University of Southern California (Daniel)

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    Final Project: Art Space

    By Daniel
    May 19, '06 2:45 PM EST

    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’s architect character in One Fine Day when she trips and falls on top of her model on the morning of her presentation!), a disastrous attempt to make kedgeree, 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 cost me $33,892 per year, 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.)

    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 and the scans are tiffs and are completely illegible on the screen when compressed, so I suppose you'll have to take my word for it. In plan, I derived my geometries from the site itself. The 45º angle in plan, for example, is a response to the high-traffic diagonal path through the quad as well as a reference to the road that used to cut across the site.

    As for ground plane manipulation, first I peeled, then I delaminated, then I did both, and it might have come out looking as if I did neither. The floors are meant to be like strata sliding forward or shearing. The walls, which are carefully stacked one-sixteenth-inch thick strips of basswood meant to represent stacked stone, also lend themselves well to the general concept of stratigraphy. The gallery roof planes, while decreasing in thickness and number of layers as they progress toward the front of the gallery, increase in pitch.

    The main gallery space is a long, high space, subtly divided by diagonal, descending steps (the strata mentioned above) to create specific exhibition areas. The two audio/visual rooms I separated and distinguished their functions: one is a simple box quite nearly underground; the other is a more like an auditorium, with raised seating platforms and its own entrance. I also distinguished the functions of the two office spaces: one is more public, possibly for a curator or exhibition manager, and is just off the gallery; the other is private and down a clerestory-lighted corridor.

    Reviews are naturally grueling, and it doesn't help that I literally tremble when talking to more than a dozen people at once. I fumbled around with some study models and mumbled a narration of my process, most of which you can read in past posts. I always finish talking sure I’ve forgotten something important like my name or where the restrooms are. My reviewers were Janice Shimizu, Lee Olvera, Josh Coggeshall, Liz Falletta, and Kara Bartelt. It went mostly well, I think; unfortunately I’ve a habit of seizing the first positive word I hear and then mentally closing shop, so that afterwards when classmates ask me how it went I sum the entire fifteen minutes up with “They liked my drawings?”

    So yeah, they liked my drawings. They weren’t totally convinced about the whole delamination thing, which I blame on the pitch of the first roof plane, which is 30º and probably should have been half that. Someone said it looked less like it was emerging from the ground and more like it had been wedged in, which makes me think they spied me trying to force the basswood structure into the chipboard site an hour before turn-in.

    And that was first year. Now I am once again acclimating to my normal state of inactivity, then I start work Tuesday morning at Abeloe & Associates. Maybe it more strictly qualifies as a “stint” than a proper job: right now it seems I’ll only work about sixteen hours a week. Since summer school has truncated my summer, I’ve only about five more weeks left anyway so I wasn’t really looking for anything full-time. At any rate, this gives me plenty of time to assiduously read the fifty-eight (!) books I need to have read by the time I start at Cambridge.


    • Auguste Perret

      Wow! Your last two posts have been really impressive. You're doing great work, keep it up.

      May 19, 06 8:55 pm
      sporadic supernova

      yeah daniel ...

      great work again ...

      I'd like to see the works of the rest of your class aswell .. you think they would let you post it on the blog ? .. giving them proper credit of course

      May 21, 06 1:34 am
      liberty bell

      Nice job, Daniel. I like the shadow drawing especially, of course - sums up the building idea so clearly. Good luck with the GPA! Enjoy your short summer and good luck with the next big step.

      May 23, 06 12:24 pm

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