The new group of 3rd-years have arrived and hit the ground running (with maybe a stumble or two) as they begin the process of taking over Ophelia’s Home project and start to get acclimated in their new spot for the semester. Before discussing the details of their project, the students took a tour of several past Rural Studio projects to familiarize themselves with the town and other 20K Homes around Newbern. Once touring and neckdowns were completed, the initial goal for the newbies was to look through all the hard work last semester’s 3rd year group put in to creating the best version of Joanne’s home for Ophelia. One of the first steps was to understand the foundation and the reasoning behind some major decisions made in the design.
New kids on the block… Meet the 3rd-years!
Adam “Slow-Movin” Boutwell
From: Bay Minette, Alabama
Joke: Today my brother asked me, “Can I have a book mark?” We’ve been brothers for 21 years and he still does not know my name is Adam.
Hobby/Talent: Professional snapper
Yearbook Quote: “Mountains never meet, but people do.”
Alex “Old Soul” Harvill
From: Tampa, Florida
Joke: Some people think prison is one word… but to robbers it’s a sentence.
Hobby/Talent: Riff on the air guitar.
Yearbook Quote: “Surely you can’t be serious”
Daniel “Go-To Goatee” Burton:
From: Prattville, Alabama
Joke: My friend keeps saying, “Cheer up man, it could be worse, you could be stuck underground in a hole full of water.” I know he means well.
Hobby/Talent: Amateur chopstick craftsman
Yearbook Quote: “There’s a stack of freshly made waffles in the middle of the forest! Don’t you find that a wee bit suspicious?”
Elizabeth “Parking Services” Brandebourg
From: Auburn, Alabama
Joke: Two guys walk into a bar, but the third one ducks.
Hobby/Talent: Wildlife photography
Yearbook Quote: “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
Elle “MNOP” Whitehurst
From: Peachtree City, Georgia
Joke: Ask for more info.
Hobby/Talent: Can talk with mouth closed
Yearbook Quote: “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley”
Hannah “Trevor” Moates
From: Ozark, Alabama
Joke: Did you hear about the new corduroy pillow? They are making headlines everywhere!
Hobby/Talent: The Auburn Eventing Team
Yearbook Quote: “Better is the enemy of good.”
Jackie “The Marine” Rosborough
From: Deerfield, Illinois
Joke: I’m addicted to brake fluid, but I can stop whenever I want.
Hobby/Talent: Making coffee. Try a pourover from me to decide if it’s a hobby or a talent.
Yearbook Quote: “My vibe is like, hey you could probably pour soup in my lap and I’ll apologize to you.”
Jasvandhan “Jay” Coimbatore Upendranath
From: Coimbatore Tamil Nadu, India
Joke: ur mom
Hobby/Talent: Binge watching
Yearbook Quote: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days, before you’ve actually left them.”
Jooyoung “Tree” Lim
From: South Korea
Joke: Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9.
Yearbook Quote: “Your secrets are safe with me… I wasn’t even listening”
Lauren “Patio” Deck
From: Aurora, Illinois
Joke: Your workout routine
Hobby/Talent: Black belt taekwondo
Quote: “No pain, no gain.”
Luke “Shamus” Killough
From: Huntsville, Alabama
Joke: I’m in architecture for the money.
Hobby/Talent: Can shred on a kazoo
Yearbook Quote: “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I know I’m doing it really, really well.”
Shijin “Surgeon” Ding
From: Qingdao, China
Joke: At Disney I heard a mother talking to her son say, “We’re in the happiest place on earth. Don’t let me slap you.”
Hobby/Talent: Photoshop, InDesign, CAD, Sketchup
Yearbook Quote: “Your hair is winter fire, January embers. My heart burns there too.”
For the first week of studio a good ‘ol fashioned pull-planning session was held to create a rough to-do list in order to get the project done in time for Pig Roast. The studio was split into four teams that consisted of framing, enclosures, MEP, and interiors. Although there’s a lot to be done for the semester, this framework will allow the project to be completed smoothly with a competent team of 3rd years (good luck finding one!).
(Kidding, they’ve got this.)
The first few days on site were spent digging drainage trenches and preparing for floor framing which will occur next week. The first steps to the floor framing was to place the girder in order to secure the joists. Gravel was poured into the trenches which will surround the drainage tile that is to be put in place.
The Halloween Reviews week is here! This week for the big review, the 3rd-years presented their 20K design and research for 20K Ophelia’s Home. Much of the busy week was spent in preparation for the Thursday review and their group costume, the “Last Supper.”
The 3rd-years finished their final quilting blocks in the elective class just in time to be hung and presented alongside their initial renderings. Aaron Head (local artist) returned to lead a sticking workshop on Wednesday as the students begin the process of actually “quilting” the quilt top, batting, and bottom together. Those couple hours of stitching were so peaceful, a pleasant break from studio work.
As Halloween grew closer, the students rapidly worked to finalize plan details, construction documents, and presentation flow.
On that hallowed day, guest reviewers Marlon Blackwell, Mike Newman, and Katrina Van Valkenburgh, alongside Rural Studio faculty, probed the students about the decisions they made behind their work, gave insightful critiques, and encouraged the 3rd-years in their research to improve the design of 20K Ophelia’s Home. Overall the review was a success!
And the students did enjoy itself all the while! The reviews of the 5th-year and master’s students were extremely interesting and engaging (not typically a word used to describe review days) and it was great to see what the rest of Red Barn was up to. Tuesday was the annual community Pumpkin Carve with the Halloween celebrations and costume contest on Thursday. The disciples definitely enjoyed themselves.
Since it’s almost half way through the semester, its about time to meet this years fall semester 3rd-Year Studio! Instead of the usual Q&A post, the 3rd-years decided a quiz would be a more fitting way to get to know the crew. Take the quiz to find out which Rural Studio 3rd-year you are!
PS: Did you notice the Polaroids of the students? Taking Polaroid pictures of every studio is one of Rural Studio’s favorite traditions. Whenever a new group of students arrive, they are photographed, scanned in, and pinned up around Red Barn for everyone to see. Here’s a close up of the fall semester 3rd-years!
In order to start thinking about each of the product line homes on Ophelia’s site, the 3rd-year studio has done hundreds (!) of drawings. They started with a charrette exercise to quickly sketch their ideas on paper and compile an initial understanding of the 20K Project, constraints, and opportunities.
Then, they split up into teams of 4 or 5 and each team was assigned a different product line house. Their assignment was to test the houses’ compatibility with the site and the “fit and feel” of the interior relative to their clients needs.
The main challenge of this year’s house was figuring out how to accommodate a guest that might stay for an extended period. The group used many different types of drawings to help them better understand the opportunities for growth within the house, specifically different plans options of each house along with vignettes showing different ways the client might use the space if not for an extra bed. They also worked out how the foundation will be built and function in each product line home by using sectional drawings.
In addition to the more technical drawings, the 3rd-years also sketched diagrams and perspectives, crafted a site model with the three standard product line homes, and made porch detail models for their specific proposals.
They repeated this process of drawing and presenting until the Studio and instructors felt they could comfortably and unanimously eliminate one of the proposals from the running because it would not be right for their client.
Through this process, the 3rd-years have since eliminated one home and will continue to explore and develop their ideas for the other two product line homes and how they will best work for their project. Stay tuned to see what product line home this studio will build for Ophelia!
Oh yeah, and every Wednesday is “haiku Wednesday” …
These kids have been here for about month…and haven’t stopped sweating since. The 3rd-Year Studio is such a small, diverse group of students who work together in Red Barn and live together at the Morrisette campus. Throughout the semester, they create their own blended community — full of fresh baked pies and domino games — and work hard at becoming better architects while learning about the people and this place that’s their new, borrowed home.
Instead of the paper and pens of syllabus week, the 3rd-years had shovels, gloves, and paint brushes for what is called “neck-down” week. This first week, everybody participated in small jobs around our campus and became intimately familiar with existing Rural Studio projects.
And after neckdowns, the 3rd-years had their first assignment; the Sawhorse Race. The students split up into teams to design, build, and test a pair of sawhorses. They also measured their tool trailer in order to design an organized and efficient system for tool storage.
The students then participated in two lovely days of water coloring and charcoal sketching in the annual workshop taught by Frank Harmon and Dan Wheeler, learning to use drawing as a way of seeing.
This semester the 3rd-years are going to build a home for our neighbor Ophelia! What a privilege and honor! Ophelia currently lives in a site near two previous Rural Studio projects, and this past week the 3rd-years documented her current home and property extensively to try to understand the constraints and opportunities they may face during the project. The presentation team has interviewed Ophelia, getting to personally know the women that the students will design and build for.
The 3rd-years are also participating in Rural Studio’s first quilting elective! Local artist Aaron Head lead an indigo dyeing workshop using locally grown and found indigo, poke weed, and osage to hand dye natural fabric and wool… and themselves. They will use these materials throughout the semester to piece together a quilt that displays beautifully abstracted renderings of Ophelia’s current home.