I used Rhino to create some more forms of my particular interests after SCI-Arc, in the autumn of 2014, and have included a gallery of some of my creations below.
These are all ink on paper, 11″ x 14″.
One the first Monday following the final week of Making + Meaning, I was still filled with the Making + Meaning spirit. I had to go to SCI-Arc. First, of course, to gather my models, 3D articulations and drawings from the Making + Meaning exhibition, which had taken place over the weekend, but also to spend one more afternoon doing something about the program. My plan originally was just to pick up my projects that I could carry- everything except my group’s pavilion-, but I just could not leave my final project behind- it was coming with me! I took it out of the building, through the sidewalks and brought it with me the whole way to my hotel, leaving it a satisfactory distance from my bed- in front of the Japanese-American National Museum, which was within a block from where I was staying. The journey was a performance and a traveling outdoor exhibition at the same time. It was open to the public, who were just as privileged to the show as anyone else, and at the same time it brought a Making + Meaning project to more in-person viewers than it otherwise might have garnered- public “introduction to innovation.”
In the final week of Making + Meaning, we created our final projects, 9’x9’x9′ pavilions expressing inhabitable space. Then we had reviews and an exhibition. The program was an excellent “introduction to innovation,” as program coordinator Professor Alexis Rochas has described it. The some sixty students that I spent five weeks of nine-to-six days plus evenings with during the course are all going their ways, but our experiences at Making + Meaning will fuel our respective future pursuits of architecture and design with a common understanding that I hope you have been able to read in the posts of this blog. We come away with shared values of excellence and heart, of passionate interest and sincerity, and I wish all the other students success in continuing to nurture their dreams and further growing their design aptitudes. It was a pleasure.
For the Week 4 field trip, our class visited Eric Owen Moss, Architects in Culver City, California. Not only were the formally innovative models in Mr. Moss’s studio a treat, but several of the buildings in the vicinity were also creations of Mr. Moss, all commissioned by the same patron, Mr. Frederick Smith, and often used by entertainment companies. One project under construction, called “The Pterodactyl,” demonstrated the form of a pterodactyl’s open wings with its roof structures. The theory goes that Culver City has been optimal for the most innovative forms in architecture because the preexisting architectural environment there was and, to an extent, is ready for development as a whole.
In Week 4, the first full week of August, 2014, I took my 9″ by 9″ by 9″ foam structure and created a plaster cast. We had reviews and proceeded to our next, final, group project. We were grouped into threes and were first individually tasked with synthesizing the negative spaces in our foam models into a body posture before being asked as groups to produce digital models of a pavilion, later to be built in the scale of 9′ by 9′ by 9′, using freely chosen combinations of each member’s photographed, digitized and 3D-articulated body posture. We used Rhinoceros and AutoDesk 123D Catch for the assignments. Our professors advised us on structural feasibility and aesthetic opinion. Using the weekend as well, as usual, the class also created paper models of their digital articulations. Cutting out different forms, including somewhat intricate parts, in paper and assembling them in 3D, too was a something of a challenge, as well as a pleasure, in itself.
On Saturday, August 2nd, our class visited LACMA and viewed their extensive exhibitions of ancient, Medieval, Old Masters, Impressionist, Expressionist, modern and contemporary art. LACMA had a special exhibition titled “From Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Expressionism in Germany and France,” and through it I learned that Van Gogh was quite skilled at representational drawing. I spent a good five or six hours in the galleries, something I had not quite done in some time. In the evening and on Sunday I of course spent more time on my Making + Meaning project at SCI-Arc. It was reinvigorating to view great art.
In Week 3, at the end of July and beginning of August, 2014, each student framed a cubic portion of their choosing from the assemblage they made for the previous week and, using wooden sticks, created a vectors-only cast of the diversely intersecting edges within that framed part. We attempted to copy our original vectors exactly, as we followed the process of laying sticks directly on each cardboard edge, gluing them together and transferring them to our cubic frames. We progressed section by section. It was an interesting process I enjoyed. I am very interested in studying architecture.
In this week the class also translated these vector frames into abstracted forms and spaces using foam, which we then used to create plaster casts in Week 4. I used hot wire to cut my foam and sandpaper to smooth surfaces. Epoxy was my adhesive. I was immersed in the process, and distinctly remember being focused on smoothing surfaces and gluing different parts together in an outdoor work area under the night sky, breathing cool air, in one of the evenings. The process was of sure and steady progression, requiring patient care. I enjoyed meeting my own high standards that were inspired for the task. It was a full effort. I look forward to more.
The SCI-Arc Making + Meaning class visited the Watts Towers and the Schindler House on Saturday, July 26th, and had our work reviewed by Making + Meaning faculty the following Monday. The Watts Towers are very Tim Burton, but with pastel tones, and their independent spirit, and the Schindler House was very folksy. Beverly Hills, which I passed by on the way to the Schindler House, possessed seemingly endless stretches of the larges trees I perhaps had ever seen, and Rodeo Drive the neatest storefront architecture. Much was gleaming white in the California sunlight on Rodeo Drive. The Week Two review lasted some four hours, during which the professors indeed touched on diverse ideas.
In Making + Meaning, students are constantly creating with their hands visually interesting geometric situations using material including wooden sticks and cardboard paper. As students are not provided with a syllabus, we uncover the “meaning” aspect of the program in real time. I’ve been trained for this kind of daily activity in Kindergarten, first and second grades, when students cut out figures including a teddy bear from paper and drew and painted in class, with the schedule of each day announced no earlier than the concerning day. Life is magic. I am very grateful for my current daily schedules.
During the second week of Making + Meaning, at Southern California Institute of Architecture, the students explored intersecting volumetric objects, i.e. cardboard cubes and hexahedrons. The techniques employed in our projects, which could serve us in creating architectural models in our potential or planned future careers as architecture students and beyond, were a skill set to be acquired throughout the entire week. Anyone can cut cardboard into cubes and hexahedrons and to glue the shapes together while hollowing out intersecting parts, but my peers and I learned how to do it properly and efficiently, while concretely expressing our innate sensibilities and discovering new aesthetic possibilities. This abstract endeavor was entirely challenging and more time consuming than meets the eye. I enjoyed the process, it reminded me of college art classes, and I look forward to Week Three.
I attended the first week of 2014’s Making + Meaning at SCI-Arc, Southern California Institute of Architecture. It was from Monday, July 14th through Friday, July 18th. On the first day we had orientation, at which Mr. Eric Owen Moss spoke about how the future is always uncertain and therefore unknown, and that all knowledge comes with an expiration date because the world is constantly changing. In other words- life is not easy. He concluded that we nonetheless must strive for innovation while daring to experiment. Innovation, in short, is good. Mr. Alexis Rochas, the Making + Meaning program coordinator, introduced himself, the program and its instructors. He stressed the importance of safety in the woodworking shop and defined Making + Meaning as an opportunity for students to explore concepts of three dimensional form and to create work that will represent a top-notch portfolio for “any” architecture program or scholarship opportunities. Ms. Sandy Frigo, the director of admissions, announced the availability of two to three seats on the roster of incoming architecture students for exceptional Making + Meaning students, and encouraged those interested in attending SCI-Arc this fall to speak to professors early in the program regarding such. During the first week, students created vector drawings of different shapes using Rhinoceros and three-dimensional articulations based on the drawings using wooden sticks and paper, where the sticks represented vectors and paper planes. Making interesting shapes, abstract or representational, is usually easier said than done, and the challenge itself is interesting. To be confronted with an invisible wall when sitting down to create an image or form of some sort, and breaking through that wall produce a sentiment only understood through first-hand experience, something I had had in my senior thesis art class in college and am having now. Everything else goes out the window for certain when one is in this kind of situation, and that is just that, the long and the short of it. I know this.