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ARCH 101 – FALL 2012Midterm Learning Portfolio


Contents • • • • • •

Icebreaker Concept Map Architectural Designs Critical Questions Gesture Drawings Conclusion and Learning Outcomes


Icebreaker According to dictionary.com, the definitions of icebreaker have three meanings. These are: 1) A ship specially built for breaking navigable passages through ice 2) An opening remark, action, etc., designed to ease tension or relieve formality 3) A tool or machine for chopping ice into small pieces. Among these three meanings, the second one is the most suitable for the class Architectural Design Studio. In this class, I am going to do brainstorming all my ideas out of my mind and then turn these into my designs. “As a way of guiding your development of an effective design process that applies an expressive and responsive tectonic language, your first challenge will be to design and construct an artifact that represents the most significant aspects and qualities of you and abstractly communicates this to others. In short, this artifact is your sculptural biography.” – Prof. Jerry Lum The Fall 2012 semester is started with the theme: “Architecture is a Sculptural Biography.”


Concept Map for My Architectural Designs


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies Before I am going to explain my strengths, weaknesses, and improvements of Architectural designs, firstly, I want to introduce my major objectives which are my personal qualities revealing in my design process. These are organized or order, simple, creative and cooperative. These are my major ones. From now on, I am going to show and explain my designs from the first designs to my last designs. Sometimes I started my designs with the sketch drawing, and sometimes I built the drafted model, then built the finer one. But before starting to build any model or design, thinking in another way “brain-storming� is important. By doing so, I could have many ideas and options to choose based on my thinking process. More than that, during my model building process, I instantly kept on changing the things by not just sticking in one option instead making more and more options and find a finer and better one. Starting from next page, I explained my all my designs.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #1

Design #2

Design #3

Strengths

Improvements from #1

Improvements from #2

- The black rectangle really caught the audience intention. - Every single piece is crafted out from one plane.

- I tried to make a cube which like structure which was not in closed form. I tried to open it up and made a conversation between each face.

- I tried to open it up one side and made a conversation between five sticks by connecting with tiny string.

Strengths

- There was barely strengthsnot interesting.

Weaknesses - The model was not organized or in order. - There was no conversation between each piece poking out.

- I made it seen two faces at the same time by putting the stand at the base

Weaknesses - The model was not as interesting as the previous design. - It was in closed form..

Strengths

Weaknesses - There was a base. - Instead of standing like in the picture, lying down was better look..


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #4 with different views

Tracing bird’s nest

At this point, I started to look for my inspiration, and I found out that I got inspired by the building in Beijing which is known as Bird’s Nest. I tried to trace the pattern of the bird’s nests. The above right picture showed how I traced these different patterns. At that same time, I liked the shape of the pentagons. The diagonals of the regular pentagon are in the golden section to its sides. But in my above design #4, I didn’t make it all equal sides because the inner part of the bird nests does have the shape of oval.

Improvements from #4

Strengths

Weaknesses

- As I got the inspiration, I tried to build a totally new design based on it. - I used an angle of 30 degree from the starting point and added two stand from this point. - I found out that the proportion was awkward, but it looked somewhat interesting.

- It had an area of high density. - The pentagonal structure had the complexity of crafting.

- It was not in proportion.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #5 with different views

Snapshot for #5

Starting from #5, Prof. Jerry Lum started to introduce new way of approaching the design by doing overlay studies and snapshots. In overlay studies, there were two kinds of development: Lateral development and Vertical development. Lateral development means “different approaches, ideas and addresses possibilities.” Vertical development “refines what we have.”

Improvements from #4

Strengths

Weaknesses

- I started to assign the proportion which is the harmonic ratio (1:2) and applied this ratio to my design. - Plus, I added one more stand at the intersecting point of 30 degree angle.

- By adding the proportion, the model looked better than the previous one. - It made me noticed that how important the proportion was when I built a model. - The zig-zag form in pentagonal parts caught the audiences’ eyes.

- Here was the question coming up: how I was going to promote my model for next step? Even though it was not a weakness but a challenge, I felt like I ran out of idea again.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #6 with different views

Snapshot

Playing with different proportions and angles

Improvements from #5

Strengths

Weaknesses

- I still kept the proportions from the previous design even though I tried to draw with different proportions and angles. I did not use other proportions because the current proportions seemed more compact than those in drawing. - I also twisted the pentagonal structure and added space on top part which was like a dome.

- I created space on top. - I twisted the pentagonal parts with equal space in each layer.

- I thought I created space on top gave me the strengths, but Prof. Jerry Lum thought I did not need to go into creating space part yet and let me get rid of this. - Another weakness was that the pentagonal parts was not more interesting than the previous design #5 and let me change to the form of zigzag with the combination of rotation. - I still had a base.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #7 with different views

Snapshot

Overlay Studies

In my overlay studies, I tried to play with different angles and proportions. In the above right photo, there had three drawings. The top one was with 30 degree angle and 1:2 (Harmonic ratio), but it created only little space near the angle area. In the middle, this was the one that I created, and the bottom one was with 60 degree angle and 1:2 ratio which showed that the pentagon part was so big and awkward.

Improvements from #6

Strengths

Weaknesses

- This time I tried to open it up the 30 degree angle part which was the thickest part. - Instead of three stands, I got rid of two stands and converted into vertical form. - I created the center point of the pentagon and in the outermost layer of the pentagon, I extened out half of an inch which gave the idea of rotation.

- It has high density in one area. - The idea of rotation in an organized order was great. - It was good to look at everything was going on in one place.

- I felt like I needed to make it bigger to show what was going on within this tiny area. - The stand was serving as to support the whole structure, and there was no conversation with others apart from that.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #8 with different views

Improvements from #7

Strengths

- The first thing I made an improvement was the base. Instead of standing itself, I tried to create a conversation with the pentagon by taking half of the frame and created a frame. - Next thing was that I added the white surface on two layers of pentagons and showed up half as rotation. - I still kept the harmonic ratio (1:2).

- I created the conversation within the model by substituting the stand with half frame of the pentagon.

Weaknesses - When looking from side view, all the lines were vertical and horizontal. There was not much exciting.

Snapshot and Overlay Studies with details of explanation


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #9 with different views

Improvements from #8

Strengths

Weaknesses

- In this design #9, I got rid of the rotation pattern by adding the triangular surfaces in each pentagon and rotated the triangle every step I went up. - Instead of using the stick to support each pentagonal layer, I tried to engage the hindging method.

- Even though I did not do rotation, my playing with the triangle gave the impression of twisting and rotating.

- Not much. But here was another question: what if I was not allowed to use glue? - I was asked to do without surfaces instead inserting with the frame development. I felt like I ran out of idea again.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #10 with different views Frame development was introduced from this point on, and I was not allowed to use any surfaces in this design #10. I added just a line to create a frame in it.

Improvements from #9

Strengths

- No surface has been added, but with frame development. - I tried to change the scale of each pentagon into one eighth of an inch in each step I went up.

- The audiences did not like the model.

Weaknesses - No improvement from the previous one. - I should use different lineweights to show the differences between each pentagon. - I needed to work on nice clean edge with exact measurements.

Snapshot and Overlay Studies with details of explanation


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #11 with different views In design #11, I had to create the frame development with sectional arrays. Sectional arrays was like a section of the building with each layer of transaction. I could use any kinds of chipboard and thick paper.

Improvements from #10

Strengths

Weaknesses

- The first improvement was that I got nice clean cut pentagons and triangles. - I created the frame of the pentagon and used the hindging method to twist each pentagonal layers.

- I could make the conversation within the whole structure. - The rotation of each triangle to the base of the starting pentagon caught the audiences’ eyes. It was interesting.

- In the sectional arrays of the pentagonal parts, there had no specific angle of rotation.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Improved Design #12

Rough Designs with Improved Design #12

At this point, I was not allowed to use any glue and only slotting method. It was absolutely a hard work I thought. But later on, I realized that it was a much more better and easier way to join each piece, instead of using glue with messy corners and edges. Gluing method was time consuming because I had to wait until it dried before I wanted to join other pieces. Whereas slotting method was needed to be more specific in measurements.

Improvements

Strengths

- I created three other different designs to see how I could cooperate each piece in various approaches. I made the designs with crawling on the ground and the one with standing diagonally upwards. - I also cut out some of the pieces in my design to show the transformation in shape. - Finally, I came up with each different size of pentagon and extruded the triangle shape from each then joined the triangle. As the pentagons went upwards, they were getting smaller so that I tried to flip in the triangle parts by going from smaller to larger one.

- The different order in pentagons and triangles made it interesting because of contrasting order.

Weaknesses - I did not do the slotting very well, so these just kept on falling off. - It was felt like so fragile.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #13 with different views

Improvements

Strengths

Weaknesses

- In this design process, especially in the pentagonal parts, I tried to wider pentagon from base to thinner one in the middle to wider ones to the top. - I also used this idea (wider-thinnerwider) and created the curvilinear lines with different patterns of arrays. - I got rid of one backbone from previous design.

- I still used the 1:2 (Harmonic ratio) in the pentagonal parts.

- Prof. Jerry Lum said that I tried to do sectional arrays with chapter by chapter. He forced me to do by joining all together to make the conversation within each other. - I felt like my personal qualities (major objective- organized) was lost in this design.


Architectural Designs with Overlay Studies

Design #14 with different views

Rough Design

The top right picture was the rough design with bristol paper before going into my design #14. I tried to place in different order like wider to narrower, wider-narrower-wider (wave-like pattern). Unlike previous designs, I opened the pentagons up. Based on this design, it lead me into my final midterm design. Improvements

Strengths

Weaknesses

- I tried to go with the patterns of widernarrower-wider-narrower-wider in the pentagonal area. It’s like a wave pattern. - In the middle part, I tried to connect the pieces that I cut out of the pentagons, and I created another sectioning. - If I looked from the top view, it looked so simple and every section is parallel to each other, so I tried to add like a cross section to the half of the pentagonal areas to create more complexity and at the same time, it could solve the symmetrical problem.

- I still used the 1:1 ratio in the pentagonal parts, and in the middle parts, I used 1:2 (Harmonic ratio).

- Prof. Jerry Lum wanted me to extrude out the backbone like in the rough design. - I did not create a narrative story of my design quite really. - Instead of linear form, twists, turns, and curves should be used to create more excitement. - I needed to work on more space and implied surfaces.


Critical Questions What is architecture? Architecture is the practice in the process of building design. In this practice, it includes critical thinking, calculating, forming space, order, development of the process, and so on. What purpose does rhythm and regularity play in design? By doing rhythm and regularity in my design, I can give the smoothness of my design. For example, like in a music, if there is no rhythm, it’s like stopping at one point, then at any time it played again and there’s no comfort to listen to it. With the rhythm, I can visually connect to the space by looking at into these. What is the relationship between form and form of space? Form is like an object (e.g. cube, cylinder). Form of space can be formed itself by creating the space or “cavity” between different volumes of forms.

How are history, culture, and time related to meaning in architecture? Like in old times, there were lots of battles and wars all the time; they built the castles and big and high walls around their palaces to protect against from the enemies. Instead of using like lower walls, and put a lot of windows in the building, they built castles with rocks and less windows, so that it lead to protecting against the enemies at that time. In their mind, all the buildings had to be safe from enemies. As time changes, the architectures of the buildings and everything become more sophisticated and people want to live in more sophisticated way. So they try to build the things and buildings full with comfort and relaxation like instead of small windows in a house, they prefer large glass windows in their houses.


Critical Questions What is the value of injecting harmonic, golden (nature’s ratio), or Fibonacci/Modular proportions into your design? The value of injecting the proportions into my design are the designs are not looking awkward like one place is tall and one place is short. But by making it proportionally, it feels more comfortable and good to look at it. Because the ratios are directly related to human body and nature. Another thing is that as the ratios were come up from nature, the design or building that we build has to be compatible and matching with it, I think. How does a program (or brief) impact your design differently than a narrative? A program is like the start of the design process, and it is composed with requirements, limitations and objectives. A narrative is based on the program that I have to create the journey or experience of my design process. So I would say without a program, there will be no narrative. For example, without the software, I could create anything out from it. ‘Design to resemble nature’ or ‘design with nature’, which do you prefer and why? I prefer ‘design with nature’. It is more ecological way, I think. By using nature, it could create more sustainable and ecological design like using solar energy, wind power to create electricity. Nature itself gives us a lot of resources to survive on this earth. So I think we better make good use of these resources to help the environment green instead of polluting it. To make it resemble like nature does not guarantee that it has the strength of nature or give same qualities as nature. Nature itself can guarantee if we make good use of the resources.


Gesture Drawings According to the wikipedia, one of the purposes of the gesture drawings is “the artist who undertakes gesture drawing also receives the benefits of self-training their drawing ability. This kind of very rapid drawing of the figure builds (through the act of frequent repetition) an instinctive understanding of human proportions which may aid the artist when executing more extended works.” According to Prof. Jerry Lum, he said that the purposes of the gesture drawing to capture and define the essences of my personal expressive quality. Moreover, the gesture drawings could show the speed, brush stroke, light and dark value scale which revealed the personal qualities of one’s own. In the next page, I showed all the drawings that I drew in class.


Gesture Drawings

The above three drawings were drawn on Sept. 25.

The above three drawings were drawn on Sept. 27 with different period of time. From left to right side (10 min, 5min, 3min, and 2min)


Gesture Drawings

The above three drawings were drawn on Oct. 2nd with different period of time. From left to right side (5min, 4min, and 3min) The weaknesses in all of my gesture drawings were not in consistent. Every single drawing kept on changing at least in one area. But the strength was that I could catch the areas with different pressure of brush stroke and light and dark tones.


Conclusion and Learning Outcomes Architecture is not beautifully crafted like an artwork, but it is designed and constructed with beauty, thinking, and processing. It is not just randomly throwing things into the design and building or creating the work. It is carefully clarified and added more specific and details of each piece created into it. To be a better design, I learnt that I must have an idea of thinking how I am going to present my work, how I am going to create and add more interesting into these, the relationship between my design language and the process that I make, the use of the transition between each piece of my work, and the relationship and the effects of the materials that I use. Moreover, besides thinking the process and idea, practice is also needed. I remember what Prof. Jerry Lum said, “Quantities lead to qualities.� I believe it is right. Now as the semester goes by all the way through the half, I now realize that the way I create and build design can somewhat lead to a better design; I know myself that how fast and way easier to create more and more designs because of the quantities and practices that I make every week. My all iterations are the proof of how I am going into step-by-step into my design quality.

ARCH101-FALL2012-  

Midterm Portfolio

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