the edge of the base.<br><br> I can see that same runway a kilometer in the distance, reflecting the subtropical sun through patches of forest. Behind me and down the sloping gra...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453568/it-s-over It's over Nick Sowers 2010-04-27T18:23:27-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Thesis at Berkeley has come to pass.<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_dino_greib.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> With the fossils found,<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_dino_demonchaux.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> the evidence exhibited,<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_dino_mastrangelo.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> the towers toppled,<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_dino_medlin.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> mysteries not solved but muddled,<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_dino_licht.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> terrains trespassed,<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_dino_paz.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> and infrastructures inspected;<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_dino_mcgill2.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> I think we can all go home now.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453559/prnt-dsk-7 prnt dsk 7 Nick Sowers 2010-04-19T16:42:10-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>Graduate student Taylor Medlin can only see the world through a fisheye lens.<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_DSC_0082_400.jpg" alt="image" name="image">[<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4535360849/in/photostream/" target="_blank">prnt dsk 7</a>, photographed by Taylor Medlin]<br><br> Take a quick look at his thesis work which is now taking volunteers for a research expedition to Antarctica.<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_tgm2_400.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_tgm1_400.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> [<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20318800@N08/" target="_blank">more</a>]<br><br> The end is nigh.<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4536016048/" title="the end is nigh by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2720/4536016048_f14e658025.jpg" alt="the end is nigh"></a><br><br></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453419/prnt-dsk-6 prnt dsk 6 Nick Sowers 2010-04-13T16:39:35-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:16:03-05:00 <img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_prntdsk06_vertical.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4518382841/sizes/l/" target="_blank">bigger</a> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453548/prnt-dsk-4-5 prnt dsk 4+5 Nick Sowers 2010-04-10T14:16:02-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>no time to talk. two weeks to go. constructing space with sound.<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4508559488/" title="prnt_dsk05 by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4508559488_a7fa472a76.jpg" alt="prnt_dsk05"></a><br> this morning<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4507918775/" title="prnt_dsk04-1 by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2803/4507918775_026f6bae4c.jpg" alt="prnt_dsk04-1"></a><br> two weeks ago<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4507918693/" title="prnt_dsk04-2 by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2693/4507918693_0ea5be12fd_m.jpg" alt="prnt_dsk04-2"></a><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4508557958/" title="prnt_dsk04-3 by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2110/4508557958_22e64098c4_m.jpg" alt="prnt_dsk04-3"></a><br><br> see ya later.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453541/printing-concrete Printing Concrete Nick Sowers 2010-04-08T14:06:49-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I am rapid prototyping concrete models using Ron Rael's hijacked starch printer.<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4503384182/" title="Concrete Print by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2732/4503384182_7a82e5022a.jpg" alt="Concrete Print"></a><br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4503384562/" title="Concrete Print by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2753/4503384562_e04e69c717.jpg" alt="Concrete Print"></a><br><br> It's stronger than starch and achieves an identical resolution.<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4503385110/" title="Concrete Print by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4032/4503385110_ecdc28c036.jpg" alt="Concrete Print"></a><br><br> One potential drawback is that it's extremely water soluble, which means I could have a lot more fun with melting these things.... after the presentation.<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4503385554/" title="Concrete Print by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4011/4503385554_3d78075e43.jpg" alt="Concrete Print"></a></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453536/it-s-alive It's Alive Nick Sowers 2010-04-05T06:53:42-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>At about 3:20 am Pacific time on Monday, April 5th, a monster was born in the thesis studios of Wurster Hall.<br><br><br><br> It was short-lived.<br><br> Following an attempt to build a bigger monster, the woofer was blown. A blown speaker is a very anticlimactic thing.<br><br> (<a href="http://www.archinect.com/schoolblog/entry.php?id=96683_0_39_0_C" target="_blank">Strikes one and two</a>) Strike three: It's time to produce the thesis. Will the real thesis please stand up?</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453533/i-m-a-sonic-reducer I'm a sonic reducer Nick Sowers 2010-04-04T00:51:49-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <i>I got my devil machine<br> Got my electronic dream<br> Sonic reducer <br> Ain't no loser<br> I'm a sonic reducer<br> Ain't no loser</i><br><br> -Dead Boys<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4488272473/" title="basstransducer by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2768/4488272473_527074e82a.jpg" alt="basstransducer"></a> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453528/the-minimum-maximum The Minimum Maximum Nick Sowers 2010-03-31T17:45:44-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>There are 24 days until final thesis reviews here at Berkeley. This fact has many of us letting out prolonged sighs. The pressure to produce something which culminates our time here is mounting. To make things worse, the pressure is coming from yourself. We all fumble half-blindly for the release valve.<br><br> As architecture students we are used to lists of <b>Minimum Requirements</b>. From the 1st design studio onward, we are instructed to produce a certain number of drawings and models at specific scales. We pin these up in neat orderly grids on clean layouts. This regulation of representation is useful for many reasons, perhaps most importantly to see your work in the context of a studio and learn about how your decision making and formal process compares to that of others.<br><br> Thesis is a different animal.<br><br> We know this because there isn't someone handing you a sheet of paper that reads something like:<br> For your thesis you must produce at least<br></p><ul><br><li>Three 1/8"=1'-0" sections<br></li><li>One exploded axono...</li></ul> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453525/to-sejima to Sejima Nick Sowers 2010-03-30T02:54:27-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_4sejima.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> and to Ryue too<br> i cannot send you flowers<br> but shisendo, spring<br> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21452805/november_red November_Red Nick Sowers 2010-03-26T20:23:30-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:16-04:00 <img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_okinawamarinelanding.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br> [Image: Okinawa, delineation of beaches for the Marine landing on 01 April 1945. Map prepared by the Intelligence Section Amphibious Forces Pacific on 20 Jan. 1945.]<br><br> Almost sixty-five years ago to the day, 60,000 Marines landed on the island of Okinawa, meeting little to no opposition from the entrenched Japanese and Okinawan forces. The three-month battle which ensued to claim the island, however, would be one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater. <br><br> In anticipation of fierce resistance to an amphibious landing, the US Marine Corps made careful analysis of the topography, soil conditions, and potential landing sites. The island's perimeter was delineated into "areas" labelled from A to Z. These areas were further sliced into sections with colors: green or black is always on the extreme port-side and white or brown on the starboard-side of the area. On beaches which needed even finer resolution, such as the Western Beaches where the Marines eventually landed, the colored ... http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453521/because-destruction-is-more-fun Because destruction is more fun Nick Sowers 2010-03-24T00:28:47-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Preciousness of models does not interest me. If I am producing models, I am interested in their decay and destruction as much as the opposite condition. Certainly, in this thesis which examines the life-cycle of a US military base on Guam, what happens when the resources of construction and maintenance wither away is of great importance. This process of ruination must be carefully curated.<br><br> To begin understanding this process, I have produced a series of <i>earth-printed</i> models which I will destroy in various ways. Prof. <a href="http://www.rael-sanfratello.com/" target="_blank">Ron Rael</a> has adapted a starch printer to print models out of clay. He has fired these in the kiln into some beautiful objects. But before firing, these 3d earth-prints are quite fragile.<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4458475233/" title="earthprint1 by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2793/4458475233_d857da7a22_m.jpg" alt="earthprint1"></a><br><br> The first experiment is simply an overhead drip which turns the clay to mud. What you see is a section of the jet-noise barrier I have developed to be constructed on the edge of the air force base. The tip of the cantilever is about 150 feet tall, to give you a sense of the sc...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453513/desert-obscura Desert Obscura Nick Sowers 2010-03-22T18:17:02-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4455605960/" title="Desert Obscura by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/4455605960_7dce8a6952.jpg" alt="Desert Obscura"></a><br><br> I'm back from three days in the Mojave desert. We drove six hours from Berkeley last Thursday, and the moment we pulled up from the Central Valley floor to the high desert, I felt the strangest feeling--it felt like home. It is the wide open horizon that I love, the clear visibility of objects for at least sixty miles. You need the desert to taste the true flavor of a tangerine, to smell sage and petrol lifting off a road shoulder, and to listen to the sound of vibrating air particles. It was great to take a break from the production madness to recharge my senses out there.<br><p><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4454715731/" title="34 degrees north 11 minutes 19 point 763 seconds by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4019/4454715731_00e6053745_m.jpg" alt="34 degrees north 11 minutes 19 point 763 seconds"></a></p><br><br> The trip included a visit to the anechoic facility at Edwards Air Base (more on that another time), and a day poking around the streets of a desert suburb <i>that never happened</i>. I took part in Atlas Obscura's <a href="http://atlasobscura.com/obscura-day" target="_blank">Obscura Day</a>, an international day celebrating "wondrous, curious, and esoteric places." One of many events that happened around the world this past Saturday, Geoff Manaugh of BLDG BLOG organized thi... http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453503/thesis-failed-experiments Thesis = failed experiments Nick Sowers 2010-03-12T12:04:31-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_cornstarchmonstergonewrong.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><p><br> The <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U8jSglkXgg" target="_blank">Cornstarch Monsters</a><br> fall down like cymbal crashes<br> two blo-wn speakers</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453485/prnt-dsk-3 prnt dsk 3 Nick Sowers 2010-03-08T20:41:11-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>I am building a machine for refining jet engine sound.<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_prnt_dsk_3_400.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4418053137/" title="prnt_dsk_03 by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank">[enlarge]</a></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453500/ninjas-must-be-good-listeners Ninjas must be good listeners Nick Sowers 2010-03-05T04:30:31-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Today was a day of recovery from a midterm thesis binge that was immediately followed by a Korean BBQ/karaoke binge in Oakland. By the way, Koreans can lay down some legit rap. And typos in the lyrics also significantly boost the entertainment value.<br><br> Now that I have a chance to breathe, I can mention that Linda Bennett, author of the razor-sharp <a href="http://www.archi-ninja.com/" target="_blank">archi-ninja</a> blog, has posted a piece that I wrote. It's a <i>Soundscraper</i> manifesto, beginning with my interest in the passive ninja-defense system of the famous Nightingale floors at Nijo Castle, Kyoto. I talk about recording the sounds of cities in Morocco, and then I go into some detail about Rafael Moneo's LA Cathedral where in 2004 I experienced a 'shower of sound'.<br><br> Have a look, or should I say, <a href="http://www.archi-ninja.com/designing-with-sound/" target="_blank">have a listen.</a></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453492/prnt-dsk-2 prnt dsk 2 Nick Sowers 2010-03-02T13:22:05-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Faysal from the AA school blog is doing a great series called <a href="http://www.archinect.com/schoolblog/entry.php?id=96187_0_39_0_C553" target="_blank">prnt scrn</a> so I thought I'd continue my own series started <a href="http://www.archinect.com/schoolblog/entry.php?id=96115_0_39_0_C" target="_blank">here</a>.<br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_prnt_dsk_02.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksowers/4401193889/" title="prnt_dsk_02 by nicksowers, on Flickr" target="_blank">view full size</a><br><br> And, this from a 1972 interview of Bruce Nauman with Lorraine Sciara:<br><i><br> They gave you a studio and said fill it up, and you didn't have to do anything else. You were supposed to sign up with courses with various people, but if you didn't go, most of the [teachers] didn't come to see you... They'd say, "well, you can do that"; or you'd do something that was hard to do just in your own head and they wouldn't say it was good or bad, or you could have made it better if you had done that. They'd just say "well, that's okay to do that," for you to take that thing off the wall and put it over here and not make a painting. Not that it wasn't critical,. If there was work that they didn't like, they'd say it was a pile of shit. But there was just sort of an open feeling, and it was hard for a lot of people being left alone that much, but it worked out...</i></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453491/in-arch IN[ARCH] Nick Sowers 2010-03-02T12:54:02-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I am teaching undergrads architectural drawing this semester, which is a pretty fun task in these times. It's their first studio, and so whatever tools and techniques you teach are necessarily influencing the way they think about design. That's an awesome thing, actually. With what tools does one begin to learn architecture? I like to think that I am not teaching tools but rather a fluidity in method working between digital and analog. I will never say no to a beautiful hand drawing.<br><br> Anyway, I mention this because the instructor I teach with, Keith Plymale, is also the head of UC Berkeley's <a href="http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/programs/summer" target="_blank">[IN]ARCH </a>program, an 8-week long summer course for those who are thinking about applying to architecture school. It's similar to the GSD's Career Discovery, though this program is two weeks longer and therefore costs a bit more ($3,900). Keith's a great guy and makes the introduction to architecture a very energetic, intense experience. So if you're thinking about architecture school, t...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453488/infiltration Infiltration Nick Sowers 2010-03-01T17:23:36-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>There's a guest here on the 9th floor of Wurster, a University of Michigan grad student named Dan who is visiting his buddy here at Berkeley. It's spring break for Michigan, though he has tons of work to do. So he's occupying a desk in the middle of <i>Thesislandia</i>, laptop open and cranking away in Rhino. Dan's been wandering around seeing what us thesis students are up to (investigating light, ice, sewage systems, and under-the-bridge-space among other things) and likewise we're hovering over his computer to have a look at his thesis project on a reclaimed landfill site between Detroit and Chicago.<br><br> I got the idea, while I was asking him questions about his project, that his being an intruder should be standard practice. Architecture students should have a small travel budget to go to another University and set up a mini-studio for a week. A UCLA student infiltrates Cornell. A University of Florida student taps into the University of Washington. Why stop with the US? There are...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453480/glacier-island-storm-pt-2-super-typhoon-wall Glacier/Island/Storm pt 2: Super/Typhoon/Wall Nick Sowers 2010-02-26T18:12:11-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Schlierenfoto_Mach_1-2_Pfeilfl%C3%BCgel_-_NASA.jpg"><br><br> In the opening pages of <i>Sonic Warfare</i>, Steve Goodman cites a newspaper account of a "sound bomb" created by Israeli low-flying jets over the Gaza Strip, painting a sonic image of "broken windows, ear pain, nosebleeds, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, hypertension, and being left 'shaking inside'." Sonic booms are a terrifying phenomenon and certainly constitute a vicious weapon when used against civilians. Here in the US, where we are safe from Israeli planes sweeping over our heads, newspapers often announce a sonic boom before it happens. (If supersonic travel ever becomes commercialized mainstream, newspapers will presumably have to add a page to the Weather section forecasting the sonic booms of the day.) <br><br> To relate this back to the unfolding <a href="http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/glacier-island-storm.html" target="_blank"> discussion</a> this week, I am thinking about a moral dilemma which should be readily apparent. If we are to design the weather, how can we, as designers, maintain some degree of control or power over the unwieldy forces <i>behind</i> the desi... http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453471/glacier-island-storm-pt-1-design-to-fail Glacier/Island/Storm pt 1: Design to Fail Nick Sowers 2010-02-22T13:12:01-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>This is the first of two posts which are part of Geoff Manaugh&rsquo;s <a href="http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/glacier-island-storm.html" target="_blank">&ldquo;Glacier/Island/Storm&rdquo;</a> studio underway this Spring at Columbia University. Be sure to follow the <a href="http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/glacier-island-storm-online.html" target="_blank">online conversation</a> as it unfolds this week! I have been invited by Geoff to write something in response to the studio brief, which asks:<br><br> &ldquo;How can we take relatively large-scale natural processes and approach them from the standpoint of architectural redesign?&rdquo;<br><br> The idea that architects should be designing processes to produce glaciers and even alter the weather is both wonderful and preposterous. You have to take a step back and really ask: &ldquo;What, in that case, is architecture?&rdquo;<br><br> Architecture happens when all else fails. When the normative modes of building for the purpose of providing shelter or other basic social needs prove inadequate, we turn to architects to imagine our future anew. If one takes this definition of architecture to the extreme, however, then there are actually very few architects in the world. Most ar...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453465/what-s-around-my-desk What's around my desk Nick Sowers 2010-02-18T02:29:53-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_aroundthedesk_desk.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Thesis is an atmosphere. It's a condition you inhabit, with its own climate system and rules of physics. The beauty and the death of this atmosphere lies in the fact that it's <i>you</i> who is in control. Only you get to say "yes, this belongs here" or "no, I will ignore that." You define the boundaries. But like any atmospheric condition there are limits, a (fuzzy) edge where the rules of the particular model cease to apply, and an outsideness threatens to invade. Sometimes that is a good thing; it is a necessary thing--a thesis project exists and must be tested in a "real" world, even if that world is fully enclosed in an academic setting. But there are times when you want to say "no, no, no, go away, go the &amp;$ away", put on your headphones and dive into the depths of a model that you dreamt about the previous night. The slightest cell phone vibration makes you mad as hell, as that impermeable thesis bubble is so hard to maintain. <br><br> And then there is the inevitable moment, wh... http://archinect.com/blog/article/21453450/the-branner-lecture The Branner Lecture Nick Sowers 2010-02-08T18:15:48-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:16:03-05:00 <p>I've been absent. Both the thesis and preparing an exhibition and a lecture about my travels in 2009 have kept me pretty busy.<br><br> If you are in the Bay Area, I hope you can come out to hear a talk that I will be giving this Wednesday titled "Military Atmospheres" in conjunction with the other two Branner Fellows. There will be wine and refreshments in the exhibition opening which immediately follows the lecture. <br><br><img src="http://files.archinect.com/uploads/ai/aiu_BRANNER2009.jpg" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Cheers!</p>