Archinect - California College of the Arts (Ted Rzad) 2021-08-02T00:22:58-04:00 1 week left... Ted Rzad 2006-04-21T14:09:43-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>As twilight descends upon my time here at CCA, the pressures of completing my Thesis work are morphing into a caricature of itself. The relief of the end of tunnel light, the excitement for possibilities ahead, and just some nice, sunny weather are keeping the ghouls of anxiety from whispering too many ill thoughts in my ear as I amass a mountain of spent #11 blades.<br><br> A fascinating Grad Theory Seminar completed last night. Led by the brilliant Michael Bogan, we explored writings on the emergence, manipulation, and persistence of patterns in nature and science while distilling our ruminations into Maya animations. Densely intellectual to be sure, but I gleaned a deeper understanding of the evolutionary and environmentally programmed elements in my own sensibilities that both drew me to architecture and continue to serve the aesthetic and intellectual pursuits within my work. <br><br> Unfortunately, this seminar runs from 7-10pm on Thursday nights, causing me to miss Cameron Sinclair presen...</p> Passing the Torch Ted Rzad 2006-04-05T12:23:47-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>As the end is in sight, one order of business remains to be resolved: who will take over the CCA blog?<br><br> I've had a good time with it, and it's been a great way for those interested in learning more about the B.Arch and M.Arch programs to get insider info. <br><br> I've been asking around, but as of yet, no takers. Why the reluctance? It only takes a couple of minutes per post, Paul's made the interface very easy to navigate, and it's a chance to record your experiences going though that epic canon of the architectural career: SCHOOL. I've met 30 year veterans who still refer to experiences had while toiling away in studio. "Back in my day..." Yeah, when you had to draft on stone tablets...<br><br> Anyway, someday I'll be that guy spinning tales about my 2 very condensed years at CCA, and there will be the Archinect blog available for Tall Tale fact checking. Why pass this up?<br><br> It's not super competitive, and there's more than enough room for multiple bloggers from the same school. Why not have a ...</p> Less than 5 weeks left ‘til the gallows swings Ted Rzad 2006-03-30T12:33:26-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Why do I feel so calm? I am presenting my Thesis four weeks and two days from today. I have my macro story, but have yet to catch the micro moves fluttering around in my brain and my sketchbook in a fully compelling fashion. My desk crit from yesterday boiled down to &ldquo;you have a bunch of great pieces but you have yet to stitch them together in a way that respects their potential&rdquo;&#157;. <br><br> I recognize this. The real struggle is patience. I have ideas for the patchwork already. I had a vision going into the semester, and I have a vision now. My sketchbook contains 4-5 schemes as well. The trick is to allow the process to remain &rdquo;&tilde;bottom-up', not &rdquo;&tilde;top-down'. The current philosophies surrounding &rdquo;&tilde;emergent' organization are poignant here:<br><br><a href="" target="_blank">MIT link</a><br><br><a href="" target="_blank">book link</a><br><br> My thesis stipulates that current practice in Historic Preservation fails in respecting the existing context and the cultural knowledge it embodies by approaching it from the top down. It's analogous to the debate between creationism and ...</p> it just keeps comin' Ted Rzad 2006-02-14T01:54:06-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>This is my last semester at CCA. Accordingly, I've been taking inventory of my time here; and I'm still happy I came.<br><br> For example, after watching the latest of a series of amazing sunsets from my studio (see image below), I received a firm and poignant desk crit from Neal Schwartz and Jasmine Benyamin, my primary critics for Thesis. The first of three major pin-ups for the semester is Wednesday. It's an interesting paradox: I've been looking forward to Thesis since the beginning of my program and now must force my brain out of the way in favor of my gut. <br><br> All of this was punctuated by running off to a standing-room-only lecture by LOT-EK. Don't miss a chance to see them in their current guise. I asked them about their modeling: all of the models shown tonight were computer based. I asked if they did physical modeling as well. Giuseppe replied that for several years now they only model in the computer, but that they had always missed physical models, even crude sketchy ones. He sai...</p> SFMoMA Installation report (overdue) Ted Rzad 2005-11-05T11:49:11-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:03-04:00 <p>Here are some images of the SFMoMA installation that consumed the first three weeks of this semester. It was a lot of fun, and a great experience in project management and client communication.<br><br> The museum hosted the event to celebrate the closing of the 2x4 exhibit and lecture by founder Michael Rock <a href="" target="_blank">site</a>, as well as offer a mixer for young donors. We had a fine time elbow rubbing and sipping martinis....<br><br> Some images of mock-ups:<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Installation at the museum:<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> And with the white table cloths...<br> (The following images courtesy SFMoMA and Orange Photgraphy)<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> And the team (L to R): me (3rd yr M'Arch), Donnie Gonzales (3rd yr B'Arch), Chris Chockenberry (3rd yr B'Arch), Raveevarn Choksombatchai (LOOM Studio <a href="" target="_blank">site</a> , VEEVdesign <a href="" target="_blank">site</a>), Patrick Flynn (5th yr B'Arch), Denise Cassuto (SFMoMA Donor Services Manager), Nate Owdom (3rd yr B'Arch).<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p> It's hard to write a blog when your semester's boot is firmly lodged in your... Ted Rzad 2005-10-26T12:19:17-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>The semester is half over and I am writing my first blog for Fall 2005. This just goes to show how heavy things have been. <br><br> My courses are excellent: A skyscraper studio taught by SOM, a high performance envelope detailing seminar taught by ARUP, a contemporary Asian art criticism seminar taught by the assistant Curator from the Asian Art Museum (by Gae Aulenti) and a research studio for next spring's Thesis work.<br><br> The semester got off to a rocky start due to a great opportunity. I took a summer studio that focused on installation art (see my previous blog) and my team was selected to install another one at SFMoMA. The install date was during the 3rd week of school, so things got very hectic. I still feel like I'm catching up. Actually, I think I'll be caught by Christmas break. <br><br> And I promise to blog more often before then....<br></p> Thinning the bookshelf herd Ted Rzad 2005-08-04T12:00:13-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>The joy of moving is upon us. In pondering how to cram our copious possessions into a downtown shoebox, 5 years of Architectural Record, Architecture, and Contract seem not worth moving, especially since I can roll down to CCA post graduation and scan articles as needed.<br><br> Thoughts? Donate (to whom?), sell (how much?), dump in the Bay along with my old paint cans and used motor oil collection?</p> Summer Studio 333 Ted Rzad 2005-08-01T16:19:14-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Ah yes: summer school. Once regarded as the dreaded nadir of the pit of despair (at least for me while trudging through grade school), summer school took an enticing twist this year. CCA's Studio 333 (three critics, three weeks, three times the fun...) was a great way to cram your brain into an atom- smasher. We were given a single primary material, industrial plastic film, to explore, test, destroy, and distill the beauty of. Our findings were to be expressed in a large scale installation in CCA's hallowed halls. Our critics were excellent, with each bringing a distinct critical precision to the table: <br><br> Nadar Tehrani <br><a href="" target="_blank">Office dA</a><br><br> Raveevarn Choksombatchai<br><a href="" target="_blank">LOOM Studio</a><br><br> Stephen Cassell<br><a href="" target="_blank">ARO</a><br><br> My team mates (Misha Packer, Patrick Flynn, Paul Taylor, and Donnie Gonzales) and I received excellent challenges and proposals from each instructor, enabling us refine our work into a statement unlike what any of us could have come up with on our own. A very solid team work experience to be sure.<br><br> Th...</p> summer in the city Ted Rzad 2005-07-09T22:11:14-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:03-04:00 <p>It seems the summer time is one of catching up. Sleeping, reading fiction, cooking something other than than mac and cheese...It's been great, but the lure of all things architorture is actually too great: yes, it is summer school time! Hopefully I will get into the closed Studio 333: 3 weeks, 3 critics, 3 charettes. More news as it comes.<br><br> In between, getting up to speed with Rhino and GoLive, and reacquainting myself with my wife and my bicycle.</p> Spring Break no more (sigh) Ted Rzad 2005-03-28T01:14:27-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I had a huge list of stuff to do this past week; got a cold, did about 30%. I literally slept for 2 days. Is grad school supposed to be like this? I am seriously wiped out and there's still 6 weeks left of the semester.<br><br> Am I alone in feeling strung out by all of this? Am I taking it too seriously? Really, there's got to be another way to deal with the pressure rather than just falling face first on the bed when a day off comes along. <br><br> What are ways to relax, i.e. find balance? My wife thinks I'm going crazy, but I think I'm already there&rdquo;&brvbar;<br><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p> Juxtaposition Ted Rzad 2005-03-16T20:39:18-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:02-04:00 <p>One of the canons of CCA is the opportunity for interdisciplinary studies. It's a major reason why I chose CCA of my other opportunities, and as such, the reason I enrolled in an additional studio as a free elective. The studio, taught by members from IDEO, overlaps architecture students with industrial design, interior design, and furniture design.<br><br> We've just had a final crit responding to meditations on the life cycle as observed out at the beach and through objects found at a salvage yard. The pix below are of my classmate Alex Ryan's (Furniture Design major) installation. He hung a vintage grade school swing from the seismic lateral supports 40' above the floor of CCA's main space. The green is actual grass sod.<br><br> I swung a lot as I was up way past midnight last night as well as working everyday for over a week on our NAAB visit, part-time CA assist for a great local project, and cranking toward my main studio's final for this Friday &rdquo;&brvbar;<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p> unstuck in the middle Ted Rzad 2005-03-03T12:08:38-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>The last 10 days have been fraught with peril. Sleep deprivation lurking in every shadow. Deadlines in 2 studios, plus design project deadlines in my other two classes falling within a week of each other. Torrential rain and the resultant water in the carbs inherent in riding a little-too-racy-for-daily commuting bike rain or shine. Having to identify the corpse of my recently theft-recovered previous motorcycle was a highlight. At least the police found it on my birthday.<br><br> It is precisely from in between these obstacles that inspiration can spring. For me, the interstitial reprieve occurs during the autopilot duties of each day. Something about brushing one's teeth dislodges ideas along with the plaque. This past week, no less than three ideas for studio work have popped out minty fresh. Good thing, too, as I was getting a bit stopped up and deadlines wait for no man. Fortunately, the sketchbook is always close at hand.<br></p> miles to go Ted Rzad 2005-02-18T20:40:22-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:02-04:00 <p>Midreview in process; I'm sitting at the back with wireless. Bret Terpeluk from Renzo's office is describing a cast multiple threaded rod fixture that supports compound-curved glazing above the central piazza of the new Academy of Science (of which Bret's the Project Architect). We're presenting full-scale mock-ups of curtain wall details from this project. Oh yeah, and we're leaving for LA tomorrow morning to tour Morphosis projects et al for the next phase of the studio. Miles to go before I sleep&rdquo;&brvbar;<br><br> Funny how sleep deprivation alters the senses. You start hearing things. You stare listlessly at nothing. Your shoes begin to ask you questions (and you answer). Perhaps it's also the caffeine, and the maddeningly beautiful day outside that you missed after several days of rain. Somehow, my model came out pretty well, despite discovering early this morning that I made one of the four glazing units backwards&rdquo;&brvbar;.<br><br> Photos are from this crit, by the way&rdquo;&brvbar;<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p>... It's getting hot in the kitchen Ted Rzad 2005-02-13T23:19:07-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Thinking of frying pans and spinning plates&rdquo;&brvbar;this two studio thing is getting interesting. IDEO wants interviews with strangers about their notions of &ldquo;home&rdquo;&#157;, and Skin Studio wants full size mock-ups of curtain wall details from Renzo's Academy of Science. I think the speedboat is finally up on a plane.<br><br> The forefront, however, is the search for the summer internship. I've worked already; I'm nearly done with IDP. This internship should be different. This is my only summer as a student, meaning that it's my only chance for a job selection rubric free of the analysis of benefits and long range opportunity. I can select on the basis of project, office location, and/or starpower. <br><br> Perhaps someone could weigh in: How much is a big name on the res worth? Should I look for the most interesting place, one that would be difficult to take a permanent position in? My spouse has a great job and we love San Francisco; is this my only chance to work in Europe or Africa?<br><br></p>... sweet, sweet slumber Ted Rzad 2005-02-05T20:57:58-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Big deadlines in both studios during the same week; dang. Today (Saturday), I've done pretty much nothing and have loved it. My wife's at a trapeze lesson and I'm chillin'.<br><br> Great lecture this past week (at CCA): Stephane Pratte of Montreal-based Atelier In Situ <a href="" target="_blank"></a> Great process and inter-disciplinary projects.<br><br> The sleep deprivation thing has already started up; I am slipping into zombie mode. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it a requirement that in order to do great architectural work, one must be a workaholic? My spouse is very understanding, but some of my classmates are not as lucky. Thoughts?<br><br> I worked as a designer for 4 years before coming to school and this program. I thought I had the time management thing pretty wired, yet I still stay in studio way late. I guess that inspiration doesn't always follow a schedule.<br><br> Boy, am I getting sleepy; must be time for another nap&rdquo;&brvbar;(gotta get it while you can).<br><br><br></p> feelin' the love Ted Rzad 2005-01-31T00:35:25-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:02-04:00 <p>This B-Tech semester is coming along well. The tech part of making buildings is so instinctual for me that it hardly feels like work. I wonder how I'll feel on that subject later in the semester, though&rdquo;&brvbar;<br><br> We just had desk crits in my Skin studio with a Structural Engineer from Ove Arup. She was incredibly sharp, explaining everything in that clear and succinct way that so many engineers are naturals at affecting. Curtain walls are so cool&rdquo;&brvbar;.<br><br> The repose is the IDEO home studio. Free-form with a focus; it's a great chance to use the verbal brain to explore what is &ldquo;home&rdquo;&#157; these days. I live in a tiny place to save cash. It's simply where my wife and I sleep and keep our fairly minimalist possessions. This fair city is our home; the parks, caf&Atilde;&fnof;&Acirc;&copy;s, etc. are our spaces for solace. The twisty asphalt ribbons lining the coast are my home when I'm twisting the right grip on my MZ Skorpion, sounds of spent combustion booming off of the rock faces. This studio is unearthing non-place noti...</p> here we go again... Ted Rzad 2005-01-22T20:49:43-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:02-04:00 <p>The semester just started last week, and I'm already working at school on the weekends, boring my friends with Archispeak, and obsessing in my sketchbook. Commitment or evidence that I should be committed? Yes.<br><br> Last semester saw me presenting in my final crit an extremely detailed 3D model, 3 renderings, a fly-thru, practically a CD set in 2D, and no final model. The geometry was simply not buildable using typical modeling techniques. Stereolithography or some other rapid prototyping output was needed. <br><br> To never again commit the sin of not having a great final model, I am taking an Industrial Design studio as an elective this semester (Gotta love an interdisciplinary school&rdquo;&brvbar;Go CCA!). Co-taught by designers from IDEO <a href="" target="_blank">link</a> and CCA's Neal Schwartz <a href="" target="_blank">link</a>, alternate modelmaking techniques should be an interesting opportunity while we investigate the new meanings of &Atilde;&cent;&acirc;&sbquo;&not;&Euml;&oelig;Home' in this decentralized, dematerialized wireless new century. <br><br> My main studio is at the center of a very B.Tec...</p>