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.
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
Thanks to the introduction from a friend, Jon Bartkowicz, I currently can't get enough of Phaidon's Muse Music playlists on Spotify. Similar to what I explored through writing Agents of Production: Lens // Music for Datum (the student-run journal of a[A]rchitecture at Iowa State University), Phaidon has started to publish playlists proving what artists / songs / genres are driving professionals at the moment. Not that I plan to extract patterns to form dramatic connections across the site via every Muse list they've published (well I might do that), but listening to the process of drivers of others while working through your own creative process is bizarre.
In Agents of Production: Lens // Music, I attempt to break down the rituals we assign ourselves within our own creative methods. Obviously, though oftentimes difficult for the reader to instantly become familiar with, the best way to analyze such a process is first through analyzing your own. Pattern seeking and building upon strengths in similarities and differences in turn lends to better understanding across a team. Music, as it has across several varying histories, has the ability to draw us together. So how can we further refine this acknowledgment to help us understand our own process so that we might better understand other's? Would that be 'forcing' it?
Regardless, the playlists are wild / exciting / new and I highly suggest you put some time aside to listen.
I'm looking forward to seeing how continuing to invest interest in process drivers such as music or performance play into my comprehensive studio project under the direction of Professor Jungwoo Ji. An experimental music complex in Boston is on deck, and I've been waiting for this project for quite sometime. Check out the link to Phaidon's Spotify page: here. I've also linked Agents of Production: Lens // Music if you've yet to check out DATUM No. 5: Binocular Vision.
Today, we woke up to the sound of the market taking place just below our balcony, once again. The market below takes up about 2 miles of street, with vendors stacked in about three rows --- a bit larger than the Des Moines Farmer's Market!
However, last week brought some of the most exciting days I've had in Rome yet (which is exactly the way it should be, right? Each day getting more exciting than the last and such!) BUT - Thursday was, by far, the most entertaining day I've had yet due to the man in the image directly below this post. Jan Gedayne teaches at several of the American University programs in Rome (RISD, Cornell, Minnesota, etc.), and is known as the "Rockstar" when it comes to understanding and communicating the layers of history that exist in Rome. On our 3 hour morning walk with Jan, we covered almost 7.5 miles of built history from early BC to just a few hundred years ago.
Walking around with Jan is easily one of the true experience types that makes one understand why study abroad is so essential to students today. In a way, 3 hours worth of information from Jan embeds years of knowledge that some Romans will never know about the city in which they live. Power of knowledge is truly an understatement once one truly understands the context where we now live, study, and continue to embrace. It's not necessarily the "power you feel that you suddenly have" once equipped with said knowledge, rather the "power of the impact" upon your perception of your surroundings.
A list of a few things I saw this week!
- Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
- Alle fratte di Trastevere (free food for us -- "we're regulars")
- La Basilica di San Vitale
- Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
- Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli (Michelangelo's final architectural restoration work -- preservation and scheme for the Bath's of Diocletian)
- Quattro Fontane
- Gelateria Valentino
- Trevi Fountain
- Cappuchian Crypts
- Borghese Gardens
My new favorite places exist in the Borghese Gardens. Everything about the land (architecture, gardens, people, dogs, vegetation) is absolutely gorgeous!
This time last week, I was mentally gearing up for one of the longer plane rides I've had the chance to experience. Hard to believe a week has come and gone in Italy. Tomorrow marks day #7, and we've already had the chance to see the great Roman sites, wander into some truly beautiful space, and figure out how to live amongst many.
In the first week, while the Pantheon was truly remarkable, I found myself most taken by a small Protestant Cemetery in the Testaccio neighborhood. Had a friend of mine not recommended we go there, I most certainly wouldn't have found it by this time. (see photos below)
With reference to the title of this post, however, one interaction in particular sums up the language barrier we're working with. Before embarking on a walking tour of the neighborhood in which studio is situated, a few of us thought we might have time to grab a small portion of pizza to eat before the tour. Working against the clock, we went to the nearest bar and placed our order. After being asked to sit while we wait, we realized a small miscommunication as we hadn't indicated we were looking for this order to be to-go. Apparently, we had confused more than just the nature of the order when the man looked quite surprised about how he was to package our order so that we might take it along.
We soon realized our mistake as three entire pizzas (we're talking 12" in diameter, at least), each folded in half, and placed in a pastry bag to walk with emerged from behind the counter. The more i reflect on this experience, the more I believe we found a calzone's fraternal twin.
The goal of this blog is not to document a play by play, rather subtle findings I find to define my experience here. I plan to primarily document my time in Rome through photographs here. I'll also be adding a second tab dedicated to my sketch book as the semester continues. Day #7 begins in just a matter of hours!
Thanks for checking in!
Days in Italy: 6
Spring Break: 59
Days until the Maltby clan travels Italy together: 114
Listen to album HERE
Lately, "This is The Thing" and "Sort of Revolution" have been my productivity tracks over these last few weeks. Once I thought it couldn't get better, I discovered Fink Meets The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and my mind has been blown since. This hybrid is one of the better collaborations of 2013 thus far and is definitely worth checking out. I promise you won't be disappointed.
- jazz enthusiast