Posted in ArchitectureJanuary 2, 2012
What makes a design(er) good? It is a question that plagued me while in school and has not let up since. It is the kind of question that pops up when you want it least and disappear just when you think you have it. Why are we taught about the work of Corbusier or Man Ray instead of the architect that designed my house? What makes them better designers?
Maybe great designers have a particular characteristic that makes them the best. Maybe it is being mindful. Or maybe being acutely aware of the world around them. Or maybe a good designer has a particular taste that just appeals to a wide range of people. But I don’t think this quite captures it – we are not really getting at the essence of what makes a good designer. These all describe a great designer, but they are not what makes a designer great. They are good descriptions, not driving forces.
Perhaps it’s genetics. Perhaps the great designers were simply born with something rare; they all have extra neuron connections in just the right place or a certain mole on their left leg. This could be it, but then why do we even bother to go to school? Why are we being taught architecture when there are already some people who are just gifted? Is it not just a fruitless endeavor for the moleless kids? Are there some people who will never be great, who will never have even one flash of inspiration no matter how much they try? That is pretty hard for me to believe.
Posted in Photography,TravelJune 5, 2011
Posted in Photography,TravelJune 5, 2011
Posted in Photography,TravelJune 2, 2011
Posted in TravelMarch 11, 2011
After a brief stint in Bombay, post-returning from down south, I repacked my bags, washed a few shirts, and headed up to meet my best friend Nirav’s parents at their home in Anand, Gujarat. The train ride up was around seven hours, and I made a few new friends along the way; Will and Mika, a couple traveling around India for a while, and Vaidehi, Namrata, Tanaz, and Vineet, who were heading from Surat to attend a conference on something that sounded complicated.
Once I reached Anand, I was immediately met on the platform with the enthusiastic wave and beaming smile of Mr. Patel. And, of course, after arriving at the house and getting a hug from Mrs. Patel, not a minute had passed before I was offered food. I was home.
Posted in Architecture,RumblingsAugust 29, 2010
This post is in part inspired and helped along by a collection of long discussions with fellow architecture student and good friend Cesar Duarte. And while this is only a working draft of this concept, I wanted to post it to get it out there for the time being.
Innovation: Innovation in Architecture exists as a spectrum. On one side, a pragmatically innovative kind of architecture, and on the other, an abstractly innovative architecture. These two extremes manifest themselves inherently within all architecture, but no where is it as obvious when looking at the pedagogies of different university curriculum. The difference between my alma mater, Northeastern, and say Columbia or the GSD as an example of the difference between:
- Pragmatic: Inside-the-box innovation.
- Abstract: Outside-the-box innovation.
Both are methods for discovering innovation, and each one takes an extreme stance in architecture.
Posted in Architecture,PortfolioAugust 15, 2010
Throughout the studio, Jeff and I worked on and constantly revised a manifesto that revealed our fundamental design processes as well as the heart and soul of our project:
As a studio, we have been collectively exploring the concept of flexibility and future or nextuse. However the concept of flexibility does not prescribe anything, since flexibility can be achieved in a many different ways. We needed to take a stance on the situation. We needed to define our attitude. BC’s current image is one of history, tradition, and age – indeed, another Age – superimposed on a a mid-late-century infrastructure. This is evident to the campus-goer, who can perpetuate the iconic western image of studying under a tree in the quad while being supplemented with electric power! This timid sprouting of the new is what currently represents Boston College’s attitude.
Posted in Architecture,PortfolioAugust 13, 2010
Studio 5, or Comprehensive Design Studio, is the final studio in the Undergraduate curriculum at Northeastern. As I write this, I am now, after many long and intense years, a diploma-holding graduate of the School of Architecture at Northeastern University. The work produced in this studio is the result of everything learned in the previous five years at Northeastern. Throughout this studio, we worked with a partner, and I was fortunate enough to work with my good friend, the one and only Jeffrey Montes. We were also lucky enough to be instructed by Michael LeBlanc, a Utile partner and a veteran to this studio.
Posted in ArchitectureAugust 7, 2010
The Studio 4 book is done! It has actually been done for a while, I just did not realize…
If you are feeling lazy (and I don’t blame you) and have no idea what I am talking about, I recopied what I wrote in my previous post:
This studio also will result in a book that we are publishing. The book will be available at some point in the near future, and will contain each project of all three studios of my class. Each studio has about 10 kids, so the book will have around 30 different projects documenting the project’s start as a prototype to its end as a city. Because each studio made their own “city” made of 10 different projects placed like patchwork across the site, the book will also have information about the logic that went into each site. Also, because we were making a book at the end of the semester, this studio was also a lesson in standardized representational techniques.
It is available here:
Posted in Architecture,RumblingsFebruary 26, 2010
Again in Design Like You Give a Damn I found myself another excellent case study to compliment the Emergency Tents. This one I had seen before both in class and mentioned in other places, but Design Like You Give a Damn gave me a more comprehensive look.
So, in 2002, the Chile-Barrio Program created a new plan to house low-income families who were living illegally in parts of Iquique, Chile. The Chile-Barrio Program is a branch of the Regional Government of Tarapaca that works to upgrade Chile’s illegal housing problems. They hired the interdisciplinary design team Taller de Chile, which is a great firm that is made of architects, engineers, contractors, and politicians from the Universidad Catolica de Chile. The project was named the Quinta Monroy Housing Project, and the team was given a budget of $7,500 per one family house (including the cost of land). The most important goal of Taller de Chile was to build houses that could easily be added to in the future by the residents. The group also focused on the site itself and making sure that the project could be replicated in the future by the government.