Creating a meditation space for the grad students is probably a much needed thing. We first-years go crazy throughout the night but we can oftentimes hear the the later year and grad students above us cackling like hyenas. A meditation space would be a helpful change of environment for them to go to after a long night at the desk or lab. A student may plan his day around the space in that he could do laptop work, reading and other non desk work in the space so that when he is finished he can comfortably move back up to the studio and his desk. In a way a student could think of his work load as a way of moving from space to space; making a psychological shift away from being frustrated by a huge workload and dividing that workload based on the spaces. Rather than trying to get everything accomplished at the students desk he can think of the work in pieces according to what types of tasks can be accomplished most comfortably in what space. In the way that the space is a meditation away from the lab or desk it is a celebration as well because a student entering the space has a clear conscious of what his plan is as far as how his workload goes and how he will tackle it by part not by whole.
From my celebration window project as well as my from what I see in the transposed smaller versions within my Meditation/Celebration space is that during the day light filters through the fragmented places of the rock forms as well as shadows when the there is less light. perhaps I can make this duality more apparent in the model than it was in my window as the room seems to have much opportunity and space for light and shadow existing together.
While discussing how we could go about abstracting our Celebration/Meditation Stoel informed us that a large part of the design process is that we often times have to hold contradictory ideas in our minds and work them both rather than transpose or dismiss one for the other. He encouraged this mode of thought so that we can act out our creative ideas and not be discouraged by common project restrictions. This way of thinking encourages and stimulates creativity so that we don't fall into traditional expected designing.
Machinery and utilities on the outside of a building as the decorative aesthetic is a definite juxtaposition to traditional architecture in that these things are often hidden from the viewer and covered by a sheathing whose purpose lay in its decoration. The Mummer's theatre (below) exemplifies this juxtaposition of ideas. It seems to hold these juxtaposing ideas of what aesthetic decoration is in a balance, much like what Stoel has instructed us on doing.
The phrase "we are not designing a lounge" has been heard from Stoel many times throughout our design process for our meditation/celebration spaces. I've learned the painful way from our 3rd skin project to focus on the project objective rather than my own. During the critique Stoel told explained how much of my design process became hampered by my desire to create something with the literal function of a table rather than light. It really wasn't about light I'll admit and from the grade I received (C+) I've learned to focus on light and not creating something I want and putting the project focus on the back-burner. I received a much better grade (an A- !) on the window treatment celebration project because I forced myself to think more about light as well as how to abstract my concept of a dialogue between rocks and water so that I am creating something with a function of light. Therefore Stoel's weekly phrase really sinks down in me perhaps more so than the other students because I want to create a mood based on light as a function rather than a lounge with a predetermined, predictable facility and function.
In thinking about my window project in relation to the celebration space it seems apparent to me that the window project placed within the celebration space is about monologue as it provides a basis for the rest of the room to work off of. The window speaks to the room. The room's challenge is to take that speech and translate it back to its floors walls and structure; out of 2-D and into 3-D. Creating the same mood or creating a different but successful mood is the challenge.
The culmination of the past week's successes and disasters have finally paid off into a meaningful lesson- to do what the project statement asks for. But learning the hard way (as stated above) has made this lesson more apparent in my consciousness. I now feel more confident about seeing the project focus as a true guide to design rather than a hindrance.