Boston Common

on boston common (reblog)

Landscape Notes

As the “Hub of the Universe” Boston touts many firsts.  The first public library, the first subway system, the first swimming school and pool in America, the first public secondary school and the first public park in America – the Boston Common.

For a list of Boston firsts visit:

Whether Boston Common is the first public park in America is open to interpretation.  Other parks, including Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut (the first city in America to spend public funds to build a public park), Central Park in New York City (America’s first major park intended solely for public use), Wilkes-Barre River Common in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (the first waterfront park in America located in the first town to design a park into its layout from the onset and  recognize it as a park by any form of government) and Plaza de la Constitucion in St. Augustine, Florida…

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on fall 13

Fall ’13 addressed the urban farm and the issue of food deserts, or communities without access to fresh produce. The purpose of the studio was to examine an existing building, which was once a shoe factory, and to apply concepts of adaptive reuse; we basically took the existing building and refit it with a program that aligns with our client’s vision. The effort with the client was collaborative, as he also has an architecture degree, and we pushed the ideas of aquaponic systems to develop the program and project. The attached site is the fruits of my group’s labor.

on praising shadows

“The cleanliness of what can be seen only calls up the more clearly thoughts of what cannot be seen.”

Jun’ichiro Tanizaki – In Praise of Shadows

Our next project is a bath house.  It leaves me to wonder what qualities of a bath house, besides a place of cleansing and rejuvenation, this kind of space could enclose.  In thinking of a bath house, I begin to think about the process of bathing.  There is a precedent, someone who has been in the fields tending to their crops all day, that they feel the need to relax.  They approach the bath house, steam emanating from this singular structure situated in a serene setting, undress, and water molecules slowly fill their pores, the same pores desiccated by the searing sun earlier in the day.  Steam continues to pour out, in gentle tufts carefully ventilated by slits on the roof.  Twenty minutes, thirty minutes, almost an hour.  The steam is no longer.  The man emerges, still bare,

on fall

the fall semester is over and this blog was neglected for the better part of it.  I thought I’d resolve this issue by using this as a collection of thoughts for the forthcoming semester, concrete.  in this post is my work from the past semester, which I thought was deserving of an A based on effort, but I digress.  here it is in summation:

Int_Lobby_01 Int_Kitchen_03 Int_Kitchen_02 Int_Stairs_04 Int_Bays_02 Int_Stairs_01 Ext_East_Patio_01 Ext_East_Patio_03 Ext_West_Eave_02 Int_Stairs_02 Int_Stairs_05 Int_Stairs_06 Int_Stairs_07 Sect_01 Sect_02

these are just renderings, and the diagrams and programmatic models I left out intentionally, but know this is a firehouse based on experiential spaces.  well, architecture is a process anyway.

on final project

Our final project is based upon the concept of creating a database of drawings.  We wanted to use the framework of Draw Something! in order to create such a database, where players would draw a picture after being provided a word, and then guessing an existing picture.  Since the complexity of the project was beyond the scope of the course material, we decided to remove some of the qualities of the game and brought it down to “Draw!”.

The process of designing a game as complex as draw something involves several classes.  One of the key classes is the color swatch on the top of the screen.  The start button would begin the database by calling upon a predetermined word and clearing the contents of the screen, which at the beginning of the game is simply the start button.  The word is displayed on the top right corner, and the player uses the Kinect system (or a mouse) to draw the displayed word.  Upon completion, the program should take a screen shot of the image drawn and save it into the database with the word pair, and display a drawn picture for the player to guess.

The second part of the project would have involved a guessing mechanism with 10 letters, x of which belong to the word itself and the rest filled with random letters.  We created the class for this as a preliminary set up, but didn’t have the time or knowledge to complete this portion of the project.

At the end of the project, there would be a database with a series of words and a series of pictures paired to the word.  It could be beneficial to observers to see how long it took a person to draw a particular picture, its complexity, and how long it takes for another player to decipher the drawing.  I would be interested to see how players with certain handicaps, perhaps closing their eyes or drawing with their non-dominant hand would react to such changes.

A copy of the unfinished script can be found here.

on draw something project

For the final arch 430 project, Lauren and I decided to make something less complicated than the project outlined in a previous blog post.  We decided that because of the complexity involved in writing code for four separate stations and having it sync to one source, we were going to follow the trends of handheld (mobile) gaming and make a kinect version of “Draw Something”.

Basically, we’ve dumbed down the game to make it easier to code since, to be frank, coding is a completely foreign language to the both of us.  The player competes against the computer, and upon finishing a drawing, the player’s drawing is stored in the database to be accessed by another player.  Through this process, we would have about 15 words with 100 different drawings for each word.  We want to use this information later on to understand how people can interpret simple drawings at different speeds using different visual cues.  Though the complexity of storing a drawing into the array is mind numbing, we’ve trudged through and hopefully will have a working prototype on Thursday.