Dear Class,

I hope you have learned from this semester as intensely as I would have hoped for you.
You need to continue your efforts during school to be independent-minded and to shape an architectural logic in your project definition, which starts from research and design tactics.
You have done considerable efforts, and this showed in the final presentation, where the jury was impressed with the general level of the class.
For those who were frustrated with the end product, this semester should be a foundation for how to approach a project, and how to develop your own methodology. this is a lifetime learning process.
Before you take off for summer, all of you are required to submit a Portfolio CD/DVD no later than this friday to Nagham. This is extremely urgent for your work to be included in the final year posters.
The grades will be released the same day.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mapping Examples

Logic: "This study futhers my understanding of how material performance and properties can serve as impetus for design. More specifically, this exercise identified how the site and its materials relate in the terms of thermal absorption, emission and transmission. I used a field condition to begin to blur the lines between building and site, inside and outside, and one material from another in order to understand and document the thermal exchange between these binary conditions. I intend to use this study to explore how different operations (such as heat exposure) can produce structural arrangements appropritate for archtectural deployment. For example, one arrangment may be best for structure; whereas another may be best for skin. These diagrams thus anticipate a myriad of possible material and or techtonic arrangements."

Logic: "My approach to Para_Site called for cataloguing and subsequently diagramming surface modification trends in Allston, with particular focus on the Science Complex site and adjacent land. Analysis of my diagrams revealed localized patterns of atrophy and recovery that I didn't expect to find. My position is that our intervention in this landscape should initialize and sustain a recovery phase, supporting the ongoing regional economic transition from heavy industry to high technology and research. 
Land ownership has come full circle in Allston. It was originally monolithic, and land use patterns reflected this state (agriculture, vast stone cutting yards, etc.). Fragmentation and the recent reconsolidation of land ownership has resulted in a transition from the small- and intermediate-scale industrial/residential landscape of the 19th century (varnish factories, aggregate mills, carriage factories, "neighborhoods") to the present monolithic state (warehouses, marshalling yards). The question arises: as land ownership become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few major agents (Harvard), how is it possible to define urban space and building form in ways that prioritize pedestrian activity, connectivity, and community? Not necessarily through re-fragmentation, I think... but certainly not through a heavyhanded deployment of monolithic corporate office blocks. The scale of buildings illustrated in the I.M.P. seems completely foreign to the University."

Logic:" I sought to diagram the convoluted interdisciplinarity extant in the Systems Biology Department and Stem Cell Institute. By envisioning the departments through their present connections I hope to forecast or influence the change as they move to the new Allston campus."

Logic: "My research began to explore the Allston site's identity within the context of the entire Charles River Watershed. I think it is important realize not only the importance of the biosystems building's performance, but how construction and operation of the campus and the site's industrial past impact the natural environment. Rain links the site (and its potential toxicity) directly to the Charles in the form of surface runoff, urban drainage and the water table. A closer look at the topography of the site might uncover where, when and how much water flows from the site directly into the Charles, affecting the most widely used urban recreational waterway in the country.As you travel northeast towards Boston, through the 35 towns and 80 miles of river that make up the Charles River Watershed, impervious surfaces become more prevalent, leading to increased water runoff and pathogens resulting from dense urban living (the white areas in the right aerial represent the impervious surfaces). The figures below detail some of the causes of river impairment."

Logic: "The Para_site exercise allowed me to really take a closer look at wind forces and think about how those are going to interact on the site as planned. The studies indicate areas of flow convergence and suggest possible architectural moves to mediate or take advantage of these flows."

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