Monday, April 16, 2012

Crossroads Lounge: Universal Design

Equitable Use -
The space is useful to people with diverse abilities, for example, a wheelchair. People with different abilities can access the work surfaces as well as pull into the lounge area. The tackable surfaces and shelves are also low enough (and high enough) for all different heights to reach.

Simple and Intuitive Use -
The layout of the space is simple and the circulation throughout the space helps to guide users throughout the lounge. The functions of each space are also easily understood because of the components that are visable.

Flexibility in Use -
The furnishings allow users the option of doing their task in several different ways, depending on their needs.

Low Physical Effort-
Multiple tasks can be done in this one room. These tasks can include designing, collaboration, critique, relaxation and many more in this multifunctional lounge.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crossroads Lounge: Intellectual Works

“In the case of paths that pass through the served spaces, there is a planned, intentional intrusion. In these cases you, as the designer, have determined that the resulting integration between the path and the served space or spaces is desirable or, at least acceptable.”
Page 77 “space/path relationship and level of autonomy”

“In the case of superimposed spaces, two (or more) spaces are literally superimposed over one another, creating a new spatial definition and geometry. Depending on the treatment of the surfaces and ceiling planes, both spaces can have equal dominance or one can dominate the other.”
Pages 77-78 “the art of joining spaces”

“Passageways can be either tunnel-like adjoining passages between spaces or merely openings in the wall that allow movement between spaces. In the first case, they invite movement; in the second, they allow it. Many modern interiors rely on wide passageways as a way to move between spaces. Openings allow movement between spaces, but the user relies on other directional cues from the furnishings or other objects to know which way to go.”
Page 44 “passageways”

With the way these spaces are laid out, it allowing natural movement of people through the space. This works within my design because I want people to go in the lounge to see what it is and experience the space. The kitchen area separates the lounge into sections but also keeps the entire space a whole. Because it is so open, the dropped ceiling acts as a cue to tell the user where to go. They can either follow it to enter the kitchen, cross through it to enter another lounge section, or use it as a leader to find the lounge - depending on the direction they enter from.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Crossroads Lounge: Brand Reading

In Chapter 10 “Function Melts Form”, Brand discusses a technique used in newer office buildings that have the open-office idea. He refers to this design technique as the “Cave and Commons”. He says that with these open office plans, people desire to have privacy (mainly acoustic privacy). The open office area becomes the “commons” and Brand discusses how newer office facilities give their employees a private office “cave” of their own which surrounds the commons. By doing this, they have the option for privacy but can also be more social.

My design uses a similar idea. The current design of the studio spaces is very open with little privacy. Students sometimes need a place that they can retreat to for a break from the openness and to get some privacy. This is what my designed lounge would do. It would’t be a completely private space - more like a public cave. But it would over semi-privacy that is needed.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Crossroads Lounge: Core Values

This space showcases community in the ways that it brings the two departments in Gatewood together. Currently, IARc and Art are very separate - different sides of the building, different floors, different people. My design of a Crossroads Lounge bring the two environments together. My ideal hopes are that this lounge will be designed so that it is comfortable and inviting for everyone in the Gatewood building.

I think it is important to keep the authenticity of the Gatewood building in my design of the lounge. With my concept of crossroads, I chose to use both the current style and merge it with a new style. I kept parts of the current design such as the coffered ceiling and concrete flooring to remind the users that this is a room within the Gatewood Building.

My idea of innovation is taking something that already exists and doing something new and creative with it. I am designing a lounge and kitchenette in a location that currently is a version of that. Today, it is a small lounge adjacent to a vending room. My design merges the two to form a fully functioning collaboration center with a food prep kitchenette with room for dining. By doing this, it transforms what was “just a lounge” into something much more useful and innovative.

My design promotes collaboration within this space in the studio. When students chose to work off campus instead of at studio, they lose the ability to go to classmates for advice. I designed the space with different media to give students a comfortable place to work together and help each other. This is my definition of stewardship - helping others.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Studio Research Summary + Ideas

With all of the research that was presented to the class on Friday, I feel like I have a much better understanding of the studio project now. Before, I had no idea what I might do the project on. But now, I have a much more clear idea.

Many presentations throughout the day interested me and helped give me some ideas. The survey group started off explaining the surveys that were taken by students in the department. There was a question about what people wanted to see in a new design for the studio. Answers such as outdoor space, rendering lab, different library, kitchenette, café, lounge, mobile desks, and more color/interior architecture signage, were given.

I was interested in the statistics about how many people spend time in the building. The number seems to lower as students get older and more advanced with the program. In my opinion, I think it is a combination of students getting bored with the space and uninspired, and the needs of students change as they get older. When students come in as freshmen, many of them live on campus, like I did myself. It is hard living in such a small space, with really only one room. I liked to hang out at studio first year because it was big. It was also a place that I could gather with my other pals, since our dorm rooms were so little. Many students move to a house or apartment in the 2nd or 3rd years and the need for this hang out space lessens. And in many situations, students moving off campus find a place in the dwelling to set up workspace for studio assignments. The need to go to studio to work lessens here too. I find that now as a 3rd year student, I really only need my computer to get things done. So I would much rather cozy up in my apartment on the couch than sit in horribly uncomfortable chairs at studio.

So after all this consideration, I have found where my project lies. I want to design a student lounge and potentially a connected café/kitchenette that will reside in Gatewood. I want this space to be somewhere that reminds students of home. I plan on designing the space with comfortable seating such as couches and armchairs. And also maybe some desks that are different than those in the studio. I want it to have an overall feeling of being home, but in a space that still allows for collaboration with classmates. It will be a perfect combination of the two, a home-away-from-home even. I see this space being located on the 2nd floor in room 203, where the current “lounge” is. I also wish to open it up to the vending area and make that into a little kitchenette with a few small appliances. I plan on choosing materials that are different than the concrete rooms surrounding to create a sort of retreat for students to go to when they need a change of scenery.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Visual Explorer Connections

The values of community, authenticity, innovation, and steward ship, all connect in ways that I connected to the Gestalt Theory. One main concept to this theory is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Each value represents this in a way. With community, people are needed to make up this community. Each member is a significant part to the group. With authenticity, it takes something to be different and stand out. Without the contrast of the authentic versus the fake, there would be no authentic, it would be just one thing. Therefore All parts are needed. Innovation represents this concept because to be innovative, an idea must be taken from something that already exists and then it can be improved upon. Lastly, with stewardship, more than one person is needed to be a steward and show hospitality. So with all these four themes, more than one part is needed to make up the whole.

Visual Explorer Exercise

When I think of community, I think of people coming together to do something. This picture, to me, is an example of community. It shows woman as part of a rowing team on their boat. I have never done this sport, but I understand that it is very challenging and everyone must work together in order to make it successful.

When looking for an image for authenticity, I looked for something unique and eventually came upon these zebras. To be authentic means to be real and genuine. One way that I looked at it was that their patterns cannot be duplicated exactly. Today, we see zebra print everywhere; on rugs, clothing, bags, and in other fashion. The print isn't authentic, the zebras are. Also, it has been said that no two zebras have the exact stripe pattern. Therefore, each zebra is unique and authentic to it's own pattern.

The work innovative, to me, means something unique and creative. In class, we had a discussion about how an innovation means taking something that is already and improving upon it. This picture was a unique example of what innovative housing is. This is certainly a unique way of living. Whether building this house on this ledge was applied, or land was stripped away due to natural causes, the homeowners chose to live this way. It is an old house, but the concept is new and innovative to me.

The idea of stewardship is doing things for others who cannot do it for themselves. This picture shows a baby being fed by an adult. The baby cannot feed himself therefore an adult is showcasing great stewardship by feeding him.