it’s been awhile since I’ve launched an update, but an update do I have. Near the top of January, Dillon Webster and I were announced as one of four Professional Development Grant winners in DLR Group. *whistle*
Here’s the deal, we’re super fans of publications. We love design culture, and our goal is to get to know how more studios operate within the #warmred family (one of DLR Group’s 26 locations). This attempt to get to know others’ culture is a publication we’re calling: STEP. As a zine officially in development as a PDG titled ‘Cataloguing Design Culture’- it aims to feature the content that never made the final SD book, propelled the solution for the city design review, or came five iterations before the investor’s package…*you get the idea, right*? Check out a few snippets below:
STEP features the design strategies / conversations directing the work of DLR Group as a global ‘studio’, allowing our strong intranet to continue to showcase the final products. It acts as an open source for us to understand studios on a more personal level as the firm continues to grow. It attempts to be a consistent, reliable resource when other sources of inspiration don’t seem to relate to what it means to be a DLR Group designer.
Our second issue launches mid-march, and we’ll be traveling to LAX, PHX, and CLE to build content and inspire folks to SHARE for #3.
More to come!
Landing right off the heels of the AIA national Women's Leadership Summit this past September, Portraits of Architects came as a great opportunity to honor women architects in the PNW. As a recent transplant from Iowa, I couldn't think of a better way to honor those who've helped to make my career possible, and learn a bit about my new home in the process. Curated by The AIA Women in Design committee, Portraits of Architects brought attention to the "achievements and history of female architects in the Pacific Northwest." The 24 portraits celebrate and tell the story of FAIA-honored women in Seattle, each of which was composed a volunteer artist or architect.
I was selected to draw Jane Hendricks. Though I've yet to meet Jane, I was fascinated to learn a bit about how she's navigated the profession, especially when it comes to multi-disciplinary work.
"Elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2012, Jane Hendricks is an award-winning principal with more than 25 years of experience on work ranging from master planning and programming studies to the construction of institutional and commercial projects. Most recently she has honed a unique expertise in master planning for many of the community colleges and universities throughout the Puget Sound area. Jane holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University. She has been published for her expertise in sustainable design and is involved in numerous professional associations including the Society of College and University Planning." (SRG Partnership)
Overall, the objective of the exhibition is to raise the level of discussion surrounding the role of women in architecture and leadership on both local and national scales, something I'm familiar with thanks to Iowa Women in Architecture. As you can imagine, learning the stories of the 24 honorees alone was incredible. However, learning the compositional strategies of those who composed a portrait was equally as exciting. Watercolor, graphite, digital media, encaustics; the various methods were vast and engaging. The exhibition brought together quite the cross-section of individuals, and I delighted to take part.
After making the 26 hour drive over three days with Pops, I became a Seattle resident in May. Stops before Seattle included Mitchell, SD; Butte, MT; Billings, MT; and Coeur d'Alene, ID. In a way, I've made myself my own experiment by renting a 400 SF apartment in the Cascade neighborhood (associated with South Lake Union to most). After having worked on several micro units in Des Moines and at ISU, I'm pleased to report I've rearranged my apartment once in the last six months. More studies to come...
I started as an Intern Architect with DLR Group in June. I've been assigned to projects primarily in DLR Group's corporate and retail sectors. So far, this includes the Seattle office's first mixed-use project, University Place, and Google's Kirkland campus. You can find a few more details about the mixed use project here: University Place. The link also gives you a glimpse of the design review process here in Seattle, something I continue to be most curious about.
The studio has a great vibe composed by artist's lunch lectures, cross-office design shares, renewed emphasis on making with the introduction of equipment like laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC routers, drones, etc., in-house construction 101 sessions, an in-house mentor program across all disciplines, and public events and projects that directly engage the development of the waterfront (where DLR Group is located):
Over 40 cranes are currently operating in the city, and I feel as though i have small construction lessons daily. I'm fortunate to be able to walk to and from work, something that keeps me engaged with what's going on around me almost all of the time. However, it's also a bit daunting to be contributing to a city undergoing such extreme transformation daily. With 15,000 people moving to the city each year since 2010 (charts), several neighborhoods are subject to intense development. I'm constantly conflicted as I morally identify with those working to preserve the identity of the neighborhoods, yet I'm one of the 15,000 causing the shift.
A development map for your reference: original 'cool' map, the city's version of said original 'cool' map
A good portion of my daily commute on foot includes a series of hills that could challenge any Bay Area native on a good day. I've learned two things. It is impossible to scale these hills, whether ascending or descending, in a graceful manner. What once were shoes suddenly become flippers, and often times hands forget how to work parallel to one's body. I have a new appreciation for how buildings meet the ground. How these projects manage to uniformly adapt to a near 37 degree angle along an entire city block is something I continue to be most curious about (waiving my Iowa flag here).
I have a restaurant list rollin' 68 locations deep, I've started to uncover the jazz scene bit by bit, I don't have a car, I compost as it's required (which is great), my trash can officially became my recycling receptacle my second week here, smoked salmon is EVERYWHERE, I've gone kayaking, I've watched all of Grey's Anatomy to better understand the city through aerial shots circa 2005-2015, I became an official REI member, I've graduated from Starbucks, I'm reading more than ever, and I'm officially addicted to the Netflix Fireplace 4K: Classic Crackling Fireplace for your home.
2016 is already BIG. More updates to come.
I was recently featured as the 'Student Pin-Up' nominee for the month of April! Check out the link below to read a bit about what I've been up to this semester!
I've had quite the final semester here at Iowa State. I'm humbled by the encouragement I receive daily, and the excitement built up for what is to come. I think to say I'm grateful would be the understatement of the century! I'm looking forward to our final review here on Saturday, and to graduation in just 9 days!
[ Part II: thoughts on the intensive 8 day Master Class with OMA co-founder Elia Zenghelis all wrapped up]
Team: Aniket Nagdive (GRAD), Jill Maltby (5th Year), Zhaoyu Zu (4th year)
“the goal for this week is simple really: I want to know what you stand for.” - Elia Zenghelis
The class, 48 students from 3rd year to graduate level, researched several projects Elia believed illustrate the impact of architecture. For the end production, we were tasked with creating an image where the "rulers and the ruled confront each other." An image that should "represent our own position - what we think about art, architecture, the political, and the social."
Our team's research allowed us to conclude that the public has an unusual amount of control over Bank of England (our assigned paradigm project). The Bank was fundraised for by bakers and aristocrats alike, protected through three wars, expanded maintain 3.5 acres, renovated twice and nearly completely demolished (with exception to a few a Sir John Soane's interiors) and re-built, and somehow managed to go untouched during WWII. The Bank of England appeared to be one of the greatest exchanges between the "public servant" and, in turn, the "serving public" in the history of most financial institutions.
We were keen on highlighting this relationship with the institution, and a bank's ability to help give the English identity through the circulation of wealth and the definition of value. However, we didn't believe the physical building itself represented the public demand for this institution to continue to survive since it's 17th century foundation. Rather, a drawing produced from the perspective of the building best depicted the utilization of the building by the British known as the Bond Panorama (see Part I below).
The big takeaway: Sometimes, shock is the only way to see through conceptualization and realize some images can be powerful without oral or written defense. In the case of my team, Elia’s selection of our final image came as a shock. Our image is not collaged, it hardly deals with any famous imitations or appropriated material from famous works, and it surely does not use any sort of architectural material to help form an interior within the image (all factors for emblematic image construction outlined by Elia). Our image is “the ultimate abstraction” of the Bond Panorama, a drawing inspired by the bank. Similarly, how one chooses which resources to inspire production, and even further how we choose which pieces of those resources to pull into our narrative is equally as subjective as the final image itself. The basis of an image isn’t always the argument, sometimes it can simply be the impact it has on the viewer. In our case, according to Elia, “less is more even when less can sometimes be less."
Team: Aniket Nagdive (GRAD), Jill Maltby (5th Year), Zhaoyu Zu (4th year)
Studying the Bank of England, assigned by Elia as our 'paradigm' project, our team was quick to identify the constant exchange between the 'public servants' the bank employs and the 'serving public' the bank receives willed labor from. Over history, London's citizens have volunteered to fund raise for the creation of, protect, build, demolish the bank. Their dedication to the institution, but not necessarily the physical building itself was a bit unusual for our team to find in our research.
Demolished or moved on two occasions, our team wonders if Herbert Baker's structure (the one visible today) would have been replicated had WWII not left the building untouched. In Part II of the Master Class, we've been charged with composing an 'emblematic image' that depicts our team's stance on Architecture through the transformation of the Bank of England. The image created doesn't have to use the physical bank itself, it can also be composed from a image inspired by the bank. We've chosen to use the Bond Panorama, an 360 degree panorama composed by ARP Arthur Bond while he stood watch on top of the bank during WWII. This was the most accurate depiction of the London skyline of the time, and is what we believe to be a direct representation of public contribution back to an institution working to serve the public. See our progress here:
Part II: Progress
This next week is shaping up to an incredible week. Elia Zenghelis is Ames-bound to conduct a week long master class with 48 students in the Department of Architecture. A bit of quoted text from Assistant Professor Ross Exo Adams:
"Elia is--without exaggeration--one of the greatest living architects of our time. Among far too many achievements to mention here, after mentoring Rem Koolhaas at the Architectural Association in the 70's, he went on to found OMA with him. Together, they produced arguably the most interesting body of work throughout OMA's long history. Along the way, he has taught and mentored many now legendary architects and thinkers such as Zaha Hadid and Pier Vittorio Aureli (Dogma)."
The master class will be divided into two sessions, the first of which will be a research-based formal analysis exercise which will finish with a review. My team and I have been assigned to study the Bank of England. The second session will be the composition of an 'image-manifesto', which will end with the final juried review, followed by a public reception and exhibition. From what I hear, Elia will become a sort of grandfather figure to the 48 of us participating in the week's events. I'm looking forward to posting updates over the course of the week!
Excited to share that Matthew Darmour-Paul, Han Kwon, and I received 2nd place in the CSI Competition. The competition, hosted by the Construction Specifications Institute of Central Iowa, invited twelve teams from the comprehensive project studios at 5th year and graduate level to compete.
A critique on the aimless developer driven urbanization currently happening in the Seaport District of Boston, our project used a scale to counter extreme development and preserve the identity of Seaport currently being erased.
The semester rounded out with a fantastic end. With the best, most challenging, team I had yet to work with, and a professor who believed in our project, The Boston Music Complex ended up meaning so much more to me than the 2,000 seat jazz venue I had always imagined myself designing early in my academic career.
We had five minutes to present the project, and five minutes of clarification for the jury. You can find our presentation below.
On behalf of DATUM, the student-run journal of a[A]rchitecture at Iowa State, and the Department of Architecture, Matt and I had the chance to sit down with Tom Kundig, FAIA of Olson Kundig Architects.
When prepping for our session with Tom, we initially knew that our questions had to dig deeper into Tom's consistent reference of "hot-rodding" and "architecture without architects" as conceptual drivers. We were also interested in how the OKA leadership communicates their specific influences to a team of nearly 120 people. We divided our question series into three parts: Gizmos + Fabrication, Partners + OKA, and Site + Landscape. You can find our interview protocol below.
In his opening statement, Tom mentions, "the active pursuit of other interests is essential." Though this statement arrived quite early in the presentation, the session continued touch on this statement throughout the session. By discussing his time assisting artist Harold Balazs, how young architects read drawings today, and even what legacy means to Olson Kundig Architects, Tom Kundig allowed the Department of Architecture to catch a glimpse of a world we had been curious about for quite sometime.
Thank you to Cal Lewis, FAIA and the Department of Architecture for allowing Matt and I the opportunity to interview Tom. Another thank you to the Architecture Advisory Council (AAC) 2014 Lecture series and the Charles E. "Chick" Herbert Lecture endowment for making opportunities like this available to students.
Check out the lecture and panel session below.
[Panel Members from L to R: Matthew Darmour-Paul, Jill Maltby, Department of Architecture Chair Deborah Hauptmann, and professor Calvin Lewis, FAIA]
Matt and Jill's Question Arsenal:
Gizmos / Fabrication
Partners + OKA
Site / Landscape
- jazz enthusiast