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HELLO! I’m Amanda Levesque, an architect by training and a problem-solver at heart. In a way, my design point of view comes from the world of science and engineering. I was raised by two software engineers, and I spent my undergraduate years at MIT, immersed in a culture of tinkering and making. As a result, I’m a firm believer that experimental approaches, leftfield ideas, and the right group of collaborators really can save the world (or at least a piece of it). But in the end, I became a designer because I’m inspired by people, rather than by data. I see architecture as a discipline that reacts to the human body and its everyday needs in an elegant and deeply personal way. Its practitioners are asked to take on the challenges of every client as if they were their own, and I’ve been developing the skills to do so for the last six years. This is the insight I bring to the table. As you’ll see in the following work samples, in addition to architectural design, I have experience developing concepts for brands, products, publications, and experiences. I seek a career which allows me to articulate design concepts across many different platforms and disciplines. Thank you for your consideration, and please feel free to contact me for more information or materials.

CONTACT alevesq@umich.edu (508) 633-0006 71 Windsor Drive Tewksbury, MA 01876

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NEURO DRINKS Selected work 2009 - 2013

/

04

/

22

Brand Strategy Product Design Prototyping Environments Design

FOOD CULTURE Consumer Research Cultural Analysis Data visualization Critical Writing

DIMENSIONS 26 / 38 Art Direction Publication Design Copyediting

THE FARMSTEAD / 46 Architectural Design Prototyping Implementation

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NEURO DRINKS

This 2012 Options Studio with Professor Teman Evans at the University of Michigan explored the relationship between architecture, branding, and product design. Each student How can a new brand turn was given a struggling new brand, and I received Neuro, a heads in the ultimate saturated line of low-calorie performance waters with few discernible market—performance water? differences from its well-established and less expensive competitors (think Vitamin Water). I was asked to develop a strategy to relaunch it, then design a new identity, packaging, and retail environment which exemplified that strategy.

Brand Strategy Product Design Prototyping Environments

Beginning with an industry audit, I devised a strategy that centered on a customizable, mix-and-match system which turned the seven different varieties of Neuro into an infinite combination of flavors and functions, incentivizing the consumer to buy and try them all. It straddles the white space between “off the shelf” bottled drinks and “use as you like” flavoring syrups like Mio, housing 5 servings of concentrate in the cap with a single serving of lightly carbonated base cocktail below. This customizability empowers the consumer to be their own mixologist and permeates throughout the brand, from its marketing to its environments.

$$$$$

$$$$$

POWERADE

GATORADE

0.02/oz

0.03/oz

$$$$$

PELLEGRINO 0.09/oz

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AMANDA LEVESQUE


CONVENIENCE

EFFICIENCY

$$$$$ NEURO

0.16/oz

$$$$$ PERRIER

0.07/oz

$$$$$

$$$$$

SOBE LIFEWATER

$$$$$ PROPEL

0.06/oz

$$$$$

AQUAFINA 0.03/oz

VITAMIN WATER 0.06/oz

0.04/oz

M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

5


TARGET MARKET

VISION AND MISSION status [SYMBOL] “top shelf” brand personalized blends expensive, luxurious

This brand brief succinctly diagrams the fundamental precepts of the Neuro brand. It drove every design decision as the project moved forward.

status [UPDATE] outgoing, young professionals who want a go-to drink to keep up with their busy lifestyle. they may identify as stylish, successful, social, active, and tech-savy.

mode of self-expression changes throughout the day part of your lifestyle

YOUR STATUS:

KEY COMPETITORS

STAK

enhanced water

for athletes

for health enthusiasts

for the average joe

known for tried-and-tested, scientifically proven performance benefits with generations of experience and endorsements

heavily associated with health and nutrition thanks to an emphasis on the active vitamins and minerals in each flavor

convenient for the office or on-the-go energy as part of a workday routine

VALUE PROPOSITION

The custom drink stron safe enough

Neuro can t significant highly pote barely pote vitamin wa

KEY PRODUCT

redesig

mix-and-match system keeps consumer drinking Neuro all day long Neuro

AMANDA LEVESQUE

Neuro

6

Neuro

Neuro

Flavors and functions mix and match, allowing consumers to create personal blends in infinite combinations. Heading to the gym? Mix SPORT’s electrolites with SONIC’s energy to power through your workout. Bad day? Mix BLISS and PASSION to zen out.


ATTRIBUTES current instant fix for your mood or needs a system that keeps up with you over the course of the day

TRIM curbs hunger

SPORT rejuvenates

SONIC energizes

PASSION excites

SLEEP calms

cool cocktail culture, mixology keeps you at your best, gives you an advantage mode of self-expression

custom “there’s a neuro for you”

KEHOLDERS

d

BLISS uplifts

<<<

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

energy drinks

mer looking for functional ng enough to work, but also h to use frequently.

take advantage of the white space between ent energy drinks and ent nutraceuticals like ater.

jelly belly recipe philosophy

concentrate

+

housed in the cap

ANY bottle

=

with a screw cap

the ultimate

custom drink

gned bottle with 5 servings of concentrate housed in the cap

N

N

N

N

N

N

Neuro

Neuro

Neuro

COMPETITORS BECOME BRAND VEHICLES

M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

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FORMAL STUDIES FOR BOTTLE DESIGN

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AMANDA LEVESQUE


M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

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COLOR REBOOT AND LABEL DESIGN BEFORE PASSION

BOOST

BLISS

STRENGTH

PASSION

BOOST

BLISS

STRENGTH

stimulation desire energy

alertness energy

communication optimism happiness

growth renewal health

0 100 100 0

0 60 90 0

5 0 100 0

50 0 100 0

AFTER

Variation across labels transform Neuroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s limited shelf space with a billboardlike, eye catching effect.

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AMANDA LEVESQUE


TRIM

SPORT

SLEEP

SUPREME

TRIM

SPORT

SLEEP

SUPREME

sophistication calm confidence

refreshment intelligence reliability

peace relaxation stability

authority power mystery

60 0 30 0

80 35 0 0

90 70 40 30

0 0 0 100

M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

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PROTOTYPING

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AMANDA LEVESQUE


M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

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THE RELAUNCH CAMPAIGN // POP-UP GIVEAWAY

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AMANDA LEVESQUE


, meet

Neuro After completing the product design phase, the studio focused on a relaunch campaign—getting the product in the hands of the target market through a memorable giveaway experience and pop-up retail design. The only constraint was that the giveaway must take place on the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Neuro

neuro

Continuing to play on ideas of customization, mix-and-match, and adaptability, I designed a popup giveaway installation, placing hundreds of Neuro samples along American Apparel’s storefront. American Apparel was selected as a similar-minded brand to Neuro, centered on a bright, contemporary, mix-and-match system of basics that appeals to a very similar target market. Inspired by the window designs of fashion retailers, these reflective, eye-catching hangers prominently display the Neuro samples while generating visual interest for American Apparel. Made from PETG and attached with a simple suction cup, the hangers (affectionately called “barnacles”) are fabricated, installed, and removed inexpensively and easily.

M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

15


YOU WILL NEED...

16

suction cups

PETG

mirror film

contact paper

string

tape measure

spray bottle

squeegee

PETG Mirror film Contact paper Suction cups Equipment

$22 $27 $12 $18 $9

TOTAL yields 50 modules

$88

AMANDA LEVESQUE

$2.00

PER MODULE


1. Crease the outer shell along score lines

2. Slot side tabs

3. Crease the inner shell

4. Slot side and bottom tabs; attach suction cup

5. Nest inner and outer shell

6. Slot final set of tabs

M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

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MODULAR HANGERS

4” 4 in small

5.55.5”in medium

7” 7 in large

AGGREGATION PATTERNS 90°

45°

90°

45°

These modular hangers house a sample size of Neuro in their centers. They are easily deployed on plate glass via a simple suction cup, and can transform any street front into an engaging and unusual product giveaway.

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AMANDA LEVESQUE


rican Apparel

Made in LA

122 in 122” 85 in 85” 99” in 12 12”in

M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

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20

AMANDA LEVESQUE


M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

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FOOD CULTURE

I compiled this research in 2012 for a design-research seminar at University of Michigan with Professor Geoffrey Thun. It focused on the intersection of How can first-hand research regional industries and cultural practices, investigated at Detroit’s famous Eastern through the lens of data-driven cartography as Market generate fresh insights well as in-field research and interviews. I selected for America’s health epidemic? the food industry, with a particular interest in looking at farmers markets as a viable alternative to conventional supply chains. This involved a comprehensive Field Research Cultural Analysis research scope, from agricultural practices to environmental and health concerns. By mixing recent statistics with first-hand Visualization accounts as well as visual analysis with critical writing, this Critical Writing research essay paints a holistic picture of the issue and offers a tactical backdrop for design opportunities. The research from this seminar was assembled collectively for a book called MetaShed, which examines the Great Lakes’ watershed as a major regional boundary for a variety of material and industrial flows. The following spreads are an excerpt from my contribution to the publication.

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AMANDA LEVESQUE

131


As food production becomes increasingly globalized, the culture of eating is further distanced from the agricultural act at its origin. This distance can be traced quite literally to urban development patterns over the last century, when 40 percent of the population still lived on farms, buying and consuming food with an intimate knowledge of local and seasonal contexts. Food required minimal packaging as it was rarely transported for longer than a single day, and processed food simply referred to products that were canned, dehydrated, salted, or smoked. Today, a mere one percent of people live on farms, and consequently, the relationship between food production and consumption has completely transformed. Short of media outbursts denouncing salmonella outbreaks or botulism risks, consumers rarely take notice of the seasonality or locality of food purchased from mainstream retailers. Food is not only processed but engineered, and commonly travels 1,500 miles before it is consumed. This shift away from localized food sources is rooted in the transportation and technological innovations coinciding with World War II. Expanding road networks and refrigerated trucking revolutionized agricultural shipping processes, allowing for regional patterns of agricultural growth according to land and climate. Geographic specialization, offset with a reliance on imported food products, laid the groundwork for a globalized food system governed by a broad range of externalities, from free trade agreements to packaging science. However, amidst the complexities of a globalized food supply, World War II also gave rise to a promising agent in the relocalization of the food system—

the farmers market.

01

02

03

After the war refrigerated trucks became widely used increasing the range of produce.

Authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 the highway system greatly improved trucking increasing the range frsh produce could be transported.

01

M. ARCH OPTIONS STUDIO

02

BRAND STRATEGY // ENVIRONMENTS DESIGN

Geographer Jane Pyle’s 1971 essay Farmers’ Markets in the US: Functional Anachronism renews interest in the unpopular markets.

03

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Figure 01: Duboce Street Farmers’ Market, San Francisco. August 14, 1943 04

05 Direct Marketing Act of 1976 allows farmers to sell their produce directly to buyers.

04

06

05

06

07 08

24

WIC Farmers’ Market Nutricion Program (FMNP) provides extra benefits to Women, Infant, Child (WIC) members which can be exhanged for eligeble food from farmers, farmers’ markets, and roadside stands. Budget of $20 million

As a response to fast food Slow Food strives to preserve traditional and local cuisine while encouraging farming plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.

AMANDA LEVESQUE

09

10

12

15

11

13

16

14

17

18 19


42%

parking lots

16% parks

12%

15%

town squares

public buildings

13%

public streets

A Brief History The farmers market as we know it was born in 1943. Labor and transport shortages due to war vacancies rendered urban retailers incapable of maintaining supply chains to metropolitan areas with the greatest demand for product, exposing the fragility of a non-local food supply to great affect. Frustrated by the logistical deficiencies of regional produce brokers, six farmers in San Francisco defied local legislation to engage in the first documented direct-to-consumer sales operation, vending from produce trucks parked in open spaces throughout the city. Thousands of consumers were attracted to the notion of fresh produce, sold at prices 65% below retail against a backdrop of wartime rationing policies. Within 30 years, the popular demand of farmers markets was addressed by the federal government through the Direct Marketing Act of 1976. The act both legalized and subsidized the operation of farmers markets as an instrumental venue for nutritious and inexpensive food supply in urban areas. Clearly, from its very inception, the farmers market has filled critical gaps in a top-down system of food supply, thanks to a high degree of mobility and versatility. Figure 02: Farmers markets in the Great Lakes by location frequency, 2010 07

08 U.S. Department of Defense began a project that offers its food-buying services to local institutions, such as schools and hospitals, to take advantage of its unused trucking capacity.

ELECTIVE SEMINAR

09 Jane Atkinson and John Williams publish: Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Markets: Breathing New Life into Old Institutions predicting the resurgence of farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets based on an increase in fresh food demand.

FIELD RESEARCH // STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Community Food Project Grant (CFP) established to award grants to projects that address food insecurity issues by supporting communitybased food projects in low-income communities.

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widely used increasing the range of produce.

system greatly improved trucking increasing the range frsh produce could be transported.

01

the US: Functional Anachronism renews interest in the unpopular markets.

02

03

It’s worth remembering that it took decades before the campaign against the tobacco industry could point to any concrete accomplishments. By this standard, the food movement is making swift progress. -Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma 203,211,926

+18.5%

US Pop

+14.5% 179,323,175

Increa

se

+13.3%

t In

c

ulation

Ma

rke

+7.3%

Far m

ers

151,325,798

US Population

132,164,569

-133%

01

02

03

Farmers’ markets

1935

1940

1945

1950

1955

01

Geographer Jane Pyle’s 1971 essay Farmers’ Markets in the US: Functional No data Initial decrease Anachronism renews interest in the unpopular markets.

342

Authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 the highway system greatly improved trucking increasing the range frsh produce could be transported.

455

After the war refrigerated trucks became widely used Post-depression increasing the growth range of produce.

1960

1965

02

10

03

11 Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) provides matching funds to state agencies to assist in exploring new market opportunities for food and agricultural products and encourage research to improve the performance of the food market system.

The Community Food Security Initiative sought to forge partnerships between USDA and local communities to build local food systems, increase food access, and inprove nutrition.

+18.5%

US Pop

ulation

203,211,926

+14.5%

Increa

se

AMANDA LEVESQUE

179,323,175 +13.3%

c

26

1970


farmers to sell their produce directly to buyers.

members which can be exhanged for eligeble food from farmers, farmers’ markets, and roadside stands. Budget of $20 million

while encouraging farming plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.

04

05

06

07

09

10

08

12

11

15

13

16

14

17

18 19

308,745,538

281,421,906

+203% +176% 248,709,873

+130%

+142% +128%

226,545,805

+138% +111%

+118%

+13.2%

+11.5%

+9.8%

+9.7%

7,175 6,132

07 08

4,685

WIC Farmers’ Market Nutricion Program (FMNP) provides extra benefits to Women, Infant, Child (WIC) members which can be exhanged for Growth afterfood thefrom 1976farmers, Federalfarmers’ Law eligeble markets, and roadside stands. Budget of $20 million

1995 06

4,045

05

3,706

1990

3,137

2,863

2,746

06

As a response to fast food Slow Food strives to preserve traditional and local cuisine while encouraging farming plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.

1985

04

2,410

05

1,755

1980

1,890

Direct Marketing Act of 1976 allows farmers to sell their produce directly to buyers.

1,697

602

1975

1,225

04

2000 09

2005 10 11

2010 12

15

13

16

14

17

18 19

308,745,538

281,421,906 action towards food systems (continued) Figure 03: Time line contextualizing the cultural awareness and political

12 +176%

13 The Biggest Loser is centered +203% around a cast of obese people who are attempting to win cash prizes by losing the highest percentage of weight relative to their initial weight. The show is currently broadcast in twenty seven countries. 226,545,805

248,709,873

Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me records the physical and psychological affects of a fast food only diet. The film grosses over $30 million at the box office, creating +128% an awarness of healthy eating.

+142%

+130%

+138% +111%

+118%

+13.2%

ELECTIVE SEMINAR +11.5%

27

FIELD RESEARCH // STRATEGIC ANALYSIS +9.8%

+9.7%


Today, amidst a health crisis in the United States and an energy crisis worldwide, consumers are once again challenging the logic of a globalized food system. Championed by media icons from First Lady Michelle Obama to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, significant cultural awareness towards food issues has added terms like transfats, whole grains, and most recently “pink slime” to household vocabulary. In response, consumers are changing their purchasing habits to take a more active role in the social, environmental, and economic stability of their food. Coinciding with this trend, 1,043 new farmers markets were established in the US in 2011, totaling 7,200 nationwide. A full third of these markets are located in the Great Lakes.

Total farms

Pasture land

Why study the Great Lakes? The Great Lakes Megaregion is emerging as particularly receptive grounds for the recast of food culture and is primed to realize the relocalization of food supply chains. Unlike the adjacent Great Plains, where vast swaths of corn and soybean are cultivated to produce predominantly animal feed, the Great Lakes host farmland with an opportune mix of scale, variety, and distribution to support a healthy human diet (Figure 05, right).

Crop land

Orchards

Figure 04: Regional specialization of agricultural products at the national scale 14

15 Child Nutrition and WIC Reathorization Act of 2004 requires school districts participating in federally funded meal programs to implement local wellness policies.

28

16 Michael Pollen’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma analyzes the typical american diet placing an emphasis on the importance of fresh and organic produce.

AMANDA LEVESQUE

National Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) awards competative grants for local governments, agricultural cooperatives, farmers’ markets, and other eligeble groups to improve and expand farmers’ markets, CSA and other local food markets.


Farmland by Type

Pasture TOMATOES Tomatoes STRAWBERRIES Strawberries GRAPES Pasture Grapes CHERRIES Tomatoes Strawberries Cherries CORN Grapes Cherries Sweet Corn APPLES Sweet Corn ONIONS Tomatoe Tomatoe Onion GREEN Onion GreenPEAS Peas Cucumber CUCUMBERS Green Peas Cabbage Beans CABBAGE Cucumber Asparagus BEANS Cabbage ASPARAGUS Beans PASTURE LAND Asparagus

Figure 05: Detail of agricultural production in the Great Lakes Megaregion 17

18 Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFNMP) provides low income seniors with coupons that can be used at authorized farmers’ markets, roadside stands and CSA programs.

ELECTIVE SEMINAR

19 Documentary film examining corporate farming in the US, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, environmentally harmful, and abusive to both animals and employees.

FIELD RESEARCH // STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

First Lady Michelle Obama visits Sesame Street to promote her campaign for healthy and organic food.

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Detroit DETR OIT 0 mi

5

10

20

30

40

WOODWARD AVE

I-75

3

2

50

60

METROPOLITAN

70

80

SUBURBAN 90

100

110

120

RURAL

I-290

What Data Can Tell Us

I-55

1

A closer look at the most recent USDA data helps explain this correlation between the success of farmers markets in the Great Lakes and its regional variety of agricultural activities. Studies show that farms within a 100 mile radius of metro areas recoup almost 90% of their income through direct sales such as farmers markets, totaling $1.1 billion in 2007. Produce farms particularly excel at this direct-to-consumer marketing, accounting for about half of all sales while representing only a quarter of farms. Cumulatively, these statistics point to small produce farms within metropolitan corridors as the key to viability in local food networks. 0 mi

5

10

20

30

AMANDA LEVESQUE

40

50

60

70

30

80

90

The cartographic analysis above reveals an agrarian figure full of exactly this phenomenon SUBURBAN RURAL METROPOLITAN (Figure 06). Taken through popular metro corridors of Detroit and Chicago respectively, these maps visualize the 100-mile diet, popularized by local food advocates, available toCHICAGO these two cities, complete with the variety of products sold at farmers markets, the seasonality of their operations, and their proximity to active farmland. Produce farms are most abundant.


CHICAGO

LEGEND SUBURBAN

METROPOLITAN

50

im 0

40 - 55%

5

25 - 40%

MARKET

CASE STUD

1

PRODUCTION

10 - 25% AGRICULTURAL LAND USE

01

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

70

RURAL 90

Chicago

METROPOLITAN

SUBURBAN 60

RURAL

OPEN SE

OPEN YE

55 - 70%

VE

1 55-I 092-I

MAR (LO

LEGEND

MAR

1

MEAT FISH

40 - 55%

55 - 70% FARMLAND

55 - 70%

METROPOLITAN

MARKET DAYS (IMPORTS)

im 0

40 - 55% FARMLAND

5

25 - 40%

01

25 - 40% FARMLAND

02

06

ARTISINAL

MARKET DAYS (LOCAL FOOD)

LAND USE

03

I-75

WOODWARD AVE

07

08

09

SUBURBAN BREADS

URAL

CONSUMPTION

001

3

FRUIT PRODUCT AVAILABILITY VEGETABLES

04

2

YEAR ROUND HOURS OPEN YEAR ROUND

10 - 25% FARMLAND BY 10 -ACRE 25% AGRICULTURAL

DETROIT

DAIRY EGGS

I-290

MARKET DAYS (LOCAL FOOD) I-55

MARKET DAYS (IMPORTS)

ELECTIVE SEMINAR

FIELD RESEARCH // STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

31

PRODUCTION

SEASONAL OPENHOURS SEASONALLY

PRODUCT AVAILABILITY

CONSUMPTION

PRODUCTION

FRUIT FRUIT VEGETABLES VEGETABLES BREADS BREADS ARTISANALARTISINAL MEAT MEAT FISH FISH DAIRY DAIRY EGGS EGGS

CASE CASE STUDY STUDY MARKET

1

Agricultural proximity 3

Product availability OPEN YEAR ROUND

LOCATION 55 - 70% MARKET LOCATION

GRICULTURAL AND USE

LEGEND

OPEN SEASONALLY

05

5

10

0 mi

information 40 - 55%

20

40

30

METROPOLITMarket AN

25 - 40%

PRODUCTION

DETROIT

CASE STUDY MARKET

57-I

MARKET LOCATION 10 - 25% AGRICULTURAL LAND USE

EVA DRAWDOOW

06: The “100-Mile Diets” of Detroit and Chicago’s metro areas


When mapped at the regional scale, farmers markets light up the major metropolitan areas of the Great Lakes with activity (Figure 07, right). Shown in red, they form a legible network of food distribution, concentrated along major regional highways and culminating in the dense infrastructural nodes of Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, and Milwaukee among others. Through this extensive network of distribution, farmers markets are well positioned to radically change the North American diet, especially in urban settings. The major barrier which stifles these possibilities is the widely accepted belief that farmers markets only cater to consumers with the means to pay more for quality food products. This criticism contains the dangerous assertion that fresh, nutritious food is a luxury, rather than a basic human right.

What if we consider farmers markets as an opportunity to bridge nutritional and economic gaps instead? Many are already primed for consumers on a budget. Through data analysis alone, this potential may go unnoticed. The specialty and gourmet items commonly available at farmers markets can inflate the average price of goods compared to conventional grocery retailers. As a result, few studies on farmers market economics reach consensus on whether shopping at farmers markets on a regular basis is economically feasible for those with modest incomes. As with any food retail experience, it depends on the individual consumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s choices. Many of the most common staple food items for healthful meals are available at a lower price at farmers markets than in a produce aisle because they are grown locally and purchased directly. Additionally, supermarket chains rarely permeate into city centers due to the large floor areas they require, meaning households without a car lack the transportation options necessary to reach them. Farmers markets, on the other hand, are built to thrive in these inner-city areas, injecting fresh and nutritious food precisely where it is needed most.

32

AMANDA LEVESQUE


Montreal

Toronto Milwaukee

Buffalo Detroit

Chicago Cleveland

Pittsburgh Indianapolis

Columbus

St. Louis Cincinnati Farmers Market

Supermarkets FARMERS MARKETS

SUPERMARKETS

Figure 07: Density map of farmers markets vs supermarkets in the Great Lakes

ELECTIVE SEMINAR

FIELD RESEARCH // STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

33


34

AMANDA LEVESQUE


Case Study: Detroit’s Eastern Market To pursue this line of thinking and its possible design opportunities, research continued on the ground at Detroit’s historic Eastern Market. Originally opened in 1841 for the sale of wood and hay, its contemporary role as a farmers market attracts 40,000 visitors every Saturday to over 250 stalls. It boasts a prime downtown location, year-round operation, a scale rivaling most food terminals, and a rich history with the city. It also operates in the heart of one of the worst food deserts in the country. But even as Detroit’s fiscal problems grow increasingly apparent, this market bustles with a vibrant public atmosphere. Surely, amidst all these extreme and complex qualities, Eastern Market is getting something right. To get a qualitative sense of consumer behavior there, shoppers were invited to share their experiences over cider and donuts prepared by an Eastern Market institution, Al the Donut Man. The conversation routinely turned to supporting local businesses, cooking healthy meals, and the art of stretching a dollar. Vice President of Operations, James Sullivan, as well as several of the vendors also volunteered their knowledge and concerns. The transcripts and a summary of findings were presented to the market’s Board of Directors to encourage future growth according to their customers’ perspectives.

ELECTIVE SEMINAR

FIELD RESEARCH // STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

35


“ I’m willing to splurge on specialty items if I know how to cook them right. I like to ask the vendors for tips. -Student, age 32

“ Given the choice, I buy local over organic. I don’t trust that word much. -Sales manager, age 41

“ I don’t really walk in with a plan or a list. Usually, I just buy whatever calls my name. -Artist, age 25

The most surprising findings relate to recent operational changes that accommodate SNAP benefits, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Known as the Food Stamp Program dating back to 1939, the 2008 Farm Bill drastically modernized the initiative, relieving stigma and increasing efficiency through the incorporation of debit card technology. The physical stamps were phased out and replaced with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards which are accepted by the same card-reader devices already in place at most major retailers. Though this change was easily incorporated at supermarkets, it presented a major challenge to farmers markets— aid recipients couldn’t swipe their EBT cards at vendor stalls. The lack of this simple technology prevented many people from purchasing fresh food.

36

AMANDA LEVESQUE


“ I want my kids eating fresh food. The grocery stores in my area have no fresh fruit or vegetables at all. -Locksmith, age 55

“ It was a blessing that they put this token system in down here. It makes you feel good when you can help someone. And I think it helped the market a lot. It gives us farmers a chance to survive in this economy, too. -Vendor, age 53

11: Interview Profiles

Eastern Market pursued a low-tech solution. Upon arriving at the market, shoppers were invited to exchange their food credits for specially designed tokens, effectively establishing a new microcurrency. Farmers could then recoup the value of the tokens at the end of the market day, and the boost in business is substantial. One vendor estimates that his apple stand has seen a 20% increase in sales volume since the transition. The tokens are wildly popular among shoppers as well, with nearly a quarter of Wayne County’s two million residents enrolled in SNAP. A program of this kind establishes farmers markets are a venue of social equity, where every shopper can find farm-fresh food, not only within their budget, but also as part of an engaging environment. It’s success elegantly demonstrates how a very simple design move can create impactful experiences at multiple levels.

ELECTIVE SEMINAR

FIELD RESEARCH // STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

37


DIMENSIONS 26 After 25 years of publication, how can a journal reimagine its identity and voice? Art Direction Publication Design Content writing Copyediting

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For the 2013 academic year at the University of Michigan, I served as as the managing editor of Dimensions—the school’s annual, student-produced journal of architecture. It contributes to critical discourse at the college by documenting the most compelling work produced by its students and faculty. After 25 issues, Volume 26 demanded a fresh take on the journal’s identity and voice to open a new era of its publication.

To do so, the editing team created a graphic language which would tie the book together, from its cover to its endmarks. Additionally, a pop of fluorescent pantone ink and a removable dust jacket poster made Volume 26 a landmark issue in the long and prestigious history of the journal. After soliciting work, selecting content, designing layouts, and some extensive editing, we ran 2,000 copies on an offset press. Dimensions was distributed at the 2013 graduation ceremony and will be used as promotional material for prospective students in future years.

AMANDA LEVESQUE with Anthony Pins, SJ Kwon, Eric Nelson, Yi Yuan, and John Hilmes


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IDENTITY AND COLLATERAL

MAST HEAD

LETTERFORM

PATTERNS AND FILLS

rrough: hink we are entering a new age for the “little n architecture?

mina: e differences, of course, between contemmagazines and the magazines of the 60s and r example, is a part of a new culture of theory It’s not a platform for long, scholarly articles footnotes. It’s something else. So in reaction we are seeing the emergence of a new kind azine. This always happens when a new meecting older forms of media, akin to how teleeen affected by the internet. The magazine pear, but it will radically change. D

POSTER // DUST JACKET

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END SIGN

ecture as Narrative

you this kitchen. It is like those of our houses in dishwasher]. This is our newest model. This is in thousands of units for direct installations in a, we like to make life easier for women...

Interview

2 ompetition Winner

pitalistic attitude toward women does not occur

y, or the right to choose, is the most important e one decision made at the top by one governve many different manufacturers and many dif40 LEVESQUE with Anthony Pins, SJ Kwon, Eric Nelson, Yi Yuan, and John Hilmes ng machines so that theAMANDA housewife has a choice.


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LAYOUT STRUCTURE FOR TITLES Thesis:

As_Built Designers:

Advisors:

Justin Mast Andrew McCarthy Matt Nickel Kurt Schleicher Andrew Stern

Lauren Vasey Ning Wang Brenna Williams

With the ambition of reacquainting architec-

a result, the group adopted and practiced

ture’s thesis polemic with the act of making,

intelligent agility—to deftly problem-solve

As_Built sought to challenge a group of 13

under pressure. Through the course of the

thesis students to collectively develop a full-

project, a working dialogue emerged between

scale installation through a process of design

the unpredictable nuance of site, material

iteration and site negotiation. Building on

properties, design agenda, and resultants.

the University of Michigan’s fabrication

The thesis group learned to recognize and

lab resources, this project translates design

exploit the potential accidents and mishaps

from digital space to material tectonics, then

that were created by complex constraints

takes it a step further by siting the work in

which included: practical considerations,

an existing building—in this case, a vacated

client desires, construction sequence,

auto body shop in Detroit’s North Corktown

structural capacity, material economy,

neighborhood.

budget concerns, bureaucracy, component

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Anand Amin Andrew Aulerich Lauren Bebry Ashley Goe Tarlton Long

Thesis

Maciej Kaczynski Catie Newell

built intervention enforced an active discus-

Acknowledging and embracing that there are

sion on the role of installation work within

aspects of architecture that cannot be fully

the context of architecture and community

expressed, explored, or known when left on

development. Furthermore, beyond the built

paper, the thesis seminar embraced hands-on

output, the theoretical underpinnings sought

making as well as the iterative prototyping

to empower students to embrace creative

necessary to expose and actively utilize such

and alternative modes of making.

Kaczynski | Newell

transportation, and on-site adjustments. The

Actualizing and Intelligent Agility

physical occupation. Through actualiza-

Working Teams and Teamwork

tion—to make actual, or real—the project

To launch the project, the students were pro-

was often met with unforeseen consequences

vided a client, site, contractor, and a modest

that needed to be addressed quickly, on-

budget. Aware that their design would be

the-spot, and/or through improvisation. As

tested in-field, the students eagerly met the

As_Built

effects, atmosphere, material behavior, and

As-Built Installation Site A former automobile body shop at the intersection of 14th Street and Perry Street in Detroit

FOR IMAGES Historical Images of Industrial Cities in America The project recuperates the tradition of the architectural ‘capriccio’ as a means to emphasize the history of labor movements in North America and to make legible the physical semblance of these movements in cities including Sudbury, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. (Images courtesy of the Albert Kahn Collection of the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

questions, the book and attendant exhibi-

and created the footprint of the Sudbury

tion Stainlessness advance a tendentious

Basin astrobleme. To understand the

history of architecture, extraction, and

Anthropocene, we must first begin to grasp

cultural memory as they persist in Sudbury,

the force of the human. We must begin to

Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

think the magnitude of human impact and the oblique but undeniable consequences

In the book, I first develop a tendentious

for our biological species-being as it mani-

history of the Sudbury Basin, where the

fests a geological reformation; in order to

world’s most strategic nickel deposit is

do so, several problematic assumptions

mined along the irruptive rim of a massive

must be laid to rest.

for the production stainless steel. Through

First, despite the frequent knowledge

a reading of the denuded landscape of

claims of architects regarding reasonability

the Basin and its toxicosis, as well as the

or rationality, the overall activity of the

surface level dispersion of steel that it

human species is entirely acephalic; that is,

permits by way of mineralization processes

the aggregate impact of human actions on

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astrobleme to be converted into an additive

American Hole Wizard An industrial drill press worker on the assembly line

in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, we enlabor unrest, and aesthetic meditation (in the sense Georges Bataille, following Nietzsche, gives to the term). As we become entangled in these questions, we can begin

Fellowships

counter questions of cosmic contingency,

to reconsider the legacy of labor in the anthropocene and its modulation of our most pernicious cultural value—stainlessness—by reading both the remainders and erasures of refinement. In order to do so, the book suggests that we first locate the site of our inquiry within the broader logic of modern industrial activity. The pseudonymously named force most commonly known as Homo sapiens is expanding its territory of influence, or—perhaps more correctly—that force is beginning to recognize its reflection within the expanded field of its operations. No longer confined to the organic register of biology—although by no means freed from it as a limit condition—humans are a geologic force with an impact comparable to that that struck the earth nearly two billion years ago during the Paleoproterozoic era

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AMANDA LEVESQUE with Anthony Pins, SJ Kwon, Eric Nelson, Yi Yuan, and John Hilmes

Turpin

caused by the bolide (i.e. a fireball-asteroid)


FOR TEXT, Style A

JH: How do you select the territories that you work on in the projects? What sort of process gets you into these places? LS: It usually starts with a very broad hunch, if I were to be totally honest. Often, there’s an element of accident followed by rigorous research at different resolutions, and we pick up productive leads along the way. Slowly, places like the American Southwest, and particularly the Salton, emerge as a condenser and a litmus test of so many issues related to water infrastructure—and all happening essentially in our backyard, yet rarely rendered obvious in the design disciplines. Similarly, for Next North, we began very broadly and then would happen upon interesting intersections. And we find, for example, that the caribou are diminishing in a certain region, and

LS: That’s an interesting question. I want to say idealism. I think the profession is a hugely powerful one, and I remain hopeful that if we are better, smarter, and more nimble advocates for the range of things that we can do, that will only help the profession and perhaps help reclaim our role in shaping the immediate and larger contexts in which we operate. I think there were a range of people, particularly in grad school, that raised questions of this sort. I took one studio in particular that interrogated what the limit of architecture is. The question resonated with me at the time and long after, though maybe without my full awareness. The premise of the studio was the condition of disaster. The studio sought to ask, “What is the least architecture can do before the project becomes purely technical or engineered?” This may seem odd, given the very large scale of Lateral’s projects, but I think we’re very much interested in what is the least you can do. That’s what we try to accomplish, while maintaining a certain instrumentality from a social, cultural, and aesthetic perspective. D

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LS: I know, I know. Americans always laugh at this, but they literally use the term “Southerner” up there. That dynamic is very interesting. I know people that have been in the North for ten years, and they’re still referred to as a Southerner because it’s as much a cultural distinction as a geographic distinction. We know that one can never understand someone’s culture fully, and there’s a fairly large gap between growing up in a city like Toronto and trying to envision everything from social dynamics to cultural dynamics and so forth from a Northerner’s perspective. Projects like the Arctic Food Network very much engage questions of culture by recognizing that food harvesting, food sharing, etcetera, is central to the Inuit way of life because that’s their means of survival. So we have to deal with these issues in a very conscious way within our work. It’s like any thesis, really. You’re trying to invent the project, which means figuring out where architecture has a role and where it doesn’t.

D26: As a final note this afternoon, are there any particularly formative experiences you had as a student that shape the work you are doing today?

Interview

D26: It’s funny that someone from Toronto is considered a southerner of Canada.

it corresponds to a area where many research stations are based. So we begin to wonder how these seemingly unrelated stakeholders and effects might be leveraged against each other and how architecture might become the mediator in that process.

Talk-Show on Clip, Stamp, Fold A Conversation between Beatriz Colomina and John McMorrough

John McMorrough: As we are here to discuss the exhibition Clip, Stamp, Fold, here in the Liberty Annex gallery, literally amidst the exhibition, I was hoping that as a starting point to this conversation you could generally describe the subject of the show—the “little magazines” of architecture. Beatriz Colomina: Before we begin, let me just thank you very much for inviting me to come here and for bringing the exhibition to this fantastic place. I’m really happy that it came here to Michigan. The exhibition has been touring for six years since it opened at The Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York in 2006, and it continues to tour. It’s like the Energizer Bunny—we cannot stop it! As it moves from country to country, the exhibition incorporates new

ideas, new research, and new magazines. In that sense, it is an interactive archive. For example, it was most extraordinary for me to bring the exhibition back home to Barcelona. I thought I knew everything about magazines from Barcelona, yet we found little magazines that even the very protagonists have forgotten. The thing about little magazines is that, by definition, they proliferate and disappear. Sometimes, the creators of these magazines forget what they did.

Colomina

LS: Much to my mother’s horror, Mason and I both have sabbaticals coming up, and we’ve been talking about going up there for a period of time. We’ve traveled there several times now, but to fly in for a week is very different than living there, particularly in the context of the North. There’s a whole set of complex cultural challenges in terms of being a Southerner projecting onto the North, and I think it would be hugely helpful for us, both to build knowledge and to build trust, to spend a significant amount of time there. We keep joking that we’ll open an outpost of Lateral in Iqaluit, but we haven’t figured out the logistics of that yet!

John McMorrough: In the staging of the exhibition was there any opportunity for the creators of the magazines to remember their efforts—that is, were any of the original players part of the exhibition effort, or did they at least come to the gallery to see the show?

But I think when you start telling people on Facebook to show up on this street corner at 9:00 PM… what I was

I was so into architecture, living and breathing it, totally geeking out on it. It was a little bit scary to me that I could find another lover and so quickly forget the last one. Dimensions 26: Was it easy to give up that mantle of “architect”? Evan Roth: Yes and it actually was almost scary to me because I was so into architecture, living and breathing it, totally geeking out on it. It was a little bit scary to me that I could find another lover and so quickly forget the last one because it’s not really part of my nature to be that way. It’s not that I don’t think about architecture or that I’m no longer inspired by it. But it’s just a little bit scary that you can be so far into something that you think is all consuming and then you take a little bit of a right turn. All that faded really quickly for me. I don’t look at architecture the same way I used to. Maybe in another five or ten years from now, I’ll be the same way with code. Maybe I’ll just be so bored of it, I’ll be making rap albums or something. Dimensions 26: Do you have an MC name? Evan Roth: No comment, no comment! There may be several, none of which I’d be happy to have written down. Dimensions 26: So, the projects and installations we saw this weekend at D-lectricity drew some people into parts of the city they don’t normally visit. What do you consider the limitations of those sort of interventions, and are they a sustainable practice for rejuvenating parts of the city?

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interested in doesn’t work that way. And especially as a lot of projection mapping pieces are getting really popular and people are expecting these light shows—and I don’t make light shows. I don’t do it very well. It’s not what I set out to do with a lot of pieces of the Graffiti Analysis. The first one I was doing as a projection piece is boring as hell. If you’re going to show up at a street corner at 9:00 PM and expect to be entertained for an hour, you’re going to be really disappointed. If you’re just walking through Brooklyn and you happen to see this piece, you’ll remember that night. At least for the next week or so. And so I think the downfall of some of these festivals is that I think people are experiencing a subpar version of a certain kind of projection work. It’s not as if all public space projection pieces are aiming to be that though. I think D-lectricity was focused in a smart way. Working with them was actually cool for me too because everybody else really wants Laser Tag and a lot of the more interactive, really punchy, entertaining pieces that I’ve done in the past. When I explained this to them, even though the audience would have loved it, they were cool and willing to work with me to do a piece that I think fit that venue better. But it’s a tough sell. Part of what I do now is when I get an invitation from festivals, I try to explain to them some of these things and tell them that if we just went and did it renegade style it would be awesome. But if we just sit there and do it, all night long, it’s just gonna turn into kids drawing penises on the wall. No one’s gonna be happy and it was cool for them to hear that and they let me do a piece that I know is less interactive. I know it’s less of a crowd pleaser, but I think they got a better piece out of it.

Dimensions 26: That leads me to my next question. Your installation for D-lectricity was the digital projection counting down until the catalogue of J-Dilla’s work is public domain. Can you speak a bit on intellectual property and if there are any instances in which open source solutions can be harmful? Evan Roth: Hmm. I’m sure the answer to that is yes. The open source community is going through a big debate internally with the Makerbot. I don’t know if you’ve been following that, but there’s a really interesting conversation going on surrounding just that. What happens when you’re developing something with that community that then all of a sudden gets locked down? I think part of the answer to that question will be whatever happens with Makerbot. There are some people that are of the opinion that the community supporting that open source hardware movement was the reason that they were selling units. So it’s a big gamble for them to turn their backs on that community of developers. But they did it. I think that their answer to that question would be yes. It can be harmful. I think the reason they made the decision is that they started to see competitive models being released to the market based on their research. Which is really not “they” as an individual company, but “they” as this community that was competing with those models financially and that had all this backing. It’s one of these hard questions to answer though because you never know the answer until you go all the way through it. It’s still a very new phenomenon, especially for companies that are making money. The open hardware movement is relatively young. I think for artists such as myself, I deal with it to some degree too in the sense that I give away everything digitally that I possibly can. Mostly because I can. I wouldn’t feel comfortable living in a world if that wasn’t the case. I feel digital content is like water flowing down a mountain, You can put a dam up if you want, but the water definitely wants to go downhill. But I make a living with the art—I try to pay rent through art and it’s an old institution that doesn’t know what to do with open source either. The arts reward the opposite of openness. The arts reward limited editions, unique editions. It rewards very specific things that are devalued when they are shared and so it’s a hard question to answer ‘cause I’m sure I’ve lost financially on a lot of things by opening them up. Laser Tag is a big example of that. If I was just trying to make money, I could have made a lot more money by doing different things with Laser Tag, by making it proprietary and using it with advertising. But at the same time, I wouldn’t have been able to work with the people I was working with, both in the graffiti and hacker communities. And so for me, it’s just a decision of determining which one’s more valuable.

Dimensions 26: So when you’re working on a new project, is there a moment in the process where you pause and reflect on the potential application of that work towards spectacles of gentrification, or how it could get co-opted by an advertising company? Is there a moment where you ask yourself if you release this into the wild or not?

ART DIRECTION // PUBLICATION DESIGN

Evan Roth: I don’t go through that as much anymore. But when I first started working on Graffiti Research Lab with James Powderly, we went through this together, and there were “Oh Shit!” moments left and right. It was because part of our mission statement was that we were trying to make tools that were leveling the playing field between the visual culture of advertising and the visual culture of city inhabitants. The first project was immediately used in MTV campaigns, Coke campaigns, everywhere. And then there was that whole debacle that happened in Boston. Do you remember the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie? There was a whole shit storm where they took Throwies and turned it into a marketing campaign for this pretty crappy movie, but everybody in Boston thought they were bombs and the whole city shut down and the FBI was calling us. It was a really crazy story, but it was at a time when that viral phenomenon was new to me. Making this work I thought had a political message through the way we were releasing it and then seeing it being co-opted was really a hard pill to swallow. It hurt the first time. It hurt the second time. It hurt the third time and then slowly—the reason it doesn’t bother me quite as much anymore is that I’ve become more comfortable with the fact that when these pieces get coopted, especially by the advertising industry, they lose so much of the punch because it’s their second time around. We’ve already released something that they’re usually just copying. There’s not a lot of innovation happening. The second thing is that, whether as artists or ordinary people, people who make things because they want to make them with no ulterior motives—that honesty plays really well on the internet. I think most people online have developed really honed radars for finding honest content because they’re saturated with so much bullshit, especially growing up through TV culture. It’s that you’re taught to sit through all these advertisements and this consumer message. Now we have trained ourselves to notice those Reese’s Pieces as product placement. I get that now. You’ve tricked us once, but it’s not gonna happen anymore. So I think the reason I don’t worry about it quite as much anymore is because I see it failing when they rip off these pieces. I see it reflected in the view counts. From when we released Laser Tag, there are now videos on Youtube with several millions or at least a couple million, if not one anyway. You see the corporate rip-offs getting two or three hundred, and I think that’s happening because nobody wants to sit down and seek out content that’s selling them stuff or lying to them. You don’t want to watch bullshit in your free time. Even though Lucky Strike Cigarettes did a Laser Tag campaign in Vienna—which was a horrible, horrible mistreatment of a technology that had a political slant towards activism and against advertising—I see it failing for them in so many cases that it’s easier to sleep at night. Dimensions 26: That reminds me of the Laser Tag projection on the Verizon Building in Lower Manhattan with “NSA” inscribed in green. What are some potential institutions, technologies or practices you would to see other young designers take on today?

Interview

Evan Roth: I think the limitations of those kinds of festivals are that for a certain public space work, setting it up on a pedestal removes a lot of potential power and influence. A lot of the Graffiti Research Lab work I don’t do any more, especially at festivals. It’s the same as street art. If you just come across a graffiti piece or a piece of street art that is really good, it can have this effect because it’s reaching you in a moment where you’re not expecting to have a creative experience. And when I started doing projections, that’s how it all was. I was just going out in New York, borrowing equipment from the university and renting cars, driving around, and doing it. And it was really powerful to people because they weren’t going out to a festival. They were just trying to get to the bar and they came across this thing and that’s a really cool moment to hit people with a political message or interactive street piece or whatever it is.

Roth

it was the first time visual programming had a really friendly interface. So there were a lot of people doing Flash experimentation, which was really inspiring. I was coming home and doing that in my off hours, and then it started to creep into all the architecture proposals—especially when my boss realized that I knew how to do it. He was like, “Oh man! We can pitch this to clients and get interactive installations.” And that was pretty early in that scene. People were doing way more advanced stuff than I was doing, but it was still really new, especially to clients and outsiders. We had some big clients like the California Academy of Science. I was finding ways to sneak in the stuff I was staying up late to do into the work, and then at some point, the realization came that I should be doing that. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the architecture, but I’d fallen in love with this other thing that was different. They’re connected for sure, but it was—it is—a different scene. And that was the decision to go to Parsons. It wasn’t a decision to go to Parsons as much as a decision to get an MFA to focus on code and art, basically.

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FOR TEXT, Style B

Evan Roth: The kinds of things technologies I’m interested in are typically ones that have an empowering aspect to them, and are typically ones that are easy to reproduce—

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FINAL PUBLICATION

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AMANDA LEVESQUE with Anthony Pins, SJ Kwon, Eric Nelson, Yi Yuan, and John Hilmes


EXTRACURRICULAR WORK

ART DIRECTION // PUBLICATION DESIGN

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THE FARMSTEAD

In 2009, a Hawaiian nonprofit organization called The Kohala Center reached out to MIT community for ideas which could steer Hawaii away from a turbulent tourism economy and back to its How can an architecture proposal roots in local, cooperative farming. Professor Jan Wampler and a help a grassroots organization selection of six architecture students, including myself, explored this multi-faceted issue from a design perspective. Over the course jumpstart a self-sustaining of the semester, we workshopped a housing proposal focused economy in Hawaii? on a modernized, cost-effective farmstead that could catalyze economic self-sufficiency and environmental responsibility in one integrated Field Research Architectural Design design solution. Our primary goal to make a career in organic farming more accessible meant keeping construction and operation costs low, mitigating a Prototyping new farmer’s start-up debt. Implementation The final design included many money-saving features—modular bays that expand the house as the owner’s resources and family grows, strategic siting for natural ventilation to keep cooling and maintenance costs low, and a clustered development that maximizes the area of the surrounding farmland. Most importantly, we used the abundant supply of local bamboo as our primary material, both for structure and enclosure. Not only did this dramatically cut the cost of raw materials by eliminating the need to ship dimensional lumber across an ocean, but it potentially created a lucrative new market processing an invasive bamboo species into a viable construction material.

FOREST

SITE SECTION 46

RETAINING WALL

0

32

GARDEN

FARMHOUSE

160 ft

AMANDA LEVESQUE with Yuliya Bentcheva, Ryan Doone, Theo Issaias, Fred Kim, and Jay Tapia

ENTRY ROAD


Russia

YVR SEA China

Japan

PEK

OAK

PUS

LAX

SHA HKG TPE

HNL

90% of Hawaii’s food items are imported from the mainland.

35% of a Hawaiian grocery bill

SIN

goes to cover shipping costs alone.

Indonesia

Australia

ENTRY ROAD

GARDEN

FARMHOUSE

TRAVEL WORKSHOP

SERVICE ROAD

BAMBOO WINDBREAK

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

FARMING PLOT

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SITE PLAN

PLOT 1 6.25 ACRES

PLOT 2 6.5 ACRES

PLOT 3 6.5 ACRES

PLOT 10 8.0 ACRES

N

0

48

100

500 ft

AMANDA LEVESQUE with Yuliya Bentcheva, Ryan Doone, Theo Issaias, Fred Kim, and Jay Tapia


PLOT 4 6.25 ACRES

PLOT 5 6.25 ACRES

SHARED STORAGE

PLOT 6 6.25 ACRES

PLOT 7 6.5 ACRES

PLOT 9 6.25 ACRES

TRAVEL WORKSHOP

PLOT 8 6.25 ACRES

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

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THE FARMHOUSE

Each of the ten farmhouses uses a modular system of bays to create a flexible living space. The starter house comes with just the basicsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a kitchen, a bathroom, and a fully-screened open plan. Bamboo partitions are added to privatize space over time as needed, for example as a bedroom or as storage space. Over 80% of the final design is constructed with bamboo. Additional materials include steel bolt joinery, concrete footings, a PVC-coated fabric for roofing and upcycled shipping pallets for flooring.

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AMANDA LEVESQUE with Yuliya Bentcheva, Ryan Doone, Theo Issaias, Fred Kim, and Jay Tapia


0

TRAVEL WORKSHOP

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

2

4

6

12 ft

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THE MODEL HOME KIT

When we traveled to Hawaii to present the design, we wanted to encourage open and honest feedback with the North Kohala community. To quickly communicate the flexible, customizable options we built into the farmhouse design, we created two model home kits for the town hall style meeting. Attendees were encouraged to use the models like they would a playhouse, mixing

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and matching the 70 pieces to design their ideal home, from front porches to fireplaces to furniture. These kits were very well received and stimulated a critical, earnest conversation at the meeting. Residents were most notably enthusiastic about the use of their â&#x20AC;&#x153;backyard bambooâ&#x20AC;? as a potential building material.

AMANDA LEVESQUE with Yuliya Bentcheva, Ryan Doone, Theo Issaias, Fred Kim, and Jay Tapia


1. Position the entry porch, considering your favorite view or time of day.

2. Partition up to three rooms with bamboo dividers according to your needs.

3. If you choose to fully enclose these rooms, add a staircase to access this loft space.

4. Select furniture for the loft, or simply use it as a storage area.

5. Raise the roof.

6. Keep playing and experimenting to design your ideal home.

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ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

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PROOF OF CONCEPT // THE BUILD OUT

1. Frame out the primary structural members.

2. Install the floor joists.

6. Hoist the first bamboo wall panel and secure it to the columns with a series of J-hooks.

7. Continue securing the three remaining wall panels.

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AMANDA LEVESQUE with Yuliya Bentcheva, Ryan Doone, Theo Issaias, Fred Kim, and Jay Tapia

3. Raise the roof tr connections w

8. Install plumbi


russes and join the with steel bolts.

4. Pipe the hollows of the bamboo columns with concrete to secure the joinery.

5. Strip 3 shipping pallets to make entry stairs and floor surfacing.

ing and fixtures.

9. Drape the fabric over the roof frame.

10. Grommet and secure the fabric to complete.

Since bamboo was not considered a legal building material under Hawaiian code at the time of this proposal, we initiated a legal process alongside several community leaders to make bamboo construction possible. This involved building a full scale mock up

TRAVEL WORKSHOP

on the site over an 8-day period to demonstrate our construction techniques. This small shelter served as the proof of concept, and it will stay on site as a shower house once the farming cooperative is up and running. Fundraising for the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s construction is ongoing.

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

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THANK YOU Turn the page for a look at my resume.

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EDUCATION University of Michigan 2011-2013 Ann Arbor, MI

Master of Architecture GPA: 3.8/4.0 Honors: Taubman College Merit Scholarship Student Show Exhibitor, 2012 Student Show Exhibitor, 2013

2006-2010 Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

DESIGN SKILLS

Bachelor of Science in Art and Design GPA: 4.9/5.0

User research Visual communication Design strategy Design development Mock ups and prototypes Installations

Honors: Emerson Prize for Excellence in Architecture Phi Beta Kappa Inductee Student Show Exhibitor, 2009

Ecole Des Beaux-Arts AmĂŠricaine Summer 2010 Fontainebleau, FR

First Prize Fellowship in Architecture Tony Tappe Merit Scholarship

EXPERIENCE Continuum Innovation, Contractor May-June, 2012 Newton, MA

Worked collaboratively with the Environments Group to develop an interactive retail environment for a large corporate client. Responsible for producing architectural drawings during design development.

EHDD Architecture, Extern March, 2012 San Francisco, CA

Assisted project managers with various construction administration tasks, including RFI responses, site documentation, and meetings with the client.

Jan Wampler Architects, Intern 2010-2011 Jamaica Plain, MA

AMANDA LEVESQUE

Engaged in schematic design and design development phases for a large-scale cultural institution in China. Responsible for physical models, digital drawings, and preparation of client presentations.

Brand design Experience design Architectural design

TECHNICAL SKILLS 3D Rhinoceros AutoCAD Revit SketchUp

2D Photoshop Illustrator InDesign Final Cut Pro ArcGIS Office Excel

Fabrication

Lasercutting 3D printing ZUND knife cutting Wood shop proficiency

Howeler + Yoon, Intern June-August 2009 Boston, MA

Researched and prototyped a line of microturbines for an environmentally responsive installation, Windscreen.

Utile Design, Extern January 2009 Boston, MA

Primary model builder for design development of the Harbor Islands Pavillion.

CONTACT alevesq@umich.edu (508) 633-0006 71 Windsor Drive Tewksbury, MA 01876

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Amanda Levesque's Portfolio