Monday, December 8, 2008

The Oasis Story Pt III: Exhibition

Neal and Nicole had set up the Exhibit part of the Oasis project. We are taking over everything, because it was our group that lead the way in the circle/rectangle concept.

Our Process Wall. Linsey Frost and I had documented it via the class project blog, but we could not have done it without Cassandra's and Iliana's photographs.

Our first parti. We first cut down on the amount of pillars and then completely took them out of the picture.

The Final Model. We had changed our idea to the border last minute after they had made the scale model so it still shows a pathway

Pathways Edges and Boundaries: To Scale

Afterwards it was just time to cleanup. I helped clean up the loading area and outside the woodshop, and Aubrey and I were the Oasis representatives who helped return everyone's projects back inside.

The Oasis Story Pt II: Execution

Time is running out, so many of our teammates came in on the weekend to cast more stones and rethink our pathway design. We still are significantly short of the amount of stones we would need to create the type of pathway we desired, so we dragged our stones out to the oasis site to see what we could come up with.

While outside Neal had an epiphany. We decided instead of created stepping stones for a pathway, we would create an elaborate border that outlines the pathway. We now had completely thrown verticality out (as a class) so we no longer had to worry about the pillars. Now we had to grapple with the proximity of our stones and having an organized pattern vs. planned randomness. In the end planned randomness won out.

Not only did it solve the problem of using a much smaller portion of stones, it fit in with the gestalt concepts of continuation and closure to our project, by have the border only lining one half of each curve of the pathway on opposite sides.

close up

How the pathway looks from a distance.

Our first test run

The finale! We would like to install gravel when we get back from winterbreak.

We Can't Stop Here This is Bat Country: The Oasis Story

We had decided to focus on making a pathway out of circle and rectangular stepping stones. We were also going to have eight chair-height pillars (four on each side, adjacent from each other in the middle of the pathway) but we found out they would take a month to cast! We also discovered during out scale model parti we would need at least one hundred concrete stepping stones. That is a lot of stepping stones. We decided to concentrate on casting our stones first and worry about the pillars later, since they weren't going to be installed anytime soon. I also learned that concrete is really fickle, if you do not get the consistency just right your concrete will be unacceptably weak. Luckily Iliana is a pro at mixing and Cassandra discovered the miracle of perlite (our aggragate, we used wood shavings at first but it was not sturdy enough) so most of our concrete survived the casting process.

We had originally decided to use cardboard boxes to cast our stepping stones, but that proved to be subpar. We needed a cheap mold that was easy to mass produce due to the abundance of stones we had to make, and designing and forging wood molds would of been way too time consuming and expensive. The concrete stuck to the sides, the bottoms generally left some sort of undesired texture, and the boxes tended to be on the larger side. Some of my team members had brought in a couple shoeboxes and they worked fantastically. They slipped right out and came in very attractive sizes. So Aubrey Loyd and I went down to the mall and collected as many shoeboxes as we could from all the shoe stores. Drawer organizers from the dollar store also came in handy.

We used the leftovers of our cylindrical pillar molds to cut into smaller molds for our circle-shaped stones. The only way to cut these though was to use a handsaw. That was so difficult, nobody in our group has any arm muscle whatsoever.

But somehow we managed. The circles were duct-taped down to dry on a moist piece of cardboard and it created a wave-like texture for us. Although an accident, it inspired us and helped us connect to the organic nature of our crete myrtle trees since it resembles the flowy branches.

While they were still green, Aubrey, Lauren and I decided to improve upon the texture by using pieces of concrete to exaggerate the texture and sand the edges so they were smoother. Until this point texture is something we had considered but not fully developed. We decided to incorporate this newfound wave-like texture, the smooth texture from the bottoms of our plastic molds, and the rocky texture from the exposed shoebox molds (caused by the perlite rising at the top).

A sample of our finished products! I am very pleased with the variety of shapes and sizes.

Section Drawings

Two section drawings I had done of our concrete stepping stones. The circle was cast from a slice of the cylinder molds we had bought at home depot, and the rectangle was cast from a shoebox.

Progressive Interactive Gateway Notes

These are some notes that i took during class. It was important for our islands to discuss their concepts together so the entire project was cooperative and seemed purposeful. The most important thing was to simplify our project, because we were overly ambitious and most importantly had no coherent direction. We erased the idea of including anything to do with water or sitting and decided to focus on our pathway. As a whole we eventually dropped Translucent from "Gateway Interactive Progressive Translucent" and focused on
  • pathway/direction
  • light and shadows
  • verticality
  • texture
  • automobile human interface
but these ideas would later be simplified again.

ThrowUp Sheet

I was part of the Oasis group, we had talked a little bit about general ideas for our island that had an "oasis-like" quality. Each of us brainstormed on a "throwup" sheet. Some of the ideas we had tossed around were a bench, birdbath, and pathway. Now that i know more about concrete when i look back on this my concepts seem very far fetched, but working with the natural beauty of the trees and the geometric quality of the building is still very much intact in our final product.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Behavioral Parking Lot Study

Northside was responsible for the behavioral aspect of the parking lot study. We monitored the parking lot for twenty-four hours, with a video camera taping and a snapshot every fifteen minutes. We also handed out surveys asking people about their traffic patterns and parking habits. Tracey Wright and I had the 8-11pm shift.

To clarify the information from watching the parking lot and the surveys collected, we made a series of site plans that showed different volumes of walking and automobile patterns. We noticed it was very common for people to sit in their cars until it was time for class (since they had to arrive early to guarantee a parking spot) and for no apparent reason, cut the corners of the islands, mainly gateway and oasis.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Final Perspective

My final perspective drawings. I liked doing the one point perspective of the book shelf and the light/shadows perspective of the railing. This type of project is much more difficult for me since i am still very new at any type of drawing, but i feel like i have achieved a lot in a short span of time after learning basic perspectives. I think it will really make a difference in my free hand sketches as well.