Monthly Archives: April 2009

on how I am sick

of carrying dead weight around; it is uncomfortable and heavy and taxing.

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on the final countdown of the semester

Today is Monday and I do not have studio. Rather, I am IN studio scanning stuff for the final project review on Wednesday morning.
I cannot believe this means another year of college out of the way in only five more days!
Now that we’re done with our full-scale model build, we have to create a re-design SolidWorks white model and provide material details to show in our presentation.
It’s convenient that we’re doing digital presentations, because it saves us a lot of plotting time – and we can show a lot more process in a more organized way.

It is nice to have a ‘breather’ in the sense that I do not have to go build stuff and have the pressure of an unknown deadline, however, there is a lot of other things to make up and a lot of sitting in front of computers to do during the next week. Passive work is not really my favorite; I’d rather feel like I’m DOING something – and sending emails and fixing pixels isn’t that physical.

We’re having an Epic Event to show off our work Wednesday night, from 7pm – later. I’d really appreciate it if people stopped by – if even for only a moment or so – so I can show them what I work so hard on all the time, and why I don’t always have time to see them. Then, of course, Friday night is the IDSA End of the Year Show at the AWPL close to campus. So much celebrating; so much to celebrate!

on how we’ve made it over one threshold for this project…

We finished our full-scale model and cleaned up around it and left at about 9am today, Friday, after building since Monday.
I guess we were sort of on schedule – and only one actual “all-nighter”. Our bank teller area and the barista stand are done; the bar and barbers are still working furiously. Bryan, Laura and I will be coming right back here again tomorrow morning to work on the re-design – since the whole point of this exercise is to understand that our design was beautiful on paper, and at 10th scale, but everything changes once you can sit down in the space and literally feel that it does not work. I’m glad we’re at this point, though. Group projects are really tough with different priorities and schedules, but today the three of us were able to come back to our workspace after clearing our heads and just critically look at the whole thing and say “this hurts, this is too long, why is that so big over there?,” etc. Morale seems back up! Tomorrow should be fun because we’ve served ourselves a nice, delicious platter on which a brilliant concept sits and now we know exactly what we need to improve to push beyond a simple idea.
There are tons of pictures of our whole process on our tumblr – easy to scroll through and check out pretty quickly. Honestly, this was one hell of a week – but now that it’s over and we’ve gotten past this building hump, I’m excited and confident that we can create something way better than what we originally had drawn out. I love when the whole point of a pedagogical exercise is felt and understood by the students – that aha! moment when it clicks. I just hope all the other groups get the same satisfied feeling I have right now.

on it being Wednesday, and this being due Friday morning…

How are we all going to do this?!
It’s 2:30 and David isn’t back yet.
We were all supposed to start working at 10am.
I am officially nervous.
But my [ok, “our group’s”] tumblr is really awesome.

on being down & out + more

After standing around DVA’s shop from 8-6 yesterday, I seemed to be overtaken by a pretty monstrous fever that kept me down and out last night. However, I’m back in the game now!! Funny how you can feel so on top of the world the day after feeling so crappy, even when you still feel sick [I’m hoping you followed that!].
There is beyond too many things to do right now. But we’ll alternate between coffee and naps, and we’ll get this all done.
During the night, David apparently jumped the tumblr bandwagon [I’m already clearly a fan] – so we’ll have literally minute to minute updates on these projects.
I’m currently in 104, about to head back to The DVA Shop; also currently thinking we need to call it something WAY cooler – like “The Lair” or something.
I dropped off my own kitchen table and chairs at the place a little bit ago – should provide for some good 10 minute breaks and blogging. Ha.

I’m really stoked to start putting some things together. We’ve cut out some things already, and they’re ready for assembly. Eep!
Epic back story to this final project and what we’re doing on our class tumblr.
More to come on our group’s tumblr.

on IDSA Conference + spending Saturday nights in

I didn’t blog on Friday – not because I forgot, but because we didn’t officially have class and I didn’t really do anything that seemed noteworthy enough. But not to say that things aren’t going well; Laura‘s SolidWorks model is superb.
Friday night [uh duh, also known as LAST night] was the benefit party for Roji – the lighting senior studio from Georgia Tech that’s traveling to Italy to experience design at an international competition scale [as in, a CRAZY BIG CRAZY scale!]. It was fun and interesting, as per usual with studio people – plus a new designery friend drove in from South Carolina! The Roji kids are doing a really fantastic job of raising money, and I’m really proud of them and excited for them, too. They’re leaving this Monday afternoon for Milan. I’m not 100% I can do things without Sk around, but there’s no time like right now than to start practicing for next year when I’m not just pres elect, but the ACTUAL jefe of our school’s IDSA [such a vest-and-scarf combo to follow!].
Today I realized one of the biggest benefits that I personally got from going to IDSA conference this year = having a larger pool of people my age to talk about design-related things with.
Of course, I think that was my favorite part about meeting people there anyway [the lectures paled in comparison to ATLtoNYC, but we all knew that was going to happen] – but now I’m realizing how easy it is for our short-lived relationships from those few days to be continued through electronic/instant/mobile/visual communication. I’m mainly referring to a healthy combination of tumblr/twitter/facebook and sometimes flickr + texting. It’s lovely to have someone from Auburn text you to ask if you have any advice on how to work with Sculpy clay, or to discuss font typefaces.

I like sitting at home and looking up fonts when I am tired, and nonchalantly discussing theme layouts with dear friends. My internet password + couch are my favorite things to share these past few days [besides design insight, obviously].

Tomorrow means it’s back to the grind; I feel guilty for taking most of Friday and today “off” from doing school work, but sometimes you just need a moment to recollect yourself. David is presenting slides on ATLtoNYC at Pecha Kucha tomorrow, which should provide me with a nice two hour break in a long work day. I’m looking forward to coffee.

on portfolio-making

I am working on a portfolio for my professional practice class right now [on my laptop – I’m two-timing the computers, but shhh, don’t tell them].
I’ve sort of worked on a portfolio once before, mostly to no avail because I was totally unprepared and had no idea what to do.
But this time I have a set color palette and I am thrilled.
It’s been really interesting to look at the projects I did sophomore year and see how much potential there is in those designs that I thought were so bad at the time.
Turned out to be a good week, so here comes a good weekend!

on Wednesday Work Day + Group Cohesion

I feel like things are finally settling into the right places within our group, but then again, how many times have I said that?!
Realistically, we’ve done a lot of good work as individuals, and we’re doing MUCH better at merging these different facets and directions of the overall concept as well as assigning more specific tasks for each person to complete. Right now Laura is working on the floor plan and the integration of the walls into the desks + making a dimensioned SolidWorks 3D model of the space, Bryan is working on dimensioning the desk + thought up a really interesting way to combine the glass top and straight side panels [and etc. – you’d really have to see it to understand it], and I’m working on the mechanisms and fine details of the small parts of the desk (modules, where does the phone go? how does the teller assist drop & lock?). I also make a pretty mean mood/visual board – in fact today, I made five different ones 🙂
This project is finally getting a little bit more exciting; or more, we all three finally seem more excited. Hooray! We’re on the same page in the same book!

Ps. Visual boards are really easy; I searched the words “serene white wood grain metal”, “shell” and “walnut”.
Plus I did a little online window-shopping at some of my favorite stores (West Elm & Design Public). Tumblr helps out a lot, too, – but only if you follow the right people.

Everything seems to be working out well with school right now; I’m done with Materials II and I’m passing, so I don’t have to re-take it! Karma seems to be on my side recently and I’m alriiiiiiight with that [i.e. things are balancing out after all my stuff got stolen = win].

on Visual “Room Divider” Inspirations

FYI: searching “screen” yielded awful results!

on the malleability of design (and deadlines)

We’ve moved from an impractical concept for our bank tellers on Friday/Saturday to a more realistic one on Sunday.
One of the VERY most exciting parts of this project is that we’ve been highly encouraged, as well as very interested, in finding unique and fantastic [and expensive!] materials that our final design would utilize. Cue brilliant things like one-way glass, glass that turns opaque at the flip of a switch, see-through cement, etc!
Dimensions became driven by the golden ratio [found in nature like NAUTILUS shells, a ratio of 1:1.61803399] and the measurements in Henry Dreyfus’ ‘Measure of Man & Woman’ book to determine if our design is universal/wheelchair/differently-abled-accessible between Saturday morning’s session and Sunday night, but then they seemed too mathematical and planned, instead of “designed”.
Now we’re back to streamlining, looking at elegant, graceful, and embracing curves. I believe I’m going to go stroll about Atlanta [more like drive to and fro and look at things while stuck in my car*] to look at what’s around, and perhaps walk through some of the big downtown lobbies to see what they have going on.
I hope the weather holds; no one likes rain on a Monday, but I had a great weekend and I’m 95% sure that feeling is going to carry me through this week, at least, if not the end of this semester. I feel much calmer with a clean car and apartment, not to mention we’ve shifted the dates for this final project around because David will be out of town this weekend and the majority of us have a final tomorrow in Materials II and a final project due in Professional Practice (etc; etc; etc).
This week for studio is hashing out even MORE details for this design, instead of just building something this week that isn’t fully realized.
Next week we’re building full-scale sketch models and doing the elusive “skits” in the space, then final models and presentation during finals week.
**Fingers crossed we get this IDSA End of The Year Show figured out REAL fast-like**

*My INCREDIBLY clean car that looks brand new and lovely; thanks so much to my Daddy 🙂


Above: Orthos of the desk and floor plan of the new direction of the original ‘Shell’ concept that we completed for today.

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