UC Denver (Patrick)



Jan '12 - Aug '13

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    The Importance of Being "Built"

    Patrick Beseda
    Apr 20, '12 11:55 AM EST

    First, I want to post a little update on studio, because that's a little but what these school blogs are about and I think it's important that the work our students are doing is available.

    Right now in Studio II we are amping up the turn-around time on drawings and models, trying to fine-tune and adjust our final designs of House Two. Drawings, models, drawings, model, drawing while modeling, modeling while drawing. The trace, chipboard, and basswood are flying.

    Secondly, I'd like to pose a question to the Archinect community out there. Our program offers a certificate in design-build, and as part of it as a final studio sequence they give students the chance to participate in the Design Build Bluff program. CU Denver has built several houses over the last few years as a part of DBB and it seems to be a great organization with some great success.

    I'm wondering, in your opinion, what is the value in having something built coming out of school? To have had a project from beginning to end, conception to construction. It seems to me that most students probably come out of school without a constructed work. Would this play into a graduates ability to get further work?


    Furthermore, is being "built" important? Perhaps this crosses lines over into the difference between paper architecture and more practical practice but I'm just searching for opinions.

    I'm open to reading and encouraging rants, rambles and raging. It's not like I don't have enough distraction from studio...


    • wildlobo71

      Having a working knowledge of how things are built is INFINITELY useful, valuable, and necessary in today's design efforts... especially when so much of the design world is working in BIM, building the virtual model correctly is as important as anything else... Detailing and researching materials is oft forgot or minimized in typical studio design work, but it is where the projects truly succeed or fail.  

      Whether you model details or draft the details (BIM, CAD or on paper), a knowledge of how things REALLY work, really relate, really go together, is one of the biggest things the firm I work for looks for in new hires... if you have this knowledge coming out of school, all the better for you and your resume!

      Apr 20, 12 2:26 pm  · 

      For beginners, wood construction is the most forgiving for young students - easy to cut or patch mistakes. For the sake of discussion, I was involved in a 300 s.f.  Forest Cabin design/build project that involved CMU Block Modules and wood framing. The raw finish of the material was intended to be left unaltered for both wood and CMU blocks. The problem was with the CMU blocks. Our ten foot high, twenty foot long wall was not plumb. The exterior finish was left alone and the interior was veneered (which was an afterthought due to the blemishes left by the mortar). Prior to the completion of the entire wall, we used long levels and even relayed current layers before moving forward to fix any leveling incongruities. Therefore, I give credit to the professional brick layers and am now cognizant of the skill and technique it takes to make a CMU wall. On the other hand, the wood framing went quickly and its raw finish remained acceptable along with polycarbonate panels which were behind the wood frame.

      Apr 20, 12 3:33 pm  · 

      In line with your question thought this passage by Marikka Trotter from Lian's recent live-blog relevant.

      MT: There’s a relation to Borges’ idea of an encyclopaedia: that you could make an encyclopaedia of fictitious things, and eventually they’d start to make their way into the world as people took in the ideas. There’s something about architecture that always makes other possibilities possible—it’s not necessarily about knowing where those possibilities are going to go. And this architecture doesn’t have to be something that is built, as long as it goes into cultural circulation.

      Apr 22, 12 10:07 pm  · 

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