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Michael King

First Year 2 Vessel for Light 6 Home

Additional Interests

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On The Edge Methods of Design Guggenheim 1:1 University Art Museum Creative PLay Sculptural Structure

Second Year

Third Year Urban Contexts: 36 Tehran 40 Chicago 44 Berlin 50 Trailhead


Ambiance can be created through materiality and color. The texture of a wall or a floor can change the way individuals interpret a space. It is through the design not only of the space, but the design of the feeling of the space that creates unique architecture.

Vessel of Light 2015 Professor: Junichi Satoh First Year

A vessel for light can be interpreted in many different ways. I was challenged to create a vessel for light and did so by exploring the relationship of the color spectrum to a spatial condition. I began by inventing a device which a user would change color relationships by altering the allowable light through each of the primary colors. I began to think that the relationship between color and intensity of light could speak to a spatial condition, specifically a tunnel. As the color became darker, and more faded, the tunnel would compress, and as the light became brighter and more intense, the tunnel would expand.


Exploration of the color Conditions of the device.

Rudimentary plans, sections, elevation, and site plan

Model of the Tunnel form 4


Just as a building, the designer himself needs a foundation on which to build. By learning the basics of design through trial and error, a designer grows into his own and develops his


2015 Professor: Junichi Satoh First Year First year was an exploration into Architecture itself, where I was first exposed to thinking like an architect and a designer. I studied the Milam Residence, by Paul Rudolph, trying to understand how he composed space in three dimensions. The house study was used understand architectural techniques, drawing, and modeling, and how to formulate Architectural ideas. In studying composition I began to understand that Rudolph used floor levels instead of basic stories to differentiate space. By studying the Milam Residence, I began to think sectionally as well as in a planar manner, where I hope to create intriguing designs.


Diagrammatic Models of Milam Residence

Rudimentary plans, sections, elevation, diagrammatic study



Sometimes a project does not work as it is supposed to, but this is part of the iterative experimental process. Failure is nothing less than a successful experiment. The experiment did not work, however new ideas are formed, and boundaries are pushed. It is through failures and experimentation that a designer can begin to invent something new.

On the Edge 2015 Professor: Clarissa Mendez Second Year

On the edge was developed as my first Architectural design exercise, where I was to use one of the Methods of Design from the previous project. I was to design a viewing apparatus in a park on a steep hill, and I decided to experiment with a ruled surface structure, however instead of using the ruled surface for just one element, I tried to build every aspect of the design from ruled surfaces. This was however, incredibly difficult, as produced mixed results. The design features curved floors, walls, ceilings, and structural elements. The intersection of two curves became the areas of strength for the overall construction. Great cantilevers and small nooks created an incredibly unique sectional condition, however programmatically, my design was not as successful.


Sketch models of possible designs

Final model photos and ruled surface sketch 

Experimentation Experimentation is the systematic process of discovery by testing ideas and processes. In the field of Architecture this is especially important in that experimentation informs creativity and gives way for innovation. If in every project a designer were to experiment with what they know, and push the boundary of their own ideas, then each new design will be compelling.

Methods of Design 2016 Professor: Clarissa Mendez Second Year

The major component of our Second year studio was to explore different methods of design. Explorations of Boolean operations, Paper Folding, and Ruled Surfaces presents an opportunity to explore different methodologies of designing. I studied these tools and how to create spatial relationships as well as structure with their forms. Boolean Operations give a designer the opportunity to design in a subtractive manner. Instead of filling a void with solids, I began with a solid and subtracted masses to form voids. These sizes of these voids create visual hierarchy and are set in an orthogonal pattern with one void askew to create emphasis. The exploration of Paper Folding presents the opportunity to understand how a material can structure itself. By folding a sheet material, it can act as its own structure while also having a unique spatial condition. I experimented with forming a folded plate structure as well as working with curved creases. I also experimented with creating a column using the minimum number of folds, where I invented a crease pattern with only two folds. Creating curves with straight members is a design technique that lends itself to the actual construction of the architecture. The straight members connect along a curved line and inform the overall curve of the whole design. I discovered an intriguing condition of overlapping the members, to create a two-dimensional shadow and a three-dimensional structure. I explored different configurations of the structure in a thorough study.


Exploration of designing with Boolean subtraction


Folded Plate

Folded Plate

Column Spaces


Curved Crease

Curved Crease


Exploration of designing with Paper Folding 


Studies of layering ellipses

Forming three-dimensional structures with ruled surfaces 18

Precedence An architectural precedence is invaluable to a designer. It spawns ideas and provides credibility for a design statement. Precedents grant experience and knowledge through careful study, and present program, material, and structure in a physical way. For a designer, the study of a precedent presents the opportunity to follow the design team of an Architectural work to understand the work as a greater whole. By understanding what came before, Architecture can cast a greater influence of what is yet to come.

Guggenheim 1:1

2016 Professor: Dave Lee Second Year

Guggenheim 1:1 was a study of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous museum at a full scale. I studied every aspect of the Guggenheim, from the overall programming to the material of the floors and construction method. The form of the museum is meant to contrast that of the gridded Figure Ground of the American City. The case study of the Guggenheim gave me insight to museum design for the Clemson Museum I designed. The custom daylighting system was vital to my understanding of the museum as well, as the intensity of natural light is influential to the artwork displayed. My main focus of study was the circulation pattern that shaped the overall form of the building, programing, and structure. The main spiral of Wright’s Guggenheim makes everything work, and is an amazing form work from which to learn.


Diagrams of lighting and a singular path program of the Guggenheim

The angled walls of the Guggenheim provide unique lighting conditions for the hanging artwork.

Wall Section of the Guggenheim’s structure which creates a separation between the piece and the patron. 22

Place The architectural sense of place identifies unique characteristics the give a location its sense of identity. It is defined by the senses, and known completely to the inhabitants of a place. The combination of smell, taste, look, feel, and smell of a particular location immediately identify it as a particular place. History too defines place making. Architecture, regardless of style, budget, or usage, should speak to a cultural sense of place, as to not lose the character of the greater system. It should respect the history or a place, while also giving something new to the community.

UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM Clemson, South Carolina. 2016 Professor: Dave Lee Second Year

The Clemson University Museum of Art was a culmination of study of museum programming and site analysis. Located beside Thomas Phifer’s Lee Hall III expansion, the all white museum ties well into Clemson’s Campus. The surrounded use of columns allude to a sense of place, as Clemson is located in the south, where most buildings have columns and open porches. I tried to include this detail as well as tie into Clemson’s natural surroundings, leaving the first floor transparent for views to the outdoors. The Gallery second floor is to be encased in transparent Alabaster stone, allowing natural light to be dispersed into the space. Reconfigurable walls allow the curators to put on any exhibition, be it painting, sculpture, or digital artwork. Access to the Gallery is found via two ramps, an entry ramp and an exit ramp. This is to create one single path through the museum without backtracking or causing fatigue for patrons. Throughout the process of designing the museum I considered materials and building techniques, which creates a sophisticated, simple, and elegant museum for Clemson University’s campus.


Massing model of split museum design

Massing model of split museum design with bridge gallery

Massing model with plastic shell

Massing model with plastic shell

Sketch models documenting design Process




1) Back of House/ Storage 2) Entrance 3) Cafe 4) Ramp to Gallery 5) Gallery 6) Ramp away from Gallery/ Exit

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Plans, Sections, and Elevations of the Museum

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RULES Rules of design, or parameters, allow a designer to create a program to which he can specify a desired result and receive many design options. Effectively this is the process of designing a way to design. The set of rules test many options and presents only those of which fit the program. This gives a designer more time and greater opportunity for a truly compelling design.

CREATIVE PLAY 2016 Professor: Carlos Barrios Second Year

Creative Play with Lego was a collaborative Creative Inquiry where my team and I explored computational design as well as shape grammars and design rules. We decided to explore Architectural stylistic grammars by researching the work of Andrea Palladio and his rules for designing a villa. Each group member designed a villa based on the rules of Palladio, of which mine was selected to model in Lego and Present at Clemson’s Creative Inquiry Fair. Our work was incredibly well received as the Crowd favorite at the Creative Inquiry fair, sparking interest from local news sources as well the production of a Clemson TV feature on our work. Academics too praised our efforts. Dr. David Knox, a Palladian expert and Director of Clemson’s Critical thinking initiative, remarked that our villa was “exquisite, and truly Palladian.”

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Parti model of Palldian Villa

Plan model of Palldian Villa

Model of Palldian Villa

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Structure Structure is a key component of Architecture. As the backbone of every building, it is necessary, yet it provides the designer an opportunity to create something different.

Sculptural Structure

2016 Professor: Carlos Barrios Second Year Group Members: Michael Hallinan, Eric Bell

Santiago Calatrava has made a career of exploited structural systems for its sculptural beauty. As an exercise to think of structure not as an afterthought, but as a design possibility, my group and I were tasked with designing and building a Calatrava-like sculpture. We were to hold a 1lb cube on a dowel using only wire and gravity. Just as Calatrava designs his sculptures from movement, we studied ballet to understand the compressive and tension forms within a body.

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The scale of a city creates an opportunity to explore urban development in regards to people, transportation, and evolution.


2016 PROFESSOR: JULIE WILKERSON THIRD YEAR IN COLLABORATION WITH PERRY HAMMOND My third year began with the study of a world city to garner a greater understanding of urban setting as a complex, living organism. Perry and I chose to study a city which neither of us knew much about: Tehran, Iran. Tehran has over 3000 years of history, and at times has been the second largest Middle Eastern city, behind Babylon. Because of its rich medieval past, we chose to learn about the city through the lens of urban development. We also took into account cultural significance to understand that the Bazaar is the heart of the city, with veins stretching to all corners of Tehran. Tehran is an incredibly dense city, with a population of over 11 million people. We discovered fields emminating from the ancient core of the city, which linked to the Bazaar and outstretched from it. Perry and I used the Figure ground maps to understand complex spatial relationships throughout the city, and began to understand how to place a figure in a field. We also came to understand that the ground in more important than the figure in it.


Medieval Center

The Millennium




Urban fields in Tehran

Figure Ground Map of Tehran



Relationships create links between facets of a project, and create a greater overall understanding. The relationship of small details in a project is just as vital as spatial, environmental, and even cultural relationships.


2016 PROFESSOR: WILKERSON, GEORGE SCHAFER THIRD YEAR IN COLLABORATION WITH: ERIC BELL, SERINA VALDES, DIEGO BAZZANI, DEREK WILLIAMS, AND MARIA MESA The second project of the third year was another figure ground relationship study. However instead mapping the city from only a figure ground scale, I went with a field team to Chicago to gather a greater understanding of the spatial conditions of the urban fabric. My team and I were tasked to design a weather shelter along Chicago’s 606, a pedestrian walking and cycling path through various Chicago neighborhoods. The design would be influenced by information gathered in the field, and needed to be able to relate to the greater figure ground relationship as a whole. Our weather shed was inspired by a spatial complexity within graffiti along concrete walls in the emerging arts district our site was located in. We took into account the greater city scale, the district scale, and the human scale, which is exhibited throughout Chicago as a whole. Through various sketching exercises we were able to understand the importance of these three scales to design a weather shelter uniquely sited to Chicago.


N Spaulding Ave

N Kimball Ave W Bloomingdale Ave


SCALE: 1”=100’



N Spaulding Ave

N Kimball Ave



In order to create something, one must gather influence from many sources. Inspiration comes from research, and with greater knowledge comes greater opportunity to create new things and invent a creative way to experience space.


2016 PROFESSOR: JULIE WILKERSON THIRD YEAR IN COLLABORATION WITH: STUDIO WILKERSON After studying Tehran and Chicago in groups, our studio came together to study the urban fabric of Berlin, Germany. Using the information from our studies, each team member was tasked with designing a restaurant to be used by rotating chefs. We chose a site in Prenzlauerberg, in the Pankow District of Berlin. It is a culturally diverse district with a large millennial population. Through careful and strategic study of German culture, as well as the German ethos of eating, I devised a plan to create a building as a landscape. I was attempting to create a field which broke the contiguous urban wall, rather than filling it in, as I felt it more appropriate to bring the community together. Our site was 22,000 square feet in between two 7-story buildings. I designed a landscape with large canopies held up by a series of columns randomly placed on a grid I developed for the site. The grid came from understanding the use and planning of green space throughout Berlin. The canopies were designed and built using a complex and innovation monocoque construction, similar to that of a modern Formula 1 car. I believe my restaurant speaks to the cultural aspects of German cuisine I was striving for, as well as creating a figure ground condition which relates to the greater scale of Berlin and Germany as a whole. I also believe it spoke to the ideas of firmness, commodity, delight, and innovation. The structure worked, was beautiful, innovated, and allowed the restaurant to function correctly. However, although the restaurant fit in theory to the site, it does seem alien in its location. I also think that based on my currently skill and knowledge level as a student, designing a innovative and experimental roof and wall structure was overwhelming. Overall, I am proud of my design, and will continue to experiment with projects. As a student I have the freedom to try, and fail, with experimental structures and designs.


Diagrams used to design: layering parcel onto site, local nodes onto site, and Tiergarten onto site, I was able to understand the relationship green space had to Berlin’s mapping.





Dining Room


Storage Bar


Women’s Men’s Kitchen Entrance


Plan of Restaurant


Study model

Interior view

Sectional model

Model of Restaurant

Model of Restaurant



At its core, architecture exists for those who inhabit it, and its success should be evaluated by the positive influence it produces. If architecture can benefit a community while also being beautiful and poetic, the architecture is successful.


The Community 1:1 studio looks to explore the role of the architect and architecture in a greater community. The studio focuses on ideas of placemaking, community involvement, collaboration, connectivity, and building. The studio has long been involved with the Green Crescent, a proposed cycling trail connecting the towns of Central, Pendleton, and Seneca South Carolina, as well as Clemson University and Southern Wesleyan University. We were tasked with designing a mobile trailhead which would act as a branding and fundraising tool, while also providing a blueprint and kit of parts for future trailheads to be placed throughout the trail. The design team researched local architecture styles before crafting the idea of a covered map table which is informed by a southern porch. The design and construction is meant to be easily constructed using off-the-shelf materials and a basic knowledge of building. For an added element of safety, the transparent roof glows at night using solar powered lights, which provides a beacon for those along the trail at night. Being a design build studio, the Community 1:1 team constructed the trailhead during finals week.




Imagination is an incredibly important virtue to have in the design field. To have the ability to take inspiration from anything, and use your own personal creativity to better understand it and create something new, is not to be overlooked

Additional Interests Apart from my studies I enjoy exploring different creative outlets. I believe it is vital for architects and designers to explore different outlets of creativity, and experiment with unknown skill sets. Included here are some examples of my photography, along with watercolor and ink work, and freehand drawing. I also think it is important to find creative outlets with may be used in architecture, but speak to other interests as well. To take inspiration from the surrounding world presents a greater opportunity for holistic design.


Marble bust, charcoal on paper

President’s Mansion, inkwash


Profile for Michael King

Michael King Student Architecture Portfolio  

Third Year Architecture Portfolio, Clemson University, Magazine Layout

Michael King Student Architecture Portfolio  

Third Year Architecture Portfolio, Clemson University, Magazine Layout