Hampton University (Mark)



Sep '06 - Dec '09

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    A single tear moment

    By Mark_M
    Nov 13, '09 3:54 PM EST

    I’ll start at the beginning. I entered my thesis year in September. I started off the semester digging back through the last four years to understand what I wanted to research, trying my best to tackle issues that I investigated through my projects. I narrowed my issue down to how to provide temporary infrastructure to informal communities to further reduce their ecological footprint. My trip to the Philippines last winter had a profound effect on me. Strolling around the slums of Manila absorbing the sounds and smells of the shanties not romanticizing about what we could learn from them but just accepting the facts about their living conditions. So……the semester continues. I choose a site to tackle in the Makati district of Metro Manila. The settlement is on one of the tributaries pouring into the Pasig River, which is on the brink of being pronounced dead by the ecologist of the Philippines due to the pollution distribution of the factories and the effluent of 200k+ families living along the River.

    here is the site.

    On September 27, Monsoon Ondoy struck Manila and totally flushed my site. Here is an article about the Monsoon. A bit jarred I continue through with my material investigation.

    PI 2
    here is a picture of the site a few blocks down from the original image.

    I was working mainly through analog means with sketches, drafting, and physical modeling with the exception of some digital diagrams. I live about half an hour away and moving work back and forth is a bit tedious. So the bulk of my creations stay on my desk. A month and a half later Hampton Roads receives one of its own storms, a Nor’easter, flooding our campus and pouring water into our building or what I call the “Bleeding Bemis.”




    I arrive at the studio to find myself in a swimming pool and soaked analysis, bleeding from all the ink and soggy models. Final presentations are in two weeks. 60% of the original work is lost but I have my paper and one model. A single tear moment happened right there as I sat in the pool of water.












    Lesson learned, mother nature is unforgiving. At least I have a roof over my head, some trace and a laptop to continue moving along. Two weeks more, Two weeks more.


    • JordanS

      Oooooh Noooooo! Shore rd.! Thats a sad, sad story son. But dont worry "everything will be ok" C- !

      Nov 13, 09 7:25 pm
      some person

      Wow - that sucks, man. It's almost poetic for the sake of your thesis idea, though...

      My high school flooded when I was a sophomore, but "fortunately" I only lost a few English class novels that probably weren't very interesting anyways.

      Look on the bright side - now you have some good "before monsoon" site analysis models, no? :)

      Nov 14, 09 9:04 pm

      Thanks- not looking for pity here but it is just like the victims of monsoon Ondoy. If you don't keep's the thought of what just happened to you that will eat you alive. I don't exactly have a Tabula Rasa but having things flushed away(pun intentended) clears your head and refines your thoughts. Pulling all nighters is what I dread the most. Looking like a zombie is not a good thing.

      Nov 15, 09 3:40 am

      Mark, hope you've been in regular contact with your thesis committee and that they will evaluate your thesis on everything you shared with them before the flood. Keep moving forward and don't try to recreate all the destroyed work (unless you have lots of time).

      Great topic, good luck!

      Nov 15, 09 2:47 pm
      John Tubles

      ahh..sooo desu... im really really sorry for this unfortunate event... and i will pour some of my birru for all the drawings youve lost... ganbatte kudasai!... which coincidentaly means goodluck+fight in nihongo...

      Nov 16, 09 8:34 am

      Hey Mark!
      (Alex's Michael in Norfolk)
      That is terrible what happened to the studio, I wish you the best of luck in recreating what you had. In my thesis at UMass I had my laptop stolen with all of my drawings and data on it, I remade everything in the remaining month and it actually turned out much better than before, keep it up!

      Nov 16, 09 4:26 pm

      mark, this is so bad- but best of luck to you in turning it into a positive, perhaps condensing your work into less drawings that say more? easy to say i know, but congrats on choosing a great topic, and best of luck to you!

      Nov 17, 09 1:06 am

      If nothing else, the poetic connection between your site and the campus flood makes for an interesting story.

      Nov 18, 09 10:13 am

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