In the beginning, we look looked at a group of 450 students and designed a diagram that represented our view of what an open source learning environment looked like. For my diagram, I decided to start with a cluster in the middle that represents the 450 students each in their own design class: culinary, graphic, industrial, or organizational design. Then, as the cluster breaks apart, the students (bubbles) begin to intermix as they form more diverse clusters. In these outer groups or “families”, students of each design class work together and are able to bounce new ideas off of each other. All together, there is one school made up of different people working as an interconnected unit.
I was then able to use this diagram to inform the rest of my design. Through the making of numerous study models, I finally came up with a design that was clean, interesting, and representational of the same elements that I used in the diagram above.
FORM + PROGRAM
After figuring out the form, I started to divide my building into levels. Instead of stacking each floor right on top of each other, I broke apart each floor into different forms, which allowed for indoor space as well as outdoor, meeting space. Next, I took my first go at trying to place the program into the building. This task deemed more challenging than I expected. I began to realize that my form and my program were not mixing well and the people who critiqued me agreed. They suggested that I might want to start pulling out some of the spaces from the original form, which would allow for better circulation, variation of form, and more open outdoor spaces. One employee also mentioned that I should start thinking of the story that I want my school to tell.
After my studio trip to San Diego and talking to the architects at RNT, LPA, and Studio E, there were four main ideas that really stuck with me:
- Tell a STORY
- LIGHT to see
- AIR to breath
- SPACE to move
Now I know that where I am headed needs to include these four ideas to make a school with the “kinds of things and people [that] learners want to be in contact with in order to learn.”