Tag: Iowa State University

COD Colors

College of Design, Iowa State University

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

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.

Solar Decathlon 2009

The 2009 Solar Decathlon competition is underway in Washington, DC. Twenty teams from around the world, including Iowa Sate University, arrived last week to reassemble their solar houses along Decathlete Way on the National Mall. Public tours began yesterday and continue through next Sunday, October 18. All twenty solar houses will be closed to the public on Wednesday for judging and measurement purposes.

It has been interesting and exciting to watch the project progress from design to construction here at Iowa State. So far the Interlock House has been doing pretty well in the score standings, which are judged on ten categories and continuously updated throughout the week.

Seen above is Iowa State Project Engineer Tim Lentz working on the Interlock House roof on the National Mall in DC on Tuesday. The photo was featured on the White House blog this week. (Photo credit: Stefano Paltera / US Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon)

> Solar Decathlon
> Iowa State University Solar Decathlon
> Iowa State University Solar Decathlon Blog
> ISU Solar Decathlon (interlockhouse) on Twitter

Constructing the Interlock House

I was in Ames this past weekend where my friend Eric Berkson, IT Coordinator for the Iowa State Solar Decathlon team, gave me a tour of their solar powered house under construction. Called the Interlock House, it utilizes a NanaWall system on the south facade to create a versatile sunspace that can be closed as a solar-collecting greenhouse in winter, a recessed exterior porch for summer, or completely open for cross-ventilation. It is a very cool system. The 2009 Solar Decathlon competition will be held October 9 – 18, on the National Mall in Washington, DC, where the Interlock House and 19 other competing solar houses will be reconstructed and open to the public. The Interlock House website includes an interesting photo blog, which I borrowed the following photo from.

Iowa State's Interlock House for 2009 Solar Decathlon competition

> ISU Solar Decathlon 2009: Blog

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