Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Skate Break: Kansas City

By Ryan Northcutt

            Well since the last post, school has really ramped up and projects are starting to roll along. We are two weeks from our first review, and we are starting to see where this design could really go. Well that’s my Segway to get into where I am at with my thesis project.
            Today, Tuesday, I met with my Graduate Thesis committee, comprising of Shannon McDonald, Stewart Wessel, and Jerry Monteith. Each of these professors have expertise in the field of art, and everyone but Jerry, in architecture. Over all I am really satisfied with how the meeting went and the topics that were discussed. It was all helpful and insightful information that will help me with my project in the near and far future. To say a bit more, we discussed many topics to research, historic KC, the railroads, artists, materials, and programmatic issues.
            But what I would really talk about today is my recent site visit. Over this past weekend I took some time to travel out to KC. I stayed two nights and took time to experience Kansas City and get a feel for the people and lifestyle that is lived. The site visit was surreal. It is one thing to look at your site on the computer screen, or printed out, either way it doesn’t matter. To actually visit the site, stand on the ground, feel the space is absolutely awakening. It really brings you closer into the design and to understanding the situation. The one issue of the weekend was it rained and snowed, so that did limit my availability to walk around and really get to feel the site, but I did enough to get a good idea.
            But to say more than rambling words, my KC site is located in the crossroads district of the Downtown area. This is a district south of the downtown core and is more of the arts district of KC, which is fitting considering my building is Artist Studio Loft Housing. The committee members all really thing the site is perfect and the project is very fitting, so thumbs up all around. And really the dream is that this project becomes realistic and one that is more than just a studio project. It is to become an art piece that exhibits much more than materials and their relationships to each other. It becomes social and metaphysical on many levels. But to sum things up, the next time I post will be a good time to talk about more of what the project is about and how it is developing. And in the mean time I am going to spend a small amount of time taking a break and designing a skateboard for a buddy. This will definatlly get things moving in my head about design and physical models and such. I would like to end this with a picture of my site just to get a feel of what I am working with and so excited about.
Photo Credit: Ryan Northcutt

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