Monday, September 28, 2015

Technology in Architecture

By: Stephen Lauer

Post 1: Introduction
First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Stephen Lauer and I have attended SIU since my freshman year of college in 2011. I am from a small town in North Central Illinois and have always been interested in how many items come together to become a built object or space. At the beginning of college, I really had no clue as to how much work and time goes into the architecture profession. I thought that architecture was all about designing and building the built environment. In order to do everything that is required of this major and profession, a large array of technology is now required and is becoming the mainstream and is pushing the profession forward. Over the course of my posts on this blog, I will attempt to give pointers or simple tutorials on how to use certain programs.
That being said, over the course of my studies in architecture at SIU, I have learned that many different types of computer programs are required to do a variety of tasks. These tasks can range from drawing floor plans in AutoCAD to finalizing renderings in Photoshop. The program knowledge needed is quite advanced in order to produce quality work and to stand out in the profession. Firms are willing to hire graduates based on their knowledge of certain programs and even have potential employees take tests to show their knowledge and skills. If a job opportunity in our profession is based off of test scores in one or multiple programs, learning the programs while in school is extremely important. Universities cannot possibly teach us all the programs used in our field so, in turn, the pressure to learn these programs is placed on the student. Over the course of my education, I cannot count how many videos I have watched or how many articles I have read on how to use different programs to push my skills forward. I have followed close to a hundred different tutorials in order to learn how to complete a task in a program, ranging from simple tasks, such as how to put a door in a wall in Revit, to more challenging tasks, including how to design solar panels on a building that will follow the sun in Grasshopper and Rhinoceros.

I would like to end this first post by saying that we are in the age of technology and, if you do not know how to use a certain program or how to do something in it, do not give up. Instead, use technology to learn how to do it. Use Google to look up a tutorial or go to a forum about the program and ask how to do something. I have started these “help” posts because I have needed help and did receive it from someone who knows that program. There will always be people who are experts in their fields, so give them the opportunity to lend a hand to help us learn the programs and technology needed to be successful in architecture and whatever else we do. 

RTKL Associates

By Patrick Szczecina
My name is Patrick Szczecina, I went to Southern Illinois University of Carbondale for my undergraduate. Born in Chicago, IL and lived there till high school, I moved to Elmhurst and that is where I took my first architecture class and enjoyed it. My focus in architecture is that towards Urbanism and Pre-Fabricated / New methods of construction or living.
Recently ARC 551 (Graduate Studio) went to Baltimore, Maryland for a site visit and architectural tours. We spent a week looking at our sites, exploring the city and enjoying our time away from Carbondale. Before we left we were all assigned topics of research and in my case I had RTKL Associates, which is a firm. I had to research prior to visiting the firm, once I looked at it I found generic information on RTKL itself and not the branch that is located in Baltimore. The location in Baltimore is the Headquarters of RTKL, we were shown around and spoken to by Ross Smith a designer of the firm. RTKL was founded by Archibald Rogers and Francis Taliaferro in 1946 and later joined by Charles Lamb and George Kostritsky, which then created the name and firm RTKL. 

When first approaching the building the entry isn’t easily found, however following the flow of people that seemed to work in that area we walked through two doors. Upon entering we had to fill out our names and reason for visit, this was a security precaution. The building houses other business and not just RTKL. Once we all signed in we were allowed to enter the elevators and up we went to the second floor. Upon leaving the elevator we enter the lobby and are greeted by Ross Smith. Smith shows us to their break area / free workspace, and in this area we have chairs, high top, fridges, vending machines, tables, and a ping pong table (the ping pong table just came in, but didn’t come with paddles or balls). After a 30 min introduction of the firm and projects, Smith led us back to the lobby and later to the studio space. The space looking friendly and enjoyable to work in. Lots of space for work, gathering spaces and movement. Along each wall that separated spaces there is a dry erase and seating which to me seemed like a great idea to allow for flow of ideas. Each wall that wasn’t separating a space, there was graphics of designs and other places to pin up material. Forgot to mention that this place was remodeled, the person was an in house architect that laid out the new areas and interior aspects. At the end of the Studio tour, it leads out to the elevators and from there we asked questions that we had. Once the questions were over we were on our way to explore whatever else we wanted. 
At the end of this firm tour, I realized that this is a firm I would like to work at, the space looked comfortable, people friendly and it felt right for me. I’ve visited other firms and I didn’t get the same reaction to their workspace as I did to this one, so if at all possible visit RTKL.  

Design of the Design Studio

Megan Crider
Day one of fall design studio left many of us flustered and frustrated.  Thirty-one students were trying to formulate different groups for upcoming semester assignments… Organizing groups was not the issue; the problem in this scenario was that there is no space in our studio for an effective congregation of more than about four or five people at a time, let alone thirty-three people (the two instructors included).  The layout of the studio space is rectangular – the room is very long and narrow, as you can see in the image below (image by author).  I began thinking about the design of studio spaces like this one.  It would be very beneficial to incorporate a large open space used for conferencing and presentations in the studio.  The junior/senior interior design studio across the building has one such space.  During my undergraduate studies in the interior design program, we utilized that conferencing space quite often for lectures, presentations, one-on-one critiques with instructors, and group meetings.  It is an effective space, located in the middle of the classroom between the junior and senior studio sections.

If designed with a conferencing area, the design studio becomes a much more functional space for students and faculty.  Without ever leaving the studio, the class can have project presentations and larger group meetings.  Additionally, it becomes easier for students to check their work and presentations in a digital format before presenting.  This functionality within the studio would free up the separate conference room for others to use. 

Without the frustration of the first day of class, the integration of a conference space within an architectural studio would not have crossed my mind.  Now it seems like a very necessary and beneficial aspect of the space for both students and instructors.

Friday, September 25, 2015

An analysis of Architectural Elements of Architect Richard Meier’s Buildings

By Kristina Shrestha

During our Comprehensive Design Studio, I had researched about the beach houses which is situated in Jesolo, Lido, Italy. The building was designed by famous Architect Richard Meier. Richard Meier was born in October 12. 1934. He won Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1984 [1]. The first thing that came in to my mind when I thought about him was the white color of his buildings. I wanted to know about uniqueness of his design that separates him from hundreds of other architects. Despite using similar elements in buildings like ramps, windows, louvers like other architects do, his designs are still extraordinary.
With the quest to get the answer, I researched further and started analyzing his designs and started browsing through the pictures of his buildings. I found out that he used different elements according to building type, style of the building, and site. His buildings have many characteristics that enhances his design. One of the major elements is use of openings for light. There is also predominant use of mass and void concept. It can be seen in some of his buildings as well as in elevation of some buildings. It creates the effect of lightness in his building. His buildings have large windows in living spaces so that the client can have maximum daylight and beautiful view as well. He uses louvers in the building to protect from sunlight. He used lightweight louvers that are seamless and this element is not only functional but aesthetically pleasing as well. The other striking feature of his designs are the use of ramps. He used ramps that have seamless finishing.
Now, I will give examples of the buildings which has beautiful lighting, louvers and the use of mass and void concept.

Jubilee Church

“Jubilee Church (La Chiesa del Dio Padre Mesericordioso), conceived as part of Pope John Paul II’s millennium initiative to rejuvenate parish life within Italy” [2]. It is located in central Italy. It is white in color with curve walls. There is the use of glass to separate the walls. The interior space has sitting areas. The interior space is bright and has adequate amount of light. There is an interesting pattern of light in interior space. The light changes the interior space in different time of a day.

United States Courthouse, San Diego
The United States Courthouse is located in San Diego. The buildings consists of a circular base and one elegant slender 16 storied building. The circular part of building is made up of large glass windows and it is enclosed in a mass like louvers. ‘The tower is clad in wafer like layers of terra cotta and glass composed in response to the program and orientation.’ [3] The louvers gives the feeling on lightness in the building.

The Getty Center
The Getty Center is located at Los Angeles, California.  This center is the part of Getty Museum and Getty Trust. It was completed in Dec 16, 1997 [4]. The concept of mass and void can be seen in this building. The circular building has walls like a mass and has windows which acts like a void. Also, the image shows the circular wall has void. Similarly, the concept of mass and void can be seen in shading device of Getty center too.  The interplay of mass and void has been used throughout the buildings.

Dynamic Façade Research

By Ken Howder

For my research position with Professor McDonald, I have been working with the conceptual idea of dynamic facades that have the potential to adapt to the surrounding environment as well as interior comfort conditions.  From my individual blog, I have decided to share some of the more interesting research that I have come across so far.

This is another example of a facade that adapts to environmental conditions.  In this case, the facade is comprised of thousands of individually mounted translucent discs that are allowed to pivot along their vertical row.  Dependent on the sun’s position and sensors to gather data on the interior of the building regarding humidity and temperature, the discs pivot vertically to allow air to pass through – essentially allowing the facade skin to “breathe.”
The discs are all made of 3/8″ sandblasted glass setting inside a steel frame 3 feet from the building.  The system consists of units of seven discs: The top 3 are fixed and the bottom 4 are operable (they are within the view of the interior).  The dynamic discs are allowed to rotate by actuators from 5 to 80 degrees (gradually, as to not be noticed by people outside).
It should be noted that this building (The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) is located in Australia – hence the dire need for a building that can breathe.  In different climates, such technology might not be suitable.  However, the
This simple, yet effective, technology should also be able to apply as a shading device and as an energy productive facade.  Photovoltaic may be applied to the glass surfaces to help produce energy for the building.  Also, in much smaller units, shading can be accomplished.

Architects Decker Yeadon created a prototype system for building facades that uses a process similar to bi-layered metals for expansion and contraction of the facade elements.  The concept behind this technology mimics the human muscular system that uses electrical signals to contract muscles when they are in use.  This system uses a dielectric elastomer to change the shape of the metal “maze-like” facade.

This system is intuitive due to the fact that it does not need the inhabitant’s (or a computer’s) intervention to operate.  It mimics the natural state of homeostasis (that which many organisms use to preserve their internal temperature) to regulate its own temperature based on that of internal conditions.
This prototype system has the possible advantage of adapting to the local environment based on shading and ventilating needs.  However, without human intervention, an issue of aesthetic and view potential arises.  This system also requires little energy to operate compared to a user-driven responsive system.  A blend of something similar to this with user controls may be more beneficial to real-world applications.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Falling Water.Frank Lloyd Wright

By Josh West
Well here is the boring stuff. My name is Josh West and I am currently a Graduate Student at Southern Illinois pursing my life goal of one day becoming an Architect. I have enjoyed my time here at SIU and have learned a substantial amount of information that has helped me push myself throughout my four years here. That’s enough of me. Let’s get to the good stuff.

During our trip to Baltimore, Maryland last week, my classmates and I were able to visit one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture; Falling Water by  Frank Lloyd Wright. Nestled in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, this hand crafted house was built partly over Bear Run Creek and served as a vacation home for  the Kaufmann family. We first began our journey at the information pavilion. From there we were able to enter and follow the meandering path; leading us to the entrance of falling water. As we were speechless looking at the building, it was really easy to see how all of wrights materials meshed together and his beautiful cantilevers throughout the house. We were first able to understand how wright formed the building with the surrounding landscape; using existing boulders to add support to the structure and become a strong center piece inside the house. As we entered into the house, we could instantly feel the relationship between the inside and outside. Wright used a lot of banded windows inside so no matter where you were inside of the house you could always have a beautiful view of nature. Wright also designed around the waterfall with a purpose. Instead of always looking at the waterfall, the view would become old and would easily be passed up so Wright decided to build above the waterfall so you could always hear the peaceful noise of the waterfall throughout the entire house. Wright also used the hatch, in the middle of the first room, to one give the Kaufmann’s a place to go down to the water and also to give a natural ventilation chimney to cool down the house.

It was amazing, as we have always studied the work of Frank Llyod Wright, to see exactly how he worked as a designer and how he thought through some design issues. It was truly a piece of art and a great learning experience. Below to the left is the signature picture of falling water and to the right is a picture of the first room when entering the house.

Once a Saluki Always a Saluki

By Jeremy Clow

Thanks and gratitude comes to mind as how I would describe my experience at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I, Jeremy Clow came to the city of Carbondale four years ago from Effingham, Illinois. This city has become my new home as well as the University. I started the Architecture program at SIUC in the accelerated summer of 2012. Since that first summer I have made the best friends and acquaintances any person could ask for. The programs professors and faculty have done nothing more than made, themselves available to develop relationships on a personal and professional level. As an outgoing and driven young person I chose Carbondale to be my new foundation. In early 2014 I took it upon myself to open a new store that would be a utility for the university carrying products that were once carried at the existing 710 bookstore, a wonder establishment if I might add. Digital fabrication, an innovative means to the future, was available to the students but not the community. Putting these two pieces together, Saluki Craft was born. A location providing the essential supplies for artistic desires, large format laser cutting at a scale comparable to none, and most of all accessibility through extended hours and deliveries. I the CEO of the corporation have fellow partners, all being students directly tied to the Architecture program in fact. Students understand the mind set of their fellow consumer for they are one in the same. Being directly tied to the classroom, understanding the financial hardship of a student, and being there for them at crunch time allows the up and coming all the essential tools and resources they need for their creative potential. After graduating in May of 2015 with my Bachelors at SIUC I was undecided on the next step for my future. Owning a store in the local community, an avid member of the Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Downtown Advisory Committee I intended to take a year off of school before completing my Masters. This seemed like a good choice at the time however after talking to many professors and the dean on multiple occasions the break seemed unnecessary. Choosing to start the graduate program immediately after my undergraduate has been the best decision of my higher education. I have the upmost respect and gratitude for the faculty and friends who are one in the same for supporting this decision and making it possible. The first semester was intense and provided a lot of useful techniques for the years to come. The research and understanding of multiple structures from around the world connected by a specific common denominator, mine being recycling. The abundance of waste is prevalent around the world leading to the repurposing of these products in many forms, one being construction. The course project included a museum that housed multiple buildings as a collection based off of their connection. As students we designed the museum and strategic placement of these structures on the site given to us at Little Grassy Lake. The museum I designed combined the ideals of one of the collection pieces as well. Villa Welpeloo, constructed with materials repurposed from a thirty kilometer radius. I used a thirty mile radius from the site to research and locate abandoned buildings that could be recycled. The project gave me a new understanding on the depth of research and the utilization of ideals from around the world. I have always had a passion for recycling and sustainability which fueled my research. Taking these ideals into the next level of my graduate work I hope to include the same features in my thesis work. Though the thesis isn’t based on recycling or sustainability the factors can be adjoined to provide a more environmentally friendly design. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Baltimore Field Trip

By Hunter Wilson

            I am Hunter Wilson, a student currently studying in the Southern Illinois University Masters of Architecture program.  I began my education at Vincennes University located in my hometown of Vincennes, Indiana.  After receiving an Associate’s Degree in Architectural studies, I transferred to SIU where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree and still study today.
            Recently, the ARC 551 course took a trip to visit Baltimore, MD.  This is the location of our current design project so we were able to physically roam and explore our respective sites.  The site I am currently working with is a rural site located roughly 30 minutes away from Baltimore in a suburb called Glenelg.
            We began our journey to the site by exiting the dense and urban areas of Baltimore only for it to transform into a grassy, countryside landscape with a winding two lane highway which was a sharp contrast to the crowded interstate.  Driving along, the landscape looked evermore like the photographs I had seen of a typical east coast countryside.  Farm land and upscale, colonial style homes populated the landscape.  This was no surprise to see such nice homes after learning of Glenelg’s median household income of $114,000 per year.  The air flowing through the vehicle was a nice change of pace as opposed to the typical sights and scents of dense, urban Baltimore. 
            We arrive at the site to see that it is mainly inhabited by a two-story home, some barns full of farm equipment, and sheep.  The sheep dog on duty gave us a warm welcome of stiff barking.  We travel up a long thin road by foot to explore the site.  It is largely hilly and grassy with a forest to the west and open fields to the right.  Some students begin photographing the site of their future development while some students continue on the path to explore.  As we travel along, we are greeted by a man in a vehicle driving towards us.  He lives at the end of the thin path and encourages us to explore around his home even though it is not a part of our site.  The group continues toward his home only to find it be a miraculous design.  Later he let us know that a student of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture designed his home.  This was no surprise to us knowing the style fit perfectly into the landscape and contained a “Wrightian” aesthetic. 

            Unfortunately, a lot of the rural site was blocked off by fencing and contained tall grass that would have been difficult to navigate through.  So the group was only able to explore the site from certain vantage points.  On the other hand, we live in the 21st century and have Google Maps at our disposal.  So all is fine with the world and we will continue to develop the site throughout the semester.

Federal Hill Neighborhood, Baltimore A Historical and Urban Friendly District

By Hanan Rawashdeh

Federal hill Neighborhood Lies in the south of Baltimore city’s central business district, Maryland, being the highest point in the district from its manmade hill. The neighborhood itself is multi diverse in its urban context with the old fashioned brick row houses that date from the mid-to-late-19th century and historical Cross street market place, historical churches, Public entertainment spaces like the Maryland Science center, American Visionary Art Museum and its diversely authentic restaurants.
            The hill was historically used for pigment mining operation which overlooks the city’s famous inner harbor making it an attraction and an ideal place to enjoy the Baltimore’s skyline. It was named in 1789 after serving as the location for the end of a parade and a following civic celebration of the ratification of the new "Federal" constitution of the United States of America. The manmade hill with several underground tunnels was also known as a signal hill as it was used commercially; to serve as an observatory for shipments and merchant and signal any arrivals to the businessmen of Baltimore. Today the hill serves as a public park which is the oldest in Baltimore.
            The 70 acre neighborhood is easily accessible from every direction. Located conveniently East the Baltimore Light Rail Track and Interstate 395. The highway 2, Light street also crosses the neighborhood’s district. The neighborhood also accommodates many parking spaces for any visitor and is served by two of the four routes the Charm City Circulator, which is a free bus system offers. The Purple Route which runs from Penn Station to Federal Hill, and the Banner Route which runs from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry, service Federal Hill.
            The mix of historical, residential, business retailing and public entertainment with very good transportation makes the neighborhood an ideal study for small town urban designing. The Architectural style of the neighborhood is categorized as the federal-style architecture, which is the classification of North American architecture that go back between the year 1780 to 1815. The Federal style, also known as the Adam style, after the Adam brothers, British architects who developed this style in England is evident in Federal hill neighborhood’s brick row houses which correspond to the European architecture; the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands and the Regency style in Britain. The row houses are of two or three stories in height, and approximately 15 feet in width. With clear symmetry, classical details and a side gabled roof of the row houses the elevation details are delicate, slender and finely drawn. Also, more formal elements were introduced in the Federal style, such as the front door fanlight window, sometimes with flanking sidelights, and more elaborate door surrounds and porticos.
            Federal Hill neighborhood today has spurred considerable public and private investment taking part in the growth with the surrounding areas with over $51 million in public investments, and over $430 million in private investments, including residential, retail and office space projects, creating a pedestrian friendly neighborhood full with easily reachable retail stores and public entertainment for all users.

Monday, September 21, 2015



Architectural creation is embedded within a larger field of accumulated contextual aspects. The agency of architecture can only happen within the particulars of its situation and in relation to the larger field (Meredith, pg2). Birth of digital parametric design was the beginning of a new era of power and control with technological potentials to employ limitless number of parameters. Adding parameters responding to contextual disputes reassures an utterly responsive architecture and a future brighter than ever.
Context becomes prominent when we look at the current skin-deep formalist architecture with its over-emphasized formality and lack of contextual considerations. Functionalists, on the other side, construct use as the total performance of architecture. ‘Form vs. function’ has been the subject of debate throughout the history of architecture and resulted postmodernism’s conceptual formal shells, or modernism’s boxes filled only with functional aspects. In both cases, architecture becomes a fragment, a distorted concept, which falls short for its environmental socio-political correlation as the means to escape the emptiness of object.
In the late 20th century, following modernist and postmodernist paradigms, architectural design process was getting tougher in which an extensive number of aspects needed to be considered and analyzed. Pragmatic contextual consideration was played short as functional and formal-conceptual issues were escalating. There was an intense need for a system whereby the subject matter, concept, function, form and context collaborate to solve the problems derived from these fields and to lean towards creation of a fully responsive architecture. Without a broader system, the drive for form has been listless, lost in self-referential exercises, meaningless outside of the field of architecture itself (Meredith, Never Enough, pg2).
When the first parametric design software was released by PTC in 1988, Digital Parametricism was invented and with it, new possibilities were brought into the field of design, serving as the awakening of postmodernism’s drunkenness and a solution to the discussed growing issues of the time. The new-born parametric style was developing to be more pervasive with its full access to the newly invented computational programs (e.g. Grasshopper) which performed to associate and manipulate various parameters of design deliberately and accurately. In such computational programs parameters are inserted and forms are emerged accordingly.
Since parametric design provided architects with such power, some began using parametric computational programs to solve functional, structural and constructional issues through processes of optimization and gradually fabrication. Through this medium unimaginable structures were emerged with maximum efficiency. When one created a new programmed structure, they could save the system and apply it to several projects. The new generation of complex structure could be constructed using the same parametric systems in an affordable way.
The image of an architect was becoming more powerful to the extent that he/she produced authenticity while employing the computer as their design assistant to co-create and correct profound disputes through analyzing and optimization. Absorbing computational techniques expanded the range of access and control to the extent of extracting more than just one result, thus offering the designer(s) a choice between the most efficient results. Creation of complexity as Venturi had required became effortless, hence adding new parameters to the existing functional, conceptual and formal parameters of the process was proved possible. Form, when created in the parametric process, is distorted according to the assigned parameters.
Contributing to the process by technological time-effective solutions, parametric designing is now flexible to accept parameters which could respond to every aspect of design. These parameters at this point can, and should, retain contextual relevance in order to experience further productivity and efficiency. Powerful potentials of Parametricism have been discovered, allowing the designer(s) to step back and take a look at the big picture –the larger framework of context –and react to it properly. After all, a building is inevitably reacting to its context constantly as long as it lives.

The pervasive, interdisciplinary parametric practice engages new media and provides each and every project with a high level of precision and control. However, it cannot perform without human interference. The architect needs to see the problematic contextual relationships in each project and associate suitable parameters to the process. The image of the architect is now a cyborg; half human, half robot. The future is parametric, whereby the possibility of incorporating an unlimited number of parameters is at our disposal. With the cooperation of computer, architect efforts towards the utopian ideology of an architectural creation that fits into the structure of our lives.

New semester

By Daniel Roman

                My name is Daniel Roman, I was born in Mexico, but at a very young age I was brought to the United States where I have been ever since. Somewhere along the way during high school I had a feeling that architecture was the way to go for me. I completed three years of community college and transferred into SIUC in the fall of 2013. In the summer of 2014 I had an internship with PCI (Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute) in Chicago. I graduated in May 2015 and began Graduate school in the summer of 2015. I am projected to be done with graduate school at the end of summer 2016.
                Currently, I am working on various projects from different classes. In the sense of studio, it is very interesting taking a different approach on doing a project in a more professional and office setting, having to research every aspect of a problem. Luckily we have been able to break up into group and at times work individually to be able to research and come together and discuss our findings. On our first assignment we had to research in a group manner different types of buildings and programs, my group in particular was assigned High-rise Residential in Baltimore, MD. Baltimore will be our site for this semester master plans. We found precedence of current and older style of high residential buildings in the area. We were able to find the type of construction that is being used. Seeing that precast concrete being more dominant due to its quick erection and ability to be used in an environmental safe manner.
Each student individually conducted a case study on a housing building; the options vary from multi-family to single, from rural place to an urban location. After given the list, without images, the first name that caught my eye was Morphosis Architects, I had seen their work while working for PCI and I knew they were a high profile firm, so I went with them. I was not disappointed, for their building was in Madrid, Spain and was a multifamily complex.  Located in a town from which an architecture foundation had been set, and many villas and little public places had been set as precedence. This new building was set in a way from which you still have private outdoor space such as green space, but also had multiple gathering areas, where neighbors could inter mingle. There are about 6 different floor plans to choose from, going from a single, to a four bedroom apartment, and from a single floor to a double floor. The white façade clearly stands out surrounded by the masonry and stucco all around.
As the semester moves along a very important topic keeps coming up and will continue to, the idea of having the topic of a thesis. A quick brief paper has already been turned in from which we had to state what our thesis was going to be about. I can honestly say, I do not know, architecture in my eyes is really big, and it’s really had to just pick a building style and go with it. I see architecture as a tool that can be used to help others, in a way positively manipulate people to do something, feel some time of way, or simple activate someone to have a reaction. Architecture has those qualities to be able to do that to people. That being said, I would like to design something from which can impact people in a positive way. And even though that is really wide still I will like to narrow it down using current events, and see what people need in the present moment. I feel like designing in the current moment would allow for research to be done in a very quick and productive way. Being able to find current information and possibly have new information coming out as you go. 
                As to other classes, they are pretty much being tied back into the studio class. The professional practice class has gone into ethics code and how to behave and do’s and don’ts in the industry. Thad has taken his class to a more of a technical aspect, we are dealing with code and quite simply what you can and cannot do on a site. He has set that he wants buildable structures and not make believe structures. I find that as a positive thing because we are growing to be able to understand that theses crazy buildings are mostly not getting built. On top of that, you will not be doing that right out of college.

                From all and all, it seems like this semester will be an interesting one and I am sure I will be meeting and making new friends while working in the lab. 

Friday, September 18, 2015


By Casey Bucher
Coming into Southern Illinois Masters of Architecture program as a transfer has been quite the experience. Many, many things have differed from where I pursued my undergraduate degree; from the town itself, to the classes, to the way of life. Though my transition has not been as drastic as many of my classmates, it is still an interesting one.
I completed my undergraduate degree at Murray State University, where I obtained an engineering degree. This is the first major transition. To come into Southern Illinois, which is a design based program, and having no previous design courses...especially ones that are 4 to 5 hours was quite the eye-opener. I was used to working with math problems everyday to figure out the solutions to architectures everyday problems. Now, I had to get in the mindset that the only problems I would have in this program was to create a brand new, unique, transformative piece of architecture every semester. No biggie, right? Wrong. Though I had worked in a few offices, I was used to the design process but never just stopping at the Design Development stage. Im used to just the Construction Documents and where the project goes from there. As I always tell my friends and family, I feel like Im getting the best of both worlds. Ive had that logical, engineering past with some architectural drafting work history. Now Im getting to experience the front end of a project, the fun parts. Another big transition? Adjusting to SIUs campus and Carbondale in general. Compared to Murray State, Southern Illinois University is a HUGE campus. Many students will laugh when I say this, but its true. At Murray, it only took 10 minutes to walk from one end of campus to the other...and it was flat the entire way. Walking through SIUs campus, it is a complete opposite experience. Need a snack at the Student Center? Better plan on it being at least a 30-45 minute round trip from Quigley.
One a positive note, Ive now found a good use for the bike collecting dust in my parents garage. Ive also come to the realization that Carbondale is in fact a party school. I know many dont like associating SIU with the party scene, but coming from a school where alcohol wasnt even allowed in the city limits, this was one huge transition. Just the way of life for a student here, Ive realized, is so SO much different than the way of life for a MSU student. Going out Tuesday- Saturday? Unheard of in Kentucky, however, my roommates now are pros at it! Like I mentioned before, maybe Im once again experiencing the best of both worlds? Ill let ya know on that one.

Signing off until next time. Casey B