B.E.D.S Term 2 | Part 2 of 3

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.

Designing on large format (24" x 36"). Spread of drawing and analytical diagrams.

Designing on large format (24″ x 36″). Spread of drawing and analytical diagrams.

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 number two with updated models

Critique number two with updated models

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.

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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:

Sketch up model @ 1:2

Sketch up model @ 1:2

Sketch up model @ 1:2 - Removable 'Rock' Base

Sketch up model @ 1:2 – Removable ‘Rock’ Base

Sketch up model @ 1:2 - Using off-cut for spine fasteners

Sketch up model @ 1:2 – Using off-cut for spine fasteners

1 of 2 birch wooden structural members @ 1:1

1 of 2 birch wooden structural members @ 1:1

Concrete formwork with reinforcement

Concrete formwork with reinforcement

Concrete poured (and coloured)

Concrete poured (and coloured)

Concrete unmolded - formwork saved for repeat-ablitiy

Concrete unmolded – formwork saved for repeat-ablitiy

Testing the concrete and wood connection @ 1:1

Testing the concrete and wood connection @ 1:1

Spine assembly and concrete 'rock' base

Spine assembly and concrete ‘rock’ base

Electrical runs through spine

Electrical runs through spine

Finished "Wharf House" Lamp

Finished “Wharf House” Lamp

Finished "Wharf House" Lamp

Finished “Wharf House” Lamp

Finished "Wharf House" Lamp

Finished “Wharf House” 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.

Stay creative,
– Matt

 

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Process Portfolio: Term 2

B2 and B1 Portfolios together

B2 and B1 Portfolios together

This is the second instalment in a series of documentary videos regarding my term-long process portfolios. The first two portfolios [B1 and B2] were bound together to match (for submission to the year end committee).

At this point I’ve been finished my second term of Architecture school at Dalhousie for about 10 days. Immediately after I finished the term, I recorded this video before submitting the portfolio (while things were fresh). I’ve since processed it, and I’d like to share the huge amount of work you produce as a student of architecture in a single, 3 month term.

This time I’ll be offering up my B2 [Second Term] Portfolio.To summarize, I’ll quote the Dalhousie School of Architecture on the Process Portfolio:

“Design portfolios are records of your design work, research interests, and design abilities… Assembling a portfolio can help you reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and interests. In the BEDS program, the main portfolio is a “process portfolio.” It is a thorough record of your design research and analysis, your design work-in-progress, and your finished design work during a single term.”

Below is the B2 Process Portfolio video with very short commentary:

 

Cheers + Stay Creative,

– Matt

B.E.D.S Term 2 | Part 1 of 3

Christmas break went by quickly…
All of a sudden it’s January and it’s time to fly back to Halifax and begin my second term at Architecture school.

Flying into Halifax

Flying into Halifax

The flight was very early in the winter morning, and most of the time in the air was spent chasing the sunrise. Flying over Nova Scotia and into Halifax was rather nice.

Term 2 started out with a bang. After a meeting in the lecture hall, we learned that we would be working with Brian MacKay-Lyons this term, and both Niall Savage and Brian will be leading this term’s design studio together. Each student was given a well designed, design pamphlet that outlined our work for the semester (seriously – the design book was authored by Niall who has a graphic design background).

Term 2 in BEDS is: “The House”.

Over the next week we are introduced to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, a real place where our ‘fictional’ design interventions will take place over the term. Soon after, we organize as many cars as we can to get 60 students and our design tutors and instructors out of the city and down the coast to Lunenburg.

Upon arrival, we begin to tour the town, take photographs, make drawings, and talk to people.

Waterfront of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Waterfront of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

We spend the whole day there.

One of the highlights of the day was eating lunch with Brian MacKay-Lyons and Cristina Veríssimo. We were sitting near the window at a local restaurant. The sun filters into the room through horizontal blinders in the windows and spills over the tables. Each table has a white paper that covers it, and only minutes into lunch Brian begins sketching as he talks, right on the table. While I did’t take a photo of the drawing and I don’t feel the need to explain everything we chatted about, it was a very memorable afternoon.

The second import highlight was travelling to Brian’s farm in Shobac area that evening for a design session. Being in the Ghost studio near the ocean and looking at all the Ghost projects around us was inspiring (to say the least). We finished the evening near the very prominent hearth of the studio chatting about architecture and architects.

As the first part of the semester unfolded, design with Brian was fun and memorable.

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BEDS Term 2 – “The House” is broken down into Three Major Parts: 1) “Situation”, 2) “Dwelling”, and (3) “Detail”.

The first part of the term, as described above, I worked with Brian in a group of 11 other students. It was primarily concerned with finding our site and implementing an urban design strategy for our group. Our houses (our housing development) would then come out of this urban design strategy.

For our first Design Review ‘Critique’ each of the five studio groups (my group of 12 plus four other groups) all built a model of our waterfront sites in Lunenburg and placed a massing model of our designs on the site with all the other existing buildings (note: a massing model shows an approximate size and shape- it’s a kind of ‘placeholder’).

Incredibly, Barton Myers attended our crit, along with Brian and the other tutors. On top of that, David Bowick of Blackwell Engineers also participated in the critique. Here is part of my class all stood around the 1:100 model of the entire Lunenburg Waterfront!

Critique One - BEDS 2

Critique One – BEDS 2

It was a long day of critique, but it was a very memorable day indeed.

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Lastly, then, I’ll leave you with a photograph I took one morning as I prepared my first cup of coffee.

Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

Next post will cover the second phase of the term, “Dwelling”.
Stay Inspired,
– Matt