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M A RY

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CH EN O E

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Thinking Through the

Walls


A wall can be a metaphor used to describe an obstacle of insurmountable adversity. My wall is also a description of my design process.

2

The back wall of my studio desk, Spring 2009.


Contents Welcome inside my walls... 4-9

Eero Saarinen’s Emotional Interlopers

10-17

Fast, Slow, Healthy, Fun

18-21

Lerner Hall Student + City Integration Bubble

22-25

Vessel for a Pair of Salad Tongs

26-31

Choose Your Own Adventure

32-33

Post-Architecture

34-35

Art & Photography

36-39

Travel Drawings

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Eero Saarinen’s Emotional Interlopers Studio

Architectural Representation: Abstraction. Barnard College, Fall 2009.

Critic

Madeline Schwartzman

Assignment

Research the design approach of a chosen architect. Create a conceptual suitcase to embody the outcome of my findings.

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Defining Eero Saarinen Modern but not functionalist. Emotional design gestures that coexisted with intense time and motion research. Utopian by way of faith in corporate America. His worldview has always polarized critics and historians... Function Formal Expression

=

= “...today a good part of the architectural profession, liberated by the computer (or unleashed by it), may well regard Eero’s more spectacular shapes as heroically conceived and inadequately appreciated...” - Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen

“To true believers in the (Modernist) canon, Saarinen was something of a traitor. … The TWA terminal was a particularly flagrant violation of the Modern rule that form should express structure.” - Herbert Muschamp

Source: Pelkonen, Eeva-Liisa. Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future. p.13

Source: Muschamp, Herbert. “When the Cathedral Turned Black” in Hearts of the city: the selected writings of Herbert Muschamp. p.64

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Career achievements / Story of betrayal Saarinen’s projects can actually be categorized into three different approaches, ranging from pure function to uninhibited expression. He explored all three strategies simultaneously throughout his career, rendering any singular summation of his work inaccurate.

Abstraction

Increasing Formal Expresssion IBM Rochester, 1958

Orthogonal modern utility

MIT Chapel, 1955

Concealed internal expression

TWA Terminal, 1962

External expression

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Case Study: Miller House Mapping

Programmatic model

Architect’s original plan

Emotional topography

Suitcase

Map of functional and emotional progammatic elements in the plan.

Functional topography

In an exemplary instance of Saarinen’s contradictory ideas, his Miller House juxtaposes highenergy areas of family activity with simultaneous functional demands and the organization of its 9-square grid.

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A three-dimensional study model allowed for the two aspects of the house’s split personality to be investigated in isolation from each other or explored as an integrated whole.

The programmatic topographics were similiarly projected onto the form of the suitcase during its design process.


Manifested as suitcase Increasing Formal Expresssion

Opening sequence begins

Functionalist configuration

The three segments of the opening sequence of the suitcase correspond with Saarinen’s career stages as an architect attempting increasing levels of expressiveness in his designs.

Hybrid of function and internal expression

Open emotional expression

Removal reveals a handle

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W U N

HE

F

AL TH

Y

T

LO

S

S

FA

Fast, Slow, Healthy, Fun Adapting Healthy Food to Capitalist Branding Studio

Design I Barnard College, Fall 2010.

Critic

Joeb Moore

Assignment

Revive Spanish Harlem’s former La Marqueta green market based on a new business model that will provide neighborhood residents with greater access to healthy food.

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20% 15% 10%

10%

Why does Harlem have twice the obesity rate of my neighborhood?

15%

Source: New York City Deparment of Health and Mental Hygiene, “My Community’s Health: Data and Statistics.”

20%

Analysis Fast and slow food brands project divergent imagery... Slow Food Branding

• Natural colors • Detailed shapes • Delicate lines

Fast Food Branding

Calm, refined, contemplative. Designed to channel sophistication.

Bright colors Bold, thick shapes Curved lines

Designed to grab attention.

Fast food conceptually associates with fun, while healthy food associates with slow.

116th St.

110th St.

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Supermarket Fast food 3rd Ave.

Park Ave.

Broadway

Fast food’s brand advantage leads it to out-compete healthier options, limiting their availability in Harlem.

Lexington Ave.

Applied to local site


Response Is it possible to reconcile fast food’s advantage in the Darwinian game of economic survival with our society’s moral imperative to provide healthy food to those who need it most? if fast = fun, and slow = healthy, ...then can fast + slow = healthy + fun?

New marketing strategy

Re-present healthy food under more accessible fast and fun branding.

CURRENT FAST FOOD MODEL

Fun Branding

Fun Branding NEW MODEL Healthy food

Unhealthy Food

Healthy food

CURRENT SLOW FOOD MODEL Slow branding

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Performative transformation

Normative condition

Could healthy food's image be reinvented by placing activities associated with fast and slow food into novel new relationships with each other?

t.

S 116th

, Fast

Normative condition

Fast

Slow

Fun

Healthy

Index of selected potential interactions that could be enabled by programmatic overlaps.

salad bar + adjacent slide

dining + play area

Dialectic

l ercia

m Com

Fast and slow, sited

Existing fast and slow uses are already present near the site.

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ntial

t.

S 115th

ide , Res Slow

“Fast” and “fun” programs such as take-out are placed on the north commercial end of the site. Slower programs such as dining reside by residential 115th street. The two programs mesh together in mid-block, breeding interaction.


Exterior view of the commercial facade, looking south.

Final design

Wrapping fast and fun around healthy and slow. Fast and slow programs manifest into two distinct spatial zones. A sculptural public facade contains zones for play and shopping, while the orthogonal dining room blends in with its residential neighbors. As with the program, these forms are most often found mixing together.

Elevation looking east.

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Interior perspective

Cross Sections

Residential Neighborhood

Commercial Area

Site plan

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Lerner Hall Student + City Integration Bubble Studio

Architectural Representation: Perception. Barnard College, Spring 2009.

Critic

Madeline Schwartzman

Assignment

Analyze Bernard Tschumi’s Lerner Hall campus center. Design an inhabitable installation in response to the building.

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Process

Lerner Hall’s masonry facade along Broadway acts as a filter separating street activity from internal student spaces. Where architect Bernard Tschumi once cited the 1968 student uprisings as a progressive influence, his facade perpetuates normative campus fortifications against the Other.

Could greater transparency help integrate Lerner? Design development through analytical sketches and study models.

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Design Result A glass-enclosed bubble projecting out from Lerner’s wall visually connects students to the outdoor urban realm while preserving the physical and acoustic separation necessary for focused study. The design simultaneously acknowledges the general public by transforming into a bench at the moment where its structural supports meet the sidewalk.


Design synthesis

Entry procession Section cut

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Vessel for a pair of

Salad Tongs Studio

Introduction to Architecture, Cornell University Summer College 2007.

Critics

Henry Richardson and Vincent Mulcahy.

Assignment

Analyze an overlooked everyday tool. Design a vessel to contain both the object and its newly-revealed parti.

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Embodiment of forces

An external force compresses the handle of the tongs.

The force is transferred via a mechanical linkage...

...which in turn enables the front end of the tongs to compress another external object.

The compressed becomes the compressor.

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Analytical Process After analyzing the basic dimensions and movement of the tongs, I became intrigued by their shifting spatial enclosure.

The analysis began with observation. Measured drawings documented my findings.

Design Process

Areas of pressure and tension during the tool’s operation.

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Drawing recording the tool’s movement through the course of its operation.


The space enclosed by the tongs shifts as the tool is used.

Initial sketches from life helped me get to know my tongs.

Study models

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Choose Your Own Adventure

Reconciling Chinatown’s improvisational local culture with the standardized Manhattan grid. Studio

Design II Barnard College, Spring 2011.

Critic

Irina Verona

Assignment

Design a new transit hub and library for Chinatown, based on an analysis of New York City’s transportation networks.

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Standardized and local urban narratives There are multiple different ways to perceive the same city.

Bus tours

Walking tours

Large bus companies ferry crowds of passengers along preset routes between landmark destinations. Corporate capitalism has established a single standardized description of the city.

Organized by individuals and small businesses to experience specific local neighborhoods within the city at a slower human scale. Tours are often themed in response to customers’ individual fascinations, creating a web of alternate narratives as diverse as the city itself.

ONBOARD CITYSIGHTS GRAY LINE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

GRAVEYARDS

STATUE OF LIBERTY TIMES SQUARE ROCKEFELLER CENTER W.T.C. SITE

CIVIL WAR ERA

9/11 TOUR LITERARY HAUNTS OF HARLEM

WALL ST. GREENWICH VILLAGE SOHO CHINATOWN UNITED NATIONS CHRYSLER BLDG

Range and divesity of available bus tours (left) and walking tours (right).

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GREAT GATSBY TOUR

EXTREME CHOCOLATE

PIZZA TOUR

BROADWAY

HIP-HOP TOUR

ART DECO

BROOKLYN BEER CRAWL

JEWISH GANGSTERS OF THE L.E.S

HAMILTON V.S. BURR

FINANCIAL CRISIS TOUR ASIAN VEGETERIAN FOOD

LGBT HISTORY AYN RAND TOUR

LABOR HISTORY

LUXURY CHOCOLATE

SEX IN THE CITY TOUR


Chinatown’s local story

Still from an analytical animation produced in collaboration with Beatrix Carroll.

Unofficial urbanism This neighborhood’s culture innately resists another type of master narrative – Manhattan’s street grid. Locals hawk seafood on the sidewalks, cover historic buildings in Chinese characters, and share their roads with

Chinatown evolves Past

Present

Future?

Buildings constructed on sites defined by the Manhattan grid.

Current residents build additions on top of pre-existing buildings.

The grid and its subsequent layers of modification could become inseparably intertwined.

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A new coexistence Chinatown’s culture could not have been in further opposition to the requirements of my own studio assignment; my program was to create an archive preserving documents from the 1811 Commissioner’s Plan for the Manhattan street grid. My proposal seeks to retain a space for local community life within the context of the institutional archive. The library program follows the grid of the street to create a glass wrapper of book stacks. At the same time, spaces for local commercial and community use occupy the voids between the orthogonal grid in a decentralized network of nodes and pathways. The open nature of the atrium, and the diversity of its programming, work to position disparate types of users into a state of mutual awareness.

Travel by book

TRAVEL BY BOOK

Travel by foot

Travel by eye

Travel by tour

TRAVEL BY TOUR

TRAVEL BY TOUR

TRAVEL BY FOOT

Section showing the building’s relationship to its context.

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PLAN: LEVEL 1

Sectional perspective

Plans

PLAN: LEVEL 3

PLAN: LEVEL 2

STACKS

STACKS

STACKS

STACKS

KITCHEN

KITCHEN

VIEWING ROOM

VIEWING ROOM

Level 1 ground floor

Level 3

Level 5

KITCHEN

VIEWING ROOM

Level 7 rooftop

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Post-Architecture

A social experiment in spatial awareness Course

Curating Architecture Barnard College, Fall 2010.

Critic

Luke Bulman

Assignment

Develop a conceptual exhibit for the Diana Center 4th floor gallery space. My design attempted to respond to the inherent conditions of this site...

Credit: My wall installation idea was part of a larger exhibit collectively designed with my classmates: Andrew Altamirano, John Buonocore, Julia Burgi, Beatrix Carroll, David Coplon, Skylar Cozen, Moira Cunningham, Yi Ren, Carlos Valencia, Rolando Rodriguez, Rian Rooney, and Flora Vassar.

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Architects Weiss/Manfredi designed my campus's recently-completed Diana student center to include a glass view corridor, intended to allow students on different floors of the building to visually connect.

In real-world usage, nobody looks up.

My exhibit aims to raise awareness about the existence of the view corridor, and by extension about the overlooked presence of architecture in general, by denying access to it. Me and my classmates spent four hours covering the wall of the gallery in Post-It Notes.

Under construction.

View from Level 1 looking up to the exhibit on Level 4.

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Art & Photography

Suburban Gothic Personal, Summer 2010. Investigation into the potential for the everyday suburban landscape where I live to also be capable of producing experiential affects. Selections from a series. Lerner in Flight Personal, Spring 2009. Slices A.P. Studio Art, 2007. Abstract exploration of intersecting matter.

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Travel Drawings My efforts to perceive the world around me will be a never-ending journey. All drawings produced on-site.

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Versailles

Drawing in Paris, Parsons School of Design, Summer 2010. Instructor: Madeline Schwartzman

Nanstein Castle

Savannah, Georgia Personal, 2009.

Interior Passage, Chaco Canyon

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. Personal, 2011.

Landstuhl, Germany Personal, 2008.

Cรกdiz, Spain Personal, 2008.

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Sectional Sketch, Chaco Canyon Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. Personal, 2011.

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Villa Savoye I Poissy, France. Personal, 2008.


Exterior, Chaco Canyon

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. Personal, 2011.

Richards Medical Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Personal, 2007.

Villa Savoye II

Drawing in Paris, Parsons School of Design, Summer 2010. Instructor: Madeline Schwartzman

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M.Arch I Application Portfolio