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Oct '11 - May '13

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    Post 12: project ‘Grandma Shack’ updates

    farid rakun
    Nov 26, '11 2:26 PM EST

    I just had my last crit last Tuesday. I had two projects I wanted to show, and was planning to have both of them finished by the time of crit.

    Reality check, reality bites. The only problem with plans is, of course, they don't work. Result: none of them were not finished (they still are not). I am writing this post to share my process, failures, and conquests.

    After my last post on the ‘Grandma Shack’ (notice the change in the title) project, I was struggling with the constructibility of it. I consider this full-scale object as a working model, instead of a product. I concern less about its precision and aesthetic perfection that way, focusing more on my subjective dialogue with this object that I build. It shows me the potentials it wants me to pursue.

    As I saw so many scrap materials in the studio (mostly belong to others before me), I decided to begin by using them as my palette of expression. I realized that the notion of improvisation would come sooner or later. Question was, in what order it would come? Where should I look for constraints to push my design further?

    The answer came when I disassembled and re-assembled the main structure for the fourth time. My plan to simply add third rectangular frame on the short side of the triangle failed. This was I got instead:

    I figured that it's time for Structure 101 one more time. I figured out that standard Simpson connectors, available in Home Depot, are designed to hold perpendicular forces. This is the latest main structure I erected:

    By putting the two main frames that way, although I lost some of my initial intents, I was able to flip and fully erect the structure by my own two hands—an invention in itself, I thought.

    As it was in this stage, the structure was still shaky as a result of sheer forces. Improvisation time had come at last, scraps came to the rescue. Reacting to these forces, the resulting configuration of the scrap elements was made to counter-balance and make the whole structure stable. I put an operable panel just to test the strength of the standard hinge I found.

    This is the latest condition of the structure as it was shown for the crit. I have several ideas on how to take this further, but have not fully decided yet as I am still digesting some stuff that came out from the discussion. But I can tell you one interesting fact: those who show more interest on conversing about this path I am taking are those who are not in architecture department.

    Funny, no?

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A school blog on Arch Dept, Cranbrook Academy of Art. By farid rakun, admitted Fall 2011.

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