ARCHITECTURE STUDENT MAGAZINE
VOLUME 2 MARCH 2015
The outer covering of a vertebrate animal, consisting of two layers of cells, a thick inner layer (the dermis), and a thin outer layer (the epidermis). Structures such as hair follicles, scales, or feathers are contained in the skin, as are fat cells, sweat glands, and sensory receptors. Skin provides a protective barrier against disease-causing microorganisms and against the sunâ€™s ultraviolet rays. In warm-blooded animals, it aids in temperature regulation by insulating against the cold.
The physical structure of a building solidifies the design, coming together as the bones. The skin is the architecture, manifesting itself as a casing. Bones are the foundation while the skin serves as presentation, what the public sees. Subsequently, the environment created by the skin that engulfs structure speaks of program, experience, circulation, and spatial qualities.
Architecture combines building with theory. The structure, then, becomes the framework that gives the building integrity. Reality and what an architect perceives suddenly intersect. Conceptually, architecture can be interpreted as the fusion of skin, bones, and the in-between.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS BY RAFAEL ROCHA
LA TOURETTE BY JEANNE CANTO
DIRTY5IVE JACKSE BY BRIAN RIVERA & OSCAR VALDEZ
MANNEQUIN DIY BY AURORA ALCAIDE
GLEN SANTAYANA BY VIKKI TOU
WYNWOOD BUILDING BY PRISCILLA CUADRA
PARALLELS BY VIVIANA ZULUAGA & EDNA DESULME
NO UTERUS, NO OPINION BY PRISCILLA CUADRA & ANA MARIA REYES
A DUAL SENSORY EXPERIENCE BY DANYEALAH GREEN-LEMONS
MBUS EXHIBIT Shallow Depths
FILM FESTIVAL Olympia Theater
STUDIO CRAWL Art Center @7pm
7 YEAR ITCH Miami Theater Center
SPRING BREAK No School
GREEN & ART Market WYNWOOD Bakehouse Art Complex
GREEN & ART Market WYNWOOD Bakehouse Art Complex
4-8 FIU THEATRE Rumors @ 8pm
ART EXHIBIT MIA Art Fair FIU THEATRE Rumors @ 2pm
MBUS EXHIBIT Tom Scicluna
SOA LECTURE Enzo Enea
Lowe Art Museum
MBUS EXHIBIT Leaders of Design
FUNKSHION Fashion Week Miami Beach
MBUS EXHIBIT Morris Lapidus
MUSIC FESTIVAL Miami Music Week
SOA LECTURE Ana Miljacki
MBUS EXHIBIT Beautiful Backstreets
ART WALK Wynwood @ 6pm
’m going to tip-toe around talking about La Tourette architecturally because I’m scared of saying too much and being completely wrong, or saying too little and risk seeming naive. I learned that this building is really about experience, and having the chance to see, touch, and smell is essential to understanding it. In my case, I studied the plans and sections in school, but they are deceptively simple compared to actually walking through the building. The spaces achieve a sort of multiplicity that makes the building seem to have endless pathways and possibilities. Texture and fenestration serve as a code for you to decipher as you walk along the building that is currently inhabited by a fraction of the friars that the monastery was originally designed for. Now, architects, students, (and religious building aficionados?) fill the halls, and cells, every day. We arrived around noon, and spent the afternoon photographing and sketching while another group of French students fervently measured each slab and window. After sketching, we had dinner in the refractory with about 5 other guests that were spending the night, and this is around the time that I started feeling sketchy about the sleeping arrangements. The private sleeping “cells” for the friars are narrow, about 5 feet in width, have just a slim bed, a bookshelf, desk, and sink. At the end of the room, a balcony allows a view to the forest outside. Well really, after sundown there was absolutely nothing that I could see, just darkness. We were advised to stay very quiet at night because the noise would carry along the concrete corridors. I realized this when I would hear neighbors whispering or coughing in the halls. Now, the halls were incredibly dark, the bathroom was father down
the hall than I liked, and I confess: I’m a wimp. I thought to myself: “Just fall asleep, you’ll wake up tomorrow morning and everything will be totally cool…” and just as I said that the world’s creepiest owl hoots right outside my balcony (or at least it seemed that way). The hooting continued for an hour and I just laid there cowering under my blanket. (Why was an owl scaring me so much!? I’m ridiculous.) At some point, I nodded off and started to have an odd, yet initially comforting dream of my mother massaging my foot. I decided I wanted my mom to stop, so I tried to pull my foot away. The mom in my dream would not let go as much as I struggled. I started to yell, “Get off! Let go!” until I woke myself up by actually pulling my leg up. My elbow also hit the wall, probably making a noise that the entire hall could hear. After all that, my foot felt… weird. Warm. It was so strange. I’m not one to believe in weird spiritual stuff, but a million possibilities were running through my mind as I tucked myself extra tight into 2 layers of blankets. After the owl and weird foot massage episode, it was still only 2am and I wondered how I’d make it through the night. Technology came to the rescue and I started to watch “Moonrise Kingdom”, which in my opinion sucks, but the only other movies I had were “Leon the Professional” and the vampire film “Only Lovers Left Alive” which would not serve to soothe me into sleep. Thank goodness, that put me to sleep and I was only awakened once more by Mr. Owl. The benefit of not being able to sleep is waking up early and walking in the fog in search of a good picture. Admittedly, after the night I had, the morning fog was kinda creeping me out! But, I stuck through it and was able to get a couple pics of the blue-toned dawn before the bus arrived to take us to Ronchamp.
rian had the pleasure of interviewing Joaquin Pineda and keep track of his artistry, from inspiration to the creative process. It’s only a matter of time before he releases something new and fresh to his Soundcloud. As one of the few rappers in the School of Architecture, he delivers ingenuity through his music while he wraps up his Master of Architecture track this semester. Questions in purple are Brian, and Joaquin’s words are in black.
When did you start creating music? Ever since I was 9, I would write poems and random thoughts down onto paper. Once, in 7th grade, I was asked to read my poetry out loud in front of the class. I had the best one, and so I decided that was what I was good at. It wasn’t even always poetry, but just words that rhymed. About anything: girls, life. Damn she has nice hair, why is life unfair. Stupid shit like that [laughs]. My friend Mike, wants a brand new bike. Wants to fly a kite. Nursery rhymes. I had a notebook where it eventually transformed into Hip Hop. In middle school I became more exposed to different genres of music. Middle school was also a crazy time for me: I would skip class, get into fights, and graffiti on teacher’s doors. You were 8
that rebellious, poetry-writing, kid. Yea. Like that movie Dead Poets Society [Laughs]. I’ve always been to myself, even in High School where everybody knew me and i would speak to everyone, but I would still sit alone. I was super social, but I liked being by myself sometimes. I’m an introvert. That’s exactly what being an introvert is like! How would you like being famous? I don’t want to be famous. I want to be local. I want for my city to know who I am. And what does it mean when you say I put on for my city? Kanye made that famous. It means that you represent your city and you do what your city does. Miami is a huge melting pot. You can do anything in this city and still get recognized. A lot of these artists who paint
on [Wynwood] walls, for example, are not that well known; they’re local. But when you visit Wynwood and see their murals, you’re like Damn, I really fucking like that! You post it on your Instagram, and even though you don’t know who it is, you like it, share it, and relate to it. That’s the effect I want to create with my music.
a friend or maybe something I witnessed, and then I’ll make it as the theme to the song. Another key thing is that I try to be relatable. I try to be relevant in the sense of timelessness, where I can say something that you can relate to and it’ll still hold true years down the line.
Do you put all your energy into your music? With everything you do you should put all your energy into it. That’s just a successful human being’s qualities. And I’m not cocky, but rappers like Kanye and Jay-Z, or even rap in general, are cocky. I got cars, bitches, and chains. You want to sound confident but not cocky, that’s the key. You don’t want people to hate you, or think Damn this guy thinks he’s the shit. I want to inspire, that’s the difference.
What is your creative process? Drugs. What was The Beatles’ creative process? Jimi Hendrix? It was drugs [Laughs]! My process starts like this: I hang out with my boys who also have an interest in music and we freestyle. And freestyling is a lot like sketching: you’re just throwing out ideas even though it might not make any sense whatsoever, but that’s the spirit of it. What we do is we bring up Pandora on one of our phones, put on a station with instrumentals (no lyrics), grab our fix, and freestyle. And we’re recording the whole thing! Everything. Even when the commercial comes on, we do skits or just mess around. Has studying architecture helped in making music? Hell yeah. I wouldn’t say architecture per se, but the design process. It applies to art and even science; in science you have a hypothesis or proposal, and you try to see if it works with process or experimentation.
Where are you from? Nicaragua and Cuba. Really?! Yea, I was born here though. Most people mistake me for Dominican or Puerto Rican [Laughs]. We know you write your own lyrics. Which one of your lyrics do you think is best to you and why? Or what was your most clever line? Damn, I don’t know, I have written so much music. Those 2 mixtapes on Soundcloud are at least 2 years old already. When will you release a new mixtape/album? I’ve written a bunch of things down but there’s no theme to it. For me to release a new tape it has to have a cohesive feeling or thought throughout. You have to think of one song as a cohesive piece, and then the album as a whole also needs to come together. Do you dictate your life experiences or narrate a personal story through your lyrics? What would you say it’s really about? I like for my songs to have meaning. Or just something clever. For example, if I make a song about a girl, I try to add symbolism or metaphors. On Mile High Club, I personify Mary Jane and that’s what’s clever about that. I use terms for smoking or rolling up as relating to relationships between two people. I feel like artists find things from their life and others lives and make it relevant. Its kind of like us in architecture: we create a concept based on nature or whatever and make it be what we want it to be. It might be something that happened to me or
let’s say I listen to Eminem all day and then I write lyrics, everything is going to flow and start to sound like Eminem whether I want it to or not. That goes back to what you said about originality, that there’s no such thing. Yea, I think it represents Hip Hop. Hip Hop is a collage of things, and it’s up to you to know the history of it and know what combination of things work. Every artist has a style, and I’m still trying to find mine. You’re nothing without your style. What made Ronchamp have a style? Or Pollock? There has to be a consistency with your product. But I’m still young, and I’m evolving, ultimately finding my niche and my sound. How do you come up with beats, is it random or is there a process behind it? There’s different ways: you can either find a beat to write your lyrics around, or you can write first and get a beat produced specifically for it. I personally write to the beat, so I find it first, and then I write. Do you produce your own beats? I find them on the internet and I steal them [Laughs]. I have a plugin on my Firefox that can download any sound online. Any sound. No way! Awesome [Laughs]. So okay, I want to ask you this. You know how you have classical or Renaissance art, and then you
“FREESTYLING IS A LOT LIKE SKETCHING: YOU’RE JUST THROWING OUT IDEAS EVEN THOUGH IT MIGHT NOT MAKE ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER, BUT THAT’S THE SPIRIT OF IT.” How do you come up with clever lines? I like writing lyrics completely alone, and in my room. It’s my haven. I draw all over the walls and shit. It’s where I’m most comfortable. It’s me. That’s cool because now when I listen to your music, I’ll know that it was written when you were alone with your thoughts, and away from any influence. Like I said, I’m kind of an introvert when I’m creating stuff. I don’t like for people to influence them. With architecture, I don’t like look at precedent, because I feel like it blocks my mind and forces me to see a certain image. You get a tendency to do the same thing, even subconsciously. For example,
have contemporary art where it’s people copying and pasting old art and putting it into the new? Do you think music is like that nowadays? I feel like there’s no real originality anymore. It doesn’t exist. It’s hard to come up with something brand new. But that’s something that has always existed in Hip Hop, though. The first Hip Hop artists sampled blues and sounds from other genres like Jazz, etc. and look at what they’ve created. But lately it’s not about sampling anymore. Why are some of your songs so short? I’m just trying
orchestrator. He’s good as an artist though, because he’s all about pushing limits. If you think his music is weird, he accomplished his task. So that line always strikes me. Every time I don’t record a freestyle or I forget it, I’m like DAMN, nobody is ever going to think of that or even know it. In one of your songs you say “I could be Yeezy or Cole for all I know.” What do you mean by this? That line is from Typical Rapper, and it’s about a girl who I like but is not interested. She’s not interested because I’m a typical rapper. It’s about me breaking from the stereotype and claiming I’m not the typical rapper. That thought that you have to be ghetto, or from the hood. Not an architecture graduate. Right, not an architecture graduate. Which I think would be pretty interesting to be an architect and a rapper. A lot of people compare my music to Kanye’s and J. Cole’s. What do you think the reason is for that comparison? I think because my voice sounds like theirs sometimes. Also, J Cole is someone you could relate to. He’s very educated, and talks about real-life issues, such as #blacklivesmatter. To me he’s like the new age Tupac. And Tupac really started a movement, and motivated followers to make a change. I could see J. Cole doing that, too, in a contemporary sense. But back to you trying to break the mold, which is also why you make your songs short, does that also have something to do with your album covers? I designed both of my album covers. In one of them, I made myself into a silhouette, and I triangulated it to make it as if it’s my own vision, or my view of the world. In the other mixtape, I sampled music from a producer, whose mixtape was called Make Do, so mine was called Make Smoove. I made it smoother. The sound is really good, too! In one of your songs the background voice in the beginning is so catchy and mesmerizing. I sometimes find background sounds that inspire me and sound really good and sample them. The one you’re talking about is on Soundcloud, We Don’t All Hear, and it’s about how many people do not perceive what the artist is trying to say. At the end of the chorus I say, “Lend me your ears this time, ‘cause we don’t all hear.” We hear the beat, and the catchy hook or chorus, but we don’t listen to the lyrics.
to create a different format for music. Everything nowadays, because of technology, has became so fast and sped up. Most people don’t even listen to a whole song anymore. I like messing around with the formats: just the hook and the verse. It’s short, sweet, and to the point. The good part about it is that it leaves you wanting more. It’s a strategic plan to make you interested enough to listen to my full length songs. A lot of people challenge the format. Eminem, for example, who’s my favorite rapper, plays around with this idea in his last few albums. His story is mainly about overcoming hard times, especially recently how he almost died from drug overdose (Relapse, 2009, and Recovery, 2010). He went through a tough phase in life, and he became addicted to sleeping pills, drugs, and his best friend died. For me, my message is just to be yourself; to do whatever you want. If there’s a stereotype for what a rapper is, I want to break that mold. Who’s your inspiration? You mentioned Eminem. Ludacris and Eminem, both of them are my inspiration. Lately, though, Ludacris has gone into acting and other businesses. But when he did music, I really liked how animated he was. Like when he would say bitch, he’d be like “BEEEATCH”. I love that. You can see some
similarities between Ludacris and Eminem (in his early days). Eminem was really animated, too. What do you think of rappers nowadays? I think the whole genre has gone to shit. There’s no thesis or main idea behind it anymore. So many shitty songs out. What makes shitty songs so successful? There’s so much to it. I have friends, for example, that know Rick Ross’s crew based here in Miami, including his engineers, and stuff like that. All you need to do is know one of them, have some basic rhyming skills, and they’ll put your stuff out. Also, a catchy beat, and a catchy hook will sell your song better than anything else. [As I was recording the interview, I almost mistakenly erased the entire recording by overriding a new one over it.] That’s happened a few times to me before! Since I use the same recording app on the iPhone. It sucks. Sometimes I do the best freestyle of my life – that sounds like a verse – then I LOSE it. And it’s hard to repeat that kind of stuff! Yea! There’s a famous line by Kanye West that goes: I forgot better shit than you ever thought of. It’s like saying I’ve forgotten awesome rhymes that you never even thought of! [Laughs]. That’s a good quote! You like Kanye West? I like his mindset. Maybe not his music, but I like him more as a producer and an
What is Dirty5ive? Dirty(f)ive is derived from 305, while also representing the Dirty South. The grimy, slimy look to the logo eludes to that. And Dirty5ive is the collective? Dirty5ive is the label. It’s a collective thing, similar to the Wu-Tang Clan. A few of the members are connections made from open mic events, or people I knew who just make good music. We go to open mic events and spit. I went to a few, like one called Vice City Cypher, which showcases local talent. It’s a great place to network. You buy drinks, chill with the people, and exchange emails. That’s the only way to network: to go out there and meet them in person. It makes a huge difference when you see the artist perform in person rather than just listening to them digitally. How do you stay AWAKE? Café Cubano and Red Bulls.
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Mannequin DIY H
ow many of us have felt inspired to create our own piece of clothing, or even customize some of our own existing pieces? It would be great to have our own personal tailor to do it, but let’s face it, we live in the real world. Some of us have wondered what goes on behind the process of designing and producing clothes. We may have cool ideas in our heads, but we might not be sure how to start. We ask ourselves, “Could I do this myself?” The answer is yes. Novice or expert, one of the most important tools to have in order to make your idea tangible is to have a body form, such as a mannequin. Custom-made body forms are the best way to design clothing that will fit. It facilitates the process and helps avoid pricking yourself with a needle
(ouch!). It also speeds up the process of measuring the pieces; believe me, you don’t need to wreak more havoc in your life. For that reason, I suggest creating your own mannequin. It is easy, fast and affordable. Just grab a friend, some everyday materials, and let the fun begin!
1) Pair of Scissors 2) Duct Tape 3) Fiber Fill (From pillows or individual bags sold in craft stores or Walmart) 4) Wooden Base (heavy, scraps from wood shop) 5) Stick (broom stick works well, but any other will suffice) 6) Plastic Wrap 7) Old Fitted Shirt 8) Cardboard
1: Change into the old shirt.
You may want to grab a friend for this one. Wrap the plastic wrap over any exposed skin above the shirt’s neckline including your entire neck. This step is very important because you will be wrapping the shirt with duct tape all the way to your neck. You do not want the duct tape sticking to your skin.
: Start taping - I would suggest starting with a long strand of tape. Place it
underneath the breasts horizontally and go around your body once. As soon as that part is complete, start creating a V-neck in the front of your body by the chest area with additional tape going in a diagonal direction on both sides of the chest. Go from front to back, layering until you cover most of the upper torso and sleeves. After that, start covering the abdomen by layering tape horizontally until you reach the hem of the shirt. Lastly, cover your neck area with duct tape. At this stage, you’ll be thankful you wrapped your neck with plastic wrap. Once you are done covering your whole torso in duct tape, you will start to feel like you are inside a cast, but do not fret! This is the part where you have the appearance of a dominatrix.
: Carefully, cut the back part of
the cast from bottom to top in a straight line. Take it off and tape the back like a seam and fill the cast with fiber fill.
: For the stand, I advise
going to the woodshop and asking for assistance. Here you will have to join the stick and the wooden base perpendicular to each other. You should also make a hole in the center of a separate small piece of plank wood and insert it about midway through the stick (where the mannequin would end) to hold the form in place once it is installed.
: Now is time to cover the
bottom of your cast. In order to do this, place the cast over the cardboard and trace a line around the base. Cut the board. Then, trace the circumference of the stick to be inserted right in the middle and cut out as well. Tape the cardboard underneath the cast. Do the same for the neck and arm holes.
: The Last Step! Insert the completed body form on the stand and you’re done. You now have your very own mannequin and are ready to start creating.
INTERVIEW WITH GLEN SANTAYANA When you were a student FIU, which architects did you most admire and which architect would you say influenced your view of design? Some of the architects I admired most were Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhaas, and Herzog and de Meuron. They interested me for many reasons, one of which being they all showed the importance of a concept and how to carry it through an entire project. Being that the School of Architecture at FIU was designed by Tschumi, I got a chance to really understand and observe his concepts. Tschumi describes the school through the idea of vectors of movement; this is quite noticeable during pin up days or final reviews when you see students, professors, and visitors scurrying back and forth on the elevated catwalks between buildings. Being in the School of Architecture was somewhat like being in a 3-dimensional diagram. In comparison between FIU and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, what is the most valuable piece of knowledge you learned? In both FIU and at the Graduate School of Design (GSD), I learned that architecture is a place to test, experiment, and challenge conventional beliefs through a level of criticality and rigor. FIU instilled in me a sense of curiosity and asking the right questions when it comes to a project, ultimately, it taught me how to think conceptually. The GSD taught me how to bring those concepts into reality through creative means, while also teaching me the technicality of various forms of representation and construction. Together, FIU and the GSD provided a great balance of the conceptual and the pragmatic, which I believe make us better architects and designers. What inspired you to teach architecture?
As a professional, what was the first design project you worked on when you graduated? The first design project I worked on was at Oppenheim Architecture + Design (OAD), which was the design of a series of man-made islands in Abu Dhabi. Due to the shear scale of the project, it quickly became more about urban design and planning, which was a great learning experience. As a faculty member at FIU, what role do you think FIU SoA has in the world of design? After graduating from FIU SOA 7 years ago, the school has grown tremendously in terms of its facilities, curriculum, and enrollment, it's exciting to see the amount of growth in such a short amount time. This growth leads me to believe that FIU SOA will soon become a major contributor to the world of design. Which building in Miami do you admire the most, and which building in the world do you admire the most? One of the buildings I most admire in Miami is the 1111 parking garage for many reasons. One of them being the fact that it challenges the notion of what parking garages can be; shedding new light on a typology that tends to be discredited. Another reason I admire 1111, is because it's one of those projects that is strong both conceptually and technically; it's a great learning tool for all designers. When I was a student at FIU, I remember when Herzog came to Miami to present 1111 when it was still an animation with a couple renderings and drawings. I remember being in awe of the project, yet at the same time thinking that there is no way this will get built because of its "radical-ness." Let's just say, I am glad I was wrong.
What inspired me to teach were my professors at FIU. Some of my most memorable professors helped open my eyes to a new way of thinking, questioning, and understanding. They changed how I start a project and how I follow through on that project. The impact they had on me is what inspired me. I wanted to teach others what was taught to me, as well as what I have picked up along the way, sort of coming "full-circle."
In your opinion, what role do you think architecture plays in the world?
Glen, how do you see yourself in 10 years, teaching or practicing in the architecture field?
Outside of architecture, what is something you like to do to clear your mind?
In 10 years, I will hopefully be a licensed architect and continue to be motivated and driven by those in front of me, at my side, and those that are up and coming. To achieve this, I think there needs to be an element of both teaching and practice: education to feed the architectural soul and practicing to grasp the reality of the built environment. Having both would be the ideal situation.
What I like to do to clear my mind is nothing, especially while I am outdoors. In all sense of the word, it's a matter of doing nothing that helps me clear my mind, to try and shut off everything around me. This helps me re-focus and catch my breath.
Architecture plays a huge role in the world, it defines the spaces we dwell in, work, learn, and ultimately live. Architecture is a combination of art, functionality, and having fun. All of which addresses the human condition - emotionally, physically, and/ or cognitively.
View more interview questions online at www.awakesoa.com. Stay tuned for more in-depth professor ad faculty interviews.
or those of you who are active Wynwood goers, then you’ve probably catched a glimpse of this building during your visits. Or perhaps you’ve noticed the giant ‘Wynwood Building’ flag that can be seen miles away. Have you ever wondered what the story behind this mural is? The mural essentially covers every inch of the commercial and retail building, which serves as the welcoming promenade to Wynwood with main galleries situated inside. This building is coated in black and white stripes that tell a little known, highly imaginative story of men of war called the 23rd Headquarter Special Troops. This group of artists, architects, and set designers were part of a secret mission to save lives during WWII. Recently their story has been immortalized in the documentary Ghost Army (2013). These brave men didn’t go to war with the protection of tanks, machine guns, and grenades. Instead they relied on their imagination to develop methods of deception. Their tanks were either hand-made or inflatable. A stereo that emitted gunfire, for example, was used to trick wandering soldiers into thinking that they were in dangerous territory. It fooled the enemy into believing that they carried guns and heavy artillery. What truly inspired the Wynwood mural were the World War 2 camaflouge ships, specifically their razzle dazzle camaflouge design, which served as a canvas for an optical illusion. The point of this was to perceptually deceive the enemy into thinking that parts of the ship were farther away than others. It worked, and as you walk around the building you feel the sense of illusion. It appears father than it actually is, and stands out provocatively against the other graffiti and mural painted walls of the art neighborhood. Next time you’re in Wynwood and discover the meaning behind the artist or murals painted there, be sure to let Awake know.
he biggest organ of the body is a boundary between the inside and the outside, a system of protection and an essential extension of the protected subject - SKIN. Humans, plants, animals, and buildings all have skin. As a fourth skin- the “first” skin being human skin, the “second” being clothing, and the “third” interior surroundingsarchitecture is a canvas where one can illustrate symbolic elaborations about social standing, and personal identity. Architecture is an extension to the functions of the skin; the built environment expands our personal space into another space that is not limited to the contact and identity of our bodies.
A man by the name of Klaus greets us with his sharp blue eyes; he is as fascinating as the walls he lives within. Born in Germany, at twenty years of age, he visited New York City where he worked as a mechanic for French cars then as merchant marine. He seized luck and hopped on a train to Pennsylvania where he worked for a well-known developer and realtor of Westchester. Today, he lives on the outside of the architectural skin of Wynwood. As a resident of the area, he speaks of the development plans of the neighborhood from new private art schools to highrises. When asked if he’s ever been inside these decorated walls nodding with uneasy tolerance, he went on talking about the many locals he has helped move out because they couldn’t afford to keep their business, homes
and art galleries due to the increase in rent. He states: “You have to make a lot of money to be in this neighborhood, big galleries from Europe and around the world are making their big time money in events like art Basel”. Klaus does not perceive the gentrification of the area as the expiration of the artistic murals displayed on Wynwoods’ skin - “graffiti will never die… people come from around the world to participate in the local art competition”. His experience and perception of these walls are valid yet, not representative of the entire community. Klaus sleeps on the streets of Wynwood, his territory is not marked by thresholds or defined volumes but rather by the stories painted on the outer skin. The powerful meaning and influence
of the artistic skin of the neighborhood propels Klaus to be a guardian of the walls. He narrates how he defended the skinning of a artwork called “Running with Wolves” by Evoca1 a local Dominican figurative painter. To Klaus this painting is symbolic because it’s about saving life and protecting the innocent. To some, these symbolic tattoos don’t fully represent the identity of the people that have lived here for years but rather have become scars in the shift of Wynwood. If the architectural skin is an inclusive extension to the interior and allowance to the exterior does it include human being from the inside out of the parameters or outside in? Our physical surroundings are tangible only through the lens of human perception. 1
On the inside of the walls on North Miami Avenue a couple blocks away from Klaus, a restaurant owner born in Connecticut, mother of six, holds her new born tight as she greets us with a smile. She relocated her business to Wynwood in 2011 residing in the high-rise apartments blocks away from her restaurant. For her, the urban development of Wynwood increases her clientele base and shifts from local to foreigners and is of an economic value. Interesting enough when asked if the interior skin of her restaurant relates to the exterior facades of the community with a smirk she responded, “No way! There are cooler things happening in here then out there”. Each skin differs from one another; one protects or sets a limit from different realities. The parallel of the spectrum
validates her perception. And just like Klaus, she is engaging in a interchange between different objects, people, and her perception of what is the extension of outside-inside, whether these skins are related or not. Both share and transit within the skins of Wynwood echoing and absorbing stimulis for the spirit, mind, and the physical world that affects both physiologically and psychologically. Can the carving or decoration of this architectural canvas be part of a community’s identity? Is the markings key of the gentrification of a neighborhood? Can it elude meaning or a sense of advocacy? Does it affect our being? The many skins of Wynwood have had many shedding through its lifetime. From the time it was established as farmland to the time it
was known as “little San Juan.” Markings of graffiti are palpable issues within this community. Like tattoos on our skin that permanently identify us within a society; they become meaningful decorations that project to the inside.
Caan, Shashi. Rethinking Design and IntWzeriors Human Beings in the Built Environment. London: Laurence King, 2011.
“How can we feel safe to learn, discover, and create, when our judgment is a subject of debate?”
uring the second week of February, It was brought to our attention that a congregation of pro-life students, on the GC lawn here at FIU, were carrying signs decorated with graphic and deceptive depictions of aborted fetuses. One cannot help but flinch at the audacious attack against women’s bodies. How could people guilt women, who have an absolute right to their bodies with the promotion of false information? The subject of individual liberty for one’s body is a very present part of our experiences as women and as architecture students. How can we expect to be taken seriously if we don’t have the right over our own lives and bodies? How can we feel safe to learn, discover, and create, when our judgment is a subject of debate? If our bodies are no longer ours, can it be safe to assume that neither are our ideas? In a career where women are finally recognized for their contributions, for example the very famous Zaha Hadid, the debate against our rights place all advancements in vain. Through the years male religious fanatics and politicians have ‘Spoken out’ about being pro-life on several occasions. These men include Rick Perry, Wayne Christian, John Zerwas, Jonathan Saenz, Jim Graham, and many more. Their sermons infiltrate YouTube searches and are often covered on national and international news networks. They wear this badge with pride, and place stickers on their bumpers. They organize rallies where their followers hold large signs with graphic photographs of illegal procedures in developing countries, as they stand outside public institutions. One of the largest rallies is The March for Life, in Washington D.C. This march not only attracts thousands of families and religious church groups, but
also over half a dozen republican congressmen. In some cases these people threaten the lives of surgeons who chose to make this issue their life’s work. One of the most impactful cases was that of George Tiller. He was shot dead at a reformation Lutheran church. Dr. Tiller had been performing legal abortions since 1973. He owned three centers, where he provided women with safe third-trimester abortions. Dr. Tiller was targeted by religious extremists from the start. In 1985 his facility was bombed and in 1993 he was shot in both arms. In court, as his family wailed in the pain of his loss, his murderer was asked “Do you feel that you have successfully completed your mission?” He responded by saying “He’s been stopped”. The death of Dr. Tiller then left only four doctors in the country who (that?) provided this surgery.1 “Ever since the 1973 Supreme Court case Rowe vs. Wade, the country has been bitterly divided. In 2013 lawmakers in 32 states proposed 476 provisions, restricting access to abortion.”2 Many of these provisions have nothing to do with the health of the women who seek this treatment, but instead are geared towards making it impossible for clinics to even stay open. Some of these petty provisions include regulations on the temperature of rooms, parking lot sizes, and they even go as far as to control the height of grass on these properties. As clinics throughout the country close their doors, the pro-life movement has created their own centers called ‘Crisis Prevention Centers’. Care Net is one of the most popular of these centers. They have well over a thousand facilities throughout the country. They look and function almost
identically to a real abortion clinic, even offering free ultrasounds. In fact some of them neighbor real abortion clinics, as they target the vulnerable women who seek an abortion procedure. At times they have attempted to alter searches on Google to show their prevention clinics before the real thing. The 18 minute Vice documentary titled ‘The Fake Abortion Clinics of America: Misconception,’ shows the story of a Donna, a Texas women who mistakenly made an appointment with a Crisis Prevention Clinic. She was forced to watch a movie which showed both a live abortion, and inaccurate risks associated with abortions. In these clinics they tell women that they will die of all kinds of cancers in the effort to scare women into having children they do not want to have. Not only do they threaten the lives of surgeons and women seeking abortions, they threaten the lives of women who have no intention of ending their pregnancy or are unaware that they are pregnant. Due to the debate of women’s personhood, pregnant women are now being criminalized for still births, miscarriages, and accidents or issues leading to the death of the fetus. According to the New York Times, the number of cases that deny pregnant women the right over their bodies have almost tripled since 2005, resulting in 380 cases in the last ten years. Twentysix year old Louisiana resident Michelle Marie Greenup experienced one of these frightening nightmares. Greenup had gone to a hospital complaining about vaginal bleeding and strong stomach pains. Her search for help was met with confrontation. The police got involved the moment doctors suspected the cause of her symptoms was from giving birth. She was charged with second-degree murder and incarcerated upon her admission to having “given birth” to a dead child. After being charged and detained for two weeks, Greenup was finally released after medical records revealed that she did in fact miscarry after the administration of a contraceptive injection.
“pro-life,” I referred to them as “anti-choice. [...]They seem to sincerely believe that they are saving lives by making abortion illegal. The right to life of the fetus, in their minds, trumps the autonomy of the mother over her own body. As the ethicist Peter Singer points out, how can a fetus, which has no awareness of itself being alive, which cannot formulate a thought or desire to continue living, or imagine what it is not to live, somehow gain the right to life, let alone any rights at all?” In contrast: according to the Center for Disease Control, it is wrong to kill human beings because it is wrong to take the life of someone who desires to be alive, who can feel pain, and more importantly, be consciously aware and anticipate pain, suffering, and death. Alex goes on to say that the question isn’t whether or not it should be legal, but whether or not you want women to have safe or unsafe abortions. According to the World Health Organization, 21.6 million w o m e n undergo unsafe abortions each year, of which 18.5 million occur in developing countries, where abortion is illegal, where modern contraceptives are not easily accessible, and where well-trained p ra c t i t i o n e r s are not readily available. These unsafe abortions can result in disease, infection, or long-term damage to the woman’s reproductive system. Also, due to the complications of an unsafe abortion, about 47,000 women die every year.
“...due to the complications of an unsafe abortion,
about 47,000 women die every year.”
In preparation for this article we spoke to Alex Barrientos, a philosophy major here at FIU. He attended the rally at GC, to peak into what motivated these pro-life protestors. He also shared with us his opinions towards the subject. According to Alex “Instead of calling these people,
If you went into this thinking, “why would someone walk into an abortionist’s office at 25-30 weeks?” As it turns out, most of the women have fetuses that are diagnosed with serious physical or mental disabilities. It often takes months for these conditions to show up in routine medical tests. With this said, it is not our right to judge these women for the painful decision that they have to make, but ask ourselves is this my uterus? If the answer is no, then you have no valid opinion.
After Tiller. USA: Ro*co, 2013. Film.
The Fake Abortion Clinics of America: Misconception. USA: Vice Media, Inc., 2014. Film. 2
A Dual Sensory Experience “A bevy of flowers, enveloped in a lath skin,” – this is how I would describe the piece of architecture I discovered while on a family vacation to San Diego, California last December. A truly unique building with a history embedded in San Diego, it is known as the Botanical Building. It was on day two of my week-long family adventure that my father and I decided to visit one of the main tourist attractions located in downtown San Diego, known as Balboa Park, where the Botanical Building is located. In truth, my dad and I had no idea what to expect; we were like sponges ready to absorb all of the culture, art, and architecture that Balboa Park had to offer. When we arrived in Balboa Park, we were greeted with an array of museums, gardens, ponds, outdoor cafes, restaurants, and a large central plaza that buzzed with life and excitement. I was stunned! From a young designer’s point of view, it seemed like eons since I had actually encountered such a place of liveliness and culture that was both walkable for pedestrians and friendly for cars. As my dad and I ventured through the urban environment of Balboa Park, I immediately felt like we had become essential parts of a moving, interactive and engaging urban space. We both felt free to wander, discover and embrace our newly found hub of urbanism. As a student of architecture, I couldn’t help but take note of the axial layout of the main plaza within Balboa Park and marvel at its success, as I remarked to my father the comparison I saw between the Balboa Plaza and the typical plaza one might find in the urban fabric of Italy. Marked at one end by the San Diego Museum of Modern Art and punctuated by a fountain, the axis of the plaza guides its visitors to the San Diego Air and Space Museum at its other end. The variety of program found within the park itself can be attributed to the park’s original purpose as the host location for the 1915-16 Panama-California International Exposition, celebrating the construction of the Panama Canal. Today, Balboa Park is filled with 15 different museums, ranging from the San Diego
Museum of Man, and the Mingei International Museum, just to name a few. The entire park can be understood as a cultural landscape, with myriad program for every type of visitor. Continuing our adventure, my father and I eventually found ourselves immersed in what felt like an airtight box of antiquity: the small 1960’s built San Diego Museum of Art. I couldn’t help but notice that as we walked through each exhibition in the museum, it was as if we were strolling through a pristine, wonderfully kept, undoubtedly silent “memory box,” filled with images of the Rococo, stunning wooden iconoclastic triptychs, and fluttering scenes of Impressionism. A refreshment for the senses, both visual and tactical, we exited the museum feeling as though we had been on a tour of the most essential and influential periods of art history. It was only after leaving the San Diego Museum of Art that I discovered a building nearby that was clothed in a skin I had never seen before – the Botanical Building. Resting on a bed of green and situated across from the Balboa Park Lily Pond, was the gracefully large, and elegantly domed wood lath Botanical Building. Catching my architectural eye, I was instantly intrigued by the massive, yet “harmless” appearance of the building. In that moment of awe, my eyes moved slowly from the building before me, to meet my dad’s eyes as I squealed, “I want to go in there!” Responding with a smile of anticipation and agreement, he looked at me and said, “Yes, but a picture first!” So, with five year-old excitement written all over my face, I posed, hand on hip next to my newest architectural finding. After a few more sentimental moments, the true wonder began when my dad and I actually stepped foot into the Botanical Building. Huddled tightly along one of the wooden columns marking the arch of the central dome of the building were vibrantly crimson poinsettias – the first flowers we saw. I remember thinking to myself at that moment, “What else am I in for?” Seconds later, my question was answered as I found myself standing beneath the 60-foot dome
structure whose lath members arched downward toward me as gracefully as the legs of a spider. Needless to say, my mind was reeling.
designed interconnected parts. On the interior, the structural skin falls to the background, literally acting as the “backdrop” for its leafy counterparts.
“What type of structure was I standing beneath? What was the material – steel or some type of wood? When was this building constructed? Is there a precedent for this kind of structural engineering for the time period in which the Botanical Building was designed?”
The dual nature of this particular skin I remarked to my dad, made me truly appreciate the design as a person who was both using and experiencing the space. I expressed to him that my initial perception of the Botanical Building was as a large mass punctuating the green lawn before it, not fully understanding or even noticing the intricacy of the structural skeleton. The interior experience of the Botanical Building is the defining factor of the skin. While on the inside, one experiences the plants on a full-scale, full-body level, while the structure of the building does its job – it holds everything together in a visually striking manner, allowing light and airflow throughout the entire space. Encountering this kind of architectural experience made me more aware of the notion of an architectural skin that appears massive, while providing a completely different sensorial experience than that which one may initially anticipate. This begs the question, “What is the job of an architectural skin/structural skeleton/system of interworking members, and when is the architectural skin doing its job successfully?”
Although my architectural appetite was begging to be satiated, I put my thoughts on hold because the next thing I saw truly took me by surprise. A few feet before me, sitting on a 12-inch platform was a collection of slightly monstrous looking carnivorous dionaea uscipula – in laymen’s terms Venus flytrap plants. Stunned, and definitely more than a little uncomfortable, I stepped closer to the plants and observed their teethed mouths slowly open and close at the inconvenience of unsuspecting prey. This wasn’t the only plant I saw that caught me off guard – the entire 250-foot space of the Botanical Building was filled to the brim with wild flashes of greens larger than my head, and blooming sprouts of purple and yellow that shot up at least 6 feet, matching my dad’s height. As a work of architecture, it seemed odd to me that the space I was navigating was defined structurally by the wooden lath design, but was defined programmatically by the gargantuan plants that lived in the building. At eye-level, the structural skin of the Botanical Building is one that cannot be felt; it is only until one looks up that the ribs, arches, and lath members really make a statement. The dramatic height of the central dome and barrel vault design extending on the either side of the dome, allow for the plants to be the primary focus of the interior experience – as they should considering the building encases a botanical garden. The plants, as noted before, seem colossal and almost appear to be the element that holds up the structure and not the other way around. I consider this characteristic of the structural skin a success. The total mass of the building appears solid and weighty on the exterior, not appearing as a system of delicately
In the case of the Botanical Building, one might say that the job of the structural skin is manifold: to provide a unique system for encasing a demanding and somewhat unpredictable program (the plants themselves), to act as a structural backdrop for the plants within the space and to physically uphold the “crawling” plants that use the structure as a growing trellis, ect. Certainly, in a literal interpretation, the structural skin is successful. Conceptually, the duality of the skin and its unique materiality as an entirely wooden lath structure, lend to the success of the building as one that provides a rich and surprising sensorial user-experience.
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Special thanks to Michael Bisnett at the SOA Digital Lab