The College of Design atrium was overtaken by cupcakes this morning. It’s intriguing how we react to unusual and unexpected situations like this and how they can alter our normal social instincts – such as not eating random food that someone else left out in public. But with such a large quantity, they must be ok, right? Occasions like this make me love being in a design college – I don’t think you’d see this going on over at Coover or Gerdin. If you’re on campus this morning, definitely come by check it out and have a cupcake!
Flash Cupcakes from Brady Dorman on Vimeo.
At some point during the past year the doorways along the open corridors in the College of Design were painted – second and third floors with a light blue, and fourth and fifth floors with an off-green. While I welcome the addition of color (even dull ones) to the otherwise monochrome COD, I see a missed opportunity to enhance the building’s [lacking] way-finding system through a logical use of different colors. Instead of only two hues, seemingly chosen randomly, each floor should have its own color to define it and engage our visual sensory.
Occasionally when I need to stop by a professor’s office in the College, I always have trouble remembering which floor they are on. The only directory on display in the building is located on the first floor by the main entrance, which is typically not convenient if I am already up in my studio. If each floor had a color coded system it would be easier to remember an office on “the orange floor” for example. Some might argue this is a cliche type of building signage, but if we’re painting anyway it might as well be with reason. There’s even a possible color scheme already devised by the Design Council’s recycling posters hanging up around the college.
Arch 403 Mid Review 1 from Brady Dorman on Vimeo.
Ever wonder what an architecture school studio review is like? The video is of my studio group’s critique at today’s mid-review for 5th year comprehensive studio. As I’ve described in previous posts, we are designing a [hypothetical] velodrome in Boston. In the video one of my partners Jamin introduces our design at this point and then I elaborate on site design and our method to contextualize with the adjacent neighborhood and the city as a whole.
Our critics were three faculty members in the College of Design: Nadia Anderson, Ann Sobiech-Munson, and Dean Emeritus Mark Engelbrecht. I believe our review went quite well and provided valuable feedback for moving forward from this point. It is clear our next step will be to integrate a thoughtful structural system into our aesthetic gesture, which will better clarify building and technical specifications of the design.
Select comments from the critics:
“I think there’s something that’s really working about what you’ve presented here. It’s maybe not necessarily this as an aesthetic so much as some of your sensitivities to the human scale and the way that this form kind of responds to the things around it.”
– Assistant Professor Ann Sobiech-Munson
“I think there’s a language that’s developed out of this that I really appreciate, the relationship between the building itself and the site around it…”
– Assistant Professor Nadia Anderson
“I think it, for me, expresses this idea of speed and discipline very beautifully..so I’d be very interested to moving on, you can imagine the idea…”
– Dean Emeritus Mark Engelbrecht
Visit our studio project blog to follow our design process.
Neighborhood Network News has posted video of last Saturday’s (Jan 23) “Imagine a Vital Neighborhood” urban design conference in Cedar Rapids. Architecture students from Iowa State University’s
Bridge Studio presented design proposals and strategies for sustainable redevelopment in Oakhill Jackson and New Bohemia. I haven’t watched the videos entirely yet, but there were a range of ideas from more abstract and statistical to more specific design proposals. One intriguing idea was very ambitious, proposing a residential high rise and retail complex including a Target store – on par with mixed-use urban big box developments found in several larger US cities. A common theme was to reuse building materials (like from Farmstead) for new construction in the neighborhood.
The videos are definitely worth a watch. Special thanks to Robin Kash for posting these and other community meeting videos on Neighborhood Network News.
Neighborhood Network News: Urban Design Conference Videos
> 1 – Intro, Overview and Opening Discussion
> 2 – Student Presentations
> 3 – Discussion of Student Presentations
Cedar Rapids-based, non-profit organization S.E.E.D. (Sustainable Ecological Economic Development) will be hosting a Sustainability Symposium “Imagine a Vital Neighborhood” this Saturday with architecture grad students from Iowa State University. Students will present design proposals to stimulate ideas for building a pedestrian friendly, sustainable neighborhood in the Oakhill Jackson and New Bo areas near downtown Cedar Rapids.
S.E.E.D. founder and Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood Association President Michael Richards has been collaborating with the College of Design’s “Bridge Studio” for two years. The first year students developed prototype designs for post-flood affordable housing that received the grand prize for the 2009 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy. Professors Clare Cardinal-Pett, Peter Goche, and Nadia Anderson, who was my studio instructor this past fall, will be leading the event.
Anyone interested in the revitalization of these neighborhoods and making a more livable, sustainable Cedar Rapids is encouraged to attend. The forum will be held from 10am – 5pm, this Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Community Conference Hall in the Horizons Building, 819 5th St. SE. More information about the event can be found on BJ Smith’s Puncture Proof blog.
> Bridge Studio
> Puncture Proof: Forum promotes pedstrian-friendly neighborhoods