Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees.
Paul Valery

As artists, the one true inquiry of art as a pure subject is an inquiry of our potential to know the world around us and our actively being in it, with a particular emphasis on the aesthetic. This world is not just somehow given to us whole. We perceive, we shape the world, and as artists we discover and give value to our human potential to "see" the infinite richness (beauty?) in everything, creating an extended aesthetic reality.
Robert Irwin

The entire secret of designing is the conscious insertion of a building into the community of what exists.
Heinz Wetzel

Monday, September 17, 2007

Task Week 7

This week work on the items that we identified individually over the phone last weekend. Here is a summary of the key comments

- Think about the deliverables for the final presentation as a competition entry: show the full capacity of your specific approach and find ways of representing it that are more engaging than abstracted plan, elevations and sections. Seductively composed images will carry you a long way towards getting people exited about your projects.
- Having said this, it needs to be clear that your design is not just an engaging conceptual fantasy, but that a credible translation into a building has been started.
- Be clear about your concept and how you translate it into architectural parameters. Annotate and render your drawings specific to your themes and include conceptual diagrams.
- show as much context as possible (ground floor plan, sections, 3D models & renderings) and be graphically clear about elements that are related.

Other items:
- Here is a link to the requirements for the final presentation that will be due on Sunday evening, September 30th. Sketch mock-up postings for yourself and identify what drawings you need to focus on.
- I'll send out a new sign up list for a last round of phone calls this weekend.
- I am looking forward to seeing your work completed! You have exiting ideas: present them as sharp and crisp as possible.

Lots of energy and luck,

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Your commenting effort has been great this week: it's good to see your suggestions and thoughts accumulated. I have the impression that this might me a useful tool.
Keep up the momentum and think about posting interim progress, if you would like to get a quick feedback.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tip of the day

Use the photos of your models to advance your design by adding colors, textures, changes in opacity, or sketching over them and then overlaying the sketch into the file, and cutting and pasting elements in the image. Don't try to make it photo realistic, the result can clearly be artificial.
While adjusting the physical model will be necessary as well, this is a quicker way to study your project in conjunction with the sections. With this method, you can even play with the massing where appropriate.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Task week 5

This week's main focus will be on building sections (1/8") and facade sections (1/2"). While the building sections address the vertical relation (stairs, multiple height spaces, light and program) between the floors and their relation to the facade (=views), the facade sections show a. the programmatic activities along the building edge and b. how they relate to the views outside and the natural daylight. Both section types will also impact the way the building will be seen from the public space (day- night views)
Cut two building sections that show the building and the adjacent street side. Choose the location wisely in order to show vertical circulation and key relations to the exterior (entry, views,facade orientation). The facade sections are details of those sections and should identify materials, depth and layering of the facade and activities on the building's interior and the side walk.
You will need to also work in plan (focus for next week) in order to get there.
Don't forget your narratives and use these drawings to make your point clear, both as it relates to the site and the program.
If you use hard line drawings, please make sure to lavishly sketch over them to indicate the atmosphere and activities within the building. 3D model cut are OK, but need to be annotated as well. The drawings should not look like from an SD set, but be informative, suggestive and poetic.
Due date: Sunday night

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Intensive summary postings


Looking at your postings I noticed that some of them are hard to figure out in terms of what the central idea is. The ones that start with the "executive summary" work best.

Imagine someone who is not familiar with your project spending two minutes with your blog and still get the key ideas. What would it take to get there? A. limit the amount of images to 3-5. B. State your theme in the title C. start with the "money" shot and a short paragraph elaborating on the theme. Don't ramble on - be concise in all annotations C1. Address how you translate your theme into architecture - diagrams, short narrative, list, etc D. annotated site-plan, site- observation photos and diagrams(manipulated only-photos merely showing the existing condition does not count)E. some of the images will need to be composed of different components F. include diagrams G. clearly address how you articulate the boundary between the city and the digital store and what the nature/meaning of that relationship is.

Not only will this help you to communicate your ideas, but it also brings you closer to what the requirements are for the final presentation and even helps you to develop your theme and design. Don't be afraid of a tight structure for the presentation: on the contrary, it will greatly help you. The more organized and tight the presentation will be, the better will your ideas and design come to the forefront.

I suggest to do the following: After you complete the model building task you present the model photos (in context!) as part of the above executive summary. Take the other elements from the recent posting.
Do not "post" the exec. sum. as a post, but include it as a permanent item at the top of the right blog column. This way it's always on top and you can permanently update it. Support information (other images, texts that do not belong in the summary) will be posted conventionally and can be commented on.

By the end of this coming Monday, please add this item to your blog.


Now that all the posts with the intensive summary are up, please start commenting on each other's work. This is not limited to your affinity groups.

Please also change your blog settings to allow anyone to comment on it (not google users only). I am going to invite others architects and teachers to comment on your work.

Keep cranking!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Keeping the momentum

I enjoyed the last week with you immensely! You teased out some remarkable approches both in terms of inquiry and translation into aesthetic architectural form.

The final review was a good opportunity for you to check for yourself, where each of you stands in relation to the rest of the class. Those who feel that they did not get so far in this week got a road map sketched out to catch up, but even those who have defined their approach pretty well, still need to work a lot to complete the design task.

To keep the momentum going, I want to remind you to follow the blogging requirements within the affinity groups in terms of commenting and also posting your progress twice a week.

The new tasks will be posted to the right (see W4). As discussed, we can also touch base on the phone, if the need comes up.

Take care,