Category: About Me
SketchUp – Lecture 4
Learn about how architectural students in West Virginia, USA are asked to think about formal ordering such as Axis and Symmetry through Michelangelo’s Campidoglio. Then, apply these same concepts to draft Calatrava’s Science Museum at the City of Arts and Sciences Complex in Valencia, Spain. Learn to use Google Earth to measure the Science Museum and develop the structural-rib envelope of the museum. As a beginner to SketchUp you can create a complex structure with simple SketchUp tools.
SketchUp – Lecture 3
The Profession to Academia
I am fortunate to have been offered a teaching position at Fairmont State University last fall.
Live the life you want to be living, and this will become your life. As I wanted to become a better architect, draw more, and allow creativity into my daily practice, I found this opportunity to grow through academia. This semester I am teaching both freshman and seniors, who in four years have different expectations of their work. They approach the work of creativity by different means. Freshmen are getting comfortable starting a process, of drawing for example, without knowing what the end result may be. Seniors may be expecting something of their project result, and may want to reach the end too quickly to be able to present a final project during critique.
It makes me wonder about the profession as a whole, teaching students of architecture to work in a profession that doesn’t lend itself to much exploration through the process. The idea of architectural service is becoming more engaged in the voice of a large community. Architects are more collaborator than singular practitioners. Where does this taught ability of exploration find itself in the professional world? As an architect who has been managing large projects for the last few years, my role in the office has become one of a coordinator, and not a person who produces the work directly by drawing. I engage others to draw, explore, and build the set we will use to bid and construct the project. Collaboration means that a lot of time is spent emailing to remind consultants, calling the owner to keep the lines of communication clear, organizing and hosting 5-hour long phone calls so that all of the designers (interior, graphic, landscape, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, energy consultants, etc.) may be listening to one another in order to work together. It is not the work I was doing to get my degree. In a communities’ mind, the value of an architect has shifted. While we have an understanding of code compliancy and structural limits, the value of providing a built aesthetic is waining.
As my position of being an architect changes, new opportunities present themselves. Instead of only offering a service as an architect, my perceived abilities now include teaching architecture. How lucky am I to get back to the source of my interest? My research process includes reading, writing, and drawing. To share this with people of different perspectives is a joy. In the next week I will be discussing Smart Cities with the senior students of Fairmont State University. This is in response to Architect magazine’s article here. What is a Smart City to you? Does it include more or less of the available technology we have today?
The process of finding that architecture school teaches a student is a valuable life lesson.
Mayfield Lecture 2018
Print your own to share: 2018 Mayfield Poster 2018-09-11
Beyond the Facade
What should Architecture be?
What should architecture be? What should I be as an architect? The class discussion about Le Corbusier required that I define something for myself!
The more I learn about how to be a better person, the more I believe everything I do should relate back to the same thing. When my family traveled in Italy in 2014 we took an 11 o’clock taxi ride to our hotel outside of Venice. The three miles was something like 30 euros, a rip-off, of course. My mother was upset and when she demanded an explanation the cab driver simply handed over his laminated ‘terms and conditions’ sheet. My family then decided that we all needed terms and conditions of ourselves and that declaration has been with me ever since.
So, with the task inspired by Le Corbusier from an architect’s perspective and my belief that all things in life relate, I’ve drafted the following.
I must try to write every day. Language relates my actions to my beliefs. Sometimes not until I write, do I fully understand what I think.
Reading and writing influence my work.
Everything is better with a good cup of coffee.
Authentic experiences must evolve.
In architecture, there exist inner and outer forces, meaning that there is the way people want to use a space, and the conditions of the site, culture and area in which the project exists. I’ve started a chain letter to a colleague that describes how I start a project, and I believe the next step to understanding the conditions of project is to evaluate the materials with which one is to be working with. Then, the structure, something holds up and together a project, and then the infill may be allowed to be more fluid.
Homes are for eating, cleaning, sleeping. Beyond the home there is work, social interactions, and commerce, everyone sharing their work. I need to develop my thoughts architecture beyond the home.
All things great or distressing become better when they are shared with someone else.
Live life how you believe you should be living. (What you identify with, you become. – from the Deepak Chopra meditations.)
What are your ‘rules’ of life?
A Cairn in the Backyard
Take in October 2015
Views and Brews
I wish I’d come up with the name Views and Brews. A northeastern US club, Views and Brews, has the same philosophy as my husband and I do: vacations that are coordinated around where we can hike, and if we’re lucky, where we can enjoy a cold local craft beer to commemorate it.
As someone who enjoys all kinds of brew, I also look forward to breakfast with coffee too! The best combination of place has all three, a good coffee shop, a local brewery and a mountain nearby. I’ve had this app on my list of things to discover for a while – the Best Beer at Untapped.
Morgantown has recently added to the list of breweries to try in the state of West Virginia with the opening of Chestnut Brew Works. What’s the thing I heard most while enjoying the flight at the bar? I’ll have a Halleck, I’ll have a Halleck, I’ll have a Halleck… it may be the beer of choice for the whole city.
Places we’ve tried:
Lost River Brewing Company in Wardensville, WV
Marietta Brewing Company in Marietta, Oh
Morgantown Brewing Company in Morgantown, WV
Mountain State Brewing Co. in Morgantown, WV in Deep Creek Md, and in Thomas, WV
Blackwater Brewing Company in Davis, WV
Rivertown Brewing in Pittsburgh, PA
Portsmith Brewery in Portsmith, NH
The Vermont Pub and Brewery in Burlington, VT
Woodstock Inn and Brewery in North Woodstock, NH
Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville, NC
Wedge Brewing Company in Asheville NC
Deschutes Brewery in Portland, OR
Weasel Boy Brewing Company in Zanesville, OH
Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, PA
Fat Head’s Brewery in Pittsburgh PA
Crean’s Brewing in Ireland
Flagstaff Brewing in Flagstaff, AZ
Lumberyard Brewing Company in Flagstaff, AZ
Bridge Brew Works in Fayetteville, WV (via Pies n’ Pints)
Wheeling Brewing Company in Wheeling, WV
Chestnut Brew Works in Morgantown, WV