Belated semester wrap-up

This post comes to you in three more-or-less easily digestible bits, or as one of my professors would put it, easy pieces (choke, sputter). Part two is here, and three here.

I had a lot to say at the end of the semester, but unfortunately I had too much to do to sit down and write it all down. Now it’s a bit late to work up the same level of sanctimonious fury over some of the less major bits. But for those who are interested, here’s a more-or-less factual run-down of my semester’s doings:

My housing studio this semester was an apartment (or more accurately a co-op) building on Division and Paulina (i.e. here). The main idea was to create a space for a community of creative types could live and work. To do this I put a series of studio spaces connected by a common terrace area at the top of the building, with each studio connected by a private staircase to one of the apartments below:

In keeping with the egalitarian concept of the building, all of the apartments have access to street frontage, each with a loggia protected from street noise and the southerly sun by wooden louvers. To get light into the long and narrow apartments, I put in light wells that also serve as individual (though not entirely “private”) terraces for the apartments. Access is from the front of the building through five staircases, each serving four apartments.

Here’s a rendering of the Division facade:

This is the layout of a single third-story apartment, with the studio space on top:

And here’s how the whole thing comes together:

All in all, this was a fantastic semester and a very interesting studio, even if I’m not entirely satisfied with the work I did.

This scandalously self-indulgent post continues here. Part 3, if you are so resilient, is here.

What came out of it

Ron Witte’s guest studio ended yesterday – considering my graphics, it’s no surprise that Bob Somol led off his comments with Sarah Palin, with Italian restaurants as a back-up. Anyway, here’s the goods, as they say – the idea was to use form and graphics to create spaces that connected and disconnected so as to enable you to be in more than one room at a time:

BTW, I presented first because I had to get to the youngest child’s first-ever volleyball game (her team won – they managed to serve properly twice, while their opponents never made it across the net).

Ron Witte

Having a four-day guest studio exercise with Ron Witte ( We’re talking about intersecting spaces that allow you to be in two rooms at the same time. In the exercise, we’re manipulating form and graphics to do just that – here’s my second attempt:

That’s it for now. Thank you for your attention.

The semester draweth to a close

Welcome to the funhouse. Click on picture to get a larger version:




The city needs public space, but public space that provides a focus for activity, and not simply undifferentiated square footage. The BFT proposes to cut away space that under the unpredictable economic conditions of the foreseeable future would not be fully utilized anyway, and to turn it into entertainment and recreation space that will attract people to it. This will provide an economic stimulus for the cultural and commercial program that remains.
The public space not only draws people to the building, but also creates new conditions by interacting with its “regular” program: auditorium, office and hotel. For instance, by providing views of people enjoying recreational activities to office workers and vice versa, it alters the experience on both sides of the divide.



As usual, everything is copylefted (cc-by-nc). Enjoy.

Added Dec. 15: here’s what my final display looked like (virtual golfer for scale only):


Amusement city

Going a bit off the deep end, but no time to really work the detail, which is where the real fun would be:

(click on picture to get a larger version)

site linework

And remember – bad feedback is better than no feedback.

Year one done

Just finished my first year of graduate school. It was a strange ride, but well worth the effort. Though what I’m learning is not exactly what I expected, it is definitely an eye-opener in many ways. Here are a some drawings and pictures of my final project in studio:

Exhibition poster:

This is a fragment of an “unfolded section” of the public spaces – basically an unwrapped picture of a complex path through the building:

Section drawing:

Plan of a typical floor:

…and a photo of my final model: