test

site series // a test 008

20180901_unitsketch_05_edit

a test 008 –
1 UNIT: space under construction
OCCUPANCY: n/a
TYPE(s): architecture, new building
AR/TIFACT(s): 03

A new vehicle has entered the scene. It was at work in the background before while the CAT was busy clearing and moving dirt. Concrete’s almost complete. The calm before the storm that is Steel to arrive on site.

 

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test

site series // a test 007

20180901_unitsketch_05_edit

a test 007 –
1 UNIT: space under construction
OCCUPANCY: n/a
TYPE(s): architecture, new building
AR/TIFACT(s): 02

The Cat’s still around busy backfilling the foundation. Slab on grade is in place. Suspended slab formwork is in progress, and the main level peri system formwork boards are getting craned in.

Sitework is progressing way ahead of my tests, but we’re making headway finally! I went to a mini lecture recently where Bjarke Ingels came to Toronto to talk about the new development going up on King West. There is a plan in place to interject my site series with a test from there. Not sure how the numbering will solve itself yet.

Did you see the new ipad pro? The forever question of do I need it vs do I want it.

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muse, test

Site Series // a test 006

a test 006 –
1 UNIT: space under construction
OCCUPANCY: n/a
TYPE(s): architecture, new building
AR/TIFACT(s): 01

As with my last few, developing unit tests based on my
own personal experiences has been the easiest way to learn. It also helps me go from experience
> pen > paper > digital production > blog
a lot more smoothly. Amidst attending
lectures, visiting site tours and hobby doodling, in my day job, I am still a
full-time (almost) architect. What better place to extract from?

The project I have been on for the past two years is finally
under construction, and being both blessed with great leaders and lucky to have
seen all parts of the project so far, I am now able to drop in site to watch
the building physically take shape. And so this next series (an undetermined
amount as of now) will be an exploration of ground-up architecture. This test actually compiles a few phases of the start of
construction. From site preparation and soil analysis to formwork for the
foundations to sheeting foundation walls with the proper water vapour barriers
and insulation. These diagrammatic tests are in no way an accurate
representation of the exact building construction, but they serve as an
illustration for the phases that I get to observe when I go to site.

There are
currently already several technologies utilizing mixed reality to not only aid
the construction process, for example in commissioning or building inspection
that enable users of a hardhat + visor to get a digital augmented visualization
of the innards of the building as it is getting constructed. One such would be
Daqri’s Smart Helmet. Pretty neat. My idea is focused more on a
finished product detail, but that isn’t to say am AR overlay couldn’t be
applied early on during it’s construction.

I’m excited
for this series because I can see a lot of growth out of it, even if all the unit will ever show is the corner of a building. The only sad part is  the CAT won’t always be in the
picture.

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test

a test 005

A test 005 –
1 UNIT: built space
OCCUPANCY: private office
TYPE(s): architecture, renovation
AR/TIFACT(s): 04

 

Back after a mini hiatus of busy busy. I finally got into the inside view of test 004. I don’t think it’s quite where I wanted but I also have a new idea for a new test series, so I wanted to move on with that. I may have to steer clear of interiors for the time being, it’s not working out too well yet.

Stay tuned, I’m back on a roll.

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test

a test 004

A test 004 –
1 UNIT: built space
OCCUPANCY: private office
TYPE(s): architecture, renovation
AR/TIFACT(s): 04

IDEAS:
This is WeWork’s first Toronto location, 240 Richmond St. W. I thought about rotating the view to start looking at the interior fit-out initially, but opted for the envelope view instead. The reason for that being that in an interior fit-out project, understanding the base building and envelope would come first – knowing the structure, existing mechanical or plumbing routes, materials, etc. For example, they found an excessive amount of asbestos in the ceilings that they had to get rid of before even making any headway with the fit-out.

Once there is an understanding of the shell, then we can run right into the interior. Perhaps this test can have a part 2 where I look at the interior.

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test

a test 003

A test 003 –
1 UNIT: built space
OCCUPANCY: private, semi-public
TYPE(s): architecture, landscape, renovation, addition
AR/TIFACT(s): 05

IDEAS: xx

A reflection of both the ideas from Pedagogy and Reconstruction, based loosely on the recently opened UofT Daniels School of Architecture building. Working with existing buildings is a lot more difficult than building a new one from scratch. The addition as well as interior outfitting have to work symbiotically and coherently as a design while bringing a fresh perspective, all while addressing programmatic challenges. The details at the juncture would be specifically interesting to take a closer look at.

Is colour strange? I’m still working on the graphic consistency and a style that I would be happy with.

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muse, sketch

Architecture + Research

The architect and mathematician Christopher Alexander once suggested that architectural design was the obligation to create “an intangible form in an indeterminate context.” This can certainly be true of the serious, ineffable qualities of good design. But in our modern age, the practical context is increasingly determinate, and outcome-based design practice—enabled by new attitudes, business models, and technology—will empower us to deliver the real value of both.” – Phil Bernstein (on Architectural Record, “Why the Field of Architecture Needs a New Business Model”)

I used to really enjoy Phil’s classes at Yale. He’s a downright downer sometimes (I mean this in a very positive way!), but speaks some really real truths about the industry. I took
his ‘Exploring New Value in Design Practice’ elective as well as the required Professional Practice course. What he’s summarized in this article is essentially the vein of thought that prevailed in his lectures and seminars.

It seems a little cynical as a designer and artist to be so in agreement with what he’s saying. To be fair, I still believe the real lovers and talents of their craft will still exist and flourish, because good design will always be appreciated and their value upheld. On the other hand however, I will say that not everyone is that designer. Some of us (myself included) aren’t at that peak, and thus exploring new value in the world of architecture
is almost a must. For me, I’m highly interested in research and development.

I’m inspired by firms like Kieran Timberlake and Foster + Partners, who dedicate entire departments to R & D. Most recently, I’ve discovered Superflux (why haven’t I checked them out before!), a studio in the UK that focuses on accessing possibilities of the future and how to tackle them with present day solutions.

While this project has only surfaced recently, a lot of the ideas and interests have been brewing over many years (as I noted in the Pilot), and the more I read and learn, the more interesting everything just gets. You could almost say it’s getting dangerous how many things I have told myself I’m  “interested” in.

It is very hard, also, to stay motivated on something I’m such a beginner at, when there are multitudes of large corporate companies researching AND producing similar ideas. The neat thing, however, is that I’m so small no one will notice as I build my kingdom.
And that, is what motivates me to keep pursuing.

Research needs to combine actual research including knowledge acquiring along with theorizing and ideas generating with doing and producing. Tests aside, within the next few months I will get my hands on ARKit, and see where I can go with those.

Test 003 progress is being attempted. It’s been busy here.

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