Archinect - University of Washington (Erin) 2021-12-08T22:36:10-05:00 A belated ending copper_top 2010-02-02T00:47:43-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Clearly I slacked on my blogging duties during my last month of school. So much happened that I didn&rsquo;t have time to blog, and by the time I did I felt it was too late. However, the powers that be assure me that it&rsquo;s never to late to end things right, so I thought I&rsquo;d wrap up the story for the few people who were following along.<br><br> In June, I presented my thesis, previously chronicled <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">here.</a> It included a redesigned version of the Seattle Bicycling Guide Map, a plan for BikeStops (bus-stop sized structures that deployed the map and other navigation and physical support into neighborhoods), and a plan for new signage and path markings for the City of Seattle. <br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> Oh, and of course a fatty book explaining and detailing it all. My project was well received, and several members of the <a href="" target="_blank">Seattle Department of Transportation</a> attended as well. The faculty were most interested in the BikeStops; the city was most interested in the map. As a result, the project has ended up win...</p> thesis update copper_top 2009-05-22T01:08:26-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>First off, congratulations to all the bloggers who have graduated already---I'm incredibly jealous!!! I don't graduate until June 11th, so I'm in the middle of thesis crunch right now. I have to have my book designed by next wednesday to get it to the printer, so I'm about to hibernate for the weekend while I finish it. BUT, I got into the photo booth today because I needed a few shots of things, so I thought I'd post them for you. Bits of my thesis so far...<br><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"></p> what's the matter with paper? copper_top 2009-05-07T20:20:45-04:00 >2021-11-01T11:01:08-04:00 <p>Right now, I really wish I could be a normal graphic designer and just print things on paper and be done with it. It would be so much less work. But I can't bring myself to do it, so I end up building things, melting things, making things out of strange stuff for every big project that I do. It's fun, but right now it has me dead tired.<br><br> People have been asking me to post more about my thesis, so I figured I'd show you the material experiments that have been going on. One component of my thesis is something that I'm calling BikeStops (because <a href="" target="_blank">BikeStation</a> was taken!), which is a resource center that has a map of where bike facilities are, a water fountain, and an air pump, and in city locations some parking as well. The overall shape is fairly regular, but the fun bit is that one wall of each of them is made out of bike parts---wheels, gear hubs, frames, or handlebars---assembled and powdercoated. See cheesy process Sketchup renderings below...<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> So for my thesis exhibit I'm going to ...</p> exhibit going up copper_top 2009-04-01T17:13:48-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>It is FINALLY time---the <a href="" target="_blank">exhibit</a> I've been working on since September is opening this Friday! Today we visited the builder, <a href="" target="_blank">Turner Exhibits</a> at their work space to see how it was coming. Because of budget, this is the first time we've been able to see most of the design at full scale in any material. Even the proofs were done at small scale on paper, and as full-scale pdf's. Not ideal, but so far we've made it work. So, for once, I'm going to dispense with the words and just show you some fun pictures. But if you're in the Seattle area, we'd love to see you out for the <a href="" target="_blank">opening</a> Friday night!<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> ^unwrapping a panel<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> ^a full panel<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> ^the team's first reactions (go figure, the designers are all wearing black)<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> ^just in case we'd forgotten, the back of each panel reminds us exactly what it's made of<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> ^the structures hanging for finishing looked like some strange art installation. I want a spray booth like that for the art building. Seriously. </p> what to send, what to send... copper_top 2009-03-27T01:44:25-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Anyone want to take a gander at my new <a href="" target="_blank">website</a> and tell me, what do you think my best three projects are? <br><br> It's getting to be job-hunt time, and I'm trying to decide what projects to put into a teaser portfolio. I'm a little conflicted on which projects to use, have a lot of thoughts running around in my head about what puts me in the best position, tailoring, etc. but I figure the first step is to be objective about what the best stuff I've got actually is. So <a href="" target="_blank">take a look,</a> leave a comment, let me know which is the good stuff.<br><br><br> A note on the website: despite being a visual communication designer, I am not a web designer. So I went with an easy open-source platform called <a href="" target="_blank">Indexhibit.</a> After doing a good deal more CSS coding than I really wanted to do, I finally gave in and just made jpeg backgrounds for the text-heavy pages. I figure if somebody's super offended that I haven't done a beautiful custom website, I'm not the person they're looking for. I was just looking for something th...</p> publication design copper_top 2009-03-24T13:09:10-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I've been a bad, bad blogger all quarter. But I promise, I'll make it up to you! I'll start with pretty pictures of a book I worked on all quarter for my publication design class (and follow up with an exhibit later this week, and some thesis stuff next week)...<br><br> The book is supposed to be a promotional piece for a non-profit organization, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. KIVA runs on practically nothing, linking small MicroFinance Institutions (MFI's) with individual lenders, who can lend as little as $25 at a time. Small businesses in developing nations are funded for various needs: sometimes equipment for a machine shop, or extra supplies to expand a grocery store. Instead of handouts, the entrepreneurs get a leg up in a way that is not charity. They are responsible for repaying the loan, growing their business, and generally being productive members of society. <br><br> Based on this, my concept for the book became "Micro-Lending with Major Impact" and was about playing up the small amounts of money being ha...</p> Quick Survey! copper_top 2009-02-24T20:56:15-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I haven&rsquo;t had much sleep and my judgement is off. I talk myself into one thing one minute, and the opposite direction the next. So, this is where you come in&hellip; I&rsquo;m searching for a big attention grabbing bicycling statistic for a feature position on a poster, and I&rsquo;d love some feedback on which of these is more compelling, in terms of making you feel encouraged to ride:<br><br> *The average person loses 13 pounds in their first year of bicycle commuting<br><br> *The average cost of car ownership is $8000/year: the average cost of bike ownership is only $200<br><br> *40% of trips are 2 miles or less: make those trips on two wheels<br><br> *1/40 the cost of a car, 1/20 the parking space, 10x the fun<br><br> Some of the more astute among you will notice that none of this have to do with do-gooder inspiration, lowering carbon emissions, or being &lsquo;environmentally friendly.&rsquo; This is not a mistake: my research has shown that this tactic doesn&rsquo;t work, that what works is the combination of emphasis on private benefit plus alter...</p> Still alive! and considering a (screen)name change copper_top 2009-01-26T22:28:44-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>My archinecting has really dropped off recently. I don&rsquo;t post comments because I figure I should be blogging, but then I don&rsquo;t have time to actually blog! Winter quarter of second year is known for being a killer in my program, and it truly has been. The reason for this is that we&rsquo;re expected to be making pretty rapid progress on thesis now (meetings have increased to weekly, there is sketching and writing going on at last), BUT also expected to still take and teach other classes. So, out of pure guilt, here&rsquo;s how each of my classes are going&hellip;<br><br><b>Design Foundations: </b>TAing, not taking. It was a little wild to me the other week to realize that I was running <i>the first critique of these students&rsquo; lives.</i> A crazy notion&#9135;can you remember your first critique? I don&rsquo;t think I can remember mine. I kind of wish I could.<br><br><b>Graduate Seminar:</b> this class keeps me crazy busy. Well, they all do. Every week we&rsquo;ve got a pile of readings to get through, but the bigger time suck is weekly pecha-kuchas. The pro...</p> Wait, you mean the quarter is over?! (aka, HELP!) copper_top 2008-12-17T18:41:26-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Because I couldn&rsquo;t tell. Seriously, I&rsquo;m still working! <a href="" target="_blank">Open to Question</a> is scheduled to debut in April, so we&rsquo;re full speed ahead with design refinements and talking to fabricators on that, and the thesis won&rsquo;t be done until June. So really, the end of the quarter only meant that I had to turn in a paper, and wrap up grading for the class I TA&rsquo;d. <br><br> Oh, and I guess the other <i>really</i> unfortunate thing that wrapping up the quarter means is that I have to start thinking about looking for a j-o-b, to, you know, pay the bills and such after this whole MFA thing is over. It&rsquo;s hard to believe that I&rsquo;m 2/3rds of the way through grad school already! Anyway, I&rsquo;m putting out a call to all you lovely archinectors, please comment here if you have any exhibit or wayfinding firms that you&rsquo;ve worked with or heard of that do really fantastic work. Who are your favorite consultants, the ones who bring something really special to the process, and don&rsquo;t just put signs on sticks?<br><br> If I were sitting on San...</p> Learning from Teaching copper_top 2008-11-25T15:19:23-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I have been meaning to post about this for a long time&hellip; I swear I started this blog entry months ago and have never gotten around to finishing and posting it. No more! I&rsquo;ve been TAing a course called Information Visualization and Aesthetics, and I think it&rsquo;s finally time to go into more depth about this portion of my education. A major reason I went for my MFA instead of just jumping into the industry has been my interest in teaching, and UW has provided more support for that than any other school I looked at was prepared to. Last year I spent one quarter as a TA &lsquo;Intern&rsquo; for Design History, which was my chance to watch and learn, and get experience with a big lecture, and one quarter TAing a course called Collaboration and Improvisation (shout out to the design juniors, hope your quarter is off to a great start!). Both these classes were within the School of Art, for underclassmen, and my role was pretty clearly defined. However this quarter my class is in the Informatics program, ...</p> Good News! copper_top 2008-10-27T15:58:31-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:15-04:00 <p>So I&rsquo;ve mentioned that I am re-taking Environmental Design for my fall studio, and hinted that there was a good reason for this. I didn&rsquo;t really <i>know</i> that at the time, but I hoped it, and I know it now. I did not fail environmental design the first time around, in fact my grou&rsquo;s project from that class was recently published in a local magazine. But there was an issue with the class schedule resulting from a faculty member on maternity leave requiring a studio normally offered in the fall (Publication Design) to be swapped with one normally offered in the winter (Environmental design), which left me having taken all of the possibly interesting studios this fall already. So I could either do an independent study course with the faculty member who is out on maternity leave, that I was thinking would have centered around abstraction somehow, or I could take Environmental Design again. The thought was that with a new group and a new project (because each group picks their topic), it wou...</p> Global Green: Urban Design for Walkable, Bikeable Cities copper_top 2008-10-24T01:19:43-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Just a quick post because I thought some of you would be interested&hellip; Tuesday night I attended a lecture panel at the UW CAUP. We heard presentations from four different speakers, and then I presume there was some discussion, but to my extreme embarrassment I had to skip out during the fourth presentation (as did a good many people! More on that later) as I had a big deadline the next day and had to get some work done. Each lecturer had a different, though mostly related, topic to present as it related to their city and their own work, and I had wildly different reactions to each.<br><br> First we listened to someone from the Seattle Department of Transportation talk about the recent <a href="" target="_blank">Bicycle Master Plan</a>. Nothing new to report here: there will be trails, lanes, sharrows, and signs, coming soon to a neighborhood near you. I think my research may have jaded me with regards to this presentation, so I won&rsquo;t say anything bad about it. From there on, the lineup was as follows: <br><br> BICYCLE TRANSPORTA...</p> Road Hazard copper_top 2008-10-14T17:22:08-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>To start with, I offer my deepest apologies to any motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians who may have been disturbed by my research this morning, and thank everyone whose image I captured. I spent the morning working on how to take pictures and ride my bike at the same time, while ostensibly doing some thesis research. Every Tuesday morning (weather permitting), I plan to document more of Seattle&rsquo;s bicycling network, and started today off with a quick stop by Greenlake followed by a trip down the Burke-Gilman Trail from Brooklyn Ave. (U District) to its western terminus in Ballard. <br><br> My photography started off stationary:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Then progressed to some trials while moving. This was definitely the most dangerous part of the research, when I was still getting comfortable handling the camera in motion:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> And I finally became confident enough to steer with one hand, snap with the other, and even look through the viewfinder and frame the shot most of the time:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> The resulting 256 images are goin...</p> Shoot, better get to work on my thesis. copper_top 2008-10-01T16:38:27-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>So I started school last week. Finally. I know we&rsquo;re one of the last campuses to get going, and I took advantage of this by spending 7 weeks abroad: 5 in Rome as part of the design program, one in Paris, and one in London, just for fun and because I was over there already. I had never been to Europe before, so while my time in Rome was spent on <a href="" target="_blank">photography</a> (also in <a href="" target="_blank">Orvietto</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Civita</a>, and other parts of <a href="" target="_blank">Tuscany</a>) and art history, my time in <a href="" target="_blank">Paris</a> and London (photos coming soon&hellip;) was pure play, with a little cultural enrichment thrown in. Though after a week spent living almost entirely on baguettes, it&rsquo;ll be a while before I go to the grocery and think &ldquo;ooh yum, bread!&rdquo; Paris was unquestionably my favorite city on the trip, partly for architectural reasons: I found the coexistence of gothic, baroque, modern, and contemporary structures by far more interesting than the all-ancient-all-the-time feel of Rome, and I think I may have been a little too burnt out by the time I got to London t...</p> Catching Up Post #2: Winter Quarter + good news copper_top 2008-09-12T18:02:40-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>So I like the idea of recapping last year, but my last post just got too dang long. Please bear with me as my editing skills hopefully continue to improve... For the Winter quarter catchup, I&rsquo;ll just give the highlights, and some exciting current related news.<br><br> The class most worth noting in Winter Quarter was Environmental Design. This is the primary area that I am in school for, and I get asked what the heck it is ALL the time. So to avoid the question, environmental design deals with design challenges at the intersection of 2D design (print) and 3D design (architecture, urban planning, industrial design). Environmental Design includes but is not limited to: signage, exhibit design (not just trade shows, but museums, schools, etc.), urban scale advertisement, and wayfinding. <br><br> What I love about this is that it lets me utilize my favorite bits of my architectural education: I understand space and scale in a way that most of my classmates don&rsquo;t, get to keep playing with fun material...</p> Catching Up Post #1: Fall Quarter copper_top 2008-09-07T16:30:03-04:00 >2019-05-14T11:46:04-04:00 <p>Since I am starting this blog at the beginning of my second year of school, I wanted to recap my first year and explain the structure of the program I am in. I had envisioned that as one post, but have now decided to do a separate post for each quarter, because apparently I&rsquo;ve been quite busy. Graduate courseload typically consists of 3 classes per quarter. One of these is a graduate &ldquo;seminar&rdquo; which frequently is half-seminar, half-studio; the other two are chosen by the student each quarter but typically one of them is a junior or senior level undergraduate studio and the other slot is used on art history classes, theory, or electives from other schools. The studio structure is a bit unusual, but it allows all of those in our small program (only 6 people in my year, I think 5 new students joining us in the fall) to pursue our very diverse interests without the faculty overstretching themselves. There are things about this that I don&rsquo;t particularly love, but I do my best to work aro...</p> Hi, my name is Erin, and I am a recovering architect copper_top 2008-09-01T10:51:58-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>So I&rsquo;m sure when you read that this blog is by a student in an MFA program in Visual Communication Design, you probably wondered what on earth it was doing in the Archinect school blogs. I actually graduated from the <a href="" target="_blank">USC B.Arch program</a> in 2005, and despite having interned at a number of firms during undergrad, discovered rather quickly that the business of architecture was not something that I could see spend my life doing. After taking a look at what it was about architecture that was not thrilling me (being pigeonholed, long projects with decreasing amounts of variety, egos, and drafting, in no particular order), I felt like the industry that would best suit me was graphic design. So I am participating in the school blog project with the hope that it might help or inspire those people who don&rsquo;t feel like architecture is working out for them, or simply help answer that eternal question of how one goes about recovering from architecture, and what recovering/recovered architects do a...</p>