Kent State University (Micah)



Sep '09 - Feb '12

  • anchor


    Micah McKelvey
    Oct 7, '09 7:25 PM EST

    I woke this morning after four hours of uncommon sleep. A little final Photoshop then arranging and mounting of my presentation and for once in a long time my project was actually complete for jury reviews. The sensation is unrivaled, and I missed it immensely. Third year studios here negotiate the conditions of 'site' and the "exploration of new methodologies and techniques" there of. An excerpt from the syllabus for my section, under the instruction of Kathryn Strand >>>

    Students are asked to situate (or position) themselves in the debate of object and field, fragmentation and flow and the role of place in the design of an architectural landscape. The study of both visible and invisible conditions of context will be utilized as a means to re-invent site as a fluid and continuously evolving entity. Through the use of traditional and contemporary architectural media as generative tools, the act of moving between medias itself is identified as a means for "translating" from event to site to architecture and back to event. Thus, students will investigate techniques of urban, situational, event, and site intervention in a series of nested design problems and concurrent research into historical and contemporary movements in theory and practice of landscape and architecture.

    The format of the semester is set up into a series of continuous and alternating loops of transcription (replication or copy) and translation (interpretation) with distinct objectives but interrelated "layers of information - spatial, organizational, and conceptual."

    As a side note > a theme of 'food' has been given to this semester's investigations. Mentioned today was a pot-luck pin up in another two weeks , which I am definitely looking forward to. Strand take note, I want this to happen.

    Our first task (dubbed Loop I) had us appropriate a site for eating between classes and the subsequent transcription of that event in both space and time.

    Attempt one >>>
    meal narrative

    Attempt two >>>
    meal mapping

    Loop II translates that event by re-imagining surface as site. We were asked to take a photographic image of our site and then reconstruct it through drawing (with paper and a clutch!) while adding adjustments / alterations to that moment based on our initial investigations. (To shed some light on my thought process here, I quickly became involved with the ideas of restricted movement set up by the condition of the rail to the suspended ramp in an otherwise vast and open brief.)





    Proceeding forward we scaled down the augmented composition and extended the frame to "encompass a multiplicity of emergent and interconnected situations." And then another reevaluation led us to create diptychs/triptychs from the multiplied drawing in order to bring things back into focus on the ideas investigated in Loop I.

    frame extension


    At this point we've been totally analog. But that changes when these last compositions are translated into Rhino to produce digital models. Instead of using Rhino as a representational media, we perceived it as a spatially generative tool in which a multitude of informal eating events could occur in addition to the singular event personally experienced.


    These renderings show a very rough attempt at putting my ideas into actualized space. This model needs a lot more love...

    Of course I could go on an on about what I'm actually examining in each of these representations of the project, but I'm going to spare you. I think the process itself is what's important here and rather interesting. Sometimes I feel like I'm in an experiment on design instructional methods when I actually look up to take a breath of air and wonder 'what the hell is it that I'm actually getting at?' What's the point of all this work? But it's like learning in disguise. Before you realize it, you've had some thought bending discussions, interesting insights, and new methods that will apply down the road to other problems. Which is exactly what I expected.

    So yes, still excited.

    More awaits in Loop III.


    • this is exciting stuff, micah. i love that you're making this exploration through a variety of media and hope that - now that you're into modeling - you don't leave the other media explorations behind.

      the storyboarding was a nice inroad to figuring out what you wanted to attack and i love the leap to the more abstract diagrammatic analysis that came next.

      strangely, the modeling/collaging, while beautiful, is also more mute - less explicative. what you're going for becomes harder to read.

      separate from everything else, the rendered (graphite?) drawings are luscious.

      Oct 8, 09 8:32 am  · 
      liberty bell

      What is "a clutch"?

      Oct 8, 09 4:00 pm  · 

      Oh, how I miss this studio. It was, by far, my most rewarding studio to date.

      Your project is looking very interesting, and your drawing stills are very good. Strand's studio set-up recognizes that all digital and analog means of design and production are tools and that no single way is the "only" or "right" way to design in this day and age. It would be like telling a carpenter to disregard their old hammer and saw and rely only on a nail gun and CNC routers. It's amazing the products that come out when both are used in this sort of hybrid.

      Keep it up. I'm excited to see how this all turns out for you. After going through your project quickly, I only wonder what this "hanging" and "restrictive spaces" has in store. I think it can move beyond ramps and cages that limbs may penetrate.

      Good work.

      Oct 8, 09 5:55 pm  · 

      Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

Other blogs affiliated with Kent State University:

Recent Entries