Friday, March 29, 2013

Landscape and PRTs

Landscape Performance Pertaining to
Personal Rapid Transit Guide Ways 
By: Lucas E. Shubert

Personal rapid transit (PRT) is a mode of automated transit. It can be used for passenger movement as well as freight. The vehicles involved are generally powered by electricity and smaller than their fossil fuel powered counter-parts. Therefore, the two lane guide ways upon which these vehicles travel are narrower than typical streets. These guide ways are generally made of asphalt or concrete. This material is reinforced if the guide way is elevated. Guide ways are usually elevated at busy or dangerous intersections with existing right-of-ways. They also hold the potential to be joined with pedestrian and bicycle pathways. That kind of system can requires them to be widened and include more complicated structure and different materials.

Several potential landscaping and site related opportunities can be designed around or into these guide ways. One of them is the geometry of the guide ways themselves. They have the potential to retain, detain, or drain storm water into or away from the site in which they are found. If part of a larger greenway, storm water might be collected into rain gardens or retention ponds found within them. Guide ways can also enter or exit a destination at a steep grade, making them a harsh watershed, whether designed for it or not. Consideration for that watershed must be taken into the design of the guide way.

Another consideration in the design of a PRT guide way is the material involved with its structure. Since it must be a hardscape to support passenger (and especially) freight vehicles. Permeable pavement is, therefore, a sound choice for this material on guide ways at grade. However, at elevated segments of guide way, there is likely some form of traffic or natural change in topography that exists beneath it. That implies the use of asphalt or concrete over elevated spans. The generally more expensive option of traveling beneath an intersection is another way to avoid dangerous interaction with existing traffic. But, that method does not lend itself to a simple means of storm water management.

The idea of creating a greenway wherever the PRT guide way goes by involving other modes of travel is becoming more and more popular throughout the world. This kind of combined pathway lends itself to many opportunities for effective landscaping. Designs including the use of functional vegetation can involve rain gardens, retention ponds, vertical gardens, and green roofs. Rain gardens and retention ponds both effectively deal with storm water management. Green roofs and vertical gardens can be integrated into the greenway whenever it passes through, over, or adjacent to an access point to a building or destination.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Eagle Academy

Eagle Academy of Martial Arts
By: Kyle Miller 

Eagle Academy of Martial Arts is located in Warrenville Illinois and belongs to the World Tang Soo Do Association (WTSDA). The facility is approximately 2,160 square feet and includes a practice area, private studio, changing room, lobby, restrooms, office and storage. In the practice area, the flooring is made up of mats for safety when practicing the karate. The mat area is 1,070 square feet with white dots for spacing out the students for safe practicing. In the corner of the mat is the punching bags and crash pad. The wall on the left in the practice area has the American flag, Association flag, Korean flag and Grandmasters of the WTSDA. There is also one small window in this wall. The wall in the middle has mirrors so the students can use it as a target. Also on the middle wall have the targets and blockers needed when the students are paired up for practicing their skills. Furthermore there are pictures of the instructor’s at the school and their studio certification. There are also speakers for music when there is kickboxing class. On the wall to the right is storage for boards, books, weapons, uniforms, belts, first aid, merchandise, awards, binders, paper, crafts and frames. There are also the more targets, jump ropes, an exercise ball and stereo equipment. In the back of the studio there is seating for the audience and cubbies to put the student equipment in during class. The ceiling has acoustical tiles with fluorescent lights and has supply and return air vents. There is also a fan to help with more circulation of air. In the back of the studio there is also a unisex restroom with a toilet and sink. The private studio has a place to practice for one-on-one training. The room is carpeted and has a bench where wood is stored. There is also a table to sit down and talk about the student contract. On the wall has the explanation of the skills the student will learn from white belt to black belt. The changing room consists of two stalls with a divider between and curtains. There is also a mirror and chair in each of them. The lobby has merchandise area where the student can look and decide to buy the equipment for class. There is also a receptionist area for any students that need any questions answered. For the receptionist there is a computer, phone and chair. There is also storage in this area. And to the left of the lobby is the other unisex restroom with a toilet and sink. The last space is the office for the instructors. It is a communal office with three desks, computers and chairs. There is also paperwork and the instructor’s equipment. There is also storage in this area. Eagle Academy of Martial Arts is located in a strip mall and has the space closest to the main street for visibility.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Buckydome Update

Buckydome Update
By: Josh Rucinski

Well. The EPVC works better than I expected.  It machines quite nicely, the only minor flaw is that it wants the upcut bit constantly, otherwise the cut tailings tend to weld themselves quite nicely to the sides of the cut kerf.

The best way I've found to machine both sides is to provide a registration dowel, or peg system.

Cut holes about 1/8” into the substrate surface through the material that is already mounted onto the CNC and ready to be flipped over.  Cut the holes to be whatever the dowel dimension you have is.  I highly recommend at least 1/2” for reasons I will bring up later.

1.      Be sure the marks will flip the piece with precision.  To do this, place the holes in relation to a mirrored CAD line of the material.  Do not measure anything from the physical edge of the material. This will make a sloppy transfer.
2.      Use the upcut bit, 52-910 or something like it.  The hole should be flat bottomed and very clean. Cut the hole about 1/8 past the material onto the sacrificial substrate on top of the machinebed.
3.      Prepare the dowels so that they have no chamfer or bevel, this will give you better accuracy, however you will have to carefully deburr the dowel's cut edges.
4.      When the piece is ready to be flipped, unscrew it and place the dowels a bit past the new side so that they can fall into place.

The system is not totally perfect because the bed itself must be perfectly flat, which ours cannot be because it is in the blue barracks, every leveling is temporary, because the ground is not stable.  However, if your design has a bit of play, it will work within a tiny fraction of an inch, and much more accurate then anything by hand.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thesis Update

Thesis Update - (+Break Re-Cap)
By: Jonathan Smith

I recently got back from a trip to Branson, Missouri that I took for a portion of spring break. Upon arriving, my girlfriend and I were sucked right into the touristy traps of shops and chaos. It seemed a bit overwhelming to be honest, but after a day or two I started to see some of the true character of the town. Beneath the chaotic visiting tourists, is a rich small town that has a quite a bit of history of its own. It ended up being a rather fun trip and even relaxing, as contradicting as that may seem, (for anyone who has been to Branson for purposes of vacation). 

While there though, I noticed a great deal of the development they had on the river. It was quite nice to see a city taking advantage of its riverfront for pedestrian, economical, and social gain. This leads me to a source that I recently had forwarded to me, and would like to share. It highlights a variety of the qualities and intricacies of a city being designed around the concept of hydrology and water. It is an interview of "Water Architect" Koen Olthius and is published by AutoDesk. The content is relative to my thesis, but also to architects in general who are interested in designing in extreme conditions and utilizing 3D-Modeling as a major aid to do so.

The interview with Koen goes to elaborate on many of the ideas I'm incorporating into my thesis. It will highlight his explanation on the benefits and disadvantages of "floating buildings" and architecture, which I agree with. This interview has sparked me to want to look into him further. So, as I learn more about the individual and his studio of design, I will update on how it will be incorporated into my thesis.

Super Stadium

Super Stadium; University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Cardinals Stadium 

By: Jabina Shrestha 

University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale with retractable roof and roll-out field is its kind in North America. The exterior theme of the stadium is barrel cactus designed by architect Peter Eisenman. The stadium occupied 25 acres of land and stadium field is 26 feet below the ground level and structures rises up to 207 feet above the ground level. The stadium has 63,400 seats with expandable limit of 73,719 seats. The construction of stadium began on July 30, 2003, starting with the excavation of 860,000 cubic yards of dirt. The stadium was completed in August 2006. The cost of stadium was $ 455 million in which stadium alone cost for $395.4 million, $41.7 million for site improvements, and $17.8 million for the land. The major contributions for stadium were from the owner Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority followed by the Arizona Cardinals and City of Glendale.

Before the construction started in Glendale, the project itself was in lawsuit, funding challenges and location changes between Mesa, Tempe and Glendale. Due to the flight path of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the proposed location at Tempe was cancelled. Finally, after a year and half the location was final in Glendale. Although the site/location has been changed and different physical condition has been changed. Retractable roof and moving field remain the same.

Retractable Roof: There are two large panels that act as the retractable roof. The roof consists of Brunel roof trusses and Bird Air fabric (a translucent fabric best known in Mountain America for its use on the main terminal building of Denver International Airport). The roof was built on the ground and lifted in place. Heavy-lifting specialist Mammoet, based in The Netherlands, was brought in to lift the roof into place during a rainy week in February. The procedure went smoothly, at a 20-ft-per-hour pace.

Moving Field: The stadium moving field weighs 17 million pounds, which moves over 13 rails using 542 steel wheels powered by 76 one horse power motors. The field reside most of the year and get its nourishment, maintenance, and grooming. The field tray will be 234 feet wide by 403 feet long, and take approximately 65 minutes to move into/out of the stadium.

The Stadium was built in sections like pie rather than building the facilities in layers from the foundation up, making construction more economical and efficient. The construction activities were parallel. Many activities were constructed side by side, to finish project on planned date. After finishing the installation of roof most of the in-site activities were carried out.

The contract was design/ build. The general contractor for the construction was Hunt Construction Group. According to contract the Owner Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority can penalized the both Hunt Construction Group and the Arizona Cardinals if the stadium is not finished according to the contract. And the overrun cost has to be bear by both Hunt Construction and the Arizona Cardinals. So the construction was schedule driven. It had to be finished by the August 2006. Finally it was completed by the planned date and was ready for the 2007 Fiesta Bowl College football game.


3) New Stadium for Arizona Cardinals- Rocky Mountain Construction

Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor

Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor, Arlington, Virginia 
By: Chris Harpstrite

Figure 43.1 Aerial view of the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor. Source: Weaver Research

One of the most notable success stories of transit oriented development; the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is an approximately 3 mile stretch of mixed use development in Arlington, Virgina. This came into effect because of community foresight and political will to get the job done, the 3 mile commercial corridor had never been incorporated as a city, and because of that, it led to a decline in population and commercial activity. City leaders knew of talks to build a light rail system in the area, and they knew where they wanted it to run. The line of light rail that now runs underground through Arlington was originally planned to follow the windy Highway 166 to its North. However, as mentioned earlier, community foresight led to building this light rail track with four stations situated in Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn. “This insight not only helped to protect the single-family neighborhoods of Arlington County by directing growth to transit-oriented districts but to preserve the qualities valued by residents by strengthening the economy and making more resilient.” (Weaver 2011)

Figure 4.2 Proposed and Adopted Metro Alignment Source: Weaver Research

Washington Metropolitan Transit System began in 1960, and Arlington was already a major source of office space for District of Columbia. (Weaver 2011) They wanted to ensure growth would go in the direction that was desired, to assist that the Arlington County General Use Plan was drafted and began in 1972. “At the outset of the General Land Use Plan development, Arlington County residents established four keystone policies.
Foremost was the policy to preserve their established single-family residential areas.
Second was to build a strong tax base by pursuing development that would result in roughly equal total valuations for commercial and residential properties.
Third, redevelopment efforts would target areas within a quarter-mile radius of Metro stations.
Finally, within these radii high density projects designed to combine commercial, retail and residential uses would be encouraged. Countywide, the areas designated for high—density development comprised roughly 11 percent of the total land area, while 89 percent was reserved for low-density development.” (Weaver 2011)

Since the conception of these five stops, from 1972 to 2002 there was a net increase of more than 11,000 housing units, office space went from 4.9 million square feet to over 21.1 million square feet, an addition of 950,000 square feet of retail (now a total of 3.4 million), an addition of 1,900 hotel rooms, and lastly, an 81% increase in the assessed value of land. (Dittmar & Ohland, 2004, p. 132)

While the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor is one of the most know success stories of transit-oriented development, there are a few shortcoming that are still being worked on.

The first issue on this project is the lack of affordable housing in the area. One of the great qualities of transit-oriented development is that it puts lower-income citizens within walking distance of transit; this is to help lower expenses because of the omission of vehicle costs. Maintaining an affordable place to live in the community has proven difficult because of the quick rise of property values in the corridor. As of 2001 the vacancy rate in the area is at a measly 1.4%, the average rent is $1,161, and the average sale of a home is $268,000. The county is well aware of the problem now and has recently adopted a plan to expand density bonus of up to 25% for the development of affordable housing, and in addition to that they have provided an additional $1-$2 million per year for the development and preservation of affordable units in the county. (Dittmar & Ohland, 2004, p. 136)

A second issue that faces the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor is the lack of cohesive and high quality architecture. One of the major guidelines, as few as there are published, state for clear boundaries of the TOD community. With different architectural styles and qualities it is difficult to determine whether a person is in the same community or not. Dennis Leach, co-author of The New Transit Town, did a study of the 3 mile stretch speaking with sixteen member of the community, who represented all the major stakeholder groups, and asked their opinion about the redevelopment effort. The corridor received great reviews on its residential neighborhoods, transit access, range of services offered, and impact on regional transportation and air quality, however, where it received unfavorable responses was the curb appeal and cohesiveness of the new development, and the quality of the pedestrian environment.


A Habit 
By: Brad Hoepfner

So in this week’s blog I decided to write on a different topic architecture students have to deal with commonly, habits. Every one of us form specific habits and can break or bend them from time to time, but in general, we are afflicted by these different habits year after year. They can range from something as simple as nail biting to drinking a certain beverage every day to not sleeping enough. You may even begin to believe that participating in your particular habit will become essential to the completion of your project or assignment.

One of these habits that I run into often is a simple but dangerous one, procrastination. Procrastinating on a project just seems natural to us as architecture students. “Oh, I can finish that in a few hours” is one of the many thoughts or phrases that arise when I start to debate the act of procrastination. Many times throughout my time here at SIUC I watched other students crumble under the pressure of a project completion date; this is usually due to waiting to the last few weeks to really get started on a project. When in reality, if you would spend an hour or two every day putting solid work effort into a project or a paper it could have saved you from the massive amount of stress you had to undergo. Teachers can aid the students to help prevent procrastination by setting up midterm goals and benchmarks that the students need to achieve.

Obviously, most people can use a mental break from architecture after working a 10 hour day, but taking a week off from a project is not a good way to approach the project. As a student, you can really start to see when other students are working hard every day at the amazing work they can produce. The entire point of this blog is to just remember that enjoying your time in college is important, but it is even more critical to stay focused on your bigger goals in life and to do your best to stay focused on the work in front of you today. We are paying way too much to be here to procrastinate on assignments.

Permeable Pavers

Permeable Pavers 
By: Andrew Ewing

Location: Westmoreland Neighborhood, Portland, Oregon

Credits: Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Water, and Transportation

Where/How did you find it: Web Search

Why did you select this one: I have seen the use of permeable pavers for parking lots and driveways. I found it very interesting that Portland would attempt to use them on actual streets. Paving three blocks of streets in a residential neighborhood, seems like a good way to test the durability of this idea.

Brief description: This project began in 2004, and consisted of the repaving of three streets in a residential neighborhood in Portland. This was the first time permeable pavers were used as an actual street surface in Portland. There was a total of about 1000 feet of street repaved with this surface. They tried three different situations:

Street one was paved curb-to-curb with permeable blocks.

Street two was paved with a center strip of standard asphalt and permeable pavement in both curb lanes.

Street three was paved curb to curb with standard asphalt.

Typically a road drains the water into a storm water pipe, treats it, and discharges it to a surface stream. The permeable pavers instead allow the water to infiltrate the ground and allow a more natural approach to treating the water.

“Portland uses several innovative approaches to reduce the amount of storm water that flows through sewer pipes and discharges to rivers and streams. Approaches include downspout disconnection, vegetated infiltration areas, constructed wetlands, increased tree canopy, eco-roofs, green streets, and permeable pavement.” By doing all these things the, Portland is hoping to reduce traditional methods and improve water quality in a more natural way.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Deciphering Social Behavior

Deciphering Social Behavior
By: Van Dwinnells

Attitude is often referred to as personal view of something such as an opinion but it can also be a generalized notion of a psychological object.  In psychology, the term attitude refers to our disposition(s) of specific activities, ideas, and objects and as such we gauge them accordingly and apply degrees of favorableness or unfavorableness. (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975)   Socially, attitudes can translate from personal, individual, notions to larger social actions and behaviors. Therefore by monitoring behavior at a contextual level, one between how small groups integrate into larger communities, we may be able to change how a community, as a whole, acts or reacts to situations we impose.  In my last blog, From the Table to Life, I mentioned the need for community acceptance in order to gain traction for architectural projects.  By being more involved with and connected to those in the community we can alter their attitudes and thereby change the overall outlook of a project.  Now, I am trying to incorporate a model by which we may be able to analyze, implant, and stimulate positive responses to carefully planned motivational devices.  It is important to remember that for the most part, social attitudes are acquired and internalized rather than inherently innate.

Reading attitudes of individuals and/or the actions of an individual are harder because overt actions can be misleading and may not be representative of an entire social group.  It can be dangerous to look too close to the problem as some people and their attitudes and behaviors may be that of an outlier.  As Robert Merton has pointed out,

 "The metaphysical assumption is tacitly introduced that in one sense or another overt behavior is "more real" than verbal behavior.  This assumption is both unwarranted and scientifically meaningless.... It should not be forgotten that overt actions may deceive; that they, just as "derivations" or "speech reactions" may be deliberately designed to disguise or to conceal private attitudes."

Generally speaking, it is important to partially disregard global views.  It is possible to consider too large of a social group and make too broad of generalizations. It would be like portraying a community in the Midwest United States as the same as one on either the East or West coasts.  Granted similar beliefs may be held, but there are too many variables within the different aggregates of people, personal attitudes and behaviors have shaped the individuals quite differently, mainly due to their environment, and therefore such views are not always accurate or interchangeable when the core study is that of a smaller context.   In order to study and understand them, it is important to isolate the attitudes and behaviors of the each communities and then compare them in compatibility.  This is often referred to the theory of planned behavior first described in 1985 by Icek Ajzen.

"Briefly, according to the theory of planned behavior, human action is influenced by three major factors: a favorable or unfavorable evaluation of the behavior (attitude toward the behavior), perceived social pressure to perform or not perform the behavior (subjective norm), and perceived capability to perform the behavior (self-efficacy; Bandura, 1997, or perceived behavioral control).  In combination, attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and perception of behavioral control lead to the formation of a behavioral intention.  As a general rule, the more favorable the attitude and subjective norm, and the greater the perceived behavioral control, the stronger should be the person's intention to perform the behavior in question.  The relative importance of the three predictors as determinants of intentions can vary from behavior to behavior and from population to population."

This is probably the most common belief, and diagrammatic method, of how we actually form our intentions and then supposedly act on them.  The actual behavioral control, what we can influence or change, should be less obvious or at least less intrusive in order to reach a desired social behavior with little resistance.  By making smaller changes do eventually lead to larger ones.  For elaboration of how to please feel free to read my prior blog titled Moments.  My next blog will take closer a look at how just what and how we can modify and manipulate specific aspects of an environment to achieve a direct correlation between the perceived behavioral control and actual behavior. 

Katsura Imperial Villa

The Katsura Imperial Villa – The inspiration of modernists
By: Adulsak "Otto" Chanyakorn

The Katsura Imperial Villa is located in Kyoto near the Katsura River. It was built in the early seventeenth-century. The Katsura Imperial Villa was built in the sukiya shoin, a relaxed and personalized combination of standard shoin with various elements of the teahouse. Shoin refers to a building style in the Edo period of Japanese history. It was finished in three main stages: Old Shoin, Middle Shoin, and New Goten. It was built during the Momoya period (1568-1603) and includes four tea- ceremony houses: Shokintei, Shokatei, Shoinken, and Gepparo. It was started in 1620 by the team working under the influence of the great tea master of the Edo period, Kobori Enshu. The KIV is profoundly unified with the environment; it expresses its beauty without using ornamentation. It displays the beauty of simplicity and naturalness. It has become the symbol of architectural modernism and a significant study of Japanese architecture that modernist architects seek to apply to their own design ideologies in terms of the essentials of space, order and form. A great example of integration between architecture and natural elements, KIV includes an impressive pond, garden, rocks, trees and so on. Even the well-known figure in western architectural world, Walter Gropius (1960), admired the humble meaning of this architecture when he wrote in the book Katsura tradition and creation in Japanese architecture, “We feel tremendously attracted to this building even now because man and his way of living were the focus of its conceptions. No Vanity, no pretentious monumentalism was in the mind of the designer, but only the desire to create a balanced container of beautiful living” (p. 8).
The Katsura Imperial Village contains the essentials of Zen philosophy in many aspects. Zen is not a religion, but it is an idea of self-education that was influenced by Confucianism and Taoism. Later Japanese people developed Zen to be their own philosophy for the art of living. The Katsura Imperial Villa was designed asymmetrically without a main axis. The remarkable skill of wooden craftsmanship can be seen in the construction and expression of simple beauty in structure. The overall building scale that correlates with human scale represents the humility as in the Zen spirit. KIV demonstrates the perfect juxtaposition between dark and bright, smooth and rough, architecture and garden. All of these express the essential aspects of the everyday art of living of Japanese people. The Katsura Imperial Villa is a great example of Japanese architecture of simplicity and naturalness, which shows no distinction based on social class. The houses of a regular man and a prince differ only on the size and quality of materials (Gropius, 1960).

Ishomoto, Y. (1960). Katsura tradition and creation in Japanese architecture: New
     Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From the Table to Life

From the Table to Life
By: Van Dwinnells

When we design we are given many programmatic conditions that we must adhere to, design for and around, and we do so in a creative way.  One of the joys of our architecture schooling is that we are often time not even burdened with the realistic ramifications of our projects pre and post occupancy; thing such as budgets and real life evaluations of efficiency and overall use rarely if ever creep into our curriculum.  In urban design we begin to think of how social spaces are formed throughout a community, but it impossible to ever fully know what will and won't work in a given situation.  We do precedent studies of similar places, contextual situations, and cultures, but this is no guarantee our designs will be utilized and incorporated into the community's urban fabric.  The fact that we make such grand proposals reinforces this reality and perpetuates a specific need; one, that in order to produce a design that can be built, we must harness not disregard the political and economic processes.  In order to gain such approval, functions and fundraisers should be organized in the attempt to amass funds and rally community support.  Paying close attention to the people, their needs and desires, and subsequently responding to them in a timely and conscious manner will undoubtedly allow our plans to gain traction.  It seems as if there is gap from our design process from the finalization of a design project to its implementation.  We as architects have a great understanding of the needs of the community and those of the investors.  With that knowledge we should also be considering a way to market our designs.  Who better to provide a platform to springboard a project and get it off the ground?  We should focus on creating awareness and the need for our projects.  To me it would seem only appropriate to also have a class within our program, most likely incorporated as an elective for our graduate program.  A class that would enable us to focus and further develop how we could take our projects and professionally present them to a community so as to one day move it from the drawing boards to a real project.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Little Rock

Trip to Little Rock
By: Sam Harshman

The Wife and I went to Little Rock/North Little Rock this past weekend (3/8/13-3/11/13.)  The point of the trip was to meet with Little Rocks Bicycle/Pedestrian Director, Jeremy Lewno.  We met at his bike center, Bobby’s Bike Hike, to talk about my thesis project.  I came to the meeting with questions and concerns that I had come up with through my research.  Mr. Lewno answered all of my questions and even brought up more questions.  The major questions answered were about the site that I have chosen.  The site that I have chosen runs through the property of the national headquarters of Dillards and also through the property of an Episcopal school.  The project at hand is actually funded at the moment, but the issue is that Dillards and the Episcopal school don’t want to give up their land.  They don’t see the value in having a bike trail run near their property’s, they also think that the trail would bring “unsightly” people to the area.  Part of my thesis now is to try to persuade the people at Dillards and the Episcopal school, that the bike trail will not bring what they think it will, but does the opposite and bring more customers/ allow students to get to school without driving and other related things.  On top of this, Mr. Lewno taught me that if you build the transportation first, then you can develop the rest: commuter station, more bike shops, and parks.  Next to the persuading, my thesis has also become a phasing plan.

1. Connect the housing communities with the bike trail.
2. Develop a specific trail to finish the loop.
3. Develop a central commuter station in Little Rock.
4. Plan out riverside parks along the new section of bike trail (phase 2)
5. Redevelop a warehouse into a boardwalk with a bike center along the new section of trail.


Trending Markets
By: Megan Gebke

My thesis will include a marketing plan for my site. It will include all the new features I am going to propose and how it will better the neighborhood. By marketing the site, it will attract people to a neighborhood they thought was vacant and dangerous. This week in my marketing class we went over innovations of a product and if people will flock to it or avoid the trend.

The trend list topic I chose was the Localizasian. For one, the name is clever and explains exactly what they want to do, which is make products in Asia, for Asia. Brands across Asia are producing more best-in-class products and services. They try to produce products that will tailor to specific needs made by regional brands that really understand their lifestyle. When a product is made by the people who have the same customs and culture as you, you feel more connected to the product because the supplier knows exactly where you are coming from. You feel more comfortable buying something that was made locally rather than from thousands of miles away with nothing in common with the people producing the product. The webpage stated, “All this attention and subsequent choice means Asian consumers can, are, and will continue to become more demanding: seeking out best-in-class products and services that cater explicitly to their needs, wants and desires.” They are listening to the consumer’s wants and needs and then making products that caters to those wants and needs. “Whether as a result of shared values, operational experience in fast-growth economies, or a natural affinity for local nuances, Asian brands and businesses simply ‘get’ Asian consumers- their mindset, wants and needs – in ways that outside brands sometimes still struggle to.” By having the same customs, they can be sensitive to certain beliefs they know are important to the Asian people. One example of this includes the adaptation of the beer called Tsingtao. Tsingtao changed their beer bottle for Chengdu consumers. The new bottle is larger, holding two or three pints, which allows for the beer to be poured into small cups and shared over Sichuan food. This ritual mimics the traditional way that baijiu is communally drunk. Asians have certain customs and beliefs that no one in America could fully understand and vice versa. When you keep a brand local and suit it to those needs, you have a better understanding of what the consumer really wants, which in retrospect will help sell more products.

I think that customers will flock to this new trend. Everyone is proud of where they come from and buying products that are made near you, by hardworking people just like you, gives a customer a greater sense of patriotism. Localizasian allows for suppliers to develop products that are accustomed to Asian people’s wants and needs. They do not have to do diligent outside research to understand the cultures and beliefs; they just know them because they live them every day. I think this will be a trend for Asia; I do not, however, think that Localizasian will travel further from Asia, even if it was meant to at all. I do think that other countries or regions should pick up on what Asia is doing and develop something similar to it. Coming from an architectural background, it is also sustainable to develop products locally and allows a chance for the economy to make a comeback by giving more opportunities.

Vertical Garden

Vertical Garden at 6 Battery Road, Singapore by Patrick Blanc
By: Lucas E. Shubert

Brief Description
This vertical garden, title "Rainforest Rhapsody," is the focus of a $92 million renovation at Capitaland Commercial, in Singapore (Capitaland Commercial 2013). It is 2,000 square feet and includes approximately locally grown 120 plant species (Capitaland Commercial 2013). It is a part of a larger project involving several kinds of sustainable practices, like reused materials and LED's (Capitaland Commercial 2013).

Landscape Performance Benefits
· Environmental The environmental benefits of this type of project depend on its size and location. Unlike permeable pavers and rain gardens, interior vertical gardens do not reduce storm water runoff. They do, however, clean the air around them.
· Aesthetic This vertical garden adds a great deal of natural beauty to the lobby, both with the simplicity of native vegetation and the complexity of the design of their placement.
· Functional No signs of leaking water have been reported. Therefore, the garden must be functioning as intended.
· Social The garden creates a wonderful space for social gathering.
· Educational Vertical gardens have the potential for teaching about the plant species found within it.
· Economical Since aesthetic appeal is a large portion of vertical gardens, it's difficult to rate them economically. They can be created for a relatively small amount of money.
However, this one was much more expensive because it involved a world famous designer (Capitaland Commercial 2013).
· Psychological Vertical gardens are intended to have a calming effect.

Project Evaluation
This project is now two years old and is still very beautiful, which means that it must be performing as intended by helping to clean the air of the lobby of 6 Battery Road. It is a very successful project because it completely changed the space it is in for the better. Another reason these vertical gardens are usually a good idea for interior spaces is because they are relatively low maintenance.

Vertical Garden Patrick Blanc. 2013. “Capitaland.” Accessed March 1.

Capitaland Commercial. 2013. "Singapore." Accessed March 1.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Spatial Relationships

ADHD Research and Spatial Relationships
By: Kyle Miller

Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders and recent data indicates that up to 8-10% of school age children meet the necessary criteria for a diagnosis. The criteria are listed below:

According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition (DSM-IV), the essential features of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder are:
Criterion A-E
A. Persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.
B. Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that cause impairment must have been present before age 7 years, although many individuals are diagnosed after the symptoms must be present for a number of years.
C. Some impairment from the symptoms must be present in at least two settings (e.g., at home and at school or work).
D. There must be clear evidence of interference with developmentally appropriate social, academic, or occupational functioning.
E. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorders and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

There are Three Subtypes of ADHD:
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Combined Type:
This subtype should be used if six (or more) symptoms of inattention and six (or more) symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least six months.

Predominantly Inattentive Type:
This subtype is used if six (or more) symptoms of inattention (but fewer than six symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity) have persisted for at least six months.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type:
This subtype should be used if six (or more) symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity (but fewer than six of inattention) have persisted for at least six months.

            -Difficulty following morning routines
            -Increase in frequency of arguments with parents and siblings
            -Difficulty completing homework and daily chores
            -Messy/disorganized room
            -Difficulty remaining seated in class
            -Difficulty completing work in a timely fashion
            -Difficulty organizing materials
            -Difficulty regulating behavior on the playground
            -Trouble interacting with peers
            -Difficulty waiting turns during games

            -Focus is on teaching the child
-Behavioral regulations strategies to improve the frequency and duration of positive, on-task behaviors.
            -Establish a reinforcement schedule
            -Modify the environment to focus on the child’s strengths and areas of concern

The Ideal Classroom for an ADHD Classroom
1. No more than 8 children (preferably 5-6) not all of whom are ADHD (some may have learning disabilities, speech and language impairments or other behavior problems)
2. One trained ADHD teacher
3. One trained aide with another available as needed
4. Four walls and one door
5. Extensive soundproofing
6. Windows placed above height of tallest child
7. Lines on the floor creating traffic lanes through the classroom (and through the rest of the school building)
8. Walls relatively replete with posters outlining the rules and extolling the virtues of planning ahead, feeling good about oneself, and socializing. Nothing stimulating but not barren or sterile either
9. Bathroom at back of classroom
10. Daily schedule in bold letters on the board
11. Desks not too close together, yet positioned in such a way that teacher an maintain close proximity to each student.
12. An attention trainer on every desk
13. A jar of tokens on the teacher’s desk an a menu of possible prizes on the wall
14. A time-out room connected to classroom
15. Computer for every child located in separate section of the class
16. Observation room with one-way mirror so children can be observed by parents, staff, and outside professionals without disrupting the class. Observation room could also double as a “1 to 1” area for special instructions
17. A common area where children and teachers can sit and discuss group issues and feelings
18. Incandescent lighting

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Typography 101

Typography 101
By: Josh Rucinski

One of the biggest complaints I hear from my graphic designer (my wife!) is the lack of typography know-how in architectural pin-ups. Here are some of the easiest to avoid mistakes.

Use one typeface or font, two maximum. Typefaces should be used carefully on a large layout. Avoid using many different sizes, it is confusing to the reader. Just as studies show red is a color that produces certain emotions, there are studies that prove some type is hard to read. Using different sizes is hard to read. USING ALL CAPS IS ALSO HARD TO READ. Using upper and lowercase caps as the written language should be written is easier to read.

If you are using one typeface, serif fonts are actually better designed than most san-serif fonts. The typeface Times New Roman has many years of careful typesetting behind it. Monaco is not. Notice how the font is continually looking as though it is being stretched or pushed together. Reading the font is not as pleasing.

Another pratfall that is common is “bastardizing” the text.  This is when text is forced to be bolded when there is no actual bolding loaded into the computer. A way to check is to see if you have a full family font loaded. This might look like this:

Myriad Pro
Myriad Pro Light
Myriad Pro Bold
Myriad Pro Italic
Myriad Pro Black

instead of simply:

Myriad Pro

This is important, because this means a designer has tweaked the font's stroke, bowls, descenders and ascenders to read as clearly as possible from the spacing between the letters (kerning) and the relationship between an italic, bold and roman on the same line. It is not important to learn what all these terms mean, the basic upshot is this: If you use a full family versus the bastardization of one font, it will read better. One of the reasons Adobe products are expensive is that they come with a license of certain fonts for your computer. A computer with Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator will have better font choices then a computer without those programs. 

Another form of bastardization is stretching the text using a percentage creating a WordArt effect. This should be avoided at all cost as the result is almost always read as amateurish at best, and a complete lack of care for a project at worst.

There is also a rule of thumb for how big fonts should be printed. 72 point font is never a good idea. 72 points equal an inch. At that point the fonts will begin to disincorporate and special attention must be paid to kerning. Leading, or the space between the lines must also be examined. Even a 48x36 poster should use a 24pt or smaller text. The idea is to draw people into your work. Shouting with a large font will turn people away.

I hope that this will help students with their work. Typeface is very crucial to a good design layout. An excellent book that is accessible to readers is “A type primer” by John Kane. It explains the development of typography and why these small things add up to big impressions.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thesis Update

Thesis Update – Spring 2013
By: Jonathan Smith

This blog post will consist of a research proposal for a paper I am writing in my Geography – Sustainable Development class. This paper will be the foundation for the writing on my thesis paper a well. Following the research proposal is a preliminary outline of the paper to come.                                                                                                    

Research Question Proposal:
How can the east coast of the United States develop its coastal regions to manage rising sea levels in the coming future?
·        I am currently working on a thesis project in architecture that deals very closely with the question proposed above. I have been researching the relations between architecture and water for quite some time, and after reading the articles from the previous assignment, I wanted to focus on the Eastern United States.

Methods and Research:
This question will be answered by researching a variety of techniques used for sustainable development in coastal regions across the world. This research will include case studies of both successful and unsuccessful proposals to flooding problems. These solutions will then be narrowed down to what is most suitable for the focus area. Other data such as GIS maps, climactic information, and professional journals will be used in order to help make this selection. The answer outlined in the paper will most likely be a model of how the Eastern United States can begin to develop sooner rather than a model for the future.

Preliminary Outline:
I.                    Assessing the Issue
A.      Global Warming and the Causes
1.Global Warming Brief / Misconceptions
2.Global Warming Prevention / Responses
B.      Problem Areas of Eastern United States
1.New York Area
2.Norfolk, Virginia
3.North Carolina Coast
C.      Future Damage Potential
1.50 Year Scenario
2.100 Year Scenario
3.Long Term Future Scenario
II.                  Current Development of East Coast
A.      Prior Solutions / Preparation
1.Ignoring the Issue
2.Area Abandonment
3.Temporary Fixes
B.      Learning By Disaster
1.Hurricane Sandy
2.Hurricane Irene
3.Hurricane Isabel
III.                Case Studies / Method Analysis
A.      Netherlands / Dutch
1.A History of Water
2.Preemptive Action
3.Long Term Development Goals
B.      Great Britain
C.      Miscellaneous Projects
1.Iba Dock – Germany
2.BIG Architects (DK)
D.     Learning From Notable “Failures”
IV.                Analyzing a Solution for the Area
A.      Coastal Culture of East Coast
B.      Community Outlook / Response
1.Disbelievers and Skeptics
2.Realists and Planners
3.A Communities Reaction to Disaster
C.      Design Solution Criteria
1.How should the design solution fit the Eastern United States?
2.How can different solutions impact the land and resources?
3.What are the social impacts of the possible solutions available?
V.                  An Architectural Solution
A.      Design Solution Explanation
1.Concept Statement
2.Site Analysis
3.Development Diagrams / Drawings
B.      Future Development Possibilities
C.      Implementing the Model Elsewhere
VI.                Conclusion
A.      Closing Thoughts
B.      Acknowledgements
Preliminary Sources:
Schuetze, Christopher. "How Cities Plan to Keep the Sea at Bay in an Age of Climate Change." New York Times. 05 NOV 2012: n. Web. 28 Jan. 2013. <>.
Stive, Marcel, Louise Fresco, Kabat Pavel, Parmet Bart, and Veerman Cees. "How the Dutch plan to stay dry over the next Century." ICE-Civil Engineering. 164. (2011): 114-212. Web. 28 Jan. 2013.
Schuetze, Christopher. "How Cities Plan to Keep the Sea at Bay in an Age of Climate Change." New York Times. 05 NOV 2012: n. Web. 28 Jan. 2013. <>.
Stive, Marcel, Louise Fresco, Kabat Pavel, Parmet Bart, and Veerman Cees. "How the Dutch plan to stay dry over the next Century." ICE-Civil Engineering. 164. (2011): 114-212. Web. 28 Jan. 2013.
Janin, H., & Mandia, S. A. (2012). Rising sea levels: An introduction to cause and impact. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers.
Brody, S. D., Highfield, W. E., & Kang, J. E. (2011). Rising waters: The causes and consequences of flooding in the united states. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Wilson, E., & Piper, J. (2010). Spatial planning and climate change. New York, New York: Routledge.
Pilkey, O. H., & Young, R. (2009). The rising sea. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
Ames, D. V., Culver, S. J., & Mallinson, D. J. (2011). The battle for north carolina's coast. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press