Sunday, September 30, 2007

Good Work!

Congratulations on a productive semester. The work was generally quite good and the jury was pleased with the results. From my perspective I think most of you advanced quite a bit during the semester. My hope is that you keep the fire stoked and take next semester to the next level of thinking.

Jaclyn, Amr, and Rick each took a model and they will coordinate with you for return or pick up. I have Matt's and Eddie's. We can coordinate the same.

Good wishes to each of you - Ted

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Package and shipping

So, in this final two weeks, we are to design a package that will carry your models from where you are to where I am. Not unlike Apple, you are sending your product to an audience.

The intent is for you to consider how full scale objects communicate. What do these packages say about their contents? How does their design distinguish top from bottom? How do the decisions you make inform the user about how to open, extract and understand the contents?

Architects work and think in smaller scale representational objects. Our models and drawings are about some possible future. The goal of this exercise is to make something full scale, which is present in the here and now.

Surfaces, planes, corners, connections, fenestration, openings - should all be considered the way one might consider these when designing a building. How do two materials join to form the corner of a container?

The idea, as stated in the email, is for you to ship these to the BAC for delivery by end of business day, September 28, 2007.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

To start again...

Well, I trust you all traveled back home and are rested. This past week was a strong experience for all of us; one not easily forgotten. Out of respect for your pursuit of ideas and accomplishments to date, I ask that no time gets wasted. There is much to do in the next three weeks. Please post as much of your intensive work as possible before Monday night. By Tuesday, we should see development of ideas based on comments during the final review.

David - consider effects of the slice on the building and site
Rick - quick studies three story circulation + developing an envelope
Matt - quick studies meeting the sky and organizing levels in plan and section
Jaclyn - turning the corner - inhabiting the poche'
Eddie - cutting sections - editing ideas
Gus - gathering or connecting - pedestrian movement vs viewing platforms
Kara - plans - sections defining architecture of store
Amr - cutting sections - defining speed of volumes

tomorrow I plan to subscribe to your sites (on my laptop not home computer). For now, email me notice of updates -

stay focused, post to your affinity groups and then some, email or even call when necessary...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Intensive week

Well the time is here for you to arrive. Copley plaza is close to our building site. Unlikely that we'll see the space shuttle, but its worth a try. The week should be thoughtful and very productive.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Recent work...

I am pleased to see cross blogging in full force. The ideas are starting to travel and interesting questions are being asked. I took this opportuity to comment on each individuals work. Please review comments on your post and I look forward to updated versions as we head into the comming week.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A good start...

Well - nice first steps - all of you. It's good to see so varied a set of responses to this problem. My critique of these posts is below. I have combined them into one discussion for all of you. The comments name specific projects, but apply on some level to each of you. I applaud this effort, and look forward to the evolution of these ideas.

I wonder if some of your comments about the nature of waiting, questions of duration, actual time vs virtual time might be illustrated some how in the graphics.

Amr has taken the step of layering time, (represented by color) over an understandable space, an image of the US. Color works well in this regard, as does the transparancy. I read transparancy as a temporal state of color. It is not a full color yellow, for example, nor is it quite an orange. It is a color in a state of becomming, (in physics known as a phase change). I wonder if the bars might vary in length to describe variations in time. I also consider the image of the US as an icon, perhaps as a point of power.

Others have taken a more direct, step by step approach. I worry about the linearity of these steps. Aren't some of things occuring simultaneously? Ipods are being made in custom colors all the time. Is it important that one is selected, or is it pre-selected for you by virtue of availability? Similarly, transference of a product from one place to another is not brought out in these diagrams. The images become focused on the purchaser, not the live of the object as it travels toward you. What becomes "your" ipod (or another object), is simply one among many thousands. How can it's life be tracked along the journey to become yours; not only your trip to the cash register, but the simultenaity of transactions that allow meeting in the middle.

Further, can the steps be broken down to there essential components? If "going to the store" were reduced to "store", the "going" might be implied. The overall task is about acquisition of a thing. Can the rest be implied by the initial outsetting line?

This reduction and pursiut of simultaneity may yeild images and writting less literal. If thewords were to be interlaced with the graphic objects, how might they read? Apple has mastered packaging their objects / products to communicate enough understanding and elicit desire. One does not see their products in use as they appear on the package. But it is not packaging that screams at you either. It is a subtle mix of graphics and text, combined to draw attention.

Use of a motherboard as graphic background begins to hint at this. Keep in mind that we are not aiming for a model here. The building will come during the intensive. This is a way of analyzing distance. A mother board serves as a symbol, but doesn't get at the essence of linking distance. It is about technology and inner workings, but not inherent to space, and only linked to time in a limited way. The distance between Alberta Canada and Niagra falls can be revealed grahpically. It speaks of distance. An image of Niagra Falls also speaks of time; glacial time, real time of flowing water. As an image it evokes associations to greater ideas. It allows our imagination to travel. An image of a subway train or computer chip stop us a bit, limits our travel.

Housekeeping: I plan on posting the schedule for the intensive next week. The work you are doing now will influence the work you do in Boston, but may not be specifically tied to it. The problem here will be to design a building, and you will visit the site early in your stay. At the moment, the final presentation in Boston is August 25th. (now re-read the critique as that is the important issue)!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

First Problem Comments

To respond to general outcry over the perceived complexities of the first problem, I want to offer the following. The first problem is simply intended to force each student to think about the difference between the concepts of place and placeless. As architects we, very pragmatically, design buildings to become part of a place. (for example, the City of Boston). Recent developments in technology have filled the world with products that work to eliminate place. (for example, the Iphone).

If we are to design a building to house such elements, we should work to understand what the user thinks in relation to their products. (for example, Apple Management)

There have been a few comments stating uncertainty about what the final product will look like. This is good news. This is a good time to bask in the process; the process of making.

I envision maps, or let's call them diagrams, that reveal steps you take along a journey. Take me on this journey. Consider that I can not see what you are doing, but need to know so I might reinact these steps from another location.

If you were to silently draw directions from your house to the nearest hardware store. How would you begin? What visual details are necessary? Are there colors to consider?

If you were to write these directions, they might take the form of, "Go left, then take the first right, pass through the blinking light...".

Information travels around the globe through cables, internet portals, servers, and the like. It's journey is never a straight line. Along the way inflections change, meaning is added, meaning is lost. Like a complex level of the children's game telephone, the initial see of information returns as something close, but never the same.

How can we track this phenomenon? What are the steps taken from when you sit at your computer, to browsing, clicking, ordering, purchasing, waiting, answering the door bell, receiving the package from UPS, and finally opening the package. Beyond your keyboard, where are your commands, (directions) going? Wht is their impact. Who is responsible for them and what do they set in motion? Does each step generate its own discrete set of directions? How does your keyboard know how to tell the UPS guy your address? Each step must communicate a set of directions to someone or something to connect all these dots.

I am asking for you to imagine. Think about these sets of things and how might they be documented; both graphically and in writting. Consider this a tracking problem rather than a mapping problem. Perhaps that will allay concerns that the final result should look like Hagstrom.