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 final


My idea of the final project is highly interactive.  I was thinking of creating a new game that requires all four players, connected with a Kinect camera and a TV.  The players become actors of a greater game, which is projected in the center of Crown Hall.  The image above  is a quick sketch of the set up.  Each corner of the building will have a booth set up, designating their role in the game.  In terms of programming and processing, the cameras will accept all visual input and the TV will output what the other players will see.  However, none of the players will see what the audience sees.

The purpose of the game is to work together to overcome a certain challenge.  Using no audio feedback, the players focus on miming their instructions, much like Charades, to the other players.  The screen, I’d imagine, would be divided into four screens.  The audience watches the four players in Center Core by the use of a projector on a screen, or maybe the projector would project onto the floor.

In terms of the game’s structure, I haven’t considered what types of challenges the players would endure together.  I figure that it’d be some sort of sequence of puzzles, much like Myst.  For example, player 1 may need to hold open a door while player 2 runs in to get a key from a cave, but since it’s so dimly lit inside, player 3 and player 4 hold mirrors to reflect the light.  The challenges can be altered so the game doesn’t require four players at all times.

I imagine the most challenging aspect of this project, should we venture my way, is to coordinate the inputs between four different inputs into one “base”, and then programming a game so that each of the four inputs all control different variables in the game.  In a dumbed down version of the game, I imagine a similar set up, but each of the players have a turn making their bodies into a certain shape–either their own creation or suggested by the game–and it is the other three players’ responsibility to match the pose or lose.

Suggestions in the comments would be helpful.

on cloudgate

With all the attention that cloud gate’s been receiving lately with the “Luminous Field” installation, I felt it necessary to make it my topic in my Image City course.  The assignment was to cover a contemporary issue, object, topic, etc, and to make an image piece using a brief 250-500 essay.  Below are my iterations:

We were also asked to make a video to accompany these slides.  My iteration of the Bean as a social gathering place, through the selective use of Flickr photos (with creative commons licensing!) can be found here.