London Metropolitan University



Sep '04 - Nov '06

  • [113] this took a long time didn't it?

    By bigness
    Nov 25, '06 8:26 AM EST

    I'm gonna now try to condense the last 5 months of university in one post...that's gonna be a laugh!

    Anyway, when we got back from sweden, the project was already taking shape.
    The idea for a winter research center for the car industry fitted quite well with the socio-conomic situation in the area. It was kinda funny to design a non-building, underground and invisible.

    (in a nutshell: the centre is an underground building in a hilly area around kiruna, sweden, used to develop new automotive technologies related to extreme-condition driving. The roof of the building creates a new landscape flush with the existing one, and its shape and texture are modeled to control the way the snow accumulates on it, keeping certain area covered and certain others relatively free.
    internally the building is organized as a series of layers that bends into ramps and slopes following the different programs and interactions. The structural system is one for the roof and the floors, and copes with both the geometric and performance requirements)

    The project became even more interesting and challenging after our meetings with Daniel Bosia at Arup's advanced geometry unit. We got to him quite late in the year, because e the unit as a whole was struggling to pick up pace. And to be quite honest the first meeting and part of the second one was a pain to go through. The projects were still in their beginnings (3 months from the end of the year!), the technical aspects we should have discussed weren't even in our minds, let alone on the paper. The second meeting was slightly better, but still, it showed what was being expected of us, and what we weren't delivering. Daniel was surprisingly understanding, although Jonas proceeded to give us a much needed kick in the ass afterwards

    Overall my thesis was developed in 7 months, but my design opened up questions that i simply did not have the time to solve completely.

    The structure is based on a non-orthogonabl grid of rc beams. The way this system copes with ramps, sloping surfaces, filleted edges and changes in pitch was understood, but i did not have the time to fully resolve it. Still, it was an interesting insight into some kind of complex geometry.

    In the end the project's system was understood, deployed and the limits of the geometry taken into account, but the thing wasn't fully resolved. Same can be said of the skin system and it's interaction with the weather

    I worked all the way through easter, and apart from the usual lack of sleep in the final weeks, I managed the whole thing quite well, as everybody else in the unit did.

    Some amazing work was produced in the last few weeks, some people came on top surprising everyone else, but i think in the end there was a lack of constant motivation, which wasn't at the level expected from us.

    We put up quite a good exhibition for Architecture week, although there doesn't seem to be any photographic record of it...strangely enough, although our installation was, according to most visitors, the best one, in the london metropolitan's website slideshow there is no sign of it...ah, the politics.

    As for now, I want to try and do some more research/installation work before i get tied down into "learning the trade" in a standard architectural job. Or at least try to keep that up on the side of a normal job. The perspective of some cash flowing steadily into my pockets isn't without its appeal.

    View full entry

  • [112] sweden photoblog 1

    By bigness
    Feb 7, '06 11:19 AM EST

    let's set the tone... a few shots of stockholm abisko national park research grounds@ASCIA random ice hotel shots a bunch of people with wet feet walking in the sunset View full entry

  • [111] anyone in stockholm?

    By bigness
    Jan 14, '06 9:56 AM EST

    apologies to all my fans for not keeping this thing updated, but i have been home for three weeks, during which i managed to: go online only 2 times for about 15 minutes each time not do ANY productive work whatsoever (jonas, i hope you are not reading this) so now it's catching up time, with two... View full entry

  • [110] don't eat yellow snow

    By bigness
    Jan 10, '06 9:33 AM EST

    lagopede, val thorens, france, 3110 meters asl. at -20º, when you have to go, you really have to go. View full entry

  • [109] allnighter mouse

    By bigness
    Dec 8, '05 11:52 PM EST

  • [108] rapid protyping/2 and some updates

    By bigness
    Dec 6, '05 4:58 AM EST

    this is how it went Basically after the styrofoam model was finished, i casted in clay, and after some material testing i decided to go for fiberglass. my throat has just recovered from the fumes. high times. The initial part of the project is coming to a close, we'll be presenting the research... View full entry

  • [107] dritsas lecture

    By bigness
    Nov 25, '05 7:17 PM EST

    usually, thursday night lectures at the met are an easy going, packed, minimalist-and/or-rammed-earth-touchy-feely-lick-the-stone-affairs. drinks and canape's are on offer, and you've usually underslept, half drunk and really looking foward to the pub and the thai food across the road. Obviously... View full entry

  • [106] "rapid" prototyping

    By bigness
    Nov 17, '05 12:00 PM EST

    since our "in house" prototyping facilities are not opened yet (apparently the technology is so advanced the technicians need 3 months to catch up) i had to resort to good old hand work to produce the shelter's model...and it's almost finished. View full entry

  • [105]Advanced Architecture is Child's Play

    By bigness
    Nov 9, '05 10:04 AM EST

    Wow, it's been 2 weeks since my last post...boy, i suck! So, the state of the nation at this point in time is...Unit work-wise, we're about 2 weeks behind schedule, the initial shelter project still being thhe center of attention. I guess in many ways you would be made to think that they were... View full entry

  • [104] why

    By bigness
    Oct 24, '05 6:54 PM EST

    why does one make stupid yet devastating mistakes when handling drivers in one's pc? why does one feel the need for a bicycle just as soon as he has sorted out his wheels of steel, and is ready for a rampant collection of speeding tickets, bus lanes infractions and burned traffic lights? why does... View full entry

  • [103] my life in rain state

    By bigness
    Oct 21, '05 1:54 PM EST

    first two weeks of studying done, two presentations in two weeks, good average i would say. the unit runs at full steam, we're allocated 20 minutes slot to present and discuss, the idea being that each week we should have some stage of finalized work. this helps for the portfolio obviously, but... View full entry

  • [102] photo blog

    By bigness
    Oct 11, '05 10:20 AM EST

    a few pics from a recent visit to the siza/souto de moura serpentine pavillion. which, is by the way, per's idea made flesh (well, gluelam). the strange thing about it is that it is quite's almost like the office got a copy of CATIA off the net and started going crazy with it... View full entry

  • [101] riding the mean machine

    By bigness
    Oct 6, '05 7:35 AM EST

    from the unit 4 description: "adverse weather; deep freeze sound, light, texture, porosity, space in climatic and topographic extremes UNIT4 will be examining the possibilities for the built-environment to affect and be affected by natural systems in places of topographic complexity. Natural... View full entry

  • [047] my Met, your Met!

    By bigness
    Jul 19, '05 7:15 AM EST

    I guess i had to write a bit on this first year at the Met. The university' strongest point is that there is not one attitude, one agenda, but a series of (sometimes contrasting) programs. This fosters variety, but it also means a lot of individualism and internal politics between some of the... View full entry

  • [046] forty winks for the soul

    By bigness
    Jul 14, '05 9:11 AM EST

    Back home, back to Italy. Everybody i know in london seems to be ok, and it's a blessing in the tragedy. funny how close it feels when you walk past the places they show on tv, even if you're not there now. Here it's bliss, a slower pace of life in the sunshine, the hills make a good job of... View full entry

  • [045] so much to do

    By bigness
    May 20, '05 7:45 AM EST

    i've just come out of my final presentation, very heavy. everybody was nice, the criticism was great, by my work just did not cut it. i set myself a huge task, a task to be accomplished with skills that i did not have yet, and the learning curve was too steep. my prototype failed to engage with... View full entry

  • [044] time is an illusion. lunchtime doubly so.

    By bigness
    May 10, '05 7:43 PM EST

    ah, the picture posts...lately i have taken the habit of coming to the 24h internet caffe around the corner to have a break during those sleepless nights(no internet at home, in case you wondered)since my body clock has moved foward about 12 hours, and let me tell you, the characters around... View full entry

  • [043]coffee mug mug mug mug mug!

    By bigness
    May 8, '05 8:23 PM EST

    aaaaah, the final hand in's... isn't it gorgeous? that cathartic feeling of sleeplessness, caffeine overdose and shaky hands? c'mon, you love it... anyway, i deceded to take a break to update the blog a bit. A word on the Metropolitan as the year draws to a close? well, unless there is a unit that... View full entry

  • [042]resuming work

    By bigness
    Apr 27, '05 10:10 AM EST

    Finally the secret competition has been secretly mailed to the secret location in secret fashion, so after disposing of our trenchcoats amd hats we were able to return to work on our funny little schemes. As the end of year approaches, my metabolism is setting itself up for sleepless nights, and... View full entry

  • [041] fridays at rauol's...

    By bigness
    Apr 22, '05 5:42 PM EST

    good night! View full entry

  • [040] ipod problems

    By bigness
    Apr 15, '05 12:58 PM EST

    according to my buddy louis, who believes in electronic hinuism, my ipod has commenced a new life and has reincarnated in a lower life form: a 1.3 gb external hard disk. why? well, according to him it because it had been playing guitar based music for too long... the competition is almost done... View full entry

  • [039] sneak preview

    By bigness
    Apr 15, '05 11:20 AM EST

    i just realised that if i had an internet connection at home i would be posting everyday. it's probably a good thing that i don't have one, then. a sneak preview... don't you love programmatic diagrams? View full entry

  • [038] it's getting late

    By bigness
    Apr 14, '05 5:19 PM EST

    oh, i love mobile phones with cameras and bluetooth... 10:20 pm and for some reasons, the ipod on the desk (mine) hasn't worked for the last 3 days! View full entry

  • [037] at chora, day two

    By bigness
    Apr 14, '05 9:44 AM EST

    here we are gain, we're working on a competition, which just like all other competitions, is secret, so i can't talk about it. but we do look pretty concentrated, don't we? View full entry

  • [036] working at Chora

    By bigness
    Apr 13, '05 3:43 PM EST

    working at laters... View full entry

  • [035] the monster

    By bigness
    Apr 11, '05 9:30 AM EST

    oh, by the way, the monstrous bastard AKA the rendering machine AKA the ugly beast that lives under the desk AKA shut that fucking thing down i cant sleep the fans are too noisy (that's my girlfriend) AKA my self built (as in i have built it, it did not build itself) is up and running. and... View full entry

  • [034] the notorious ASD blog

    By bigness
    Apr 11, '05 9:16 AM EST

    So, this thing seems to be popular around here, for good or for worst... advice for all you bloggers: if you want to make your blog popular at school, be one of the cool kids and get that date with the prom queen, just start publishing pics of random people and projects with funny captions, and... View full entry

  • [033] italy good uk bad.

    By bigness
    Apr 4, '05 11:45 AM EST

    Back from the spring break, damn it was good...alcohol consumption was high, wheather was too and getting back on that stansted express train crossing the barren wastelands of east london was a knock back to reality i could have done without. yes, i study Architecture and yes, i do it in england... View full entry

  • [032] London as you never saw it before (picture/2)

    By bigness
    Mar 8, '05 8:06 AM EST

    We rented a car (a 2.0 VW beatle, expensive if you chash it), i had very little experience of driving on the left side (exactly), we clocked 85 miles in a day around our huge site (i had to get drunk to shake off the nervous, really!). It was amazing to see how different and... View full entry

  • [031] pictures/1

    By bigness
    Mar 8, '05 7:59 AM EST

    First a bit of mobile phone camera bonanza... you know, when you loose scale... the determination of indetermination of randomness A lecture on the state of italian autopsy, perhaps? View full entry

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