Sunday the 26th: Pulling Together Day

Late on a Sunday afternoon the group meets again to discuss the presentation board. This is one of the last steps in the design process.

Everyone in the group puts their diagrams, sketches, perspectives, sections, and plans together. These aspects are placed on the presentation board.

The next step is to decide as a group a title for the design as well as a presentation statement. The group looks back to the words that were thrown out on Brainstorming Day. Several ideas and sentences are thrown out until one is placed on paper. From there, the group edits it until they can all agree on what it states and how this statement might be interpreted.

After this has been decided and approved by the group, all that is left are some final touch-ups. For example, modifying a few aspects of the presentation board.

The main goal of the day is ensuring that over the course of the past few days, the work of the group (through the design process) has taken what was abstract and has made it realistic.

Saturday the 25th: Representation/Documentation Day

Early on a Saturday morning the group reconvenes to discuss how to represent the design on the presentation board. Everyone continues to work on their task that was assigned the previous day. These tasks include: 3D modeling for perspectives, working with the AutoCAD program to show a detailed representation of the design, and creating various diagrams as well as experiential views.

The majority of the day is spent individually. The group meets once to touch base with every ones’ progress.

The major part of the day is ensuring the design is capable of being completed while still fulfilling its visual and functional purposes.

Friday the 24th: Introductions and Brainstorming Day

The Max/Min Competition of 2012 begins with a competition brief given out today at 1:30. The groups have been assigned, therefore after a quick round of introductions, the design process begins.

This is one of the hardest parts of the process: the brainstorming. After reading the brief, everyone just throws out single words that come to mind. The first word thrown out was performance. Then the decision of whether the function of what is to be designed is to be a spectacle or to be a machine.

To further understand why this choice was derived, here is a brief on the competition brief. The east entrance to the architecture building is somewhat inefficient. The majority of people who use this entrance are trying to get to the second floor. However, when using this entrance, one must go down stairs to enter the building then go back up stairs to get to the second floor. This is extremely inconvenient especially for the teachers whose offices are on the second floor.

The idea to design an entrance that could be both a spectacle and a machine was then introduced. Everyone agreed this might be the perfect solution. The question was, what would this design entail.

Another fault to the building was then introduced. During the time of finals, or on any given review day, there is not enough adequate space available for pin-ups, critiques, and reviews. Also, the surrounding university community is not connected to what the College of Architecture and Design is coming up with and creating. Therefore, the solution that emerged was to design a space that both functioned as a review or lecture space as well as a way for the university to see the College of Architecture and Design and for the college to show to the rest of the university what it is all about.

Once this idea has been pitched and approved by the group, the next step in the process is to complete a series of sketches. These are quick sketches that show different ideas of how to create and design the space, how it will function for future people, and different types of materials and joints that could be used. One idea that was thrown out during this step was to add louvers to the design that will adjust to light and air in the morning and other hours of the day to allow for a wider range of functionality of the space. However, the most important concept decided during this process was to make sure that whatever is designed, it must look as though it belongs with the surrounding concepts of the building.

After completing these series of sketches, the entire group ventures over to the location. Everyone is looking at the location and has various thoughts running through their minds: to see how the ideas introduced by the sketching will work, will they work-what if we change/modify this or that, how will all of this relate to what is existing already.

After another round of discussion, the decision is made to create a review space that engages everyone in the university community.  This space will mimic a high quality camera. There will be a lens to allow the community to peer in on the College of Architecture and Design and for the College to peer back on the community. Surrounding this lens, in the form of a glass wall with louvers, will be a shell, in the form of a concrete wall.

The group then breaks up to perform different tasks for the design process. These tasks include sketching to figure out what views to show in the presentation of the design and working with the AutoCAD program to see how the design will work and what sections to show.

During this process many findings and new ideas are made, therefore, the group reconvenes to discuss these. This leads to a few modifications in the design, such as moving a wall to an angle to enhance the visual performance of the space from one of the view points.

The last step of the day is to discuss what is needed for the presentation board and whether the board should have a vintage feel or a modern feel. Each member of the group is assigned an aspect needed for the presentation to work on until the group next meets.