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Crit / Journal of the American Institute of Architecture Students / Fall 2012 / Issue 74

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Journal of the American Institute of Architecture Students

Fall 2012

Issue 74

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Journal of the American Institute of Architecture Students

Comments

Features

Projects

Reviews

Fall 2012

Issue 74

7

Letter from the Editor: Impact

8

From President Barstow’s Desk

10

Vice President Castro: On Education

12

Special Section: AIAS Grassroots 2012

14

Spotlight: Experiment in Archiitecture Mina Missaiel highlights the high school mentorship initiative at IIT

16

Architecture School on a Budget Claire Craven defines opportunities for students to save money in architecture school

20

Blogging about Studio Culture Ulysses Valiente expands on his motivation to blog about issues in architecture

24

Rebuilding Global: In Kenya Students and Directors of Rebuilding Global share experiences in service and working abroad

30

Power to Heal: Flight 93 Samantha Winland interviews Paul Murdoch and reflects on the role of architects in monument design

36

Architecture and the Collective Identity Katie Pitre draws a relationship between architectural form and the values of a civilization

40

From the Archives, Crit 45: Personal Perseverance Melissa Mileff examines traits commonly associated with architecture

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Chapter Highlights: AIAS Freedom by Design

42

AIAS University of Tennessee Knoxville

44

AIAS Philadelphia University

46

AIAS North Dakota State University

50

Competition Winners: AARP Aging in Place

56

Competition Winners: SAGE Renewing HOME

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The Heights, Kate Ascher

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Last Word: Preparation Beyond Education


Editor-in-Chief Laura Meador, Assoc. AIA Publisher Matthew Barstow, Assoc. AIA Associate Publisher Joshua Caulfield, IOM Graphic Design Andrea Johns Design

2012 - 2013 AIAS Board of Directors President Matthew Barstow, Assoc. AIA Vice President Brent Castro, Assoc. AIA Director, Midwest Quadrant Jason Soderlund Director, Northeast Quadrant Amanda Larner Director, South Quadrant Miyuki Tsujimura Director, West Quadrant Westin Conahan AIA Liaison Chris Morrison, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C ACSA Liaison Marleen Kay Davis, FAIA Past President Nick Mancusi, Assoc. AIA Chief Executive Officer (ex officio) Joshua Caulfield, IOM

Crit, a celebration of student work in the field of architecture (ISSN 0277 6863), is published by the American Institute of Architecture Students, Inc., 1735 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006-5209 / www.aias.org / 202.626.7472 AIAS is an independent, nonprofit, student-run organization. Crit is free to all AIAS members. Previous issues of Crit may be purchased for $30 each plus shipping. Supplies of previous print issues are limited and some issues may no longer be available. Reprints and reproductions of articles are available for a minimal fee. Please contact the AIAS at 202.626.7472 or via email at mailbox@aias.org for availability. Advertising rate information is also available. Crit welcomes editorial and design submissions as well as readers’ comments. The Editor-in-Chief and the Board of Directors are committed to the publication of students work. All submissions become the property of AIAS. Š 2012 American Institute of Architecture Students, Inc. Copyright is strictly reserved for all articles, drawings, and photographs published in Crit. The opinions expressed in Crit are solely those of their respective authors, and do not necessarily reflect the policies and opinions of AIAS.

crit74 fall 2012

All photographs and images are provided by the contributors of the text they accompany unless otherwise noted.

Cert no. SW-COC-002582


SUBMIT

OPPORTUNITIES

Crit accepts submissions on a rolling basis – any time, from any person, on any topic (architecturally speaking). We do not predetermine issue topics, but create each theme after review and assessment of submitted content. Crit welcomes ideas in all stages of development: send us the seeds, and we’ll help you grow them into peer-reviewed articles worthy of publication. Submissions from AIAS members will be given priority in publication. Submissions that are not published in the upcoming issue will be held by the AIAS to be considered for publication in a future issue or another venue, such as the AIAS website. Full submission guidelines are available at www.aias.org/crit.

AIAS FORUM 2012 December 29 – January 2, Savannah, GA: forum.aias.org

crit74 fall 2012

Send your questions, comments, and submissions to the editor-in-chief at crit@aias.org.

AIA National Convention and Design Exposition June 20 – 22, Denver, CO ($25 student registration): http://convention.aia.org Reinventing HOME Student Design Competition Registration Deadline January 25, 2013 www.aias.org/reinventinghome Next Generation Design Competition Metropolis Magazine Deadline: February 13, 2013 http://www.metropolismag.com/nextgen


05


From the Editor: I M P A C T

Laura Meador

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Laura Meador, Assoc. AIA is a graduate of Louisiana State University and the 2011-2012 National Vice President of the American Institute of Architecture Students. Currently, Laura is employed in the dual role of Marketing Coordinator and Architectural Intern at Grimm and Parker Architects, a firm dedicated to civic architecture in the Mid-Atlantic region. In her newfound spare time, Laura enjoys being outside, napping, napping outside, and playing fetch with her beloved cat, Caspian.

Recently I found myself at a conference (not to be named in order to protect the extremely hardworking innocent) listening to a panel discussion focusing on untraditional paths to success in the profession. As the conference was high in AIA attendance, naturally, the topic turned to leadership. One by one, I listened to professionals, seasoned and unseasoned, carefully explain that leadership, while important, is not really for everyone. Some even cited themselves as shining examples of this concept, choosing to focus on their work rather than spending time on committees or community boards.  For years, I have spent time meeting students of architecture from across the country and around the world. I’ve seen first-hand our infinite potential through the incredible, thoughtful power of just one project created by one person. These people have individually and collectively helped me grow and led me to develop my passion for this profession. They weren’t always on committees or community boards and they certainly weren’t always on the other side of a table with a microphone. These people weren’t out to be labeled as “leaders”; these people were out to change the world through the power of design. So when professionals recognized as trailblazers of the field shy away from the idea of leadership, I sigh quietly and put my head in my hands. You are all missing the point.

willingness to step out to define change, to think differently and question the standard. While we continually advocate for increased diversity in the profession, it is actually the lack of inclusiveness that perpetuates this issue. In a world where architecture could become so rigidly defined, we must allow the flexibility to define a passion to then expand that of architecture. We must contribute what it is that we are uniquely passionate about to architecture, not simply take on the passions of our current professional community. Identifying oneself not as a leader, but as an outcast for not following a traditional path will not only diminish our impact as united professionals but also limit those individuals who will choose to pursue architecture. Our profession cannot progress this way – we can only grow through the inclusivity of all backgrounds and disciplines, each of us contributing individually to the collective understanding and practice of architecture.

When I put out the call for submissions to Crit 74, I was looking for different accounts of how our students are driven by their passions in the present to effect the profession of the future. While these articles cover an extremely wide range of topics, they are united in their mission to impact the profession in a powerful way through thoughtful research, community service, promoting awareness, and even changing the very way we are educated. Our generation continues to Leadership is not defined simply by a personality shape the profession we will soon inherit – what will type or number of positions served, but by the your impact be? C


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COMMENTS comments

From the President’s Desk

Matthew A. Barstow President 2012-2013

crit74 fall 2012

Matthew A. Barstow, Associate AIA, graduated from the University of New Mexico with his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and is currently serving as the 56th President of the American Institute of Architecture Students. Interested in architectural policy and advocacy, Matthew plans to pursue graduate education in architecture and law.

Greetings from Washington D.C. and everyone at the national office! I am excited to be writing you following the most successful AIAS Grassroots Conference in the history of our organization. More than 300 chapter leaders joined us in Alexandria, VA to learn about chapter leadership, discuss the future of our profession, and network with members from around the country.

organized around an idea to affect positive change in the architectural profession.

“Leadership” is a word that gets tossed around a great deal in our society, often under the misconception that it is used in reference to those in high level positions. However, when I use it in reference to what we intend to foster at the AIAS, I think of the first definition I ever remember reading, “To influence; induce, sway change-To pursue greatness; Live”. Since the beginning, the AIAS has been committed to building leaders that go beyond their studio walls and choose to participate in the decisions that are shaping our everyday lives. The confidence in your abilities and willingness to pursue greater opportunities is true leadership and it is a membership benefit that will stand the test of time, long after your time in the AIAS, regardless of where your career takes you.

2. To provide channels for the interchange of ideas between students, schools and countries.

As stated by then board secretary Laurie Mutchnik, “The formation of the National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA) was a result of the first Student Forum, a meeting sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (at the time in the Octagon-based headquarters in Washington, DC) and attended by a student representative of each of the 63 schools Our Value We are often asked, “What is the benefit of joining the of architecture in this country. The organization’s AIAS?” As a long time member of this organization, creation was a spontaneous action stemming from the I have come to realize our greatest benefit is not delegates’ belief in the need for and the values of such measured in the tangible (networking/relationship a national group. This organization, one of every student building, collateral/educational opportunities, and the of architecture, has three basic aims: planning of conferences) but rather the intangible; 1. To assist with bringing about a deeper our ability to develop leaders through the leadership understanding between the professional architect opportunities we provide to each of you. and the architectural student.

3. To attempt to bring about a better understanding of architecture and the profession by the potential architectural student and the general public.” These important endeavors continued to ring true in 1961 when then national president Ray Gaio, addressed the profession in his report at the AIA convention. “A little over a year ago, in San Francisco, I first had the pleasure of addressing you on behalf of America’s student architects. At that time a program of mutual benefit was proposed and the means to effect such outlined. The terms were: more assistance in inter-school and international communication, the undertaking of student-AIA seminars, recognition of student work and good faith in us.

Our Legacy This year marks the 56th anniversary of the AIAS since On the whole, most of the aforementioned points have its founding in 1956, when students of architecture been put into practice. We have, with the aid of Elliott


Carroll, the new Staff Executive in charge of Student Affairs, set up plans for regional and inter-regional newsletters; through our Committee on International Affairs, all schools of architecture throughout the world, including those behind the Iron Curtain, have been contacted and the replies show a definite interest in communicative exchanges of all types. And student work from around the nation is being shown here at the Convention for the first time. The fifth point of the program called for good faith in us. In many cases this has become a reality.” – Ray Gaio

A few weeks ago, I read an article that dubbed architecture one of the top five worst majors in today’s job market. I say this decision is up to us! We will be the deciding factor in the fate of our profession - not media pundits! Our legacy will be marked by the actions we take today. There is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, now is our time. How will you answer the challenge issued by those who would presume to dictate the success of our generation and our profession?

What will your legacy be? What positive change will you affect? Not someday, not if you become a Although our mission has evolved, the legacy they left national officer, not if you are placed on a national our organization is timeless; and it is important for you committee or given an external assignment for a to remember that they were no different than you. As collateral organization, but right now. How will you students of architecture, they were able to recognize spread greatness through your chapter, your school, both the problems within the profession and the value in your university, and your profession and through the finding their solutions by uniting under one organization. American Institute of Architecture Students? Years later, our students now engage with problems in the profession, academe, and their communities - I began with a definition of leadership, and I leave you continuously pursuing solutions by harvesting the power with knowledge of the opportunity to sway change, of our membership. This mission is the very reason our pursue greatness, and to live. The only moment you will organization exists today. ever have any control over is right now. Seize it! C

09


[designo] The Spirit of an Uncertain Living Language: The Architectural Dream of the Millennial Generation

Brent Castro Brent Castro, a recent graduate of The University of Tennessee’s Architecture and Design Program, has moved all over the south and currently calls home Nashville, Tennessee. This city is great for his love of music, for it is a community full of the passion’s of artist from every background and musical genre. Architecture to him is like a record from one of his favorite jazz artist Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain, full of soul. Similar to the theory, practice and actualization of architecture, soul jazz can characterized by a strong but flexible rhythmic understructure with solo and ensemble improvisations on basic tunes and chord patterns and, more recently, a highly sophisticated harmonic idiom.

Uncertainty drives the inquisitive nature of humanity. This same uncertainty has driven architecture to become the glorious profession it is today and has contributed to the development of our greatest works. An aura of uncertainty still challenges us today in regards to the millennial generation’s role within the profession. How do we scholars of architecture use our knowledge to be relevant within a changing field? I frequently question how our training within the academic environment leads to an understanding and proficiency within the professional practice. We must decide to take our education into our own hands to champion our field.

of fiction, a dream, a story within the realm of the mind of each designer. The skills required to make this design a reality vary from individual to individual, so the value of an education deeply-rooted in theory versus technique continues to be questioned. In July of 2013, the National Architectural Accreditation Board will host a review of the pedagogy of architecture and its relevance towards the creation of the successful graduate. The American Institute of Architecture Students, along with the American Institute of Architects, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the National Council of Architectural Rregistration Boards, will play a key role in guiding the future of architectural education and practice. In preparation for the Accreditation Review Conference, our organization took careful actions that led us to reflect on the role that education plays and how it should affect the profession our graduates enter. This is not only a discussion of the criteria, but a great opportunity to pause and recommit towards the act of constant introspection. What does it mean to be a school of architecture? For us to stay relevant as a profession, we need to ask ourselves who is this new graduate and what can we truly expect them to learn in 5 – 6 years. Please do not fail to grasp the spirit of our living language - architecture continues to be a reinvent itself and it is vital that it never stop evolving. The stage is set and the conversation is imperative. As students, we do have a voice at the table and it is a great one.

[mark making] crit74 fall 2012

Professionally he served on the 2011- 2012 American Institute of Architecture Student’s National Board of Directors as the Director of the South Quadrant. This past summer at the National AIAS Grassroots Conference in Washington DC, he was inaugurated as the AIAS National Vice President for the 2012- 2013 year and will now live in DC for the duration of his term. He feels that this is a perfect time to be committed to introspection and help to re-evaluate what it means to be a student of architecture and what it should mean for when students enter the profession.

The word design [designo] and the act of drawing [mark making] are inseparable from the creative act. [1] Over time, our educators instill within our minds this act of creating through the connection of our hands to a blank canvas. Everything that is taught to us lives within our memory. In our studios, we spend hours attempting to get at the heart of these memories.  Within the academy, we learn to draw, sketch, model, photograph, paint and write all to reveal these memories. Patience, silence and observation contribute to an inquisitive nature that leads to a higher level of understanding. Most importantly, the reason we sit through class, journey through school, or are even participate in organizations like the AIAS, are to use the skills we learn to see the world differently. The “who” and “what” that have affected our lives contribute a mindful nature into our design. This mindful nature is imperative to our role as the future stewards of the built environment.

I want to offer up a sense of optimism where, over the past 4 years, such negativity has been placed. Our education and profession are full of beauty and promise. We continue to hear the fight from both sides and it continues to be the same – the value of a liberal arts, allencompassing education versus a focused, pragmatic education. The answer is simple. Our educational process does not teach us every skill necessary to become architects. In a perfect world, it would. What it does do is teach students is to think, to live, to discover and to create a visual argument through drawing and space that others are incapable of. The design of space begins as a work

In a perfect world, our graduates would enter into the profession fully prepared to work in an office environment, no questions asked, with a full understanding of the design/development process. With mouse in hand, they could accomplish any task. They would be able to sit down and contribute immediately and equally. Try as we might, we know that this is not the case. Does this mean our pedagogy has failed? With a professional architectural degree, shouldn’t we be exemplary in that very subject? I would argue that while we must take initiative to be relevant to our future employers, we must do this with the understanding that our education continues during the intern process. That is the spirit of pedagogy, but we also have to consider the spirit of the


profession and champion the fact that accreditation is uniquely tied to licensure through the internship process. By commencement, emerging members of our field need to be great thinkers with the ability to tell a story of time and space. This fiction however, is not enough. Complaints in firms that peg students as ill-equipped to work and schools as unsuccessful in comprehensively educating students, flood the minds of scholars. There is a sense of negativity that surrounds the field of architecture. The answer to this lies with us, the students of architecture and emerging professionals, to rid our profession of this negative outlook.  I see a bright future ahead. Our generation, as millennials, has been defined as heroic and we are moved by our desire to serve our communities at a great speed. We need to take charge of our education and thereby the future of the profession. To ensure success, we must be in this together; to champion our field and become more relevant by positively engaging the communities we serve. Our students have the intelligence as well as the personal commitment to serving the public. Together, we have to guide our profession into the right place to fully achieve an active change in our beliefs. We must define our place in the profession by illustrating how necessary we are to our society. We are all well aware of how the economic crash has affected the path and field of architecture. I

hope the past few years have allowed the university and architects to be introspective in regards to how they effect the built environment in a relevant manner. The media has projected a negative image of our profession and education system. This aura now surrounds our equation for success within the field. Our generation did not cause this economic downturn, but we must lead towards a positive outlook for our built environment. We need to call for our schools, our students, this organization and our profession to champion the field of architecture and close the divide between the academic environment and profession. Together, we should help to take negativity out of our equation. This will not be a quick change, but a steady and great one, an investment in our futures as well as the futures of those who follow us. I know students and professionals care enough, they just sometimes need the push, inspiration, and the means. This conversation starts at the level of the academy, where we first learn to create guided by our memories and our dreams. The truth of what we do begins with how we combine our dreams with function to create what only architects can create - a story and reality of time and place. A language defined by us. There is still much uncertainty, but together we can continue to make our mark on society, a mark of relevance derived from what was once only just a dream. C

NOTES 1. Ambroziak, Brain. “Lecture 1, Visual Design Theory.” University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design. McCarty Auditorium, Knoxville TN. Spring 2012

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AIAS Grassroots 2012

Leadership, The AIAS and You! AIAS Chapter leadership is challenging. It requires a wide range of skills and knowledge almost none of which are taught in school. From running a meeting, to recruiting new members, to organizing event, running the financials, managing the bank account, interfacing with the administration and professional community, and so forth. Joshua Caulfield IOM Joshua Caulfield is the AIAS Chief Executive Officer

Knowledge: In order to be a successful leader, you need to know how to accomplish things. You need to have access to information, understanding of options, experience in processes and evaluating risks and rewards. The amount of knowledge necessary to be a successful leader ranges from the mundane (here’s how to open a bank account) to the extraordinary (here are the categories that you can get IDP credit for in your Freedom by Design program). The first tenet of true leadership is that: You do not need to know everything, but you do need to know where to go to learn more.

crit74 fall 2012

Networking: The Second Tenet of true Leadership is: “Never stand alone.”

Whom to assign to: The AIAS mentors suggest that you have a breakdown of 20/60/20 in terms of your members. 20% will do things without being asked. They are self motivated and excited to be part of the group. They have commitment and passion. These are your key people and it is a failing of new leaders to ask these same 5 people to do everything every time, simply because you know it will get done. It burns these people out and it fails to develop new people. You also have 20% of your members who will not really participate in anything. They are happy to lurk at the edges of the organization. The best people to tap are the middle 60%. These folks are the “average member”, they come to meetings and participate, but they aren’t signing up for everything and they may not even raise their hand very often. These people are your flowers waiting to bloom, your diamonds needing a bit of polish. The best way to engage them is to offer them a small discrete task that is important.

How to Assign: Assigning projects requires thought. At the AIAS, we advocate for SMART assignments: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. In addition, when assigning projects, it helps to People are more active and engaged when you give them align the task with someone’s interests and strengths. something to do. Most people do not join a team to side on The best leaders understand their people, break up the sidelines and watch. Unfortunately most new leaders large tasks into smaller pieces, assign those pieces and fall into the trap of not trusting their team to do the job. then support their people as they move forward. Thus we spend the majority of the conference focused on delegation! Delegation gives people a reason to be How to Follow Up: Management is a skill. It takes on the team. It allows them to step up and do something some training, some practice, and some effort. AIAS meaningful. Yet delegation is terrifying for most of our Grassroots teaches our leaders that there are 3 core young leaders. They naturally don’t want anything to fail, aspects to management: A.) Regular follow up is the but even more so, our members have a vision of what they key. Establishing a regular schedule of contact to want to see at the end of a project. Good leaders need to ensure that the team member feels supported without give up control and focus on results. being micromanaged is critical. B.) Allow them to fail.


People learn from their mistakes and failure. While you will need to reprimand them for failure just as you praise for success, you should create situations where you can allow people to fail without it breaking the overall project. Then after they have failed, give them the project again and let them try a second (or third or fourth) time. C.) Praise in public, and reprimand in private. When someone does a good job, be sure that everyone knows about it. When someone does a poor job, approach them privately so that they can straighten things out to avoid embarrassment.

Inspiration: Finally, leaders need to keep themselves engaged. Leading is hard work, and it is important to remind our leaders how awesome they are and to give them little rewards and experiences that inspire them to continue on. Our leaders are special and vital to our organization’s success. AIAS Grassroots is a conference specifically designed to support them, train them, and help them to “Sharpen the Saw�. If you are considering being a leader of the AIAS, please consider joining us this summer for AIAS Grassroots. C

13


iit

Experiment in Archiitecture

Mina missaiel

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Mina Missaiel (most people call him Martin) is a third year student at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Martin immigrated to Chicago at age 12 and has lived there since. With a passion for outreach he was nominated to become the AIAS at IIT Project Yellow (High School Outreach) Coordinator for the 20122013 term and is looking forward to developing the initiative further. Martin extends a special thanks to Ryan Gann and Aldair Renteria, who helped draft this article. Contact aias@iit.edu for further questions about programs and initiatives.

We’ve walked in their shoes, made the daunting career decisions, but few take the initiative to introduce the youngsters to the journey. When was the last time you asked a child about what he or she wanted to be when they grew up and the response was “An Architect”, instead of “Doctor” or “Astronaut”? Though some high school students seem to lack direction before graduation, many have a sense of purpose and are actively searching for the right major, the right profession, and the right lifestyle to pursue. Unfortunately, the vast majority of students are unfamiliar with the opportunities that architecture can provide and the societal impact of an architect. Little is done to ensure high school students are aware of design related careers; instead most are steered towards more “practical” choices. As those most relatable to the students looking for guidance, it is important that we, as students of architecture, actively advocate for the next generation.

technical high schools, most students are deprived from being exposed to any discussion related to architecture. With this realization, we felt the obligation to share our profession with prospective students, but in the end found our efforts were productive in reaching out to all ages. The High School Outreach workshops were formulated and conducted in S.R. Crown Hall and have witnessed many high school students enter a novice and depart a novelty. Through small-scale design charrettes followed by a review, students who attend these workshops are given insight into the design process that both architecture students and architects follow. Through a partnership with the IIT Undergraduate Office of Admissions, the sessions began being incorporated to University visit days and served as a further supplement to exploring potential majors. Given a small kit of parts comprised of recycled scraps typically used in model making, students are given the assignment to build a structure without bending or breaking any of the provided pieces.

Taking an break from the rigor of studio, our chapter at the Illinois Institute of Technology set out to draft a helpful “Besides encouraging creativity, innovation, and selfintroduction to architecture for young audiences. Because expression through discussion and hand on exploration architecture is a topic most commonly taught only in of space and form, it invites intuitive problem solving.


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Since the workshop is remarkably portable, inexpensive to run, and challenging yet accessible to all grades of high school students, individuals with various levels of education and training can easily replicate it in a variety of contexts. In the style of true architects and the spirit of ingenuity in developing this workshop, AIAS IIT created a structure through and into which its users – high school students and their families and teachers – could breathe” (Marya Spont, IIT Outreach Coordinator). Not only are we reaching out to high school students, but we have also begun reaching out to elementary schools. Created with a childlike quality, these adapted exercises capture the imagination and problem solving associated with the design process. With the kit of parts, floor plans, and simplified wall sections, students’ programs we hope not only to alter misconceptions of designs illustrated innovative thinking, creative building, the profession but also to heighten public awareness and the basic understanding of what an architect does. to the practice of architecture and design related disciplines. AIAS at IIT hopes that our initiatives serve as With the nationally launched initiative for further inspiration for other chapters to reach out and advocate integration of high school students into our membership, at a different level, speaking to the true mission of the we as a chapter look forward to the opportunities to AIAS in “promoting excellence, fostering appreciation, mentor a younger generation. Through developing our and enriching our communities”. C


BUDGET features features

Architecture school, on a

Claire Craven Claire Marie Craven Half French and half American, Claire grew up in a small town in the east of France until she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee after high school, where she lived for the past six years. There she spent much time improving her English, looking for treasures, building everlasting friendships, and getting a bachelor’s degree in architecture. She graduated last May from the University of Tennessee with honors, spent the summer teaching introductory design to transfer students, and is currently looking for employment while getting re-accustomed to full nights of sleep.

It is no secret that in order to get through architecture school, you have to commit little less than your entire soul, life, and being. At least this is the warning you hear from others when filling out your application, again whenever you mention your major in a “normal” public setting, again from those who failed where they fear you will succeed, and then finally, it becomes the mantra you repeat to yourself at two in the morning to justify the fact that you’re still in studio, holding two pieces of basswood together, wondering why oh why has this glue not dried yet? In response to such reasoning, I used to tell myself that nothing of worth is ever easy. After five years of architecture school this statement has been crushed, held to the light, and engraved beneath those eyelids which were shut too little or tangled in the laughter bursting in the middle of the night. I held on to it because if there is one thing about which I was not warned, it is that the content of your wallet isn’t always proportional to the strength of your will, and that architecture school demands the full amount of both.

Getting a degree in architecture is far from cheap. While we are not required to purchase as many expensive books as other majors, on top of climbing tuition we pay for a drafting board, model supplies, drawing utensils, some books, all sorts of paper, computer hardware and software and – the greatest, final unwavering blow – printing. Add to this non-exhaustive list every meal you purchase on campus because you didn’t have time to go home, the snacks to keep you alert during studio, and most importantly caffeine, and it makes for a very sad banking statement without ever shortening your dear Amazon.com wish list. No matter how good you are with money, there comes a point where studio takes precedent over everything else, and all you know is that you need nourishment and a caffeine boost right now, your deadline is coming up and you’ll worry about the rest later. The clear assumption made by architecture programs is that students will give it their all; the unspoken one is that they all have the funds to do so. There are scholarships and loans, but for students with very little or no financial back-up, even everyday purchases can become an additional source of stress,


Figure out the topography of your site and map a number of heights with basswood sticks or wire. To create the landscape, use rolled up paper towels, butcher paper or newspaper in order to build up to the proper height, hold them in place with drafting tape, then cover the whole thing with strips of paper dipped in a mixture of Elmer’s glue and water. White paper towels give a cloth-like look to the terrain, resembling sand or text of newspapers can be used to define ground surfaces in a subtle way. Butcher paper is cheap; the brown-colored one gives a nice contrast to basswood. Papier-mâché is altogether a fun, inexpensive way to convey topography, and with some care and imagination it makes for quick study models as much as elegant final ones.

Black ink & paper The key is to keep in mind what printer you will be using: most black and white printers lack the definition given by the wider array of inks possessed by color printers. If you embrace this notion, even black and white on bond can look nice. Think of it almost as a newspaper print: play with the levels (Ctrl+L in Photoshop) and curves (Ctrl+M) of your images but make sure that your image mode is in gray scale. Give up on the crisp flawless image and add noise (Filter > Noise), even to your line work. It’s always about contrast: if your lines are so obviously crisp, they will look foreign on any low-grade paper. Keep the high definition for photo mat.

“ There is potential everywhere—even in the negative space of your bank account”

Final presentation, spring 2012. 18 feet long, $120

Papier-mâché

11x17” Don’t underestimate the potential of the 11x17” format. Depending on the scale of your project, it may be able to fit a plan, or a section, quite comfortably, as well as text and diagrams. Its reduced format allows for cheap color printing on literally any kind of paper, and the 11x17 plates can be combined to create a compelling grid of drawings, on its own as well as in complement to 24” high boards. If you know how to look you may find treasures in the most unlikely places: in the discarded piles of your wood shop, in the cheap section of the bookstore, in the recycle bin and maybe even in your school’s restrooms (I wouldn’t use anything else put the paper towels, though). As future architects we owe to ourselves and the rest of the world to make the best out of every situation, because design is an applied art which thrives under the pressure of constraints. Because it is born out of the interaction between the reality in which we live and the fiction we dream to realize, architecture (and design in general) reflects who we are as individuals and as a people. So let’s be the kind of people –the kind of designers– who can find rabbits in all hats. It’s just a matter of keeping your eyes open.

and once you’ve paid for tuition, rent and utilities, there isn’t much to work with. (Not that I’m speaking from personal, bitter experiences, obviously.) The thing to keep in mind is that architecture school is highly sequential. If you overwork yourself your health will pay the price and when that happens, you may not be able to keep up with school work. Failing a studio puts you not a semester but an entire year behind – which also means more to pay. Therefore if you do the math, it’s less costly to think on the long term. More often than not you end up having to take out more loans, because it’s worth it to invest in your own education. That being said, I have learned that there are ways to reduce costs along the way. At the heart of the entire discussion lies the need for a change in attitude. We find it hard to finance final projects but we often fail to consider our limited budgets from the very start. In the midst of the emergence of digital technologies, we tend to assume that we must take part in the race for the biggest, brightest, most high-resolution presentations, in hopes of pinning up images born and raised in

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crit74 fall 2012

Final presentation, fall 2011: grid of nine 11x17 plates, color. $10

a digital world on a real-life wall. Producing a project becomes a careful battle between the paper and the screen, where your CMYK soldiers are insubordinate, where the battlefield can’t handle their color, and unless you’re at 300 dpi on photo matte with a fair amount of cash in hand you may walk out of the print shop vanquished. But if you do have the funds for such extensive printing, it’s really quite easy to budget: all you need is the price per linear or square foot on the type of paper you want, and you can give yourself limits in order to stay within your means. It becomes more difficult when you are really limited financially and neither photo matte nor color printing is an affordable option. At this point, there aren’t many ways to solve the problem unless you are willing to have a different attitude about it. I often find myself thinking about the future of our profession in a world where technology leaves most of us out of breath, where the race for novelty doesn’t always embrace both the thinking and the making of things at the same time. I find my concerns reflected in our own schools, where we sometimes set out with a particular result in mind without considering the variables leading to it. Yet we are so skilled at laying out presentations according to paper sizes, or planning out our models around the size of the laser cutter bed; we simply fail to take in account constraints other than

those given by our professors. We assume that to compete with our fellow classmates we must tell our stories the same way, although they almost always have a different ending. So, here’s the deal: if you’re broke, design more. Any material has the potential to be beautiful if treated thoughtfully. I am reminded of Louis I. Kahn and the way he talked to bricks:

“What do you want, brick?” And brick says to you, “I like an arch.” . . . It’s important, you see, that you honor the material that you use. You don’t brandy it around as though to say, “Well, we have a lot of material around. We can do it one way. We can do it another way.” It’s not true. You can only do it if you honor the brick and glorify the brick instead of just shortchanging it or giving it an inferior job to do, where it loses its character. . . . And so you can talk to nature about many other things.(Lecture at Pratt Institute, Louis Kahn: Essential Texts, p. 271)

Everything you do is a design exercise; your budget simply becomes another variable. It isn’t easy and not always fair but it will open your eyes to the


hidden life of materials you might otherwise take although my greedy collection of paper towel rolls for granted. provided endless amusement for my classmates), which didn’t cost me anything, looked nice, and I remember the quiet panic which overcame me in my had been a lot of fun to make. Long story short, I last semester of school when I realized the desolate printed an eighteen foot section in eighteen separate state of my bank account three weeks before the one-by-one foot squares on white butcher paper final deadline for our self-directed projects. I felt (fifteen cents per linear foot, it comes in all colors) a mixture of injustice, despair, fear, and a good on the black and white ink jet printers set up in our amount of disappointment. You go through five studios. This way I saved the bulk of my funds for years of school believing that your last presentation those nice 20x30” perspectives I had been working will be dramatically different, splendid, with some on, for which I paid with graduation money that I laser beams and mirror tricks and whatnot—only to hadn’t even deposited yet. (At the print shop it went realize that you weren’t careful enough, your credit something like this: “Your card has been declined.” card is maxed out and you still need to eat for the “Oh I’m sorry, it does that all the time, may I write you next month. I felt defeated. Then I remembered a a check?” I kept my fingers crossed and deposited conversation when our drawing professor, for whom the money that evening. I do not recommend this I was a teaching assistant at the time, had asked strategy.) The final presentation was tedious to pinme: “Why does your last presentation have to be up because of all the different pieces, but I stole my different? Why can’t it just be the best of you?” I friend’s sewing pins (which are cheap but delicate, thought of my study model back in studio, on which and almost invisible on the wall) and I was able to I used paper towels from the bathrooms to papier- present a year of hard work for little more than a mâché the sand (I promise it did look like sand, hundred dollars. C

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crit74 fall 2012

BLOGGING ABOUT STUDIO CULTURE


A few years ago, I began to blog casually about my life as an architecture student, but with encouragement and support from a few friends from Ryerson University and the AIAS, I made the decision to expand my blog to a greater audience. Last year, I created The Underdog Architecture Student’s Blog, where I wanted to use my experiences in design school to help other architecture students online. I was a student that fell behind in my studies and I hoped that my story of patience, persistence, hard work and student involvement could show that anyone can succeed. However, besides the tale of my architecture school odyssey, I utilize my experience and observations from architecture school to discuss the different aspects of studio culture: the good and bad.

upon its students to sacrifice physically, mentally, and financially. This is disadvantageous for some students and develops a greater social-economic inequality in the field by excluding students that cannot afford the luxuries and added costs needed to succeed in architecture school. By blogging about these challenges of architecture students, this becomes an online support system that transcends one’s respective school. No longer are we confined to the walls of our respective architecture studios, we can get engaged with other architecture students around the world in a discussion of the current state of architectural education and studio culture and hear first-hand experiences from others on how to cope.

With my website, I hope to engage people by bringing awareness and the passion for advocacy to the common student experiences we deal in architectural school, even those topics that we shy away from as students. My goal is to trigger an awareness and reaction with readers. Some of my recently blog entries are good examples of catalyzing the different facets of studio culture to encourage discussion and awareness. In one post, I discuss the studio “all-nighter” we encounter and the impacts and stresses tied to this architecture student custom. The following article is an extension to the all-nighter post, where I discuss the importance of mental health awareness for architecture students. Thanks to the power of social media and the Millennial architecture students face a different reality vast blogosphere, these topics began to disseminate than the architects who studied in the past. We are no beyond my school, beyond my location, getting a longer a time when architecture studio is just a drafting response from students and professionals that can table with vellum sheets and drafting pencils. This is identify and relate to those experiences. a not an age when tuition is low and university was regarded as only an option or for only those who can The first post focused on the issue of the all-nighter, an afford it. Architecture schools are no longer defined by experience that most of us architecture students have a predominantly male and affluent student population. gone through in their years at school. All-nighters are Today, architecture students are challenged with keeping seem necessary as a project must be done on time no up with an ever-expanding discipline, a constantly matter the costs while maintaining competitiveness in innovating field, a tumultuous economy and an ever- quality of work. Yet this method of work can also indicate shifting job market that demands higher education. a student’s inability to manage their time. We know The current architectural education system upholds an that we are in a competitive profession that requires intensive and rigorous curriculum that requires an “all- meeting deadlines and satisfying clients at all costs or-nothing” mentality and places greater demands and no matter what. Rather than to adapt skills to cope in The internet and social media are valuable tools and resources for students in school to share and discuss the experiences from the design studio. Collectively, this opens up a dialogue that allows peer learning from other architecture students to occur beyond the walls of the architecture building. With the increase of blogs, websites, and online videos by professionals and students of architecture, we can learn and gain insight from their broadcasted experiences and stories. For architecture students, this connection transcends studio culture into the digital as we can relate and learn about the challenges faced in design studios today.

Ulysses Valiente Ulysses Valiente recently graduated from Ryerson University. He served as Committee Coordinator for the 2011 Edition of 325 Magazine, a student-run publication at Ryerson’ s Department of Architectural Science. Ulysses was Chapter Vice-President of AIAS Ryerson during the 2011-2012 academic year. He is the founding blogger for The Underdog Architecture Student’s Blog (http://underdogarch-student.com/).

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the profession, we learn to celebrate this lifestyle as a habit and way of life, which can be compromising to the physical and mental health of a student. Though these studio experiences do teach design students invaluable work ethic, are they truly effective in making us productive if they are harshly taxing our body? I dedicated two blog posts to our love-hate relationship with the studio, all-nighters, and with a few tweets and facebook posts, my friend Jeff Pastva from the Designated Sketcher, an online architecture student website, responded to the post and added on to the conversation. The conversation led to the discussion of proven strategies to avoid and cope with all-nighters, such as students learning to effectively use their time in studio and building up their work from the onset of a project. All-nighters might be effective as a short term band-aid solution; however in the long haul, it does not teach us the importance of time management as professionals. The sacrificial demands that are placed upon us disregard the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance as individuals.

heat, get out of the kitchen” view. This looming feeling of inadequacy makes it even harder for students to seek the support system accommodation they need in architecture school. Our studio culture embraces the survival of the fittest, which can leave these students out in the dust. I felt that this issue should be brought up, as mental health awareness is being brought up in the media more frequently. From some research, I found that mental health is a struggle that has become an increased occurrence in our generation. I decided to blog about it, linking students to appropriate sites that would give them background information on mental health or how to deal with friends that show signs of struggling. Through a few tweets and emails, my blog was featured as a guest post on a blog by architect Bob Borson, Life of an Architect, one of largest architecture blogs on the internet. I received comments from students, both past and present, that experienced those same issues. Professionals and students who dealt and identified with this experience responded through blog comments and online shares. This platform for dialogue provides a resource to architecture students that feel alone Another issue that I wanted to promote was mental health in their struggles. This blog entry gives students hope that awareness for architecture students, a sensitive issue they can survive architecture school and that we all have that was rarely discussed. As a former AIAS Chapter had similar experiences, but have found healthy ways to Vice-President in my school getting to know students, cope and move forward. and my personal experience in falling behind, I have seen how a personal crisis can greatly affect the academic Issues like inability to withstand all-nighters and lack performance of a student. The all-nighters, intensive of well-being should not be a limiting factor of who workload, and stress can trigger or worsen symptoms of can make it in the field. This reduces the diversity of mental health illnesses in individuals. I found that these voices, potential and opportunities in the field. These students had difficulty receiving accommodation or even are prospective individuals that can help progress the finding the spare time to seek help from a guidance architecture profession of the future. These blog entries counsellor or psychologist in their respective school. about the studio all-nighters and concerns for the Mental health is greatly stigmatized in today’s society, even physical and mental well-being of design students are more so in the architecture school culture, which implies an significant, as they tackle some very sensitive issues that endurance approach – embracing the “if you can’t take the many students in architecture schools keep quiet on,


causing others to accept these customs as the norm, forcing them to leave the program. These online posts unveil the issues and show students that other people have dealt with similar experiences. Blogging serves as an online defense system to helping dedicated students that are a valuable asset to the field of architecture to continue their education. This blog provides hope to all students, around the world, who deal with similar challenges every day. My blog also calls attention to the issue of studio culture to spark a dialogue that doesn’t just provide help, but also tries to challenge the relevance of the educational model linked to our studio culture experiences. There is an indisputable value to our architectural education for which studio serves as the focal point. It teaches us how to think creatively, strategize, and problem solve. Our common experiences in the studio have made us stronger and resilient. However, for some students, experiences might be bitter, with memories of failure and stress. I believe that we can learn from the stories of these students on what might be flawed in the current way architectural education is delivered and

what can we do to improve the situation for all students equally. Our experiences in architecture school can teach us how to move forward to be accommodating, compassionate, and relevant to the needs of future students in architecture. Our experiences as students should push us into looking at new alternative and effective ways in teaching studio while advancing architectural education. Our generation of architecture students will not only be one who will lead and run the profession tomorrow, we will also be responsible in the future development of architects as mentors and educators, and professors. For this reason, it is vital that we contribute our voices to challenge and shape the direction of architectural education. I choose to make a difference by blogging, to help and inspire students. I am blogging to bring awareness of studio culture and the all the issues related to it, both positive and negative, all to be brought up in the discussion. I am blogging to further improve the experience of architecture students in their educational career, not only for students of today, but those of the future. C

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In Kenya

Crystal Neff

crit74 fall 2012

Crystal is a writer with a mission. Her passion to serve others and promote social change resulted from years of volunteering and experiencing cultures and countries outside her own. Today, Crystal writes for others with a similar vision and helps share their stories. With a background in architecture, the social sciences, and the arts, Crystal explores the intricate connections between modern social movements and the compelling nature of prose.

Architecture is a captivating profession. It can also be excruciatingly demanding which is perhaps one of the most compelling facets of it. While contemporary architectural theory and instruction remain in many ways very similar to that of traditional instruction, the profession itself is beginning to move in a new direction, or at least the priorities of the young professionals who enter the field are. For many of them, the idea of “social work” is nearly synonymous with “architecture.” Inspired by such organizations as the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and Global Studio, the “Global Assistance Program” was created to bring design professionals, students, and volunteers together to [re]build healthy, sustainable communities through socially responsible architecture and design in developing countries. A program that was created by San Diego-based nonprofit Rebuild Global, the Global Assistance Program provides a reprieve from the competitive academic rigor of architecture, and instead places emphasis on delivering essential services and resources to communities in need. The discussion that is evolving through these efforts is one of a fundamental belief that architecture can serve as a catalyst for social change; and students, professionals, volunteers, and other mission-oriented organizations are finding their place at the table. On a three-week journey to East Africa, six architecture students from the NewSchool of Architecture, San Diego, designed and began construction of a sports complex facility for a small, underdeveloped Kenyan village through the Global Assistance Program. In a village where students gather in a classroom made of brick, mud, wood from eucalyptus trees, and cement – and extreme hardships such as poverty, political corruption, and vulnerability to infectious disease are common to everyday life, the optimism community members possess would make one think otherwise. For nearly a month, students immersed themselves in a vibrant, foreign culture and developed lasting relationships with an extraordinary community. This is their story. 

Tony’s Story:

I am inclined to believe that architects design for humanity. Architecture is compelling and extremely powerful. It makes sense that our efforts should be put toward the greater good – to design and build environments that are capable of creating a better future for everyone. This is why I choose to design. As architecture students, we are at a point in our academic career where we are afforded complete freedom to explore, learn, and question. There is no better time to step out of our comfort zone and explore the world. I joined AIAS as the Community Service Chair my second year with a broader vision than solely serving the local community. Through conversations with Sandra Plaza and Brian Will – founders of Rebuild Global – both of whom are Alumni of NewSchool, I learned about the Global Assistance Program. Sandra and Brian informed me of an opportunity to design a sports complex and community center in Western Kenya through the Seattle-based nonprofit Village Volunteers. From that day forward, I focused my efforts on spreading the word, gaining support for the project, and searching for a student coalition. People thought I was bordering insanity, with only six months to make a plan and make it happen. I struggled to find a solid group of students who were willing to take on this challenge given the little time we had left to prepare for it. Weeks of incessant efforts to get the word out finally paid off. Five ambitious undergraduates approached me with the same eagerness that I, myself, experienced. We had a team. We knew what we wanted to do, yet there were no programs in place at our school which were structured to send students to design in developing countries. With the help of Rebuild Global, Stay Classy, Village Volunteers, and our diligent AIAS Chapter, we gained enough support from friends and family to help fund our efforts. The day after our arrival, we were greeted by one of the most inspiring men I have ever met, Emmanuel Leina


Tasur. Emmanuel drove us to his beautiful village near Kilgoris in the Trans-Mara region of Southern Kenya; there was something magical about the people and the land. I found myself in awe over every little thing – the smells, the colors, the wildlife, and the people. It felt unreal, dreamlike. Emmanuel welcomed us into his home and the community of the Maasai. That first week was spent interviewing and documenting students and instructors from Emmanuel’s school, Sirua Aulo Academy. In addition, our team helped construct a new dining hall, which was instrumental in preparing us for the following weeks and familiarized us with Kenya’s vernacular and contemporary building typologies which consisted of masonry, concrete, corrugated metal, and eucalyptus. It was a sobering week, immersing ourselves into their community and culture. After arriving in the village of Kiminini in Western Kenya, we were prepared and excited to begin the real work of our mission. We met Joshua Machinga of Common Ground for Africa, who expressed an excitement and commitment toward his students, family, and friends that was infectious. We were then led to the site where we were to design and build the future sports complex and informed that it was only a matter of days that workers would be arriving to pour concrete and begin construction. We spent several hours during the day

conducting more interviews of students and community members. We had minimal internet access for research purposes – a commodity in the states that we’ve become nearly dependent upon – so the majority of our design was informed through primary research of our own. We designed a recreation center and two changing rooms constructed of concrete, masonry, crushed local aggregate, welded wire mesh, corrugated tin, and eucalyptus cut and milled on site. We incorporated a 200-meter track and field, indoor size soccer field, volley ball, tennis, and basketball courts. We couldn’t believe the progress we had made in such a short amount of time and with materials that seem so primitive and uncommon in the states. This sports complex will be the first community sports complex in Western Kenya. Both Emmanuel and Joshua found it difficult to convey the impact volunteers make on the livelihood of the community, especially children. This project could not have been possible without the support and feedback we received from the Maasai people, and the many individuals involved in the project, from the planning stages to the project’s implementation. This experience helped me grow as an individual and as an aspiring architect. I believe that traveling and experiencing different cultures is the essential component of humanitarian architecture.

A n ot e f r om S a n d r a P laz a, co - f o unde r o f R e bui l d G l o ba l : Design is often considered to be a luxury. Architectural services are almost always very costly, and not many people can afford to hire an architect to design their homes, schools, or hospitals. Design is a powerful tool, and it is through design in which a simple structure can be transformed into a space that inspires: hospital rooms that improve healing; classrooms which promote learning; homes that unite families; and work environments that foster collaboration and creativity. The role architects and designers play in our environment is becoming increasingly important, and we have the ability to transform communities and encourage social change. In 2004, I had my first taste of what the nonprofit world was like as a leader of the San Diego Chapter of Architecture for Humanity (AFH). Brian Will, a colleague and close friend of mine who helped lead projects through AFH San Diego, also felt that architecture served a greater purpose. Together, we incorporated Rebuild Global as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2010. Rebuild Global is committed to providing outlets for individuals to serve humanity through design and to connecting people with organizations in need of volunteers to actualize their projects.

During the first year of Rebuild Global, we were overwhelmed with the amount of support from our own community. As an organization, we have promised to help facilitate the change that is so desperately needed by creating the Global Assistance Program. Our goal is to bring these pressing issues to mainstream architecture and design to raise awareness and leverage our collective efforts. We have since been devoting our careers to creating a better world through socially responsible and sustainable architecture and design solutions where they are unavailable and needed most – Rebuild’s mission. There are many organizations and communities that would benefit greatly from a willing architect or designer. Our goal for the future is to continue establishing partnerships with colleges and universities and integrate the Global Assistance Pr ogram into curriculums across the nation. Our hope is that this program will inspire the next generation of architects, designers, and community planners the way it has inspired us. Together, we can help better the lives of millions. That is the real beauty of design.


crit74 fall 2012

Samantha’s Story: “Kenya, sweet and beautiful Kenya.” To this day, these are the words I use to describe the country I was so fortunate to be a part of. Like stepping into a dream, I often find myself reminiscing back to those three weeks that forever changed the way I view our world. Kenya is a place where pure happiness comes from the souls of its people and a sense of community is felt.   Somewhere between the late night stories of the Maasai Warriors, the sunsets overlooking the Maasai Mara, and the little girl who sat with me and drew pictures in my sketchbook, I left my heart in Africa. It became little to do with architecture, and more to do with the life and love we can choose to be a part of.  

In architecture, we are told that if we want to be good designers, we need to see the world. There is only so much truth we can take from the books we read and news we hear. It is within the moments that we are completely stripped of our comfort that we are able to see more clearly the needs of the people we are designing for. If given the opportunity to be passionate, to be adventurous, and to question everything; take it. You will be amazed at where you end up.   While I can’t tell anyone what to believe, I can say that my personal experience was one that I would choose to embark upon a million times over. I am leaving this experience having gained five brothers and a lifetime of memories the six of us will continue to share.


Christian’s Story:

It was my second year and I was ready for a new challenge. In January, I received word that my church had been planning several mission trips to different parts of the world. I had such a strong desire to go, but found the realist in me grappling with the fact that it would be a financial struggle. However, my desire to go never once left me, and only intensified as the days passed. I knew I could help, I wanted to help. I had hope. As the Fundraising Chair for the AIAS Chapter at NewSchool, I was significantly involved in the program, always on the search for new and exciting opportunities. The AIAS Chapter Community Service Chair, Tony Salamone, spoke about an opportunity with a local nonprofit, Rebuild Global. The more I heard, the more I knew this was the opportunity I had been waiting for. I quickly got to work planning our fundraising efforts, for what would be the trip of a lifetime. I knew there were people who were willing and eager to help fund a student trip to Kenya, it was just a matter of thorough planning, teamwork, and unwavering determination to successfully execute our fundraising efforts. Coupled with a curriculum which demanded the better part of my life, it proved to be an extremely difficult quarter. It was so worth it. I was amazed with the progress we made

as a team. Our Chapter raised enough money to fund a quarter of each student’s trip. Nothing could have prepared me for Kenya. It was a gentle giant with its own beautiful rhythm. Sometimes we fear things that are unfamiliar to us or that we don’t understand, but I wasn’t afraid. I was intrigued, excited, and hopeful. Before I knew it, there I was in a foreign land, so unfamiliar and different, yet so beautiful. From the moment we arrived, we were welcomed with open arms, embraced, and appreciated. Collaborating with the community, my fellow students, and other inspiring individuals was an incredible feeling. I knew the work we were there to accomplish would not have been possible without our help. It was a project that we created, designed and helped build. It was an experience that would be impossible to emulate in any classroom. Kenya was raw and authentic – it was liberating. The journey helped me realize that at the core, we are all alike. We have similar desires and the same sense of wanting to belong to something bigger than ourselves. The friendships I’ve made I know I’ll treasure forever; not only those of my close teammates, but the community and the individuals who helped make our trip possible and met along the way. That is what I miss the most.

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Jeff’s Story:

When I first heard of the opportunity to travel to Kenya through Rebuild Global, I wanted to go in hopes of crossing Africa off my bucket list. There was no way I could comprehend the impact this experience would ultimately have on me. I was not expecting to meet some of the most welcoming and kind-hearted people on this earth. The Kenyans we crossed paths with while on this trip were optimistic, steadfast, and down-to-earth, despite the economic turmoil and internal conflict their country continually experiences. Emmanuel Lasur, the founder of the Sirua Aulo Academy and our mentor for the first week, changed my life. His vision and goal for the Maasai people is to create a network of educational institutions to bring his people out of poverty so they don’t have to suffer. The Maasai have experienced a great deal of corruption, economic barriers, and instability which has created an extremely vulnerable community.

Emmanuel wants this to change, and has devoted his life to helping make that change possible. Because of Emmanuel, children are able to attend school on a regular basis. Another individual who had a significant impact on me was Joshua Machinga. Joshua founded the Pathfinder Academy in Kiminini, Kenya, for whom we designed the sports complex for, the Kick It Sports Academy (KISA). This school is part of his larger vision to bridge the gap between tribes and cultures throughout the region. One of the many things that impressed me the most about the community was their ability to move forward despite their challenges of providing essential resources to their community such as food and water, and without resorting to violence and war. I believe the world could learn a good lesson from the Kenyans, and similarly, how to lead a life of kindness and simplicity.

Geoff’s Story:

My experience in Kenya was an extraordinary one. From the very beginning, I embraced the opportunity to help make this trip possible any way that I could. As a member of the Fundraising Committee of our school’s AIAS Chapter, I took part in orchestrating a napkin sketch auction to raise money to help fund our travel expenses.. We were able to raise more than $400 to contribute to each student’s trip. This would be my first trip out of North America and what made it even more special were my teammates and those I met on my journey. The story that I tell most people, though, was our first venture off the compound as a group. It was “market day” in the village, and the six of us decided we would


like to go – little did we know it would make for a very interesting and unforgettable story. It was our first trip into town alone, without a mentor or guide, therefore I was cautious. As we walked through the streets of the village, taking in all of the sights and smells of Kenyan culture, we happened to notice a man who appeared to be following us. It really seemed, though, that he was following me. None of us said a word, and started making our way back to the compound. We didn’t make a big deal of it, and the next day we were back at the market; this time with our host, Joshua. To our surprise, we saw the same man who had been following us the day before. However this time, the man approached me, which I was not expecting! I

With the help of Joshua we came to the conclusion that this man thought I was his Father and that I was Jesus. I was sorry to disappoint the man, but we shook hands anyway and I greeted him with a huge smile, and we parted ways. Kenya was many things for me. It was my first abroad experience, one that came with a definite period of culture shock and inquisitive intrigue. The community we resided in for those few weeks was extremely appreciative, welcoming, and real. It is difficult to define a particular moment that I would describe as my favorite, because there were so many; but to be given the opportunity to design a facility that I knew would greatly benefit this community was incredible.

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features features

Architecture as Public Healers

Samantha Winland

crit74 fall 2012

Samantha Winland is pursuing her graduate degree in architecture at NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) in San Diego, Calif., where she is an active member of the student council and serves as student editor of Cartouche, a student publication of NSAD. Samantha’s professional interests include identifying and exploring innovative ways to address urban renewal and restoration, which are topics that she plans to make the focus of her final thesis. Samantha received her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Kent State University.  Samantha is scheduled to graduate from NSAD in 2013, and she is currently an intern at MW Steele Group, an architecture and planning firm in San Diego.

Over the past year, we have witnessed the opening ceremonies of several major memorials and monuments including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, and a portion of the Flight 93 National memorial. This inspired me to conduct research into the role that architects and designers have when working on projects as unique as memorials; a different realm of architecture. My research lead me to write several memorial-themed stories for Cartouche, the student publication of NewSchool of Architecture and Design, that were based on interviews with Paul Murdoch of Paul Murdoch Architects, designer of the Flight 93 National Memorial, and Hans and Torrey Butzer of Butzer Gardner Architects, designers of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Monuments and memorials are what I would consider one of the most permanent architectural expressions, something that forever preserves a moment within our history and can offer closure, instill pride, or simply function as an enjoyable public space. As designers, we have the opportunity to utilize our skill set to do good; to help people, to unite people, and to better the world that we live in. Within memorial and monument competitions specifically, the architect takes on the task of utilizing their knowledge and skills to help the community tell their story. It really becomes a balancing act, to mediate the emotions, the political aspects, and bring in the construction knowledge while appropriately integrating symbolism, material selections, and geometry.

flight 93

The opening ceremony of the Flight 93 National Memorial was held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This marked the 10th anni­versary since the tragic loss of the forty passengers and crewmem­bers on United Airlines Flight 93. Former presidents, state officials, relatives, artists, and members of the public gathered to open Phase I of the design within the 1,500-acre national park. Paul Murdoch Architects, from Beverly Hills, California, was the win­ning design group, with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape of Char­lottesville, Virginia. This project is still under construction, and is one of the most contemporary memorials to date. Flight 93 is a unique memorial by virtue of the fact that it’s viewed as the first victory in the war against terrorism, a victory in a different sort of way. The memorial’s design has the task of presenting something bold and heroic to Americans, while at the same time maintaining the dignity of the passengers and crewmembers final resting place. The approach to memorial design is unique in the sense that it creates a poetic statement through the exploration of geometry, materiality, and landscaping to adequately represent and preserve our history. The architectural composition must use symbolism and metaphor to create a deeper level of meaning. Paul Murdoch Architects focused their efforts on sustainable and poetic design that complements the

vast landscape and really works to tell the story of what took place on the morning of Sep­tember 11, 2001. S: How was it you came to enter the Flight 93 Na­tional Memorial Competition? P: I saw an ad in an architectural magazine, and it looked interesting both from the point of view as doing something as a designer to commemorate what those forty people did on that flight. I grew up outside of Philadelphia and had camped in that area as a kid, so the combination of the cause and the place seemed intriguing. S: Had your firm ever taken on any similar commis­ sions or entered other memorial competitions? P: Well we’ve entered a number of other competitions; this was the first one that we’ve landed. We’ve been finalists and hon­orable mentions, but this is the first one that we actually got a commission. S: Could you give a brief description of the site and location of the crash? It’s a unique opportunity to be able to build a memorial in such a rural area; can you expand on how you addressed this?


P: I think one of the things we realized right away when we looked at the descriptions and the photographs and maps of the site, was the scale of the landscape. It was very open and very sweeping and large scale, so any type of architectural monu­ ment there would’ve been dwarfed in that landscape. We real­ized that we had to work with the shaping of the land and with planting, and that it would be a very landscape-oriented memo­rial. We wanted to utilize features of the landscape that exist to enhance the experience and create the commemorative expres­sion of the memorial. In that sense, very early on we took the philosophy that the 2,200-acre park would essentially become a designed memorial landscape. We didn’t go about designing all 2,200 acres. We didn’t think that was necessary. We wanted to focus the designed elements at certain key points, and then let the land primarily be what it was in between.

the plane crashed. We always wanted the focal point of the whole park to be the crash site itself, and what we decided to do was rework the earth in that bowlshaped area and then frame that whole space with these memorial trees and a walkway. Then that would be focused onto the crash site. We wanted to express the flight path, so as people came in they would understand where the plane came through the site overhead before it crashed in front of these hemlock trees. From the park entrance, visitors travel a two and one-half mile road to come to the flight path walkway. This walkway brings visitors through two large walls that frame the sky where the plane flew overhead. After being aligned with the flight, visitors come to an overlook at the end of the walkway from where they can see the expanse of the bowl and view the crash site below, down the hill. .

S: Take me through your conceptualization process. How did the design evolve?

S: Building materials are generally inert substanc­ es, how did you get them to metamorphosize into something that really evokes emotion in people? P: The site is a long site, north and south; part of the What was the thought process through your reason for that is the state highway runs along the selec­tion of material? northern end of the site, so that the access for the public can be up at the state road as opposed to P: First of all, I think that the built elements are very the backcountry roads that surround it. At that en­try, muted in terms of the treatment. We have white marble we wanted to introduce one of the major memorial walls along the flight path, which is where the forty features. This is about 2.5 miles from the crash site passengers and crewmem­bers are commemorated in itself, so you couldn’t see the crash site when you the memorial. What approaches all of that, what sets came into the park off of the high­way. So we wanted all of that up is this long black plaza and sloped wall to introduce something up there at the entrance, forming the edge to the crash site. So there’s a sort of as a landmark close to the highway and something solemn tone created with the plaza and then something you’d see as you came into the park. That’s where we more uplifting and celebratory with the white marble, decided to put this tower, and because that’s in these where the names are. Then at the beginning of that plaza relatively open fields, there’s wind blowing across the is this gateway, and the gateway is this open structure fields quite often. So we decided to create this tower made out of concrete, and where we used the concrete, of wind chimes, forty wind chimes, one for each of the we used a hemlock form, to give the appearance of passengers and crewmembers; it would be this kind these heavy wood, rustic timbers. The crash occurred of living memory in sound. We called it the “Tower of right in front of a hemlock grove of trees. That grove Voices,” because the last memories of the passengers absorbed the whole impact and inferno of the crash, and crewmembers from the flight were through phone and so it’s a very powerful place in terms of backdrop to calls, through their voices. So we wanted to take that the crash site. We wanted to use that wood somehow in idea and then the quali­ties of the site--mainly this wind the expression of the memorial. So we found hemlocks always blowing through to cre­ate this “memorialism” used in barns 150 years ago; they’re hand hewn and we in sound, if you will. So that’s the feature up by the recycled them to create the formwork for the concrete. entrance, then there’s this road that goes through the We were looking at these materials to create a certain old mining areas and eventually arrives at the edge of tone, an emotional expression on the one hand, but to this bowl-shaped space. At the edge of that, there’s identify on the other hand that a very modern event had this sort of curving edge of the landform that goes occurred here. It happened on a commercial airliner, down onto a grove of hemlock trees, which was where a very modern piece of technology that was used for

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Renderings: Biolinia & Paul Murdoch Architects. Model: Paul Murdoch Architects.

with the design. Storm water was a big issue because of the acid mine drainage that is very carefully monitored and any sort of change in the storm water system or the hydrology of the site requires a lot of regulatory approval, so there’s a whole storm water sedimentation system designed into the site to address all of that. Those are all techni­cal challenges, and then there are the challenges of design; just having to do with the sort of symbolic expression, the emotional experience and trying to get all of that well designed and suitable for the landscape that it’s in. We did not want to preempt the crash site as being the primary place that people would come see, so the memorial design is in some ways a framework to try not to upstage that final resting place; actually a cemetery for the passengers and crewmembers. But to enhance the emotional experience of it for the visitors.

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the terrorism, but at the same time it occurs within the site which is very rural, with its mining and industrial histories. So, there’s a lot of rural character to the land that we want to pull out some things that are specific to the place as well as pull in certain qualities that are emblematic of the type of event that happened here.

S: Other than the families of the deceased, who were the other stakeholders in the planning and evolution of the memorial’s design and construc­tion?

P: The National Park Service is the lead partner in the sense of administering the contracts and operating the park. The Flight 93 Federal Advisory Commission was S: What were some of the challenges throughout created by Congress to define the area of the site, to the design process? Was there anything you strug­ implement a general management plan, and to select gled with? a design. So they were a key partner; then there was a task force that was comprised of community members, P: I think one of the things is that it’s a very challenging family members, and park service members. Those four site. For one, it took a long time for the Park Service to groups were the main partner organizations. One of the acquire all the different land parcels, so there were a lot other groups that’s associated with that has become of different complica­tions in terms of getting the land. It the National Park Founda­ tion because they’re the meant that we couldn’t get some of these areas surveyed fundraising arm of the park system. and some of these areas tested for soils until very late. Those things affected the process of it because of the S: Did the Park Service have you incorporate an mining history and so one of the challenges was getting in­terpretive center into the design? enough information about the land to know how we could treat storm water; how we could deal with the wetlands P: Yes, that’s what were working on now in the next that are on site because we wanted to bring the main road phase. It will include some additional memorial features around the bowl and the bridge through the wetlands as along the flight path, the groves of trees and then part of the visitor experience, so all of that has to be very between these two walls that frame the flight path will be carefully done in terms of permitting and regulations. The the interpretive center. There will also be a small learning soil quality is quite poor and yet we wanted to plant these center just nearby. memorial trees; there are forty groves of trees around the edge of the bowl, for example. The conditions for growing S: How have the local people responded to those trees have to be carefully done, and the soil needs what’s happened in their backyard? You’ve clearly to be amended for suitable growing condi­tions. The things re­ceived a lot of positive feedback. Was there any like the actual location of the crash and the direction of negative feedback? the flight path all needed to be reconfirmed. There’s a lot of that kind of site data that is necessary for the design. P: I think one of the most notable examples was the local We needed to understand the cost of everything that peo­ple who remarkably became the stewards of this was coming late in the game and that required a lot of place. There’s a volunteer group that was put together adaptation on our part, in terms of what we were doing to basically welcome people to a temporarily memorial


there, near the crash site. For years, these volunteers were out there, rain or shine, for two-hour shifts. For a couple years, there wasn’t even a shelter out there. They took it upon themselves as ambassadors to welcome people to their community, including the family mem­ bers. That volunteer group is still operating today, now that there’s a permanent memorial, even though the park service has taken over the operations. The volunteers don’t have as direct a role, but they’re still involved. They’re still a very nec­essary part within the operations of the park. So I mean, if you ask family members, they will say that the community really welcomed them with open arms. They became extended fam­ily, so there’s really quite a remarkable story there just from a personal and civic point of view. As far the design goes, I think it’s been overwhelmingly positively received. I think one of the concerns, was whether it would it respect the landscape that people there love. We’ve heard a lot of good comments about that from the community. Yes, there’s been some opposition to the design of course; there’s been controversy involved with it, but I think that the community itself has been very positive. S: Can you expand on some of the opposition and controversy you’ve encountered?

P: I think you have some conservative groups who were look­ing for something more heroic. They might have had certain symbols in mind that would express that kind of heroism, in what many people considered the first war on terrorism, or the first victory in the fight against terror that the crewmembers and pas­ sengers achieved. So they couldn’t understand how the design that we have was heroic in a different way than maybe they were looking for. And then, there’s a whole other controversy about one element of our design that was called the crescent of em­brace, which is basically the trees that frame the bowl in this semi-circular shape; and so there were people who took excep­tion to the use of the word “crescent” because they associated it with the Islamic symbolism. S: Have you had, or do you have an ongoing relation­ship with the victim’s families? Have they partici­pated in the process with you? P: Yes, they’ve continued to be involved as a key partner; they’ve been lobbying Congress for federal money; they’ve been help­ing with the private fundraising, and they’ve been involved in the design process as a kind of advisory group and participating in key decision making meetings. So it’s an ongoing partnership.

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Update on the Memorial: Currently, the memorial’s construction phase in­cludes the visitor center complex with the flight path walkway, the learning center and the memorial groves. The memorial groves will fill the space lead­ing down the ring road from the visitor center com­plex to the smemorial plaza. Future plans call for a ninety-three foot “Tower of Voices” that recalls the last memories of the passen­ gers and crewmembers. The tower will have forty cylindrical wind chimes, each symbolic of a victim.

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This interview was previously featured in Cartouche, a student publication of the NewSchool of Architecture and Design.

I think it’s a very impor­ tant place to America, and I think it’s very fulfilling to see that this design is now at least partially implemented and available to the public. The day before it was dedicated, it was opened to the families to come, and we were there. Just seeing the families come up the plaza and go up to the names that were inscribed and to see them; to have it there finally and see them walk down to the crash site through the gateway we created, just to have it realized and have it now is probably the most gratifying thing. I believe that memorial and monument design is an arduous task to take on as a designer where every expression must be made with such delicate precision so as to effectively translate the mes­sage into the appropriate emotion symbolizing events. The po­etics of the Flight 93 design express the brave acts of the forty passengers and crewmembers as well as performing as a serene park-like landscape set in a rural landscape. The design is bold and minimalist, offering a sustainable and appropriate solution to the difficult and unique site. I believe that the beauty is in the details, and as proven by Paul Murdoch Architects, the attentive nature within construction processes has proven to appropriately reflect this. The hemlock tree motifs, the expressions of the flight path, the framing of the crash site are subtle, yet hold so much meaning and power within the design. This is what creates emo­tion. These are the features that the designer introduces and are S: Are there any locations in particular that people unconsciously recognized by the public, visitors, have left items behind for the victims? What’s and family. It creates a silence, awareness, and an overwhelming emotion as you move throughout the going on in the area now? narrative of spaces. P: Yes, the temporary memorial was full of those sorts of trib­utes. It was a very simple area, and there was a chain My experience throughout this research project has link fence put up; people would leave things or bring opened my eyes to the fact that as architecture things and leave them on the ground. We wanted a students, we are truly given a set of unique and way for the permanent memorial to accommodate that, versatile skills. When considering career paths, so in the long sloped wall that lines the plaza, leading we sometimes forget how applicable our skills are up to the marble walls, we created some niches so that to a range of projects that go beyond designing people could leave tributes there. Then the main area a building or working in a firm. We are in essence that people would leave tributes would be at the forty communicators who use the design process to slabs of marble where the names are inscribed. There’s express a feeling, tell a story, or share a message also a small shelter down by the gate at the start of with respect to the human experience. Hans Butzer the plaza, and people can leave written tributes in that talks about the psychology of understanding how people use space and acknowledges that it’s “much shelter in a book or up on a wall. more about the human condition than most people S: How important was this project for you person­ally? can appreciate.” Memorials can be evaluated as What is your favorite moment or feature of the design? public spaces, as his­torical events frozen in time, or as artistic statements that stand on their own merit. P: Probably finally seeing the public, including the The public is left to de­termine their meaning and families, see­ing the park open and it being available. relevance over time. C


Architecture and the

Collective Katie Pitre Katie Pitre of Lafayette, Louisiana is a second-year graduate student in the Master of Architecture program at Louisiana State University. Katie received her B.A. in Neuroscience with a minor in Architectural History from Boston University in 2011.

NOTES 1. James E Côté. “Sociological Perspectives on Identity Formation: The Culture–identity Link and Identity Capital,” Journal of Adolescence 19 (1996): 420-21. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://sociology.uwo.ca/cote/ cote%201996.pdf>. Côté views identity formation through the transformations of adolescent ideologies. 2. Ibid., 420. 3. Ibid., 421. 4. Ibid., 421. 5. Ibid., 417-18. 6. Ibid., 418.

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7. Tom Postmes and Jolanda Jetten, Individuality and the Group Advances in Social Identity (London: SAGE, 2006), 116-36. Postmes is a professor of social psychology at the University of Groningen.

The relationship between architectural form and the meaning and identity of its users is one of reciprocity. The production of and interaction with architectural space affects a sense collective societal identity—a sense of self that fits into a larger social system—through its communal use and construction. As new ideal architectural forms replace obsolete ones, shifts in the user’s collective identity also occur. While the shift in identity over time is not always apparent during the transformation, physical manifestations of this shift, like architectural forms, provide concrete evidence of an abstract change. The architectural reaction of a post-colonial society is a is a suggestion of the transformation of the collective identity of the colonized from the overwhelmingly power force of the colonizing ‘other.’ The temporal potency of the colonial identity shift to a new ideal illuminates the relationship between architecture and identity relationship with clear pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial forms that can be attributed to a specific cultural driving force. The architecture of the Dwars Valley of South Africa illustrates the cultural and identity shift of the indigenous peoples caused by the introduction of Dutch architectural styles and ideals. Collective identity can be viewed through many lenses, but philosophical and sociological frameworks are combined here to best define identity in the architectural example, because of the theoretical meaning and experiential interaction associated with architectural form. Identity is an ontological term that frames how we view the world in relation to ourselves. More specifically, collective identity relates the individual to a society as a whole; it is a sense of self formed in an individual’s psyche that allows the individual to relate to others on a transcendent and innately human level.1 Shifts on this level of identity occur over a larger temporal order and transform en masse.2 Without recognition recognition of group relationships, nation formation and societies bigger than single families or single individuals would not be possible; identity is an integral part of the formation and progression of society, an intangible

feature that manifests itself in physical representations of the society that it shapes.3 For the discussion of identity to be relevant to the discussion of its causal relationship with architectural form, psychological and social frameworks that connect the two must be fleshed out. A number of social psychologists have written about identity formation and transformation. James E. Côté, a sociology professor at the University of Western Ontario, coins the term “culture-identity link,” to describe the formation of identity through cultural means.4 Côté uses interactions on the institutional level, as well as personal ones, to categorize identity and cultural links.5 He approaches identity through the lens of social psychologyy and merges the definitions of identity from each of those fields.6 The social psychological lens logically links culture and identity in a way that easily lends itself as an abstraction to architectural identity since both institutions rely on social interactions to function efficiently and abstractly. The “culture-identity link” Côté describes also corresponds to Tom Postmes’ description of social identity formation. Postmes states that collective identity is not formed in a social vacuum; collective identity is not an a priori facet of human existence.7 Collective identity begins to expose itself as an adaptive and interactive necessity of human existence. John T. Jost explores this idea through his studies of the motivational framework surrounding identity formation and functionalism.8 He suggests, through his work in System Justification Theory, that Ideologies, intertwined with Identity, become important and favored through motivational pathways.9 This can be applied to identity formation in such that the the specific interaction patterns that are most effective in helpingare most effective in helping groups and individuals view and exist and exist in the world become idealized through their usefulness in avoiding existentialthreats and, in some extreme cases, physical threats.10 A system that successfully imposes a new ideal on a society must therefore must therefore provide the necessary motivational force that


Identity restructures the collective identity.11 System Justification Theory delineates this motivation-identity framework by explaining that people, as individuals and members of a society, are motivated to reinforce the status quo, to legitimize the hegemonic ideal in order to solidify their position in society, and to reinforce their personal identity as a member of the elitist institution.12 The definition of identity used in the field of psychology tends to explore the issue on a personal level and is then extrapolated to the societal view.13 John Hendrix, a visiting professor of art and architectural history at Roger Williams University, merges this philosophical position of identity with the generative abilities of architecture by relating Lacanian definitions of egoformation to how architecture can operate to form new identities.14 The overlapping of systems and the interweaving of form exemplify the relationship between the signified and the signifier, the unconscious and the conscious.15 The terms ‘signified’ and ‘signifier’ are used in the field of semiotics to describe relationship between the concept being inferred—the ‘signified’— and the concrete form representing the concept—the ‘signifier.’16 The signifier has no inherent meaning.17 Through the development of languages,, the signified concept becomesbecomes associated with the signifier and only through this relationship does the ‘sign’— the sublimation of ‘signifier’ and ‘signified’—convey meaning.18 The collective identity, or unconsciousness of a society, models Lacan’s idea of an ‘absence within a presence.’19 Architecture signifies ideas that go beyond the physical properties of its materials such that the such that thepresence of form defines defines the absent conceptual capital within the form. Hendrix finishes his discussion of Lacanian psychoanalysis with the idea that “architecture can function as a diagramming model of human identity”,,20 due to the due to the inability of architecture to be completely completely objective or subjective. Hendrix posits that architecture bridges this gap—between the subjective and objective, between form and function—through its ability its abilityto reveal the unconsciousness of a culture and therefore reveal

its collective identity21 Architecture can then be viewed as a physical manifestation of, and marker of, identity formation and transformation. The discussion of the architecturally generative potential of collective identity brings about another question: is there a reciprocity between identity and architecture? Identity is necessary in guiding guiding architectural form and a sense of a style, the ideal expressive form at a single point in time, without resulting in a purely functional design. Architecture also reinforces, and sometimes motivates changes in, the identity of the designers.22 Being a physical manifestation of identity, architecture can, more visibly, track changes in identity. The materialized formations and transformations of collective identity institutionalize and legitimize power systems that directly affect said identity through the establishment and reestablishment of ideals.23 The power and influence of governing systems is reinforced through the symbolism of form in the architecture that houses those systems and, at the same time, reinforces—and legitimizes—the collective ideology of the hegemonious ideal.24 This legitimization can be seen in governmental buildings whose historical details or forms, such as Greek temple facades and pilasters, that serve only as reference to an idealized history. Althusser, a French Marxist philosopher, coined the term “Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs)” to define how societal institutions create the individual in its own image.25 Althusser’s theory of identity formation relates the power of social institutions to influence the individual and bridges the formative processes of individual to to collective identity formation.26 Architecture also influences identity through experience. Karsten Harries, a philosophical and architectural theorist, relates architecture and identity through the lens of experience.27 The interaction of the individual and architectural form mirrors the relationship between individual humans. Harries explains this relationship: “A human looking at another human

8. John T. Jost, A. Ledgerwood, and C.D. Hardin, “Shared Reality, System Justification, and the Relational Basis of Ideological Beliefs.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 2 (2009): 171–186. Jost is a professor of social psychology at New York University. Jost expands on the Ideological research of Louis Althusser, a French Marxist philosopher who coined “Ideological State Apparatusses (ISAs)” to define how societal institutions create the individual in its own image. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid. 13. John Shannon Hendrix, “Psychoanalysis and Identity in Architecture” (2009). School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation. Faculty Papers. Paper 10. He focuses on Lacanian definitions of identity formation and their application to the architectural condition. 14. Ibid. 15. Ibid. 16. Vincent B. Leitch, “Ferdinand De Saussure.” The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010), 852-55. 17. Ibid. 18. Ibid. 19. John Shannon Hendrix, “Psychoanalysis and Identity in Architecture” (2009). School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation. Faculty Papers. Paper 10. 20. Ibid. 21. Vincent B. Leitch, “Louis Althusser.” The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (New York: W.W. Norton &, 2010), 1341343. Althusser speaks of identity through the Marxist tradition.

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Figure 1. House plans of the Dwars Valley in South Africa. Type C is the pre-colonial form, Type A is the mid18th century form that suggests European influence, and Type B is a 19th century form that merges the new ideal and the previous building tradition. Lucas, Gavin. “Architecture and the Articulation of Post-Emancipation Identities.” An Archaeology of Colonial Identity: Power and Material Culture in the Dwars Valley, South Africa. Berlin: Springer, 2006. 152.

22. Ibid. 23. Ibid. 24. Ibid. 25. Karsten Harries, Guest Lecture, Louisiana State University. College of Art and Design, Baton Rouge, LA. 21 March 2012. Harries is a professor of philosophy and an architectural theorist at Yale University. 26. Ibid. 27. Ibid. 28. Ibid. 29. Brian Garrett, Personal Identity and Self-consciousness (London: Routledge, 1998), 71-2. Garrett is a lecturer in philosophy at the Australian National University. 30. Ibid. 31. Ibid.

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32. Gavin Murray Lucas, “Architecture

feels and identifies with the other’s experience. Form embodies the spiritual, the walls and roof identify with the physical, and the meaning and matter of architecture speak to the collective aspects of the human being.” 28 In this manner, architecture finds itself in the role of identifiable and relatable ‘other’ through its re-presentation of meaning through universal, cross-cultural human constructs, such as such as the hearth.29 The anthropomorphic quality of architectural form and of its interaction with its user lends to its role in collective identity formation.30 Identity changes through human interaction and the human qualities that make architecture expressive allow it to also have these generative and transformative abilities.

abruptly than others through existentially threatening cases like in a colonial example—that imply some continuities between the before and after situations surrounding the entrance of the colonizing force.33 These continuities allow for the collective identity to remain intact and to adapt to the new hegemonious system of ideals without a complete ideological schism occurring between the old and new identities. Architecture adapts alongside of identity to legitimize the new identity with its permanence and scale.

As previously suggested, the As previously suggested, the ideologically generative qualities of architecture can be found throughout history, but the post-colonial example serves as most the most persuasive lens Brian Garrett starts a conversation the experiential into the inner workings of this formative system. The aspects of personal identity and relates it to a larger temporal potency of the post-colonial example creates community in his work Personal Identity and Self- a microcosm that expresses the relationship between Consciousness.31 He explores the idea of identity being collective identity shifts and architectural shifts that occur being psychologically continuous after change in what through the colonizing power’s forceful—physically and is considered ideal.32 This framework explains identity psychologically—introduction of a new ideal. The postchanges as gradual shifts—although some occur more colonial example of the Dwars Valley settlements in


South Africa illuminates this post-colonial shift in identity through the change in the domestic architectural forms preferred by the previous slaves.34 Gavin Murray Lucas, of the University of Iceland, collects archeological and architectural evidence of the identity shift through the colonization period and beyond.35 There was a shift from a ‘pure’ vernacular to a meshing of Dutch and vernacular styles in the Dwars Valley. The shifted vernacular “carried heavy symbolism of their former status” and served as a motivational catalyst to merge colonial and vernacular forms.36 The architectural form of the family residence shifts from a pre-colonial house with no central defined pathway to a more European-influenced design that incorporates the idea of a connecting space that finds its main function in circulation (Figure 1). The form in the mid-18th century begins to mimic the architectural form of the colonizing force—the introduction of a central hallway.37 But by the 19th century, after colonization has declined, the form shifts again to merge the precolonial and the colonial plans.38 This shift suggests a reactionary effort to return to pre-colonial traditions, but also leads to the interpretation that the ex-slaves

started to identify with the European-influenced form of vernacular. The merging of idealized architectural forms suggests suggests an interpretation of merging identities through the colonizing force’s interaction with the native population. The theoretical definitions of collective identity formation apply apply to architecture through their shared interactive qualities. Architecture is an extension of the social evolution of the culture that builds it and therefore symbolizes and solidifies the abstract transformations that occur ideologically in societal interactions. Architecture, then, serves as a lens through which to view shifts in identity. The post-colonial example of the Dwars Valley settlement reinforces the idea of this reciprocal relationship between architectural form and identity through the simultaneous shifts in architectural and ideological ideals. The use of architecture to identify shifts in identity allows the merging of multiple disciplines to form a collective theory of identity formation while reinforcing the expressive and interactive nature of architectural form. C

and the Articulation of PostEmancipation Identities.” An Archaeology of Colonial Identity: Power and Material Culture in the Dwars Valley, South Africa (Berlin: Springer, 2006), 149-57. Lucas is a professor of history and philosophy at the University of Iceland. 33. Ibid. 34. Ibid. 35. Ibid. 36. Ibid.

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from the archive From Crit 45 crit74 fall 2012

Melissa Mileff 1999-2000 President

Personal Perseverance More than once in my life, I have been asked, “How did you, as a woman, decide to become an architect?”

different from that of the two architects’. The online Myers-Briggs test pointed out that an individual with the same personality type as myself would have “a stronglyfelt internal sense of duty,” and “a great sense of space and function, and artistic appreciation.” It also pointed I am, of course, instantly offended, for I shudder to out that people within my personality type were “good think that my passion for the science, the artistry, citizens who can be depended on to do the right thing and the profession could somehow be linked to my for their families and com- munities.” Yet, following the biological gender. Yet out of courtesy impressed upon logic of Quatman’s article, I do not have the “right stuff” me by my grandmother, I return the unintended insult to be an architect. with a dismissive remark, asserting that there must be a connection between my career choice and my Harping back to the fact that the article was written in a upbringing with four brothers. This generally appeases manner that addresses the sole practitioner and negates the layperson, and they are instantly disinterested and the large firm structure, the Myers- Briggs test pointed off to confront another peculiarity of life. So, despite the out that, given my personality type, I would do best in seething disgust this produces, for a civilized person to a career that utilizes my “excellent organizational skills.” suggest such an ignorant bias at the brink of the new The online test also suggested that I would excel in the “management and executive layer” of business, as millennium, I am forgiving. people with my personality type are generally “natural However, to find a semblance of this mentality in leaders.” What is frightening to me is the implication our profession, and especially within the profession’s that these skill sets and personality types are not vital organization that is adamantly professing inclusive- ingredients in the architectural community! Are we to ness, is disheartening and narrow. Imagine my surprise assume that architectural projects do not need leadership when I saw the article in the September issue of the and organization? So many of today’s projects require AIA’s monthly newspaper, AlArchitect, titled, “Personality the skills and expertise of several people; increasingly Types and Design/Build: Do You Have the Right Stuff?” common is the joint venture, where two or more architectural firms team up to work on a project. The Although the basic premise of the article was discerning advent of the computer has made organizational and the personality differences between architects and leadership skills a necessity in managing any project of design/builders as based on the Myers-Briggs Type substantial size, and it is the disregard Of these skills in Indicator, there was an underlying prescriptive tone that academia that has continually compromised the pay and suggested a) all architects have one of two personality respect of architects in the business world Yet, according types, and b) if you do not have one of the two aforesaid to Quatman these skills belong to a personality type that personality types, you do not have “the right stuff’ to be an does not have the “right stuff’ to be an architect. architect. Furthermore, the prescribed architect seemed reminiscent of the days of the sole practitioner, days The point of my incessant ranting is this: If you did take before large firms and corporate architecture, blatantly that personality test, and your personality was not one of ignoring today’s need for a variety of personalities and the two types described in the article by Quatman (which I have intentionally left out, as to not further promote the individuals to contribute to a successful team. obscenity), do not believe that you do not have the “right As I was reading the article by G. William Quatman, AIA, stuff” to be an architect. Rather, examine your strengths, I was keenly aware that neither of the two personality and identify places in the profession where they can be types being described as “drawn to architecture” best utilized. Understand how you can best contribute to described my own personality, and so, as suggested the designed environment, and strive to develop those by the article’s author, I went to PersonalityPage.com facets of your character. It is the diversity of personalities to take an online personality test. In accordance with that makes this profession great, and the narrowness of my premonition, my personality was identified as being typology that will contribute to its demise.


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projects projects

FREEDOM BY DESIGN

University of Tennessee: England Family Backyard Makeover AIAS Freedom By Design at the University of Tennessee is only in its third year of existence. After a rocky first year of getting our feet wet and figuring out what it would actually require to complete a full project, the design team set out on its second year with one goal in mind: to make a difference. Although in the beginning we were not sure what this would entail, by the end of the year, we truly had changed the life of an entire family. Lauren Bellamy

crit74 fall 2012

Perkins + Will, Charlotte, NC University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, Class of 2012 Freedom By Design Co-Captain and Fundraiser, 2011-2012

While we were hard at work designing the project, the next crucial step was simultaneously happening: fundraising. We held two major events throughout the school year to raise money for the project. In the fall, we hosted our annual Pig Roast, a football tailgate where we cook an entire pig the night before gameday and sell BBQ plates before kickoff. In the spring, we held a silent auction asking for donations from teachers of items such as books, sketches, lunch outings and such. Participation in AIAS Freedom By Design is a great These two events raised all the funds we needed to opportunity for students in design school to use the complete construction of the project. tools they have been taught to impact the life of a local family in need. It is a great feeling to know that you can Before the build started, we sought out partners from totally change the life of another for the better. Through thet community and asked for donation of supplies from a contact at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, located our build list. We are very blessed with an extremely right here in Knoxville, we were put in touch with a supportive community. Anderson Lumber Company family whose one year old little boy has centronuclear donated all of the pressure treated lumber for the myopathy, a condition that means he will be bound to a project, a huge gift that kept us under budget as well wheelchair for the rest of his life. The family did not have as allowed us to do even more for the family. With a wheelchair accessible way in and out of their home, these extra funds, we were able to build not only a and they knew they would not be able to afford this useable ramp but also do a total overhaul to the family’s addition when it came time to have it built. backyard, complete with new flowerbeds and a few trees that will provide shade for years to come. After one meeting with the family and a look at the back porch which was rotting and unsafe for anyone, it was After four long weekends of digging trenches and holes, decided that an entire backyard makeover was needed setting posts, assembling railings, and nailing down to bring a sense of ease and happiness to their lives. decking, the ten month long project finally came down to the last nail when the project was complete. We had The design process began with a few short charettes truly given this family freedom through design. The including a reimagining of the word “ramp”. Through chance to work on this project taught everyone involved these charettes, we were able to identify three main ideas how we can use what we learn in school to directly help to be included into the design: A deck area off of the little those in need. We are taught so many great qualities boy’s room so that he could have easy access to the and we should challenge ourselves to put these to use outdoors, a ramp that was the main form of circulation for a greater cause. Just a few extra hours of hard work for all members of the house, and a nice flat area in the a week and AIAS FBD UTK was able to totally change backyard where he and his sister could both play. the life of a little boy and his loving family. C


FREEDOM BY DESIGN

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Philadelphia University: A Kitchen Renovation for Mrs. Bailey


In Fall 2010, students of the AIAS Freedom by Design program at Philadelphia University began work on a kitchen renovation project for Mrs. Mary Bailey, a wheelchair bound resident in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. After much search for a client, the team found work with Mrs. Bailey through a previous client and contact, Center in the Park, a community center in Northwest Philadelphia serving the older adult population.

first build day involved removing the cracked floor tile. On the second build day, we began work on the central island piece, adjusting the storage units to accommodate the floor slope. However, after shimming the units into place, the counter height was too high for Mrs. Bailey’s use. The team needed to disassemble and then reassemble the units during the third build in order to best suit her comfort and needs.

Learning to go with the flow, the team had to work Prior to their intervention, Mrs. Bailey’s kitchen lacked carefully around three different parties that the client had adequate storage space reachable from her wheelchair. planned coincidentally during the third day of build. While The space for Mrs. Bailey to transverse between her the abundance of people proved to be challenging, it was open kitchen and living room was inadequate for her to also the most rewarding because the client’s friends and fit between the wall and kitchen island with both her chair family were able to view and enjoy the final product. and her hands at her side. Upon entering the kitchen, her wheelchair would get caught on the cracked ceramic William Brostowicz, a current fourth year member and floor tile, sending her to the hospital on several occasions. our Public Relations leader, describes his experience, After further analyzing the conditions of her kitchen, the “AIAS Freedom by Design is something that I’ve been team also discovered that the floor sloped drastically and interested in long before I was accepted into Philadelphia consisted of many layers of old linoleum tile. University. I learned about it in high school after reading about PhilaU’s first completed project in Crit Magazine. As a solution, the team settled upon replacing the floor Once I was accepted into Philadelphia University, I with tongue-and-groove PERGO wood flooring due its knew I wanted to help out the best I could. The best low cost and simple assembly. After several iterations part of the whole project was seeing Mrs. Bailey’s smile and questions of what would be the most appropriate through the ups and downs of the project. Working with manner to address the entry into her kitchen, the focus a real client and seeing her reaction during the design then shifted to redesign the central island through the process, it made all the hard work worth it.” modification of a prefabricated drawer system. The Philadelphia University AIAS Freedom by Design The project spanned three build days over three team is very proud of this accomplishment and we are weekends in November 2011. Much of the project energized to continue to positively impact the lives of ended up being “design-build” to accommodate the others in Philadelphia. C sloping floor and appropriate wheelchair height. The

Bonnie Netel Past Program Director 2011-2012 Bonnie Netel is from Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, or the Pocono Mountains for those familiar with Northeastern Pennsylvania. She is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Architecture program at Philadelphia University. In her fifth year at Philadelphia University, she served as the Team Captain for the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) community service organization, Freedom by Design. As the Team Captain, she led students to design and build for those with limited mobility in the Philadelphia community. Now living in Manhattan, her passion to investigate urban transformation and social need has led her to the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program at the Parsons the New School for Design.

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FREEDOM BY DESIGN

North Dakota University: Lack of Safety Inspires Creativity After the previously unimaginable success starting of the North Dakota State University Freedom By Design program, the executive team found themselves at the beginning of Fall 2011 starting from scratch. By reaching out to various community organizations and offices, we began working closely with the City of Fargo Planning Department, who in turn referred us to our new client. Ginnie Hausladen Ginnie Hausladen is the 2012 AIAS Freedom by Design Captain at North Dakota State University. She will complete her Master of Architecture degree in May 2013.

Jane Schank is a resident of Fargo, North Dakota who qualified for the City Housing Rehabilitation Grant. She also happens to run an at-home daycare, specializing in care for children with disabilities. At the time Jane, a woman in her mid-fifties, had to lift children out of their wheelchairs to get them in and out of her home through the back door (16” high, 30” wide). Not only

did this put great physical strain on Jane and the children, it posed an incredible safety issue if there were to be an emergency. With the impending threat of North Dakota winter, we quickly arranged two design charrettes to brainstorm solutions for Jane. We were given a space about 18’ x 30’ between the back of her home and the garage to replace her existing deck and add a wheelchair ramp. Students from the Architecture program, as well as Interior Design, Construction Management and Landscape Architecture participated in the design process. With homemade cookies from Jane fueling our creative minds, we sketched and traded and presented various concepts until we settled on a


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crit74 fall 2012


solution that satisfied not only the design students, but most importantly our client. Furthermore, through these exercises, design students learned a great deal about ADA issues and applicability. With the help our construction mentor, John Gunkelman, president of Dakota Construction in Fargo, we were able to complete all work on the ramp and deck during one long weekend in November. We began by removing the existing deck and concrete steps. Next, students got to work pouring foundations, setting posts, assembling band joists, and hanging common joists. We learned techniques such as blocking, and experienced unexpected challenges such as electrical wiring in the way of our intended foundation layout. Finally, we were able to assemble the decking. Due to excess money in the grant from the city, students were able to continue their work with Jane in the spring by designing and building a pergola for her deck so she could enjoy sitting outside on sunny days and watch the children comfortably. We were also able to reuse a section of her old fence to make a new, smaller fence for her garden. Jane tells us she has received many compliments on her new deck, and never misses a chance to express her gratitude. In all, students served approximately 255 hours through the design and construction process. “Working with Jane or on any AIAS FBD project is a life changing experience. You get to meet other people in your program who are older or younger than you to build a network of people you can count on for help and guidance.  Working on real life projects like Jane’s is a whole new experience, especially with learning how to work with clients, their needs, a budget, and other designer’s ideas. Only an hour here or there is all it takes to get involved and make a difference in someone’s life.” – Paul Flotterud, FBD Program Director 2011 C

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AARP Student Design Competition

Aging In Place: Kitchens

first Place â&#x20AC;&#x153;Preservation through Creationâ&#x20AC;? Tony Zhang, Daniel Gehr, Richard May Advisor: Erica Cochran 2nd Year Students, Carnegie Mellon University

The 3rd annual student design competition, Aging in Place, challenged the designers to investigate how a kitchen can improve the quality of life and age in place with its user. Utilizing universal design principles, students investigate how a fully planned kitchen can modify a space into a safe, comfortable, and livable environment for all generations. AARP surveys show that nearly 90% of the 50+ population want to stay in their homes and communities as they age, where they have strong social networks and sense of familiarity. Designing a home to serve everyone from grandchildren to adults benefits everyone and promotes long-term residence that leads to vibrant communities and neighborhoods.

DANIEL: What got you interested in architecture? The physics and math behind innovative and experimental architecture/the process of architectural design What University/College do you attend? Carnegie Mellon University, 2 completed undergraduate years. What are your school and career plans for the future? As of now, I hope to work with experimental architecture, but I am seriously considering law school.

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What influenced/inspired your winning design? Initially the potential uses of individual kitchen utilities, but solving current issues of the kitchen, as it tends to exists today, drove much of the design. TONY: What got you interested in architecture? Growing up in an old Victorian house that constantly needed repairs was the primary motivation for me to get into architecture. I love working with my hands and seeing ideas take shape in front of me. What University/College do you attend? Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture


What are your school and career plans for the future? After graduating I hope to work with a team of architects and engineers to tackle real world problems and serve the public’s interest. What influenced/inspired your winning design? We drew a lot of influence through examining our own kitchens and how our respective families use them. Any areas that needed improvements were reflected in our designs. We composed the final design in Pittsburgh, the location we were all first introduced to architecture in an academic setting.

RICHARD: What got you interested in architecture? My career interest is one that combines the aesthetic qualities of art with the functions of science and the practicalities of construction. Architecture combines my passion for creativity and the joys of making things. What University/College do you attend? I am a third year Architectural student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. What are your school and career plans for the future? In a couple of years I will be completing my degree and then wish to put my education and skills to work.  Until then, I would like to do intern work for getting more hands-on experience.                 What influenced/inspired your winning design? I have an elderly grandmother and was inspired to design an at-home kitchen workplace so that she (and others) could continue to enjoy life at home with selfsufficiency.  Lighting is an integral component I use in all my designs to ascent the works’ beauty and to provide a comfortable environment. 


AARP Student Design Competition

Aging In Place: Kitchens

second Place “Staying Young in Old City: Securing Independence through Adaptable Design” Madeline LaPlante & Jason Klinker Recent graduates of Ball State University MADELINE: What got you interested in architecture? I love that what I do is a science, an art, and a business.  It is a challenge for all of us to balance all three, but I enjoy learning everyday and working with others to create works that will adapt and last over time. What University/College do you attend? Ball State University What are your school and career plans for the future? I am currently working towards licensure and learning the technical details of the practice. My greatest passion is revitalization and stabilization work, and I hope to one day manage urban projects that bring people of a community together.

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What influenced/inspired your winning design? A recent minor back injury changed every aspect of my everyday life, even as a twenty-something.  With a new-found interest in cooking while living in the heart of Boston, I found that simple things like carrying groceries home, sorting my trash and recycling, and even standing to cook for longer than ten minutes required major adjustments to my living space and the tools I used to help me.   Jason and I conducted a few interviews getting to know the needs, wants, and challenges of other first-hand experiences of those who are entering a new stage of life at retirement age in urban areas.  Engaging in the challenges of renovating and adding to older buildings and neighborhoods during school and in practice also greatly inspired my contribution to the design. JASON: What got you interested in architecture? I have always been interested in the way things go together, playing with Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys and such. My parents had suggested architecture as a possible career path. So, when I had the opportunity my senior year in high school to do an internship with

a small firm in downtown Fort Wayne, IN, I took it. I think it was the culture of that firm, refined, yet still a little ‘rough around the edges’ that I liked. We had a range of clients that also echoed the culture of the firm. One day we would be working with the president of a company, the next we would be walking through an abandoned garden store helping a struggling pastor set up a church. What University/College do you attend? Ball State University What are your school and career plans for the future? More recently, I have developed a growing interest in the relationship between buildings and their users. I


Kawneer and AIAS Announce Annual Student Design Competition Winners have found that most of my satisfaction comes from seeing that relationship develop from an idea, through the process, and into a built work. That said, currently my ambitions are aimed in the direction of affordable housing and non-profit/community development projects. My experience has shown me that these clients typically will dump their hearts and souls into their buildings. I like that. What influenced/inspired your winning design? I have a friend that is nearing 60 that has lived his whole life in Chicago. I often look at him with admiration for the spirit and passion with which he lives his life. For me, most of my conceptual inspiration came from some early conversations with him about the project. We talked about what it is that he finds inspiring about urban living, what things are becoming difficult as he is getting older, and just some of the details of his daily life. Once we started laying things out and working through the details; I tried to continually draw things from those conversations and approach the details from a perspective of how he would use them.

Karen Zipfel Director, Marketing, Kawneer North America


AARP Student Design Competition

Aging In Place: Kitchens

third Place â&#x20AC;&#x153;Project 10-20â&#x20AC;? Justin Peterson Recent graduate of University of Minnesota

What got you interested in architecture? I have always been fascinated with mechanics, diagrammatic and illustrative drawings, and building components since I was a young boy. That interest lead me into the construction field at an early age, working for a log home company, an industrial steel erection company, and several residential framing companies. My interest in building mechanics and experience in the construction field was a major reason for my interest in architecture.

depending on where I want to live and the requirements for licensure there, I may go back to get a Masters in Architecture, as becoming a licensed architect is goal I intend on achieving.

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What influenced/inspired your winning design? Simplicity, usability, and historical aesthetics were three of the driving factors in the design. As this was an AARP sponsored competition, I wanted my design to be well under the 50,000 dollar limit to be more feasible and applicable to those on a limited income. What University/College do you attend? Simplicity-maintain existing walls just rework the inner I attended the University of Minnesota, College components and configuration reducing renovation of Design, School of Architecture and received a BS costs to restructure the home. Usability-making the in Architecture kitchen work for those with limited mobility at all stages in life, but equally useable by various family types. What are your school and career plans for the future? Aesthetics-retain the charm and workability of the 70â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s At this time my career and school plans are rather open, galley style kitchen while updating it in a manner that I intend on working in architecture for a year or two and would complement the rest of the home.


Honorable Mention “Green Kitchen” Kemal Koray Aysin 2nd Year Student, University of Maryland

“Adjusting with Time” Samantha Raburn and Michael Markham 3rd and 4th year students, Louisiana Tech University

merit award “Aged to Perfection” Diane Cocchiara and Jeff Osburn 5th Year Students, University of Oklahoma

“Gallinov” Eric Tam and Dana Dimalanta Advisor: Richard Knoeppel High School Students, Advanced Technologies Academy

“A Kitchen Alive” Nick Tafel, Edgar Mozo, Joel Pominville, David Herrero 3rd year students, Clemson University

“Centre” Diane Rosch 3rd year student, Clemson University

All additional information about the AARP competition can be found at http://aarp.aias.org


SAGE Renewing HOME Competition

sage

A skilled nursing facility (SNF), also commonly known as a nursing home, is a designated structure or group of structures that employs registered nurses in providing 24-hour medical services to persons under the care of a licensed physician. Currently, there are over 15,000 certified SNFs in the US sheltering 1.5 million residents, 94% of whom are over 65 years of age. For our third national competition, SAGE and AIAS chose a case that exemplifies the physical challenges facing designers of residential long-term care environments. Students focus on renovating and adding to a sample nursing home, “Crestview” in ways that support the new operating philosophies referred to as “culture change”. With over two decades of innovation and experience, SAGE is the leading voice for creating resident-centered environments within long term care.

ST

First Place: Kindall Stephens & Kevin Marek

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Advisor: Susan Rodiek

Kindall Stephens What got you interested in architecture? I have been interested in architecture for many years now. When I was in junior high I started designing my dream house in plan, along with site developments. I had my house all planned out with my detached artist studio and barn. After that I began to consider architecture as a child but when it came down to my final decision in high

school I looked further into architecture. I found it was a perfect combination of 3 of my 4 favorite subjects: math, physics and art so I knew it was a good decision for me. I was right. As soon as I got into architecture school, I fell in love with it and my passion has not diminished. What University/College do you attend? I attend Texas A&M University.


What are your school and career plans for the future? I have two more years until graduating from my undergraduate program. After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school while working internships during the summers. In my career, I hope to explore more in prefabrication and the ability for it to be used in a possible solution to substandard housing globally. I also hope to eventually own my own design/ build firm because of my love for construction.

creatively for fun, and more so how I wanted to pursue that in my career. What University/College do you attend? I attend Texas A&M University as the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2014! Whoop!

What are your school and career plans for the future? After graduating and attending graduate school, I would love to just work in a simple down home firm, maybe even What influenced/inspired your winning design? one of my own or as an independent architect while I farm Our design was influenced in a great way by the ability to my family’s land on the side. I would also love to raise a big personalize space through the hierarchy of spaces. The family in the area I belong to. But most importantly, whatever emphasis was to give each of the residents a feeling of God has in store for me, I do and will welcome willingly. home with strong connections to nature and community. We made a specific effort to have natural lighting in as What influenced/inspired your winning design? many areas as possible with openings to the outdoors I love the Tuscan feel of the upper class architectural available at fairly regular distances. We also worked to style that is seen in many Florida manors and mansions, develop the landscape in a way what would encourage down to every detail and texture, but especially the the residents to go outdoors. feeling of relaxation, peace, and importance that it synthesizes in the inhabitants; a feeling I believe all Kevin Marek people should have some degree of, and especially our What got you interested in architecture? parents and grandparents. Equally considered though, I first became aware of my interest in architecture was my partner’s and my desire to create a home where when my 8th grade algebra teacher asked me what the family of the residents would want to come visit more my plans were in life. I looked back at my experience than, say, a typical prison-like nursing home ‘facility’, out in rural central Texas and saw how God had and an environment that is lively and intimate, natural given me a desire and talent to design and think and protected, to whoever enters it.

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SAGE Renewing HOME Competition

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2

nd

Second Place:

Yesika Soto & Briana Strickland Advisor: Susan Rodiek

Yesika Soto I am currently a sophomore student at Texas A&M University. As a freshman in high school, I formed part of the Ladies of Excellence, an organization that took us on tours to different business and campus tours. That year I visited the PGAL architecture firm in Houston and was amazed by the work they displayed. After hearing the passion with which the architects spoke about their work and seeing the importance and impact that architecture had on everyday life, I knew that I wanted to be an architect. I plan on receiving a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in Environmental Design in the year 2014 and eventually a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in architecture. After gaining experience with top architecture firms I would like to start a firm of my own.


When approaching the design of Crestview Community Home, the comfort of the residents was our main focus. After doing extensive research on the idea of culture change and visiting four different nursing homes in the area, my partner and I accumulated various ideas that we wanted to portray in our design. Our goal was to create a home-like environment that promoted social interaction, safety, and an overall improvement in residents comfort and well-being. Before this competition I did not realize the extent to which architecture could impact a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life, and the design process for this community home definitely made me grow as a designer.

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SAGE Renewing HOME Competition

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third Place: Chris Boykin & Tao Li Advisor: Susan Rodiek

Chris Boykin What got you interested in architecture? My dad worked in the construction industry and as a kid I got to see buildings start on paper and transform into tangible buildings. I have a memory of the Texas Ranger’s Stadium in the middle phase of construction and as my mom is dropping off my dad at the construction site in the early morning hours, I can see the half-built stadium as a silhouette as the sun is starting to rise behind the structure. My mom took a picture for my dad one of those times and I can remember seeing that photo and admiring the stadium’s beauty even in the ugliness of construction. As a kid I wanted to create something beautiful that my mom and dad could admire together like they did with the stadium. What University/College do you attend? I attend Texas A&M University What are your school and career plans for the future? After I graduate in May, I will be moving to St. Petersburg, Russia for a year to teach English and to also learn more about their culture. My minor here at TAMU is Russian so I am able to read, write, and speak some Russian. After my year of teaching I plan to return to the U.S. and go to grad school for Urban Planning. I hope to one day be involved with Low-Income Housing design.

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What influenced/inspired your winning design? Our Professor has worked extensively in healthcare design for the elderly and gave us lectures on the main points which are often overlooked in designing for seniors. These crucial elements included easy access to nature, a privacy gradient for each room, and plenty of natural light. Our design needed to include every one of those elements, but most of all it had to be a home, a place even we could call a home. We asked ourselves several times throughout the competition: “Would you live here?” The design of our “mini-clusters” met the light, nature, and privacy guidelines which create a higher quality of life for the residents while also creating a space we as the designers could call home.

TAO LI What got you interested in architecture? The uplifting spirituality of architecture. Architecture has pragmatic concerns, but perhaps more importantly, it brings delight to people, it makes people feel important, and it improves quality of life.  What University/College do you attend? Texas A&M university.  What are your school and career plans for the future? I’m planning to attend graduate school while working on an internship in an architecture firm part-time.  What influenced/inspired your winning design? Christopher Alexander’s notion of architecture as the direct reflection of human nature and the intertwining relationship between space and events influenced our design. The cultural change movement in the nursing home facilities inspired us to create space that promotes social interaction and interaction with nature. 


sage jury awArds

SAGE Renewing HOME Competition

Troy Grant & Micah Birdsong 4th Year Students, Texas A & M University Advisor: Susan Rodiek

Sara Mae Martens, Maia Hoelzinger, Stephen Mayer & Lindsay Slavin Graduate Students, Kansas University

Joanne Lin 3rd Year Student, Cal Poly University

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REVIEWS reviews

The Heights by Kate Ascher Penguin, 2011

Erica Fischer Erica Fischer is a fourth year student and Chapter President at Iowa State University. The AIAS has helped her develop as a student of architecture and a citizen of her community. Her interests in design, management and the social sciences have been advanced by the relationships made through AIAS leadership.

The first time I opened this book I was confused. The Table of Contents was replaced with a building directory, complete with numbers ascending chronologically from the bottom of the page. After a moment, it hit me! This book is about skyscrapers and, just as our studio professors encourage us, the authors took their theme and incorporated it completely throughout the project. From that moment on I was hooked, both by the content as well as the thoughtful presentation. The first section of this coffee table sized book is labeled History. Don’t skip it. A rolling graphic timeline highlights images of notable buildings and how a visual diagram of how they stack up against their counterparts. It is an impressive way to view the vertical explosion we have achieved. This section focuses on the renowned competition between Chicago and New York to reach further toward the sky and how these incredible American precedents inspired the rest of the world.

crit74 fall 2012

The Environmental and Structural Design portions of the book are simply laid out and beautifully diagramed. It lays a great foundation for the young architecture student to understand critical design decisions and also acts as a great refresher for more advanced students. On any given day, in any given lecture, I will listen to a professor tell a room full of my classmates and myself about three different kinds of concrete structural systems. We might be lucky enough to learn about one recent example of a building being constructed using that system. On a good day, we might even get to see a manufacturer’s sample of the product. Great, but all of that content can take up a full class period. Because of the richness of graphics and bounty of real-world examples, this book offers a similar introduction to most any topic in a quick, concise seven minute read.

If I could attribute an amateur’s great interest in this book to one thing, it would be the diagrams. Those incredible diagrams are the work of the New York firm, Design Language. Their success in diagram making is not due to their lack of experience as this is not their first work in a publication of this type. In 2005, they contributed to The Works: Anatomy of a City that showcased New York City and how the city of such great scale manages to keep the lights on, literally. Both books talk extensively about the problems of ‘largeness’ and how this largeness has been addressed in many ways and by many cultures. Then, these monumental problems are reduced to a single picture that expresses the solution in a completely elegant way. The written explanations that are offered are snippets – short, descriptive text that can be read in less than a minute. Focus is on the commonality rather than the disparity. On a much larger scale, both The Works and The Heights define the complicated and interconnected network that is the heartbeat of the city or the city-within-a-city of an urban high rise. I had The Heights out on my coffee table and my cousin, a pilot, picked it up. He probably thought he would just be languidly flipping pages to pass some time. However, before we knew it, I was sitting next to him, excitedly pointing to diagrams and explaining the incredible significance of a destination elevator system. The collection of research that went into this publication is evident but not intrusive. What gives this book its gripping interest is not only it’s wealth of content, but also it’s simple delivery. The Height: Anatomy of a Skyscraper should sit between the Building Code and the Studio Companion on every architecture student’s desk. C


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Preparation Beyond Education

Joshua Caulfield IOM

crit74 fall 2012

Joshua Caulfield is the AIAS Chief Executive Officer

Recently there has been a great deal of discussion about students of architecture who are graduating without really being prepared to take on a role at a firm. In fact, there are several anecdotal tales I have heard about graduates within the last year or two, who have gotten a job and within 3-4 months have been released from service simply because they could not perform the duties assigned to them.

This is just one of the places where the AIAS comes in. AIAS chapters teach their members many things outside of the traditional curriculum, particularly when one takes on a leadership role. The opportunities to interface with people outside of studio and work within the logistics of your chapter teach you networking and negotiation skills as well as organizational and financial understanding. These are skills you cannot gain from studio work alone. By being engaged with your chapter, This is not unique to the field of architecture. When I you will earn invaluable skills you will need for future was completing my MBA, my concentration was in project management, meeting processes, financial Management Information Systems (IT) and none of the discussions, etc. The incredible opportunity to gain courses taught programming or software development experience in the real world is something that is often skills. To fulfill this need, a group of my friends and I went overlooked by those who believe that all they will need out and bought some dummies books for java, C++, and to know they can learn in studio. visual basic and learned the fundamentals. Now let’s be clear: none of us wanted to be programmers and I encourage you to look beyond this and use your none of us have actually done much real programming chapter of the AIAS to begin creating opportunities to since graduation. However, we understood the value of find out what firms really want, and then develop training this knowledge because it’s difficult to manage and programs to bring your members up to speed in these evaluate someone either under you or working for you areas. Imagine if you were recruiting 2nd and 3rd years as a contractor if you don’t understand the work they with the pitch line: We bring in people who were recently hired in firms to hear what they do, and then we offer are doing. peer taught classes to teach you the skills you need to There has been a debate going on for many years not only succeed when you get hired, but to make you about the purpose of higher education. The primary indispensable to your firm. two positions are: Education teaches skills that are used directly in the profession you aspire to be in Go to your chapter leadership. Ask them to invite firm versus Education teaches you to think and reason leaders to talk about what a first year associate or intern and exposes you to the principles of “Great Thinkers” is expected to do on a regular basis, ask what software who have some before you. Even without taking sides packages they use internally and what types of skills/ in this debate; it has clearly created a great deal of attributes are missing from the people they are hiring backlash in the current economy against academic fresh out of school. Use this not only as a networking institutions that have not prepared their students for opportunity, but also to help gear your chapter’s the workplace. This leads firms and students to wonder programming to teach these skills to your members. if the college degree adds meaningful value to the Ask around your studios to find those most proficient invite them to be involved to better your content. performance of the job. From a practical perspective, the debate does not matter. Your current professors are going to continue teaching in the manner they are used to, and firms are going to expect what they expect. Regardless of the quality of your education, there will always be things that will not be taught in school that will be required when you graduate.

You won’t be taught everything you need to know in class. Educational curriculum cannot always nimbly respond to the job market or current technology. However, while your curriculum may remain stagnant, your chapter programming doesn’t have to be. Sharing and learning with members of your chapter can be more educational, more useful and most importantly, more fun. C


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IAN SIEGEL Architecture Student New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Meet Ian. He’s designing amazing structures at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He knows that the more you learn, the better you become; the more opportunity you have to explore, the greater the things you’ll accomplish. And he never stops in his quest to shock the world. Find out more about Ian’s project and get free* Autodesk software to start firing your imagination at www.autodesk.com/inspiringstudents.

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*Free products are subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license and services agreement that accompanies the software. The software is for personal use for education purposes and is not intended for classroom or lab use. Autodesk is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2012 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Crit 74: Impact