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Learning Portfolio #2

Final project Josefin Jansson

It is so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas - Paul Cezanne

It’s also hopeful and exciting maybe this will be the worlds next masterpiece‌ - Josefin Jansson

Start of the final We set up a closed group on to discuss and share our ideas. This was a real success, super easy to setup and maintain. Everybody is already constantly connected to Facebook so we could always reach each other quick. You can also see how many people viewed your post, to control if everybody got the info. Especially useful when I was absent the first two classes. I recommend other to do this in the future. Initially we shared inspirations and ideas on the Facebook group. We shared links, pictures etc.


Site analysis

Waste travels

The team chose the site while I was still in Sweden. Semi-central location, lots of sunlight, big wall with lots of rivets to attach bolts in for possible mountings. Found out during our work on the site is that the wind ends up by our site and all that it brings with it (like dust, leaves and trash) ended up on our site. We had to work extra to sweep off our site and to maintain it free from waste.

Designing Design process started with brainstorming by sharing inspiration pictures on Facebook, discussions in class etc. Parallel to that we also discussed materials. We wanted to use cheap, “green”, light and recyclable materials. None of us had easy access to cars so transporting the material could be an issue. I think Gena and Jamie pretty early suggested PVC pipes as material, instead of more expensive wood. We also talked about using the overhang grid so I was involved in the “grid-group”.

Individual design Since we talked about using the walls and overhang grid all my iterations for our prototype were all suspension structures. I wanted propose different ideas that the others in the group could response to and hopefully something would catch their attention and be used in our project model.

Design ideas We had discussed using used materials and this was an idea of hanging used bottles in strings. This idea would play with the elements of our site. The shapes and strings would create shadow on the wall, the sunlight would create reflections and the wind would blow and make sounds through the openings in the bottles. This could be an decorative element or part of the model. I like letters and here I played with the letters of all the team members names. I would bring something from everyone into our project.

This is a pick-up sticks prototype, a design not too uncommon in an architectural context, a little Ban-ish. I could be roof hanged, mounted on the wall or placed on the ground.

Hanging structure that can move with the wind. The shadow creates a sibling model. Also influenced by Ban architects and projects we looked at throughout the semester. The wooden slats creates a depth and represents hierarchy. This could also be a part of the model, something to look up on, it doesn’t look the same in front as from underneath.

Picking from the smörgåsbord Jamie and Kyi Kyi’s models in the courtyard


Everybody liked the folding fan shaped structure, we discussed if it could be used as an overhang structure. Kyi Kyi’s models in the courtyard

The chosen one

At the presentation of our different individual projects the debate was lively and different ideas was joggling. None of my iterations met any bigger interest, I got to know that we were a group with strong individuals and minds. Of course it is a little disappointing to not get once voice heard or paid attention but that is part of the game in a group project. We decided on working with Jessica's model, she expressed a strong opinion and had high demands for our project. I liked her model and it was something we could start working from. The material was set to be PVC pipes and the were to be assembled with connectors.

Jessica would work on a new iteration of the model, with PVC pipes. We also wanted seating functions so that had to be incorporated. I helped out in the end of making the new model out of q-tip straws, I suggested skewers but she found them to difficult to work with – I thought the opposite.

The design is being developed by collective inputs from the team.

The critique on our design we got from Jerry was that it has to be able to experience the model by creating more space within it. We also needed to figure out a roof or some kind of overhead structure to make it more monumental.

Jamie came up with a wavy roof structure, responding both to the rounded courtyard and to create space and protect from visitors from the elements.

Material Hunting the material was a big ordeal. When you’re not 100% of what you want or need. You also want to find affordable material, with right colors and within reasonable Bart distance. Remember that this was the team without drivers license and cars (at least partly).

Home Depot vs Discount builders! Discount builders was the most affordable for us, and later we found that other teams also got their supply from them.

Stuck on designing I think this was the most problematic phase of our process. We got stuck on finalizing the design. Jessica and Jamie had expressed the strongest opinions about the design of the model. So they got together with Kyi Kyi to finalize the design. I had, together with Gena started working on construction, to test the material. We had agreed on a cube and the dimensions of it so I wanted to test if the construction of the pipes was strong enough. If they weren’t, we would have to reconsider everything. The structure was very stable and strong, the four girls could all sit on the cube! Success! We then knew that we’ve chosen the right material and how to work with it. Sawing the pipes with a handsaw was easy and quick. I estimated that time for construction would be fast and relatively easy. Now we just had to get a finalized design ready, estimate how much pipes and connectors needed (beside what we already purchased) to build the whole thing.

The model of the finished design was going to get finished over the weekend but due to sickness it wasn’t. On Monday I offered to help out with it, since I was getting stressed. Jerry had been expressing a great deal of concerned with our team but I had up until now thought we were on track. I realized time was about to eat us up…

On Tuesday night we discussed on Facebook whether the design could be ready for Wednesday. I was upset and stressed, with only two weeks to presentation day. On Wednesday no design was finalized, due to miscommunications I guess. Writing on Facebook proved to not be the best way to communicate after all. I was very frustrated and pulled my team members in the ears (including mine), we had to finish the design before anything else was to be done. I think everybody (including myself) wanted to flee from the project but we had to pull it through – together!

I had made some sketches at home the night before, just incase the design wasn’t finalized, which was the case. I suggested we start working from them.

I used the picture of the model Jessica made and we had agreed on using. I drew the basis of it, to create a plan. So in this interpretation of the wooden model I needed to make the model possible to experience (you had to able to walk into it) and spacial. I also responded to a model Jamie had presented earlier, I don’t know why we didn’t use it for a design, it was probably not to everybody's consent. The yellow marking shows the part of the site we responded to in our model. I made walls so to create space and also to make it mysterious. You have to walk into the model to experience it fully. That was something we had discussed earlier in the processes. I tried to respect the others work, bring it in and adding to what we earlier had committed to, when I created this piece.

Jamie imported my Sketchup model into CAD and together we worked on how to finish the design. We discussed, Jamie drew and so on. That was a very fruitful moment in our process, I think. I was also a little happy to have contributed with some designing. I also liked how we all were able to give input on how the design was going to be. When you look in the mirror, this is how we should have worked from the start. We did some changes to add hierarchy to give a more complexity. I think Jerry wanted us to add something more curvilinear (not sure) but we didn’t seem to solve that. We said we would work it out while building our model, not really as Jerry recommended or taught us through class but it seem like other teams done the same. Not an excuse, just an observation. We did respond to the site, more towards the windows but I don’t think that came through, not even in our later presentation. I can agree, now, that the curvilinear should have been responded to.

More materials needed for our design and we also added rope and fabric. All material were coherently white. This was according to earlier instruction on making architectural models, to focus on the form and not the color. I think it was a wise choice, colors brings in lots of preferences that could take away focus from the design.

Construction Construction is fast when you are working with PVC pipes. It was fun to finally build something but sometimes hard, when three people pulling the same pipe..

Kit of parts – pipes & connectors

Construction Adding rope was an idea give more layers to the design, I must admit that I was not a big fan of it. But I think it came out pretty good and it served its purpose. It can be good to be proven wrong (sometimes) ;-)

Adding the fabrics was exciting. It was like the icing on a cake, close to the end and something that transformed the model.

I was very relieved when we had finished the construction of our model. It was some how a success for the team. Despite the problems and drama during the process, we had finally reached our goal. Perhaps not the best design in the world, or even in Arch 101, or at all, but we had completed our task - it was done, finito, ready, f채rdig! And it was still Monday, before the final presentation day.

Presentation We worked “together” to make the presentation. With together I would say Gena, Jamie and me, the other two hadn’t been very present or involved in the later time of the project, unfortunately. We went through the questions Jerry set up for the presentation in class. Later we added all the pictures on Facebook to show in our presentation. On Wednesday I wanted to meet up early to print and prepare for the presentation. I really wanted a clear structure on what we were going to talk about and in what order. I realized that it was mostly I who were concerned with that issue so I discussed with Jamie and Gena what we were going to talk about and who was going say what. Like many times during our project we what was committed to didn’t follow by the same action. I was not happy with the presentation. At times it was almost embarrassing. I can take responsibility for some of the critique but I feel like in part it got out of focus. The least I wanted to focus on was the conflicts and drama of the team. I guess that was a big part of our project our that you could read that out of our presentation or work. Perhaps Andrew knew about since he brought it up early in the presentation. I think his critique was fair and constructive but it wasn’t true that we didn’t really care or that our design just happened. I think each of us had a strong will and ambition to make this into a great project but due to some circumstances (we couldn't be accountable for) and our differentness we couldn’t pull through, to make a masterpiece. I think we had great challenges in our group, with culture, language, communication and illness. We are also eccentric people, with strong wills, verbal and sometimes stubborn minds – we are designers! ;-) .

I have learned a lot from this experience and even if we had our differentness and problems we produced a working design. That it what is going to happen “in the real world” too, when we get jobs in design firms. We’re going to have to work with eccentric people and maybe not always make homeruns, but once in a while perhaps even to weirdo’s can create a miracle, you never know…

Thank You!

Learning portfolio JJ