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elite student work in defense of the mad architect software comparisons & conversions pinterest


contents watchlist 03 ELITE STUDENT WORK

four classes we don’t offer 07 AND WHY WE SHOULD

software comparisons 09 USE THE RIGHT TOOL

in defense of the mad architect 13 ZAHA HADID, FRANK GEHRY

inspiration for architecture 15 MUSIC, ART, AND CULTURE

architect fashion 17 WHY FASHION MATTERS

pinterest 19 THE DIY BULLETIN



Cover image by James Thompson, ‘14

Dear Readers, New semesters are always exciting, for they hold the promise of new learning and opportunities. Your task is to use creativity to seek out those opportunities and capitalize on them. If you pay attention to the news, it appears the outlook for architects is slim. High unemployment and low wages have pushed architecture to the top of lists of ‘useless majors’. While the numbers are grim, architecture isn’t dead - not yet. The profession needs a shot in the arm which can only be delivered by the innovation and creativity we foster here and take into the field. Architects are oft derided as impractical and lacking in common sense. Develop your skills now so that your knowledge and understanding of architecture is relevant and realistic for when you enter the field. Go the extra mile in studio to research case studies that can influence your project. Learn to present well and market your designs. Apply your skills of synthesis, organization, and creativity to solve problems outside of architecture. Organize your courses to put you on the path to success as a professional, and let your voice be heard for how you want to structure your education. Gloom may be hovering, but if you purpose to develop innovative skill in architecture, you will craft your own future. Best Wishes, Brian Sowell Axiom Editor


watchlist The Mindset Justin Zumel ‘16 “The intention of this piece was to create a combination of abstraction and realism, or in simple terms, ab-realism. The use of the shades of blue was used to infer that the color blue means calm and soothing. The dream was to become a successful architect, which is why I made my design of a city. As a student, I realized that dreams are easily reached when one is calm through every obstacle.” Justin Zumel is an undergraduate B.E.D. major in the Department of Architecture. He began drawing on th walls of his family’s apartment at the age of three, and his parents quickly encouraged him to transfer his talents to a paper medium. Justin’s passion is obvious in his pursuit of art, music, and architecture.


elite student work

Cube 45x45x45 Jing Zhang (Jenny) “The athletic club consists of large functional unions and small service areas. The design method was to juxtapose all the space into a 45×45×45 cube, built with a rigid steel frame following a 3 meter grid module. The cube simplifies structural solutions and brings light into each space through the 3 by 3 grid. The functional union of the sports takes place through the elevator in the center. The elevator is directed towards the swimming pool, gymnasium, rock climbing and tennis court. A small space spanning 6 meters contains lockers and bathrooms in the center of the building. The three perspective sections with the vanishing points at the top, middle and bottom emphasizes the structure system, the space and the functional union. Column placement shifts when they reach the badminton court to create an ‘L’ shaped space. This space benefits occupants on the gym floor, providing a view through to the sky and natural lighting into the gym at the same time.” Jing Zhang is an international student from Jinan Shi, Shandong, China. She is pursuing her Masters of Architecture at Texas A&M and is in her second year of study. Her committee is chaired by Marcel Erminy.




four classes we don’t offer (and why we should)


Every year, AIAS hosts Q&A session with Dr. Ward Wells, Head of the Department of Architecture. While a complete review of that conversation would be impossible, it primarily centered around recent changes to the B.E.D. curriculum, and what changes might be coming in the future. The department is in a process of refining- even redefining- itself, and there are likely to be significant changes in faculty and curriculum soon. These changes have been primarily facultydriven, with the College and Department making decisions based on faculty available and where they’d like to see the programs go in the future. We

“ are three courses that I would recommend to enhance the B.E.D. curriculum...” as students have a unique perspective on the curriculum, subsequentally we can offer insights that may not be possible for faculty to anticipate. So as a student, here are three directed electives and one required course that I would recommend to enhance the B.E.D. curriculum, and why the Department would benefit from them.

and famous furniture. The correlation is so strong that many architecture programs emphasize their ability to create custom furniture. Even beyond furniture, understanding how to design beautiful, functional products can only enhance our design sensitivities, and A&M has some of the best facilities of any design college in ENDS 265- Industrial Designthe state to pull this off. Don’t believe (3 hours) me? Go visit the Digital Fabrication Quick, what’s the one thing Factory (a.k.a. the ranch). It’s an Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der industrial designer’s playground. Rohe, Adolf Loos, and Frank Gehry This class would be a popular and all have in common? They, along with immensely practical directed elective many other famous architects throughoption. out history, have all designed unique


ARCH 339- Architectural Presentations and Salesmanship (2 hours) Have you ever had to sit through a presentation that would have been improved if performed by a mime? If not, consider yourself lucky, they’re surprisingly common. This is frustrating because architects aren’t just designers, we’re salesmen. The ability to “sell” a client our design is an absolute necessity in the professional world, but it’s something that architecture students are expected to learn without ever being taught. Let’s let students who struggle in front of an audience take a course in presentation

and salesmanship. Devote all homework to researching and composing presentations and all class time to the fundamentals, practice, and critique of presentation. And lest you think this would be a low intensity course, remember that to present effectively students will have to verse themselves deeply in architectural literature, building their design awareness and vocabulary. Architectural awareness, theory knowledge, AND communication skills all in one course? Sign me up.

ARCH 468- Leadership and Management of an Architecture Firm (3 hours) Leadership is a core value of Texas A&M University and former students of the College of Architecture often find themselves in positions of leadership in the professional world. Many students hope to own or manage a firm at some point in their career. A few years ago, there was a course for this: ARCH 451- Strategies in Architectural Management. Unfortunately, when the normal professor retired the class stopped being offered. Let’s bring back a course in basic leadership theories and the legal and business elements of running a firm. We can bring in current global leaders and former students for practical advice, and build A&M into the school everyone wants to recruit their next partner from.

ARCH 117- Survey of Design Software (1 hour.) It’s the uncomfortable truth about architecture: design is going digital. Analog isn’t being entirely replaced, but the professional world is increasingly transitioning toward virtual modeling. Take a glance at the chart on pages 11-12. There are no fewer than five programs devoted to digital model production, each with their own commands, strengths, and weaknesses, not to mention the three programs for 2-D document production. Where’s the class that gives us a survey of each programs’ abilities, proper uses, and enough of the basic commands that we can select the right tool for each design? The college is making some progress in this area, but this isn’t something to do half-way. Find or hire someone who knows at least five programs like the back of their hand and can teach them, make this their only course, and require it for both freshman semesters. Let’s make sure our students don’t miss out on opportunities because they don’t know the tools exist. In summary... The current program changes mean we have an opportunity to improve not only our student experience, but the opportunities for future students in our program. If there’s anything studio has taught me, it’s that design is an iterative process, and no project, even a curriculum, is successful without feedback. Talk to your professors, peers, and administrators. Think about your experience here and how you might adapt it, and let’s start a conversation about what we as students would like to see available in our four-year plan.


software comparisons LEANDRO AGUIAR


The introduction of software to the field of architecture has drastically changed the way that architects design. Software can only do so much; however, and a lack of features can often limit the creativity of the designer. Who hasn’t longed for a combination of features from several design softwares? What about the ease of form creation in Maya coupled with the archtitectural application of Revit? Or AutoCAD and Illustrator? Perfect programs don’t exist, so architects must learn to develop proficiency in several programs. Proficiency in a software isn’t enough for success though. Like turning screws with a saw, it’s vital that the architect understands what each software is designed to accomplish. While there is significant crossover between softwares, most designers

“...a lack of features can often limit the creativity of the designer.” will admit there is a ‘best’ tool for the job. In an attempt to help students understand how to choose the best tool, Leandro Aguiar, a junior from Brazil studying abroad at Texas A&M, and Joshua Walker have compiled an unexaustive list of some of the popular programs used in architecture and their respective abilities. A handy table then describes how to export projects and open them in each of the other softwares. -Brian Sowell


AutoCAD AutoCAD provides a fundamental staple for architects. Designed specifically for architects, AutoCAD uses layers to mimic the hand drafting technique of stacking layers of vellum. AutoCAD is capable of working with lines, geometric forms, surfaces, volumes, nurbs, and meshes.

Pros: Works with lines, geometric surfaces, and nurbs at the same time. Cons: All actions are executed through typed commands which can be cumbersome. Tips: Get comfortable with the basics of AutoCAD. Not only is CAD the primary software used for construction documents, it’s necessary for laser cutting, 2D presentation materials, and for converting some 3D elements.

Revit Revit is understood to be the future of architecture production. As a BIM software it has incredible features for making the architect’s job faster and integrating between disciplines. Revit uses elements like walls, windows, and doors to create a building. Because it doesn’t utilize geometric forms or nurbs, it doesn’t often ‘play well’ with other softwares. Pros: Strong production program, allows detail customization and provides realistic renderings. Cons: Not a solid choice for creating building form or complex geometric shapes. Tips: Use to download custom families like tables and chairs to dress up your renderings.


Rhino offers powerful commands for 3D objects, allowing the designer to work in a plethora of applications. Because it uses curves, surfaces, volumes, nurbs, and meshes, Rhino has been used for everything from architecture to digital fabrication and jewelry design Pros: Rich availability of commands and flexible file formats. Cons: The multitude of commands can be confusing. Can be slow to use because each curve must be edited individually. Tips: Two important commands set Rhino apart from Sketchup: cut and unroll. Learn to use them well.

Sketch-up Sketch-up uses lines and geometric forms, making it one of the simplest programs to learn and use. Although simple, many notable firms still use sketch-up to quickly create their building forms. Pros: Very fast to learn with a simple but flexible interface. Cons: Imprecise, doesn’t handle nurbs, and has trouble with complex surfaces. Tips: Import complex surfaces from another program such as Rhino, Maya, or 3ds Max.

Maya Primarily a tool for game designers and animators, Maya is used by architects to produce organic forms. Capable of working with curves, surfaces, volumes, nurbs, and meshes. Pros: Works with lines, geometric surfaces, and nurbs at the same time. Rich command capability and rendering options. Cons: Imprecise, can be difficult to learn the finer aspects of the program without tutoring. Tips: Use Maya to develop building concepts or organic shapes, then export to refine in other programs.

3ds Max 3ds Max is a program primarily intended for producing renderings or animations. Expect to work with lights, cameras, and materials. Pros: Excellent rendering quality and control over lighting. Can be

extremely efficient for designers who understand the interface. Cons: The interface can take getting used to, editing materials is a complicated process for beginners. Tips: When moving lights and cameras work in the elevation views and be careful about what you have selected.

Illustrator Illustrator uses vector rather than raster data to produce graphics. This allows logos and other 2D objects to be designed and scaled to fit everything from a business card to a billboard. Pros: Excellent software for refining plans and other 2D line work. Excellent control of lineweight and color. Cons: Doesn’t work in three dimensions. Primarily a production software, isn’t great for architectural design work. Tips: Learn to utilize layers and remember to check line weights and caps.

Photoshop Photoshop holds dominance in the photo editing world and is understood to be the ultimate software photo editing. Pros: Excellent tool to bring renderings ‘to life’, faster to place plants and people than rendering. Cons: To achieve photo-realism you must understand concepts of lighting and have a sharp eye. Tips: Keep a folder with textures such as grass, trees, people, and cars to place in your renderings. is a great place to start.


export from:


For 3D models save as an .acis file and convert to Nurb or surface. For 2D drawings watch rhinoceros-advanced/section/





Save as autocad 2007. Import to Maya, then export from Maya to Rhino using an IGES filetype to preserve accuracy. 3D CAD imports as a mesh, which you can’t edit. Select in-place mass and import the CAD file while editing the mass.



Go to a floorplan, section, or elevation view, then export as a .dwg.

From Sketchup Pro, export the 3D model as dwg file and import to Autocad.

Export from the 3d view as an ACIS, then open in rhino.

Export a 3ds file from Sketchup and import to Rhino. Use Meshtonurb or create a dupborder of everything and create faces.

Follow the “Rhino to Autocad” instructions, then “Autocad to Revit”

Difficult to explain, watch this video: http://www. z0hX3zfAc&feature=play er_embedded

Save as autocad 2007 and Sketchup open in Sketchup pro.

Export from Rhino to Sketchup using a 3Ds file.

Export from the 3d view as an ACIS, then open in sketchup.


Save as autocad 2007 then import to Maya

Export from Rhino to Maya using an IGES file.

Export from the 3d view as an ACIS, then open in Maya

export as a .dwg file from Sketchup and import to Maya.


Autocad files open directly in 3DS max

Export from Rhino to 3DS using an IGES file.

Export an FBX file, then import into 3DS

3DS Max opens Sketchup files, but you need to have all your objects with a given material on the same layer in Sketchup already.

Save as Autocad 2007

Export as an .ai file. This preserves your layers.

Export as a 2007 or earlier .dwg, then follow AutoCAD to Illustrator.

Export as a 2007 or earlier .dwg, then follow AutoCAD to Illustrator.

Export your 2D view to AutoCAD and go from there, export 3D renderings as jpegs or pngs.

Export your 2D view to AutoCAD and go from there, export 3D renderings as jpegs or pngs.

For 2D linework export to AutoCAD and follow ‘AutoCAD to Photoshop’. Open jpegs directly in photoshop.

Illustrator or earlier, then open in

Illustrator. Decide whether to scale to artboard or actual scale.



Import to illustrator, then follow illustrator to photoshop instructions.





Export from Maya to Rhino using an iges file, then follow ‘Rhino to AutoCAD’.

Export options from 3DS Max design to AutoCAD include DWF, DWG, and FBX.

Export as a .dwg file. Remember you can ‘live trace’ raster images to import jpegs into AutoCAD.

Follow ‘Photoshop to Illustrator’, then ‘Illustrator to AutoCAD.’

Export from Maya to Rhino using an iges file.

Export from 3DS to Rhino using an iges file.

Export as a .dwg then follow ‘AutoCAD to Rhino’.

Follow ‘Photoshop to Illustrator’, ‘Illustrator to AutoCAD’, then ‘AutoCAD to Rhino’ to obtain linework. Alternatively just import the flat image directly.

But why do you want the headache? If you must, export to rhino, then follow ‘rhino to revit’. The results won’t be pretty.

Sketchup Pro opens 3DS files, so open it in Sketchup and follow ‘Sketchup to Revit’. Alternatively, go through AutoCAD

Seriously? If you insist, try going through AutoCAD, or Rhino.

Revit imports images onto the layer, just use the import button.

Follow ‘Maya to Rhino’, then ‘Rhino to Sketchup’.

Export from 3DS to Sketchup as a 3DS or Collada file (.DAE)

Follow ‘Maya to Rhino’, then ‘Rhino to Sketchup’.

For linework open in illustrator, then follow ‘illustrator to AutoCAD’ and ‘AutoCAD to Sketchup’.

Export from 3DS to Maya using an iges file.

Export as a .dwg then follow ‘AutoCAD to Maya’.

For linework export to Illustrator, then follow ‘Illustrator to AutoCAD’ and ‘AutoCAD to Maya’.

It’s unclear what you’re trying to accomplish, but try going through CAD.


Export from Maya to 3DS using an iges file.

Follow Maya to Rhino, then Rhino to AutoCAD, save as a 2007 .dwg and open in Illustrator.

Export as a 2007 or earlier .dwg, then follow AutoCAD to Illustrator.

Export your 2D view to AutoCAD and go from there, export 3D renderings as jpegs or pngs.

Export renderings as a jpeg or png. Get plans and sections from a design program (revit, sketchup, Rhino, etc.)

Use the ‘place’ tool (ctrl-d) in illustrator to place a photoshop file directly on the artboard. Photoshop can open .AI files directly. Alternatively save from illustrator as a .png.


in defense of the mad architect

an opinion by catlan fearon

Architecture is a curious profession, and one curiosity that has always seemed astounding to me is how fashionable it is to revile certain architects. Usually considered avant garde or associated with deconstructivism, these architects are renounced, reviled, and lampooned by amateur critics as “hacks”, “ego-centrists”, and “mad scientists” of architecture and are dismissively called “mad architects”. Where their work should stand on its own as proof of their talent and importance in the architectural discourse it is simply dismissed, often solely by virtue of missteps in craft, which would otherwise never be attributed to an architect. Other times they are dismissed simply for aesthetic purp oses, which is perhaps the most egregious and hypocritical of all reasons to dismiss an architect’s work. There are several of these mad architects who narrow minded individuals tend to deride as useless distractions. Frank O Gehry and Zaha Hadid seem to be the two most hated of these architects, yet the defense of each is rather different. Gehry, the more popularly derided of the two, is easily explained. He is merely a sculptor and is eternally confused that people seem so eager for him to design buildings, and he goes about these commissions like


sculptures. This defense is quick and neat, but not extremely interesting for architectural discourse. Because of this, the best candidate for examination is Hadid. Zaha Hadid’s work has been criticized as egotistical, impractical, expensive, over-designed, and ugly. It is rather difficult to substantially dismiss any of these critiques, as some are correct, but I do think it is possible to show that these qualities are not out of character with other venerated practitioners of our profession. Indeed, I believe the best example of a venerated architect who shares her flaws is Le Corbusier.

“...these architects are renounced, reviled, and lampooned by amateur critics as “hacks”, “ego-centrists”, and “mad scientists” of architecture and are dismissively called “mad architects.” It seems almost expected in our profession for the great architects to be egomaniacal and even venerated. Corbusier himself was racist against Americans simply because they preferred Frank Lloyd Wright to him. He stopped talking to his best friend because his best friend dared decorate the house Corbusier built for him. He was an egomaniac, yet Le Corbusier’s continued popularity proves that an ego is

not enough to rule someone out of greatness. And what of expense? I highly doubt that anyone going into Hadid’s office to ask her for a design is unaware that her designs are costly to build, and if they are they deserve to lose that money for their shoddy research. But if a client is willing to spend the money on a Zaha Hadid building it is silly to get angry. They have the money; let them have the building they want. The insistent critique of all mad architects seems to be their impracticality. This is hypocritical. If a person derides the impracticality of deconstructivists or avant garde architects, and turns around and praises Le Corbusier, one should laugh in their face. Surely they aren’t speaking of the same Le Corbusier? His plan to fix cities was to simply tear them to the ground and hope the inhabitants would simply cease to exist until his monstrous towers could be constructed. Of course Zaha Hadid’s buildings are occasionally impractical, but then again so is living is a house made totally of glass. Zaha and architects like her are important. They inspire the average person to care about architecture and be captivated by it. They spark interest in architecture and trigger discussion about function

and most of all form. Form is perhaps the area in which the mad architect is currently the most important. In an era with new tools and more powerful machines with which we can calculate loads, structures, and costs, unimaginable forms are now available to architects. If we are truly interested in form, as I believe architects should be, then we cannot afford to sneer at those who experiment with them like Zaha does. No universal force declared functional minimalism to be the perfect architectural philosophy, and if we did not continually push form, style and even taste to its limits we would fail to advance in the profession. Not all ambitious buildings will be successes, of course, but we will learn from the failures like we learned from Corbusier’s failures, and like he learned from the Beaux Art’s, on and on ad infinitum The mad architect is the architect who is not afraid to experiment, nothing more and nothing less, and in them we will find the future of the art and profession.


BY TAMARA DRURY The irrefutable connection between architecture and all other inspirational things create a special bond between all types of artists. As architecture students, we should explore this bond in new ways. There are a variety of opportunities that explore this bond and ultimately improve on our design skills. As architecture students we should take advantage of every opportunity to explore things such as music, experiencing a new culture, and obtaining a greater understanding of art and its history so to further develop our design skills and artistic maturity. For instance, learning to play an instrument or to sing improves an architect’s understanding of rhythm, line, and detail. These concepts, among many others, can be reengineered and applied to an architect’s design. The idea of continuing one thought or “line” into the next is directly transferable into designing structures. The level of detail and focus required to play music can only improve a designer’s eye for detail in architecture. Furthermore, playing with a group of musicians provides practice for team projects in the architecture field because it helps to further teamwork development and quick adaptation. My musical background in flute and voice has helped my architectural skills by providing both inspiration and another way to think and approach design. There are so many musical opportunities available


on and off Texas A&M’s campus that there is no reason for architecture students not to give music a try. Another great way to expand on architectural design skills is to learn and experience a new culture for an extended period of time. Fully understanding and experiencing a new culture provides opportunity for the visitor to think and live in differ-

ent ways. The exposure allows an architectural designer to understand a different set of priorities and cultural values. For instance, my experiences living with a Polish family in Krakow for a month opened my eyes to the Polish culture. Getting to know a new culture is great practice for adapting to a completely foreign environment and making adjustments as needed.

As architecture students, we should go travel and experience living in a completely new environment so we can be pushed to become stronger and more independent people and be inspired by new things that can rarely be duplicated from a text book. Going out and exploring art and art history is another way to inspire your design work. An architectural designer becomes a better artist as they increasingly understand and appreciate the work of the great art masters. One way to understand art is to personally produce it with a paint brush or another art medium

“The level of detail and focus required to play music can only improve a designer’s eye for detail in architecture.” and attempt to “get inside” the head of a great master artist. The more an architectural designer can “get inside” the mind of art masters, the easier it is to be inspired and be able to produce significant design work. There are fabulous art museums both in Texas and all over the world to serve as inspiration that all architecture students should take the time to visit. Music, experiencing new cultures and exploring art all help designers to essentially “tap” into deeper levels of creativity. Architecture students grow and develop as both people and as artists when we are stretched beyond the comfort zone and pushed to try and explore different cultures and forms of art. It is our job to make use of these sources of inspiration so we can ultimately reach our potential as future architects.


architect fashion


Fashion can be thought of as wearable form. This form can include clothes, hair design or even architecture. The practice of architecture exists to create usable spaces. Both architecture and fashion deal with forms and are an expression of one’s creative ideas. Understanding how the two are related is imperative because as designers we should use fashion to express our creativity and design skills. Despite their similarities, fashion and architecture have one key difference. Fashion in general is less embraced than architecture, not only in American society but especially Texas. Most of the time, people want to blend in, not stand out. This can be detrimental to designing the person you want to be. What one wears gives people an idea of who you are. In order to be able to fully embrace the idea of exploring ones personality through fashion, one must understand the importance of fashion. These two design cultures convey that design begins as an idea and develops into a physical creation that did not previously exist. “Fashion and architecture have a dual demand: aesthetics and practicality,” Junior, Joshua Walker said. “Both have to meet a practical need and are expected to do so with beauty.” This is the defining overlap between these two forms of design. As Dr. Campagnol stated, “Fashion and architecture create a skin.” Fashion creates a skin for


the body while architecture creates a skin that defines space for its inhabitants. This is something that designers should think about. The College of Architecture has some of the most fashionable students on A&M’s campus. Many people from majors outside of architecture do not believe in taking extra time to look presentable for class. Students and faculty in the department believe that the reasoning behind dressing up for class is driven by the fact that architecture is one of the few majors that engage in one-on-one conversations with professors every day. Architecture students want to demonstrate that even small desk critiques are important. While students in the College of Architecture appreciate the comfort of casual dress, their dress habits in class often set them apart from the average student on campus. The clear separation between architecture students and the rest of A&M is the accepting environment. Architecture students embody the

creative gene on campus; they have a greater understanding of the wide spectrum of ideas. Because architecture students have a keen eye for design, they are more likely to express it not only though architecture, but in the way they present and through the type of clothing they wear. Some may argue that professors does not really care whether one dresses up for class or not. However this is simply not true. According to Professor Gabe Esquivel, “Fashion is very important because fashion is your personality…when students come in looking all the same… it is sort of a denial of your personality.” He states that he has respect for students that express their individuality though the way they dress. Fashion is a great elevator speech. You only have a few seconds to make a lasting impression. The beauty with fashion is that one does not have to say anything to make that impression. There is only one opportunity to make a first

impression; fashion should be used to your advantage. When someone takes the time to express themselves through the way they dress, their confidence goes up. Their head is held a bit higher and they stand up straighter. Both professors and fellow students notice this increased confidence. “I honestly think that if you look good, you feel good. And this notion projects in your attitude, whether you notice it or not,” Junior, Yuliana Hernandez said. Fashion is a way of expression and conveying to others ones true identity. As a designer, one should embrace creativity in order for their true persona to be revealed. Take the challenge of wearing something that is not normally worn on a regular basis and embrace it. Let the creative juices flow when getting dressed in the morning. Design an outfit instead of grabbing the first thing in the drawer. The noticeable difference will be well worth the added effort.


pinterest BY AMIE AKERS

Holiday decorations, cupcake recipes, nursery ideas, and an array of “mommy things” are what immediately come to mind when someone mentions Pinterest. Unfortunately, most people are misled by this idea and miss out on the opportunities Pinterest provides for all kinds of artistic personalities. Pinterest is a tool architects and designers can and should use to keep track of ideas, inspirations, techniques, trends, and sure, maybe a few cupcake recipes too. Among Pinterest’s many subjects, architecture, art, design, photography, illustrations, posters,

The DIY Bulletin Board

store new ideas when they find them, and go look them back up when they need them. This eliminates those questions of, “Where’d I write that down at?” or “What was that thing I saw on that website that one time?” Pinterest organizes this frenzy, allowing the confusion to be sorted and filed into place according to each individual’s desire, and in a world where the individual is held above the community, Pinterest continues to grow and expand. Sharing ideas is another reaand countless other applicable topics, son Pinterest is an asset to designis an array of creative and diverse ers. Modern society is full of informaprojects to look at and learn from. The tion, and the computers in people’s broad range of ideas and the way pockets are constantly bombarding they are organized sets Pinterest apart their minds through media, music, from other websites. What’s great and internet. For this reason, trends about Pinterest is that it is organized are constantly changing, and new around the user, and in today’s world, ideas are soon made into newer driven by a “do it yourself” mentality, ones. In order to keep up with a Pinterest is a powerful tool. shifting society, these ideas must be Pinterest’s users create their shared and spread. Pinterest does own accounts that can be organized exactly that through constant upinto their favorite or most useful subdates by society itself, posting new jects. Under these subjects, they can favorite designs or color trends.


Not only does Pinterest spread new ideas, but it takes the user back to the source, be it a website, blog, or journal. This allows pinners to further investigate their pins and expand their knowledge on whatever subject they’re researching, informing users of how reliable a piece of information is, which brings a sense of honesty to the website. Nothing is assumed or falsely advertised. Along with looking into other pins, a user can create their own pins and spread their own ideas on Pinterest. They can then give and receive critical feedback through comments, grasping the success of ideas and where they need improvements. Pinterest is a vehicle that keeps up with the constant change in the world, because members of society are behind the wheel, controlling the speed and direction of change. It is one of the most reliable ways to stay updated on what’s important to specific groups of people or personalities, and it gives its users control over their own style and ideas.

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hindsight They say architects have their own jargon, which, of course, is true. We throw around these words in our critiques so we can one up the person that went before us. Words like: parti, tectonic, poche, axial, materiality, etc. Our vocabulary has gotten a bit cluttered so we’ve had to make a little room for our new intellectual vocabulary. Our architecture jargon has replaced words like: sleep, bed, napping, and well-rested to name but a few. There simply isn’t enough space for these words anymore, so throwing them out the window is the most sensible thing to do. Let’s examine the word sleep.



One of Webster’s Dictionary definitions of sleep is “to cease being awake.” Sleep, then, means that you are unconscious. The definition is understandable but the only problem with this is that you can’t really work on your studio project when you’re asleep. This seems a little counterproductive, so why even bother with the hassle of sleeping? As they say, “all play and no work makes Jack a dull boy.” Or something like that. We must keep working; we don’t want to be dull after all. A quick Google search can bring up a multitude of studies on sleep. A lot of these studies say

that getting 8 hours of sleep equals a healthy, well-rested person. Although, when they say 8 hours of sleep, perhaps it means 8 hours of sleep per night and not 8 hours of sleep per week, but I’m not exactly sure. Somehow, we are still able to function no matter what defines sleep for us. It could just be all the coffee that we drink. We go through a lot of coffee. Or maybe even the fear of having the Hulk smash our projects during a review. Either way, we forcibly keep our eyes open with tape or propping them with basswood sticks. These work well but banging our heads on the desks is just as effective. Then

it’s back to work. Sleep goes hand in hand with bed. But if we’ve thrown out sleep why not throw out bed too? If nothing else it’ll make more room in our vocabulary books. In all of the furniture that is designed the piece that receives the least attention seems to be the bed. It’s always a chair, or a desk, or an end table, but never a bed. This isn’t because we don’t like designing beds; it’s just that we don’t know what they are. Designing something you’re not familiar with gets difficult even for the greats. It’s a good thing that our professors don’t make us design beds. That would be ironic, and awful. We should just stick with chairs, desks, and end tables. No reason to get too ambitious. Not even the most thorough vocabulary could aid us in

presenting a bed. I’d rather go on with no sleep than have a bad review anyways. As architecture students we tend to take a little joy in bragging about how little sleep we’ve had in the past week. So no matter how tired you are there is always the summer to look forward to but that’s always too far away. No time

for thinking about summer, there’s a project to be done. In our attempts to climb to the top of our intellectual ambitions we must make some room. What better place to start than improving our daily vocabulary and removing activities that are completely unnecessary. Perhaps sleep is where we should all begin this journey.

FOR THE ARCHITECTURE STUDENT: 1. Master your speaking skills as you master your design skills. Don’t use ‘talkitecture’, just tell the story of your design. 2. Remember the sun still exists. 3. Learn to flip the switch between work and play, and do it regularly. 4. Sleep, while a scheduling nuisance, is mandatory. Especially if you don’t want to cut off your fingers


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Axiom Spring 2012  
Axiom Spring 2012