Thursday, January 28, 2010

What is the Outward Impact of the Makeshift Shelter?

When visitors enter the Gatewood lobby they will be brought into the context of a grouping of shelters complemented by a community of students. We as presenters will speak about how the spaces are used and maintained. How interiority can be implied as in experiencing the interior from the exterior. We will share the types of scenarios these shelters are part of though our illustrated visions. Knowledge of simplicity and limiting one's self shall be passed on. Illustrations and photos complemented by our own stories will tell of the experiences in challenging design as well as the importance of building a structure as a group forming bonds.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drop Some Aid!

I loved Clarissa Anderson's Fliers where she has black images against the green background. I decided to do something similar. I thought about important symbols first and then about how aid is actually getting to Haiti. Hands reaching up for dropping aid along with the recognizable silhouettes of helicopters makes a powerful statement.

The Snack pyramid

These sketches are based on the narratives my group members posted about their makeshift shelters. A pyramid-like shelter is shown. Pod like placements are in the wall where various snacks are placed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Home in the Wastes

Journal Entry 107


Henry’s little shelter seems to be holding up well for us. He’s so kind to allow us to stay with him for a while. I can’t complain about his grizzly form when he seems to cook all of the radiation out of our catches. He loves our company. He’s happy to see us especially since the few people he does see usually curse him. When he’s aware of our presence he refrains from clawing against the pallets that make up his little structure. I suppose it’s an effort to show us his “humanity.”

The wastes have certainly made their mark on my face. I was beautiful when we lived in the vault. That was no life, and out here free in this tiny shelter I feel less claustrophobic. The wastes build character and muscle. My back is stronger now as I continue to carry water for the shelter’s tank. My son will hunt with his father soon and we’ll have that pile of sticks full of rad-meat. The wastes have certainly taught me that life is not about what you have but who you have whether they be human or… “other.”

Fabricated Space

How can we make this little thing seem larger and less claustrophobic? The above sketches show how I've thought about slanting the walls outward to provide more room while retaining the same footprint. However it seems we may not get to do this since the path areas around our plot are so narrow.

Finding A New light

The above sketches are where I tried to figure out what my version of the structure would look like in plan. Since we decided to have windows made of recycled plastic bottles I thought about a clerestory window. This will also serve the purpose of slanting the roof.

The Snack Shack

One of the main questions that came to me about the makeshift shelter was who will actually be inside this thing? A bunch of people can't gather inside such a tiny space to eat and make food. It seems that the only people who should experience the interior would be the ones making the food. So I envisioned a scene where people walk up and make their order like a fast food joint. Like a drive thru except the guy in the shelter opens his car window instead!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Finding the Light

image courtesy of
So how is this makeshift shelter gonna be lit? luckily my father does residential roofing. I go around with him and do repairs/installations of vents, pipes as well as the occasional... solar tube. During the day these things really illuminate a house. Maybe we can do something with this...

Found Light

I came across this light in Metropolis magazine in the Nov. 2009 issue. The negative space created from the ways in which each light extends away from the whole is very attractive and industrial. I will continue to think of ways this light fixture can be manipulated in my mind for our makeshift shelter.

Makeshift Shelter

image courtesy of

The iconic favela neighborhood of Brazil is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a makeshift shelter. Though not entirely made of found objects they have a "thrown together" quality both in their build and context. My group made up of Haley Preston, Cassandra Gustafson, Veronica Harvey, and myself hope to create the most spatially insignificant (for one to a few people) "snacking shelter." We have thought about how we can consolidate parts such as walls, tables and storage into one as well as how our shelter will be lit. Though our shelter won't be as large as the favelas I still hope to look to the favelas for design ideas based on space allocation and separation among others.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Animal MHRA Lobby

I said I would make animal people scale figures for my next assignment and I had a lot of fun doing it. Animals have great expressions. Since many animals (aside from humans) have seemingly exaggerated facial parts (protruding ears, noses, beaks etc.) expressions can be implied by manipulating these parts. I'm excited to explore this new form of scale figures.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crossing New Horizons

To make my introduction as a T.A. for Suzanne's drawing class I wanted to do something to symbolize the experimental learning characterized by this semester as well as a new drawing style for myself to experiment with.

To start off with I envisioned a guy on a motorcycle looking out to the sunset. I looked up some images of motorcycles to reference. This is always important for me because although it seems like we can just draw what we imagine in our head it's always frustrating once it comes down to really drawing it with all the parts coming together right. I did a quick sketch of a motorcycle to get aquatinted with its form. I've never been around many motorcycles so this quick sketch helped me understand the main points of interest that define the form: The protruding handlebars, the lowered seat, the raised tail fin like rear and the fat back tire.

I then sketched out what I imagined the composition would look like. The first thing I drew was the rear "tail" of the motorcycle since that overlaps all other elements (especially since the motorcycle is foreshortened). These few simple lines indicating the tail are also at an angle since everything will be leaning. Next I drew the man's left leg. The leaning sense of the rear motorcycle tail dictates what position the man's leg will be in, which then dictates the rest of the man. For the background mesas and mid-ground grass I looked up desert photos. Since this composition would be about shadows and bits of color defining the forms, I didn't worry about details too much.

Since this was something new for me I printed out a copy of this pencil drawing to test the style that would characterize its final form. I used a micron and a sharpie to begin making the bold shade on the motorcycle. I left key elements blank to give a "gleaming" effect. To begin building the man over the pencil drawing I once again looked at reference photos of people sitting on motorcycles (all clad in leather) focusing on the wrinkles in their clothing.

To make the sunset I broke out the watercolors mixing some orange and yellow concentrating the color near the top of the mesas and then fanning it out.

With the final composition (below) I copied most of what I did in the test version. I did some simple photoshop stuff to make the whites whiter and the blacks blacker. The main difference is that the pencil lines are erased so that the dramatic black shadows are all that define the forms.