So, time to take a break from working on my capstone to share what I worked on in 2011 (all images are probably of pretty poor quality, I’m not patient enough to format everything to the proper file type and just did screen caps).
The year began with the anticipation of studying in Europe for ten weeks, but I first had to complete a few weeks of coursework in plain ‘ol vanilla MN. I took a detailing course and began studio. Detailing was….detailing. Designed a wrought iron fence, made construction documents for it, did a bunch of number crunching to understand how to build things such as fences and decks. Overall, very necessary, but probably would have been better absorbed over the course of an entire semester without the haze of an impending romance with Venice blinding those of us taking the trip. Studio was a quick case study and some preliminary designs of Sacca San Mattia. Although at the time none of us thought a design of a place we haven’t physically visited was particularly useful, it ended up being a fantastic method to get the ball rolling. But since my final SS Mattia design is much more interesting, I’ll save that for later. So, here are a couple screen caps of my case study of Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam:
This image is originally from a book about Westergasfabriek and measured around 5x10” or so. The screen cap above is from a plot of about 30x42”. I painstakingly scanned, mended, cleaned up, clarified, polished, altered, etc everything to make the gorgeous plan readable at this size. It was fun.
Getting into the nitty gritty of the site, I began to dissect the different aspects of the project and the multiple layers that lend themselves to the unique qualities of the site. This is a very small study of such things. I like diagrams, a lot.
So, like a flash I was on the trans-Atlantic flight to Amsterdam, all of such adventures thereafter can be read in the beginning entries of this blog (as it was the original intent of the blog). Fast forwarding to my final design for SS Mattia, I have these lovely screen caps to share with you:
Final plan for the island! So exciting! This was by far the longest and most intense project I have worked on at that point in school. An entire semester’s worth of researching, planning, studying, drawing, frustration, anger, epiphanies, and more led me to one of the best designs I have created. I won’t get into the details, but there were MANY of them. I was able to exercise my photoshop skills, illustrator skills, test out some new diagramming methods, and refine my skills in board layout. I also learned a lot of very valuable lessons in listening to people that know a lot more than you, and learning from your peers. Below is an example of the psd renderings I did to bring the design to life:
And then I was off to Paris, back to MN, had an amazing reunion with Nate, had some God-awful biking and car accidents, moved in with Nate in Uptown, quit my over 5-year job at the Pasta Bar, started my final year of graduate school, turned 24, and am now entering the end of my winter break. Last semester was a doozy. Another collaborative studio, luckily for me it wasn’t so tough considering I worked with Urban Planners and Architects abroad for three months. The site we worked on in studio was a TRIP. I’ve always been infatuated with it and even considered it as my capstone site for about three minutes over a year ago. Hands down one of the most difficult sites in the twin cities (aside from maybe the Hiawatha corridor and the University Ave/Midtown corridor). I was shaking in my boots, but I really had a great time the whole semester. The studio was broken into three parts; a site analysis, a charette, and a final group project.
Shots of some of the final pages I added to the entire studio’s site analysis book.
One of the final plans my charette group came up with. We then disbanded after a particularly rough critique. I think we just had way too many ideas to try and flush out and convey in just a week or two. Big bummer, but if something like that isn’t a major learning experience then I don’t know what is.
The above three screen caps are products of the final group I was in and the incredible amount of hard work we put in to make a very unique project. Rather than propose a simple one-shot solution, we really pushed to create a project that spanned the temporal realm of possibility, letting things take shape for themselves after a framework was set up and using the unique qualities of the site to do so. Our studio instructors really loved our project and were with us 100% the entire way, and even though the concept was a little hard for the final critics to wrap their heads around, our instructors congratulated us on an amazing project. All of the images above are things that I personally worked on, and I actually was able to complete 16 psd perspective renderings (!!!!), 16 detailed plans, and 16 detailed sections to make the project come alive. This was a very fulfilling semester project for me, if not for the intellectual stimulation and exploration, but to realize that I can really rock out some solid work in a crunch. I wish I had the patience to upload all the renderings I did throughout this past semester, but alas…
So, that’s a wrap for 2011. I think a lot of my future postings for spring 2012 will be capstone related, and I am kind of excited to invite whoever is reading this in on my journey through that.
Cheers to 2012!