Friday, February 25, 2011

Jenga3.0 Project Statement: An Evolutionary Flow of Form, Material, and Light


We actualize the underlying theme of flow through moments of enclosure within solids and moments of release through the perception of void upon discovering the glass patio. Through form, materials, and light, we explored the sense of enclosure and openness along certain paths....

Enforcing the feeling of enclosure, the solid forms of the units and their placement and orientation cue the division of public and semi-private spaces throughout the building. As humans enter the building complex through the central part of lower level public space, occupants experience a covering and sheltering from the roof above. With an overhanging roof plane extending from two of the units (“flow” and “crystallize”), we provided walkways that take advantage of the negative space, again providing a sense of shelter. Further enclosing the second floor experience, we placed the third unit (“pendulate”) to enclose the public space and provide a backdrop for the activities envisioned there – circulating, sitting, and experiencing – bringing people together through the idea of flow.

The dematerialization of the floor plane and structure, as seen through the glass flooring on the upper patio, endow the public space with a certain lightness, underscoring the open feeling of this second floor space – in deep contrast to the sheltering, intimate spaces first experienced by residents and visitors to the building. Circular columns support the upper level patio, becoming thinner as they rise through the second story to emphasize vertical expanses and lightness of space. These columns mark key moments along a diagonal line under which patio flooring, inscribed with curvilinear lines, suggests a path of movement to the occupant without a sense of restriction.

As a design element, light filters through the translucent glass floor and brings together the lower and upper level. When light reaches the solids of concrete and wood, it warms their surfaces and distinguishes the building envelope from the site, bringing humans to a natural reference of materials in the everyday world. Shaped by the designers (and, ultimately, the builders), these solid materials provide great contrast to the open nature and fleeting light experienced through the glass. Light thus materializes and dematerializes – not unlike the qualities found in a cathedral. Through this most basic experience of light washing through and onto materials, and the sense of verticality gained through the uniting columns on both levels, we bring a universal understanding and order to an unstructured world.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jenga 2.0: Reflective Synopsis

One of my main goals for this year was to improve my ability to use the digital rendering software programs I have been exposed to thus far in second year, these include: Rhino, Photoshop, Sketch up, and Illustrator. This is a goal of mine because I have always worked well by hand and as much as I love to hand render and hand draft, it is a very time consuming process. In addition, I have never been a very technologically savvy person. The design world is making a shift into the digital realm, and I thought now I the time to change.

I began this quest into a brave new world of technology by producing my first set of completely digital boards for this project. I used Sketch up, and Illustrator as the two primary programs to make my boards. My goal for my digital work is to improve consecutively each project. Perhaps even reach a quality of work that resembles that of Corry Mears. In addition to being graphically well executed, Corry’s boards clearly communicate his ideas through light, material, and a sense of hierarchy.

In addition to my boards, I used Rhino to create a cut file for the pieces of my model. In doing this I was able to use the laser cutter to get a very clean cut on all parts of my model. Although I find this method very effective, I find that I am still in need of more practice when it comes to the joinery of these parts. For that I look to Kara Kooy, one of my classmates, who builds beautifully composed and beautifully crafted models. Although we use the same resources and materials, my goal is to reach a quality of work that is similar to hers.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kit of Parts Reviews: Cassandra Brunson

Cassandra’s concept word was Ignite. Like Blaneni, Cassandra made use of associative words to help her with her designs these include: provoke, inflame, and evoke, also in that order. For her first space Cassandra wished to provoke feelings of passion for nature. Further inspiration come from the grand scale at which nature’s beauty reveals itself to us. The idea behind her second space was on of contemplation, and the ability to evoke an idea, and feelings of anticipation as on moves from one activity to the next. Her third space is inspired by the idea of the new arising from the ashes of the old. The word inflame is used to embody a feeling of old world comfort with a modern pulse. Much as one’s body temperature rises, and pulse quickens when excited by something or perhaps even someone.

Cassandra makes use of the two columns and a wall in her first space. These evoke her ideas about nature through the rough edge (mountains) on her wall that separates the bathroom from the rest of the space, and the scale of her two columns, which are “as big as trees”. In her second space she makes use of one of her two walls to house a huge contemporary fireplace. This interpretation of inflame is a bit literal for my taste, but nonetheless it does putout the warmth and comfort on which her idea is based. Her third and final space makes use of the two solids. These take the form of a distinct level change and a partition wall. This level change and partition wall are intended to evoke feelings of anticipation as one makes the transition from one activity to the next. Over all I found that the axons and the sections in Cassandra’s project were the most helpful in communicating her ideas. I also felt that Cassandra’s spoken presentation went very smoothly, and the visual cues from her drawings and carefully crafted drawings were very helpful

Kit of Parts Reviews: Blakeni Walls

Blakeni’s concept word was bubble. She brainstormed for ideas for her spaces by creating a list of associative words she linked with the word bubble. The three words she stuck with for her three spaces were “pop”, “child-like”, and “delicate”, in that order.

The conceptual frame for her first space was one of futurism, and real v. the surreal. Her ideas about futurism are carried out well in her minimalist approach to her renderings, of which the sections are most clear. The word “pop” comes into play through the “pops” of color found through out the space against a neutral white background. The conceptual frame for her second space was the idea of an adults’ playground. She uses Marcel Wanders’ Mondrian South Beach hotel as inspiration. The third space she saw as a challenge to herself; trying to make such a large space seem delicate and light. She makes deliberate use of the feelings of floating, hovering, and transparency.

Blakeni brings her ideas to life in her first space by using the two columns to give separation between the bubbles of space she creates by the level change and the transparent frosted glass wall that marks the bathroom area. In her second space she creates a jungle gym of spaces by using her 2 solids to create a lofted space, and a curved bar area. The loft also has a spherical for that emulates, and separates the different activity bubbles. In the third space however, one could argue that it is not necessarily the kit of parts that gives this large space its delicate nature. It is of my opinion that it is the material, and the floating staircase that does this the best. I feel that it is the illusion of the lack of a structural system, and the transparent nature of glass as a material in these 2 elements that make this space work for me.

I feel that the visual presentation on Monday was done well in regard to the spoken portion by the presenter, but lack of varied line weights in drawings made them difficult to read, and t would have been helpful if all three dimensional ideations of the spaces had been complete.

Jenga 1.0: Project Overview

As our first project of the semester, Jenga 1.0 shot us full force into the new semester. We had only three weeks to cultivate ideas, compose and render a series of technical drawings, and create a well-crafted three-dimensional model of each space. In addition to the seemingly impossible time crunch, this project also presented use with numerous other intellectual hurdles over which we had to leap. These include the following: specific sizes and specifications for each space "i.e. interior dimensions, rules for the size, number, and placement of doors and windows;” the utilization of one of three kits of parts in each space (one wall and two columns, two walls and one column, or two "solids"); and finally, probably the most difficult challenge of them all, we were assigned a concept word at random on which we had to base our designs. My word in particular was "Pendulate, " which, for the record, does not even exist according to the Merriam Webster dictionary. In fact, the most information I could find on the meaning of my word was, "to swing as a pendulum." Which, by my standard of intellectualism I found quite obvious. Thus, leaving the majority of the work up to my creativity, rather than basing each space upon a literal, and definable meaning.

For the first, and most narrow space (only 11' wide), I designed based on the idea of mood swings. In this space I used two "pendulating" walls creating a modular design that can be changed in accordance to the clients particular mood. In fact, one of these walls can fold flat against another, allowing for maximum open space if desired.

The second space I designed as a study of the geometry of the arch. This can be seen in the single curvilinear screening wall, and the curvilinear details found throughout that accompany it. In addition, the two columns in this space act as a barrier that forces the client to make a change in the complete opposite direction in order to reach the other side. This also creates arched patterns of movement within the space as well.

The third, and the largest of the three spaces, I designed with the passage of time in mind. To evoke this idea I made use of the two solids. The first I designed as curved wall that leads into a floor indention at its center. This serves as a representation of the implied arch that occurs in the swinging of a pendulum. This wall has shelves in it on which the client can step up and down as they perform their daily tasks. These shelves also very in width to accommodate such activities as sleeping and dining (the bottom one of the two sets). The second of the two solids is a curvilinear shape that is closed at one end. This is to accommodate more private activities such as bathing and dressing. Both of these solids work together in that both their structural bases are stone. The first represents the unchanging nature of the passing of time, and the second makes reference to our first primitive dwellings as human beings (also evoked by the low ceilings). In addition, the two solids together create a variation in heights. Which together with their curvilinear form create another arched pattern.

Jenga 1.0: Space 3

Jenga 1.0: Space 2

Jenga 1.0: Space 1