Sunday, November 13, 2011

What have you been up to?

Alright. Time for an update. There has been alot going on since my last post. Last time I showed you guys what we were learning in computer class here at UW. How long ago that was! Alright so whats new since then?

Second year BLA now! So far I've felt like I've learned more this quarter towards a profession than I did in the entirety of all of last year. Studio has been amazing...

We are in the midst of our second studio project now. The first project we worked on was for a low income housing developement here in South Seattle. Some of the opportunities/challenges of the project were culture expression, limitless budget (sort of) a low light courtyard, and surrounding area that lacked much community imput. It ended up being a learning experience for sure. You can see the blank space in the sketchup model below.

The buildings are to be 4 stories tall with the top 3 floors being family residence while the bottom floor will be retail. The area is to be occupied by mostly an African American community so we were directed to incorporate strong African American culture and community building activities into our design.

I originally started the design process without a partner. (Hadn't actually worked on a design myself since first quarter of first year) and this is what it started to look like.

The circular play-set at this point was intended to to represent that kids that would play here would later in life radiate out into the community and the world and could then become whatever they chose. This is further represented in the colored tiles in the pavement that would be replaced with mosaic tiles from the community over time. They are in reference to the African American tradition of quilting as an extremely tactile medium to represent one's personal and family history. The tiles could then continue up the walls of the courtyard to represent to overcoming of obstacles these children will face growing up to become successful.

At this point in the design I ended up grouping with my classmate who had a similar concept and a similar radial layout. We realized that 2 people doing the production work would most likely go faster than one...go figure.

At any rate the design evolved a decent amount into a design of the entire site and moving past the symbolic into the functional aspects of bringing this community here and now into interaction with the surrounding community of south Seattle.

You can see some of those images below. All of the images below are the work of my good and extremely talented colleague Todd Yingling whom I can put you in touch with if you'd like. I'm learning how to do this rendering style from him and will post some of my own soon? I strongly encourage you to CLICK THE IMAGES for a bigger and better view!

As you can see the design changed alot. The tiles ended up being moved to the street side as an invitation to the community to learn more about African american culture as well as a host of other features. If you want to know anything more about the design just leave a comment!.
Moar posts to come! I promise, stay tuned... OH! and I went to Taiwan this summer. Pictures and revelations to come from that as well!

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