Ball State University (Gregory)

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    Gregory Dowell
    Sep 15, '08 6:45 PM EST

    Alright here's a short recap of the past few days and a quick peek at the forseeable future.

    UPDATE: Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects will be coming to Ball State in November (exact date TBD) to both speak and teach/provide critiques in my design studio.

    Since I'm heading to Peru during winter break I thought it'd be a good time to get my vaccinations. So on Thursday I began my Hepatitis A and B regime by getting the first shot of Twinrix. I also had prescriptions filled for typhoid vaccination and anti-Malaria pills. Then on Friday I headed down to the Delaware Country Health Department to receive a Yellow Fever vaccination. Besides a sore arm, I didn't experience any adverse reactions.

    The Ball State Cardinals moved to 3-0 on the football season for the first time in 20 years. This weekend the Cardinals take on the Indiana Hoosiers and will be looking for their first win over a BCS conference team. I'm going to road trip it the 2h 20m to Bloomington to attend the game. My brother attends IU and with the College of Architecture and Planning Symposium on Friday all CAP classes are canceled. (Don't tell but I'm skipping the Symposium and heading to IU after class on Thursday).

    The remnants of Hurricane Ike moved through the area all day Sunday and brought in a lot of rain and winds that topped out at around 50 MPH. Luckily the area seemed to be spared significant damage, which can't be said for my hometown, Louisville, KY, where hundreds of thousands of people are without power for up to 2 weeks and the National Guard is being called in to help with cleanup. Though my immediate family escaped without any major problems.

    Now moving on to things architecture related.

    Since there wasn't much going on in studio on Friday, I helped critique 2nd year undergraduates first design project (not just of the school year but ever). The program was a commuter train depot located in downtown Muncie. Quite honestly there was a lot of great thinking going on, but it wasn't necessarily coming through in the plans, sections, etc. I think a lot of students at that stage design strictly in plan and forget how essential and useful section is towards design. So I was happy to see a good number designing in section and thinking about volumes and massing.

    Today I presented my photo essay of SHoP's Porter House. You can check it out here. Sure its missing the presentation "speech" that went along with it, but you can get the main ideas. We were to discuss it in terms of compatibility. Also here's a link to the semesters first project. We spent one week designing an addition for the CAP building.

    And finally...thesis. Today my research methods professor reminded us that in 3 weeks the first part of our thesis/design proposal is due (just 10 pages of the eventual 40 pages and what we'll use next semester as the basis for thesis studio). At this point I have my thesis boiled down to three key words: memory, identity, and architecture. My interest in this goes back to last semester when I wrote a research paper entitled Memory and Identity: Destruction and Rebuilding in which I looked at how architecture is not only a reflection of who we are but who we want to become while investigating the ways in which destruction (systematic or otherwise) and the subsequent rebuilding (or lack thereof) play a key role in memory and identity. You can read that paper here. Any feedback you'd like to provide on the topic (resources-books, projects, etc. that I should research or ideas on a design project to research this topic) would be much appreciated. Right now I have a few thoughts on a design project:
    1) Simply, design a memorial
    2) an addition to a building that accentuates the related memories/identity

    and one not so design project based...
    3) guidelines for protecting vulnerable buildings (as in buildings associated with "bad", "unwanted" histories and memories)

    Ok so I lied. That was not short, but hopefully it was worth your time and I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments.

    • 1 Comment

    • the three thesis topic words sound promising...

      Sep 15, 08 10:11 pm  · 

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