Archinect - Kent State University (Micah) 2021-05-11T12:21:19-04:00 Closing time. Micah McKelvey 2012-02-07T18:54:00-05:00 >2012-06-07T01:46:04-04:00 <p> Before I archive this blog (for now at least), I decided I should write one final post just in case someone of the future comes across this little piece of history and wonders what the hell happened.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> A decent amount of time has passed yet it still seems recent in my mind that I said good bye to Kent State in May, graduating with a B.S. in Architecture. &nbsp;Our final comprehensive studio wrapped up nicely and, considering the circumstances all we were asked to do, I'm fairly proud of what we accomplished that&nbsp;semester. &nbsp;The process was a very difficult but worthwhile eye opener. &nbsp;You can view the main result of that project, our design&nbsp;development&nbsp;drawing set,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>. &nbsp;After we completed our work at Kent, my project partner Chris Schoenlein and I had an opportunity to take our work to the University of Kentucky College of Design and participate in a design charrette they hosted with Gregory Romine and Martin Summers. &nbsp;The entire experience was fantastic and the results of that week...</p> I'm in love with a computer. Micah McKelvey 2011-04-08T14:32:14-04:00 >2012-02-08T12:22:56-05:00 <p> Well no surprise but I owe you an apology. Soon after my last post my hard drive crashed and due to that tragedy, so did I. It's interesting how the demise of my personal computer felt way too I was also broken. But I suppose that in this digital world, feeling that kind of connection to a computer makes a lot of awful sense. Anyway, in the month or so that my computer was dead/getting repairs I fell out of the habit of a very brief catch-up is in order. (I lied, it&rsquo;s not that brief)<br><br> When I last updated, I left you with a series of models we were doing to think through our thoughts on program and sustainable strategies. After the initial few weeks of playing around with a general design through this method of model making we started feeling pressure to settle on a scheme. At this point we knew we wanted our building to do a few things. It had to engage the street with the offices above, the office spaces needed as much access to daylight as possible...</p> Cleveland stories: true until proven otherwise. Micah McKelvey 2011-02-16T14:58:02-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>A little tidbit from the <a href="" target="_blank">Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative</a>.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><a href="" target="_blank">DO YOU HAVE A CLEVELAND STORY TO TELL?</a><br> Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative is organizing a StorySlam on February, 24th at the Cleveland Institute of Art's Coventry Center to gather place-based stories to include in their upcoming journal entitled Cleveland Stories: True until proven otherwise. <br><br> The CUDC is looking for:<br> - Historians and story tellers who can share lesser-known aspects of Cleveland's history - particularly stories that are about a specific place in the city.<br> - Creative writers who can invent a useful fiction for a Cleveland neighborhood and convince listeners of this alternate reality<br> artists and urban designers.<br><br> Tell a story about a Cleveland place - past, present or future. Fact or fiction. Funny, sad,'s up to you. The best stories will be published in Cleveland Stories: True until proven otherwise.<br> Come to the StorySlam February 24 and toss your name in the...</p> Initially. Micah McKelvey 2011-02-11T17:22:25-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>We're about one month deep in the IDC project now, and after a few different working schemes, I think our project is progressing in a solid direction.<br><br> The project location is Washington D.C. On the Anacostia river waterfront within the The Yards currently being developed by <a href="" target="_blank">Forest City</a> as part of a larger scheme to redevelop the waterfront through the <a href="" target="_blank">Anacostia Waterfront Initiative</a>. The program includes 250,000 total square feet broken into 100,000 ft2 of prime office space, 40,000 ft2 of spec office space, 40,000 ft2 of retail/mercantile, and the remainder for service, building systems, circulation, etc. Specific tenants and building users were not defined in the program brief, but the speculation is that the Navy Yards will be occupying the prime space, and private companies contracted by the Navy Yards will be occupying the spec spaces. <br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><br><a href=";source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=the+yards+park,+washington+d.c.&amp;aq=&amp;sll=38.876501,-76.997595&amp;sspn=0.025492,0.065875&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=The+Yards+Park&amp;hnear=The+Yards+Park,+Washington+D.C.,+District+of+Columbia+20003&amp;t=h&amp;cid=17368110456736611472&amp;ll=38.874797,-77.000341&amp;spn=0.020046,0.034246&amp;z=14" target="_blank">View Larger Map</a><br><br> We had plans to visit the site a few weeks ago, but all this snow has kept us from making the 7 hour trip. Initially, the...</p> Warpaint. Micah McKelvey 2011-02-05T01:41:13-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Wowww, in true school blogger fashion I completely dropped the ball on posting last semester. <br><br> However, if I may formulate an excuse, I knew if I tried I wouldn't post anything other than cynical, jaded rants...and regret them later. For my devout readers to be brought up to speed...there isn't much I can say other than last semester downright sucked. Because of the workload across all classes, coming back to kent after a semester in Italy, the real world mentalities of the fourth year faculty, and the less-than-compelling studio design prompts, I was completely uninspired and unmotivated for studio....the only course on my schedule that, in the past, I could count on to make me believe this degree was worth it. Out of frustration and spiraling into depression I underperformed and while I fully admit my faults and take responsibility for them, I had to appeal the final grade that was given to me in order to progress on to this semester. Now that all of that is behind me, thing...</p> This is rapid fire. Micah McKelvey 2010-09-18T21:34:32-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I hate school. I'm stressed to the max.<br><br> I don't know if anyone else gets to their fourth grueling year of school and feels as "over it" as I do (senioritis I suppose), but watching the deadline for dropping all my classes consequence-free come and go during the first all nighter of the semester tested my will power and sanity. Now that it's passed, I guess I'm stuck for another semester. May couldn't come soon enough.<br><br><br><br> Updates...GO.<br><br><br><br> | We started the semester with a fast-paced two week project attempting to design a net zero sustainable live/work space for a watercolor artist. Each student received one of four climatically diverse cities and was instructed to design a space that responded passively to those environmental conditions. It's been made clear to us that our projects this semester are going to focus heavily on real-life models of constructing and planning in preparation for the big (and somewhat CAED specific) Integrated Design Competition project we've all been EAGE...</p> Narrative vignette. Micah McKelvey 2010-08-12T17:53:17-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <i>He told me that most people he brings there are less than excited about the place; they simply don't understand and probably find his enthusiasm cheesy. <br><br> But I was bursting.<br><br> I hadn't been off the plane for more than an hour and the first thing I saw after exiting the train station was a mountain unexpectedly rising with grandiose savoir-faire, relieving the unending flatness and mocking the small homes we passed. They now seemed out of place next to the city rising quietly beyond. Still, I couldn't believe what I was seeing, my eyes glazed with excitement. The streets stretched in anticipation. We took a turn and the wooden modules of the mountain began to sink below a tree line, hazy with the promise of leaves and summer.<br><br> Then suddenly there it was, looming with presumption, next to a vacant field. He didn't realize the significance when I told him how much being here meant to me and why I had come all this way, that this was more a pilgrimage than a weekend excursion. It...</i> Inflatables. Micah McKelvey 2010-07-26T23:43:59-04:00 >2020-06-12T08:56:06-04:00 <a href="" title="treehugger by micahmckelvey, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="treehugger"></a><br><br> Around the end of this past semester a giant inflatable torus was brought to life on the Kent State campus, a product of the Operative Detailing seminar led by Jason Turnidge. Since I was in Italy, I couldn't be there at that time, however much to my delight, the big plastic fun house was re-inflated this summer here in Cleveland within the courtyard of the <a href="" target="_blank">Sculpture Center</a>.<br><br><a href="" title="treehugger by micahmckelvey, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="treehugger"></a><br><br><a href="" title="treehugger by micahmckelvey, on Flickr" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="treehugger"></a><br><br> Named <i>treehugger: giant torus</i>, the courtyard in Cleveland was not the original site for the project, and even though providing a tree (as did the campus site...hence the pun), a few permanent sculptures required that the structure be roped and suspended over them, re-adapting the torus to the new site. <br><br> But after releasing this project to the greater Cleveland area it begs the question, &ldquo;What are the intentions, if any?&rdquo; Was the project decidedly satirical, or maybe just purposefully offensive. Is "treehugger" a play on words or is it simplistically and innocently literal? Was the selection of the torus... Using Florence. Micah McKelvey 2010-05-06T19:33:41-04:00 >2012-02-08T12:23:41-05:00 <p> With a little over a week to go in Italy, instead of soaking up every last minute of our time here, we are all scrambling to produce a project for reviews on tuesday (or wednesday?.....shit.)<br><br> Concurrently, a competition, Usa Firenze (see that, a play on words), has been announced in collaboration with AND magazine. All architecture students from KSU-Florence were invited to submit their projects with the intent of revealing the full-fledged cultural exchange happening between the city of Florence and many American universities, especially as our projects (at architectural and non-architectural programs) 'use Florence' as a laboratory for academic experiments. The winners will be announced and presented at a reception at A18 Gallery, Via degli Artisti 18R, Florence on May 13th at 7:00pm.<br><br> See you there!<br><br><a href="" title="A new mediatheque for florence. by micahmckelvey, on Flickr" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="A new mediatheque for florence." src=""></a></p> Pointy things. Micah McKelvey 2010-04-19T13:26:18-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> In between jet setting across Europe, I've been devoting (some) time to my studio's proposed project for Florence, a new Mediatheque located within the walls of the Fortezza da Basso.<br><br> From the syllabus, under the guidance of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Alberto Francini</a>. //<br><br><i>"The new mediatheque will have to become an asset to the city at large. Both in terms of image and functionality, it will have to become a major forum for the public life of the city. The design will have to respond to the surrounding context in whatever way deemed appropriate by the student, who will have to support his/her own ideas through a strong design rationale. The design of the open space has to be integrated with the design of the mediatheque and will have to appeal and respond to contemporary culture and sensibility.<br><br><b>Program //</b><br><br> Lobby <b>/</b> 100 sqmt.<br> Cafeteria + restaurant <b>/</b>200 sqmt.<br> Bookshop <b>/</b>200 sqmt.<br> Exhibition space (multi-use) <b>/</b>200 sqmt.<br> Restrooms <b>/</b>100 sqmt<br><br> Mediatheque <b>/</b>250 sqmt.<br> Emerotheque (video/music) <b>/</b>150 sqmt.<br> Libra...</i></p> Struggle, meditation, acceptance. Micah McKelvey 2010-03-19T18:20:17-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> This semester has been a strong test of my general approval of architecture, and more specifically, my place within it. Of course, I'm not talking physical architecture here, but rather the industry, practice, and teaching of architecture. To sum it up neatly, I've realized for myself, like so many before me, that architecture is a sham and a general waste of time.<br><br> I don't know when my resistance to the whole concept began, but being in Italy has definitely proliferated my disdain for architecture to a higher degree. I think this is because my main grief deals with the authenticity of our practice, and for me currently, the authenticity of architectural instruction. Over winter break I picked up a book randomly from the architecture library at school, <i>Architecture Depends</i> by Jeremy Till. I was only able to get through the first few chapters before coming here to Florence, but in it he offers (among other things) an unapologetic criticism of the architecture studio, often humorous...</p> Like a mop. Micah McKelvey 2010-03-02T16:51:17-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> Any attempt at writing a cohesive narrative at this point would be fruitless, therefore I'll save myself the trouble and resort to a bullet-point list of updates. The following takes place between January 16th and March 2nd, 2010.<br><br> &gt; Began class six (quick) weeks ago with Kent's Florence Program. I thought I was only taking one class on the Renaissance, Italian Art from Giotto to Bernini...but I was mistaken. All of my classes seem to stress the Renaissance to such a degree that differentiating between them can at times be difficult. One class, Forces that Shape Cities taught by the program director, became Forces that <i>Shaped</i> Cities when we got to Florence. Needless to say, that 'd' makes a world of difference.<br><br> &gt; Studio has been somewhat of a disappointment. Our project is a new mediatheque (defined as a modern library, or a new media library) within the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Fortezza da Basso</a>, a Renaissance star fort built for the protection of the Medici family in 1534, now a prominent exhibition ve...</p> Figuring out Italy. Micah McKelvey 2010-01-14T17:39:12-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> For someone who has never been abroad (okay, I've visited Canada but we can all agree that hardly counts), studying in Italy this semester is a big change. And being transplanted from cow-town Ohio, maybe even more so.<br><br><img alt="image" name="image" src=""><br><br> Orientation week started Monday. This is meant to help us in our transition to Italian life, and also to complete necessary tasks and documents associated with our extended stay. We heard from the Florence program director, Marcello Fantoni, first. Even though his welcome was far from brief, he said some very important things that shed light on some of the troubles I have been experiencing since my arrival here in Florence. Amongst them, and the most notable to me, is that Fantoni made a remark comparing Florence to an American mall or amusement park. He claimed the two to be very similar, especially considering themes, but where the theme in a mall tends toward a &ldquo;tropical&rdquo; environment with palm trees and foliage, here, the theme is the Renaissance. He warned us t...</p> Via Firenze. Micah McKelvey 2010-01-10T11:07:12-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> Greetings from Florence!<br><br> The group arrived yesterday and may I say, Florence is incredible. Yet, I'm convinced it's an allusion, a convincing and meticulously fabricated movie set. It will be interesting to see how my impressions of the city change as my knowledge grows.<br><br> Maybe I'll get around to posting about the end of this previous semester, maybe not.<br><br> But until then, Arrivederci!</p> Dreamscapes. Micah McKelvey 2009-12-15T19:20:30-05:00 >2020-11-12T17:31:05-05:00 <p> We were only able to release one issue of t r a c e this semester. It is somewhat of a disappointment, but it's hard when we as a group are unsupported, underfunded, and attempting to actually do something outside of the studio bubble. So to everyone who did devote time to our cause, thank you.<br><br> And the t r a c e cause...what is it anyway? It is a call to action, to unity, and to creatively test our own boundaries. T r a c e is a small group of frustrated idealists who want nothing but the best for our college, our peers, and ourselves. Under the guise that anyone and everyone is an intrinsic part of making t r a c e what it is and what it can be, we strive to offer a platform to launch debate, discussion, and sharp thought that may provide a link between the members of our community in a collegiate landscape that is terribly divided and fractured. We hope that students will take a break, however brief, from their studio desks to consider something outside the boundaries of academ...</p> Ohio City. Micah McKelvey 2009-11-09T01:43:37-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> I have no idea what 'Loop' we are technically working on currently in this project. If I had to guess, I would say I'm in the loop where one swirls around in a confused stupor, much like a giant toilet bowl, before being deposited into a heap of disappointment and well, shit.<br><br> I've pretty much lost all motivation. Yes, that excitement seen in previous posts...gone. And it's not just me. Pretty much everyone in this studio is finding it hard to care about the project....or anything at all. Which is strange because it's not simply the semester weighing on our mental feels different this time. Most likely the visions of Italy have us all seduced into the prospects of a less intense semester experience. Italy-itis. It is literally so fact, only two months from today my plane leaves Detroit for Paris.<br><br> Recently we received the final program brief for our final project, sited in Ohio City, a neighborhood of Cleveland located on the outskirts of downtown direct...</p> Fast good. Micah McKelvey 2009-10-09T17:07:01-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> Where <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">this</a> is going:<br><br><i>World renowned gastronomic scientist Ferran Adri&agrave;, chef at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">elBulli</a>, (considered by many to be the best restaurant in the world and called "the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet") calls for your collaboration on his newest venture - the growth of his brand, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Fast Good</a>, into North America. You are asked to design a prototype environment to be positioned as the brand is brought to life in specific markets yet to be determined. Thus, for the moment, the "site" for the restaurant will be an abstraction of an entirely typical condition: an infill volume with 20' frontage, 60' depth, and 30' height.<br><br> In keeping with the design and business philosophy, Adri&agrave; requests an ephemeral yet tactile atmosphere of in-betweens - "catering to client's various needs" and accommodating "customers who are in more of a hurry and others for those who have a bit more time". Specifically, Adria requires "an innovative and avant-garde design to make Fast Good more ...</i></p> Restraint. Micah McKelvey 2009-10-07T19:25:51-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> 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 &gt;&gt;&gt;<br><br><i>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...</i></p> C. Y. O. A. Micah McKelvey 2009-09-21T20:33:26-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> Many students in third year are just trying to make it to Italy next semester at this point, and yet contrary to what seems the current standard, I'm incredibly excited about the work I'll be producing and the work our studio section is doing.<br><br> Possibly even more so than at other schools(?), education in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">College of Architecture and Environmental Design</a> at Kent is a lot like a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' novel. I find that I'm receiving exactly the kind of education that I could hope for right now, but only because of the sequence of studio professors that I'm selecting. It seems very possible to come here and graduate with a completely different education than another peer. At first this wide array of viewpoints was frustrating...from traditional and technical to concept driven and contemporary. But now I'm at a point where I only see benefits from this situation because it's forcing me to go out of my way to get what I want out of Kent. The nice is thing is that what I 'want'...</p> Polite introductions. Micah McKelvey 2009-09-10T16:03:50-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> So now I take the reigns.<br><br> I suppose I'll begin by introducing myself. I'm a third year student in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University. I'm in the Honors College here as well as devoting some of my time to our student organizations &gt; AIAS, CASU, and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">t r a c e</a>. T r a c e [which I co-edited last year and edit this year] is a bi-semester journal independently produced to compile thoughts, concerns, events, personalities, and viewpoints amongst design-minded members of the greater college community. This is a big part of what I do here so surely more on that later. I came to Kent because it seemed most in line with what I wanted from an architecture program while being contained within the boundaries of the state of Ohio. This was because I perceived in-state schools to be the only option available for cost-effective under graduate education. (I later found this to be untrue...) My plan is to get a different perspective in grad school by selec...</p>