Thursday, February 25, 2010


During the course of our trip in India, I plan to focus my studies on tomb architecture; specifically the Taj Mahal and Hummay’s tomb. I have already rented several books from the university library to research the tombs history. I intend on finding out:

-why the building was built

-who built it

-what the intended purpose for the building was

-what materials were used

-what political| religious| cultural aspects inspired the design

When all is said and done, I hope to have:

-a physical model of either the tomb itself or a significant detail

- a poster of information

-several sketches

-a short right up on the tombs

Unity Village: Rendered Images

Unity Village: Model Making

Small model failure #4

Small model 3rd floor column attempt #1

believe it or not but watching glue dry is part of the process... If we did not watch the glue dry columns could lean or fall.

Back to the cutting board.

Measure twice, cut once.

Carlos sanding his little hear away.

SketchUp/ Podium Rendering

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


The anxiety that I’m felling for this 20-something hour plan flight is overwhelming, but not nearly as overwhelming as my sheer excitement for this incredible experience. I am most excited to encounter all the colors, shapes, smells, tastes, and sounds that India has to offer. I anticipate it to be quite different from quiet little Greensboro; where nearly everyone is 5’4” and blonde. I’m super psyched about all the buildings and structures we are going to encounter. Can’t wait to sketch!

Stay awake!

This was an e-mail sent to my by my mother. I'm sorry I don't know who to credit for the photography but these are pictures taken in Sydney, Australia. Can you guess what its made of?

keep guessing...

Have you got it yet?

Hm' ...

Coffee! Thats right, this piece of art work was created by using 3,604 cups of coffee. Each cup of coffee was created by measuring out different amounts a milk to make all these shades. I hope they gave all these cups of joe to the homeless... Maybe Starbucks could use it as a tax wright off!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Sisters House

My Sisters House, located in Greensboro, was designed collectively by Professor Robert Charest and UNCG’s Urban Studio students. This housing unit was built with the intention of housing four unwed teenage mothers, their children and one Youth Focus house Mother. The unit itself is comprised of two wings; which are connected by a centrally located space. As one enters the home they are greeted by a large living room adjacent to a community kitchen. To the left, a naturally lit corridor leads to the individual suites belonging to the young mothers. A longer hallway runs perpendicular to the first and houses passageways to the laundry room, a small office, and the living quarters for the Youth Focus Mother.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wes and the Fortuitous Encounter

Group members:

Carlos, Wesley, Cassandra, Hailey, Haley, Veronica, Clairissa


Chance Relationships Fostering Community


With the concept of “Chance relationships fostering community” our group looked at the psychological aspects of human needs rather than pre-existing design structures. To limit our research range we took a close look at our target market; lonely 20-somethings. Through “Wes and the Fortuitous Encounter” the viewer is transported through the video by waypoints. Waypoints, as discussed in previous studio classes is defined-- markers as points of reference. We chose to use waypoints in a fashion that would be easily identified by the viewer as common materials (i.e. concrete floor of the studio, cracked asphalt parking lot, brick wall…etc)

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

1. Self-actualization

2. Esteem

3. Love/Belonging

4. Safety

5. Physiological

Gateway Plaza

Carlos attempting to play pool with the absence of a pool stick.

David and his morning exercise rutine

Nuff said.

Wesley waiting for the one of two very slow elevators.

I can see Tracy because of the positioning of a radiator and a presumably tight budget, the renovations of this room were not air tight.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Housing and Communities Response

There is nothing quite like some busy work and that is exactly what Housing and Community’s chapter five is. The chapter is filled with facts, definitions, and theories based off the idea of neighborhood and community. While I am usually very intrigued by philosophical thoughts and theories, the ones presented in this chapter were just absolutely dull. Supposing the biggest upset is that naturally, as a human, one tends to grow up in or around a neighborhood or community. This fact was clearly overstated in the three paragraphs it took up in chapter five. Nevertheless, this easy read felt humiliating as if the author thought I was raised by a pack of wolfs. This consequently, would also render community allowing me to have somewhat of a preconceived notion of social interaction.


My other disappointment was “the theories that described themselves.” What I mean to say is this: if one has common knowledge of the English language then one can assume without definition that “Collective Socialization Theories” most likely means a joint, group or combination that is also public and shared are in all probability taking care of each other. If there is any uncertainty, the definition given by Housing and Community’s is this- elders have the opportunity to act as positive role models and exert social control on the youth in that particular neighborhood. Hence, hierarchy plays a role in community.

All in all, the entirety of the chapter was not a complete waist; there was mention of building limitations, zoning codes and ordinances. With that being said, having complete knowledge of the target markets social and psychological needs will hopefully prove to make me a better designer. This chapter has taught me to consider the residence, work with the governing body throughout my process, and pray to God for a good design.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Makeshift Shelter (the process)

“We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.”- Warren Buffett. This statement can be especially true for the second year studio’s Makeshift Shelter project. On the first day of the assignment students were separated into groups of four and five. My group was the Red Team. My team members were Hailey, Jeff, and Wesley. We were assigned the task of creating a “Makeshift Shelter” inspired by the late devastation in Haiti. Our groups’ challenges were to create a shelter out of only found materials. Our shelters purpose was to be designed for socializing. In order to begin our project the red team would need to commence some socializing of our own.

First we met in our small group and discussed what we thought our own best individual talents were and what we thought we would be willing and able to do as a group member. During this conversation I noted that we were naturally creating a circular or “U” shape. We started to look at the other small groups in the studio and saw that they were doing the same. Next each of our group members went off on their own for further observational studies. I noted that conversation usually takes place near beverages. Jeff had made similar observations. He also suggested that “one is alone, two is a date, and three or more is socialization.” Wesley and Hailey found pictures of pre-existing structures that were circular and or “U” shaped.

On the second day of our group meeting I suggested a “dumpster dive.” This is where we would all leave the studio to find treasures that we could reuse. After our first pathetic attempt, I decided to research more. I recalled my childhood and my mother getting large cardboard boxes from local stores for me and my siblings to play in. this is a great idea for our project I thought; I shall do the same. I got a hold of a store manager at the local Joann Fabrics and he was more than happy to let us take several fabric boards off his hands. Further in my memory, I recalled a visit to the DC Zoo where they had an exhibit on how much waste we as humans create. I recalled a rather large globe filled with thousands of plastic bags. The globe represented one house hold of four’s yearly plastic bag waist. This is when I discussed with my group members that there had to be some use for plastic bags in our shelter. They agreed. After more memory searching and observational research, I decided that the space should also have a darker color palette. That is, if we could find materials that would allow us to do so. I thought a darker palette with intimate lighting would suite our shelter well because that was what I have seen in coffee shops and other hang-out settings. If I had to guess, I would say that darker color and lower lighting allow for feelings of intimacy and privacy in public spaces. This way our users would feel that the space was good for conversing. My group agreed with this idea but was still unsure about what materials we were going to use.

On day three, the group met up with all their individual sketches, precedent studies, and found materials. We began to tie, flatten, crumple, fold, and sew. After finding out as much as we could about the physical characteristics of our found materials we then decided it was time to create a small scale model. That was until our superiors had decided to through a curve ball. We were told no more than five different materials were allowed to be used and only one binding agent was to be used. To add to our frustration, we were not allowed to use any heavy machinery or anything that had to be plugged in. This put a huge damper on our sowing operation. But after a few alterations in our process, it was time to commence project makeshift shelter. Sometime later our superiors gave us a chance to select out location in the Gatewood Lobby, or as I called it the “Haitian Nation.” Who were our neighbors? Would we have to create a design that when along or reacted to theirs? After much discussion and model making with our new neighbors, we were determined that our original idea was best. We brainstormed, we created, we destructed, we reused, and we recreated the Haitian Nation.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Case Study 1: Community Social

Cloyne Court Hotel (Berkeley, California)

  • Student housing Coop located on the University of California at Berkeley
  • Opened 1904 by John Galen Howard
  • Originally designed with 32 suites, each with its own stairway
  • Fireproof walls and doors, which allowed the hotel to house refugees from the 1923 Berkeley fire
  • Was owned as a hotel by James and Margaret Pierce for 42 years
  • Used by university professors at one time
  • 1946-USCA (University Students Cooperative Association) bought the house
  • 1972-62 female students moved in making it Co-ed
  • 1976-renovations allowed it to house 151 students
  • Called the "Animal House" because of parties and drug use
  • National Historic register #92001718

Community aspects:
  • 14 balconies overlook the courtyard, which allows residents to interact outside of private space
  • Went from a hotel to a home for faculty and their families to a student coop
  • Rivalries with surrounding fraternities (Beta Theta Pi)
  • Muraled walls created by members
  • Members promote individualism and self-expression
  • Hold community service days
  • Members of the Coop manage the community collectively
  • The "U" shape structure encloses the residents from the rest of the campus
  • Hold shows and concerts the bring the community together


Carolina Theatre-Greensboro (Greensboro, NC)

  • Opened 1927 as a 2,200 vaudeville theater
  • At the time, considered to be the best between D.C. and Atlanta
  • Holds films, performances, musicians, ballet, seminars, meetings, receptions and other public events
  • On the National Resister of Historic Places
  • popularity started to diminish in the 1960's due to suburban theaters
  • United Arts Council raised money multiple times to keep the structure alive

Community Aspects:
  • Interior designed in Greek fashion to give a fantastical experience
  • Cost is affordable bringing people from all walks of life together
  • "Going to the theater signifies participation in social life of the city" (Associates, 24)
  • People arrive early and stay late in order to socialize, snack, and observe
  • Builds up the neighborhood by bringing people to nearby businesses
  • During the silent era, the audience would have sing-alongs
  • Attracts 65,000 people downtown each year
  • Exterior lighting-"At night provides unexpected warmth, a welcome haven in the dark city" (Specter Chapter 7)
  • Stadium, balcony, and orchestra seating allows everyone to a good view, unifying the audience


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Photoshop Exploration

(Zoom in view of rust with a puddle overlay)

(Who know roses turned sideways, boat yard crane, and a blue overlay would create a mysterious eye?)

(A basketball sunset, field of wheat, and an autumn forest sean)

(Three rusted trains, an artichoke, and a blue gary overlay)

The mission for this project was to create an image in photoshop that would move its viewer toward feelings of patina and melancholy. Patina- is the green colored incrustation that takes place when copper begins to rust or corrode. Melancholy- is the state of being sad or depressed.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Makeshift Shelter (the end)

The village of makeshift shelters.

Further in the construction...

Final construction of our makeshift shelter.

Jeff preparing the roof supports.

Haliey and Wesley mending the fabric.

The shelter taking shape.

Wesley constructing the exterior of the bench.

Jeff and I constructing and water proofing one of the five columns.

Me building the scale model.