Team 2 + Week 4

I don’t know about your thoughts on the matter, but this past week’s ACE meeting was certainly a success with some super-hot models and all.  Smokin’ hot.  No, literally, I’m pretty sure someone set something on fire when learning how cut foam in the model shop.  (For legal purposes, and for peace of mind to GP and the Santa Fe building, no one even remotely caught anything on fire; I’m merely trying to jest in hopes that the ACE students are vaguely interested in reading this blog.  Talking about a harmless and fictional display in pyrotechnics usually does the tick.)

OU College of Architecture annual burning of the crappy models.

Explosions aside, the day was rather entertaining as we compiled information gathered from the site and used it to begin both a physical and diagrammatic presentation of what’s there now.  This information is useful because it’s the first step into discerning what we can eventually add to the site, and why we should.

Access to both a physical and virtual 3D model enables us to quickly play with building massing, and to see, to scale, what might harmoniously integrate with the area.  My group was responsible for putting together the digital model, and well we didn’t really get that much done, mainly because in architecture, everything always takes a lot longer than you think it’s going to.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “Yeah sure, I’ll have it done in 4 hours” and then 10 hours later I’m still at work, starving, tired, and dangerously close to chucking my computer down the atrium. Nonetheless, between importing a Google maps jpeg into AutoCAD, tracing the buildings and roads in AutoCAD, importing that linework into Sketch-up, and then extruding those to heights, it took us about a million years, and we still only have about a blocks worth of information.  BUT, it does look awesome!

[Btw, Sketch-up is a great tool and if you go into architecture, you’ll likely be using it.  Also, you can get it for free at!!! Hurray!  Super duper!  Now you can make weird models of stuff, like snowmen.

Great practice if you wanna learn Sketch-up!

Seriously though, if anyone comes to class, has downloaded Sketchup, and makes a Sketchup model of a snowman, reindeer, or anything Christmas-y, prizes are in order and also eternal fame and glory.

In building the physical model, many similar techniques were used as to build the digital one.  Google maps was used as a base, and heights were based on rules of thumb you guys have been learning about.  This model will likely be used the most in the future as it’s a fast and easy way to try out building massing types, you’ll see 😉

Schematic diagrams of things like traffic patterns and building uses, lumps information into groups so we can see how and who will be accessing this location.  By singling out a specific type of information like demographics, building material, or ratio of public to private space, we can figure out what information is important and useful in picking out what will eventually occupy our site.  (I once collected information over an area of 27 blocks about how many people were renting vs. owning.  It sounds super stupid, but by doing this, I realized that the area I was planning on building in was going down the poop shoot almost entirely because it was being inhabited by people who didn’t care about the property they were living in because it wasn’t “theirs”.)  The point is, you find out A LOT about a place just by looking at smaller things within the big picture.  A photomontage puts into perspective how the site is literally viewed, and what information can be overlaid while moving through the area.  When presented in a simple format, one is able to attain a surprisingly realistic view on how the site may be transformed.  This might not seem super clear and important at this point in the project, but you just wait…Also, I’m pretty sure the photomontage group was using a computer that still used dial-up, so it became a pretty difficult task.

Next meeting:

Goettsch Partners office @ 224 South Michigan Ave, Floor 17

4:30 – 6:30 15 November

This coming week we’re going to delve into the details of the architectural profession:  a little Architecture 101 if you may.  Now I know all of you aren’t planning on going into architecture, but it’s still important to learn about what they do because you’ll learn quickly how much communication there is (and how important that communication is) between other fields.  Also you’ll learn that architects only wear black, have really awesome hair, bad-a glasses, and sometimes use a made up language called archispeak .  This essay title for example:  A discourse on emerging tectonic visualization and the effects of materiality on praxis.   Yeahhh, I have no idea what that means…nonetheless, come to ACE on Tuesday, it’ll be an integrally important retrospective on the methodology of architectural composition.  Oh and you get free food 🙂  See you Tuesday!

Also, here’s your cat website for the week:

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