This semester, I was able to use the skills I acquired in the fall to enhance my work. While I still am learning, I feel more confident in my abilities because of what I was exposed to in this year’s Design Foundations lab. It forced me to break out of my comfort zone and challenge myself creatively. I feel better prepared for what is to come as years go on because of my time in first-year studio.
To see my Spring semester e-portfolio, click on the link below:
The Art Institute of Chicago recently announced an exhibition that will be up for the next three months. It will feature five firms and each firm’s collection of architectural and design works. The firms being highlighted include Bureau Spectacular, Erin Besler, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Formlessfinder, and John Szot Studio. The exhibition will focus on how they come up with new designs and concepts that reflect upon the legacy of their field.
Neville Bryant, a curator from the museum, says he wants the exhibition to explore the relationship between architecture of the past and present:
“Technology has profoundly influenced society and the discipline of architecture, yet even as contemporary architects experiment with new methods and media, their work is not divorced from history; they reference, reimagine, and build from the history of the field.”
The idea behind the title of the exhibition comes from the root of what “chatter” is. Chatter is the way conversations are created today, largely through the use of social media. This technology has affected the way ideas are communicated, along with how ideas are produced and presented to the public.
The exhibition is meant to inspire and help viewers understand that this chatter is essential, especially in relying on and questioning the history of architecture and design.
When assigned our site-specific build project, I had three locations in mind. However, once I came upon this site, I got inspired and decided to throw out my other three potential spots.
I was walking across to the academic side of campus one evening when I walked by this set of trees. At the time I was passing by, it was about 6:30, and the sunlight was streaming through the one tree where the trunks separate into a V shape. Seeing this literally made me stop and look at it longer. Then I began to think about what it would look like to have a seemingly natural stained glass window placed in between the V of the tree.
The reason for choosing this site is because of the way I reacted to it in it’s totally natural state, without any manmade aspect to it. I feel like people are constantly walking around and on the go without ever slowing down to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings, especially on the academic side of campus. My goal is simply to make a piece that can enhance the beauty of the site that first made me stop and stare in admiration.
When driving back to campus the other day, I was listening to NPR, and a segment came on about Joseph Eichler and the resurrection of his modern style homes. It went on to discuss how Eichler got his start as a developer of homes for the masses in Southern California after World War II, along with telling the story of a couple that moved into one of the original Eichler homes in 1963.
As a part of the segment, Bernie Grossman and his wife, Lyla, talked about the experience of finding their future home amidst the boom of suburbs after the war. Being completely different from the small, boxy, cookie-cutter homes of the time, they fell in love with the single-story home with it’s open spaces, floor-to-ceiling glass walls and simple, clean lines. Grossman said he first admired the two separate wings of the house, making the home ideal for raising kids, as well as “California living and sunshine.” Lyla Grossman said that the thing she loved most was Eichler’s concept of integration.
Joseph Eichler wanted anyone and everyone to have access to these homes. The people that are attracted to his designs are those who are interested in a modern way of life, not just modern architecture. There is nothing conventional about his style, which is heavily inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Joseph Eichler’s development of homes was so necessary because it rejected the idea of mass-produced suburban spaces that lack individuality.
As a part of our study of graphic design, we were told to design an event poster using various Adobe software like InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. We were limited to using the font we created in an earlier assignment, as as well as a secondary font. When considering a concept for the poster, the event and overall theme of the poster needed to complement our font.
I knew I wanted to do something extravagant to correlate with the exaggerated serifs of my letters. Looking at my typeface, I just felt that it would do well with a Roaring 20’s theme attached to it. After finding my theme, I did research on past events, and even considered creating my own event to fit my idea.The event I chose to create a poster for was the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute gala, which was held in New York City in 2005. The theme for that year was “The House of Chanel”, paying tribute to Coco Chanel and her century-long fashion legacy, which hit its stride in the 1920’s.
For my poster, I decided to draw a basic profile sketch of one of Coco Chanel’s portraits. I wanted to keep the elements of the poster simple, so I used only four colors: red, white, black, and gold. These, along with beige, are the only colors Chanel ever used; the brand is still well-known for its classic palette. The minimal use of white and red are meant to highlight two components of her signature look, which were her pearls and her red lipstick. The background of my poster is Art-Deco inspired, most noticeable in my use of metallic gold, along with the sunburst that stems from the outline of the cityscape.
For our spring semester design/build project, we are to consider a natural phenomena, then design and execute a site specific construct on the school’s campus. The first phase involves identifying a site of interest. When examining locations on campus, I was first and foremost looking for two natural elements: sunlight and water.
I am currently deliberating between three different locations, the first being the tree-lined quad behind Price Hall off of the Drillfield. The element I’d experiment with in this location is sunlight. Another site I am considering that would interact with sunlight is the Cowgill Hall plaza with the four glass pyramids. Lastly, the third site I am contemplating is the duck pond. The element that would interact with my site-specific build would be water.
The duck pond, along with the plaza, are two of the more-frequently visited sites, and footpaths are to be taken into account when deciding which site to commit to. More research regarding construction, material, and interaction with nature must be done before I am comfortable choosing a location.
After our Rhino workshop, we were instructed to use the tools we practiced using, along with others, to experiment with the software and recreate an object on our desk. The object I chose to do was a No.2 pencil.
Many of the commands I used were ones I was familiar with because of the workshop, like boolean difference/union, extrude, cap, and group/ungroup. I also used a command that allowed me to apply color to my rendered objects. I did, however, find myself facing difficulty when trying to draws curves and curved planes.
Being someone who does not have any experience with software like this, I am finding it somewhat complicated to operate. With that being said, I will continue to practice and hope to establish a certain level of efficiency when drawing out new forms.
This semester, I am in Introduction to Interior Design, a class that is meant to familiarize us to our major and the language used in the field. Each person in class keeps a sketchbook and we respond to a weekly inquiry regarding design in general. This week, the question asked was this:
What inspires you?
Seeming to be a relatively easy question to answer, I sat down to write out my answer. After a moment, I realized I couldn’t really come up with an answer. I had to ask myself what makes me generous of spirit? After some time, I figured it out – nature.
I am heavily influenced by nature, natural elements, and organic forms. I gravitate towards greens, blues, and neutral colors, which all are found in elements of nature. These colors, to me, channel the tranquility and freedom I find in being around nature. I admire the organic form of objects in wilderness, like the branches of trees or the petals of flowers. There are characteristics of both delicacy and strength in nature, which I find beautiful and inspiring.
Here’s a link to my fall semester e-portfolio: https://blogs.lt.vt.edu/emilyborg/e-portfolio
Coming into this semester, I really did not know what to expect. And after just one class, I think it’s fair to say I was very intimidated. However, coming to the end of the fall semester, I can say that I feel more confident about who I am as a student in the class, as well as a designer. The importance of producing quality work in a timely manner,spending time efficiently, and learning not to be overly analytical of myself are all things I’ve learned as I’ve worked this semester.
As next semester begins, one project I’d be interested in doing is something involving either our own, or one of the other majors within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
In studio, one of our current projects is screen printing, and our print is a photograph of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Upon determining which print we would use, I thought I would do some research on the subject of our project. This is what I found out about him:
Jean-Michel Basquiat came onto the punk scene in New York as a graffiti artist in the 1980s. He quickly became one of the biggest American painters of the Neo-Expressionism art movement. Basquiat’s work is an example of how American artists of the 80s could revive the subject of the human form in their work after the success of the Minimalist movements, as well as Conceptualism.
Basquiat lived a short and troubled life. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he dropped out of school at the age of 15 and ran away from home. As he become older, he began abusing drugs, specifically heroin, and later died of a drug overdose at 28 years old. It is Basquiat’s story and work that are seen to many as a metaphor for the risk of both artistic and social excess. He once said,”I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.” This was apparent in his artwork. He was inspired by what was going on around him, as well as what he had experienced himself. Basquiat’s work is gritty and primitive and depicts what his view on life was. In his brief and difficult life, Jean-Michel Basquiat came to play an important role in the rise of punk art and Neo-Expressionism in the New York art scene.
Dos Cabezas, 1982