audrey says ::

"i believe in over dressing. i believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. i believe in kissing, kissing a lot. i believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. i believe that happy people are the prettiest people. i believe that tomorrow is new day and i believe in miracles."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

a few more of my favorite things ...

the other day i was sitting in class, daydreaming about something that i can't quite remember right now ... perhaps i was pretending to be a crane or a raven flying away from my lackadaisical state brought on by an insipid lecture.
i knew that i had to pull myself out of my dreamworld that i so often retreat to when i feel uninterested, so i pulled Lilly iPad out and snapped a picture of what was right in front of me. my gorgeous sketchbook from Anthroplogie and my Sydney Love glasses case that i converted into a home for my Micron pens. then i decided to play with lighting, color, style of the photo & so easily my mind was focused on something rather than nothing at all ...
love it!!

a poorly designed space ...

... or spaces rather!
in class i was asked to take a photograph of something that is poorly designed. rather than picking one space that i think is "ugly" i decided to take a series of photographs of the houses on my morning route to Starbucks. now i must apologize before hand if you live in any of these ho... i can't even describe them as "homes" they're too tragic. 
driving down Aycock towards the Starbucks on Battle Ground i disturbingly noticed this series of "structures" and how dated they all are.
each "structure" is located right next to one of the busiest streets in Greensboro. the front lawns were small and didn't provide an privacy from ongoing traffic. it makes me wonder if children are even allowed to play in their yards due to the danger of cars going anywhere from 30 to 50 mph.
some "structures" had awful traffic signage in their front lawns. which does not help a place that is already lacking in curb appeal.
this "structure" didn't have any sort of path leading to the front door. all you see is "patch" grass and .... is that the front door to the left? i don't really know!
a few ... alright i'll give in ... Homes tried to decorate their front porches and add a little bit of road side sparkle, but sadly they just failed due to their location.
& then we get to the house next to the church and more specifically the churches PARKING LOT ... ew. a busy road in front of you and a busy parking lot next to you? no thank you!
 && i hate to say this, but this church has no appeal to it whatsoever! it doesn't look inviting, warm, comforting, or peaceful as i imagine all places of worship should be. this building, though i'm sure does a lot of good for the community and its residents, looks like an unwelcoming fenced in cafeteria.
now this is my direct, one-sided, with no professional experience, personal opinion. i think all of these places FAIL, but you could always hire me to fix it 

a bit of Light reading ...

i was asked to read a few articles for research for the Chatham County Courthouse design. the four articles were based around lighting and space plans. after completing the reading i responded to a set of questions asked by my studio professor.
here's what i found ...
how would you feel in the San Francisco City Hall after its renovations and why?
the San Francisco City Hall was constructed in 1915 after a massive earthquake and inferno that shook the grounds of California in 1906. Bakewell and Brown constructed the building in the Beaux-Arts style for a more traditional feel. In 1989, mother nature struck again and the Loma Prieta earthquake severely damaged the building. nine years and $300 million later, the building was REdesigned remaining true to its original form.
i would love to experience this space. first, i absolutely DIE for San Francisco - it’s so fabulous! second, it would be amazing to visit this grand historic building. it’s the length of two city blocks with a fast lawn and monumental dome. after the earthquake the building’s 600 columns were retrofitted with a base isolator and walls were stabilized. the reconstruction called for 900 antique light fixtures and 1600 historically based modern light fixtures for office and public areas. this building is wonderful, i would love to walk down its gorgeous staircase and look up at the extraordinarily detailed ceiling.

what types of lighting were discussed in the readings? how could they affect the Chatham County City Hall?
“pendant fixtures with 42 – watt, triple – tube compact fluorescent lamps, as well as the occasional tungsten – halogen PAR down light & surface mounted ceiling fixtures with 32 – watt, triple – tube fluorescent lamps” (currimbhoy) were mainly used in the San Francisco City Hall. --- the tungsten – halogen lamps accentuate the glass within the space and makes them “sparkle.” PAR56s are used to highlight the columns and dome.
LEDs are introduced in the reading, specifically 8000-degree Kelvin LEDs with 5 to 30 lumens per watt.
Peerless Lighting of Berkeley suggested a system of “Bouncing Light,” casting light upwards to the rooms ceiling and reflecting off of other surfaces. this allows for an even illumination of the room rather than “dumping” light into a space.
(LRV) Light Reflective Value – good for healthcare environments. this lighting system requires high light reflective values on the floors (medium color value range 30-40%), ceilings (80%), and walls (light colored finishes 65-85%).
(CRI) Color Rendering Index – the ability of a light source to render colors accurately. “a CRI of 80 or more should be used for best color rendition” (brawley).

what were the largest dissatisfactions with office types? how could this affect the Chatham County City Hall?
high dissatisfaction with privacy in open–plan–offices (OPO).
acoustic quality interfered with performance most in OPO.
concentration difficulties in OPO.
it seems that the researches highly dislike open-plan-offices. as far as Chatham County is concerned, the office spaces that will be designed will only be holding two or three workers max. open-plans will work for the City Hall.

is the courthouse appropriate for a dominant day – lighting system and why?
no, of course natural day lighting is essential and allows for a warmer, more inviting atmosphere. however, it is inappropriate for a courthouse to only have a day lighting system. task lighting must be placed in the office spaces, while focal lighting must be utilized in the gallery and performing arts space.

what are some of the benefits of natural day – lighting?
it is proven that workers are in better moods and work more efficiently when lighting is at just the right level. if it is too dark or too bright the working mood declines. natural day lighting and mood is based on seasonal affective disorder (SAD). “thus, depending on the latitude, season, weather conditions and distance to windows, the occupants might respond differently to indoor lighting” (taylor & francis).

what are some codes for lighting?
505.1 General – lighting system controls, maximum and minimum lighting power for interior applications.
505.2 Lighting Controls – lights provided with controls.
505.2.2 Additional Controls
505.2.2.1 Light Reduction Controls
505.2.2.2 Automatic Lighting Shut Off
505. Occupant Override.
505. Holiday Scheduling
505.3 Tandem Wiring.
505.4 Exit Signs.

is lighting subjective or objective?
light is BOTH subjective and objective. light has a different affect on every person depending on vision, skin type, mental health, and much more. everyone experiences light differently, however, light is also objective. artificial lighting can be manipulated countless different ways to achieve different moods and feelings.

how does the information in the articles apply to the Chatham County Courthouse programming document and design?
these readings were extremely informative for the Chatham County Courthouse design. they gave insight on historic preservation and how to match light fixtures to that style. different types of lighting were explained as well as the effects they have on a space. office types were mentioned and its effects on workers and their performance levels. also color schemes were brought up and how they can make individuals feel within a space.

does Cooper Lighting make indirect light sources?
yes. Cooper Lighting has a large selection of indirect lighting including many cove lighting fixtures, all mounted fixtures, under cabinet fixtures, and many many more different options.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shapes We Create

[harmonious connections] ... a concept !!
after visiting the Chatham County City Hall and investigating it’s history and the people of this small community, my inspiration for this design gracefully entered my mind.
i was drawn to the thought of a ballet - structured so geometrically in its individual steps and positions yet when combined together the audience only sees a harmonious whole. from this i narrowed my research down to a specific ballet – the Ballet Giselle. its beauty was overwhelming and the story the dance told swept me off my chair. in ballet, the dancer usually conveys the storyline with their facial expressions and excellent body actions - and without a single word being said, i understood it completely and was captivated by the message this particular ballet told.
with this idea in mind i traveled to DC, dreaming of the dancer’s assembl├ęs and rond de jambe en l'airs. while in DC i was able to explore the many art exhibits of the Smithsonian and i quickly discovered a direct relationship between the viewer’s experience of an art gallery and the beauty of ballet. much like the Ballet Giselle, each exhibit of the Smithsonian effortlessly told a message without using words. the spaces were engaging and invited you in to discover its fascinating moments. from the outside experience to its core, every museum was screaming for you to observe every moment that makes up its whole.
using a proper relationship between the parts of the space and its users, the new city hall of Chattham County will invite and engage each visitor. clean and balanced spatial planning with fluid motions will captivate the town. like an art gallery, a unified and organized plan of each separate space, using slight color and material differences will separate and distinguish the individual areas. – and much like the structure of the Ballet Giselle, fluidity and direct proportions will marry together into one unified space.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

use your design words!

... Concept Description
principles of Design ::
regular patterns with fluid motions.
all attributes within the space are in complete harmony.
every opportunity within the building must allow each user to interact with the space.
consider every part that makes up the whole in order to create an integrated space.
a proper relationship between the parts of the space and the user. Invite and engage visitors.
elements of Design ::
fluidity and directness married into one unified space.
accented neutrals with emphasis on the placement of color.
clean and balanced spatial planning with fluid motions to engage the user.
predominantly smooth surfaces with tactile pieces to stimulate the touch.
an organized and unified plan of each separate space, using slight color and material differences to distinguish the difference between individual areas.
open and proportional rooms that allow guests to freely move around, engage, and explore the building.

the Ballet Giselle

[a precedent study]

i'm constantly intrigued by the beauty of the ballet. the positions of the body are so geometric and linear in form, yet when combined together every individual stance flows into one swift, gracious motion. dancers use their bodies to tell a story. they display themselves as works of art and let the audience walk away with their own perception of the piece.

when the Pittsboro County Hall project was assigned to us, with the intention of having a performing arts space within the building, i immediately thought of a ballet and how it could inspire a concept for my design.

i chose specifically the ballet Giselle.
the story and dance is amazing! below is a brief description with a short video explaining why i chose this beautiful piece.

As the ballet begins, a nobleman named Albrecht is busily wooing a young, beautiful peasant girl named Giselle. Albrecht leads the young maiden to believe that he is a farmer named Loys. Giselle falls in love with the man, unaware that he is already betrothed to Bathilde, daughter of the Duke. She agrees to marry the man, despite the romantic advancements of another peasant, Hilarion, who suspects that Albrecht is an imposter. Giselle wants badly to dance, but her mother warns her that she has a weak heart.

A Prince and his entourage are soon announced by a hunting horn. When the prince's daughter realizes that she and Giselle are both engaged, she gives her a gold necklace. Hilarion tells Giselle that Albrecht has been deceiving her, that he is actually a nobleman. Bathilde quickly reveals to Giselle that Albrecht is indeed her fiance. Horrified and weak, Giselle goes mad and dies of a broken heart.

equally proportional in length and width.
straight lines that merge into one continuous form.
repetition of shapes and pattern.
balanced form.

The second act of the ballet takes place in a forest beside Giselle's grave. The Queen of the ghostly Wilis, virgins who have died of unrequited love, calls upon them to accept Giselle as one of their own. When Hilarion stops by, the Wilis make him dance to his death.

clean lines and symmetry.
focal lighting to create a sense of drama.

But when Albrecht arrives, Giselle (now a Wili herself) dances with him until the Wilis' power is lost, when the clock strikes four. Realizing that Giselle has saved him, Albrecht cries at her grave.

dimensionality and full use of space.

"battle of the Smithsonian"

[a precedent study]

this past weekend i traveled to Washington, DC, to explore the many galleries of the Smithsonian with the 2nd year studio, in which i'm a teaching assistant.

i thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to utilize my investigations there and relate them as a precedent study my 4th year studio design project --- to REdesign the Chatham County Courthouse into the Pittsboro City Hall.
the Smithsonian Castle (above) was a great example of a historically preserved building. although it was undergoing some reconstruction, i was able to wander about the main lobby area which was a sneak peak to all the other museums on the Lawn. the Castle also showed some of the history of the Smithsonian and DC. it was a gorgeous building and stayed true to the historically classic style of old DC. 
first i explored the Sackler Museum. when walking into the space i was greeted by a security guard who checked my small and adorable satchel (every museum did), as i walked further in i was taken aback by the open and spacious reception area (above). there was seating all around me and small podiums with informational pamphlets. the ceiling detail (below) was extraordinary with one pendant light that gave the space a warm and inviting feeling.
the Sackler Museum was mainly displaying asian and american art work at the time. there were two "Guardian Statues" placed on either side a hallway that ran the length of the museum. the guardian (above) was said to have protected the Buddha during his travels.
the staircases in the Freer and African Art Museums were rather odd, but the Freer Museum (above) utilized the open area and hung a piece of art work from the sky light to the lowest floor. the African Art Museum's staircase (below) didn't take advantage of the open area and as a result is less appealing.
an open courtyard with a garden and fountain (above) was located in the middle of the Sackler Museum. some gallery spaces had windows and doors that allowed you to peer out into the space.
the American Indian Museum (above) had a very open and spacious lobby area. however, when you walked into the space you felt somewhat disconnected from the content it held. the space didn't allow for interaction of any kind and left you wondering what the museum was about. there was no preview or sneak peak to what was really inside.
the American Indian Museum has an amazing ceiling detail. when you look up you see a massive "stacked" dome with an oculus that allows for plenty of natural lighting to enter the lobby.  
WOW! the Air and Space Museum was FANTASTICAL! you walked into the building and immediately experience a dramatic sense of scale and proportion. all around you are life size planes, missiles, satellites, and everything else that lives in the sky. it was open and inviting and all you wanted to do was run around and play with everything. it was gorgeous. 
again, security was at the entrance of every museum (above). however, some were a little more severe than others.
it was amazing to walk into this space and be completely surrounded by these artifacts. you can't stop looking up and down and to the right and left. i was mesmerized by everything around me. the use of space and proportion in this museum entrapped me and engaged all my senses, make me want more and more!
later in the day our class met at the Library of Congress and got a tour of the main building from an Iarc alumni, Jessica Krasuski, who now works as an Interior Designer for the libraries. the fountain (above) outside the library was a dramatic sneak peak to the attention to detail found inside the library.
the building was symmetrically balanced and classically designed reminiscent of temples in ancient Rome. every service from the outside - in was detailed and excessively decorated.
this space engages you because you can't stop looking at everything around you. every time you turn your head you see something new and spectacular. it's hard to pay attention to whatever is being said around you because you become so captivated by this space.
the detail on the ceiling was breathtaking. stained glass windows atop the roof allowed just enough natural light in highlight the glorious detail surrounding me. 
no surface on this building was left unconsidered. every little part and detail of this space merged together to not only create a unified whole, but it created a historic piece of art that you are able to walk through, experience, and fully enjoy!
doesn't that ceiling just make you want to cry?!
when you walk into the Natural History Museum, you immediately notice the life-size elephant in the lobby area. it draws you into the space, you walk around it to observe every detail and learn more about this magnificent creature.
one of the last things i saw while touring the museums of the Smithsonian was this gorgeous fountain in the center of the West Gallery. it was made of a dark marble matching the columns that encircled it. the walls in this space were white to contrast the marble for a more dramatic feel. above was a dome with an oculus shinning natural light down into the space. 

the whole day was an absolutely beautiful experience !!