Friday, February 26, 2010

Building: CommUNITY Grading Criteria

As you all have been working diligently on the current project, we would like to announce the grading criteria for Building: CommUNITY due on Wednesday March 3rd:

  • fulfills requirements of prompt (review the assignment )
  • care, craft, and quality
  • creative risk
  • presentation and composition
  • accuracy

To clarify what items you will be turning in at the beginning of the class on Wednesday March 3rd please review the following lists:


  • 1/4" = 1'-0" Scale Model of First Three Floors
  • 1/16" = 1'-0" Scale Model of Entire Building
  • Sketchup Model (select a few scenes and post them to your group member's blogs)

Programming and Diagramming ( These documents should be organized and bound)

  • Phase One Programming Document - see blackboard for updated template with individual floor sections
  • A bubble diagram for each floor (on a sheet of 11" x 17" or larger)
  • A circulation diagram for each floor ( on a sheet of 11" x 17" or larger)
  • An interior area map showing proposed locations of spaces ( on a sheet of 11" x 17" or larger)
  • A vertical adjacency study ( on a sheet of 11" x 17" or larger)

For these programming and diagramming documents remember to consider including a cover page and a contents page. Keep the labeling consistent throughout the documents.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Optional Community Assignment

Take hold of an opportunity to add up to 20 points to your individual Video Assignment Grade. For this optional assignment you are to take a photograph of a space in Greensboro that fosters community. In 300 words or less, describe the characteristics of the space and how the objects and environment enable community.

You are to post this assignment to your blog and also hand in a hard copy on or before March 22nd by 3:50pm. The hard copy should contain an image of the photograph measuring 3” x 4” on a sheet of 8.5” x 11” white paper. This photograph and write up should fit on a single sheet of paper printed on the front side only.

The challenge for this assignment is that you are not permitted to use the words “community” (or any version of the word), “I”, “me”, or “good”.

We hope you participate in this assignment and look forward to reading your statements.

programming Q + A

Here are some questions I fielded in my office yesterday. I want to share the answers here so that we're all on the same

Q : Can we move the elevators and/stairs?
A : No, these elements need to remain in the same place.

Q : Can we move mechanical closets?
A : Yes.

Q : Can we add additional elevators if we feel they need more?
A : Yes, but be aware that more elevators means additional mechanical rooms.

Q : Can we move entry doors/ exterior windows?
A : No, must keep same shell

Q : Can we add another deck?
A : No, we want to keep you working within the current building shell. This, the elevator, and the stairs cannot change....everything else is fluid.

Also, please note that you should not based your programs on keeping your spaces under 25,000 sq. ft. This was an estimation Stephanie used after briefly reviewing the construction documents. You need to measure the space for yourselves to determine the exact gross square footage to base your programs on.

Monday, February 22, 2010

design is...

Needing some inspiration? Check out a beautiful collection of eye candy via Shaw Contract Group's 2009 'Design Is..." award winners here. Find out even more details and see a great video montage of the winning spaces here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

paper revisions

Hope you enjoyed the afternoon off.

Please revise and resubmit your Gateway Plaza reflection papers I handed back last class by no later than Wednesday, February 24. You should submit these papers digitally in the Drop Box under the folder titled CONSIDER.PROCESS.DESIGN.

Also, hold on to your original marked-up versions. We'd like these, along with other papers you've written this semester, to be included in a writing portfolio due at the semester's end.

Update : Your rewrites can exceed the original 500-word limit.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

inspiration : TIM BROWN

commUNITY users

image by Geoff Wilson

Building on the information you have uncovered about your assigned user group, you are to collaborate within your pen pal groups to write a report describing the user, their needs, wants, abilities and restrictions. Included within this should be information about unique design issues, site constraints, social interactions, cultural issues, emotional wellbeing, physicological factors. Concentrate on connecting all factors to the physical environment. Consider what a user's day might look like. Go to places where you may further observe your users (i.e. Barnes and Noble, parks, grocery stores, etc.).

This paper should be approximately three to four pages in length (double-spaced). It is important that you work together on this assignment in such a way that everyone contributes but the paper reads with a unified voice.

Due at the beginning of class Wednesday, February 24
Monday, February 22.

Monday, February 15, 2010

commUNITY understanding

image by chris j. fry

In your pen pal groups, you are to conduct a study of an assigned user group. In this study, gather a series of articles, books, and websites that describe habits, traits, physical capabilities, economic concerns, and limitations associated with this user group. Do as much of this research as you can prior to Wednesday's class when more detailed expectations will be presented.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Sister's House Opening

The unveiling of the urban studio project, my sisters' house, will take place on Monday, February 15th from 3:00 - 6:00pm. Our class will be attending the opening towards the end of class on Monday. Directions to the event can be found below:
  • Take W Market Street
  • Turn Right onto Gillespie Street
  • Take first left onto Peachtree Street
  • Take first right onto York Street

The House is located on the right at 216 York st, Greensboro, NC 27401

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

fun by the pool

Here's proving that it is never too cold [or windy] for synchronized swimming! Thanks for being such great sports!

End Notes on Housing and Community...

Image by Tracey Wright

“This chapter has taught me to consider the residence, work with the governing body throughout my process, and pray to God for a good design.” – Clairissa Anderson

“If these cookie cutter homes with community pools are suppose to be a way to bring people together, why is that, that's not always the situation?” – Tracey Wright

“We need to research why certain communities work, so that we can better design for the future. Let’s bring everyone together as one big positive community.” – Hope Talley

“It is necessary to cooperate with a design itself and its given surroundings to fulfill the designer's duties.” – Young Moon

“Altogether, I want to learn how to be more thoughtful in my design so that I don’t create places that ignore the people, but rather embrace them.”- Kelsey Rhodes

“If structures are built solely for the purpose of sheltering humans or building eye-catching homes, they are not answering all the needs of a neighborhood’s community.” – Felicia Dean

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

tracing paths

my mouse path : 2|9|09

In preparation for your site visit tomorrow, check out this post over at Door Sixteen. How can you apply a similar diagramming strategy when observing users in space?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Some notes on the writings...

With the recent submission of your paper titled "Makeshift Process", we would like to address a few issues relating to grammar usage and essay structure:

  • Remember to proof read your paper three times. It can also be helpful to have a fellow classmate or friend read over a paper before the due date.
  • Spell check is your friend but even though a word is spelled correctly does not ensure that it is the correct word. (ie. "We were aloud to use five materials" should read "We were allowed to use five materials")
  • A paper does not have to be structured in chronological order. It may be best to group similar ideas and concepts together for a more cohesive read.
  • Watch those commas. Figure out when a comma is needed and when it is not.
  • Review the questions originally asked on the assignment sheet. Have you answered those questions in your essay?
  • Find a good, beneficial, needed, helpful Thesaurus. Begin to substitute in more suitable words. A great online Thesaurus can be found at
  • Start your paper or essay with an introduction. Introduce the subject or idea that your paper will be discussing. This will help with overall understanding.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Reading Assignment

Image of Cover

With the introduction of the two projects this week involving community, we ask that you read Chapter 5: Housing and Community located on Blackboard under Course Documents. You are to read both part one and part two.

After reading this chapter, write a 200-300 word response on this reading. These responses should be posted on your blog by the beginning of class on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

capturing commUNITY

Image by Suzanne Cabrera

With the construction of our makeshift village on Friday, we begin to see the work that goes into creating a community and how spaces can bring people together. We ask that you think about how you would describe a community. The words you use and the point of view you take most likely differ from your classmates, your family, your friends, etc. There are generational and cultural differences that would effect how we would describe community.

With this in mind, your next assignment will require that you create a short film creatively displaying how people see buildings and spaces creating community in Greensboro. You will complete this project within your "neighborhood" groups. The format and process you use to create this film is completely up to you and your group members, however it’s important to remember to document your individual process. For this project it may be helpful to investigate the art of film making.

Your group’s video should be no more than four (4) minutes. We will look for these videos to be not only informative but entertaining.

We will be premiering your short films on Friday, February 12, 2010.

Sketchbooks to inspire...

Sketch by Barry Jackson

A page from the sketchbook of Barry Jackson captures the scene of a London Museum. The artist focused his attention on the three small children in red jumpers but from this image we can get a sense the movement in the gallery space crowded with visitors.

Monday, February 1, 2010

case study one : commUNITY social

image by Shane Jones

Throughout the semester you will embark on a number of case study investigations. The purpose of these exercises is to heighten your observation of details in environments around the world, thereby increasing your body of knowledge for future projects. For each case study you must construct a succinct analysis, complimented by an abundance of quality annotated/captioned photographs and sketches that expand upon your written investigation. Each case study is to be presented on your blog with appropriate links and citations prior to the beginning of class on its due date.


For this assignment, in preparation for the new unit, we ask that you work with your pen pal groups (see the matrix) to investigate two environments that foster community (you are to interpret this requirement however you wish). The first of these environments is assigned below. You are to be the judge of whether they foster community successfully or not. The second environment is to be of your group’s choosing. Feel free to step outside the box in what type of community space you choose as you focus your attention on details that make it a good place for people to come together. In each investigation, you must make direct reference to a book you check out from Jackson Library. [Please note that we strongly recommend you wander the stacks of the 4th floor of Jackson Library for inspiration in all projects!]


Pen Pals (1) Cabrini Green, Chicago, Il

Pen Pals (2) Centennial Place, Altanta, GA

Pen Pals (3) Westwood Heights and Longfellow Courts, Seattle, WA

Pen Pals (4) Cloyne Court Hotel, Berkley, CA

Pen Pals (5) Pruitt-Igoe, St. Louis, MO

Pen Pals (6) New York City Public Housing [you can identify one specific site]

Pen Pals (7) Honeycomb Apartments, Slovenia

INVESTIGATION TWO : Site of your pen pal group’s choosing.

You are to complete this assignment as a group and post to your blog for presentation by the beginning of class Friday,February 5. Each pen pal should have the exact same post as his group mates on his/her blog. In other words, cut and paste the html from one blog to another.

neighborhoods + pen pals matrix

class cancelled : february 1

We've received messages from many of you stating that the weather, public school cancellations and illness are preventing you from being able to make it to class today. As such, Stephanie and I have decided to cancel class this afternoon.

It remains important, however, that you get started with the next project, which we will post this afternoon. Please check back for that after 1. And if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let us know.

woolworth's update

inverse footprints by hillary lipko
Hi Everyone---

Just in case you haven't heard, due to the weather, today's walk from UNCG to Woolworth's has been cancelled. As such, class will meet as usual in Gatewood at 1:00. My hope is that at some point during the semester we can visit the new museum, and celebrate our history, as a group.

See you shortly---