Friday, March 26, 2010


When designing the first floor of Unity Village, we wanted the space to give a feeling of liveliness, movement and fun for the user. No matter what age, the space is designed to appeal to the needs of all.
To a 72 year old man in a wheelchair the space is inviting and stimulating. Here, he is encouraged to interact with others and also lead to interesting spaces by directional markings throughout. Although it is spacious, the user still feels as though he is connected with others.
To a 6 year old girl this space is whimsical and fun. directional symbols on the floor and walls create a gameboard that entices her to skip, hop and play. The space also feels safe and secure.
To a 42 year old working mother in the space, her office serves as a retreat from her busy life. here large windows and warm color embrace and relax her. In her office, although she is working, the office is spacious and encourages community with her coworkers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The First Floor of Unity Village: Linguistic Symbolism as a concept

Through the use of linguistic symbolism the first floor serves as an active and integrated core for all of Unity Village with expressionistic design system.

[precedent images]

Linguistic Symbolism is an expressive system common to people in a community, which is varied, gestural, and emotional. Because the first floor of Unity Village will house a lobby, conference room, community room, event space, mail center, offices, and a break room, it is important that the space serves as a directional core for its users. This floor is the first impression users will get of the space, and should be viewed as mobile, energetic, and having textural elements. The lobby serves as the hub of the first floor, offering a classic, yet contemporary feeling that directs the user through the space. Through the use of curves, light, and gradient design properties, the lobby feels as though it is in motion through verbal expression. A balance between natural and artificial light paired with curved forms bring a cozy feel, while geometric shapes and directional lines imitate conversation that is accentuated by hue and texture.

Ornamental language connects spaces adjacent to the lobby, both private and public, such as the conference and community rooms, and offices with a break room.

Through the use of linguistic symbolism the first floor serves as an active and integrated core for all of Unity Village.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Unity Village

A rendered view of the entrance

Exterior of Unity Village

First three levels (Ground, first floor, second floor)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Soooo...I'm super excited about earning Podium, which is a rendering program in Sketch Up. If you use the proper textures, it makes the space look GREAT!!! The only downside is they take over an hour to render :( here are my first couple of renderings. Enjoy!

[[An Urban Studio Loft]]

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


On Monday, we visited the grand opening of My Sister's House, the final project for the Urban Studio class. I was most excited about the trip because I would finally get to see what Interior Architects actually DO in real-live space!
The structure is a large contemporary home with six bedrooms and a large kitchen for housing teen mothers and their babies. I thought that this was a great project for Urban Studio, considering that it helped the community and also practiced sustainable design.Each apartment had plenty of space for the residents and was formatted in a way that would bring them together as a community.
My favorite features of the house included sleek contemporary fans and student-poured concrete counter tops in a deep chocolate brown.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Makeshift Shelter Reflections

When we began the makeshift shelter project, I was interested to see how we would use individual processes combined with group work to create a space for sketching. When we were given the project I immediately began thinking “what constitutes shelter?” and trying to understand what elements would be important to the space. Upon receiving our group assignments I was excited to see how all of our many thoughts would come together into one cohesive idea. When we began discussing the project as a group, I realized that many people thought of shelter as a structure with a roof over it; but we needed this space to be much more than that. It was necessary for the space to evoke inspiration and wonderment for a person in the space. After coming to a conclusion about what we wanted our space to feel like, we began working in our sketchbooks. Personally, mine is filled with many different shapes, as I was exploring how to create this space. After many drawings and notes we talked about how we would complete the tasks ahead. As a group we pointed out the strengths of each member and what part of the project would be their main focus. I chose to be responsible for the construction and final presentation of the project because my week points are definitely drawing and rendering!
After some discussion we decided to go out and find materials. We rode around Greensboro with Chris Fay, who took us to several junkyards piling all kinds of materials on his truck. After we got back to the studio, we began using the materials to aid us in building models and drawing more realistic sketches. We also began tearing apart wood pallets to construct our walls.
After many long days and nights of trying to create a cohesive shelter we finally took some materials down to the lobby and did a mock construction. This finally got us on the right track. After so much work, the final installation was a breeze, including my twenty-four foot process poster. Overall I was very pleased with the outcome of our shelter.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Neighborhoods & Communities

Communities and neighborhoods harmonize splendidly to compose the intricate song of our social and geographical constructs. Although they are different, each plays a special role in creating the networks of people and spaces we call our own. A neighborhood is defined by its geographical boundaries, while a community consists of the people brought together by both geographical and social ties. Other key concepts of neighborhoods and communities include sociology, psychology, and economy. I found this interesting in the reading, being sociology minor. It is a basic theory that people mock those around them and strive to have the things that their neighbors have; therefore, we end up with similar wants, needs, hopes, and dreams among neighbors. For example, just among Interior Architecture majors, everyone is striving for a large salary, nice home, and a luxury vehicle as status symbols for success. Using this same concept, properly formed neighborhoods act as a place for positive development among those involved. So if good neighborhoods affect people positively, what are the affects of community? Where do neighborhoods end and communities begin? I believe communities are important because they bring people together from a larger geographical span and create groups that also stimulate encouragement and positivity. I personally believe in the power of neighborhoods and community because I grew up in a close-knit neighborhood where all of the neighbors looked out for one another and also did community activities such as dance, gymnastics, and church participation. I find that the bonds that my family formed with the neighborhood and surrounding community are still strong today.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fostering Community

Honeycomb Apartments
Izola, Slovenia
Ofis Arhitekti
About Honeycomb Apartments
• Located on the coast of Izola, Slovenia. This seaside structure appeals to young, small families and couples. • There was increased need for small, affordable housing for these young families. • Constructed for low-income residency. • The concept of a rhythmic beehive was an attempt to foster community by paralleling the drive of worker bees in the hive, but was unsuccessful. • The Honeycomb Housing Complex brings together people of similar backgrounds, and social and economic standing in one building, but gives them no reason to interact or form a community. • The staggered elevations of the balconies is successful for creating private space between neighbors.
Slovenia's Past Housing Challenges
• By end of 1980s housing inefficient • Home ownership based on favorable credit • Home ownership in urban areas were not affordable, over priced for most people • Rental units affordable, but scarce • cost to construct & maintenance was higher than the rental cost • housing shortages underestimated
Maritime Youth House
Copenhagen, Denmark
Bjarke Ingels Group
About Maritime Youth House
• Scandinavian architecture has been one that increases its program for years. The architects continually try to combine many public places into one functional whole. • This architecture focuses on form and functionality, and inspiration. • The Maritime Youth House was a special challenge because it was essential that the space focused on two clients: a sailing club and a Children’s center. • Some important programming issues were giving the children enough safe space to play and also allowing mooring space for the boats. • Another issue was the site. The site of the construction was riddled with polluted topsoil, which the architects ingeniously decided to build over. • The architects decided to build a large, elevated wooden deck over the contaminated land, allowing a sprawling space for the children to play and openings underneath for the boats to moor. • The gently sloping deck fosters community by allowing a great space for the children and center supervisors to interact. • Indirectly, the space allows sailing club members to interact with the Youth House as well by keeping them connected. • The fascinating deck serves as the focal point of the project. It is unexpected, inviting, and draws many people to come enjoy the space together.
Mandic, S., & Rop, T. New housing challenges in Slovenia Cities, Volume 10, Issue 3, August 1993, Pages 237-245 Paulsson, Thoman. Scandinavian Architecture. 1st. Bristol, England: Western Printing Services Ltd., 1959. 239-244. Print. Lobodzinska, Barbara. Family, Women, and Employment In Central-Eastern Europe. 1st. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995. 230-231. Print.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Think About It...[makeshift.shelter]

"Simple detail and the beauty of found materials lend to a sacred space to enjoy time with oneself and a sketchbook..."

The importance of the makeshift shelter lies in the joy of its inhabitant. The creator of this abode must delight in its tiniest detail. A detail which gives hope for a better future.
So what is the point of of this whole makeshift shelter project?
It shows us how humankind can survive with the most minimal resources.In the wake of the hurricane in Haiti, we are learning how people (including ourselves) can come together for a positive goal. We have come together to create these shelters based on one common activity. For our group it is sketching, but this has a more substantial parallel. For the people of Haiti, the common goal is survival. They must work together just as we do, but in their case to rebuild their shattered country. Here, we must learn the importance of teamwork and togetherness. From building a simple shelter there is so much to learn about ourselves and others.