ARCH3610 Architectural Design VI: Community at Crossroads
Prof. Jieun Yang
ARCH 3610 Architectural Design VI
Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity
Students are designing a community center plus a plug-in program of the student’s choice (i.e. gym, gallery, school, etc.) on a choice of the following two sites that are going through a rapid change of renewal and gentrification:
Site A: 45 Park Pl. in Manhattan Downtown
Site B: 625 Fulton St. in Brooklyn Downtown
Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?
Using the place-based learning, students are expected to familiarize themselves with the conditions of the site, including its urban qualities of circulation, transportation, constraints, and demographic as well as its history which includes recent changes to the site’s urban fabric. Students are expected to understand the stakeholders and vision involved in design process and outcome by having a specific “public” to address. Students are also exposed to ethical reasoning by thinking about the role of design profession in its participation in new developments that sometimes can create equitable public space but can also create inequity and isolation through gentrification.
Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?
This is a semester-long project, and students are expected to present their final design solution at the final review with invited guest juries consisted of faculty members and other professional architects.
The semester is largely divided into 4 parts.
During the first 2 weeks, students focus on the site analysis that requires gathering and synthesis of information as a group.
It is then followed by another 3 weeks of precedent studies during which time each student research and dissect existing community centers and plug-in program of their choice. Through this process, each student must understand and extract useful information such as a method of programming different spaces, circulation paths that accommodate users, and its relationship to the site.
Based on the research on the site and precedent studies, students are then expected to formulate their opinion and stance on the issue through abstract design. The process starts with making of collages and models that address site, community, and plug-in program.
The last 6-7 weeks of the semester consists of continuous development of each student’s design to support their “parti” (main idea) that resonates at multiple levels of relevant topics including site, massing, interior spatial experience, circulation, building envelope, structure, users, and most importantly, the design’s impact on the community and the site.
This project uses the full duration of each class. At times, the class is formatted for a group research and activity. Most times, it works as a thesis development with students continually working on the project and the instructor giving each student desk critique. There are 5-6 informal pin-ups and presentations throughout the semester (excluding the final review) where each student is expected to share their progress and findings with the fellow classmates and instructor for their feedback.
In order to successfully complete the project, average 10-15 hours of work outside the class time is required.
Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?
Since the activity is a semester-long project, it is essential to prepare weekly or bi-weekly assignments to lead students through smaller manageable steps to consider all aspects of the project. Rather than giving the students a list of assignments for the entire semester, each assignment is announced through the Open Lab and meant to compound upon the previous assignment to introduce multiple aspects and considerations needed for a successful project.
Each assignment gives a clear instruction on topics to consider and deliverables. When introducing a unfamiliar topic or methodology, an overview lecture during class accompanies issuance of assignments. The students are asked to submit their assignments through maintaining their own e-blog where they post their progress. Fellow classmates are encouraged to comment, and each student is encouraged to flip back through their past posts to reflect on their progress and spot issues or topics they may have bypassed and require deep-dive.
Each assignment is weighted equally and comprise of 30-40% of the overall grade. The final submission takes on the highest stake by making up 50% of the overall grade. The project as a whole is meant to be a high-stake project, and the expectation on each student is to have a clear, thoughtful resolution of design based on their research for the final presentation. The assignments are meant to help with the process by being more forgiving to allow for a room for exploration and experimentation.
Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?
1. Review students’ creative process (initial sketches through to the final project) by means of frequent pin-ups. (Los: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14-17)
2. Assess the students’ use of professional vocabulary during oral presentations and written work.(Lo: 7, 8, 14)
3. Review students’ ability to incorporate a concept into their design work. (Los: 1)
4. Evaluate students’ ability to write descriptions of building typologies and the surrounding neighborhood and their effective use of information literacy skills. (Lo: 7, 9)
5. Evaluate students’ participation in class discussions regarding students’ written and oral presentations. (Lo: 12)
6. Review students’ accuracy with applying quantitative information to a design scheme. (Los: 10)
7. Evaluate students’ application of design precedents. (Los: 3, 9)
8. Review students’ ability to synthesize circulation, zoning, urban context, and views into a design. (Lo: 14)
9. Review students’ ability to synthesize construction types, hierarchy, and light into building design. (Lo: 15)
10. Review students’ ability to incorporate environmental systems and sustainable concepts into their design work. (Lo: 1, 2, 3, 14, 15, 17)
11. Review of group projects will be based on the completeness of the work as well as the effectiveness of the group’s teamwork and communication skills. (Lo: 11)
12. Evaluate students’ ability to diagram complex media. (Los: 17)
Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?
Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.
Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab