Category Archives: Universal Bank Teller

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 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.

on Saturday morning studio sessions

Team Bank Teller met today, on a Saturday, at 9am – talk about dedication to good design!
We’ve figured out an efficient and practical solution to having a centralized sort of passage-way for safety and security for the tellers to exit and enter – while maintaining different and interesting entrances into the “passages” by the bank customer. Now we can focus on nitty-gritty details of the desk and wall design. One of our small original concepts was a sort of “modular” [because modular always = universal and customizable] wall organization system – essentially cubes of the same size that can be rearranged to the teller’s personal taste, putting the things the need most closer to them, etc.
Currently we’re playing with the idea of planes creating more than just walls – what if they become more 3D and make the desk?
Floating/dropping/elevator cash drawers also sound fun.
There are, as always, many details to figure out before Monday morning and before we do our full scale model.
But so far, so good it seems.


I included a quick diagram of the floor plan from our original concept so you can understand where we started and where we’re headed, AND a pretty picture of a shell because that’s the visual inspiration starting point for this project from when we were brainstorming a week ago [or so].

on the building pressure at the end of a semester.

It’s not as if we haven’t all been through this whole “OMG EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING AT ONCE!” part of a semester before, it’s just that each time it comes around, I always feel unprepared!

I am excited about the prospect and potential of one of our five concepts that we presented in studio class today for our bank-teller-workspace-area-interaction-point, but there’s a lot of detail to work out [What if someone approaches with a gun? How tall should those walls be? Where should the screen go? How do they get in and out? Are colored lights enough? Are the proportions right? Etc.].
Monday we’re going to hopefully start building a full-scale study model, which will be awesome because we’ve never made a full scale model of furniture before – not even for the “seating device” project during sophomore year. Bryan and Laura and I are meeting tomorrow morning to work on things, so I’ll be sketching in my free time tonight after I finish a Materials II project.
IDSA might be going well? I’m not 100% sure how well it’s going right now. I like the officers as individuals, but I don’t feel like we’re bonding the way I wish we were as a “board” – but we’re doing our next meeting over dinner, and away from 104 so I’m really positive that that will help the mood. We have a lot of work to do to get the End of the Year Show going, but we’ll see…
Basically, if every person involved in every thing right now could just cooperate, every thing that hinges on that other person or thing falling into place can ALSO fall into place! If only it were that easy! Photoshoot on Wednesday should be fun though. I’m currently trying to track down different teachers and get content from them; really hard, because there’s been so many different projects over the year, but I also can’t do my job if there’s nothing to show 😦

On a side note: I’m really proud of our section for, despite some complaining, really pulling off some fantastic work in a short amount of time after all the traveling we’ve been doing. A lot of us are really sick and annoyed and stressed, but we’re all doing alright. Go team.

(can’t stop, won’t stop)

Ps. It’s Easter weekend and my parents are here! Happy Easter, peeps!

on visual inspiration for bank

[Just as a side-note/warning now, I want to state that I am permanently fighting the urge to incorporate thuggish bank-related-humor into blog posts, etc.]

Feast your eyes upon some of the visual inspirations and current examples of bank interiors I like.

on how I am excited about some things,

&& not so much about others.

For instance, every one in our studio section is sick except for Laura – which isn’t exactly great, but the fact that Laura still feels well is super!
My group came upon some really good ideas today [ok, maybeeeee I think they’re really good ideas because half of them are MY crazy ideas]. But at least morale seems momentarily on the rise in the world of Group Bank Tellers! For Friday we’re doing a mini-pin-up-sesh of 5 concepts, complete with sketches, Illustrator orthographics, and 1/10th scale models [not as easy to calculate as 1/12th scale, since we aren’t exactly Metric, but that’s ohhhhhhk]. We’re basically cramming a week+ of work into three days, so I’m really REALLY hoping we can get as much done as we can in a happy, positive manner! After lunch I’m going to jam on different details, etc. for each of the 5 concepts and then meet back up at 7:30pm today. I honestly don’t envision a free moment between now and the end of school; pretty much every hour of my day is already accounted for + some make-up projects on top of that. Geesh.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY HOPE that I get my computer sometime today. The “delivery tracking” website said that they tried delivering yesterday when the apartment office is closed; I really hope they get to it before 7pm!

If I had extra time, I would re-code my remaining internetz and create a sweet personal website with the same palette; I’ve been trying to do what I can so far, but not all websites really want me to re-write their font and color settings 🙂

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