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m.arch i application fall 2014

CONTENTS Front & Back Cover Design Object Visualisation Problem and Solutions Victor Papanek - Design For The Real World


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I am rewriting this essay one more time. Earlier versions began, “The day I returned home from Vermont, I was employed.” This is true. I found myself a job as a server the very first day I was out of school. I did not spend any time unemployed as my brothers had. Each spent a year jobless before they caught a break. One of them could still be considered underemployed. I made more money than most of my friends who did manage to find “real” jobs. I even made my own schedule. I enjoyed each day at work. I worked hard, stayed late,



and kept smiling even when I didn’t want to. I was given the chance to train as a bartender making a fairly intricate cocktail menu and was always asking questions in order to understand more and more about the business of running a restaurant. I got to experience a restaurant opening and was responsible for training a slew of new employees.

The last time I wrote this I tried to break down the meaning of service and of being a service provider. Architecture, at least outside academia, is certainly a service business. Not only in the initial transaction of design services, but the space should continue to serve the occupants, users, clients for many years beyond the end of the transaction. There is possibly no longer lasting art than permanent shelter, and the work will continue to reflect the business transaction and imagination and work that occurred at the outset for decades and in some cases centuries after its construction. I attempted to rationalize my choice to not pursue a design oriented occupation by defending service and a desire to serve as a fundamental trait of the architect. To be a part of the motion and theatre involved in successful restaurants and bars did not seem unlike managing the varied personalities and expectations involved in a building project. Today I don’t feel that I could write a proof, in 500 or even 1000 words, that my experience in service and understanding common threads that

make service providers successful would make me a choice candidate for architecture school. I see today that it was a defensive response to a choice to not immediately pursue employment where my heart lay—in planning and design. Or even more likely to spend a year of rejection and design-related unemployment. Serving is by no means an easy job, but choosing to immediately immerse myself in something other than architecture and design and planning was my easy way out. It is true that I want to serve; I enjoy serving. I want to serve cities, towns, families, and people of all kinds by improving the built conditions of their livelihood. I come from an environmental studies program at probably the most urban school and campus in the country. I understand our built environment to be as much a part of nature as any national park or deep and tangled forest. I do not see preservation and conservation to be the ultimate solution to our global problems. We must focus on the built and how we build in order to serve our world better.

This portfolio is the best and most involved piece of art that I have made in the past year. It does not have the polish and aesthetic of the usual architecture portfolio. Nor does it have the breadth or beautiful imagery of a former studio art major. Filling a book with my work revealed that I was in fact not doing very much work at all. I spent 60 hours a week pouring drinks and taking orders and now I am upset by the fact that I chose not to pursue art and design at the outset. This year I dedicate my efforts to problems that really concern me. My mind should be set to solving important design problems, engineering new transportation solutions, creating not waiting. I am going to architecture school to ask better questions. At least better questions than, “another margarita?”


DRINKS&DOMINOES Material known for function and not form is brought out into the open. These pieces elevate typical construction materials to a place reserved for finer material, while questioning our need to hide these materials at all. In the Caribbean, restaurants and backyards alike make use of scrap and excess building materials to make exciting and playful furniture out of building products that are often concealed or not even considered at all in contemporary industrial design. In addition to the exploration of material and color these tables were also a product borne out of method; constructed outdoors without access to high quality shop tools.



construction-grade plywood • OSB • steel pipe • reclaimed wood built using only job-site equipment


The rectilinear form of the chair is meant to exagerate the harsh angles that are not often seen in seating options created today. The stark unfinished plywood and threaded rod joinery speak of a barbarism and simplicity of design. While the side view is the emphasized form, the vertical striping of the ply emphasizes the height and thinness of each side unit. Black seat and detailing add to the darkness and discomfort when looking at the seat. Functionally, the rods across the back are located at important lumbar support points and the outermost “C” hits right at the elbow as an arm rest. Axonometric • Study Model • Cut Sheet



DRAWING Illustration in various medium Hand-drafting exercises 2012-2013


Carpenter Center Cambridge, MA 2012

Portrait in Charcoal New York, NY 2012

THANK YOU Summer 2013 While travelling in the United States I often rely on friends and acquaintances for a couch, bed, or floor to sleep on. Before leaving each destination, I drew their house or a landmark nearby on the back of stationary I brought with me. Upon my arrival back home, Each drawing was mailed with a proper thank you on the other side.



Graphic Design Project – 2012 Client: Patti Stoecker Project is an attempt to revitalize brand notoriety, maintain continuity with former brand identity, and introduce new services for the business. These additional services include a product line expansion and outdoor and indoor photography studios. The new identity is inspired by hand lettering exercises, the family and staff that surrounded the owner, as well as the identity of South Beach itself. Below, old logos are shown side by side with my work. Across are A5 “comp card” flyers - sized and styled to reflect the owner’s roots as a model.








ZER0 N0RTH STREET Yestermorrow Design-Build School UMass Architecture + Design Semester in Sustainable Design-Build José Galarza • Benjamin Cheney • Anna Lucey Austin Anderson • Grace Bennett Jennifer Cavanaugh • Brian Kennedy Mira Lieman-Sifry • Benjamin Resnick 23


Yestermorrow began when a few renegade architecture students left their drafting tables behind in favor of saws and hammers and nails. Putting together a collection of inventive ski houses and cohousing projects in Central Vermont, many built without plans by groups of students on summer vacations. A school was founded on the principle of merging designing and building. In the fall semester of 2012 a group of undergraduate students picked up the torch and built an inventive ‘krunkle’ house in Montpelier, VT. The semester was divided into six weeks

of an immersive design studio followed by a fast paced ten weeks of construction by the same group of students. Along side three instructors, six students (five of which with no prior background in architecture or construction) undertook the design and build of this two story apartment, with over 700sqft of finished space in the apartment upstairs. The small space was built with sustainability in mind, constructed to be incredibly tight and energy efficient. Use of hyper-local materials limited costs and transportation of materials. The resulting design is a collaboration between the students and homeowner to meet programmatic demands while maintaining the progressive identity of the school as a whole.


A tiny urban village in central Vermont, Montpelier serves as the state capital and as a central hub and marketplace for many people living in the surrounding rural areas. Our site was located at the crux of urban and rural. The last developable property on an urban block, it overlooks a vast forest to the north and the Winooski River to the West. Massive elevation change between North Street and the Winooksi instilled in the site exciting energy and flow and created a hierarchy of spaces at varied elevations.


Site plan at right was measured and drawn by hand.


A six week design period began with site analysis and programmatic diagramming. The foundation was halfway down a narrow, steep lot. This led to exploration of a cantilevered unit at a 45° angle. 3-dimensional studies with wood and a bandsaw explored possible configurations. I developed an early series of diagrams and sketch models in various medium to present the idea of a distinct sub-unit twisting and pulling away from the rest of the house. These studies – including sculpting blocks of wood with a bandsaw and more traditional chipboard models – demonstrate possible three dimensional configurations. After a series of critiques the twisted mass - later known as the ‘krunkle’ - was selected as the final design. The group then convened to work together to advance this design to be ready to build. Additional client meetings and programmatic diagramming led to the construction diagrams. Our small, close-knit group worked through numerous design problems and preferences in design as one cohesive group through the design phase. As the group moved into the construction phase, unfinished design duties and opportunites were assigned to individuals to complete without significant input from the group. Due to the design-build ethos embodied by Yestermorrow, often our final drawings and documents came after the final product had been built. We built with framing and insulation plans as close to reality as possible, then adjusted our drawings after each part materialized.

9' 11


/2 "


7/ 8"





7/ 8"







10 '5 -

8'9-1/2" /8 "


9' 2-

5' 55

1   






28'8" 14'9-1/2"







Realities on site often compromised figures in our framing diagrams,



Construction is not a task often undertaken by the architect. The Yestermorrow School embraces a spirit that intertwines design and construction. Students versed in design here get the opportunity to get their hands dirty; to begin to understand how space actually is constructed more than imagined. Today, typical building methods have come under fire. Generally regarded as antiquated, onsite construction incurs higher labor costs, more dangerous conditions, increased waste, and lower tolerances. No matter the merits of pre-fabrication in the future of building, the ethos and craftmanship embodied by constructing an original design is something that must be understood in order to design relevant spaces.


On location, I funtioned as site manager, responsible for ensuring proper setup and cleanup at the beginning and end of each day. Tools that were taken from our shop and studio were accounted for and returned each day. As time went on each member of the group took on more roles. I was responsible for the window schedule, sizing and pricing out all glazing on the project. There were a number of windows that did not have their size determined until the wall was acutally built which meant selecting windows and ensuring they were available was an active conversation daily during wall framing.


BEDROOM Designed to minimize waste of materials and space - this bed platform would be constructed of excess studs, be left unfinished, and would swing open on one side to allow for under-bed storage Red highlights mimic the red paint that marked each end of the 8’ studs Grey highlights demonstrate moving parts Across - Sketching a variety of bedroom options including closet configuration, window placement, furniture arrangements.



STOOP KID Austin Anderson • Grace Bennett The only means of egress begins in the driveway to the West of the house. An existing granite boulder staircase to the shady North side of the building means that three quarters of the building must be circled to reach the eastern entrance on the upper floor. Here, the wood covered entry is bright, warm, and welcoming. Jutting out beyond the house, the porch makes a dutiful appearance on the street-facing façade. The outer edge of the porch matches the roofline that also extended beyond the house at a 10° angle. The stairs were designed with the intent to greet with two materials incredibly important to the project, site-milled maple and steel. The treads match the angle of the porch and are split in three to minimize pooling water and ice. The project also gave opportunity to put our welding to the test.

UNDER THE ARCH Environmentalism and Design New York University 2011—12 Think Big—Global Issues and Ecological Solutions Mitchell Joachim, PhD Green Design and Planning Donna Goodman, AIA 38

Ecological Analysis with GIS Mary Killilea, PhD

THINKING Professor Mitchell Joachim led a number of classes investigating ecological problems that would affect the entire world. We explored world-shaking problems like climate change, population growth, cancer, and continued use of fossil fuels with unorthodox world-changing solutions. Nothing was off-limits. Design thinking and methodology was used to express our unheard of solutions in a crit-based environment. We also explored historical world-changing ideas about urbanism including Archigram, Superstudio, Motopia, and were charged to find a future that lay somewhere between an Ecotopia and Technotopia.


BIG Roadside Motel of the Future Futurists generally fall in two categories. Some fantasize about an Eco-topic back-to-theland movement, where self-sustaining communities and tribes would exist in a perfect socioecological awareness. The others believe advancing technologies will cover all our sins and any trace of past exploitation with a Jetsons’ sheen. These often include advocates of geoengineering. Here an iconically modern motel is wrapped by nature in a way that generally produces ruins. But the motel stays and continues to thrive despite preconceived notions of the built and natural environments existing side-by-side.

Global Valuation Service A globalized, authoritarian service would capitalize everything. Living and non-living items and resources would be assigned a capital value. Keystone species and land features often tossed to the side during typical fossil fuel extraction and waste disposal would have to be paid for in order to access energy-full resources. Humans would be given worth as well, and thus environmental and human costs could no longer be externalized and ignored in final product prices. Strict enforcement by a global Gestapo service would ensure compliance. Here, adverts make citizens aware of the day the new system will go live.

Austin Anderson • Gabriel Davalos



ROOFTOPS 2011 – GIS for Ecology This report was generated as part of an GIS for Ecology class for the use in determining candidate buildings for green roofs on NYU’s campus. Determining factors were uninterupted roof square footage, solar gain, and building age. A number of major buildings near Washington Square were identified as candidates, including two buildings that would go on to be retrofitted with green roofs. After presenting the report to the Sustainablity Task Force, the Department of Sustainability conducted their own feasability report, comprehensively looking at other feasability factors including cost and student safety. PURPLE buildings meet 3 requirements. BLUE ORANGE & GREEN meet 2.

2012 – Green Design & Planning This is a hypothetical transport map for the future Miami. Public transport in Miami has not been updated since its initial construction in 1982. The city is flourishing with the annual ArtBasel Expo and flocks of hipsters moving south for sunshine, but the tightly gridded city still relies on the postwar, auto dependant urbanism no longer viable. Also noted during this map’s creation is Miami’s lack of public green space, without early master planning like Olmstead’s Central Park or Emerald Necklace, how can a city retroactively plan effective large public space?


THRESHOLDS Career Discovery Harvard GSD Summer 2012

Studio Instructor: Matthew Waxman


BENEATH THE CANOPY A project devoted to interior space was also my first formal exercise in academic architecture. Exploring methods to move a person from one door to another I struggled to escape a most basic solution: stairs straight to the second floor. Other attempts included interior walls wrapping each other to obscure the final destination. Moving beyond a simple ambulatory exercise, I added context to the building. Living and working in an urban environment provides little respite from concrete. A building this long would provide a monotonous streetscape. It will no doubt house workers, daily or otherwise, many of whom likely never escape their concrete surrounding, so here exists a moment of repose. While exciting and geometric from the outside, the interior of this space would be filled with terraced landscape. Steps of varying height and width would wind toward the eventual entrance into daily life, but for a moment they could pause, sit on the earth, in a partially-protected open air environment. Sunlight filtered through the various apertures in the facade simulate sunlight scattering beneath a forest canopy.


SIGNAL/NOISE Career Discovery Harvard GSD Summer 2012

Studio Instructor: Matthew Waxman

Left: Diagrams depicting the urban condition of the site. building volume • public access • courtyard volume.



Pictured — Process Collage • Diagram Series

ANCHORING KENMORE Kenmore Square is a whirlwind site location. The sliver of land we are given to work with is a major T hub for both trains and buses. It lies at the center of three of Boston’s busiest avenues - Commonwealth, Brookline, and Beacon Street in addition to two tertiary streets. The intersection lies less than a block away from Fenway Park, is home to the famous Citgo sign, and lies at the foot of Boston University’s campus. Not to mention the proximity to the ICP and student ghetto Alston. This intersection is home to a tremendous amount of chaos - the drunkeness of BU and Fenway collide here as everyone makes their way in a circular fashion from the T-stop which is virtually unreachable. At a minimum, four lanes of roadway seperate the transportation from its users, and there are no bike lanes or buffers despite heavy bike traffic. At the narrow end of the site, the equivalent of ten car lanes seperate retail on either side of the intersection - the equivalent of a freeway. Despite the site being comparable size of many successful urban plazas or marketplaces, it is incredibly difficult to inhabit on foot. It compels pedestrians to the edge and to avoid crossing any streets. The site called for something heavy, buried into the ground at the center of the bustle, to pull people back to the center of the square. While each major wall would be stark and heavy and sharp to itself, the way each slab comes together speaks of something more loose, breaking down to the chaos of cars swirling at its edge. The interior spaces, packed tight and suspended speak of the claustrophobic feelings actively at play on this central island as transport hub. The space between the program and the envelope erodes any notion of relation between interior and exterior of building. But as the negative space between the outer shell and inner building applies pressure in both directions, in moments it bursts from its shell so that lines seperating interior and exterior public space begin to blur. An open space allows visitors to see the whole length and beyond the end of the narrow building. This space is public— drawing pedestrians into the the theatres upstairs or letting them activate the space on their own as they move from one end to the other, descending and ascending into the subway, entering and exiting between the heavy slab walls to the north and south.

SIGNAL/NOISE EXPLODED AXONOMETRIC Pencil on vellum Exploded axonometric revealed crowded nature of programatic spaces and the natural tension between the vast unpunctured walls of the outer shell with the noisey central office unit lofted in the central space of the building.



Darien, CT Shophand, June 2013 - Present Owned and Operated by Grant Tankoos I function as an all-purpose assistant taking any task to help the small business succeed. In the finish shop, we sand, oil, wax, brand and attach a handle to each board. Each board is made to order with a custom engraving ranging from simple monograms to more complex images and logos. Beyond manufacture and product fulfillment I also travel to represent the brand at trade shows and regattas across the Northeast.


Application 2014  
Application 2014  

No architecture or design background. Application to m.arch i programs for fall 2014 entry.