University of Southern California (Daniel)

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    Regretfully imageless

    By Daniel
    Mar 7, '06 2:33 AM EST

    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.

    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 Parroquia de Cristo Obrero in Atlántida, Uruguay: both its roof and two nave walls are hyperbolic brick masonry, which is proving impossible to build. The problem is surface area: the base of each wall is a straight line, but by twenty-three feet up it is a sine wave, which obviously has a much greater arc length. Similarly, the roof is flat at both eaves but is sinusoidal in the long section.

    We're trying to use this stretchy craft foam that comes in sheets, spray-painting the inside black to make it light-tight. We tried casting the walls, building them up in layers, angling dowels, even sweeping lines in FormZ and unfolding them for paper cutouts. The foam looked nice in a small sample, but it's more difficult to work with at full model scale. And now we're racing to finish by spring break. Again, I'll upload pictures as they come.

    Adding to the frustration is the fact that it seems like everyone else's assigned church is so much simpler, or at least easier to build, and ours will suffer in comparison. I mean, how hard can Thorncrown Chapel be? Seriously.

    Otherwise, not much is happening. The weather is bleak, especially for Los Angeles. I got next year's housing assignment today. Spring break is in a week. And it's time to start choosing classes again. Theory, please.

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