Wednesday, May 28, 2008

getting color [in the bag]

While we did not have time to fully address color in yesterday's pin-up, Patrick and I hope you will continue to explore it within your schematic development this week. This can be a difficult layer of detail to specify and, as I'm sure we can all attest to, when left to the end of a project, and a limited selection of markers, the results can be disastrous (i.e. a "giant easter egg of a room" or a "clown explosion" to quote other studio instructors).

I find when choosing a color pallete it helps to begin with an image that evokes a feeling you are trying to portray within your project. Are the colors in the image cool? warm? complimentary? analogous? By studying the image closely, you can begin to better understand what type of colors you are ultimately seeking.

Recently, I found this online tool which can help with the process. As you can see, the tool helps generate a pallete based on any image that inspires (in this case your classmates' bags). While I caution using EVERY color it identifies (which might put you in jeopardy of the "clown explosion" scenerio), I encourage you to give it a try and see what happens.


Monday, May 26, 2008

patrick’s [manifesto]

telling design stories
when a person dies, a valuable library burns to the ground. – ancient African proverb

I am a civic-minded, hard working storyteller
who seeks connections beyond the expected. I believe in serendipity, in fair exchange, and in sharing. I value excellence in communication, engagement in the local, links to the global, and the passion of others.

I build social capital to forge bonds with unlikely partners
to bring design to the world with greater results than I ever could imagine doing by myself. I act with integrity and sincerity, respecting each human being and the experiences and stories they bring.

Through my work, I hope to leave the world a better place.

I have come to appreciate the benefits of a well-crafted charrette and the time-honored practice of designing and building. My life became easier after I selected Arial as a font of choice. I like square brackets.

I thrive in an environment that is intellectually and physically stimulating.
I am awed by simple beauty and eloquent words. I like seeing the inter-connected world in my work and that of others. I realize that good food, great music, and kind deeds are definitely part of the equation.

My tools for my design journey include…
…the wonders of the stars,
…the detailed layering of information on a map,
…a passion for learning and life,
…a compass that sometimes reads my heart
and other times reads my head,
…a good dictionary [with etymology],
…and a journal.

I look forward to growing as journeys, storytelling, and conversations continue.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

a philosophy of action

"To live within limits. To want one thing. Or a few things very much and love them dearly. Cling to them, survey them from every angle. Become one with them--that is what makes the poet, the artist, the human being." -Johann Goethe
As a designer and teacher I commit to:
seeking inspiration in the everyday
engaging local and global design communities
embracing process
drawing : in my sketchbook and from my surroundings
working beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone
living simply and designing sustainably
focusing on learning : learning to focus
listening more, talking less
fostering collaboration in and out of the classroom
sharing lessons I have learned
enjoying the beauty life has to offer


transparency : a good place to begin

yesterday in class, suzanne and i remarked on some common themes or through-threads in your esquisse presentations. we saw that many of you captured a sense of inquiry about transparency in your work…and it’s interesting to think of that idea on several levels: [1] physical transparency in the materials you will investigate (as early as next week!) in your projects; [2] spatial transparency as you work to make your buildings legible to their inhabitants; and [3] organizational transparency, which we take to mean good communication through and about your work as we continue forward from our starting point.

from the late sixteenth century with roots in medieval latin
root word [trans·par·ent]
transparere “shine through” parere "appear"

we liked both of these definitions…
easily seen through : allowing light to pass through with little or no interruption or distortion so that objects on the other side can be clearly seen
obvious and easy to recognize : clearly recognizable

...remembering, of course, that transparent + translucent are two different, but related, descriptors for materials

letting light through diffusely : allowing light to pass through, but only diffusely, so that objects on the other side cannot be clearly distinguished

this caused us to think about the idea of clarity in what we do and represent….a theme to which we will return time and again during the course of the semester.

you’re not the only students with an interest in transparency. karen koehler + thom long (hampshire college), led a class to examine the idea of transparency in architecture. at the end of the course, students compiled an architectural journal
[0242/january08] to investigate through words and images about this strong imprint on architecture through time.  we heartily recommend you have a look at this beautifully designed site, replete with information.