Thursday, September 4, 2014


By: Chase Masters

As a field trip, the Grad students went to visit Atlanta, Georgia.  We went to visit the Olympic legacy project from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, since we are designing an Olympic legacy project for Arc 551 Comprehensive Design Studio.  Throughout the trip we got to visit and see many different interesting buildings, and new things to come to Atlanta.  One of my favorite was the new Atlanta Beltline.  The Beltline is the circle of railroads that create a “belt” around the city of Atlanta.  The design to change this beltline is to take the railroads that are not in use anymore and to repurpose them to benefit the community.  This was a great beneficial idea for the community of Atlanta to try and move away from the traditional car lifestyle.  For more information you can go to Perkins and wills website -
We also visited the Marriott Marquis and got to see the very interesting Atrium that brings in natural light for the entire building, one of the largest Atriums in the world.  What made the atrium very interesting was the elevators in the middle of the building breaking the atrium into two different ones.  The space was used to film parts of the Hunger games and other movies.  During our stay in Atlanta there was a big convention at this and other hotels, called Dragon Con.  This convention is similar to Comic Con, it ismultigenre and is based in Atlanta; it brings in around 50,000 people.  For more infomation about the Marriott Marquis go to John Portman & Associates -

name=Atlanta%20Marriott%20Marquis%20Hotel&projectid=5617&country=USA.  For more information about the Dragon Con go to their website -

            Another great spot we visited was the Centennial Olympic Park.  It was part of the Olympic Legacy project that reformed a part of Atlanta to bring new life to a rundown part of town.  It was a park that tried to incorporate a sense of nature in a downtown city.  It worked around the site given to try and block the noise from the high traffic on one side of the site, and also bring in people with a larger sidewalk from the other side of the site that has less traffic, but has lots of pedestrian walkways.  This park was heavily used by family and by people who wanted to run in the fountain to remain cool in the hot summer.  There were brick sidewalks with names from people who donated money on each brick.  The park was laid out like a grid so people could come and easily find their brick.  You could see people walking up and down the side walk trying to find their name.
            The visit to Atlanta was a great one, trying to give some insight to how Legacy projects work and are used as well as look and experience a different city.

Asia Part I - Thailand

By: Ryan Kinports

Urban planning occupies a significant portion of our time in architecture. We plan for large communities, integrate green technologies to reduce consumption, and search for methods to encourage mass transit usage in the car age. Manhattan NY was the densest urban area I had been to until I traveled to Thailand last summer.

  Bangkok has a population of 14.5 million that travel into the central city on a daily basis. I've never seen endless traffic before. The flow of people in all directions was at times staggering with shoulder to shoulder contact a norm. There were clear problems with city services like electrical supply, and sewage runoff. I got the impression that they were and are growing at a rate much greater than the government can handle. Construction is booming in tourism and high-end residential towers. There is clearly money flowing into the city

This was taken from the Baiyoke Sky Hotel. The view and warm breeze made for a beautiful experience.
Downtown Bangkok at night.
A large section of the city is built on a canal system. The residences in this area are all designed to accommodate a boat. There was a whole boat culture here with service garages, mobile food vendors, and the navy handled policing

There are many shrines and temples around the city. This is Wat Arun which was completed by 1851.
Traditional Thai homes are not built often anymore but there are a few museums that display the simple wood construction with pride.

After architecture my favorite part of traveling is eating local cuisine. Seafood and fresh fruit was outstanding. It was a pleasant surprise when I found most Thai dishes to not be spicy. I was able to eat just about everything on as well due to the favorable currency exchange.

We were there for a coup which was exciting. Thailand has had 12 successful coups and many more attempts. The cause is rooted in a large divide between the two major parties. At this point it is status quo for their political process and instances of violent occurrences were substantially exaggerated by international press. We certainly never had any issues.
We spent a few days on Phi Phi Island far south of Bangkok. There was not a whole lot of activity on the island which was a welcome change. Everything from the water to aquatic life was beautiful. We took meals on the beach and had not a care in the world.
We could not have asked for a better end to our stay in Thailand. I’ll be walking you though Hong Kong in part II.

“The War of Art”

By: Kyle Fountain

There is an unfortunate statement that floats around in architecture school:  “If you don’t enjoy this, or don’t love this, then you should reconsider being an architect.”  The truth is, that statement always scared me.  From day one I had set a goal to become a licensed architect.  Still, all of the typical negative quotes were being thrown out as if they were somehow inspiring:  “You will never be the next Frank Lloyd Wright,” “I would never let my child be an architect,” “all architects are poor, unless you are Frank Gehry.”  It wasn’t until I worked in an office for a couple years that I discovered enjoyment.  The fact is, it requires being able to experience the pleasure of being good at something before one can find enjoyment.  Whenever someone asks if I give guitar lessons, I always explain that learning notes and scales is not the way to show your child playing an instrument is fun.  I always tell them to find their favorite song, and learn to play that first.  Even if it takes a year to learn, and will probably hate the song, they will enjoy playing it.
During my first few months working in an office, I was dreading the standard business hours.  Likewise, I was being thrown into projects where every day I was doing something which I had never done the four years prior in school.  It wasn’t until I came across the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield that I gained some perspective into this struggle.  No one ever told me that it may take several thousand hours before you can start to enjoy the practice of architecture.  The book explains what prevents us from fulfilling our goals, resistance.  Pressfield treats resistance as a living thing within us that prevents us from sitting down every day at a similar time to practice anything which contributes toward a goal.  All of the great authors, athletes, entrepreneurs, artists, etc. sit down every day to practice their craft.
 Figure 1 – Peter Zumthor In Practice
“The professional arms himself with patience. He knows that any job, whether it’s a novel, or a kitchen remodel takes twice as long as he thinks and costs twice as much.  He accepts that, he recognizes it as reality.”1  Upon beating the resistance, “The War of Art” breaks anyone within a given field of work into two categories amateurs and professionals.  In architecture school, there is an ongoing competition to have the best project within a class.  Within an office, the professionals I worked with knew that everyone’s project, whether it was a restaurant or a museum, contributed to the firm’s success as a whole.  The result was that everyone worked together and learned from one another.  Professionals seem to always be open to new ideas and lessons.  For instance, Tiger Woods looked to Butch Harmon as a master of golf.  Woods didn’t dwell on the idea that he was the best in the world, and therefore could not be taught.   “The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery, while those that will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.” 1

1.     Pressfield, S. (2012). The War of Art. Black Irish Entertainment LLC.

My Digitally Fabricated World

By: Don Olsen

My Digitally Fabricated World
Issue: 1- An introduction
As an introduction, for those of you that don’t know me, my name is Don and I’ve been here at SIU since I transferred as a sophomore. During that time I’ve spent three of those years working at the School of Architecture’s Digital Fabrication Lab. Even in my first experiences with the lab, I realized that I was completely intrigued by the idea of fabrication and the capabilities that it held. I find that I am constantly looking into new fabrication methods and people who are pushing the current technology. With this blog I would like to pass that information on, to inform others who might not be as “addicted” to these technologies and the new waves of innovation headed our way.
Firstly, lets define digital fabrication for those who might not be as familiar with the terms. Digital fabrication is defined as a computer-aided processes that manipulates material through subtractive or additive methods. These processes can be broken down into two groups: computer numerical controlled (CNC) processes and rapid prototyping (RP) processes. In terms of SIU’s DFL, these processes run through our laser cutters, 3D printers, and CNC. During my time as a lab assist, for the greater part of the school year, we see a large variety of architecture building and site models, but I always enjoyed the Christmas season because that’s when you would see the architecture students building non typical architectural things. Though everything that gets cuts during this season may not be entirely architectural in nature the process that it takes to produce something ventures into disciplines related to graphic design, art, and architecture.
Today the world is at a stage of new discovery and innovation based on digital fabrication. There are companies developing 3d printed organs, foods, homes, and weapons; using materials such as plastic, sand, protein and even moon rocks. In Canada there are already cafés where you can get a cup of coffee whilst laser cutting your hearts desires right at your table. Entire new businesses predicated on people’s aspirations to try their hands at rapid prototyping. There are even companies developing fully CNC produced homes that require just a few hours to put together. These are all the different topics I will try and cover as this blog progresses. Now just as a preview of next time, I will be discussing a 3D printer that utilized solar power and sand as a medium to 3D print glass in the middle of the desert and how this research is being retrofitted for the moon. 
This is Markus Kayser an Industrial Designer using his Solar Sinter which functions as a 3D Printer of glass.

Ten Building Build in 24 Hours

By Haoyang Li
Ten 3D printing building have been built in Qingpu, Shanghai in August 21. Used as a local relocation project office space. These "print out" wall is special "ink" made ​​with construction waste. In accordance with the design drawings and computer programs by a large 3D printers. It just takes 24 hours to print out all 10 houses.
The house is not big, only two storey high. But special things there are not a piece of brick in the building, the wall showing structure by stacking layers of material made ​​of cement, each layer is about 2 cm high.

The printer is 6.6 meters high, 10 meters wide, 32 meters long. The bottom surface area is as much as a basketball court. And the printer can also extend the length, fully opened enough to have 150 meters long.
Introduction of the Inventor, the "Ink" is a specially treated glass fiber reinforced concrete material, its strength and useful life is much higher than reinforced concrete. Hollow wall not only greatly reduce the weight of the building itself, but also free to fill insulation materials. The "Ink "will soon solidified after extrusion, ensure the printer can print continuously.
After the house have been built. Installing windows and doors, lined up all kinds of wire and pipe. Follow by the floorings and furniture from the 3D, the owners can move in in a month. In addition, the use of 3D printing technology, building is very environmentally friendly, and also cost 50% cheaper.
There is a video have a view of these buildings:

Source comes from
Translate by Haoyangli

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

You’re Studying Architecture?

By: Brittney Mount

1.      “That’s awesome!”
      Agreed. I will say I enjoy studying architecture. I enjoy everything from the history to the drafting to the people I spend 95% of my time with. Architecture is a major that requires you to be highly devoted, disciplined, and diverse in abilities. After just a few years of studying architecture you catch your mind wandering into the walls of a space, questioning anything from the floor tile, room size, and paths of egress. 

2.     “That sounds miserable.”
 It is. I will not lie about this. An architecture major doesn’t have the liberty of being able to cram a month’s worth of studying into a single night and having a 25% chance on being right on a multiple choice question. A project takes much more than a night to prepare, and has absolutely no luck factor whatsoever, what you have is what you have, and your critics don’t care how many days you stayed up to finish that board or how many times you cut yourself building that model. At least misery loves company and you have plenty of company around at 4 a.m. the night before a project is due and some of my most stressful times in life have also been some of my best and most memorable times in life. The bottom line to the misery is if you still enjoy it, well no one enjoys misery, but if you keep doing what you’re doing then there’s a reason for it: you want to be doing it.

3.     “I wanted to be an architect, but it was too much math for me.”
 This response is typically paired with one of the first two responses. When I ask why the person didn’t follow through with it, the same response ensues: “I can’t draw or do math.” Are these skills helpful in the field of architecture? Yes, very much. Do you have to be a mathematician or Picasso? Absolutely not. My first day of architecture school consisted of drawing objects and I was terrified. The fact is, I can’t draw, but just like in every other college major, the necessary skills you need progress greatly through your studies and you’ll feel pretty proud looking back at your progression from freshman year to the present. I still can’t draw, but I have grasped a technique that allows me to represent my ideas and concepts to my professors and that’s all you need.

4.     “Well at least you’ll be rich.”
Define rich. 

ARC 551 Design Studio| Field Trip

By: Robert Musial

Location:  Atlanta, Georgia 
Dates:  Wednesday, August 24th – Sunday, August 31st
Distance: 448 Miles
Time: 6h 51min

On Wednesday, August 24th at 7:00 AM we were all meeting at Quigley Hall to caravan to Atlanta, GA but, little did I know I had some car troubles in the morning. It started with my car being jump in the morning at my apartment. Then, my car being jump again at a gas station in Marion, IL. It turned out I had a bad battery, so I had it replaced at the local AutoZone. Three hours later we were back on the road. So due to problems with the car we had missed the first tour at Atlanta Marriot Marquis Hotel. While being in Atlanta I was staying with two SIU colleagues that are currently finishing up there M.ARCH at Georgia Tech. They lived in East Atlanta which is an upcoming neighborhood with a lot of development in the area.   
On Thursday, August 25th we had a firm tour at Perkins + Will in Atlanta. First off, their office is a LEED Platinum office building. They took an existing 1980’s office building and used the concrete structure and used or donated over 80% of demolition debris. They have also created an open workspace where they allowed natural daylight and views while reducing energy. Lastly they have created an amazing terrace. (Picture Included)
Next, we had a tour at the High Museum. The High Museum was design by Richard Meier in 1983 and an addition was added on in 2002 by Renzo Piano. I thought that Richard Meier did an excellence job with allowing natural light into atrium of the museum. Also I thought how he had created the flow throughout the museum was unique. From the ramps connecting each level to how the exhibit space was laid out. To continue I believe that Renzo Piano did a well job with the addition to the high museum. My favorite part of the addition is how the first floor is connected to the outside. Also by created the addition it has also created a court yard outside were they are able to have exhibits outside as well like the Mi Casa Your Casa. Mi Casa Your Casa was an open frame in the shape of a house. (Picture Included)
To end our day we had dinner at Fogo de Chao. Fogo de Chao is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse. At Fogo de Chao it is all you can eat streak house, went you turn your card to green they come out with 16 different cut of meats and will not stop coming until you turn the card to red. Also to end the day it was Professor Gonzalez’s birthday.
Perkins + Will

Perkins + Will Terrace

Richard Meier High Museum

Renzo Piano High Museum