Urban Research Studio_Design 5_Urffer2015

  • For the Fall semester of 2015 the Design 5 studio focused on urban conditions and the research of urban settings and applying this research into the designing of spaces in said setting. For several of the projects the studios worked together with one another as well as group projects within each individual class that explored elements of the urban environment, with the focus being the city of Philadelphia as our urban hub. 
  • Project 1- Systems Study
  • For the first project one student from each studio was teamed with another person from the remaining studios into teams of 3. The mission of the project was to research a system in the city based on a selection of topics (water, transportation, education, nutrition, etc.). My group was tasked with researching the education of the city of Philadelphia, from which my group and I broke down the issues within the educational system and graphically interpreted these issues into a booklet. 
  • The following images are 3 of 19 pages in our booklet that displayed issues in education such as daycare enrollment, school closings and funding per student, and graduation demographics for public universities (light purple), private universities (medium purple), and for-profit universities (dark purple)
  • Project 2- Transect Study
  • For Project 2 the studios worked in teams again, this time the teams were comprised of 3 students within each studio to document a segment of Center City Philadelphia and find traits that define the transect area. My group and I covered the Blue Transect, a one-block wide path which streched from Arch Street by LOVE Park and ended to the south at Pine Street near the Kimmel Center. 
  • Four of the characteristics my group and I found in the transect, and diagrammed to show the displacement of the traits within the transect, these displacements are known within our group as heterotopias, which are a space that is unique within its surrounding
  • Project 3- Urban Equinox Charrette
  • Project 3 was a week-long study on a light installation located within an open lot on Walnut Street between 16th and 15th Street. My project was a skate park installation that intends to absorb light during the day to make up for the limited natural light entering the site during the day, and glow during the evening through artificial lights to attract people to the installation like moths to a flame. 
  • Two of the perspectives of my installation for the charrette showing it during the day and at night
  • Project 4- Program Proposal
  • Project 4 was an in-class project proposal for the same site as the charrette, except this time the students from each class proposed a programmatic intent for the space. Each studio came up with an idea for the site and then created a booklet justifying their intent and providing information regarding the program requirements, as well as zoning laws for the site as well. My class proposed an architectural incubator sponsored by the AIA that goes by the name of FORuM which is a space where new design firms could have access to resources that will further their development as a firm and send them in the proper direction towards creating a successful company.
  • 5 of 23 pages in our class's program proposal for an architectural incubator building, which we dubbed the FORuM Design Incubator 
  • Project 5- FORuM's Beacon
  • Project 5 ended the semester as the realization of our class's Program Proposal for FORuM. Now that the program was established, the students as individuals were given the opportunity to design an architectural incubator using the program requirements with their own approach. I chose to focus on the accessibility of resources within the incubator to be available to both the public and the people inside the incubator themselves. This approach culminated as a towering material wall that spans the entire height of the building displaying the materials available to the incubators and aiding as a method of getting the multiple incubators as well as the public to interact with one another and create an environment of collaboration and education.
  • The detail section of the material library showing its plethora of swatch samples
  • Indiviidual elements of the board and the complete board (below) displaying my intent with the site
  • Overall what I learned from this semester aside from prioritizing pieces and time due to the semester's immense workload I gained an appreciation for the study of urban settings and seeing what potentials losses and gains can be made from working in an urban setting. I finally got to design a skyscraper which is something I always wanted to try, so I'm glad to have had the opportunity to do so thanks to my class's choice in program. I've gained a greater appreciation for the urban environment in spite of its limitations. 
    Thank you for looking through my portfolio!