Archinect - University of Southern California (Daniel) 2014-11-26T16:42:58-05:00 http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450698/not-dead-yet Not dead yet Daniel 2008-04-26T08:13:41-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Not quite, anyway, even if I have 157 hours until turn-in (thus the 5am posting time). There are many reasons I haven't been posting more regularly (that is to say, at all), none of which are particularly good, so I'll just move on to what I'm doing right now: a neighborhood civic center in Boyle Heights. I'll post some images and explanation when I'm done, but here's a little structural preview.<br><img src="http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/5818/tinystructureyu1.jpg"><br><br> It's about as fun as it looks.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450946/usc-fall-lecture-series USC Fall Lecture Series Daniel 2007-08-25T01:41:02-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>LAURIE OLIN, FASLA<br> Founding Partner, Olin Partnership, Philadelphia<br><b>The City is a Landscape Too</b><br> Wednesday, September 5, 6:00 pm<br><br> QINGYUN MA<br> Dean, USC School of Architecture<br> Principal, MADAspam, Shanghai, PRC<br><b>Spectacle Spaces</b><br> Wednesday, September 12, 6:00 pm<br><br> KARA J. BARTELT<br> Principal, Lettuce Office, Los Angeles<br> Assistant Professor, USC School of Architecture<br><b>Design Convergence</b><br> Wednesday, October 3, 6:00 pm<br><br> DEAN QINGYUN MA<br><b>Architecture &amp; Globalism</b><br> Friday, October 12, 1:00 pm<br><br> Jon Adams Jerde, FAIA Visiting Design Professor in Architecture<br> DOMINIQUE PERRAULT<br> Dominique Perrault Architecture, Paris, France<br><b>Recent Work</b><br> Wednesday, October 31, 6:00 pm<br><br> CHRIS LUEBKEMAN<br> Director of Global Foresight &amp; Innovation, Arup, London, UK<br><b>[Y]Our Future</b><br> Wednesday, November 7, 6:00 pm<br><br> LORCAN P. O'HERLIHY, AIA<br> Founder/Principal, Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects, Los Angeles<br><b>Operational Strategies</b><br> Wednesday, November 14, 6:00 pm<br><br> DAN WOOD &amp; AMALE ANDRAOS<br> Partners, WORKac, New York<br><b>Recent Work</b><br> Wedn...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21452022/nuts-and-apologies Nuts and Apologies Daniel 2007-02-02T09:02:16-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>First things first: while I&rsquo;d written several stillborn blog entries over the past four(!) months, each of them have about four months&rsquo; worth of irrelevance by now, lost to either time constraints or self-consciousness. Education moves, after all, at a pace nimble enough to outrun both my typing fingers and my color-coded Outlook calendar (like, so pass&eacute; on XP now). The end of the semester passed and Christmas break was a predictable blur, and here we are again. <br><br> There are several excuses reasons for my unintentionally extended silence: some personal, some practical, but none particularly interesting or worth sharing, so I&rsquo;d rather just get on with blogging the new semester and promising to do a much more thorough and comprehensive job. Really! Certainly there will be no shortage of material: for Spring 2007, I&rsquo;m registered for design studio; ARCH 207, a digital design class to improve my AutoCAD and 3D Studio Max skills; ARCH 211, materials and methods; and ARCH 213, part two of ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451525/new-dean-for-usc-architecture New Dean for USC Architecture Daniel 2006-10-06T14:56:07-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>This announcement isn't really a big surprise for the students, who have been thriving on rumors since May, but I just walked into studio and found a neatly printed memorandum on my desk making the official announcement to faculty, staff, and students. I see now it's already been in the news here at Archinect and even in the LA Times, so nothing breaking here. Qingyun Ma was the one dean candidate whom I did not see lecture last year, so I can't give any personal opinions, but I heard he was the most energetic of the four. Strangely enough, he also seems to be the one with the most future potential as a practicing architect, making it an interesting decision to leave that for a deanship.<br><br> At any rate, I have my Virginia Woolf retreat review this afternoon. My camera sort of stopped working just after I'd photographed one of my study models for perspective analysis, so I do apologize for having no images of it yet. I will reveal that it's the first time I've used curves. Milestone or...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451460/what-a-lark-what-a-plunge What a lark! What a plunge! Daniel 2006-09-27T06:23:56-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Our current project&mdash;and I do realize I haven&rsquo;t updated on the previous two, which I have yet to document properly&mdash;is to create a &lsquo;writer&rsquo;s retreat&rsquo;: a space scaled for one person on an isolated lakeside site. While we are furthering our investigations into relative proportion from the previous projects, this one is meant to introduce the concept notion of <i>concept</i> or <i>conceptual content</i>. This isn&rsquo;t to say our projects haven&rsquo;t had &lsquo;concepts&rsquo; before now, but now we are focusing on what a concept is, how it is used, and how it is distinguished from ideas like parti and program.<br><br> At any rate, each instructor is conducting this project a little differently. A few had their students choose specific authors for whom the retreat is intended. I think that may be what Arianne is having my section do, but I&rsquo;ve sort of gone in a different direction. I chose Virginia Woolf, but the retreat isn&rsquo;t for her as much as it is inspired by and derived from her work and particular philosophy of narrative s...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451305/re-rranged-and-resorted Reärranged and Resorted Daniel 2006-09-11T01:49:14-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:06-04:00 <p>I&rsquo;m back in Los Angeles. Not that I just arrived; classes&mdash;specifically, studio&mdash;began the 21st, which I suppose means I&rsquo;m a bit late with this blog, but I&rsquo;m functioning under the excuse that I &lsquo;had to get settled in first.&rsquo; Feel free to marvel at my procrastinatory prowess. I&rsquo;ve moved into a surprisingly spacious apartment on West Adams, am all unpacked, re&Atilde;&para;rganized, and eager for a new year of school. Already everyone is full of speculation about the new year: they&rsquo;ve done away with some longstanding, almost institutional projects, rumors are flying about the new dean (who wasn&rsquo;t announced in May, as expected), and supposedly Frank Gehry&rsquo;s son is a first year student. <br><br> This year and for the rest of my time at USC studio will be worth six credits, an increase of two from first year. The desks are bigger and have smooth new masonite tops; so smooth I&rsquo;m almost tempted to not even bother with a drawing board cover. My instructor is Arianne Groth, who is very pleasant but also strongly...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451171/summer-s-lease Summer's Lease Daniel 2006-07-18T11:01:50-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:05-04:00 <p>Cambridge is lovely, of course. Since I've been here (a week and a day), I've seen enough Shakespeare, been to enough galleries, and drunk enough wine to last me... well, the summer. It's too bad, I suppose, that I'm getting acquainted with England in the most miserably hot July in memory, when staying inside with the curtains drawn sounds infinitely more enjoyable than walking around town and making clich&eacute; American observations like "This water isn't cold!" and "Ever heard of air conditioning?" At least the English don't seem to mind making weathertalk. <br><br> The town is sort of under construction right now, but someone came up with the brilliant idea of printing lofty-sounding and thought-provoking architecture quotations from Wright and Ruskin on the street barriers.<br><br><img src="http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/3743/dscn1375tb3.jpg"><br><br> Well, most are lofty-sounding.<br><br><img src="http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/7915/dscn1376mk0.jpg"><br><br> I'll make a proper post with pictures of Stratford-upon-Avon and London and Cardiff and Edinburgh in a few weeks.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451119/life-s-labors-lost Life's Labors Lost Daniel 2006-06-05T00:44:38-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>My blogging reticence notwithstanding, the past few weeks have kept me rather busy. I am now working three or four five days a week instead of the planned two, which tells me either that I&rsquo;m doing well or that my coworkers find my sunny personality irresistible. <br><br> The firm is small, located in a suburban business park nine songs and six coffee stands from my home. They just downsized significantly, and right now there is only one principal, a computer specialist, an IDP intern, and me in the office. It&rsquo;s quiet, except for the hum of the plotter and the ring of the phone. I spend my lunch hour reading lit crit in my car. This is my first job ever, so I&rsquo;m naturally nervous and spend too much time working up the courage to ask my boss what he wants me to do next. <br><br> USC begins teaching AutoCAD in second year, so I&rsquo;m relatively ineffectual when it comes to doing &ldquo;real&rdquo; work around the office. My tasks include delivering plans, typing billing statements, compiling contact lists, clumsily ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451099/final-project-art-space Final Project: Art Space Daniel 2006-05-19T14:45:35-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I know, I know, I promised these pictures ages ago, but my time has been ruthlessly consumed by summer fun. Highlights thus far include watching too much HBO (and empathizing with Michelle Pfeiffer&rsquo;s architect character in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117247/" target="_blank">One Fine Day</a> when she trips and falls on top of her model on the morning of her presentation!), a disastrous attempt to make <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kedgeree" target="_blank">kedgeree</a>, and wringing my hands apprehensively waiting for grades to be posted. They tell us not to worry about our GPA, but when anything below a 3.0 will <a href="http://www.usc.edu/admission/undergraduate/fa/costs/" target="_blank">cost me $33,892 per year</a>, it's difficult not to cringingly ignore them. (That said, I haven't received a B since I was eight years old and Miss Patrick was less than impressed with my oral reading abilities and I will probably cry if I get one now and yes, thankyou, I do know I'm a pathetic loser.)<br><br> Ahahanyway. The art space. The entire project began with studies on site analysis and ground manipulation; I have some really cool diagrams about how I related the two but they're hand-drawn ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451071/my-first-year-of-architecture My first year of architecture Daniel 2006-05-06T09:34:10-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>A retrospective: divers &amp; sundry things I have learned in my first year of architecture school (some of which should have been covered by common sense):<br><br> Never work on an empty stomach.<br><br><img src="http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/7295/composition243vf.jpg"><br><br> Clean your triangle. Again.<br><br> There are such things as stupid questions, but that doesn't mean one should be afraid to ask them.<br><br><img src="http://img278.imageshack.us/img278/6468/editedcube9au.jpg"><br><br> There's probably an expensive glue for that.<br><br> Words can be stretched over almost anything. Like cellophane.<br><br><img src="http://img278.imageshack.us/img278/9483/editedstair3lc.jpg"><br><br> Prioritize everything, because it will all take much more time than you think.<br><br> Look on both sides of everything you cut.<br><br> Only take a metaphor as far as it takes you.<br><br><img src="http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/1352/editedcartesian4fr.jpg"><br><br> Never describe a project as "interesting." Car wrecks can be interesting.<br><br> When in doubt, change your X-acto blade.<br><br><img src="http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/6366/editedmarket4dx.jpg"><br><br> Bar codes are not your friends.<br><br> Do not watch DVDs in studio. Especially <i>Schindler&rsquo;s List</i>.<br><br> You're never really finished.<br><br><img src="http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/5334/editedmuseum7ta.jpg"><br><br> Thank God every day for keeping the lead pointer lid shut.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451060/dean-candidate-lecture-4 Dean Candidate Lecture 4 Daniel 2006-05-01T23:17:06-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>There was a very good lecture by <b>Margaret Crawford</b> tonight, the last of the candidates for the deanship for the School of Architecture. Her lecture was very well organized and presented, I thought. She discussed her own background in theory, scholarship, history, and urbanism, as well as her focus on the twentieth century American built environment. She seemed especially interested in the way design interacts with other realms such as culture, politics, and economics, something she eventually connected to her interest in interdisciplinary connections for the school (an example she used that I loved was having a literature professor sit in on reviews). She mentioned her own teaching and administrative experience, which is extensive.<br><br> For the school, she had many ideas. Like most of the other candidates, she wants to do a lot with the graduate school. For the whole school she talked about increasing visibility (primarily so that this esteemed blog doesn't get any more comments like "U...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451055/the-end-of-the-beginning-sort-of The end of the beginning (sort of) Daniel 2006-04-27T20:17:16-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Just in case there was any doubt left about the versatility of my incompetence: I've just learned that the Qingyun Ma dean candidacy lecture was last night and I completely missed it. I do regret not being able to update everyone; this decanal search business has brought a gust of urgency and relevance to this blog that I, at least, have found refreshing and fun. I'll be sure to catch Ms. Crawford's lecture, which is, I believe, scheduled for next Monday. Again, my apologies.<br><br> On the studio front, today was the second half of final reviews and so the last day of being a first year. The review moved almost briskly, but was still very informative and engaging. A good deal of emphasis was placed on the quality of the drawings, especially clarity of plans and aptness of rendered perspectives. Apparently in second year the teachers begin to require CAD presentations, which is, in a way, exciting, because there's a lot more potential for creativity in terms of the sort of presentation boa...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451046/dean-candidate-lectures-1-and-2 Dean Candidate Lectures 1 and 2 Daniel 2006-04-25T22:35:12-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I apologize for not updating as I promised on Peter Pran's decanal candidacy lecture. Yesterday we heard from Dana Cuff, the second out of four. The two are a fascinating contrast. My handwriting is too loopy and illegible to actually scan my notes as I'd planned, so here are the basic summaries:<br><br><b>Peter Pran</b>'s lecture in Harris 101 was packed, with more than a few late students standing in the back and in the cold-floored antechamber. His presentation focused on the history and future of the school--it's too easy to forget that USC has had so many famous alumni and faculty. He proposed expanding the school's context to be more global, perhaps becoming the center of architectural education for the Pacific Rim. He mentioned strengthening our graduate program, building a higher profile for the school, and emphasizing student publications &Atilde;&nbsp; la SCI-Arc and Columbia (and I suppose Yale and Cooper Union). He showed quite a bit of his own work, which is remarkable. He also showed us secret i...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21451026/final-stretch Final stretch Daniel 2006-04-17T22:58:59-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>The gallery project is due this Sunday at 6pm, officially making this week charrette, in all its pimply-faced, heavy-limbed, and bleary-eyed glory. The final requirements are three rendered site sections, three diagrams, three rendered perspectives, one site plan, as many floor plans as necessary (all drafted with pencil), a massing model to fit into the site model, and a final eight-inch scale detail model. It might not sound like too terribly much to some of you, but it's by far the most I've ever had to do, so it's very daunting from this angle. This is home for the rest of the week (except the hours when I'll be writing a five-page paper on community relationships in the early Crusades and building some solar energy collector thingummy for physics):<br><br><img src="http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/878/workplace16km.jpg"><br><br><img src="http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/1417/workplace23do.jpg"><br><br> The group site model, parent to so many headaches ("What? I thought you were supposed to do that part." "The craft on this trellis isn't good enough, you've been slacking off!" "These materials are costing too much, I don't want to ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450985/usc-architecture-dean-news USC Architecture Dean news Daniel 2006-04-03T21:42:04-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I suppose this is about as breaking as news can get in an architecture student's blog. Some of you may know that Robert Timme, our Dean of Architecture, passed away just this last October. Now the search for a new dean is almost over: the committee in charge of the process has four final candidates:<br><br><a href="http://www.peterpran.com/biography.html" target="_blank">Peter Pran</a><br> Design Principal at NBBJ<br> Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the University of Kansas<br><br><a href="http://www.spa.ucla.edu/dept.cfm?d=up&amp;s=faculty&amp;f=faculty1.cfm&amp;id=45" target="_blank">Dana Cuff</a><br> Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA<br><br> Qingyun Ma<br> MADA, Shanghai<br><br><a href="http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/people/faculty/crawford/" target="_blank">Margaret Crawford</a><br> Professor of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard GSD<br><br> (I wonder if I'm allowed to announce this. What a scoop.)<br><br> Each is coming here to give a guest lecture. This is very exciting for the school, and especially for us first years who will really be able to see the effects of the new dean.<br><br> As for my own project, today's desk crit changed its direction quite a bit: the folds of earth now peel longitudinally (ie cut horizontally or N-S across the site) and the plan is much more, if not entirely,...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450983/sitepicspammerung Sitepicspammerung Daniel 2006-04-03T03:37:51-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>A more human view of my site:<br><br><img src="http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/6017/dscn11004da.jpg"><br><br> From Childs Way.<br><br><img src="http://img107.imageshack.us/img107/2762/dscn11029kh.jpg"><br><br> People. On my site. <br><br><img src="http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/4291/dscn11058cz.jpg"><br><br> From McCarthy Quad.<br><br> And (in spite of my intense shame) here are some very prepreliminary models:<br><br><img src="http://img107.imageshack.us/img107/8333/10833xh.jpg"><br><br> A sleigh! conceptual ground-plane manipulation model. I won't tell you how long this took me to make. <br><br><img src="http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/2773/10932fm.jpg"><br><br> Translated to the site. Oops, forgot the macro lens setting.<br><br><img src="http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/14/dscn10989ze.jpg"><br><br> Here my neat rows of folded earth bend and break to realign to a new axis, but I'm not quite sure how successful this is yet. Oh, and ignore that weird wrinkled wall of trace and sticks, it's gone now. The point of this last model was to combine several conceptual models together; the translucent wrapping was a last-minute addition, and it left just as quickly (but not quicker than my camera).<br><br> More to come, of course.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450979/art-space-site-and-parti Art Space: site and parti Daniel 2006-04-02T07:03:37-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Our final project of the semester is indeed an art gallery--we are assigned to choose for ourselves the precise nature of the art that would be hyphothetically displayed. The program is small: a main exhibition space, two video/audio rooms, reception, staff, restrooms, and storage. The site is a small lawn on campus between Pardee Tower, Mark&rsquo;s Hall, the Alumni House and rose garden, and the main library:<br><br><img src="http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/2893/campus9ia.jpg"><br><br><img src="http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/5521/site19ho.jpg"><br><br><img src="http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/9698/site25tq.jpg"><br><br> It's an interesting site. Most of the work so far has been focused on intensive site analysis and generating formal responses, all with a very conscious lack of emphasis on program. This is the first project we&rsquo;ve done with a real site; before they&rsquo;ve been either entirely abstract or fictional. It&rsquo;s a big leap: suddenly there are street grids, surrounding buildings, student traffic patterns, and everything else. Some are adjusting well, but I keep catching myself staring past my pages of diagrams, convinced I&rsquo;ve missed something obvious. <br><br> I chose free-standing sculpture for my ar...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450949/projects-and-plans Projects and Plans Daniel 2006-03-23T06:21:14-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I admit this entry is written out of instinctual procrastination panic, but still. I'm dissatisfied with models as a mode of diagramming. I'm convinced certain things like circulation, grid relationships, and site proportion are best left to the drafting board. Which makes what I'm doing (or not doing) busywork. And whining about it online will totally help me finish. <br><br> Our final project of the semester is being kept a secret--they're clearly trying to force us to think in purely abstract terms--but the rumor has leaked that it's some kind of exhibition space. Some people are already designing Postmodern museums. Mice and men, you know. I'm innocently playing along, ostensibly because I'm such a good student but really because I'm embarrassingly uncreative. That's where inspiration from analysis comes in, thank God.<br><br> Mid-term studio evaluations came out. I doing far worse than last semester. I blame the lack of drawing (I've drafted once all semester) and emphasis on craft. And my ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450931/capitalism-s-way-of-getting-you-to-plant-a-garden Capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden Daniel 2006-03-16T03:22:04-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I still haven't uploaded our project process photos for our Eladio Dieste light study, but to keep this entry from being too dreary and gifless, here are the (weirdly tiny?) Google image results:<br><br><img src="http://www.architectureweek.com/2004/1117/images/12524_image_3.150.jpg"><br><br><img src="http://www.atlantidaonline.com/imagenes/iglesia_small.jpg"><br><br> I'm not sure what to think about our finished project. The foam sheets we planned to use on the walls couldn't stretch properly once we painted one side black to make it light-tight, so the walls are a bit folded and buckled in places. The roof, which was my biggest contribution, looks all right for the most part, even though we had to guess the precise nature of the altar skylight because of the inadequacy of the available research material. Oh well. <br><br> I'm worried about review: all the other groups' models are doubtlessly beautiful. Some of the detail people achieved is remarkable. One group even installed mahogany floors at 3/16 scale. I'm still bitterly envious of the Thorncrown team, with all their repetitive tasks repetitive tasks repetitive tasks repetitive tasks repetitive tasks and...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450912/regretfully-imageless Regretfully imageless Daniel 2006-03-07T02:33:54-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:05-04:00 <p>I do sincerely apologize for neglecting this blog for nearly a month. February was the cruellest month, mixing habitual underachievement with a hundred other anxieties. My studio work was unimpressive but not bad. Our third project was to create a farmer's market of so many stalls using a given number of solid and translucent planes. Most people tried to reinvent the idea of a market stall, but I relied simple rows of boxes but manipulated the rows to create dynamic, angular spaces and interesting gaps. I haven't uploaded any worthwhile pictures yet, but I should have them soon. <br><br> March seems more promising, even though I'm recovering from an illness and spending my free hours reinstalling all my software after a crash wiped my hard drive clean (everything was backed up, of course). Our newest project is another precedent study, this time on the modulation of light in modern religious buildings. My group of six was assigned Eladio Dieste's <b>Parroquia de Cristo Obrero</b> in Atl&Atilde;&iexcl;ntida, ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450835/installation-etc Installation, etc Daniel 2006-02-08T23:26:33-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:04-04:00 <p>Monday was pale yellow and torrid, and I unsensibly wore black. The first years gathered on the back lawn and had our stanchion installation: each studio section had fifteen minutes to collect all 98 pieces and arrange them into their design. Some groups had fairly straightforward schemes that allowed for blitzes of activity and less than precise measurements; ours called for four intersecting arcs of varying densities, which meant we had to use an intricate radius-rope system. Complicating things, the group before us had a very wide, diffused layout, so we had to spend much of our time gathering all the stanchions and running them across the grass. <br><br> It went well enough; we miraculously avoided knotting the rope or getting tangled in the stanchion forest.<br><br><img src="http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/5445/edited1small9am.jpg"><br><br><img src="http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/7291/edited2small3tw.jpg"><br><br><img src="http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/4928/edited3small0me.jpg"><br><br> So that was fun. The drawing, which was my responsibility, ended up looking quite nice. I drafted alone late Friday night--the best time to accomplish anything--and turned up the volume of my iPod speakers. The janitors raised t...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450807/the-importance-of-anything-but-architecture The Importance of Anything but Architecture Daniel 2006-02-02T02:24:45-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>So I'm all really excited right now because I was accepted into the Cambridge University summer program. I'm not entirely sure what the level of competition for admissions was, so perhaps I ought to save the self-congratulations for later, but I'd rather not. Yay me. The cool thing is that USC recognizes the credit I will earn, so I get 4 elective credits. Not that I need them--my AP transfer credits already cover more than what I need to graduate--but still. Yay excess credits. Must also stop saying "yay". It's sort of been on my lips all day.<br><br> More relevantly, I wrote my application essays about my eagerness to study read architecture at Cambridge after I earn my B.Arch here. But I won't be studying architecture this summer; hopefully I can get into some art history courses. I think it's hugely important to 'get away' from architecture, if not for a physical break then for a change of perspective. <br><br> So far I've been a little bit dismayed to find out that USC's B.Arch is so narrow...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450787/stanchion-woes-etc Stanchion Woes, etc Daniel 2006-01-30T22:14:24-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Project Two is <i>weird</i>. Each of us built a wooden stanchion and painted it white. Now we must design an organization of all 98 of these stanchions and install it on the back lawn of the architecture school. <br><br><img src="http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/7298/backlawn0ry.jpg"><br><br> Building the six-foot high stanchion was miserable. I can&rsquo;t conduct even the most mundane woodshop tasks without putting a spin of gentle, lopsided incompetence on them. Cutting wood? My hands are quivery and my cuts are crooked. Drilling? My screws overlap. Spray painting? It blows back at my face. Carrying my post downstairs? I get stuck in the corner like that poor construction worker in those derivative story problems.<br><br> Just a hint of impracticality, though, and I'm bound to be successful. Long-hand math without a calculator? Of course. Shooting down ideas? I'm a pro. Spending hours on a drawing that could be done on AutoCAD in minutes? I'm one of the best in my class. So naturally I volunteered to take the bulk of my group's drafting work. Now that everyone depends on me, I ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450778/precedent-review Precedent review Daniel 2006-01-28T19:00:55-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>No, I really do suck so much that I didn't complete Project One, which was diagramming the organization of an assigned precedent. It wasn't that the Assembly at Chandigarh didn't give me plenty of things to diagram, or even that I was hugely lazy or unproductive during charrette (okay, that was lie); this week threw obstacle after obstacle, thwarting every chance to spent time in studio with things like a paper investigating the importance of community to St. Augustine, housing application and essays, reading all of Beowulf, and lots of pointless but time consuming work for physics. Excuses, excuses. <br><br> You're all very unimpressed. But don't despair, I have pictures that will make you think even less of me.<br><br><img src="http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/7263/light7nu.jpg"><br> Light modulation, or I Have No Time Left<br><br><img src="http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/3/massing0np.jpg"><br> Massing, or OMG That Ethernet Socket is Attacking My Volcano! (and yes, I did use papier-m&Atilde;&cent;ch&eacute; and yes, I did get random third-grade vinegar and baking soda science project nostalgia)<br><br><img src="http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/3720/organization6cd.jpg"><br><br> Organization (note the super cool translucent grid!...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450733/putting-off-project-1 Putting off Project 1 Daniel 2006-01-19T01:02:00-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:04-04:00 <p>My Martin Luther King, Jr., PROCRASTAVAGANZA backfired (as these things do) and I just spent the last nine hours of my life carefully trimming and sanding each and every goddamn tiny column in the Legislative Assembly at Chandigarh. What's weird about architectural procrastination is that no matter how far behind I think I've fallen, I can always panicwalk into the studio and be confounded to see that half my section hasn't even begun the homework. It's like running the end of yellow traffic light, breathlessly thanking God you made it legally, and then watching in your rear view mirror as the three cars behind you cross the intersection too. Fortunately, even if my work isn't complete, it'll be more nearly finished than several others in my section, so I won't feel as bad, and hopefully won't get the brunt of Janice's disappointment. Or, y'know, not.<br><br> This is, I suppose, as good a time as any to describe our first project. It's an analytical precedent, and we are to produce nine di...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450701/usc-all-school-charrette USC All School Charrette Daniel 2006-01-13T01:15:18-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Thank-you all for the helpful and compassionate response to my last post; I see that open-ended entries with questions are more comment-friendly than my typically closed and tiresomely whiney style from before, so I'll adjust. Yes, I am that vain. <br><br> Today during studio it was announced that the day would be spend participating in an all-school design charrette with the goal to give the school a "heart." The USC architecture building, Watt Hall, is notoriously characterless and unreactive to its context. <br><br><img src="http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/7632/41ju1.jpg"><br><br><img src="http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/6936/36zc.jpg"><br><br><img src="http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/9203/52oy.jpg"><br><br> Last semester, the building was under construction, adding a long-ago planned third floor which will contain offices and extra studio space. I got the distinct feeling that the undergraduate student body was fairly indifferent about the whole thing; the construction was annoying but rarely intrusive. Now, however, the school is enlisting its students to bring personality to the school, a "redesign and re-use of the existing facilities to enrich the school's activities beyond the no...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450663/table-saw-question Table Saw Question Daniel 2006-01-12T01:20:59-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Faithful readers will remember yesterday's troubles with finding wood. I spent most of today in lazy apprehension about this, since I didn't want to show up to class the second day of the semester with incomplete work. But, having no car, friends in my new section, or knowledge of where to pick up wood, I certainly didn't have many prospects. Settling on the plan to complete as many high-quality diagrams as possible, I left the woodshop alone.<br><br> In the end, someone did pick up some wood for me--not wood, in fact, but particle board, which is NOT what I wanted--and so I was able to use the woodshop tonight and teach myself how to use the table saw. I've never used powertools (or wood, for that matter), so that was a new experience for me. Thus, in a desperate attempt for comments to validate my existence, I have a question for all those with experinece: <b>do you have any tips on using a table saw?</b> I ended up ruining quite a bit of particle board, but I have a dreadful feeling that my i...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450687/first-year-studio-still-pristine First Year Studio, still pristine Daniel 2006-01-10T23:32:41-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Um, nothing much to say... here, have some rare picspam of a clean studio:<br><br><img src="http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4181/studio25av.jpg"><br><br> Janice's section:<br><img src="http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/2467/studio14mv.jpg"><br><br> Weird hanging cords are power cables; the thinner blue ones are ethernet. There are also ethernet jacks and power outlets in the walls: two for each desk. A power strip is a necessity.<br><br> My new desk (I'll move in, um, eventually.)<br><img src="http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/6286/studio49oo.jpg"><br><br> My desk during last semester (the wallspace!):<br><img src="http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/1737/studio34et.jpg"><br><br> First year students are stuffed in the basement, so progressing from year to year is rising inside the building. They say it's spatial hierarchy, I say it's just that the fifth year students want bigger windows.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450353/new-semester-or-tired-already New Semester, or, Tired Already? Daniel 2006-01-10T02:02:24-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:03-04:00 <p>First days of the semester are always deeply unsettling for many reasons. I say that confident in my experience of, um, two first days of a semester so far. But it seems sensible enough. Today was dominated by my quest to replace my lost USCard, which not only works as a student ID but also as a building, floor, suite, and room key, a studio key, a library card, a meal ticket, etc. I also had my first medieval history class, which I&rsquo;m taking for USC&rsquo;s western civilization requirement (I&rsquo;ll talk about these at length later); it turns out there will be about 200 pages of reading a week, but at least it&rsquo;s the intriguingly useless kind, so I might enjoy it. All this left me exhausted feeling a bit deflated by the time I started studio at 2pm&mdash;blame the past three weeks of break and doing nothing.<br><br> The second semester program is coordinated by Lee Olvera, who replaces the much-loved Amy Murphy, who coordinates first semester and then teaches fifth year topic studio in the spring. I had my...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/21450669/first-thoughts First Thoughts Daniel 2006-01-06T20:59:05-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:04-04:00 <p>Right, so were I a proper blogger this post would probably be well-written and elegantly introductory, but as long as this is a first post I'll take the opportunity to use inexperience as an excuse for poor quality. I'm too used to writing in the <a href="http://modillion.livejournal.com" target="_blank">LiveJournal</a> mode, which is, perhaps, not well-suited to architecture blogging. (Unless you all like that whole &ldquo;look! Something meaningless made my day!&rdquo; thing or something) Maybe it is; I&rsquo;ll play around with my writing style and tweak it until something begins to fit. <br><br> I babble. If you read my <a href="http://www.archinect.com/schoolblog/info.php?id=30835_0_41_0_C" target="_blank">quasi-inaugural entry</a>, you&rsquo;ll know that I haven&rsquo;t yet found a particular design style or characteristic set of architectural concerns. I&rsquo;m more concerned about the latter: everyone else in my studio seems to already be clinging to a prefabricated manifesto, as if they&rsquo;d, like, thought it out or something before starting the year. Most like to be trendy and concerned by talking endlessly about green this and LEED that, which is about as significant a...</p>