Overall, I was happy with how mid-review went. I enjoyed the opportunity to express the thoughts I’ve been developing for several weeks and share my work. The feedback I received was helpful and moving forward I’m excited and passionate about where to take my design. In the following reflection, I respond to a couple big takeaways from the feedback I received. By reflecting on general themes from mid-review, I could critically review the big ideas of work. I commented on why I agree with their criticism, what I think of the design issue at hand, and how I plan to find a solution.
What do I mean by nature?
There is an extremely wide spectrum of “nature” so I understand that I need to clarify how “outdoorsy” I want certain spaces to feel. I mean typical hiking outdoors surrounded by large deciduous trees and tall grass kind of nature. I want these spaces to be day lit series of microclimates. I need to make the design less about dark rock climbing caves and more about the outdoors. Figuring out how to get light into spaces will be my next steps towards solving this design issue.
Form doesn’t embrace all parts of the site yet.
I heard other students receive similar feedback. I appreciated how Margarida Yin defined our site as having three edges: an urban edge that curves to encompass the west and south sides, a party edge on the north, and an edge facing the park on the east. From working primarily in longitudinal section, it was difficult for me to understand what my building does in transverse section, plan, and model. Although iteration models aided my understanding of my building’s form, it’s a design issue that I’m still struggling with. I think more iteration models, in addition to the floor plate models assigned for Monday, will help me work out how the building embraces the site. Currently, I want to explore a “gradient of radicalization.” Externally, the building would follow the transition from urban edge to park edge by becoming more eroded and radical as you travel east. Internally, the building’s program would match the external transition by gradually shifting from “normal” to “weird.”
What is the threshold between normal and weird?
I don’t yet understand the threshold between “normal” living/laboratory spaces and “weird” microclimate simulation spaces. Both need exposure to day light and the outdoors. Will there be a visual or physical connection between the two programs? As Brian explained, I need to get rid of the “black line” in section that separate the living units from the crazy blue poche. Thinking about the structure of my building will also help my design process. Is it made my addition or subtraction? Are the “weird” spaces voids that I’m subtracting out of the normal space? The recent assignment to make “cluster chunk” models will really help me work through the thresholds between spaces.
I’m not referencing exact spatial experiences.
What are the specific geometries each simulation requires? Activities such as rock climbing, hiking, camping, rafting, etc. all demand different qualities of light, heat, and noise. Also, each activity compels a variety of surfaces, some vertical and some horizontal. These requirements will lead my design choices.
Units are too luxurious.
If I’m trying to convince people to enjoy the outdoors and truly immerse themselves in nature I recognize that I should not have extremely luxurious apartments. What would prevent someone from giving up on camping and heading to their comfortable home? Units could be barrack-like boxes with cabin-like environments. All units could have connections to the outdoors through fresh air, daylight, or even showering outside.