Page 1

date it or hate it professor o’brien minor/course reviews no plastic sleeves/dezeen reviews model photography tutorial


contents date it or hate it 03 BUILDINGS IN CANADA, SINGAPORE, AND TEXAS A&M

wanderlust 07 TRAVEL TIPS michael o’brien 09 FEATURED PROFESSOR watchlist 11 ELITE STUDENT WORK model photography 15 TIPS FOR PORTFOLIO PHOTOS james thompson 19 THE WORLD IN BLACK & WHITE arts 203+304 25 GRAPHIC DESIGN I AND II arch 330 29 THE MAKING OF ARCHITECTURE decision time 31 ENDS 112 OR ARCH 260? minors in review 33 MINORS FOR ARCH STUDENTS no plastic sleeves/dezeen 35 WEBSITE REVIEWS hindsight 37 MUSINGS BY GOESSLER

Dear Readers, Things are changing. Whether you are ready or not, this semester is coming to a close. With each passing year, time seems to slip away at an alarmingly increasing rate. Four short years ago, we stood at the brink of adulthood, giddy with excitement to begin our undergraduate studies here at Texas A&M. Now, as we look around studio at friends that were strangers just four years ago, and we sense a nervous tension. Soon, these people will leave Langford for graduate studies or even jobs. Meanwhile, changes in curriculum and program will be transitional for everyone in the coming semesters. Resist the urge to be overwhelmed by changes ahead, and take these opportunities to take your future into your own hands. This is your education, so let your voice be heard. Axiom was reborn with the intent to inspire students and give your thoughts and opinions a platform. As we graduate and move on from this publication, we wish the best for Axiom’s future. We hope you find inspiration here to continue to seek, learn, and create. Things may be changing, but if you continue to make your education your own, your future will be bright. Best Wishes,

Michael Rollins AIAS Promotions Axiom Co-Editor

Leigh Goris AIAS Vice-President Axiom Co-Editor


Quartier Des Spectacles Montréal, Canada by Ædifica Quatier Des Spectacles’ recessed, angular entrance visually captures visitors entering the building; the sliver reveals the building’s inner workings. Compared to earlier buildings that stood at this intersection, this design frees up the sidewalk for this area’s dense pedestrian traffic. The unique facade is marked by seemingly random openings in the wooden envelope. The exterior is protected by a second skin of transparent glass; the space created by superimposing these materials is used for a variety of multimedia installations. In summer, a portion of the envelope retracts at the level of St. Catherine St., altering the building’s physical limits. The distribution of windows reflects the activities going on inside: the exhibition rooms in the upper levels


enjoy controlled lighting, while large openings flood work environments with natural light. Ideas of fluidity and circulation influence the architecture and create a dialogue between the building and passers-by. The impression of exchange is echoed in the interior with elements such as an opening that originates in the lobby and passes through the first three floors, the windowed

mezzanine overlooking the ground floor, and a sculptural staircase between the third and fourth floors. These elements, central to daily activities, encourage interaction between individuals and their invironment. A French restaurant occupies the ground floor and a bar will be moving in on the fifth floor, complete with an outdoor terrace which will offer striking views of the surrounding area.


Bishan Public Library Bishan Place, Singapore by LOOK Architects The metaphor of a tree house was invoked from the onset of design conceptualization to create an environment for learning and a journey of discovery and play. The use of skylights, trellises and colored glass transforms incoming daylight into an endless number of shades and colors, creating an intriguing dappled light quality within the library that simulates light filtered through the foliage of trees. In the interior, ‘Pods’ cantilevered off the main building façade exude a distinctive charisma on the exterior and create suspended alcoves that form a cozy and peaceful nook. The library is raised above the anonymity of its mixed used neighborhood and sets out to stir the curiosity of the community. An internal atrium was incorporated to introduce natural daylight deep into

the main circulation zone, as well as most of the library floors. Responding to a highly constricted urban site amongst a mature satellite town, the design utilizes an efficient construction method that minimizes impact on its surroundings. Insitu concrete comprised of four floor slabs over a basement are linked by a common lift and staircase core. Internal columns are kept to a minimum

through the use of post-tensioned floor slabs, effectively maximizing floor area and increasing flexibility of collection storage. Exploiting the potential for noise segregation, the basement was designed to house the children’s section, defining a subterranean cavern-like realm where imagination can run free. Join the facebook poll! www.


Liberal Arts & Humanities Building Texas A&M University By BRW Architects Estimated Cost: $34.5M Project Size: 125,000sqft Silver LEED Certification Est. Completion: 8/2012


The LAAH Building will serve as the first building designed specifically for the English and performance studies departments. The LAAH Building will consolidate two departments presently scattered throughout multiple buildings across campus. For the first time appropriately sized and configured teaching laboratories, studios, and performance areas will be available for music, theater,

and English students. The facility will contain offices, classrooms, computer-based teaching classrooms, theater performance studios, music practice, and rehearsal rooms, recording studios and music education labs. This building will support innovative instruction and interdisciplinary collaboration among scholars and students of music, theater, performance, literature, and other

fields. By putting the faculty and many of the classrooms into one building, the new building solves a number of challenges related to efficiency and collaboration and provides the opportunity of intra-departmental studies. The building will be split up between the two departments by floor levels; Performance Studies Department will utilize the first two floors and English Department will use the upper three. The first two floors include a state-of-the-art black box theater with scene and costume shaops and all the ancillary spaces for performance, music classrooms, practice rooms, and recording studios intermingled with the faculty and graduate assistant office. The following three floors will be divided by subject matter for the English faculty and classrooms. There were many challenges in designing the LAAH building. The overtake of the grassy knoll was decided upon by the Historic Corridor Overlay of the Campus Master Plan which dictated the Limits of the Footprint of the building. The location of the two existing underground 24� thermal lines on the west side established the west facade. The building needed to be designed to complement the architecture of the historic buildings that it relates to on four sides. As BRW quickly learned, each of those historic buildings were very different, with three unique eras being represented. To

add to the challenge, it was crucial that the design team minimized the scale of the new building. They accomplished this by offsetting the fifth floor inward from the first four floors and the brick facade utilized only the darker brick of the blend in order to further recede the appeearance of the upper level. Openings were carefully placed with respect to the rhythm and proportions of the historic buildings surrounding it. Materials played a big role in creating a building that fit in with the existing historic buildings that border it. Limestone, brick, and cast stone were used purposely and efficiently in respecting the historic architecture. Even the metal utilized as ornament on the Animal Industries building is accompanied by the abstracted metal panel used as a spandrel and decorative element. With the building taking up part of the grassy knoll the design team incorporated pedestrian-friendly sustainable outdoor environments. The exterior spaces were designed as much for teaching opportunities as for encouraging interaction and accommodating circulation. The west side of the building faces the new plaza which will become a destination of pedestrian circulation on the east side of campus, creating a bustling area of activity. There was considerable discussion from the beginning as

to the siting and symbolism for a building that will take its place in the heart of campus among the existing traditional buildings likely to be here for the next 100 year. BRW put their efforts in designing and planning not simply for the function and appearance of a building but for the impact of the building on the campus. Aside from providing the needed offices and classrooms, the design team strived to make the building inspirational to students as they walk through the spaces and facilitate a feeling of comfort while using the window niches for conversation or enjoying a few moments to hang in the courtyard. Craig Reynolds, lead designer and A&M Graduate, said this: “students may not understand why the spaces provides that satisfying/energizing/ comfortable or whatever feeling that he or she appreciates, but that is when we as the architects have been successful.�


wanderlust TRAVEL TIPS BY



If you want to be an architect, you have to go to Angkor Wat before you die. This is not optional. Live out your Indian Jones or Legend of the Hidden Temple fantasies.

Get a 7-day pass No, you won’t get bored, there are 47+ temples, and they’re all different.

Use the early mornings and late afternoons 1000 year old Buddhas are sublime just after sunrise and just before sunset.

Buy a Traditional Krama They’re about $1. It keeps dust out of your mouth, and when you get home it’s a cool hipster scarf.

Rent a bicycle Cars betray the scale of the complex and make it too easy to hurry. I rode approximately 40km/day.

Eat bar-b-que Cambodians grill their meat. After 6 weeks of stir-fry and pad-thai, it’s food for the soul.

Take a camera: if you aren’t a photographer,

Angkor will make you one.


ARCHITECTURE SUPPLIES! Aggie Family Business CA & Kicker Glues Balsa & Bass Wood Styrene by Evergreen Mini Figurines Chip & Project Board Woodland Scenic Supplies and so much more!! Let us know your project needs & we will do our best to keep you supplied!

1713 Texas Ave South in College Station behind Chic-fil-A Mon.- Fri. 10-8pm Saturday 10-6pm Closed Sundays

michael o’brien Imagine being able to have a professor who not only is a master of materials and methods, but who also genuinely cares about the growth of his students the same way he cares about his own children. Thankfully, students at A&M have that opportunity with Professor Michael O’Brien. Coaching his students to graduate with a sense of self awareness, Professor O’Brien emphasizes that falling on your face is a positive step in the right direction and the best way to respond to a design problem is “action action action.” Before becoming a professor and registered architect, O’Brien earned his education at North Dakota State University in the 1970’s. After working in a small firm there, he became used to forming a solution based on a problem and focusing on the fabric of the building which had to endure the harsh weather up north. In the late 70’s O’Brien took a colleagues advice and began looking for graduate schools of Architecture that would broaden his mind set and allow him to be surrounded with peers and professors who thought differently than he did. Virginia Tech was the best school for that and it became his home for the next several years.



Being thrown into a school where the students were trained differently than he was, O’Brien was forced to act quickly in order to be successful. Going out to job sites and watching the stages of construction through chain linked fences, and taking pictures of his fellow classmate’s desk work seemed to be the best way to do this. After earning his Masters of Architecture from Virginia Tech in 1982, O’Brien was asked to stay there as a professor which is a position he held for the following 20 years. During those years, he perfected his formula for success which was used to create amazing designers who doubled as responsible architects. several years. Texas A&M got the privilege of seeing this formula at work in 2008 and has been reaping the benefits ever since. After his move from Virginia to Texas, Professor O’Brien began recording all of his lectures and talks and posted them as podcasts on his website for Virginia Tech to use while he began his time here at A&M. He emphasizes that when an architect has enough knowledge about design, he/she is able to translate it to a form which makes that invisible knowledge, visible. Also, order to ensure a

good design, Professor O’Brien believes that it is beneficial to have options which is why he is a major advocate of “when you don’t know, make 3.” Just by walking into a studio of his, a person can tell that having O’Brien as a Professor is a unique experience. Rather than treating the studio as strictly a professional work space, he prefers to treat it like a laboratory where students have sketch models and drawings covering their desks so opportunity for inspiration from past ideas is always present. Professor Michael O’Brien currently teaches ARCH 405 in the fall, ARCH 606 in the spring as well as Making of Architecture and Interior Architecture. His years of experience in North Dakota and Virginia has not only made him an excellent professor of architecture but one of the most knowledgeable and interesting faculty members at A&M. His website ( has an extensive source of his lecture presentations, podcasts and list of great buildings that can be easily accessed by anyone. Professor O’Brien is an advocate for growth within the A&M College of Architecture and often thinks of the future of the college as possibly adding an Industrial Design aspect which would have a major positive impact in the study of structural design.



Mediatheque Nick Uselton+Mara Castro Bryan, TX


The project assigned was to create a cultural media hub for the residents of Bryan, Texas. Our design intention was to create an attractive and flexible space that could function as many things and respond to the atmosphere of downtown Bryan. We achieved this through designing our Mediatheque to be able to adapt to the needs of the occupants during various times of the day, week, and month.The first floor consists of two completely separate spaces connected by the floor of the second level. The most southern space is our Apple


store, which was placed on the first floor to attract visitors. The northern space houses our media library and classroom space. Visitors can come to check out books, movies, and take classes working with new technology and software. These two programmatic spaces were placed at ground level for ease of access to those passing by on the main streets of downtown Bryan. As patrons walk around our building, their movement triggers sensors that light up the various tiles, showcasing the technological nature of the space. The second floor, which spans across the two separate buildings on the first floor, connects the store and Media Library through vertical circulation hubs.

The second level functions as a cafĂŠ during the day and a bar by night. We wanted a building that respected the unique nightlife of Bryan. The third story functions as our auditorium space and Computer Lab. This is the most secluded, and quiet space in our building, hence why we placed it on the upper most floor. We kept all rooms in the interior, leaving glass walls lining the perimeter. An organic shaped interior walls to offset the strict angles of the exterior.

Watercolors (Series) Amanda Jones Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy While studying abroad in Italy during the Fall 2010 semester, I participated in an introductory water color course. These water colors seek to embody Tuscany on paper and are my interpretation of the country side as I saw it. There were no rules for these projects, however we were provided with pictures to base our paintings off of and encouraged to bring our own photos to illustrate. Each watercolor is from the small town of Castiglion Fiorentino or the surrounding area and attempts to capture the serene quality of the landscape. Though the cities and landmarks were fascinating, the quiet rural towns were what really caught my attention and therefore became the subject of most of my water colors. I felt the soft characteristics of water color

gave the landscape a different feeling than photographs could capture, and allowed me to embody Tuscany through my own interpretation. I had never used water colors prior to my time abroad, but since it has become one of my favorite hobbies.


Cybernarium Renee LaCroix+ Amanda Jones Bryan, TX Located in downtown Bryan, Texas, this building was designed to connect the community to the internet, to represent the growth of our culture, and to provide an innovative addition to the historic downtown. The program was to design a building to provide technology to the city of bryan. we immediately began looking at modern designs to house this modern program. the exterior mesh skin provides shading to the glass facades. the angled north and south facades help to give the building a modern look and were used to make use of the northern light and reduce the southern heat. Exterior mesh skin acts as a shading device, the openings are placed in a way that allows winter


sun to pass through, but blocks most of the summer sun. Exterior pathways act as light shelves to refract light into the building, and shading devices for the floor below. The ductwork and wiring for the building is contained in dropped ceilings and the air handling unit is located in the core of the building. the roof of the building drains water to a point above the core and feeds a gray water system.

B+W Composition Abbe Emerson Bryan, TX The inspiration for this piece is derived from the word “rhythmic.” The piece coveys a sense of movement while using the strict forms of a circle and diamond within a square. When thinking of this composition as a piece of music, the composition’s small details carry you through the work, similar to how the rhythm would carry you through a song. The strict barrier of the square boundary compliments the rhythm by creating contrast, just as the bass or beat would in a piece of music. The barrier is barely broken in three separate areas intending to draw your eye into the composition and carry it through the piece.


the model photo BY PAK WA LIM


The photo of an architectural model conveys several things to its viewers: it illustrates the architectural concept, the craftsmanship of the designer, and tells the viewers if the architect can capture his/her own design and present it in a stronger manner than the model itself. So it is necessary to acquire a model photography skill. The architectural model photograph holds the power to make or break a project: a good photo can bring emphasis to wellexecuted details, while a poor photo often underminds a well-thought-out design. Getting Appropriate Equipment: A tripod is necessary for taking high-quality model photos. The camera can be either a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera (DSLR) or a compact one with Program, Manual, Shutter Priority and Apeture Priority modes (Fig. 18). Both DSLR and tripod can be checked-out at the ITS at Langford A. Since most of the photo shoots are conducted in the Photo Lab where the lighting is dim relative to the direct sunlight, a tripod becomes very useful to stabilize the camera and prevent blurry images. If students have their own DSRL or rent the one from ITS, they have to make sure the camera body is mounted with an lens with


Fig.2 appropriate range. The appropriate range is from 18mm to 55mm, which is covered by most DSLR kit lens. Or, for better image quality, a 50mm wide-apeture prime lens is highly recommended. Model Placement: Before placing the model on the table, you must decide which background color to use: the black or the white (Fig. 1&2). It is recommended to use the white sheet because the shadow of the


Fig.4 model will be cast on the background and will be visable. However, there are several cases in which the black background can be used, such the cube project in Fairey’s studio or any project where the desirable shadows are cast inside the model and additional shadows would take focus from the project. After selecting a suitable background place the model on the table. The placement of the model







Fig.11 depends on what you want to see in your photo and what views you want. Set the camera on the tripod and align the tripod with the center point slightly in front of the table (Fig. 3). Observe the model on the camera screen or through the DSLR viewfinder and adjust the model position (Fig. 4). Adjust the height of the tripod and the

Fig.12 corresponding angle of the head to find appropriate viewpoints: eyelevel, low, and high. The eye-level viewpoint provides a first person perspective on an architectural design (Fig. 5,6,7), and the low and high viewpoints provide general images of the model (Fig. 8,9,10,11,12,13). Be careful not to

Fig.13 accidentally crop the site out of high shots; the more that you include in the shot the more post-processing options you will have. Adjust the distance between the camera and tripod for a close up shot and avoid using short focal distances because it will reduce the depth of field, thus reduce the infocus area of the photo.


Lighting adjustment: Several lights are available in the Photo Lab where you can adjust the light intensity, position and angle of light projection on each of them. The placements of these lights must correspond to the placement of the model and adjust based on what time of the day you want to show. Usually one or two lights will ights will suffice. when just using one light, pull the hanging light to the desired position, usually on either right or left side on the model about 45 degree from the center of the model. The angle between the light and the surface of the table should be about 50 degrees. One light provides more contrast to the lighted part and the shadow part (Fig.15). In the two-light case, keep one of the lights in position like the single-light case and then pull the other one to the other side, filling in the shadows. One of the lights should have a greater intensity than the other to preserve contrast. The lighting positions mentioned above are simply suggestions to control light; the many ways to manipulate lighting must be explored by the photographer to achieve the desired affect. One thing to remember: never set the lighting so bright that there is risk of overexposure in the photos. Overexposed photos are difficult to be “saved” in photoshop. Simply turn down the intensity of the light(s), reduce the ISO of the camera, and/or slow the shutter speed (if the camera is in S or M



Camera Setup: Switch the camera mode to the A or Av (Aperture Priority)(Fig. 14 ), and set the low aperture (larger f-stop number) to get a greater depth of field. This is very important in determining how much of the model is in focus. The ideal aperture is f/9 to f/14 (The A/Av mode of some compact cameras has a maximum apeture of f/8). Next, set the ISO to the lowest offered by the camera, usually ISO80 or ISO100. ISO 200 and ISO 400 are acceptable. Even though using high ISOs, such as 800-1600, can greatly reduce shutter speed, they often result in “noisy” photos, especially in the shadows. With the help of tripod, high ISOs become unnecessary. A final suggestion, if possible, is to change the format of the photo from JPEG to RAW. Working in RAW format will prevent the quality of a photo from deteriorating during post-processing in Photoshop. Photo Shooting: After placing the model, adjusting to the correct lighting, and setting up the camera, you are ready to shoot the model. There are three ways to shoot a model: 1. Simply press the shutter. 2. Use a remote shutter, and 3. Set timer for the shutter. Pressing the camera shutter is the most simple and direct way to shoot photos, but the moment of pressing the shutter release can generate shake, blurring the photo.

Clear and in-focus photos are very important to visually communicate an architectural design in both portfolio and presentation. Using a remote shutter or setting timer for the shutter can minimize the chance of out-of-focus images. A remote shutter is available for most DSLRs and is sold separately. The timer for the shutter is available in most cameras. Set the timer to 2 seconds and press the camera shutter, and then a photo will be taken after 2 seconds. Try to shoot the model at different distances and viewpoints to have a wide selection of photos to choose from while in postprocessing.




creative vision BY GABRIELA A. MACIAS

James Thompson may be just one of many architecture students that exude a passion for design, but what makes Thompson unique is the passion he pours into his work beyond studio. Thompson prefers to express his often melancholy thoughts though black and white photography. The subjects and focus of his recent work have been classmates, friends, capturing emotions, motion, and lighting. Thomson’s work is often featured in Texas A&M’s newspaper, The Battalion. However, Thompson practices his craft beyond just photographing events on campus. He continually refines his skill by setting up black and white photoshoots with friends or classmates. He seeks for new ways to capture them, creating minimalistic works of art as a result. At the immpresionable young age of 14, Thompson, received his first professional camera as a gift. Photography had always been a source of inspiration, and now, with his new camera, he began capturing his first pictures around his Dallas neighborhood, school and parks. He was enthralled to see the world differently from behind the camera. As

Thompson began taking pictures, he started to test what he could capture and experiment with what his camera could process. His work is mainly featured in black and white in order to emphasize the expression of gesture or emotion that color eclipses. For Thompson, color is a distraction from the picture’s quintessence. In the future, Thompson hopes to become a professional photographer and continue to explore different speeds of photography and styles. He also hopes to realize a career as an Editorial Photographer. In order to achieve these longtime dreams, Thompson is continually seeking to improve the quality of his pictures while attempting to capture unusual images that have not been captured before. His current plans are to continue to experiement with more abstract aspects of nature and surroundings.



+ arts 203+304

ARTS 203, commonly known as Graphics I, is an introductory graphic design elective in the College of Architecture, most recently taught by Donna Hajash and Jung Hee. To get a peek at the work being produced, you should swing by the main hallway on the first floor of ARC C, where you’ll find a constant supply of current projects on display. The course is open to VIZ and ENDS majors, and it provides basic knowledge of print design, layouts, typography, and the Adobe Creative Suite (including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign). More than that, it is the training ground for developing a critical eye for good design. By the end of the course, even students who begin the semester with little or no experience in graphic design will be able to distinguish and apply successful graphic fundamentals to execute well-designed work. Although the projects will vary depending on the semester, you can expect to begin the course with an introduction to typography and fonts. You might trace a favorite font or develop a pattern derived from a tessellated letterform, all in an effort to become familiar with the nuances of specific ont families. You will be introduced

you will begin to learn to use color effectively. As the magic of kuler. com is unveiled, Adobe Illustrator will be introduced, and you’ll start to learn the ins and outs of manipulating lines, paths, shapes, and images. Chances are good that you’ll be asked to draw yourself. You’ll spend plenty of time armed with a Wacom tablet (not supplied, but able to be checked out from the VIZ office), drawing the features and contours of your face, based off of an actual image. In the end, you’ll be amazed at the likeness between the graphic you and the real you! It’s likely that the moreadvanced final assignment will “The insight you gain vary, but you might be asked to regarding kerning and design the identity for a hypothetical leading will literally company, probably including a logo, business card, letterhead, and rock your world.” various collateral items. This project will give you the most opportunity literally rock your world. Using to experience executing effective thisknowledge you’ve gained and a standard grid, it’s likely that you’ll graphic design. It’s incredibly rewarding to be responsible for take a few quotes from Bruce successful visual communication, Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for from conceptualizing thumbnails all Growth and transform them into the way to producing shopping bags compelling 8x8” compositions. or tags. You’ll end the semester with The initial Graphics I projects tend to exclude color—it helps a dramatically improved perspective on the importance of well-designed to simplify the requirements of work and with the tools to produce the beginning assignments. A few weeks into the semester, though, to classic, beautiful typefaces that will serve as your best friends for the rest of your graphic design career, while you learn to develop a healthy distaste for trendy, poorly-designed fonts: you’re bound to hear the words, “That font is free for a reason.” From there, you will work with grids in InDesign to arrange larger amounts of copy. You will learn about justification, ragged edges, and hanging indentions, and in what instances each of those alignments might be appropriate. The insight you gain regarding kerning and leading will


t t t t t t t t t

t t t t t t t t t t t t t t

t t t t t t t t t t t

t t t t t t t t great projects yourself. Whether you intend to pursue graphic design any further or not, the experience gained in this course will be helpful for the rest of your career. At the very least, your knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite will set your final boards for studio apart and you can sport a really great Illustrator graphic as a Facebook profile picture. ARTS 203 meets twice a week for two and half hours in the Mac lab on the first floor of ARC C. Several projects will make up the majority of your grade, while a few quizzes or tests might be given that cover basic graphic design knowledge discussed during inclass lectures and readings. The workload is generally less than a design studio, but more than an average elective class. It would be helpful to take this course as a lower-level ENDS student, because the skills you gain will benefit the rest of your work from there on out.


ARTS 304, commonly known as Graphics II, is an advanced graphic design elective offered by the College of Architecture and taught by Donna Hajash. Successful completion of Graphics I is required prior to enrolling in the second course. You wouldn’t want to skip the intro course, anyway, because this course builds on the fundamentals of design taught in Graphics I —without previous knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite and experience with typography, grids, and color, your Graphics II projects might not succeed. By the end of the semester, you’ll have further developed your ability to distinguish and execute good design, and you will have experience designing a broad selection of media. Your first project, a typographic self-portrait, has the added lesson of providing an exercise in patience! You will be

asked to use letters and words to produce a portrait of yourself, based off of an actual image. Using scale and color, you will arrange letters and words individually, along paths, or in text boxes to produce the contours and features of your face. Although tedious, it is a valuable experience to enable letterforms to give up their traditional meaning in order to become graphic design. The end result is your face... in words! Next, you’ll create a poster of your journey to school, again with an emphasis on type. You will be encouraged to look at examples of successful poster design in order to roduce a feeling of movement and the passage of time in your own work. The middle of the semester includes a few weeks to produce a personal identity, including a logo, business card, and resume to brand yourself. Not only is this good experience in branding, but it will provide you with well-designed

t t

collateral to set yourself apart in interviews and applications. After this, the projects may vary, but you might venture into the design of book jackets or magazine layouts. You will continue to refine your Illustrator and InDesign skills as you add another skill set to the graphic design media that you are capable of producing. The semester will culminate with an introduction to Adobe After Effects, as you design a 30-second kinetic type animation. A whole new realm of design possibilities is revealed as you experiment with animating the type that you have learned to beautifully design. In the end, you will be amazed at the power of the combination of moving type, image, and sound. ARTS 304 follows a similar grading format to ARTS 203, and it meets for the same amount of time but on different days in the Mac lab. Group input and collaboration is encouraged by almost-daily, informal critiques of individual work in front of the class. It would be useful to take this course in the fall of your fourth year or sooner, because the work you produce and the experience you gain will continue to improve the presentation of your studio projects.


3150 Finfeather Road Bryan, TX 77801


3150 Finfeather Road Bryan, TX 77801 979.824.1035

Visit the VIZ office or email Professor Donna Hajash at for more information


arch 330


Thorncrown Chapel by Fay Jones, Federation Square by Donald Bates, and the Thermal Baths at Vals, Switzerland by Peter Zumthor. In the course of a semester we easily covered approximately thirty projects. The case studies are taught in an engaging and interesting style. A robust slideshow of images with little text accompanies each lecture, allowing O’Brien’s personal interest and curiosity in the designs to drive the lecture. Holliday’s input to the lecture is invaluable as she explains the specifics of each structural system from a structural engineer’s perspective, relaying the system’s benefits and drawbacks. Because the class focuses on the structural As a sophomore in the course as a “study of aspects of each building, a student environmental design, I entered significant works of architecture who has taken ARCH 331 will ARCH 330 unsure exactly what and materials and strategies find the homework assignments the subject would be or if I would used in their making; focus on slightly easier to complete, however, even like it. Although I was familiar innovative materials, systems, a background in structures is with both professors this was my and partnerships necessary to not essential to understand the first experience in a class taught realize the design.” This translates concepts presented. by either. After only a few weeks into investigation of the innovative The homework in the class I began using points I learned structure and systems of modern consists of two main projects. in class to design and defend architecture. Class meets twice a Students familiar with O’Brien will my studio projects successfully. week and consists of a lecture over recognize his classic assignment in the first project; it requires searching Suddenly I realized this was one of two case studies that each use a for ten of your favorite structural the best classes I had taken in the similar structural method. These elements from five categories for College of Architecture. methods include lattices, lofting, a total of fifty elements. While the The catalog description for supertrusses, corrugation, or project was time consuming, ‘The Making of Architecture’ outlines wrapping in buildings such as the


for the engineer on a project to figure out. While engineers can offer guidance and are available to determine the exact dimensions necessary for structural elements, a good designer knows that they must understand structure and systems in order to design effectively. This class does an excellent job of introducing students to a broad variety of structural methods and exploring the specific issues the architect dealt with on the project that

affected their design. By the end of the semester a student can expect to feel much more confident creating innovative designs now armed with the creativity fostered in this class. I highly recommend this class to any student pursuing a degree in architecture. “I became infinitely more familiar with vast amounts of modern architecture...expect to feel much more confident�

I became infinitely more familiar with vast amounts of modern architecture in my quest for favorite pieces. The second project is a case study of a building, selected from a list of buildings notable for their structural system. Teams of two research a project, then present the building background, structural system, and evaluation in a written report and slideshow presentation. Grading for both assignments is stringent, these are not projects that can be accomplished the night before. What you learn while researching the projects, however, will significantly enhance your design ability and understanding of architecture. Students often joke that they will just leave structural problems


decision time BY JOSHUA WALKER

As college students, we often find ourselves required to make difficult decisions with little or no solid information to guide us. Whether to eat at Layne’s or Cane’s, which desk in studio is least likely to get taken over by a messy neighbor, or whether to attend lecture instead of working on studio are all questions that we make with only a friend’s advice and a gut feeling. However, some decisions need a little more information; selecting classes is not something to take likely. So when your degree plan requires you to choose a writing-intensive course during your time here, get informed and pick the best class* for you.


*The decision most students face is whether to take ENDS 260 or ENDS 112.

ENDS 112: Environmental Responsibilities and Design. [1 Credit-hour]

The workload: For a one-hour course, not as light as you might suspect. The first essay on “Ethics in Architecture” requires at least two pages single-spaced, while the second totals a minimum of five pages. The third project is done in a randomly-generated group or three, with both a paper and a presentation. Peer reviews and rough drafts are required for most projects. The reading material/emphasis: Cradle to Cradle, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. This 186-page book emphasizes rethinking the frame of mind from which most designers approach the concept of “sustainability.” The professor: Dr. Miranda is a

knowledgeable, experienced lecturer who holds a thorough knowledge of his material. His teaching style combines droll wit with a no-nonsense, direct lecture style. Conclusion: This is the class for a student looking to understand the concept of true sustainable design. Though less work-intensive than ENDS 260, the professor and TA’s still uphold a high standard for all submissions. If you decide not to take the class but are still interested in the material, the book is highly comprehensible and recommended.

the reading material appears somewhat tangential to architecture, Professor Warden takes these two works and blends them with philosophy and theory toshow the development of architectural theory over time.

ENDS 260: Comparative Theory in Built and Virtual Environments. [3 Credit-hours]

Remember: Always consult with your academic advisor before selecting classes to ensure that you are satisfying the graduation requirements for your degree plan appropriately. Course and credit requirements are subject to change, and requirements are not uniform across degree plans. Review based on information from spring 2012 and prior semesters.

The workload: In a word, heavy. ENDS 260 is rumored to be “the hardest class in the college.” Ana Escobar, a current student, emphasized that the reading is difficult for students unfamiliar with philosophy or abstract theory, but rewarding when the right time and research are applied. The final essay requires 8-10 pages.

The Professor: Professor Warden is an incredibly skilled lecturer, described as “humorous and enlightening.” Under most circumstances, the subject material could be disorienting, but according to currently enrolled sophomore Ana Escobar, not only does the material make sense but it also provides “a great background for the future that gives more meaning to what I’m designing.” Professor Warden emphasizes deep career-specific questions like “what does architecture mean?”

Conclusion: If you’ve ever considered taking a philosophy course, or pondered the deeper Reading material/emphasis: The meanings and philosophies of Closing of the American Mind, design, this is the class for you. by Allen Bloom, and Infinity and Be prepared to work, but if you Perspective, by Karsten Harries. are willing, you are certain to “American Mind” is a study of improve your theory education and American higher education and its design philosophies for the rest impact on philosophy, while Infinity of your career. Remember, busier and Perspective focuses on history schedules than yours have taken and art to study philosophy. While the class before, and suceeded.


minors in review * UNDERGRADUATE

ART & ARCH HISTORY TIME COMMITMENT 1 or 3 credit hours each, average commitment. 6 hours (100-200 level) + 9 hours (300-400 level) PROS This minor offers a deeper understanding of visual and built historic cultures up to the present, which can be applied to your architecture studies through design and/or research. This minor is popular among students is because 9 of the 15 required hours are already covered within the Bachelor of Environmental Design degree plan. This means only two additional (3 credit hour) courses are needed to complete this minor. The courses offered are always changing, so this minor is easy to adapt to your schedule.


CONS Pick your classes carefully; make sure your extra classes count towards your minor. Beware boring lecture classes.

COURSES OFFERED FALL 2012 ARCH 430 History of Ancient Architecture ARCH 434 Painting and Sculpture in Ancient Architecture COURSES IN B.E.D. PLAN ARCH 249 Survey of World ARCH History I ARCH 250 Survey of World ARCH History II ARCH 350 History and Theory of Modern & Contemporary Architecture COURSES REQUIRED ACCT 209 Survey of Accounting Principles INFO 209 Business Information Systems Concepts MGMT 209 Business Law FINC 409 Survey of Finance Principles MGMT 309 Survey of Management MKTG 409 Introduction to Marketing

BUSINESS TIME COMMITMENT 3 credit hours each, varies by class from intense to practically none. 6 classes total. PROS These classes will open your eyes to ways money is made and managed. Architects are notoriously undervalued because they typically do not understand the business world. As future architects, these classes should be required. Each class gives you a glimpse into different aspects of business. FINC 409 may be the hardest class, but you will learn how to invest and make educated financial decisions. MGMT 209 will expose you to laws relevant to every business owner. Prepare yourself for a successful future and set yourself apart from your peers. CONS Some classes require intense studying (MGMT 209, FINC 409) or busy-work (INFO 209). Take these classes early on or in the summer.

*For a complete list of requirements for each minor, visit the Department of Architecture website at http://dept. To apply for a minor, pick up a form in the Department of Architecture’s office (second floor of Langford, Building A) and schedule an appointment with your advisor.

ART TIME COMMITMENT 18 credit hours total. Minimal time commitment.

COURSES REQUIRED URSC 201 Urban Form & City Planning URSC 301 Urban & Regional Planning

URSC 360 or URSC 370 PROS Issues in Environmental Quality If you enjoy being artistic and or Health Systems Planning creative, this is a great way to URSC 340 or URSC 461 earn a minor while enjoying Housing & Community or Urban yourself. Only two classes, an Issues introduction to design and an art history course, are strictly URSC 460 or URSC 471 required, and ENDS 105 covers Sustainable Communities or the design requirement. After Planning Healthier Communities completing those courses, each student decides on which media to study: Traditional Media or COURSES REQUIRED New Media. ARTS 103 or ENDS 105 Once and emphasis is selected, Design I three courses from the selected ARTS 349 emphasis and one course from the non-emphasis must be com- The History of Modern Art TRADITIONAL MEDIA pleted. It is suggested that the Drawing, Life Drawing, Painting non- emphasis class selected related to an emphasis class the I, Scupture, B&W Photography, Advanced Photography, Color student selected ,ex. Painting I Theory and Digital Painting; Black and White Photography and Digital NEW MEDIA Photography. Graphic Design I, Graphic Design II, Digital Photography, Digital CONS Painting, Graphic Design III, It can be hard to get into some of Designing for the Web the ARTS courses.

URBAN PLANNING TIME COMMITMENT 15 credit hours total. Moderate time commitment. PROS Urban Planning classes are interesting because they encourage you to pay more attention to current events in the news and actually care about the future of the community that you live in. This is a common minor for students majoring in Environmental Studies, so you will get to meet new peers that can offer new perspectives. Urban Planning teaches students how an architectural project can not only have a lasting effect on immediate users, but a whole community over time. CONS While touching on some aspects of architecture, these classes are structured more like a political science class; there are a fair amount of essays over past legal decisions.


no plastic sleeves BY MICHAEL ROLLINS

There is a certain beauty to be found in a designer’s portfolio. The attention to detail given to each piece of work creates a composition worthy of accolade, a body of work that illustrates not only what the author is capable of but also who he or she is as a person. Therefore, it is important for anyone creating a portfolio to become accustomed to professional, good design. No Plastic Sleeves, a website created by Danielle Currier (who coauthored a book by the same name


with Larry Volk) seeks to explore and exemplify well-thought- out portfolios and promotional materials for designers seeking inspiration for their own work. Volk was a graduate of RISD and is currently a professor of Photography at Endicott College, while Currier is Parsons alumni and a professor of Design at Endicott. According to the authors, “your work and the manner in which you present it is a critical part of securing potential employment

opportunities and clients. Our unique approach addresses all facets of the portfolio process.” No Plastic Sleeves serves as not only inspiration for designers’ promotional material but also as a tool for self-critique, print and online portfolio development, and the creation of personal branding, or the expression of who you are to a potential client or employer. The text is as invaluable a resource as the website and seeks to educate

rather than inspire (though admittedly, there is a significant amount of inspiration to go around). The book can be found online for a reasonable $20–$25. Portfolio and promotional material inspiration and tutorials Book of the same title is an invaluable resource ($20-25)

a noteworthy blog:



RSA House Chandeliers by Troika


4 2 Sugru designed


5 The Dezeen Watch Store is another way that the site supports designers. The Watch Store is the

in Hackney

The store provides a selection of watches by named designers and 3 The Blocks by boutique brands. Studio Toogood Dezeen Jobs, a branch of the blog, offers a platform for on4 ESGE Ecole Secondaire de line recruiting. Employers exacting Genoliare by ipas a £100 fee can post prospective jobs for all types of professional 5 Featured on and internship positions. Listings Dezeen Watches are posted by most recent and side 2 3 menus also categorize the listings and Art Exhibitions. of jobs by type, employer, and loca• JOB LISTINGS Dezeen was founded by tion. A majority of listings apply to • DESIGNER MERCHANDISE Marcus Fairs, a furniture designer international positions, as the web• DESIGN NEWS with an experienced background in site is UK based, but US positions journalism, who currently lives and are listed as well. Many design blogs popular works in London. Fairs launched The ability to explore a large in architectural circles are solely Dezeen in 2006 and was joined scope of news and trends in the focused on architecture and related by Rupinder Bhogal a year later. design industry is at the core of innovations. Dezeen Magazine’s Together they added Dezeen Jobs Dezeen. Encouraging enthusiasm blog, while including architectural in 2008 and the Dezeen Watch for design and providing a platform projects, features posts that embody Store in 2010. The expansion of the for designers to get jobs or sell a wide variety of design. Previously site to job listings and merchanproducts make Dezeen a site worth featured article topics have included dise sales distinguish this site from visiting. Graphic Design, Furniture Design, other design blogs.




It was a typical late night in studio, and an ominous cloud of dread had mixed with the aerosol fumes from the studio next door and settled on our desks. I looked up from my project as a friend turned to me and said with an exasperated sigh, “I can’t wait until this project is over, dude.” I agreed, “The funny thing is… we couldn’t wait to start this project.” I was frustrated with my naïve foolishness. The excitement from the beginning of the semester had since been sucked out of me by the innocuous 13 credit hours that I once had thought were a good idea to take. Too bad 13 credit hours actually means 60 hours of slave labor each week. We talked a little while longer then he noted, “It’s like being a sucker for roller coasters but hating heights. Somehow we trick ourselves into this every semester- without fail.” This got me thinking. Was he right? How is it that I begin every semester with the eagerness of a golden retriever, but end up questioning why I ever got on this roller coaster as soon as I as I have trudged to the top and waiver above the first drop? Let’s review the dilemma. The end of the summer draws near and a new semester begins, the prospect of which is invigorating.


You tell your parents that they have nothing to worry about this semester; you are going to ace all of your classes and probably get a medal or a key to the city for being such an outstanding student. You are going to get to know all of your professors so well that by midterm they will probably be inviting you to coffee to get your opinion on the deep intricacies of life, explain Derrida or the Biophilia Hypothesis, or solve global warming. Before you know it, a new studio project, the future shining star of your portfolio, is proposed. Your excitement is almost palpable. Your brain runs in excited circles like a child lacking self-control the day after Halloween. However, reality hasn’t quite reached you yet;

you are still on your way to the top of the roller coaster. A week or two into school and the excitement hasn’t died yet but it is coming. Oh, is it coming. One minute your mind is a ball pit of excitement and ideas, then suddenly, out of nowhere, reality checks in with its club and slams you in the head. At this point, you could swear your professors are all members of an evil brain trust that collaborated to overload you with work. In between the tests, quizzes, homework, papers, models, drawings, and organization meetings you barely have time to blink, much less sleep. On Friday, your reasonable studio professor assigns 50 detail drawings and a full 1 to 1 scale model due for a

review on Monday. Oh, and there is going to be a guest reviewer, so don’t let your professor down. Along with these realizations comes the actual project itself. You look at your project and you watch your free time get shot out of the sky, scream to the ground, crash and burn. None of this happens to your non-archie friends. All they talk about is how great of a day it was outside while you just stare at it through the window trying to remember what sunlight feels like. The review gets closer and yet the end is still so very far, far away. There is so much to do but never enough time. “I’ll never finish,” becomes your mantra for the night. You end up finishing. Now you just have to sit through an hour of pretending to listen to your reviewers as they pick apart your

model, both metaphorically and literally. Then, as suddenly and mysteriously as it began, it ends. You step off the roller coaster and walk toward the exit vowing, “I’ll never get on another one again.” Just give it a couple of minutes and you’ll walk around the corner and see the next promising ride. The truth is, without the lure of the next great ride, architecture would be a miserable profession. However, the

excitement that seduces students to take the next roller coaster is Wonly part of the reward. The ultimate satisfaction is being about to look back at all the thrills: the up and downs and stomach-turning loops. Don’t give up, young frustrated architecture student! Persevere and one day you too will be able to look back and know – it was all worth it.

THE REALITIES OF AN ARCHITECTURE STUDENT: 1. Deadlines have been known to materialize out of thin air. 2. Sleep, contrary to popular belief, is unconditionally necessary. 3. Your other classes have the gall to require attendance and homework. 4. It takes time to weed through the ball pit of your mind to find ideas worth implementing. 5. Whoever made the decision of 24 hours in a day definitely forgot about us.


Interested in writing for AXIOM? Want to shout at us about something we wrote? Know a professor who deserves to be featured? email us at:




Tim and Holly Stephens 84’

Axiom Fall 2012  
Axiom Fall 2012