Civic Mutations

Thesis Blog has moved to http://www.498nm.com/archithesis/

Urban Remix 2.0

After a lengthy conversation with a friend of mine, I decided to give another pass on the building diagram I created yesterday. Below is the result. [Note: Programs are not set in stone and may change in the course of the semester]

Building Block - Take 2

Building Block - Take 2

Again this is not the design of the building but rather a theoretical approach on how programs might be placed alongside each other within a building. This idea pertains to the initial diagram I created earlier (shown below) and that the interaction between public and private spaces within the framework of today’s social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) has more or less affect how we communicate with each other, and I strongly believe that this form of communication and interaction should influence our built environment [This point probably needs to be argued and proven through the design].  The thesis is in an early stage at the moment  and ideas may be vague or there may be confusion on what’s happening, but any thoughts, and constructive criticism are welcome.

New Method of Interaction in Spaces

New Method of Interaction in Spaces

 

Update: Prepping for sketch problem/workshop in class tonight on Election Day, November 4th 2008.

Filed under: Random Thoughts

Urban Remix

This is in no way the design of the building, but rather a concept diagram on how I envision programs will be stacked and placed. The idea is pretty straightforward, a mixed use of different programs, highlighting different period of the day. 

Urban Re-mix Building Block - Angle 1

Urban Re-mix Building Block - Angle 1

Urban Re-mix Building Block - Angle 2

Urban Re-mix Building Block - Angle 2

So, the two images above are two different views. Components are rather straightforward, a courtyard building, with an internal public spine (open to all -24/7), government offices, residential/dormitory and a retail component on the rooftop. Again, I want to stress that this is just a concept, and not the design of the building, but I think it gets the point across.

Also a reaction to some comments made, I’m not in anyway challenging and define the idea of mixed use. Mixed use is mixed use, a basic component in urban planning typologies. However, what I’m challenging in my thesis is the components of mixed use, public and private uses and the connections between them and how it can affect the life of a building. As for the site, I wish I am able to explore places beyond what my daily budget and transportation can provide me as the school is rather strict on proper documentation of the proposed site. If I were to choose a site say in Africa, I’d have to either take a leave of absence, live there and explore the culture for 3-6 months, document it and design my building as well as looking for a client to support my argument. For my sanity, I’ve decided to choose a path that will work well with my schedule and accessibility.

Update: I apologize if this post sounds a bit frantic as it was written after a long day at one in the morning. I’ll edit it when I get a chance.

Filed under: Random Thoughts

Locus Locust

Finding a site is such a difficult task and the one I have posted below is just a possibility of where I would like to test my thesis at. The selected site is in Boston, of course, because of last minute easy accessibility, but it’s an interesting selection nonetheless. From my visit there over the weekend, I believe it is the future location for the Greenway Center? The design for the building is nothing to die for, and I still don’t know why it’s being planned. It’s the usual residential/retail/commercial. Interesting enough, there’s plan for a supermarket in the building. (Link to news here.)

Being such a prime location, I’m not sure why they didn’t plan for something more interesting, like a landmark with an urban program, instead of the usual residential/retail mixed use. This is essentially the beginning point of the greenway park and could be an important node for the city. There are a few important landmarks around the area, one in particular is the Zakim Bridge and the Bunker Hill monument is a short distance away, as well as the U.S.S. Consituition Museum, and TD BankNorth Garden, home to the Boston Celtics, Bruins and other major events.

Possible Location of Site

Possible Location of Site

View of Site (Southern Point)

View of Site (Southern Point)

As far as the neighborhood goes, the site sits next to the North End, a vibrant community in Boston. The infamous West End is a few blocks away, along with places like Haymarket, City Hall, and the Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market area. It’s a shame that the proposed building will look like this:

Proposed Greenway Center

Proposed Greenway Center

Filed under: Random Thoughts

Open to All

The two illustration below portrays the concept diagram of the conventional and new method of interaction. In the first scenario, spaces are organized within an enclosed structure. Interaction between parties are limited to the paths within the confined area.

Conventional Method of Interaction in Spaces

Spatial Relationship in Conventional Method of Interaction

The people in gray represent public figures, thus the scenario above does not allow any spatial relationship and interaction with the general public.

New Method of Interaction in Spaces

Spatial Relationship in New Method of Interaction

In the scenario above, spatial and social relationship between private and public figures are explored and integrated with public life. At the moment, I don’t have a program to support this relationship between public and private. Suggestion such as a supermarket and a civic center like a courthouse have been made to me, but I’m not fully committed to that idea yet, however, shopping mall/retail is one direction I’m leaning towards. Because the final building will be a mixed use development, I’m not particularly sure what’s a suitable program to go along with a shopping mall that will support my thesis. Maybe a hostel or dormitory?

Filed under: Random Thoughts, Thesis Seminar, Thesis Studio

Diagrammatic Theory

The thesis I’m proposing challenges for a new view and direction in the design of spaces towards the connections of its users, activities and location by using the framework of social networking technologies as a foundation. At present, spaces and method of interaction are created in a rather linear manner, interaction between point A and point B using conventional method is only a one-way communication. Same for connection between A — C, B — C and A — X. Also, if situation arises, X can only communicate with C either through A or by way of X — A — B — C (Fig.1).

Fig.1

Fig.1

However, using the same framework underlying current social networking software, A,B,C and X can communicate within each other through a nucleus, thus creating a more interactive session between the four parties (Fig.2).

Fig.2

Fig.2

Using this application, interaction between A,B,C and X will be tested with a mixture of public and private programs. The complex as a whole will become a catalyst for future developments in the built-environment, perhaps a new methodology in urban planning. This research will aim to provide a deeper understanding in today’s culture, its social interaction and how its principle can be applied to designing a better environment for leisure, work and living. Put it simply, can architecture act as an agent for interaction between the residents within it and the city at large?

Filed under: Random Thoughts, Thesis Seminar

Bits and Pieces

From residential quarters of Mesopotamia in 2100 BC to social networks in 2008 AD

From residential quarters of Mesopotamia in 2100 BC to social networks in 2008 AD

Pulling bits of the puzzles together. Other case studies I’m looking at are FOA’s Meydan Square in Istanbul, Steven Holl’s Linked Hybrid, BIG+JDS High Square to name a few.

 

FOA Meydan Shopping Square

FOA Meydan Shopping Square

Steven Holls Linked Hybrid

Steven Holl's Linked Hybrid, Beijing China

 

Filed under: Inspiration, Random Thoughts

Programming

Within a section of our Thesis Seminar is a class on programming. Below are 2 or a few components given to us for our assignment.

The "T" Word

Task 1: The "T" Word

Task 2: Imagine

Filed under: Programming

Nodes and Connections

Concept Model - Angle 3

First Concept Model

In my last post, the last part on a multiple level courtyard is where I’m thinking of expanding my thesis. The model below is a second iteration of the first concept model I created a few weeks ago. Unlike the first model, (shown in black and white above) the second piece begins to explore connections within a core. In the second model below, the red dot indicates the organic core, created by crossing paths from corners of the cube. An intentional new node is created on the lower right.

Exploration of nodes and connections.

Concept Model: Exploration of nodes and connections.

What does that says? I’m not exactly sure, but throughout the process of creating the second node, the only direct connection it has to the core is on the line where I created the second node but even though I may have started the new node by cutting the line in half,  I’ve created new direct connections to the main core by passing through the second node. The idea is quite interesting and though I might have interrupted the main path, but I’ve also created an agent that could spread out by itself.

The Second Node

The Second Node

Filed under: Inspiration, Random Thoughts, Thesis Seminar, Thesis Studio

An Outline

It has been a long week trying to gather my thoughts and handing in a summary outline of our thesis to the committee for review. Below is an excerpt from the report.

2. THESIS STATEMENT:

State the issues, concepts, and questions that are central to your thesis. Discuss your thesis in abstract terms.

Urban planning as part of the built environment has been an intriguing field of study to me. Through my terms in school, with research, writing and reading that I’ve come across, I began to question the idea behind urban planning. Sure in the past, utopia was known as the ideal world to live in, with many architects in the early 20th century like Team X, Archigram, etc. writing manifestoes and creating master plan for the perfect community. But what went wrong? Why didn’t their plan work? Could our social pattern and logic somehow prevented Utopia from happening? Can architecture instead of urban planning solve the issue for the search of utopia idealism? …

… The issues, concepts and questions to my thesis are based on the understanding and relationship between architecture and urban planning. Issues on our current social framework, securities and economic problems will be explored through the act of building. The concept takes the investigation of the issues further by linking it to the built environment. Questions on social issues and behavior, the connections between urban planning and architecture, social networking and architecture and the impact it creates as well as the results it shapes will be asked and explored.

In abstract terms, my thesis will use the current social network framework like Facebook, explore the virtual connection to the community it possesses to the physical environment, and using my findings, investigate the role of a building as a node, creating a central location and an architecture that is an agent or a device to the urban fabric at large.

3. PROGRAM:

Discuss why you chose your program. How is this program a vehicle for the development of the concepts and ideas behind your thesis? Discuss your program in abstract terms.

I have not determined what my program will be. Ideally the building will be of mixed use and initial thoughts includes a hostel with residential or hotel, retail and government offices or civic places, i.e. courthouse housed in a single complex. As an idea to create density in city and prevent sprawling, other thoughts involve reassessing the idea of a public square and relate the idea of a square into a courtyard of multiple levels serving as a public core in a private complex.

Filed under: Random Thoughts, Thesis Seminar

Random Shots

Beginning sketch of a node and connections

Beginning sketch of a node and connections

Concept Model - Angle 1

Concept Model - Angle 1

Concept Model - Angle 2

Concept Model - Angle 2

Concept Model - Angle 3

Concept Model - Angle 3

Started to give more thought and focus on the big idea for my thesis and it is heading towards a direction which explores the idea of a node its connections. The idea also explores the role of architecture and its influence to the urban fabric by the connections and interactions within the social communities.

Filed under: Inspiration, Random Thoughts, Thesis Studio

RSS Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

del.icio.us links

Up on Facebook

Nicholas Ng's Facebook profile

Dopplr: Where am I?

Blog Stats

  • 23,349 hits