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theCharrette tulane school of architecture

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december 2010

KENTARO TSUBAKI

REVIEWS

SYNC INC


CONTENTS

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Letter from the Editor

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A Moment with Ken

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Studio Couture

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Faculty Profile: Kentaro Tsubaki

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Option Studio Reviews

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MSRED

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Jill Stoll : In Camera

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Firm Profile: SYNC inc.

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A-Week: A Look Ahead

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How’d You Do That : Smash

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Outside the Studio: Daniel McDonald

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Studio Sketches

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14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 dec. 3 first year reviews dec. 4 second year reviews dec. 6 third year reviews dec. 8 studio walk-through dec. 9 thesis reviews dec. 10 Rome reviews dec. 29 - jan2 AIAS FORUM Conference

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Letter from the Editor | Kevin Michniok Thank you for taking the time to read our December Issue of theCharrette. As we continue to grow in strength and numbers, new content is emerging. I am happy to announce new additions to this issue. Because of the importance of mastering the many programs we use here at TSA, third year Tyler Guidroz will be introducing lesser known and complicated commands in our “How’d You Do That?” section. The goal is to improve the efficiency of your work and at the same time provide a platform for our readers to inquire about the particulars of common topics such as how to correctly add shadows using Photoshop or methods to remedy meshes not lining up with their respective lines in Rhino. Send in your requests at any time. Sanaa Shaikh has demonstrated phenomenal drawing skills, quite stunning for only being in her first year at TSA.

We plan to introduce a drawing or two each issue from her sketchbook. Read further into this issue to find her first inclusions. Finally, Brian Sulley will be in charge of our new Advice Column . Email us at thecharrette@gmail.com if you have a general architectural/TSA inquiries. Brian’s serious yet also quirky nature will provide you with an in-depth analysis on the pertinent matters around us. As the semester draws to a close, we are greeted with many things to look forward to in the year 2011: additional visits for our new position of a associate dean for academics; Architects Week returning to the Spring; a great line up of guest lecturers who will challenge the strong group from this semester; the Career Fair sponsored by AIAS; countless other events and important dates. Enjoy the upcoming winter break. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (‫)חמש הכונח‬, Happy Kwanzaa, and to anyone who celebrates, Happy Yalda (my apologies if I forgot your holiday).

December 2010

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A Moment with Ken | graduate students. associate dean Interview by John Nelson

theCharrette staff believe a consistent interview session with the dean is a vital way to keep an open dialogue between the administration and student body. Q. Can you explain the different types of graduate students and why the numbers are increasing? A. We always had three different kinds of graduate architecture students and one kind of preservation graduate student. They’ve have always been here, but they’ve been here in small numbers. If you look back on the history of Tulane for twenty to thirty years there have been graduate students in various places within that spectrum. What’s new is the numbers of graduate students have increased. We now have students for example in a one year Master of Architecture program, and those are exclusively students who have five year undergraduate accredited degrees already. We have four of those type of students right now. We also have a cohort of two year students who come with four year pre-professional programs under their belts. Typically that’s either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. So its a major in architecture usually with a good deal of studio content, technology and theory. Those students with a four year undergraduate degree typically come for a two year graduate degree program. We have

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fifteen of those students right now, which is about double last year’s total. We also have fourteen three-and-a-half year students who come in the summer, they have a four year non-architecture degree as undergraduates. They all have baccalaureate degrees, but they come in for a three and a half year course, summer and then three years. So those are three different tracks within the Master of Architecture program. We also have nineteen new preservation students right now. It’s a big group. Finally, starting in June we have a fifth graduate program which is a Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development, and that’s a whole new ball game. It’s been approved by the Tulane board, and it’s a new group, probably of twenty to thirty students. Those are going to be different students because they are not going to have studio space. It’s a classroom based program. It’s not primarily a design based program. It will have design in it but they will not have their own desks. So the reason I brought the graduate students up is that I do think that it is one of those key administrative directions for the school. I think it is complimentary to the existing strengths that we have right now and I believe it is going to help move us forward in ways that would not occur if it weren’t for this priority attached to the graduate program. I think it is going to help us in various ways in building excellence around here: diversifying the conversation around architecture, diversifying with preservation and real estate and diversifying in terms of the educational and life experience backgrounds that graduate students bring to the mix. Many of them are older students. When this dynamic works well there is this productive synergy between


undergraduate and graduate students. We’re not the only school in country that is working with this assumption. There are many schools including my own school where I attended which had a five year Bachelor of Architecture and a very successful graduate program as well. *All student totals named in this article reference new graduate students this fall.

and she has gone on to a very successful career beyond the University of Virginia. She is now tenured at North Carolina State, and she has a great deal of administrative aptitude. She has run the graduate program at North Carolina State. She is also a great teacher. We have another great candidate coming on the Friday after Thanksgiving named Rene Davids. He is from the University of California Berkeley, top notch guy. Davids is from Chile originally, and he is a tenured full professor at Berkeley and a member of the AIA.

Q. On a different note, how successful has the new search for the associate dean been so far?

Q. Do you think it is important that these candidates, whoever you decide to chose, will also teach in some capacity?

A. Well we’ve had just one candidate, Professor Wendy Redfield, visit so far, and we have another candidate, Rene Davids, coming on December 3rd. We had a good pool of people who responded, who “applied” if you will. We had two who were lined up before winter break and then we have potentially two more coming in January. So, I think its going well. We’ve got high quality people interested in this job. In professor Professor Wendy Redfield’s, lecture [ Nov 19], someone asked the question, “Why are you interested in this position?” Her answer was very eloquent. It had a lot to do with the great reputation of TSA. She then said that the work that we are doing in the city of New Orleans is remarkable. Lastly in her case, she said that she has known me for twenty years and that she had started her educational career with me. I hired her in her first teaching job. That was nineteen years ago,

A. Yes, they definitely will teach. My job is fairly consuming and I don’t have a lot of time to teach although I am co-teaching the introduction to preservation course now. The new associate dean’s time will be fifty percent teaching fifty percent administration like Professor Gamard. That’s in the advertisement by the way and it is really important. I think the kind of people we want are people who would want to be teaching. In both cases of the new candidates, they fit that bill. They wouldn’t want a full time administrative job. If they did, they would go be a dean somewhere. Both of them are qualified to do that.

December 2010

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Studio Couture Hannah Ambrose

Recently at theCharrette we’ve been discussing the theme of “Studio Culture.” As with any office or institution where people spend a large amount of time together, it is inevitable that trends and customs will be distributed by co-workers and adopted by others among them. Studio Culture (as we’ve previously been referring to it) is best known for its advantages in peer-to-peer learning, team building, networking, and overall sense of comradery. This month, we will be discussing the less vocalized “dark-side” of studio culture, otherwise known as: Studio Couture. It’s Friday afternoon, and at approximately 5:15pm, I make my way down the steps of Richardson Memorial and across the pedestrian path to my custom-made fixed-speed bicycle. I utter softy to myself about the inefficiency and down-right ugly nature of the cruisers around me. I travel over to Bridge Lounge off Magazine, order myself a Heineken, and proceed to look disinterested as I sit by myself at the bar. Then Rianna shows up. I take a look at my vintage [brand-name] wristwatch as I utter, “Oh, hey.” Rianna, texting on her iphone, ignores me and orders herself a PBR… how predictable. Together we sit and contemplate the validity of socialism, complain loudly about the “fratty guys” that sit down next to us, and banter over whether vampire weekend can still be considered indie. For the first time today, I crack a smile (but for only a second) as Rianna pokes fun at the “hipster freshmen.” Sigh. It’s true. They give us architecture kids such a bad rep.

outfitters anymore without running into at least ten kids that I’ve already tried to avoid in the hallway that day.” Then it hits me. As writers for the most popular, widely distributed publication at TSA, it is our duty to do something about this fashion epidemic. Together over a shot of jager, Rianna and I make a pact to bring fashion awareness to our beloved design community. Definition of Hipster: “Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. -- Although “hipsterism” is really a state of mind, it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, oldschool sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs.-- Despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities. Consequently many hipsters tend to have jobs in the music, art, and fashion industries. It is a myth that most hipsters are unemployed and live off of their parent’s trust funds. ” (urbandictionary.com)

“And it’s spreading like wild-fire!” She exclaims. “Yesterday, I counted twelve underclassmen wearing TOMS. It’s like their collectively trying to save third world children or something!” “I know,” I reply. “I can’t even walk into urban

Are YOU a hipster? Quiz by Rianna Bennett. Answers can be found on the next page. 1. Where do you buy most of your clothes? a. Gap b. Abercrombie & Fitch c. Urban Outfitters d. Thrift Stores 2. Have you or do you ever plan on voting for George W. Bush? a. Yeah, Dubya is my man. b. I’m moving to Canada if he wins. c. I’m moving to Canada anyway. d. I don’t vote. There is no point. 3. What kind of cigarettes do you smoke? a. Parliament b. I roll my own c. I don’t smoke d. Marlboro Lights 4. Do you belong to a sorority or a fraternity, or do you have any hope of belonging? a. Yes b. That was so freshman year. c. No d. Absolutely not. 6

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5. What are your career aspirations? a. Be a CEO, I’m all about making money! b. To be able to support myself with my art c. To own my own record store/coffee shop d. Live off of my parents for as long as possible.

9. What’s your favorite band? a. Britney Spears b. This indie band, you’ve probably never heard of them c. The Coyotes d. Vampire Weekend

6. Food is important to everyone (not only hipsters). How do you classify yourself? a. Carnivore b. Freegan c. Vegetarian d. Vegan

10. a. b. c. d.

7. What’s your ideal mode of transportation? a. Fixed seat Peugeot b. Limo c. Brand new Mercedes my parents bought me d. SUV 8. Where do you buy your coffee? a. Starbucks, they have to best hot chocolate! b. PJ’s c. Z’ots d. Rue de la Course

What kind of beer do you drink? Bud Light Corona PBR I don’t drink beer, Smirnoff Ice please


Your guide to spotting hispsters at trendy parties

Points 1.

4.

7.

10.

a.

20

a.

10

a.

40

a.

30

b.

10

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20

b.

10

b.

20

c.

30

c.

30

c.

20

c.

40

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40

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40

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30

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10

If you scored between:

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5.

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a.

10

a.

20

a.

10

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20

b.

40

b.

20

c.

30

c.

30

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40

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30

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30

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10

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10

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40

b.

20

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10

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30

c.

30

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20

d.

40

d.

20

100-190 points you are: Definitely not a hipster....

200-290 points you are: Not a hipster, but you may watch a couple indie films from time to time. 300-390 points you are: Definitely friends with Nick Cusimano. 400 points you are: Probably in Thesis.

December 2010

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Faculty Profile | Frank Xiong

Kentaro Tsubaki

One of the most intriguing aspects of attending a school like Tulane is the diversity amongst its faculty. This month’s featured profile is on Kentaro Tsubaki, another esteemed professor at the Tulane School of Architecture with an international background. We all know Tsubaki as the mild mannered professor with a quirky way of explaining tech problems. But do you know how he began his career at Tulane? I had the privilege this month to sit down and listen to his story.

enrolling in the University of Colorado Denver’s architecture program. “There I studied under two extraordinary teachers” said Tsubaki, “Bennett Neiman and Douglas Darden.” The latter was involved in the tour print exhibit that came to Tulane’s Newcomb Art Institute last semester. After graduating in 1993, he worked in an office called Urban Design Group

The early years of Kentaro Tsubaki were somewhat turbulent and nomadic. He was born in Oita, Japan on the southern island of Kyushu. At the age of three, the Tsubaki family moved to a suburb of Kyoto because his father accepted a teaching position as a professor of astronomy at Shiga Univeristy. Three years later, Tsubaki Sr. once again was on the move. He had received a post-doctoral grant, a once in a lifetime opportunity to conduct research at the Sacramento Peak Observatory in New Mexico. Located 2,000 feet up in the mountains, Tsubaki’s new home was a village of scientists who all centered around the Observatory. Tsubaki Sr.’s grant had ended two years after Tsubaki started elementary school in the United States, forcing their family to move back to Kyoto, Japan. Although he had a hard time initially reintegrating into the Japanese culture, Tsubaki remained in Japan until he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Kyoto. As an undergraduate, Tsubaki studied physics; however the experimental focus of the subject did not satisfy him. “You have to understand,” explains Tsubaki, “the path in science becomes very narrow, very quickly.” His studies and research focused mainly on experimental physics, specifically the structure of high polymers under low temperatures using x-ray detraction, a similar technique used in identifying certain genes in human DNA. Although he was very successful in his field, the impractical side of these experiments did not fulfill his aspirations. At the time, Tsubaki did not yet know what he wanted to pursue as a career. Confused, he considered architecture as an option. “My father was a scientist but my mother was a classical pianist.” Said Tsubaki. “I wanted to pursue something that was at the crossroads of science and art.” Near the campus of the University of Kyoto, The Times Building by Tadao Ando had always intrigued Tsubaki as he often walked by and through it. “This building is what inspired me to be an architect,” says Kentaro. “Architecture deals with people’s lives, their interactions with the environment and each other. There is a much more practical side to this profession than academic physics. By studying architecture, I can grow as a person.” In March of 1990, Kentaro Tsubaki started his architectural journey by

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triple bridges. client: port authority of NY and NJ (photo by Eduard Hueber)


based in Denver for a year and a half and also taught a semester at his alma mater as a studio professor. However, Tsubaki’s mentors and role models encouraged him to continue his architectural education. “They said that it was essential for students to figure out his or her unique approach to design, a form of identity.” He then dived into an M.Arch II program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan (a school found by Eliel Saarinen, father of Eero Saarinen). After finishing his M.Arch II, Tsubaki went to New York to start his career as a practicing architect. Pasanella, Klein, Stolzman, Berg (PKSB) Architects (a medium sized firm of 15-20 people with a modernist focus) hired him. There, Tsubaki practiced for almost a decade. Nine years into the job,

however, Tsubaki realized that he had learned as much as he could and needed a change. “I think the reason I practiced in NYC for so long was that I was desperately trying to avoid the cliché of a son following his father’s footsteps. I did not want to be an academic; however, after 9 years of working, I was interested in going back to school and studying something in depth again, which is probably the main reason I decided to change my career.” This opportunity came when his former professor, Neiman Bennett, invited him to a review at Texas Tech and encouraged him to apply for an opening there. Six months later, he was hired and placed on a tenured track. During his third year of teaching at Texas Tech, Kentaro was attending an academic conference in Los Angeles. There, an unnamed person from an unnamed school somewhere in the Northeast talked to Kentaro and “recruited” him by encouraging him to apply for a position at their school. Since Kentaro was applying for one job, his paperwork was already put together so he decided to send them off to various academic positions around the country as well, including Tulane University. Tsubaki is currently teaching graduate students in second year, working diligently with the hope of getting on the tenured track. During our interview, I asked Kentaro what it is like working at the same school with his wife, Jill Stoll. (Jill and Kentaro had met in Cranbrook and have been together ever since.) “It’s not too bad” chuckles Kentaro, “we stay out of each other’s way and remain professional here at the school.” Concluding our interview, I asked Kentaro what advice would he give to aspiring architecture students. He says that architectural design as a practice tends to be generalist; however, it is good to start in depth with a certain aspect of architecture you are interested in and then branch out; this way, complex ideas are easier to conceptualize and the learning curve is not too overwhelming. He also encourages everyone to test the limits of their studio designs. “You are here to make mistakes so don’t be afraid to push the boundaries,” remarked Tsubaki. “Only by pushing the boundaries can you push your own growth as a designer.”

young Tsubaki (http://kentaro-is-40.blogspot.com/)

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‘Tis the Season A collection of photos from option studio reviews photos by jill stoll

Tulane School of Architecture Option studio reviews occurring on Friday November 19 and Monday November 22. Studios of Ammar Eloueini, Byron Mouton, Emile Taylor, Juddith Kinnard, Kenneth Gowland and Lee Ledbetter/Tarra Cotterman. Photo description clockwise from top left. Eloueini’s review panel (first two photos), Megan Weyland presenting her work, Devin Oatman presenting as her model is observed by reviewers, Robby Pekara clarifying his URBANbuild prototype to Andrew Liles and Nick Marshall, Elizabeth Davis beginning her review while Wayne Troyer evaluates a model.

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Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development Sanaa Shaikh

A new program is being introduced to the Tulane School of Architecture: Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development (MSRED). This new graduate program at TSA aims to “prepare post-baccalaureate students from diverse fields to explore the regenerative development of cities.” Alexandra Stroud AIA, who also teaches as an associate adjunct professor at TSA, will direct the program. Stroud received her Masters in Architecture from Tulane and a Masters of Science in Real Estate Development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MSRED will be open to post baccalaureate students from both Tulane and beyond. The program consists of a series of classes taken in the summer, fall, and spring, will take a year to complete and will cover a total of 44 credit hours: twelve in the summer, sixteen in the fall, and sixteen in the spring. Like any other graduate program at TSA, MSRED has a series of requirements making up the entire application. The application requirements include a Statement of Interest, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, resume, and an application fee of $25. Unlike the other graduate programs at TSA, MSRED does not require the submission of a portfolio thus allowing the application pool for the program to increase in diversity. Not only are students from disciplines other than architecture invited to apply, but diversity is highly encouraged. In a time where the development of sustainable architecture and green building has become more and more prevalent, strategies must be formulated to address this changing marketplace. These strategies must focus on economics, community, and the environment. Sandi Stroud states that “this program focuses explicitly on the unique challenges and opportunities afforded by the attention to the sustainability of our cities and neighborhoods.” Having extensive experience as a licensed architect and real estate professional specializing in financial and feasibility analysis, the development of implementation and project management, Stroud is well equipped to direct the MSRED program in the best way possible. Ultimately, the program will introduce a set of values and skills necessary to approach sustainable building and development.

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The preliminary full year program shows a delightful array of classes focused on a diverse range of building and design opportunities, emphasizing “regenerative” real estate development. In the summer, students will begin their experience in MSRED with a series of introduction classes known as the “Bootcamp” in Real Estate Finance & Economics, Sustainable Architecture & Design, and New Orleans Real Estate. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has become an opportune place to study the ever-changing market of design. “Through efforts to rebuild the economy and focus on environmental solutions to protect the New Orleans region, the city and TSA in particular are at the cutting-edge of the sustainable design movement. With the need of affordable housing and overall economic development, questions are constantly being raised about density, market growth, and economic value in relation to community, the environment, and a personal connection to the city.” The Fall course load include classes in Real Estate Economics, Real Estate Finance, Legal Issues in Real Estate Development and Case Studies in Sustainable Real Estate Development. Finally, the Spring semester includes classes concerning Sustainable Design and Planning, Cases Studies in Real Estate Development, and a Thesis/Business Plan. Stroud also states, “Besides undertaking the work in your courses, you will find multiple opportunities to interact with industry professionals, many of whom will come to lecture in your classes.” The program will also aspire to place all of its graduates in real estate development and related firms and will work to pin point and establish opportunities for graduates to work in business settings that produce innovative strategies for sustainable change. Overall this program is an outstanding addition to the TSA selection of graduate programs and is sure to prove quite valuable to the motivated graduate student. Stroud commented further. “The program is designed to introduce students to a wide range of experienced practitioners from New Orleans and around the country and the support has been phenomenal. I can’t wait to meet the first class. It is going to be a lot of fun for them and for us as faculty.” Applications are due February 1, 2011.


Jill Stoll : In Camera Favrot Lobby

“I’m a real believer in that creativity comes from limits, not freedom.” -Jon Stewart For several years I have been obsessed with the laser cutter as a tool for art making, using the scored line as a type of drawing to cut into various surfaces. In the spring of 2009 while I was teaching photography I got the idea to use the laser cutter to make masking devices that fit inside the camera. I did this assignment with my students, asking them to shoot the film once with a masking device of their own design and then swapping their film with another student, shooting it a second time without the masking device. The photographs were surreal with strange juxtapositions of subject matter, light, and shadow. The body of work on view at TSA through January 10 represents my effort to shoot photographs using this method in a more controlled manner. I gave myself a strict set of rules in which to work. For example, I would return to the same still life or site multiple times. I was particularly interested in testing my memory to see if I could line up the various compositional elements in the viewfinder exactly as I had done in a previous shot. I had to wait until I got the film processed to see the result. - Jill Stoll

Special thanks to Dave Armentor, Oren Mitzner, Leigh Wilkerson, and Dean Schwartz for their help with this exhibition. Jill Stoll will give a Gallery Talk on January 10 at noon in 204. Refreshments will be served. Illustrations: Two of the plastic film cameras Jill Stoll used to create the photographs in her exhibition. The Holga is the most popular “toy camera” on the market and the Brownie Bull’s Eye, made by Kodak from 1954 - 60, is made of Bakelite and creates a negative about the size of a credit card.

December 2010

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Firm Profile | Rianna Bennett

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SYNC Inc. Design|Build


In society today, the art of shaping a city’s design in an urban context has reached new heights. Ultra modern and technologically advanced buildings are emerging all around the world. SYNC inc, a small design-build firm in Vienna, Austria, focuses their efforts on cultivating a unique, cutting edge urban landscape through architecture and design. This firm specializes in roof-top conversions, where a roof of an existing building is removed and a new dwelling is designed to fit in its place. SYNC inc.’s design-build approach allows them to work with their client from the initial analysis of the project’s needs, through the construction management process, and finally to the necessary follow up services after the project’s completion. This process of design build allows SYNC inc. to act as the sole project contractor enhancing the communication between the firm and their clients and also allowing for a more accurate and reliable projected building cost because of the collaboration between the designers and builders working on a project. Zeke Jordan, current fifth year thesis student, has worked at SYNC inc. for the past three summers. During his first year at Tulane School of Architecture, Zeke’s professor, Eric Red, was a partner at SYNC inc. Professor Red studied at Washington University in St. Louis, Harvard University, and ETH Zurich and is responsible for design development, coordination of construction documents, and general project management. After learning digital programs in second year, Zeke went to work at Sync inc. During his first summer as an intern, he was given the opportunity to work on a design project from start to finish. He was design head for a project located in the 8th district of Vienna at Florianigasse 57. “The city of Vienna has very strict building codes for these new roof-top extensions and one of them is the height to which you can build above the existing parapet. You are not allowed to build a new structure on the street side of the roof-top that breaks a 45 degree roof pitch. There is an exception, however, that you can build out to a 90 degree angle for one third of the roof frontage.” Since the parapet on this project was so low, Zeke came up with a compromise that would allow Sync inc. to build higher. One of the adjacent buildings had a higher roof line that the other. “I proposed that if we extruded the form of the adjacent structure into our site to one third on each end, we could use the middle third as the point where they connect. The higher end allowed for us to break the height limitation and have two stories while the

on roof top. exterior view (photo by robert redl)

other would only have one, and we would not use the one third rule of being allowed to ever break the 45 degree limitation. Zeke felt the he “was very lucky to have been given this opportunity and that it is very unusual for students to be able to lead their own design project when they are still in school.” Over the next two summers Zeke worked on physical and digital models, plans, and schemes. Zeke found roof-top conversion projects to be very interesting and challenging. The codes for buildings of this nature are very strict, making the design phase similar to a puzzle. This project is currently under construction with a budget of one million euros (or 1.3 million dollars). Zeke will have the amazing opportunity to return to Vienna over winter break to work at SYNC inc. and oversee the project’s construction. Because Eric Red was Zeke’s professor, he never had to fill out an official application to SYNC inc. This occurs much more frequently in the architecture field than it does in the school of liberal arts or sciences, since most professors in the architectural realm are still practicing professionals and opens up countless opportunities within school to turn education into a job or internship. For this reason, Zeke emphasizes the idea that “architecture students really should dress and act more professionally around their instructors because like with me, my education under Eric Red turned into an internship for the past three summers. Having a past professor as a boss was an incredible opportunity. Eric is very patient with me and I find that I learn a lot about construction and the practical applications of technology.” In addition, real life building experience exposed Zeke to new knowledge about materials, something that is hard to grasp in a classroom environment without a hands-on approach. Having experience in both an overseas and design-build firm is invaluable. Many of the contacts and friends Zeke made while working at SYNC inc. he now considers to be very important. Zeke explained, “I love working at SYNC inc. because the architects there genuinely invest time in me. Of course with any internship or job I definitely get frustrated at times, but overall it is a great and beneficial experience.” With the project currently underway, there is a good chance that Zeke will start his career in Vienna after graduation in the spring. More info about Sync inc. can be found at http://www.syncinc.at/syncinc-english.html.

construction of project (photo by zeke jordan)

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A-Week: A Look Ahead Ian O’Cain

information kiosk from a-week fall 2009. (nora schwaller)

You may remember A-Week as that time of year when some sleep deprived architecture students work even harder as they take on additional projects. However, there is much more to it. A-week gives architecture students the opportunity to take a step back from studio work and clear one’s mind with intense competition.

to decrease workload for this week in order to further encourage student involvement. With A-Week occurring early in the spring semester next year, keep your eyes open in the weeks to come for the revelation of the design prompt for the guest architects that will be in attendance.

Actually, A-Week, short for Architect’s Week, began as a way to provide TSA students with the opportunity to gain real world and educational experience through a student organized design-build event. Traditionally, students are broken into teams that compete to design an object stated by the prompt. In past years, these objects have ranged from benches (some of which are seen in the Favrot Lobby and outside Richardson Memorial) to information kiosks for uptown neighborhoods, and bike racks for various parts of the city. This year, A-Week seeks to be different. The A-Week planning committee, comprised of involved students from past years, is working feverishly to revamp the competition in order to increase student involvement. Instead of prompting the design of another object and providing an end goal, this year’s A-Week will present a theme to be addressed and leave the end product for the teams to decide on their own. The goal of this move is to attract the student that may be seeking more freedom of design. Additionally, the committee is planning to stress to faculty at TSA the valuable experience students receive from A-Week. The goal is for professors 16

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bike rack from a-week spring 2008. (nora schwaller)


How’d You Do That? | Smash Tyler Guidroz

We are introducing a new column to our monthly publication here at theCharrette, and along with it recruiting third year Tyler Guidroz as… drum roll, please… Tutorial Man! With the heightened importance of technology in the architectural realm, there are countless software tips, tricks, and commands that you probably don’t know or otherwise can’t figure out. Tyler will be our on-staff specialist, transforming your Rhino / AutoCAD / Adobe Suite woes into concerns of the past. Frustrated with the “twist” command? Illustrator got you down? Email “Tutorial Man!” at thecharrette@gmail.com with your request and you just might find it in next month’s issue. Tutorial Man on Smash SELECT JOINED POLYSURFACE type: “smash” > ENTER “hit enter to continue” > ENTER “select curves on polysurface to unroll” > ENTER (Pressing L, ENTER here will create lables on the planes corresponding to the original shape. This can be used to aid in construction) Move to “TOP” view (VIEW > SET VIEW > TOP) Select surfaces created Type: “Make2D” > ENTER Dialogue box should only have the “CURRENT VIEW” option selected > OK New lines will be selected, type: “EXPORT” > ENTER Name and save as type: AutoCAD drawing file (.dwg) > SAVE Import scheme: DEFAULT > ENTER Open file, format and scale appropriately as per laser cutter requirements The smash command is a quick way to create a cut file from an existing rhino model. In order to work properly, the intended mass must be a closed polysurface. As depicted (above, below, i don’t know yet), the command splits the joined polysurface into its planar components and lies them at on the zero plane. As these are still surfaces, the make 2d command will be needed to convert the shapes into the correct format. Remember to account for material thickness (this is best done in CAD with the offset command), or just trim product physically.

Preview of Advice Column A new Advice column will occur in theCharrette next semester. Third year Brian Sulley will field questions from any student, faculty, or staff member on pertinent topics around TSA. Send in your questions to thecharrette@gmail.com. Please make sure to include your full name and a clear and concise question. Be creative! December 2010

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Outside the Studio | Daniel McDonald Lucas Velle

Daniel McDonald, known for his love of skateboarding, can on most days be found skating to class on one of his hand-made long boards. Almost all TSA students have probably noticed one of Daniel’s signature stickers sporting the brand name NOLALongboards. One such advertisement can be found while waiting for the painfully slow TSA elevator. Daniel started skateboarding when he was a young child and has remained an enthusiastic long boarder ever since. He grew up as a local New Orleanian just as the skateboarding culture was picking up in the early nineties. With the increase of skate video games and shops in his neighborhood, Daniel was inevitably drawn in. He started designing boards professionally in 2006. Daniel says “Even as a kid, I was in my back yard cutting stuff out with a jigsaw, using random plywood I found around, trying to make a board, a ramp, or just building things.” Later on as he got more serious with his hobby, Daniel began looking for different materials on the Internet. He explains, “I really tried to push myself to make better boards, boards that I couldn’t find anywhere else and design them for qualities that I liked.” As skateboarding fans saw the boards Daniel was producing, a demand for his custom designs rose and the idea of a business was born. Currently, Daniel uses a range of fiberglass and carbon fiber weaves to create composites, along with a variety of wood types that vary in stiffness and weight. Explaining the process Daniel says, “I get the carbon fiber as a soft woven cloth. I then have to dip it in an epoxy resin, which creates a hard resin matrix and really locks the fibers in place, giving them their stiffness. Then I add the details.” Daniel studied hard as an art student from elementary school to high school, which allows him to also offer custom artwork on his boards artwork ranging from hand painting to stencil work. Now in his third year at TSA, Daniel says that many of the inspirations that 18

theCharrette

drive his skateboard designs also bring him the desire to design buildings. He explains that one similarity between designing boards and designing buildings concerns the designer’s necessary interaction with the customer. Most of the boards that Daniel builds are custom-made for a specific desire of the buyer. Typically, the client will have an exact board typology in mind, and Daniel will take on the challenge of meeting those expectations. Interestingly enough, however, he finds a project increasingly difficult depending on how little instruction the customer provides. He explains that this customer doesn’t always know what he/she wants, which means that Daniel must improvise, honing in on the client’s prospective use of the board. “[It’s challenging because] It’s not always what they think they want and in the end it’s about making the client happy.” When asked about the skating culture in New Orleans, Daniel replied, “As of now we are a pretty tight-knit community. The main skate-shop downtown, Humidity Skateboards, really tries to bring a lot of us together.” Although New Orleans doesn’t have a skate park, Daniel and some friends have improvised. “[My friends and I] have a spot we’ve been building out by the fairgrounds. Some guys I know went out one day and started pouring concrete, and it’s been growing ever since.” Daniel goes on to say that he hopes their influence will help clean up the area, “Nobody has torn it down in a year, so hopefully that’s a good sign that it may last.” Although the main retail store from which Daniel used to sell his boards is now closed, he plans to continue his design-build venture. Other skateshops have already showed interest in selling his boards, including the New Orleans Bike and Board Shop on Oak Street. For more information on NOLA Long boards, log on to Daniel’s website at: http://www.nolalongboards.com/


Studio Sketches Sanaa Shaikh

December 2010

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editors

kevin michniok, eic hannah ambrose katherine delacey ian o’cain

staff

rianna bennett john nelson sanaa shaikh lucas velle frank xiong

contributors

jill stoll zeke jordan tyler guidroz

daniel mcdonald

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theCharrette December 2010 Issue  

theCharrette's December 2010 Issue

theCharrette December 2010 Issue  

theCharrette's December 2010 Issue

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