Archinect - Ontario College of Art and Design 2024-04-21T00:18:34-04:00 From a B.Des in Toronto to a M.Arch in Chicago. Arnaud M. 2007-07-31T13:44:03-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I left the blog behind quite a while ago now, and to be completely honest, the lack of motivation os what made me ignore this blog.A lot of things have happened since graduation. I got accepted into 3 out of 5 school I applied for the M.Arch and decided for Illinois Tech. I was granted my B.Des. with distinction and even got a big chunk of money for going to IIT. In other words, it all turned out to work pretty well and the main concern I had about grad school (money) is now gone.<br><br> I was hired full-time a couple of months ago by one of my OCAD teachers to work in his young and small firm for the summer, which means some more experience. I am learning a lot in here and having a lot of fun. <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br> I'll be leaving toronto in about three weeks from now. If anyone from Chi-town is reading this, I'd love to a chat as there a few things I'd like to know about/ask about the city.<br><br> All the best for the rest of the summer. Hopefully I'll be able to post some stuff from IIT....</p> End of Term, On week before thesis presentations. Arnaud M. 2007-04-17T17:15:04-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I' working hard for the last week before thesis is due. I am pretty much on time although things take much longer than expected. Hopefully I schedule my time with margins, so if shit happens, I'm not in trouble. <br><br> Of all the schools I applied to for next year, I only got into Univeristy of Toronto and Illinois Tech, which isn't bad. I'm on waiting list at Sci-Arc and Arizona State University and University of British Columbia refused my application. I decided for Chicago, because UofT didn't offer any advanced standing, whereas IIT did, so the choice was quick (UofT was my backup anyway). So I'll be in Chicago next year. If some people from there read, it'd be nice talking about the school and the program.<br><br> I am currently rendering all my plans for thesis, you'll find following my Master Plan, which will give you an idea of the project.<br><br> Here is a summary (pretty raw draft) I started yesterday to summarize the project. It's definitely not a final version. <br><br><i><b>Ecosystems in the city: Sti...</b></i></p> Rock on! Arnaud M. 2007-03-09T18:28:54-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Update: I just got accepted at AL&amp;D in Toronto as well. <br><br> I just received my first letter of admission to... IIT. So I'm not quite sure about the program although the talk I had with people from there was pretty interesting and it doesn't seem to be a Mies worshipping place anymore. If you, reader, have any information that might be useful to me feel free to comment, it will help me to decide if I get accepted in other schools.<br><br> I think I would almost go only for the city. I have never been, but Chicago is probably the city that attracts me most in the US. I have never been, so it might be disappointing after all.<br><br> I'm too excited to blog about anything else for now. I'm looking forward to reading your reactions/advice.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p> Mid-term Musings Arnaud M. 2007-03-03T19:38:41-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Things have been pretty busy lately. The exhibition I mentioned in a previous post ended up sucking all my energy and time. It was very successful and it set a precedent in OCAD's history as no one could recall an environmental design show that happened in the last 30 years. It feels good to get some credit sometimes.<br><br> As a result I kinda left my thesis aside for a while. I was so tired during reading week that I couldn't work and I ended up going to Montreal to get some fresh air. <br><br> The end of the term is in 6 weeks and I still have so much left to do. It is, if well-planned ahead, still possible to achieve that though. It just means that I won't be able to chill as I did previously on week-ends, but I'm really excited about my thesis again and I think working regularly and efficiently for 6 weeks is worth giving up any social life to make a stunning presentation in the end.<br><br> I had a midterm crit on Friday and it didn't go to well, although I knew exactly what the issues were, I ju...</p> 1982/02/11 Arnaud M. 2007-02-11T18:19:04-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>25 :)<br><br> And that provides me with a good excuse to procrastinate all day.<br><br> I got my Instant Break Machine back on friday, so I'll be able to start blogging again.</p> Instant break machines. Arnaud M. 2007-01-31T17:06:50-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:13-04:00 <p>My computer died for the second time in a month and half and all the post ideas I had require to be illustrated, so I'll postpone for now, as I am also very busy.<br><br> As a result my teasing campaign won't really work so I'll reveal what it was about: We are putting together an Environmental exhibition, showcasing specifically OCAD's 3rd year residential project, from last year's and current students.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><i>Exhibition E-vite</i><br><br> I'm a little behind on my thesis as it took me a long time to get back into work after my australian vacation. <br><br> I'm extremely tired, since the annual design competition was held at school, and we worked hard last week-end to come up with a winning scheme. Hopefully we'll get an award, the results are being revealed next tuesday. <br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><i> Competition Panel</i><br><br> I can't really tell when I'll be able to post again, hopefully by next week, then the exhibition thing will be done and I'll have more time for myself.<br><br> Guess what is the make of my computer...</p> Teasing I Arnaud M. 2007-01-25T18:51:19-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> More to come soon... News. Arnaud M. 2007-01-20T10:32:09-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>It's been a really long time since I haven't posted anything so I will try to catch on what's going on in my life.<br><br> So I went to Australia over the Christmas break, and it was awesome. I flew from Toronto to Sydney via SF, and it was a long trip. I stayed about five days in Sydney and we spent a lot of time just walking around looking at buildings, taking of course tons of pictures and enjoying the masterpiece: Sydney Opera House. Sydney is a nice city although it definitely has this business feeling to it. It's not extremely beautiful nor it is ugly. What is great about it is that there are beautiful beaches 20 minutes away from the CBD, lots of beautiful parks and it is very pedestrian friendly. I would particularly recommend the <a href="" target="_blank">Sydney architecture walks</a> led by the friendly and knowledgeable Eoghan. These tours a led by architects who take on their free time to do a great job on explaining everything that has to do with Sydney architecture.<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><i>Weird Architectural contraption in Sydne...</i></p> End of Term III Arnaud M. 2006-12-17T12:10:11-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:12-04:00 <p>My final crit was on wednesday and it went pretty well. <br> I unfortunately don't have much time to write, because I'm flying to Australia for christmas break. <br> I will post more pictures and details once there. I wish y'all a merry christmas and a happy new year. Take some time to rest.</p> Genuine Nerd 1 Arnaud M. 2006-12-07T17:53:22-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I just got it in the mail and I'm so happy and nerdy that I couldn't but post it on my blog.<br> Now back to work, final crit is next wednesday.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><i>"I'm a big nerd (at least as nerdy as Toby Radloff) and I'm proud of it."</i> And I have a moustache...</p> End of Term II. Arnaud M. 2006-12-01T19:26:18-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>The end of the term is really close now, less than two weeks and I still can't stress about, I've got all things under control and I'm doing them one at a time. Most of our classes are over now and besides a couple of assignments, I can focus on my thesis mid-term crit.<br><br> I had an awesome brainstorm session with my deskmate today. We both complement each other. Whenever one of us is blocked with his project, we can call each other, not unlike the endangered citizen calling for his favorite super hero. Anyway, he really helped me to broaden my perspective on my project and I feel excited again.<br><br> Our last crit is wednesday the 13th, so we've got plenty of time to put together a stunning presentation.<br><br> Here are the pictures from my last crit, last week. This is a masterplan for the site. It started to define the main issues and what kind of design could address them. As a preliminary scheme, it started to head in the right direction. The idea of the central service/circulation spine wor...</p> End of term I. Arnaud M. 2006-11-23T20:14:48-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:09-04:00 <p>I had an in-term crit yesterday, at which we were supposed to present our current stage of planning for our thesis project. I put together a masterplan and a couple of site sections, the whole a 1:500 scale. The crit went well and although the scheme clearly needs more work, I know I am in the right direction. I eventually managed to pull together a scheme that addresses both the enormous size of the site (about 5 hectares) and the other elements in the surroundings. I'm pretty satisfied with what I got and ready to keep on refining to the point where I can start thinking about the few building designs. I know it must be hard to picture what I'm talking about without images. I planned on taking pictures of my plans tomorrow which I will post in here.<br><br> As for what the other students presented, I felt both disappointed and insulted by the poor amount and quality of the work that's been presented. About half of the students didn't have any preliminary scheme or images refined enough to...</p> Crunch time. Arnaud M. 2006-11-20T07:51:45-05:00 >2019-08-26T21:16:05-04:00 <p>Thing are getting a bit busy around here. The end of the term is in two week, plus crit week for final reviews in three weeks from now. All the assignments (besides thesis) that I ignored are soon due and I have nothing. The good thing is that I feel like I'm in control and I'm not in a rush for anything. It is the first time since I started studying architecture that I'm not freaking out two weeks before the end. Maybe I'm getting a little more mature and organized, who knows? The thing is I get the work done without having the feeling that I pulled a lot of effort to do things... kinda confusing. <br> As long as I'm not in trouble, I decided not to worry about that.<br><br> A few people have been talking to me about my blog on here (you know who you are). It's good to know that there is people reading Archinect. I just hope it won't gossip to much around school, since it is mostly unknown that I write about the school, I'd like to keep it that way, although I have nothing to hide, I don't r...</p> Of Engineers and cooling systems. Arnaud M. 2006-11-12T22:28:23-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>On friday I had an appointment /brainstorming session with one of Toronto's top <a href="" target="_blank">engineering firms</a>. One of last year's teachers, keeping an eye on my thesis, spontaneously offered me to meet with these guys, whom he had know for many years. The meeting ended-up being extremely fruitful, although I felt like a little kid, trying to participate to an adult conversation. They helped to find a good way to use the silos' huge volume in an efficient manner. These guys were extremely knowledgeable, creative and very friendly, which somewhat surprised me as I imagined all engineers to be condescending with architects/designers and NOT creative... And I was totally wrong.<br><br> After a while discussing the opportunities to use the silos as a sort of recycling plant, we figured out that the best possibility might just be to use this huge volume as an ice storage that would be connected to toronto's <a href="" target="_blank">deep lake water cooling</a>. It would just require an enormous chiller that would work during off-peak ho...</p> Things taking shape. Arnaud M. 2006-11-09T08:41:30-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Things have gone a bit crazy lately and I actually enjoyed so much what I did that I forgot/didn't really have time to post it here. Pace is slowing in studio since all the discovery/analysis phase of the thesis is behind us now. We've started designing with what's called "Situations" around here: design ideas put together using whatever media suited us better. We're due to start actual planning now.<br><br> I decided to go back to the drawing board (freehand drawings, that is) and try to (re)discover sketching as an exploratory design process. I kinda struggled for a week or so before I could start to be satisfied, not only with my drawings but also with the drawing process. As a result I eventually managed to free my mind from the "design" ideas with which I was stuck so far. I ultimately drew without having to think about it, set the hand free to wander on the paper and created designs in a sort of automated fashion.<br><br> I tried a bunch of media and papers and the best combination proved t...</p> Conceptual model. Arnaud M. 2006-10-29T09:27:21-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I know, I know... I haven't been posting in a really long time, but the last 13 days have been really busy. So busy that I didn't even find time to feel guilty about not posting on Archinect. Here I am. <br><br> There is no need to explain what a conceptual model is. Mine was at 1:200 scale showing only the site itself. It's about layering, reconnect the site to surrounding elements, such as water, city, grid etc... and also bring back a natural element into the site. I used the metaphor of a stone thrown into the site, therefore triggering change. So the silos (acrylic tubes in the picture) are an instrument of change and the disturbances created within the different layers in the site, create spatial events that will eventually become focal points and programmatic elements.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Other than that, I eventually settled on schools to which I will apply, my shortlist is: Sci-Arc, Arizona State, UBC, IIT, UofT in order of preference. At the end my decision will be based on completion time and fina...</p> Turning point. Arnaud M. 2006-10-16T22:06:47-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I've been working quite hard the last couple of days and I'm actually enjoying it a lot: I'm just starting to really get into my thesis. It was about time. I had a desk crit today where I figured out, with the help of Natasha, one of my to teachers, that I accumulated a shitload of material and ideas for my thesis, and that is it time for me to put my thoughts together and define a design direction. I'm such a scattered brain that I feel a little shitty right now for not being able to answer the simple question: "What is your thesis about?" which I get asked 10 times a day and it drives me nuts.<br> So I scheduled tomorrow a heavy-duty brainstorming session with my deskmate, in order to get fresh ideas and figure which direction I want to go towards. We have conceptual model due next week, so this week is gonna be pretty busy. My site model is gonna be about a 100x100 cm, I'm a bit scared since it will be the first time that I'm not doing a model out of cardboard (an old french bad hab...</p> Life changing decisions. Arnaud M. 2006-10-14T19:46:38-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>It is time for to think about which Grad school I should apply to. I had previously made up my mind only on Canadian universities, namely UBC and UofT, but I had a lot of talks about it recently, especially with one of my teachers who is trying to convince me either to go to the US or back to Europe. <br><br> The issue is quite complicated for me right. First it's a financial issue, since my parents are financing me, I'm trying to make their life easier by not choosing 30, 000 USD universities. I know it might sound silly and that I should think about my education first, but I already have a loan for OCAD, and my dad's finances are not limitless, unfortunaltely. <br><br> Then I am already pretty satisfied with the quality of Canadian post-secondary education, I know that UBC and UofT are rather well ranked in North America and since it's so much better than France's socialist universities, I felt like sticking to it so far.<br><br> What I would be looking for:<br><br> -I'm pretty down to earth, so I think I wo...</p> Sickest breakdancing video. Arnaud M. 2006-10-13T19:56:34-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I just found a link to this <a href="" target="_blank">video</a> an was gaping to see a midget dancing like that.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank">Here is the explanation.</a><br><br> I will also post stories about my two months in Mexico really soon.</p> Site Understanding. Arnaud M. 2006-10-09T22:16:25-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:07-04:00 <p>I've been working/procrastinating all this long week-end (It's been Thanksgiving WE in Canada) and realized that I haven't posted anything interesting for ages. There's been pretty insightful developments in my thesis since last week. I went to the Toronto archives which gave me a good sense what this part of the city was only 15 years back. The site used to be a soy and malting processing plant, rather huge, everything has been torn down in the early 90's except the silos I'm workin on. <br><br> I started to put together measure drawings, which is forcing me to do research and understand how silos are built.<br><br> I went to see the editor of the <a href="" target="_blank"></a> book which will be published in a couple of months or so. We talked about my paper to be published in the book and had a great discussion. He suggested me to read "The Architecture of Happiness" of Alain de Botton. I started yesterday and I just can't stop. Although it is more philosophical than practically architectural, it will bring...</p> What are closets for? Arnaud M. 2006-10-03T08:05:26-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Yesterday I watched a hilarious set of music videos by R. Kelly. It's named "Trapped in the closet" and it finally answered a question I was asking myself since I got in Canada: Why are closets so big in North America? <br><br> These videos -there is 12 of'em- are very addictive, so if you start watching it, make sure you have about 45 minutes to watch all of them in a row. The dramatic plot involves a midget, crying women, corrupt cops and thugs.<br><br><a href=";search=Search" target="_blank">;search=Search</a><br><br><br> Enjoy.<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p> Insights Arnaud M. 2006-09-30T10:08:21-04:00 >2022-08-15T21:23:48-04:00 <p>I had my Icon crit on wednesday. Both my teachers impressed me with what they had to say. Jeremy which I consider as usually more a sort of practical person, had a lot of interesting comments with regards to what an ecosystem is and the analogy of my thesis to nature and ecology.<br><br> All this gives a new dimension to my thesis and layer by layer, I'm starting to define it more precisely. I have yet to digest their comments and look up the references they were talking about.<br><br> Here a few ideas/insights they gave me:<br><br> -The building as an incubator for human organisms.<br> -How a building design can foster self-determined patterns (self-determined by the users)?<br> -How to inspire people to participate in the design of their own built environment? How a design can provide inspiration/creativity?<br> -I have to look up the perimeter institute by Saucier+Perrotte and the Salk Institute by Kahn.<br> -What is a building designed as a teaching tool?<br> -How the human organisms in the built ecosystem can be ...</p> Silos Arnaud M. 2006-09-25T19:46:53-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I had my desk crit today, the last before the Icon presentation taking place on Wednesday. I got somewhat lazy on the explanations and didn't elaborate too much conceptually, when I was explaining the object to my teacher, Natasha. I'm having hard times to represent in a fixed object very abstract and intangible things like movement, growth, interaction, collaboration, etc... I have now to figure out how I'm going to make a stunning presentation.<br><br> Anyways, I'm currently researching about silos in general and more specifically silos on Toronto's lakeshore. All aspect of silo architecture interest me, although I'm more specifically looking for construction processes, how they're designed, plans etc...<br> If you guys know any book or publication that would talk about that, I'm interested. I know that the guy who invented them was Franklin Hiram King.<br><br> I'm posting again a picture of the silos.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p> The Icon Arnaud M. 2006-09-24T22:08:04-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I finished yesterday to build my Icon, which is due for crit on wednesday. The Icon is a three dimensional piece of art supposed to express the deep thoughts behind our thesis. Mine (see pics) is about form/structure/function/growth. The box is the structure, the grass symbolises growth, the threads and the lead bits holding them are form and structure; although they also embody the human organisms and the connections they will create amongst the community. <br> I have yet to put together a more coherent presentation for wednesday.<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> I eventually decided on a site, which will be the silos on toronto's lakeshore. I chose this one for multiple reasons, the main on being the fact that I literally fell in love with the building and saw all the potential it had right away. It is also really well located and extremely easy to access, one of toronto's highways passing right next to it. It is not far from downtown, hence from the universities/colleges and businesses that might want to get invol...</p> iPod, youPod, wePod Arnaud M. 2006-09-24T15:11:50-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I am being part of the organisation in this event taking place tomorrow, Monday the 25th of september, at the beaconsfield in toronto, 10PM<br> This is simple: you bring your own music device ready to play the song you want and line up before the decks. <br><br><br> More details: <a href="" target="_blank">wePod website</a><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p> Phylogenesis of a built ecosystem. Arnaud M. 2006-09-17T20:45:13-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:02:16-04:00 <p>It started to get a bit more serious this week and our first deadlines are next week: after deciding on a site for the project (which I didn't do so far) we have to produce measure drawings. Which means going to the city hall records services and ask them to do a research for the plans. If they have them, which is not guaranteed, we have to ask the owner for the permission to get a copy of the drawings and if possible accessing the site to measure what's missing on the them. This is what our teacher Natasha calls the "thesis grunt work". Besides that, there is the "enlightened work". Right now, it consists in building an "Icon" we get to present next week in class. The Icon is a conceptual three dimensional contraption that is supposed to express the conceptual idea behind our thesis project. <br><br> After struggling for about a week I eventually found how I'm going to build this Icon, since my thesis is about ecosystems, growth/evolution/phylogenesis, quality of the built environment and...</p> Making living environments better... Arnaud M. 2006-09-11T21:44:21-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:06-04:00 <p>Today I had my first actual thesis studio class. I wandered all week-end around downtown toronto to find a site for my thesis. I also got very interesting and inspiring insights from my teacher and now I'm all pumped-up to start working on this project.<br><br> My thesis has a lot to do with natural analogies. It is a two-fold project that first, rethinks the way we live and work in the built environment and second, is a facility dedicated to how the building industry can rethink this built environment. So it will be a kind of trans-disciplinary center where people can think, do research and most importantly build prototypes of what they designed. From a biology perspective it's similar to consider the built environment as an ecosystem in which the human organisms live, cooperate, trade and evolve altogether. Therefore the design itself will evolve alongside the users' needs. In other words, it has a lot to do with adaptable architecture. <br><br> This summer I read "On growth and form" written b...</p> Let's get started Arnaud M. 2006-09-06T20:41:29-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:06-04:00 <p>I'm an Environmental design student at OCAD in toronto. This program is a strange mix between architecture and interior design. In other words it's the fun without the hassle (read technical/structural side of architecture). I wanted to be part of the schoolblog, because I thought for a long time to document my thesis working process and the blog just sound like a really good medium to do so and share my doubts.<br> The environmental design thesis at OCAD consists of a preparation, which I did in 3rd year (basically doing case studies, finding a thesis and a site) and the project itself. In the 4th year the actual design part starts. I chose to work on adaptable architecture, the idea coming from a theoritecal dwelling project I made earlier on and that I wanted to develop in a more thorough work. I'm currently working on a paper about the thesis topic, which I'll post when it will be ready for publication (to be published by december as an OCAD-manifesto thesis book in december: <a href="" target="_blank">http:...</a></p>