Process – ( Challenges, Flow of Assignments )
During the semester, we have done a number of things such as have daily readings on Thursdays when we met with Professor Montgomery on Thursdays. We read books by Le Corbusier and Jane Jacobs to help us understand the thinking of how a city is designed. I feel that having those readings was very effective because it let us think of how past developers dealt with the issue of street design and city planning. Those seminars were new to me because in my 4 years of studying here I’ve never done something like that where we actually took the time listen to different perspectives. After those seminars / readings, we started to do assignments that helped us understand our own neighborhoods and the relationship between uses and how where we live was designed the way it was. I got in deeper in the typology of my neighborhood in Queens, NY. I always made use of a park that is directly in front of me but I never went out of the boundaries past my site. It’s interesting learning something about the area you lived in for so long.
After learning a little about our own neighborhood, we got put into groups and did another analysis on specific master plan sites that have been developing. I had the opportunity in working with Eliza for that site analysis and we got to understand the master plan of Rosemary Beach, Florida. We did something similar and we find where the public spaces, residential zones, commercial zones, and etc. Those exercises gave us an idea on how cities were planned. It helped me because I then understood how to organize and how to best communicate certain data that I found. I can say that I’ve done so before finding information about numbers on Oasis and creating a map that best illustrates what it means to that specific site. I learned that gathering information like that is very important because it guides the design and you can manipulate your site according to it’s conditions.
Then, we got put into master planning groups and I was in a group with Isaias, Jennifer, and Eliza. We began by doing an analysis of what is existing and all it’s conditions. The trains that are adjacent, what happens around the area, we got to go to Industry city to see the site. We actually went when it was extremely cold but we still went and we had Professor Duddy guide us about the pros and cons about the site. Professor Montgomery and Professor Duddy had us write out principles that were important to how we designed our master plan.
Happy City –
We got to interact with Professor Belli and that was interesting because she gave us an overview of what it’s like to live in a happy city. We were asked the question, What makes us happy ? Some answers were funny and some were touching to us. But the point of the discussion of a Happy City was to make it a pleasant place for people. Make our site and our master plan the most exciting and happiest place that people would want to visit. I’ve never thought about it before but to design a happy city doesn’t sound as bad.
Client Interaction –
After midterm, we shifted from thinking about the master plan to actually thinking architecturally about a specific building that we were assigned. Working with a client was very exciting for me I had the opportunity in meeting artist, Fred Bendheim. He was very enthusiastic and very welcoming when we visited his studio and in Industry City.
Master Plan vs. Architectural Focus
I think that both these approaches work hand in hand. I am very glad that I got to work from the master plan to a specific site to the architectural aspects of a specific building I had to design. I have done a lot of analysis and studies to get where I am today and I definitely learned and grasped a lot in my 4 years studying architecture. I agree that a master plan and the architectural focus are very important to each other. They should have a direct relationship with one another.