Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pin-up notes

In each one- blank space between the pier and the street.
Do you have enough program for the site?
Is it a retreat center or a daily thing?
accept that park and icorporate it into your site model
Where are your most private spaces?
perhaps farthest away fromt he city
A retreat center could incorporate more program - think monastery many people congregate at certain times but for the most part they re alone, in prayer.
May be objects in a park at a scale like this .
You can cut into the pier to reveal, capture interest in the reflective walls
separate bodies of the water .
If landscape and water are so far part maybe unpleasant
Create privacy that you're looking for like the way there are slippages- most successful
the kind of episodes, the hierachy of the pieces- strongest point
putting it on a pedestal- people looking out and people looking in
Meditation- Walking not only sitting
you could turn it into an interesting part of the meditation ritual
Occupy hte end of the pier
DO you bring cars here?
How long do the people have to walk to get to the end?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Notes for Michael Toste

"I think that one of my main hold-ups in moving my program forward is the lack of a concrete program precedent: I have mentioned that housing may be appropriate for my site"


Yes, it is the specific program you are in need of as it was said at your review.. You have mentioned housing since last semester. So it is not new. In considering housing you are off in your thinking that a precededent is the first thing you need (of course that would be helpful at some point). Here are the thinking steps you should undertake now.

1. research housing typology in general (look in Times Savers. Modern Housing , I will bring you that book today) and other sources.

2. Identify the exact site location, check how big the areais, establish the site conditions and the possible footprint of a housing structure and a floor parti.

3. On that foot print as a floor plate, sketch an apartment layout that is broadly possible. Several alternatives on yellow tarcing paper.

3. Check the zonning for the area and establish how high can you build, how many floors.

4. Than you are in a position to roughly establish how many and how big the apartments might be (roughly). If is is for artists they may be lofts...etc.

5. Now that you have a quuatified program you can begin designing.

6. Only NOW a specific precedent suitable to your projects can be selected. Those you mention are OK. The question is what a precedent is used for and how.

I will be in school this afternoon. I can see you briefly and give you the book.
I hope that this detailed guidence will help you catch up. The steps above should not take more that 2 hours. Than you sketch on yelloow tracing paper a typycal florr plate and a diagramatic section through the building.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On Program

I think that one of my main hold-ups in moving my program forward is the lack of a concrete program precedent: I have mentioned that housing may be appropriate for my site as well as theoretically consistent with my thesis. As this is the case, I am was thinking that I would use the program specifications of the Unite d'habitation as a guide in my project, while investigating and incorporating some of the principles of the metabolist housing strategy and something like architgram's plug-in city.
Modularity and rhythm, in particular have been key components in my thesis.
The other side of this will be a research center of sorts, to study the environment surrounding the canal, I would like to use Kahn's research facilities as precedent for that.

I think this will be helpful to quickly develop a tentative site and program strategy for my project. I would appreciate any feedback on the appropriateness of these precedents, and any other suggestions regarding this.

Pin up notes

How important are the earthworks? If they are a large part - start having relationships with one another - build the model and cut into
No sensitivity to the differences between two edges - you just put two bars with no differentiation
Need more sensitivity to landscape
Come to grips with scale of project
The two bars are too institutional
Maybe the orphanage is in park - then must control where they go
Find middle ground between detail and urban design - zoom in for partis
Think about level of water- where is the water table- help you make decisions
Start setting up boundaries - work in layers

Friday, February 15, 2008

would like to clarify

after talking to both Dan, Marc,
you told me to finish with the 1/64 scale.
the reason I started another 1/32 is to think tectonics first to organize the parti.
and 1/64 seems too small to work through..
and you told me to resolve the plaza, entrance first and the rest will come after,
but what I understand of the 1/64 scale is working the overall mass ( ofcourse with parti)
my question is not very clear, I know, but any replies would be appreciated.
(I don't feel that I am stuck; I just want to be more clear about what the process is)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I am going to try to organize and stay on top of this as much as possible. This " to do" list is straight from my personal notebook (notebook 73.)

1. Archiculture blog response text.

I began writing a response to a blog posting on the Archiculture site that developed into a more concise thesis statement.

2. Watch review.

Go over notes and watch video of crit. I did this once already last week but I want to see it again to readdress questions after I produce.

3. Theater anatomy drawing series.

I have one finished and rendered as of now. These are drawings of the Diderot theater machines that I am abstracting through a series of drawings as a means to organize and qualify spaces. I will model these and experiment in the working site model.

4. Site model. This will be finished by Thursday's class. It will consist of space to experiment with various techniques of modeling on the site itself as well as the unchanged surrounding context.

I am also thinking of a list of work that I would like to have for the final but I feel that it may be a bit premature for that.,

Monday, February 11, 2008


Marc I can be in studio tomorrow around noon/early afternoon- is that a good time to meet for my desk crit with you?

for matt

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Notes for Matt

This is a follow up on our talk!

I hope you are breaking through the difficulties of finding Diderot's theater mechanisms and the draewings of the existing building you chose.

In the meantime I, from memory, will try here to name some of the stage set mechanisms as I remamber them. Keep in mind that these are narratives from the renaissance so they are old but still applicabale with new technology. As I said to you, you should get some books from Pratt library about theater stage set design and architecture. Please do that. You can not invent it all by your self....I also advised you to attack the problem from many fronts at once to avoid tunnel vission and get stuck!!!

Here is what I remember:

Each mechanism was dedicated to a specific kind of theatrical illusion desired at that time.

1. A sudden appearance/disappearance ...trap door from bellow or swinging ropes from above/ many
entrance points
2. The movement of the cosmic bodies-the celestial stars- rotary motion like a clock
3. Optical illusions (also check Ames demonstrations)
4. Durrer's (the painter) grid....a framing system a frame within a frame with a grid for compositional use
5. Gravity...a plum line/whights as you have them in your model....
6. A wavy motion symbolizing the sea or drunken sailors etc...they had a mechanism for that
7. Lighting spotlight for zooming in an on character in the play...

All of these are, to my mind part of your "PROGRAM" for the front/back "stage" of your theater.

Some of these I have used in a first year project a long time ago. It is on Youtube. Take a look at it
None of this research would prevent you to reinvent the theater as an experience, as you said you want to do.

This is a short film I did with first year students in the early nineties ( I coordinated First Year from 1987-1993)

Friday, February 08, 2008

archigram anyone ?

So I was fortunate to have gone to the Archigram's Dennis Crompton lecture yesterday afternoon. I'd like to share some of my thoughts.

For starters, I really enjoyed it! I did not know very much about ArchiGram. The little information I did know was not enough to create a solid, unforgettable image.

Dennis began the lecture with the story of his childhood in Blackpool England. Here he described part of the context of Archigram. He talked about being an ordinary boy who lived in a seemingly ordinary world. As a teenager who did not leave home much, there was not a need to question the obvious. It just was!

Like a photograph that becomes exposed to light, Blackpool's fantastic image became clear to him. The ordinary suddenly became extraordinary.

Instant city is a project that questions our tendencies to passively accept the obvious. It is absurd simply because it is unfamiliar. It is idealistic, unrealistic, and completely science fiction; all this true, it is entertaining. The proposal's temporary fantasy makes apparent Blackpool and the world's permanent one.

just curious how others have reacted?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

review notes

from Liz

-in social sciences wasnt allowed to ask people questions, but not it allows subject matters to be asked questions
-scale figures
-spiritua vs. scientific
-must articulate through certain orders
-scientific method always the same
-what is science in your architecture, is it the organization of coloums, balloon framing? 16" o.c. the way you change the framing is spiritual
-Mcdonalds vs. french restuaruant. which is valued more? one is a product of standarization the other isnt
-Science and religion are not separate realms, do they need a different space?
-level change, study structure of regular building, procession, threshold light
-deal with change of ritual, turn into louvers (muli functional space?)
think about light from the top, grazing down.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Notes from Review - Leslie

-you start with the object and then lighting it?
-your investigation is how do you light the art
-maybe choose and existing building and then inserting art work into it
-light helps you focus on objects
-haven't pushed the window idea far enough yet
-you could make the whole facade a window
-write a story of the senses through the project
-photographs really expresive of what you're trying to do
-cast shado on whee you walk
-know where you are on the earth and which way North is
-all these notions could help to organize
-concerned your thesis is tied to convention preconceived notions
-a "hearing aid" example:
create an apparatis to control light and amplify it
-create a new architecture to create a light aid to create/highlight inspiring art
-analyse the uses/types of light and diagram them
-get technical - get series of tools
-discover conditions
-start with quality of light

Monday, February 04, 2008

Derik - notes from review

interaction between sensibilities

-let go of the literal trembling of an object
-uncertain memory and how you remember things. engage time and emotions and forms.
-sequence of events is more difficuilt because it is not predictable
-control points, relation of assembly of fixed form + control points
-assembly of a fixed form. navigation of one thru space control points.
-if you move walls around people won't remeber and keep shopping - changing light conditions.
, don't remeber, lose their mind
-background and foreground can be a dead end.
-pull people off street, shopping is strong memory- this is what you want
-how do you play these ideas for the memory?
ex, cant' find register, shop longer
-look at comparison artificial

Noorah's notes

You were talking very artistically and philosophically - Smithson piece - reflection
Memory of that reflection is more monumental than stone
Refugee is dealing with reflection
Build model of site - look to studies - philosophically- and take from that
First gesture: steel beam
Second gesture: roof (protection from rain and from sun)
Weather- the architecture will be challenged and formed from your previous research
Does the capturing of wind have anything to do with that the orphans are feeling?
How are you treating your structure - towards the elements or feelings
Does wind catcher make sound?
Talk about origins of your ideas
Emotional - materials are too rigid and stiff for emotional quality of the program
Wind catcher - so many images and emotions come to mind
interpretations of ideas
Doing something "post modern" taking pieces from elsewhere and putting them together - your project won't look like an orphanage then
Tie in specifics of orphanage and background - describe program of the space
Orphanage should be part of thesis statement - very important
More sensorial - wind catching - catching the voices of the children
'kirkider' (sp?) sculptor/painter - rigid yet flexible as if modeling with clay
Maybe using clay and molding would be good for you
Keep playing - turn wind catcher on side to become passageway in plan
** Environment for kids - Playful and Fun
continuation and underside of wind catcher
Sand could be your metaphor for your project (mountain one day - gone the next)
Also children love sand

liz's notes

-profound thesis. 1st one about expression.
-the maze, to look into, gives ultimate power. to be inside, gives excitement.
-human conditions, 1st is my value, 2nd is artifacts, reevaluate how I question my work.
-maybe supermarket needs a new defination. I am playing with what's already there.
-material not enough for synaesthetic.
-quality, content is the fruit. now you relate to the object. wont mind whole building being mesh. how does your body engage it? to look down?
-piece bottom up
-think if point structure (column) goes with the idea of the maze, or line structure (load bearing walls)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

If you are standing outside a bakery with the smell of fresh bread in the air

Dear Liz:

While reading the NYT today I came upon this article and the study it refers to, and thought of your project and the discussion we had last Thursday.Check it out!

This story has implications for a topic that came up last semmester regarding the desire present in several of your booklets proposing the posibility of architectural experience as a means to improve human moral behavior. Do you all remember that discussion? Let's talk about it briefly on Monday.

from: New York Times Feb 3, 2008 The Book Review
"Morality Studies- As scientists take to explaining right or wrong, Kwame Anthony Appiah examines what this means for philosophy."

review of book: "Experiments in Ethics" by Kwame Anthony Appiah

"Many philosophers, for example , argue that doing good, and living the good life, consists of possesing virtues like honesty and kindness, and that a good society should aspire to cultivate these virtues in its citizens. But a large body of evidence suggests that these enduring character traits, to the extent that they even exist, may not play much of a role in moral action. Instead, our behavior is determined to a surprising extent by the situation.

Appiah points out that we are usually not conscious that this is happening. If you are standing outside a bakery with the smell of fresh bread in the air, one study showed, you are morer likely to help a stranger than if you are standing outside a "neutral-smelling dry good store". ......"This has implications for how we think of moral responsibility...."

Notes from review

dematerializing the glass
triple height- but can't get to the outside
hinges upon wellbeing- peace & harmony
social, physical, image, harmony-- of self
What is wellbeing, mental healing, spiritual, physical
etched surfaces, this creates that to qualify that.
it worked or not?
work on the scratched surface- interesting,
take the model outside and film it
experience with it.
how can it relate to wellbeing?
What is on the other side of the mirror?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

new schedule

here is my new schedule, however it will undergo another revision once i have a clearer idea of waht needs to be completed for the rest of the semester. I'm changing my metaphor to science is religion for the purpose of clarity. also i will be revising my thesis book to include new research and filter the research that no longer applies to my project. please check my schedule and comment on the items that are in it. thank you

Notes from the review

Sketch Problem: A Synaesthetic Construction

Message from Mark and Dan

All of you should finish the models and drawings. Publish on the blog notes
from the review.
ALL of you should yet again focus on the synaesthetic qualities implied in your model. Write a short paragraph outlining that and publish on the blog.
On Monday we will discuss next steps in your projects.

These are some notes I took from the review.

Draw section and plan identifying existing conditions, new construction aand
Datums, that is a reference system indicating canal water level changes, and surface and rain water collection. Finish the model!

Research lighting technology systematically. Types of light (wide beam/narrow
Spot, diffuses etc. and develop a typology of light sourses and qualities of light)
See Dan’s notes on the blog re theater lighting aimed at Mat and Ahmed)

Develop a park planning strategy (a narrative ) of your program (market and sport viewing). Make a topographical site plan aand cut sections. Do that in words and site plan sketches as well as describe and vary the section and roof shape of your unit model as contingent on what happens front and back.

Energize the design by closely considering the bodily experience of picking food, smelling keeping them wet , cool and bright (lighting), (synaesthetic qualities)
Lex suggested Kapro “The blurring of Boundaries.

Dan (the guest criticJ “the different architectural qualities of the two spaces are not sufficiently articulated”, that is not complex and different enough. DEVELOP typology of sensorial and spatial qualities “they could be the same spase that changes at certain times.”

Develop a schematic plan and section for the front/back façade of the theater.
Develop a diagrammatic plan of an entry sequence into the theater through the
“back stage fly tower mechanism”. Research such a mechanism in theater literature. Conceptually consider the relationship between outside and inside,
the narrative of the play and the façade.

Test the model for actual sound transmission- Sound is air waves-
Dan the (visiting critic) “consider conceptually transmission of all
Wave phenomena –sound, light etc.”

Refocus on the sensorial qualities (synaestesia) of your architecture
particularly sound (in the wind catcher), water and temperature (hot, cool)
Develop the program and site landscaping strategy next.

Balance attention to the seniors use of the space. Develop narrative of how the two sides of the wall and return to an emphasis of shadow. Phogtograpg the model with that in mind.

Photograph and video the model to achieve reflections like your film. Scratch
the back wall.

Write a short and clear program story. Develop both the living space and the collection space. Develop systematic typology of ways of collecting types of objects- develop a list of kinds of objects.