ruralstudio

Presenting Ophelia’s Home

October 9, Ophelia’s Home was decided! The last two product line homes the 3rd-year studio considered were Mac’s and Joanne’s and the cut was made after a final sprint of drawings and a group discussion Wednesday morning. The 3rd-year students will be building an iteration of Joanne’s home for their client Ophelia.

The very same day the students presented their plans to Ophelia and her family. Here’s to last minute decisions! 

The 3rd-years set up their work on site, and Ophelia, her family, and Mrs. Patrick (last year’s 20K client and Ophelia’s neighbor) sat outside while the students presented Joanne’s Home and the specifics of how and why this home would be best for Ophelia.

The presentation included technical drawings but also a site model and with a version of Joanne’s that Ophelia could keep. The group then moved around the property to podiums of perspectives for the client to look and see the potential views of her new home from various vantage points.

The presentation to Ophelia concluded by walking through a one-to-one mock up of the new home where the students plan to build it, showing every rooms and the views from every window.

The 3rd-years are so excited to have chosen a home for Ophelia and she is so happy with the one they chose! And on that note, both are ready to build! Stay tuned as the studio takes their design into the dirt. 

Elective #1 – “Drawing the Obvious to See the Hidden”

This semester, the 3rd-years are participating in an elective class about “Drawing the Obvious to See the Hidden” with their studio instructors Emily McGlohn and Chelsea Elcott.

This elective combines drawing and rendering with the art of quilting to craft a homemade artifact to give to their client at the end of the semester. Their hope is that this quilt will serve as a reminder of the fond memories and feelings of the home she’s lived in for nearly her whole life.

The first step in this process was creating a rendering of Ophelia’s house that shared some point of view into her life and how she lives in her current home. Students came up with many great ideas like elevations, sections through the neighborhood, and axonometric plans. They also played around with color, negative space, and perspective to make for a very diverse and well rounded group of renderings.

Currently, the 3rd-years are honing their sewing skills with the help of Aaron Sanders Head (who also help during the fabric dying workshop) by sewing their first iterations of their quilt squares. The goal of each square is to portray an abstracted representation of their rendering and tell a story of miss Ophelia and her home.

The latest excursion for this elective was a day long field trip to Gee’s bend – a small community women who have been crafting beautifully vernacular quilts for generations! While there, the 3rd-years got to watch these women at work and talk to them about their quilting process and the tips and tricks of the trade. It was such an amazing experience to see and experience a group with such a strong presence in the community’s past and present, explore their workplace, and learn from their craft.

The 3rd-years are working hard to apply elements from all their courses to their everything they do to enhance the overall quality of work and their experience here at Rural Studio!

Workshop #6 Jake LaBarre

With his extensive background in construction and carpentry, Jake LaBarre has been teaching students how buildings come together and how to detail them since 2011, even acting as 3rd-Year Visiting Assistant Professor at Rural Studio for a year. Jake lives in Seattle, teaching a design-build studio at the University of Washington, and he currently works at Building Work.

The Detailing and Construction workshop, taught by Jake LaBarre, taught students how to begin detailing buildings. The intent of the workshop was for students to gain a better understanding of constructability through the examination of the order of operations in detailing. In order to achieve this, the workshop examined past Rural Studio projects to learn why and how they were detailed. In order for students to even think about creating their own details, they first needed to understand how other buildings were detailed and why those decisions were made.

This workshop acted as a complement and follow-up to the earlier Contemporary Structures, by Emily McGlohn. Firstly, it provided a better working understanding on typical components used in building assemblies. More importantly, Jake stressed the importance of not relying only on flat two-dimensional drawings of wall sections using three-dimensional drawings but to use three-dimensional drawings as well. This became clear to students when they constructed drawings of axons for the same buildings they had previously drawn sections for in the Contemporary Structures workshop. Students realized just how much information was not included when just shown in section. By drawing out how materials come together, the kinds of fasteners that were used, and the three-dimensional thicknesses added another layer of information about how the buildings were constructed.

Students gained the confidence to know where to start detailing. It became clear that before beginning any project that they should first do thorough precedent research. With so many details out there—even just in the catalog of Rural Studio projects where previous students spent a great deal of time figuring out the detailing—so there is no need to start from scratch.

Stacks on Stacks on Stacks… of Drawings

Let’s charrette!

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.  

The collection of charette diagrams

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” …