Today I had my last university interview in Canada for Waterloo's Architecture Program in Cambridge, Ontario. I started the day by writing a précis in the afternoon. It was harder than I anticipated but I think that is because I haven't been reading as many challenging books as of late. As well, I was feeling nervous and I don't think that helped very much.
In the afternoon I had my interview at around 4pm. I was asked quite a few questions including:
-What have you been up to this past year?
-Where were you studying?
-Did you apply here last year?
-Why did you choose London over this school last year?
-Why have you come back now for an interview?
-What is a building that you particularly like and why?
-What architects have inspired you and why?
-What did you learn in your time in London in terms of schooling?
-Can you tell us about the theme of your paintings?
-Have you travelled around to the rest of Europe?
-Where did you travel and what did you think of those places?
-Do you have any questions for us?
I found it hard to gauge how I was doing for this interview because of the lack of facial expression. I guess their ability to remain impartial is a part of the process. I definitely had answers to the questions they asked because I've spent time reflecting on my decisions and my time in London.
I find out the results of this process May 1st. At the moment I am still unsure about what to choose. On the one hand, Central Saint Martins offers a very creative environment both within the school and within the city. The style of teaching is also very independent which I've found from this past year has really helped me to grow in terms of being self-motivated, self-driven by finding my own reasons for doing what I do. On the other hand, Waterloo offers a very tight knit community and the foundation to develop a very strong skill set on and off the computer. They also offer a coop program where students get placements within practises throughout their time of studying. They have rotations between in school semesters and work semesters. Both schools offer something of value. I guess it just depends on which what I find more valuable: a creative environment or practical long-term work experience.
April 21 (before getting on the plane):
-Plan and cut out parts for final model.
April 21-22 (on the plane):
-100 word project summary for banner.
-Plan 4 images for banner.
-500 word evaluation of project.
April 22 (Archway):
-Finish model (or at least try to get enough to done to photograph).
-Progress tutorial with tutors.
April 23 (KX):
-Finish model and photograph.
-Finish preparing images for banner.
April 24-28 (2pm):
-Finish presentation sheets.
Today I arrived at around lunch time. I came straight from the airport as my flight arrived at around 10am and my suitcase was relatively empty, except for my unit 7 work. I was quite tired though because my flight was overnight and I didn't sleep very well on the plane, which I guess is the norm .
I spent some time working through my final design for my model after the influence of this precedent by a student at the Bartlett. I have finalized it into a section of a street view with buildings on either side of the street and steps two and three of my typology on the façade of each building. I find that this helps to convey the most information in a visually appealing way so I am quite happy with that.
One to one progress tutorial with Laoura:
Unit 7 Checklist:
Workflow journals and information file - Make public for tutors to view prior to assessment. Finish up whatever needs doing.
Sketchbook - Update my sketchbook by adding my final proposal and visualizations into it. If I decide to work more on my presentation sheets, I can always photograph my pages and size them down.
I am glad we talked about this because I was getting a bit desperate about filling up the last few pages of my sketchbook. When Laoura mentioned that I should have my final visualizations in there to communicate the story, I realized I had forgotten that the sketchbook was supposed to be a narrative of sorts. It is very messy right now. I think I will need to label the pages somehow to help the tutors to understand what is related to what.
Worksheets - Add final visualizations and continue working on them.
I have planned out all of my worksheets so this shouldn't be a problem. Of course the pages can be changed if necessary but other than that, I know what will be on each sheet. The ending sheets are a bit less finalized but I think that will change once I finish my model.
Development models/test models/material tests - Submit all models made for assessment in a box with labels/tags on each model.
Final model photographs - Aim to have the model done enough to photograph for tomorrow. If not, finish it by Thursday evening and photograph Friday morning with my own camera.
Final proposal visualizations - Be sure to display the information in both collages and drawings (section, plan, elevation, axonometric, etc.).
Final model (size and base) - Add a wood base underneath my final model for sturdiness and support. The base does not have to be visible. Choose wood to allow it to recede into the table so that people will focus on the actual model if you intend to have the base visible. My model will be approximately A3 size.
Lights/iPad - Not required.
Banner text - My banner text is written and at the moment it just needs a final edit before submission.
Laoura suggested that I submit an A5 booklet of about 5-6 pages outlining my typology, site, and perhaps a few visualizations. She says I can just photograph my A1 presentation sheets, size them down, print them and back them on some nice card of some sort. This way people will have a better understanding of my project as they will have the typology to reference.
I was going to edit my banner text to be more specific about my typology by mentioning the different steps but now that I think about it, perhaps I shouldn’t because if the banner is general, and the typology is displayed in the A5 booklet, there won't be any redundancy of information.
Banner visuals (4 images) -
1. Sheep visualization.
2. Wood concept model 1 visualization (plan and elevation).
3. Site model with roads for context. Darken the roads by hand on sketchbook and photograph or redraw them on photoshop/illustrator.
4. Final visualization of one or more of the typologies depending on what I get done.
Final evaluation - Most of the text is written. Reread and edit again to make sure I've covered everything. As well, put it up on Workflow and narrow it to 500 words for submission.
-Update bibliography; Harvard style.
I spent all of the day and the evening and the better part of the night working on my final model.
Things I learned from model making:
-I am finally beginning to understand model making and the way to see volume and form in three dimensions. I am also starting to see a structural development in my work which I am very happy with. I think part of this understanding came from seeing Sean Hamilton's work in class. He showed me his sketchbook and work, which I knew was very structural from our previous joint assessment, but this time around it really hit me. I saw the way he problem solved in his models and the way he pushed himself by making his forms out of interesting materials. For example, for his Unit 7 final model, he decided to make a mold of the bus stop he was designing and he was trying to figure out how to incorporate the stairs into the mold to make the model as clean as possible.
-I am working with a lot of different materials. This ended up being because of trial and error and seeing what material would yield the best results. It is a bit frustrating because I spent a considerable amount of time crafting things that I didn't end up using but I wouldn't consider it wasted because I now understand how to manipulate different materials much better than before. It was also a relatively costly process but I guess to an extent, that cannot be avoided if I want to experiment with these different types of materials.
-I am also working towards making my models as clean as possible. I used to rely a lot on the hot glue gun for my models because it is a quick solution to many problems. The problem with that is that it is not as clean and professional as I would like. Lately I've been working with PVA and UHU glue more. At first it was really annoying because the length of time it takes to dry is ten fold if not more compared to the glue gun but the results are much nicer. I decided to try PVA because I saw the way Yuma was using PVA for her cave structure. I was surprised by how cleanly she manipulated the glue and how she was able to achieve such intricate results with something that seemed so gooey and messy and inconvenient.
-I realized that though my model isn't hard to make as the structure is quite simple, it actually took me quite a bit of time because I tried to be as clean as possible. I realized part of the making is solving how to put things together in a tidy and efficient way which is what takes time. I realized I have to think very far ahead in terms of fitting things together so that I don't encounter too many problems along the way. I found it also helps to draw out the pieces, label the measurements and the amount that I need of each piece so that it becomes manual work and the brain can focus more on problem solving of making instead of trying to remember what is what and what fits where.
-I learned that there is a compromise between using nice materials that require the workshop and materials that I can cut at home. On one hand, plaster, metal, thick wood and plastic are really nice materials. On the other hand, they require that I be at a certain place during certain hours to work on them. This wouldn't have been a problem if I had not been away for quite a few days for my interview in Canada. Instead, I ended up replacing plywood with balsa wood, gerprint with acetate, wood glue with PVA, UHU and hot glue and polyboard with mount board (but that was more for accurate cuts as I had to cut out shapes in the middle of the material).
-Up until this point in Foundation, I have avoided the final model because I found it to be very daunting. I made a lot of concept models but those require very little planning. It is more of just playing around with materials and ideas and seeing what happens. Now that I've finally worked on a final model, I realize the amount of planning that needs to go into it and I regret poorly managing my time to accommodate for it. I realized how helpful precedents are for final models. To see a certain technique or material used a certain way is very helpful because it allows me to put different techniques and materials together to say what I need in my model.