Archinect - McGill University (Meredith) 2017-08-21T17:43:05-04:00 An architecture student's visit to Ottawa Meredith 2010-07-22T16:09:01-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I feel very delinquent, I have ideas for several blog posts and I just can't stop procrastinating. But isn't that what the summer is for? Here is a very delayed post about my July 1st trip to Ottawa.<br><br> Ottawa is not only the nation's capitol, but a lovely city to visit and only two hours away from Montreal (one of my choices for architecture school was <a href="" target="_blank">Carleton University</a>). In a last-minute decision, I decided to drop-in on a friend and check out Canada Day festivities. Unlike the other million tourists, I did not spend the day on the Hill, but rather chose to profit from free entry to the national museums. Although there are many museums in and around Ottawa, the three big ones (the ones I chose to visit) are the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. All three museums border on the Ottawa River, allowing for plenty of green space near the water for leisure and recreation.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////...</p> Hand Drawing Is Not Dead. Meredith 2010-06-14T23:10:00-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Since the dawn of the computer, there has been much <a href="" target="_blank">discussion</a> about the future of hand drawing in architecture. While it is inevitable that hand-drafting will go the way of the dinosaur (in fact, it probably already has), I believe drawing by hand will continue to play a role in the architecture studio. Certainly, this is what we are taught at McGill.<br><br> McGill's School of Architecture has a policy that can essentially be summed up as "no computers in first year". While this is not exactly true (we use Photoshop, InDesign and of course MS Office), we are not taught any computer drafting/modeling software until second year. Although some students did sneakily use SketchUp and even AutoCAD to help with some of the assignments, all our drafting was to be done by hand.<br><br> I love hand drafting. I was first introduced in grade nine. In our Introduction to Technology class (aka wood-shop), we used to have to draw top- and side-elevations of three-dimensional wood models. Our teacher was quick...</p> Happy (belated) Underground America Day Meredith 2010-05-15T12:31:05-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Several of my projects from the last year have involved underground structures or digging into the earth. I didn't even notice the trend until somebody pointed it out near the end of this semester. I took a geology class in CEGEP that I really loved, perhaps that has something to do with it. Maybe I just have a subconscious desire to burrow into the earth.<br><br> So knowing that subterranean architecture was something I was at least predisposed to, I took home the book "The Earth-Sheltered House" when it caught my eye in the library yesterday. The authour, Malcolm Wells, was an American architect and proponent of underground living, 'gentle architecture' he called it. The book is one of several he wrote and is extremely easy to read, presented as 'an architect's sketchbook'. I read most of it yesterday and finished it off this morning. It wasn't until I reach the last page that I discovered that yesterday, May 14th, was <a href="" target="_blank">"Underground America Day"</a>, a holiday invented by Wells to celebrate u...</p> Its summer time, and the living is easy Meredith 2010-04-27T22:48:36-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>I wrote my last exam today, and thus began my summer holidays! Unfortunately, the weather did not seem to agree.<br><br><img src="" alt="Snowy Day" name="image"><br> Three Bares feeling a little bit chilly this week...<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> and just when it was starting to green up!<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> View across campus from Sherbrooke street.<br><br> We don't really study urbanism in our program (although McGill offers a <a href="" target="_blank">masters degree in urban planning</a>), but I came across this while catching up on a few lectures I missed in my history of housing class. It made me hopeful for the future.<br><br><b>10 Points for a New Urbanism</b><br> 1- Walkability<br> 2- Connectivity<br> 3 - Mixed Use &amp; Diversity<br> 4 - Mixed Housing<br> 5 - Quality Architecture &amp; Urban Design<br> 6 - Traditional Neighbourhood Structure<br> 7 - Increased Density<br> 8 - Smart Transportation<br> 9 - Sustainability<br> 10 - Quality of Life<br><br> Montreal's <a href="" target="_blank">Design Open House</a> is this weekend. If you are in town, I highly recommend you participate. Its lots of fun and you get to satisfy your inner curiosity by poking around other designer's workspaces. Also, McGi...</p> What architecture students do in their free time Meredith 2010-04-15T21:32:56-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <b>Run the Arch Caf&eacute;</b><br> Although now under the official control of McGill Food Services, the Arch Caf&eacute; is still the hippest hang-out spot on campus. Located in the basement of the architecture building, the caf&eacute;'s decor was part of a masters' studio project years back. It still serves fresh food from local bakeries and is staffed solely by architecture students. (Read more about the controversy, which happened before my time, <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>).<br><br><b>Visit the Ice Hotel</b><br> Built just outside of Quebec City every winter, the <a href="" target="_blank">Ice Hotel</a> hosts a design competition among the architecture departments of Quebec universities. This year, McGill took both first and second prize. Although nobody from first year was part of the winning teams, a couple students had the chance to drive down and check it out.<br><br><b>Go on fieldtrips</b><br> Our first year has been marked by several fieldtrips, from expeditions out into 'real-world' Montreal to factory visits to our class trip to Boston.<br><br><img src="" alt="McGill Structures" name="image"><br> Exploring the bridges of the Lachine Canal in our ... House for a Hero Meredith 2010-04-06T00:46:51-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>You know spring has arrived at McGill when the boards are taken down from around the three bares and the quidditch team resumes their weekend practices in front of the architecture building. Not only has spring arrived in Montreal, but summer as well, with temperatures in the mid-twenties and sunny skies all weekend.<br><br> However, the long weekend is now over and regular spring (aka rainy) weather returns. For those who took the weekend off from school, tomorrow morning means a return to the studio. For those of us who spent the weekend in studio, well its just another day.<br><br> I am a first-year student at McGill in the School of Architecture's B.Sc.(Arch) degree. This three year (four if you are from out-of-province) undergraduate degree leads to a three-semester accredited M.Arch. degree and, perhaps, life as a real architect.<br><br> One week before the end of the academic year, (three if you count the exam period), might seem like an odd time to start blogging, but I figure its enough time to...</p>