Studio Ideas and Inspiration


Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 29 March 2010


Since a lot of us used watercolours for our hybrids, I thought this might be relevant for future explorations with the same media.

This is only a couple of them, there are more beautiful paintings in that link!



common sense.

Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 26 March 2010

Something to think about when you are designing your stuff.

The Derivative of Architecture

Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 15 March 2010

So I took Calculus as an elective this semester and I feel like the an idiot for doing so.  When I’m juggling studio, psych, art history, practicing calculus is the least of my priorities.

But in order to justify my sad decision, I decided to research on how I could use the pains of derivation, integrals and limits into my design.

At the most basic level, calculus is used to calculate the area of an irregular shape or the volume of a solid surface.  Both of these can readily be extended to the field of architecture: if you were to build a rectangular structure, calculating the square footage is a simple matter — but if one or more of the walls are curved, for example, you’d need to use calculus to determine the area of the structure.  You would also use calculus to figure out how much concrete would be needed to pour those curved walls…

At the advanced level, calculus is essential for the engineering that goes into designing large structures.  Another simple example:  Suppose you’ve designed a large structure that you want to support on a series of concrete columns.  If you wanted to place the columns every ten feet, what diameter columns would you need to build to support the structure?  How about if you wanted to place the columns every sixteen feet?  Now what size columns would you need?

I learned that calculus is actually an extremely part of design.  In actuality, calculus is the reason why we have buildings that curve, Gothic windows with pointed arches, structurally sound buildings and ‘organic’ forms.

I guess in our artsy program it isn’t something we have to focus on too much, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Watch this, though!

Listen to this video while you’re drawing… The things he’s talking about is some pretty cool to keep in mind.

Plus, it makes me feel like I didn’t make a totally stupid decision that may brutally kill my GPA. :).

– TN

Incomplete Manifesto For Growth

Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 12 March 2010

Bruce Mau Design is a studio in Toronto and Chicago that focuses on  using design to make radical ideas a reality.

One thing that really attracts me is their manifesto that they have on their website. It’s a nice philosophy to live by and I hope all of you guys believe so too :)

Some great points include:

1. Allow events to change you.
You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

2. Forget about good.
Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.

3. Process is more important than outcome.
When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to
be there.

4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

9. Begin anywhere.
John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

Check out his entire manifesto here!

Find out more about Bruce Mau here!

Burnin’ for inspiration…

Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 5 March 2010

Just some things I found that I wanted to share. Click on the images for a bigger size.

Source: Various Artists on DeviantART


Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 27 February 2010

RV’s and trailers get a lot of bad feedback as they have this connotation with a lower-class lifestyle.

However, one designer changes it all with the MiniHome – a fully functional, solar-powered, 8 ft., pre-fabricated home.

Check out the video!

Think about what you can do with your space in the city. Can the limitations in size help to create a revolutionary solution?

Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 12 February 2010

It has been a very frustrating term, filled with laughter, tears, cuts, cardboard and 4AM lip-syncing. But now we’re done and ready to have an amazing reading week!

When you’re not catching up on your readings (which we will do, of course), think about how you can transform the world around you into something interesting. Much like how we interpreted our fragments into something new, change common objects into exciting opportunities for design.

Here’s an example:

See more:

The Works of Bruce Goff

Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 4 February 2010

Here are some designs by Bruce Goff – an architect that I find very inspiring.

Perhaps no Twentieth Century American architect was as fearless as Bruce Goff. His only parallel in the art world might be to outsider artists today. Frank Lloyd Wright even advised him to avoid studying at an architecture school or risk losing what made him Bruce Goff in the first place. But though he remained classically unschooled, he became so proficient in his art that he was appointed head of the Architecture Department at the University of Oklahoma.

I found his work last year in high school when I was researching on gay architects. It’s refreshing to find exciting designs from artists who aren’t white, heterosexual men.

Read the article on him here:

Hole in the Ground

Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 29 January 2010

In underground home designs, this unusual house plan is the collaboration between the Netherlands architects at SeARCH and Christian Muller Architects. This underground home, located in the Swiss village of Vals, is set amidst a cluster of mountain houses and if you don’t look carefully you might miss it! The most striking thing about this stone house is the majestic Alpine view through a wide, elliptical opening in the hillside, revealing spacious outdoor entertaining areas that lead to the home’s main entrance. Another entrance from a nearby barn leads residents and guests through an underground pathway, providing an alternate entryway into the home. The circular opening in the mountainside allows for lots of windows, which flood interiors with natural light while framing the stunning mountain views.

– TN

Use your sketchbook!

Posted in studio 1a_2010 by tnsquared on 21 January 2010

Got a bad case of art block blues?

Can’t figure out a solution to your design?

Are you just plain bored and aching to get your brain running?

Here’s a good idea: use your sketchbook!

Sketching is a great way to create a quick visual representation of what you are trying to communicate. It’s surprising that very few students actually sketch before they start their drawing. I have to admit, I do it sometimes when I feel rushed to start a project. But how can you start laying the brick before even knowing what the wall is going to look like?

Through drawing, we also learn how certain problems will arise if these hypothetical plans and sections come into reality. Will they really fit? Will this building stand? Through the design process, sketching will help you understand your concept more thoroughly.

Just remember that the design process is evolutionary – it changes throughout time. Sketching will help you figure out different solutions you may have never realized in your head.

Plus, it looks really cool! Doodle it up :)

“Nulla dies sine linea” – do not let a day go away without drawing.



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