ARCH 101Midterm Learn PortfolioSpring 2015
By: Kenneth WoodsonInstructor: Jerry LumCity College of San Francisco
IntroductionI decided to take ARCH 101 due to my curiosity of what major I should pursue. My expectations were far different than what was actually being taught. My instructor, Jerry Lum, has taught me to change my point of view when designing new iterations by stepping away from the generalities of just creating buildings. Though adjusting to this type of thinking and design work, I was very interested in Architecture and the thought process into creating the next iteration. This is something that I do enjoy spending my time on and the curriculum is very different as compared to my other classes. Over the course of 8 weeks I have learned a lot more than I anticipated. By changing my mindset from being general to a more observant architect.
Icebreaker Exercise: Assignment 1: Malevich Reinterpreted in tech tonic
The Malevich assignment was designed kick start our creation bylooking at the two-dimensional elements and interpreting them intothree-dimensional form and space.When looking at the image for the first time, I saw many possibilities but I did not know where to start. So I decided to pick out a small area and work my way from there.Managing the 3-D concept was challenging for me. It was hard to take this image and pull it out with form and space. What I did to help brainstorm was taking these ideas that were at the top of my head and drawing them out on paper. Some ideas came from inspiration from existing buildings such as, the Mountain Dwellingsby Bjarke Ingels and his group.ITERATION: 1
When constructing this iteration, my plan was to create a multilevel building.I also wanted to added some complexity by playing around with the edges of the different floors.By raising the whole structure off the ground I wanted to connect the second level to the ground level with a ramp.By coloring it in, I wanted to make the structure look exactly like the Malevich work.Thought Process:Analysis & Reflection:This was my first time building something and constructing it architecturally, so I didnt know what to expect whenI came to class with it. I was actually afraid of presenting my work because the other classmates' work looked more professional than mines. Their craftsman's was a lot cleaner and they were not taping the pieces to together. I also found out that I had taped my iteration to a base with the printed picture of the Malevich. This defeats the purpose of having my iteration stand by itself because having it attach to a base made it hard to see what was under my work.I have learned a lot on that first day of bringing our iterations. It was recommended that I would not worry about coloring my iteration and just proceed on working with form and space.Some of the Strengths that Ive gotten from this first iteration was planning ahead of time before building. Ive also seen some opportunities by looking at what my classmatescreated. The weakness I learned about this iteration was random the curves of the different levels I added. When planning, your ideas must have a meaning onto why youre adding this.ITERATION: 2
Thought ProcessHaving the weekend to work on our next iteration, I first noted downwhat ideas that came up while I was in class, to plan out on what I need to improve on. I saw a few models that had my interest during our discussion of the first iteration and I wanted to incorporate them in my next model. I saw that people didnt have box shaped models but creating fine edges with many levels of foam board. I also wanted to incorporate my last idea of the curves but give it an actual meaningrather than visual ascetics. I came up with an idea of two buildings (at the time I was always thinking of buildings and not just looking atform and space, which took some time to develop a different point of view) that have a relationship with each other. I wanted to createthe difference in size and how something small can have a greater effect on something larger. Now some of these ideas came from my last iteration when I asked Jerry for help after class. I wanted the advice to help guide me in the right direction because I did not want to fall behind in the class after I saw how well crafted the other classmates iterations were.I wanted to get rid of the risen level because I wanted this iteration to feel more welcoming and prove more access. Because I thoughtabout my last iteration and how little access there was since there was only one ramp that leads to a higher level. I also wanted to create a sense of flow with this iteration so I decided to add a pathway feeling with the two ramps going into the building and also exiting the building.
Analysis & Reflection:
I felt really proud of this iteration because Ive spent more time trying to improve my craftsmanship and evolving my thought process more by answering the questions to help on my reflection.
What is the relationship of one element of your composition to another and to the whole?
-The lone smaller structure shows relationship to the much larger one because I carved in some of the layers of the larger one to show that there was a force causedby the smaller structure
What I learned after presenting my iteration is that, when I was reading my responses to the questions, I was mentioning the wordbuildings & structures and my thought process is focused on the final product instead of actually developing from smaller steps. Oneway to show how I was thinking of it as a building is that when I turn it on different sides, you can see that it becomes less interesting. A major strength I learned was that I should stop thinking of buildings and focus more on form and space. So I tried to shift awayfrom thinking of these iterations as buildings with ramps and floorsto more of form and space. This created opportunities in my thoughtprocess by sticking away from the building mindset to creating meaningful forms and spaces. Where any angle should have a purpose. No more starting from the bottom, try some other way.
Thought Process:After the discussion on Iteration 2, Ive learned to speak up more and try to get my iteration criticized because it leaves me with new ideas to improve on my mistakes and to not make them again. When thinking about Iteration 3, I had to step away from creating models on a base and focus on having the model be interesting on all sides.I also wanted to relate it from the reading on language, where I wanted to create certain degree of shifting.I started this design out with the same idea of multiple levels reaching the top (this was some unconscious decision at the time, I didnt note down onto why I liked it, but later on I developed a reason to making my models inclining).I also wanted to create some sort of view but its more controlled to a certain direction.Analysis & Reflection
This iteration was a step forward from thinking about buildings. I lookedat the notes I wrote down in class and followed some of the guidelines to keep me on the right path. Some of the areas I went to was create depth in my work and establish repetition but create a difference to make it not boring.It was hard to not think about buildings, when I'm trying to brainstorm my ideas, I always think of what it will look like. This was a step back from creating unique ideas. But over a few drafts of thinking I finally came upwith this iteration that focuses more on breaking the grid and creating chambers.An activity we did to help shape my perspectives is by drawing out our iterations. This help taught me perspective when looking at the iteration from different angles. This also helped me to step away from building thebase first.
When constructing iteration 3: we need to make it useable for a of an inchminiature to be able to fit. With this model, we can use it to find tight spacesand also to get the point of view if this were real size.To help us generate supportive ideas, we would need to start a narrative to give out iterations background information, sense of purpose, and meaning.The very first draft of the narration was very general.
Small Man was walking down the street for his morning exercise and came across a new structure he has never seen before. He feels curious because hehasnt seen it before, so he wants to take a look at whats inside. He enters through the structure and he starts to feel cramped once hesunder the connecting bridges because his head is almost touching it. It makes him want to go to the other side now. Once he reaches the other side, Small Man feels relieved now because exiting the narrow space and it is now opening up. Now that hes at the end of the structure,he wants to take a look at whats on top. So Small Man turns to the right and sees a way that leads up. SmallMan decided to hop onto this bridge area underneath the overhang. It gives him a view that is over ten feetabove the ground. The view is not too breathtaking because the structures across the street are still blockinghis sight. Small Man then decides to check out where this bridge will take him. After it curves around, he sees another level above him. Small Man hops on the second level and notices that he cannot fit underneath the overhang. But he wants to look around on a high level, so Small Man decides to crawl and gets a views on his stomach. This space doesnt seem fitting for Small Man, because he feels a little cramped because ha has to lie down to fit. Now Small Man wants to see the overhang since it built up anticipation after being on the two bridges. Once he arrives on the overhang, it gives him a sense of space but also a sense of fear. Since he is out in the open hefeels that he has more room to move butalso there are gaps that drop down, thats what brings the fear.
Thought Process:When constructing the narrative, I looked more into spaces and tried to create more openings.I also used the narrative to improve the journey to the top of the structure and also provide a more direct view when looking throughthe slots.I also wanted to create less connectivity with the pieces so I a tried to lessen the amount of cuts to create more of a slotting look.Iteration: 3Analysis & Reflection
Iteration: 3Iteration: 4When designing this new iteration, there were not any major changes to the form itself. What happened was, that I focused on the problems that were heard of in class and only changing those instead of creating a whole new iteration. Thisiteration looks similar to the previous one but with more openings. What I seen from iteration 4 is that Ive created more meaning than the previous one but it still needs work with its form because the problem I was still holding onto was the shape of the structure. This and the last iteration were locked in the x and y axis with many right angles to create a box looking structure. What I needed to do was to start changing the upper half tobe in a different angles/position so it wouldnt look so boring.
This was the time where creating this iteration wasstarting to become hard. Fromiteration 3 to 4, it was hard trying to create a new modeland still sticking to the same narrative. Luckily for this week-end, we were assigned to goout and write about what feelings are provoked from a structure/area.On Site Structure: Cliff House
I chose the Cliff House because it seemedlike a good structure of architecture that was rebuilt over the years. One of its partsinspirited me to create my climatic space for my futureiterations. After walking around and analyzing the architecture, it seemed that the front of the building was more focused upon as compared to the back.I can see this related to my iterations because I would focusworking on my iteration from one side rather than constantly turningit to see what allsides are equally interesting.ITERATION: 5
Thought Process: When designing this Iteration, I was still looking atthe Malevich picture for representation. Though duringthis week we were suppose to step away fromMalevich and start developing from previous models, I was combing both Malevich 2-D perspective of the top view and the narrative.
What I developed from the narrative was that it was shifting its way to a better meaning. Instead of being really general, I started to make the narrative setting at a mountain. A mountain setting was just the right place as to trying to get my perspective of a journey. Where you are traveling to the top of the mountain to get this wonderful view.I wanted to incorporate an incline on the structure to give the feeling of ascending to a higher level. As for the inside of the structure, I wanted the person to feel like they are in a cave and towards the end,there is something that hangs down that looks like its about to fall to give some sense of fear or caution.As for the top part, I created a peak that people can walk on and can see from a taller perspective. But inside the peak holds an entrance that leads back down to the cave. I wanted to connect the cave and the peak so that it can be one system that goes in circles.Analysis & Reflection
After discussing about this iteration,I found out that we were not suppose to beworking on the continuation of the Malevichwork. It is now transitioned to storyboard and the narrative. So having to do both story board and sticking to the Malevich work was a setback on creating somethingentirely new that could relate more to the narrative.Ive learned that Ive been stuck in this blocky design and want to create something more complex. Because in class when we werecomparing models by interest, mines didnt get chosen as interesting and the reason for this is because this was lacking complexity.In order to have more complexity in my nextiteration I should step away from straight and flat surfaces.
Thought Progress:I took in account about complexity and decided to change how my narration willunfold. In this week, we are switching over to creating storyboards and climatic space. The climatic space I chosen was that little ledge pointing out of the structure.The reason I chose this climatic space is because I wanted the scenic view of hiking a mountain to be on this iteration. When climbing up youll face the challenge of the slope and when you reach past that part, youll be able to go on that platform andsee the progress you made.In my story board I took pictures from where youre approaching the structure andbeing curious onto what's at the top.Analysis & Reflection
When constructing this iteration, it was difficult to put the slope piece together withthe two walls. Eventually it stuck togetherand I was able to create an entire pathwayup the structure rather than building a ramp that takes you up.But I wasnt really liking the slope pathway because it made the building ITERATION: 7
Thought Process:To help with my climatic spaceI needed to make a model that highlighted the current space butcreate it in double its size.I tried to have little materials as possible to help highlight theclimatic space only.When making structure double its size, it feels weird somehow. It definite got my out of my comfortzone by creating smaller structure and also allowed me to closely analyze on how to improve myclimatic space to that itll have a stronger meaning.Analysis & Reflection:After making my climatic space double its size, I notice how it didntfeel as climatic as it should be. I decided that for it to be more of a mountain I would need to have this at the top of my iteration ratherthan having it in the middle section. ITERATION: 8
Thought Process:When looking at the climatic space from iteration 7, I wanted to direct the view not awayfrom the structure but I want it to show you where you started when going to the top.I wanted to change the blocky feature of mylast iteration because having a larger incline gave the inside a blank space area.This time I took the top level and lowered it toa more middle level and moved the climatic space above that. This will give the climaticspace more attention than the previousiteration.Analysis & Reflection
This Iteration came out nicely in terms of the story board and climatic space. Puttingthe climatic space on the very top does make it more dramatic than the previous iteration.I learned that trying to make something more climatic is to create its own space so itcan stick out more. For example, when I moved the climatic space on top, it has it own space and is easier to be seen.A trick that I noted down that worked on this developing process is to have your setting/ concept first, then you can think of the details later. Before I would think howwill I reach the top, rather than figuring out how will my story board flow with the next iteration.ITERATION: 9
Thought Process:When creating framing, the process was a lotharder than I expected. I didnt have the conventmaterials such as skewers, so I decided to cut uplengthy thin lines of foam board.Assembling them together was also hard because I was used to having flatter surfaces and gluing them together. When putting the framing together, I would needto glue them into parts first, then glue those parts together.Analysis & Reflection
This process of building framing was a hard approach, but it taught me some new lessons when looking at groups and parts.
When looking at frames; to make things more efficient, is to have connecting the spaces and joints all be together tomake the connection a lot stronger.ITERATION: 10
When creating skin for this iteration, I reallyfind it interesting on how you can decided which spaces are open and which are closed.This lead to ideas on what I want to be transparent and what I want to be obscure. I really like this process because after the hardpart of making the framing, you can choose theareas you want to be more solid which really makesit stick out more in my opinion.ConclusionTaking ARCH 101 was a really interesting and fun learning experience. Though it was tough in the beginning, I think they everyone will go through this and after you pass that bumpy road, it starts to get really fun with your imagination. I really enjoy creating these iteration and seeing how my thoughts can make a difference if I record them. The hard part for me is to keep on analyzing everything I see. Though its probably not something you get in a week, hopefully ill become better at analyzing and expressing more ideas when it comes to architecture.
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