Thursday, January 21, 2016

Comprehensive Design Studio

By; Kristina Shrestha

This is the last blog of the semester. This semester has been a great learning experience. We not only had a comprehensive studio this semester but also had to design a new city. A city which will incorporate retail stores, offices, school, community center, senior living, fire station and police station. An urban sites as well as rural site were allocated for the variation of the design. The master plan of the city was designed in a group of three. The main excess points of the city were predefined. Different areas were allocated for the offices, school, retail stores, community center, senior living, fire sta­­tion and police stations. The master plan was refined and elements of the city like nodes, paths, landmark, edges and districts were defined. We also designed an individual building for the purpose of studio. I am designing a high-rise apartment. The building was inspired by sculpture of Donald Judd. In the Environment and system class, we are making panels for the project we are doing in studio. We started the panel with site analysis of the site in Glenelg, Maryland which includes wind analysis, sun path, roads leading to the site and the different site conditions. We made panels for the codes applicable for the Genelg, Maryland site. Similarly, we did a panel for soil condition of the site. We studied different types of structural units which can be applicable for the building we are designing. As I am designing a high rise building, I will be using pile foundation with steel columns and beams. The floors will be made up of precast slab. The steel columns are made up of wide ‘I’ beams. The egress and plumbing fixtures were calculated. We designed mechanical and electrical systems of the building. We made an architecture panel which helps people to understand our design.
In “professional practice” class, we learned about the rules and regulations of NCARB and AIA. We also learned about the internship programs and the process to become a certified architect. One of the interesting subjects was the “contracts”. There are different types of contracts such as Architect Owner Contract, Owner Contractor Contract and Owner Construction Manager Contract.
The other class was Research Methodologies and Architectural theory. It was one of the most interesting and inspiring classes ever. I was working on the research of my thesis. We also had a debate on post modernism versus modern and I was given post modernism. During the research for the debate, I found out so much about post modernism and especially about Robert Venturi and his design. The evolution of post modernism which started with Robert Venturi. I have always found myself supporting for modern architecture. After my research on post modernism, I started looking for the different eras of development of architecture. I was amused by the deconstructivist architecture. I researched about Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry, two pioneers of deconstructivist architecture.

When I was small I was amused by Galileo. I wonder how he imagined a real shape of the world we live today. I wondered what was inside his mind and why was he was exploring the shape of the earth? When I was growing up I was inspired by Albert Einstein too and his quest to find a single theory of the universe. He spent many years to prove the theory of relativity. He must have an incredible patience as he had to wait for so long to get into what he was searching for. Also, I wondered why he was so different from the other people. People would say things like “thinking outside the box” but I think Albert Einstein was outside the rules that human are in, in terms of his way of thinking and his belief.
When I started my journey of architecture, I was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wrights. I love all of his buildings, the simplicity and the effectiveness of his designs. My summer project was also inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s work.
The only reason behind explaining these is that this class changed my thought and inspired me. This semester I was inspired by the designs of Frank Gehry. I was motivated to design something which was out of the box, at least for me. I decided to design a building which would cry out loud. It was very different from my regular designs. I designed a building such that it could give the viewers the feeling of movement and change. Also, it would look different from various angles.
In conclusion, this semester has been a great learning experience. It has widened the horizons of my thought and made me more creative.

That’s all for today! I hope to post new articles for the spring. I wish you happy holidays!

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