Recently in School Category

Now I Have to Clean My Studio


The real drawback to the thesis studio is that it's a yearlong process, instead of the usual 10-week sprints. That means an awful lot of stuff can accumulate in the studio without the forced cleanouts.

Noel took this photo of me presenting at the final crit on Saturday. My boards are on the wall behind me; the rest of that stuff is my classmates' projects (I'll post more about them later).

Presenting my thesis

The crit went very well. We had the conversation I was interested in having, and I got some good directions to explore. I probably won't explore them for this project, but the saying is that you spend the rest of your life working on your thesis, and I think that is definitely going to be true.

The next day we cleaned some things out of my studio, went to my apartment in SLO and packed up a bunch of stuff, and drove home, where I have basically been asleep.

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Less Than Sixteen Hours to Go

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Our presentations begin tomorrow at 1pm. I'm home now for a brief dinner break, then back to the studio to finish this model. As of 6:30:

Night before the big presentation

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The Model That Ate California

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Well, not quite, but it is getting quite large. Here it is just before I broke off work for the night tonight:

The model that ate my desk, at least

(It's rotated from the last shot, because I was working on the other side of it and crawling around on my classmate's desk was getting inconvenient.)

As you can see: lots of little towers clustered together. This afternoon as I was working I realized I'd failed to cut enough of the towers, due to a stupid calculation error. So tomorrow afternoon I'll be making a mad dash back up to Menlo Park for a quick cutting session; I hope that will get me enough pieces to finish.

Here you can see the missing towers, off to the left. All the other towers are assembled and placed on the model. (You can also see my printed cheat sheet for placing them.)

Closer view of the model

I still don't know how the roof works over the parts that are not the towers. In the upper right you can sort of see where the roof is starting to take form, but there's another layer of materiality to add to this before it's really solid.

And now to work on my major section. Fun!

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About a Week Left


Yesterday I took my giant base and decoupaged a printout of my floor plan and a site photograph onto it, then I began attaching the towers I've been building. I still have eight or nine towers to assemble, and then, of course, I need to figure out what happens in the spaces between the towers, which is more complicated than it sounds.

Big model, 8 days left

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A Huge Model

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I feel like I've been working on this model forever. Last week I realized that trying to make it at 1/8" scale like my teacher wanted would be very bad (the model would be larger than our display space). I switched to 1/16" scale, but that meant I lost a week of work on the thing.

I still don't know how I'm going to build the interstitial spaces that are less structured. I don't even know how to draw them quite yet. But I do have a lot of these:

Tower viewed from the ground

That's the from-the-sidewalk view of one of the structural towers. They're sort of "ivory towers" for the building: where labs and offices and collaborative workspaces are located. The space around them is more casual, more for interaction and collaboration rather than hard work.

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A Final Model


What have I been doing for the last three weeks? Making this:

Pile of lasercut pieces

Well, then taking that and making it into this:

Aerial view of surgical clinic

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The End of Summer


Well, the end of Summer Quarter, at least. Tomorrow, or later today if one is strictly technical about the time, we have our final review of the quarter, then Thursday we do our quarterly exit interviews. This evening I pinned up my posters and spent some time finishing my models -- I have to get some tape to finish putting my posters up but that will be easily accomplished tomorrow morning.

As you can see, the posters are drooping on the end, because the wall material changes and it's impossible to set tacks into the corner where they need to end.

Final crit setup

I need to spend some time thinking about my setup for these crits: it'd be nice to be able to take up less space with posters. Because posters are a major pain to hang. Anyway. Plenty of time to think about that in the next few weeks.

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Making Complex Models


So what the heck am I doing with all that laser-cut stuff, anyway? Here's a little view of one piece of the stuff I've been assembling. My next iteration will have vellum screening glued onto the backs of the inner pieces. Maybe I should spray paint it black, too.

Study piece

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More Laser Cutting


I've now done a couple more sessions on the laser cutters at Techshop, this time using the Helix. Big, big difference. The Helix can cut the material the first time! Without torching it!

Tedious details follow:

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Site Model


Last night I finished making the last of the little scaled blocks that represent buildings on my site model, and this morning and afternoon I've been assembling the freeway down the center.

My actual site (well, sites) is the area under the six large warehouses: two on the far side of the freeway and four on the near side. They're fairly easy to see in this photo, as they're the fattest buildings on the site, and all the same size.

The blocks that are those warehouses are not attached, so I can put my final model on the site, too.

Site model up close

I'm still in mid-assembly on that freeway; there are two off-ramps that I need to assemble and attach, but the rest of the site has to finish drying before I can fiddle with it some more.

Entire site model

When I finish the freeway, I'm going to trim the long end off the board, and trim the overhanging buildings, too. Then I need to clean the apartment, because it's a holy mess. I would have worked on this in the studio, but there's no room in there these days.

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This page is a archive of recent entries in the School category.

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