Monthly Archives: August 2012

Charrette

I am about to ask my students at CCNY to embark upon designing their projects now. The usual course of events is to develop a concept, do site analysis, precedent analysis, etc. I want to upend that process and ask them to design first in a charrette. The thought is this: through the act of attempting to design, questions regarding the site and the program will arise that will make the analyses more profitable, and will lead to the generation of concepts.

These are to be representations that are as complete as possible, and use the skills built in the last four years. These aren’t sketchy, though they are schematic. The student should endeavor to put down all of the ideas s/he has been thinking about for almost the past year that they have been thinking about this stuff.

As examples, I am including the produce of a one week charrette conducted in a third year studio. While there isn’t a huge amount of detail, there is a wealth of ideas. They are drawn like architects drew them. The architectonic language is abbreviated in the interest of time, but the ideas are represented and they look like they had fun – there is life to them.

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Shahira Hammad

I recently came across this proposal for the Westbahnhof train station in Vienna by Shahira Hammad. I was oddly taken by it’s Gaudi-esque/Alien-esque appearance. It follows an idea, however, and creates a strong mood. She’s quite young it seems, but has developed a clear language already. I’m curious who she has studied with, and what the influence might be. This is also difficult to discuss in relation to comprehensive design. There is no clear notion of how this might be made, what the actual enclosure is. But I will say, if I have students coming up with ideas such as this, I wouldn’t shut them down.

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