The third term of the Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies started out with the class breaking into 5 predetermined studio groups comprised of 12 students each. On the second day of class in June, we all made our way to the lecture hall where we would be meeting the design tutors for the term They we each asked to give a presentations on the site they chose in Nova Scotia, and then they were assigned to a particular studio group - one tutor per studio. I was in the second studio, and would be working in the Hydrostone neighbourhood of Halifax, designing a public community center.
The main difference for the B3 term was that each of the tutors would be with their groups for the entire semester - this was unlike the previous two terms where the tutors would rotate and we would get fresh eyes and a new perspective on our work.
The first week or two in the B3 term was spent visiting the site and compiling data about it. For me, that meant a lot of photographs and working with a team to survey parts of the site.
Early design work is often structured around collecting data and analyzing the site. This is something I really enjoy, and I went back over and over to make sketches and take everything in. I'm often criticized [and I stand my ground] for spending to much time at the 'site level': be that going to the site or looking at 1:1000 or 1:500 maps for regulating lines and themes.
All design work is also based on precedent. Without going way off on a tangent, there are always different perspectives people have on architectural precedent, and that's all I'll say for now. So this term was also slightly different in a sense, as we physically went and visited other community halls on top of looking at published architecture.
Making coffee in the studio and getting down to business is an important ritual of mine.
The halfway point of the term was marked with a Round Robin Review, where nearly 50 local architects, designers and artisans were invited to give us feedback on our early design ideas. It was really an incredible day, and there was so much to learn!
Structures week is also a very important part of the B3 term, where we break into groups of 6 and design + build a structural system. I wrote about that extensively, here.
Riding back and forth to studio every single day was a lot more fun in the summer!
I've started to make more time for myself and my friends and family this term. However, I still like to keep my mind and eye sharp... here's an architectural iPhone photograph I took one afternoon.
Another thing I'm also working on is shifting my schedule to wake up earlier and enjoy the sunrise with a cappuccino at home, before I head to studio.
Or even going into school and carefully preparing a delicious cup in the studio.
However, as the term rolls on and it gets closer to the final deadline, all hell seems to break loose. I still can't help but live and breathe architecture and design in the last two weeks, and everything else seems to go out the window.
But when it all comes to the end, it's worth it. To push and push, means to make a good things. And after all, I just want to make beautiful things. If there's one thing I've learned, it's to never half ass anything- EVER. Do it right the first time, and make it beautiful.
That's a wrap!
Over the next two weeks I'll be participating in something called Free Lab, where myself and a group of students - about 10, some undergrad and some graduate - will design and build something. Our site is in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia and is supervised by two former graduates of the Dalhousie University School of Architecture. This should be up shortly.