University of Southern California (Emily)



Aug '08 - Jul '09

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    3.9 :: First Thesis Presentation

    Emily Kemper
    Sep 30, '08 3:38 PM EST

    As the title implies, I gave my first thesis presentation last Friday, and for those of you who are used to design theses, things go a little differently in the Building Science program. This is primarily a research degree; it takes a year (yes, a whole year), it's self-guided, and I don't need to design anything, per se, to fulfill the requirements of my degree. I already have an undergraduate design degree - I came to USC to learn how to design buildings BETTER, to master the science of them, if you will. My thesis is a step in that direction.

    So I am actually designing something, although some of my classmates are not. I am attempting to create an online learning tool that teaches homeowners basic architectural design strategies that can reduce energy consumption in their homes. My goal, although altruistic (perhaps naively so), is to put "power to the people". If homeowners understand how architecture can help them save money, they might be more inclined to use it, right? It's an interesting process, this research/postulating/political/web design hybrid that my thesis is evolving into, but I am enthusiastic about the subject matter and that's half the battle in any long-term project, I think.

    Here's an image of the proposed climate map I am using. Some version of this will be included in the user interface portion of my web site.

    This is an image of my concept for output of design strategies - basically, when a user finds the part of the country they live in, a list of these will come up.

    And, just for your information, this is where I work when I work at school: my desk in studio. I have a lot of crap on it, including...

    ...Prince Aidan. He's training for the London 2012 Olympics. Obviously.

    (Long story ... it involved a birthday gift gone awry. I'm just saying.)


    • That looks like a relatively clutter free studio and desk...

      Not bad...Compared to some of the rat nests/warrens i have seen.

      Sep 30, 08 4:26 pm  · 

      very ambitious of you to cover all 48 states. Are you addressing the tyranny of public taste - ie the majority of folks who don't like modernism because it's 'cold' or 'ugly' and who appreciate the historicist pastiche that is fed to the masses?

      then there is the entire $$$ factor- some things have immediate payback, like insulating hot water tanks or more insulation in the garret, while new high performance windows might have a payback in 10 years, but vastly improve comfort and view?

      good luck!

      (ps - don't make a flash site, that is sooooo 2002)

      Sep 30, 08 4:57 pm  · 

      Your map is so intriguing. It makes me want to learn/know more. Can't wait to hear more about your research.

      Oct 9, 08 10:23 pm  · 

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