Overall, mid-review was constructive. I knew beforehand that I wasn’t sure on a lot of things about the project but the critics helped clarify just what those aspects were. To start out, I wasn’t very satisfied with my presentation, that is something I will definitely be working on for final review. I didn’t feel confident in what I was presenting which was one reason the presentation flopped a bit.
One helpful and also nerve-wracking thing I realized was how lost I have been on some of the most important aspects of the project. A lot of questions were asked that I was very hesitant to answer. Who is living here? Refugees, but that is very broad (as Stacey pointed out). What are people making? Oh I suppose items and tools to help other refugees in camps currently. What types of items? I’m not sure. Why did you choose that form? hmmm…. I don’t know…connecting to the park? So, there are a lot of things I should have had worked out for mid-review that I didn’t.
In reflecting on the critiques, I could probably provide an answer to any of these questions verbally. However, I recognize that, instead, these are problems I should approach spatially. It is much easier to make decisions about who and what – so I will have to narrow down these aspects very soon – but it is much more difficult to test out spatial qualities that really embody my project’s story.
Stacey made a great point that a refugee who is a mother of four would have much different needs than a refugee who is a single man. Thinking about this in an architectural sense, it means that I need to consider different options for flexible or variety in unit types. That or my refugee audience needs to be narrowed down somehow. (I’d like to stick to bringing in a variety of people, so a variety-approach to units is probably where I’m headed.) Jeff mentioned that often times the man of a refugee family is more likely to come to the US first and his family would come later. This creates an interesting idea about expansion or moving around within the housing complexes.
There is a great opportunity of the relationship between community and refugee that I have not latched on to yet as an architectural or spatial language, so that is where I am going next. By talking with the critics and Jeff, I think I have some methods and ideas for approaching these topics.
The aspect of my project I am still the most shaky on is the making. It seems like it has become a very distant idea, but I feel like I might want to keep it there for a bit to focus on housing and community ties with the idea of making as a unifying element somewhere in there. I think this might make things a little more manageable (at least for a couple days of iteration).
This housing model describing units that are rotated and stacked to provide exterior space and natural lighting was an important model for the way I organized and oriented housing in my design for mid-review. The relationship of the units to each other allows for the formation of different sizes of communal spaces in and around the housing areas.
I took a cross-sectional view to begin to build off of, testing the relationship of spaces within the building thinking of networks and the spatial qualities created between housing units. The atrium is too large however, dominating a lot of the space and creating a void with unclear use. I think the spaces should have more transition between each other so that the housing relates more to the making and community spaces.
This is my final model. Formally it is interesting but it doesn’t represent what I am trying to do in terms of integrating refugees into the community and welcoming the community in Dogpatch and the greater San Francisco area to be a part of refugee transitions. The housing also appears to be plopped on top haphazardly. Probably the most successful aspect of the model that I see is the various spaces that are a result of the orientations of the housing units. This is one thing I meant to do and that I believe is shown pretty clearly.