BEDS Term 2 – “The House” is broken down into Three Major Parts: 1) “Situation”, 2) “Dwelling”, and (3) “The House”. This is the second of three posts, on the “Dwelling” phase of the term.
In the second half of the term, we switch design tutors. Our studio group for this round received Emanuel Jannasch, who was also concurrently teaching us another course in Building Technology. In many ways, Emanuel is a jack-of-all-trades type, and is a huge wealth of information and capable on many levels.
This part of the term was interesting, and a divide started to happen between students (and I feel this always happens and always will at points in any good school). On one half were the students who realized they would learn as much as they could from this portion of the term; and on the other half were the students who became frustrated with this section because their designs changed or they were unable to take anything constructive from the work and discussion – i.e. “that was useless”. Given I worked very hard to get into architecture school and have truly given my life to architecture, I don’t think I need to explain I always search for the ‘things to take away’.
I also feel the need to point out another thing that became particularly evident at this point in the term. Personally, I found Emanuel very useful, I learned a new way to work (thanks to him), and I also found many of the things he said ‘clicked’ with me. This is a sensitive topic, I’m sure. When I think back to the last month of Term One I remember I was having a hard time, and I wasn’t clicking with my design tutor at the time. So there are two things to learn here: 1) not everyone will always click with their design tutor or like the way they think and/or work, and 2) the design tutor has significant influence on both the design work as well as the moral of the group and students (particularly the moral bit).
Critique this time around also took an interesting turn. For this portion, we had Brigitte Shim join us of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects as well as structural engineer David Bowick (Blackwell). For the most part, it was an enjoyable discussion, but it largely centred on the urban design scheme again (similar to the first critique of the term). This was mostly due to the large 60-person site model that filled much of the room. Again, while interesting, it was not so much at the ‘dwelling’ scale we all worked for this portion of the term and caused frustration among many of the students. Nevertheless, an amazing discussion with tons of people, some amazing professors as well as practicing architects and engineers.
During this portion of the term we were also concurrently designing a lamp for the Building Technology course based on Semper’s Four Elements of Architecture: published in 1851, it is an attempt to explain the origins of architecture through the lens of anthropology. The book divides architecture into four distinct elements: the hearth, the roof, the enclosure and the mound. The main idea of the lamp was to use the idea of these distinct elements to design and build. The only restriction we had was that we could only use 10 parts in our lamps: 1 concrete base, 2 wooden structural members, 3 envelope pieces, and 4 electrical (lamp [bulb], lamp holder, cord, plug). We were also not allowed to use any sort of glue or adhesive (tapes, etc), and only fasteners screws, nails, etc.
Without getting too much into explaining my design (which you can see in my B2 process portfolio video [at ~12:00]), the lamp is based on a crib wharf where the rocks anchor the wooden members and a deck sits above the water. Below are a series of photos that depict some of the process involved in the lamp:
That’s it for part 2 of 3 in BEDS Term 2.
Keep an eye out for the final portion in the next week.