I cannot believe it. I don’t know how, but these two quarters felt like they flew by, yet at the same time they felt like they were 40 weeks long. It is unfortunate that I am just now getting used to working this blog. We have accomplished so much, come so far, and had so many influential conversations. I would like to start with a huge thank you to everyone who made this studio so great. Studio Cabrinha was 2/3 of my first year at Cal Poly, and it was a truly wonderful experience. I’ve made some awesome friends. I cannot wait to embark on this next year with some of you, and see what great things will come.
Now to the questions.
What were the primary challenges you faced in designing for Open Source Learning environments?
I chose this studio because I very much wanted to search for the answer to this question. One of things about being an architect which draws me to it the most is how we can affect people psychologically with our designs.
One of my initial struggles was to really absorb all of our readings and interpret them with each other through our many discussions at the family table. Education in this country is definitely something that needs work, and the problem is both the facilities as well as the foundations (pun intended). When we worked on project titan for example, we had to deal with the problem internally. I had never really only focused on interiors as a project. So, it was definitely a challenge, and required a different approach.
Moving on to our actual project, I found myself struggling a bit. Not only did I have a physical hinderance having broken my hand, but I also struggled to apply all of the concepts we talked about to a physical world. I develop a lot of design through physical means, and was not quite able to do so for winter quarter. I had to move on and do the best I could. Circulation, adjacencies, adaptability; these were all things I was trying to juggle when designing my OSL academy. How big did spaces have to be to really function? What was the cluster? What size was the cluster, and where did the fit into the campus? When the core of your project is such a complex concept, it is quite challenging to make it a realized thing.
Our field trip to Chicago however, was a turning point for me. Seeing schools which were very well designed and functioning great was refreshing. It was proof that the concept works, and it could be done. Shapiro Hall, as well as UNO academy were awesome projects to tour and experience.
Are there any “big questions” that you are leaving studio with?
As I leave this studio, I feel very fulfilled. The questions I do have is, how do I explore a projects concept and core with such tenacity as this? How can I make sure that all of the work I do is just as in depth and related? How can any project, of any program, use design to aid in its function?
Essentially, this studio was great practice for fifth-year thesis.