Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer Break

Summer Break

The Salukitecture Blog will take a break for the summer, but resume this fall with a new group of authors.  Thanks to all the authors and readers who supported the blog this year. Check back later in year for new blogs!!

Social Environment

Investigations Into Our Social Environment
By: Van Dwinnells
In order to better understand the complexities of why we enjoy some public spaces versus others has brought me to study William H. Whyte's work into this realm of thought.  Whyte's study is one of an observational nature and provides some analytical responses for how public plaza spaces have been used in the latter half of the twentieth century.  Observation is key to understanding the encounters between people in a society.  It allows us to see the physical and emotional interactions of our social behaviors.  In part, we all do our fair share of observation as Whyte points out; the most common activity of people in plaza spaces tends to be observing the other people around us.  When we cannot observe the physical and social environment, the public space no longer has meaning.  Let's look a little deeper into some of his findings.

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces  1980 - William H. Whyte
Whyte emphasizes that both park and plaza spaces tend to be underutilized rather than overcrowded.  This is evident if you spend much time in such places.  Having to think about the last time you did practically verifies the fact that society does not fully utilize them.  Underuse is a major issue as many plaza and park spaces remain empty for most of their times available.    It begs a few questions; why is this so and what makes these places work?  He created a list of elements which he believes that translate to useable and functional spaces within parks and plazas.  They are as follows;

Sittable Space
Food place
Water Feature

His results are very thorough.  He found the most used plazas tend to have multiple groups consisting of two and three.  That is not to say there aren't other stratifications of individuals, but this number is the most common.  Traveling conversations occur most either when interaction is minimum and the individuals are only interacting in a passing or limited moment or movement is sporadic and not contained to a specific location i.e. traveling.  There must be a place for this type of conversation to occur.  The corner is one of the most active places.  These areas are nodes for pedestrian intersections and are saturated with social interactions.  Within these pedestrian pathways, people tend to move to the geographic center of the flow patterns.  The reason for such is that they tend to increase the opportunity to interact with others.  What is more interesting is that we tend to do this, most of the time, non-consciously and if we want to avoid doing this, we must exert a small level of effort and cognitive function to do so.  This implies that if in the busiest of situations, humans tend to move in groups and maintain a flow.  What is odd about this, is that the pedestrian flow is the most common place for the interactions and conversations to occur.  They tend to  develop and maintain directly in the center of the flow or just nearly off the side of them.  Therefore, this leads to direct design implications opening possibilities to social spaces in the middle or directly adjacent to flow patterns.  This could be as simply as creating sitting areas, the most used is that of an appropriately dimensioned ledge that is easy to access.  It is important to note that people don't often stop to talk in the middle of plazas or wide open spaces.  They like to stop at edges, pathways, and landmarks.  This can help us to then design around the voids within plazas and parks by creating landmarks or attractions at these points.  These tendencies just so happen to correlate nicely to how functional and prosperous streetscapes are defined. 

In order to do your own observational investigation he suggests that one map where people sit and continue to be consistently present in a plaza.  Notate what activities are occurring as well as what makes them diverse. 

As this is only a blog, I can only go into depth so far.  I highly suggest you look into his study for yourself.  It is very informative and is available in different formats.  If you like reading online you can find the link here.  If you would rather purchase his book look here.  If you want to look into it with less concentration, his companion video can be found on vimeo  here.

Teepee Structure

Teepee Structure Project
By: Sam Harshman

Last week I had to build a model of a structure for my history class.  I decided to make a model of a teepee.  Why a teepee?   I respect Native Americans for the way they lived.  They did not need a company telling them they need to build "sustainable" homes, they just did because they realized that was how humans were supposed to live to protect this earth.  Everything they did was "sustainable."  They used every piece of anything they killed or cut down or grew.  This is why I chose to make a teepee.  The teepee is made up of simple materials such as wooden poles for the actual structure and animal skins for the exterior.  It was a very portable home because the Native Americans were nomadic, following herds of buffalo for means of food. 

The construction of a teepee started with tying three poles together near the top and then using those to create something like a tripod.  After that is complete, a dozen more poles were rested on the "tripod," to create a cone like structure.  Next, the skin of the teepee is put on.  One end is tied to a pole and then it is stretched around the other poles.  The end flap is then closed with wooden lacing pins, lacing it to the overlapped part of the skin.  Sometimes the flap was used to make a door, other times an opening was cut out and another piece of skin or a cloth was used to cover it.  Around the base of the teepee, wooden pegs were used to hold the skin down.  On the inside of the structure, a cord was usually tied around the poles just above head height so that an inner lining could be hung.  this would help with heat insulation, drafts, and pests.

The following are just a couple of pictures of my final structure project.  I tried to make it as natural as possible.  The poles are actual sticks from my yard.  I had to whittle them down so to clear off the bark.  I used some rawhide that I purchased to tie the sticks together.  The skin is some canvas that I purchased.  I wanted to make the canvas seem more natural so I dirtied it up with some dry dirt.  After that, I used some darker moist soil to "paint" the base of the canvas and then I used some grass to "paint" the green on the canvas. 

The Final One

By: Megan Gebke
                Well the semester is quickly coming to an end and the stress is quickly piling up.  In August, this chapter of my life will have ended and that is when the real world begins.  Looking back on when I first started architecture school, I really had no idea what I was getting into.  I was just kind of like, “oh, I like to draw and design and I am really good at math.”  I never once thought about all the components that piece together to become architecture.  In my journey of schooling, I have learned what I am good at and what I can improve on.  People always ask what type of architecture I want to be in and unfortunately in this economy a college graduate cannot be picky on what his/her first job will be.  Anything architecture related I will be willing to do.  Another thing I noticed about architecture school was how much it changed me as a person.  You are constantly thinking about school and working on homework.  You count down how many available hours you have left to finish your studio project after you take out a certain number of hours for eating, showering, and maybe a small nap.  Being an architecture student is really like no other.  Your friends outside of your classmates think you are crazy and really have no idea what you actually do and how you can be working on a project that long.  I found an article I thought I would share called When you’re an Architect by Jody Brown.  It has a bullet point list of things that no one ever told them that when you are an architect this is how you feel.  Most of the points I can definitely agree with.  Hope you enjoy J 

Permeable Pavers & Bioswales

Permeable Pavers & Bioswale Case Study
By: Lucas Shubert
Bristol and England Properties

Bristol Business Park, Bristol, United Kingdom

Brief Description
According to the National Archive, Bristol Business Park, in Bristol, UK, employs several sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) - two of which are permeable pavers (Figure 1) and pavement. SUDS on the site are a detention pond (Figure 2) and a bioswale (Figure 3) between the parking area and the buildings (CABE 2011). The permeable pavers are a product called Hasen Formpave, manufactured in the UK (CABE 2011). This system comes with it’s a proprietary mesh between the different sized gravels, which makes cleaning and maintenance easier - a priority for a successful permeable pavement (CABE 2011).

Landscape Performance Benefits
· Environmental Since this is a man-made hardscape, it's environmental aspects are chiefly related to its function. It does help preserve the life of adjacent plants that might otherwise receive too much storm water.
· Aesthetic These pavers have the appealing look that has been popular for hundreds of years.
· Functional Since runoff into the detention pond during heavy rain periods has been mininal since its installation, it must be functioning as expected.
· Social Paved spaces are usually ideal for outdoor gatherings in a formal setting.
· Educational It can provide data pertaining to watershed reduction related to hardscape area.
· Economical Installation is more expensive than traditional sanded or mortared pavers, due to the trench that must be created beneath it.
· Psychological During heavy rain it removes an obstacle of deep standing puddles or fast moving watersheds within the site.

Project Evaluation
This project has performed as intended over the last few years that the campus has been in operation. Its success is a direct result of the appropriate initial planning by the developers of the business park. Their choice to reduce storm water drainage has undoubtedly saved them money by reducing maintenance costs.

Reference (Chicago Manual of Style)
CABE. 2011. “Bristol Business Park.” Accessed February 15, 2013.


Figure 1. These pavers are permeable because
the spaces between the pavers are filled with
loose aggregate (CABE 2011).

Figure 2. This is the detention pond found on
the site, which collects water from both the
bioswale and various other sources on the site
(CABE 2011).

Figure 3. This is the bioswale, which catches
runoff of excess storm water from the
permeable pavers and pavement in the parking
area (CABE 2011).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Martial Arts

Routine Class for Martial Arts
By: Kyle Miller

This blog will explain the typical martial arts class. Upon entering the Dojang students are either in do bohk or street clothes should salute the flags and bow to the instructor on the floor as soon as they enter the dojang. This should be done without exception. Warm-up should be practiced by member prior to training in order to prepare the body and mind. An unprepared body could be strained under rigorous Tang Soo Do exercises. When training is terminated, students should relax themselves with a series of exercises to help them return to a calm and normal state. Starting class students should line up according to rank and seniority. The higher ranking member will be on the right, facing the flags. The instructor will take a position in the front center of the class. The highest ranking member in the class will call the commands. During the class, proper respect and discipline must be maintained at all times, and Tang Soo Do rituals should be followed in a uniform manner. When the chief instructor of the school or highest ranking guest enters the dojang, the instructor on the floor or the highest ranking member in the class should call the class to attention and have the class bow. After respect has been paid, the class should return to training immediately. Students should be especially kind and helpful to the beginners since they are the most important members in the class. When dismissing class, students line up according to rank. Then the class instructor or senior member then calls, "Five codes of Tang Soo Do”. Below is an example of one week of class plans.

CLASS PLANS/A DAY /WEEK 1 - Preframe:  SAFETY MESSAGE:  Conflict Avoidance
           10 Jumping Jacks
           10 front and back Jumping Jacks
          10 Side to Side Skier Jumps
           Lightning X Drills
           Pahl Put Ki Punches –
           Pahl Put Ki – 2 Strikes – Tia Tua
           Pahl Put Ki – 3 Strikes – Tia Tua Asai
          Low Block
           Stepping and Punching to mid-section
           Front Kicks
           Sae Kye Hyung Il Bu
White Belts Class (8 moves)-All other classes full form
           Front Kick
           Side Kick
           Round House Kick
           6 roll ups – right side
           Switch Feet 5 Times
           6 roll ups – left side
PUNCHES ON DOTS – 2 COUNT (Step 1/Punch 2)
           Front Punch (*right side only)
           Neck Attack (*right side only)
           Palm Heel (*right side only)
STRETCHING/COOL DOWN – Message of the Week
           Sitting Position Right Ankle on left knee
           Switch sides
           Sit on Feet
           10 Jumping Jacks
           10 front and back Jumping Jacks
           10 Side to Side Skier Jumps
           10 Alternating Twist Stances
           10 Ski lunges
           10 Jump Ups
           Lightning X Drills
           Pahl Put Ki Punches
           PPK – 2 TIMES
           PPK – 3 TIMES
           PPK – PALM HEEL 2 TIMES
           PPK – 2ND KNUCKLES – 1 TIME
           CHA ROO CHA GI 1/2/3 TIMES
           Step Behind Heel Kick/ Round House Kick
           Back Leg Heel Kick/Round House Kick
           Spin Heel
           Drop Spin Heel Kick
           Wrist Teasing Sleeve
           Knife Technique
           Hapkido  Forms
            Side Kick
          Step Behind Side Kick
           Sliding Side Kick
           Side Kick – Low / High / Medium
STRETCHING/COOL DOWN – Message of the Week
           Sitting Position Right Ankle on left knee
           Switch sides
           Sit on feet

**DAILY MESSAGES/AWARDS – WISDOM – Knowledge to know what’s best!  …..Peaks Valleys and Plateaus

Don’t Argue.  Logic and emotion are like oil and water; they don’t mix.  Generally speaking, when we argue we become emotional and don’t think clearly.  As our emotions become heightened, the likelihood of us saying or doing something that we might regret later increases dramatically.  Also remember, winning an argument does little to win respect or friendship.
Instead of arguing, try to stay calm and find a compromise.
           Run/ High foots
           Run/Skip, Knee Ups
           Run/Run Backwards
           Jump/Tumble/High Jump
           Touch and Press Drill
           Kick Practice without gear
           Sparring with Gear
2 Rotations – 30 seconds
           Round House Kicks – Right Side/Left Side
           Left Right Punch – Right Left Punch
           Right Round House Kick – Right/Left Punch
           Left Round House Kick – Left /Right Punch
           Walk Around Catch Some Air
2 Rotations – 45 seconds
           Front Leg Side Kicks – Left Side/Right Side
           Back Fist
           Front Leg Side Kick land Back Fist – Both Sides
            Self Defense Technique
           Stranger Danger where appropriate
STRETCHING/COOL DOWN – Add Character Work Here
           Slide Down into Splits
           Sit Back in Splits R/L/Center
           Run/ High foots
           Run/Skip, Knee Ups
           Run/Run Backwards
           Jump/Tumble/High Jump
           Touch and Press Drill
           Kick Practice without gear
           Sparring with Gear
2 Rotations – 45 seconds
           Round House Kicks – Right Side/Left Side
           Left Right Punch – Right Left Punch
           Right Round House Kick – Right/Left Punch
           Left Round House Kick – Left Right Punch
           Walk Around Catch Some Air
2 Rotations – 60 seconds
           Front Leg Side Kicks – Left Side/Right Side
           Back Fist
           Front Leg Side Kick land Back Fist – Both Sides
           Sit Ups
ONE STEPS – All Odd Number and Last 5
           Self Defense Techniques
           Kick Techniques
           Hand Techniques
STRETCHING/COOL DOWN – Add Character Work Here
           Slide Down into Splits
Sit Back in Splits R/L/Center


TARGET WORK – A Day   Play Music – Breaking

Don’t Argue.  Logic and emotion are like oil and water; they don’t mix.  Generally speaking, when we argue we become emotional and don’t think clearly.  As our emotions become heightened, the likelihood of us saying or doing something that we might regret later increases dramatically.  Also remember, winning an argument does little to win respect or friendship.
Instead of arguing, try to stay calm and find a compromise.

Thesis Update

Thesis Update (Closing)

By: Jonathan Smith
(The following is a continuation from 4/17/13 Blog Post. Continue from there for further clarification)

A close look must be taken into existing structures and developments on these crucial barrier islands in order to appropriately plan for their future. Rather than trying to pinpoint a reason or turning point in which these islands began developing inappropriately, the situation must be looked at differently. Permanently residing on these islands to begin with was inappropriate due their unstable and constantly changing nature. Their changing cycles and nature can make entire beaches disappear in short amounts of time. This is how inlets are created. Sea levels rise, which lead to storms eroding land. This eroding land moves the foundation of these unstable islands seaward, accelerating sea level rise (Ames, Culver, & Mallinson 2011). Through the early 1950’s, North Carolina was developing Highway 12 to span along its coast and connect the barrier islands. Various bridges and structures were created to traverse the inlets that were created from storm surge and hurricanes. These same bridges have cost North Carolina Tax payers countless of dollars. Highway 12 has been moved five times since the 1950’s, and is currently as far westward as possible in some areas. These renovations, and temporary improvements, quickly became damaged and suffered structural failures due to erosion of the unstable islands (Ames, Culver, & Mallinson 2011). The highway continues to be nurtured and imposing sea levels rise towards the shore.

The trend of housing development along this highway has unfortunately followed a fate similar to Highway 12. Many of the houses built in the area failed to adapt to this environment and were lost in storms. Now, building codes are in place; that require structures to be built on elevated piers to help alleviate some of the damage. This is still just a temporary solution. Studies have shown that although damage has been reduced, and structures have prevailed longer due to elevated piers, they inevitably will be at risk under current conditions (Brody, Highfield, & Kang, 2011). These developments sprouted some of the small tourist towns that line the North Carolina barrier islands. Most of the houses in this coastal area are only inhabited seasonally, but the cities still contribute to over 80% of North Carolina’s gross tourism income. Their significance cannot but underestimated in regards to the state’s economy. Therefore, abandoning the area is will not be the solution.

A study was done by ICE-Civil Engineering on how Dutch engineers and planners have learned to coexist with rising sea levels. Various findings throughout their study are applicable to the North Carolina’s coastal area. The study shows how most of the Netherland’s economy and population exist below sea level. This made the problem something they could not prolong, but rather live with. Many areas have been labeled as cost inefficient to try and protect, and subsequently abandoned. Other areas have more passive solutions where this is not possible. Examples of this include flexible planning of developments; innovative studies to determine long-term feasibility; redistribution of dam water; and adaptation in lifestyle (Schuetze, 05 NOV 2012). The key things that serve as valuable lessons for North Carolina are the flexible planning, innovative technologies, and long term feasibility reports. Although simple in basis, these key components are often overlooked.

A passive solution is in order for North Carolina’s coast and maybe other areas of the Eastern United States. Since most of the houses are only occupied seasonally and its small cities are so intertwined with tourism, it seems only logical to embrace this in the solution. This area must be developed under a master plan that provides necessary considerations for not only the environment in question, but also the society in which it is altering. New theories are being derived that strike profound ideas in the rethinking of societal planning on the coast. One plan in particular speaks to the notion of reallocating populations into less dense, less invasive, and less permanent locations along the islands. This extends the style of living to something similar as on the Ocracoke Island at the southern tip of North Carolina’s coast. These people lived, and some still do, via dirt roads and minimal huts. They now even utilize passive solar technologies (Janin & Mandia, 2012). These components and more are necessary in order for the successful development of these fragile, coastal islands.

I propose a solution that involves re-masterplanning the lower portion of the North Carolina coast. This area is on the most permanent of soils, and less prone to damages than the Northern area. The master planning of the islands would coincide with the removal of Highway 12. This notion, no matter how drastic it may seem, has been suggested by past studies, but shot down due to extremism. If the highway was replaced by a system of ferries, similar to that in which portions of North Carolina already rely on, the constant spending on fixes would be eliminated. The income of lowered populations would be offset by developments on headland beaches; which do not consist of islands. These beaches are more permanently attached to the continental shelf and are less prone to erosion. A series of housing developments should put in place with long term parking units, which could allow for ferry travel to the various barrier islands. The individuals traveling to the islands then would use traditional means of transportation in order to embark on various excursions and other cruises that already take place along the coast. This notion relies heavily on the success of eco-tourism, but is not dismissible.

In conclusion, there are a variety of paremeters North Carolina must consider when developing its coastal areas and islands. The idea of “battling” or using technology to put rising sea levels and climate change and its negative effects at bay are outdated. More passive, and sometimes extreme, solutions need to be considered in order for there to be any long term success or sustainability. Constantly moving and refortifying barriers and bridges that have proven unstable is a plan doomed for failure. More passive solutions that underline the drastic changes outline include analysis of areas in order to determine if they should be abandoned. This would along be followed by areas to be supported with new development that does not rely on unstable and eroded soil. In time this change would create a more stable, passive, less invasive, environmentally fortifying, and sustainable coast for North Carolina, and even other areas of the U.S. to develop. Only further research, and time will tell if these drastic solutions and rethinking will prove to be the solution for hundreds of years to come. One thing is for certain, that the area analyzed is constantly changing; and the only thing that can be depended on is that change is inevitable. Humans can only interfere with natural cycles of climate change for so long without paying the repercussions. The solution provided may not give an extensive backbone for developers to plan from, but it does serve as a general guideline of findings for future coastal areas to consider.
Works Cited
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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Study Models

Study Models 
By: Christopher Pacanowski 
Study models are some of the most important things to make when it comes to designing a building. Architects use study models to look at things in three dimensions instead of just the two dimensions that plans look at. When creating a study model it is key to remember that its just a study and is meant to be changed, and change it will. When making a study model, I have found that it isn’t necessary to create it out of any fancy material, just making something that looks/ represents the ideas that you are trying to design help guide the study in a direction that would help the design. Another thing that I have noticed in the past few years, is the difference in the details. If a project is a large urban design project, like my thesis is, then the study model will be more of a massing model showing the main concepts of the building and the connectivity to the other buildings and their surroundings. If the project is and individualized building then the detailing becomes a little more key in the initial study models. Once the basis of the model and design is put in 3D, which is when things can start to change. Recently with my thesis I had been talking with my committee about how my buildings should be three dimensionally and a study model had helped me figure out what needs to be done. When having a study model it is also a great Idea to have extra material and the ability to make quick changes to the standard building, so that each and every possibility can be studied. Finally one of the most important things that many people forget to do, including me, is to always be documenting each and every study, take pictures write down why things worked or don’t work. This documentation will end up helping you take all of the different studies and combined it into one cohesive project.
Well this will be my final blog for the school of architecture and I hope that some of the insights that I have brought to you will help you on your future endeavors and help new architects form.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Green Wall vs Vertical Wall

Why is Green wall or vertical wall garden so popular these days?
By: Jabina Shrestha

We all know that plants have served human being since centuries supplying us food, clothing, building materials and other necessary goods. Home to more than half of the world’s population, planners, designers are once again turning to plants i.e. green infrastructure so as to provide cleaner air and water, while improving living environments and human health.

Green wall or vertical wall garden has gained tremendous popularity in recent years and offers a great opportunity for an architect or an artist to integrate green art into a building. It can drastically change a boring exterior and can turn it into a living and breathing wall. It is usually found either free-standing or part of a building with some sort of vegetation like boundary walls and screens, section walls, retaining feature walls, i.e. within foyers, atriums and internal courtyards.

My current thesis project, “Graduate family Housing “focusses towards environmental sustainability where I am integrating more open and closed spaces together. I am also planning to have my external building fa├žade treated with green wall in order to give fantastic aesthetic effect. The main reason for choosing green wall is to have an eco-friendly technology, green values and cool down the building through a naturally occurring cooling process.

Vertical gardens can be grown on any type of wall, with or without the use of soil, and they can be placed 
both on exterior and interior walls. As long as there is no shortage of water for the living wall, no soil is required. The plants receive water and nutrients from within the vertical support instead of from the ground.
Many of us often get confused between vertical gardens and vertical wall garden. Vertical gardens are usually seen in an urban areas and have been popular due to poor growing soil or little soil and limited land surface. Like vertical gardening, vertical wall gardens bring plants to eye level.

Vertical wall gardens grow non-vining plants, like moss, Alyssum, and orchids. The wall
becomes the garden’s planting area. Another difference is that vertical wall gardens tend not to use soil. Vertical gardening tends to use vining plants, like peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers, which naturally like to grow up or sprawl. These plants are either tied to vertical structures or use their own ability to grip things to grow on and climb

There are various systems to install but in my project, I am using a system composed of pre-vegetated panels, vertical modules or planted blankets that are fixed vertically to a structural wall or frame. These panels can be made of plastic, expanded polystyrene, synthetic fabric, clay, metal. Due to the diversity and density of plant life, living walls typically require more intensive maintenance (e.g. a supply of nutrients to fertilize the plants).

Well I guess due to all the benefits we get from plants, people have started understanding its value and how important it is when dealing with the vertical space in urban environments. I have listed out some of the benefits:
·        It provides aesthetic sensation
·        It provides sound insulation
·        Reduction of thermal loading to buildings - lower heating and cooling costs = lower carbon     
·        Filters air pollutants to improve air quality
·        Reduces the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI)
·        Moderates a building’s internal temperature via external shading
·        Provides storm water management, absorbing 45-75% of rainfall
·        Serves as a natural water filter and water temperature moderator