The aim of this M.Arch thesis is to expose and educate the copper consumer, you, me, everyone, about the true cost of our building materials; the real cost of copper in every sense of the word.
Our society has an innate cultural complicity towards environmental devastation for the sake of material gain. We need it so we take it, caring little about where it comes from, or what truly happens to that place once we have deemed it exhausted of value.
We have, in our need for shelter and convenience, created a site of a toxic magnitude that is foreign to this planet. No natural process can create something like the Berkeley Pit, an orphaned highly toxic copper mine and the works inspiration, and no man-made process has yet been found that can fix it.
My goal is simple; make people think about where their materials actually come from, and the hope that the possession of that knowledge will spur a curiosity, a drive, to find a better way to do things. The world, and our technology now, needs copper. Architecture needs copper now, but if people realize its cost, I hope to drive them into thinking of a future where architecture doesn’t need copper, a future where open wounds like the Berkeley Pit no longer litter our Earth; a future where our buildings heal the planet, not kill it.
The work is a large scale architectural installation. 3000 cubes, each etched with the name of an orphaned, toxic, copper mine. The cube field both psychologically and physically alters one's reaction with space, creating macro to micro interpretations allowing for a true reflection on the vastness of the epidemic.
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Washington State University operates a student run, CSA driven, organic farm on the northernmost end of campus. Currently, students majoring in organic agriculture must travel across town and campus to work, a direct juxtaposition to the low impact, organic, theme of the facility. The school has commissioned a design for small scale housing for to facilitate a living and working environment.
Existing farmhouse typology is this: bunker in an ocean of production; acres of land, an isolated sheltered building, feeding off resources.
This project is an ecological contributor, architecture that isn’t on the farm, it works the farm. The buildings are equipment, contributing to the land, not sucking out of it. An architectural filter, that adapts to the needs of farming, housing, and site, expanding and contracting in unison with need, not against it.
The program is compartmentalized into four pods, living, eating, working, cleaning. All the waste from the first three pods, as well as the farm and its animals, is recycled with a living machine housed in the cleaning pod, producing high grade fertilizer and compost. Each pod, as well as the main storage barn, can shift its walls and louvers to adapt to site and seasonal needs. No fuel is used on the farm, everything can be quickly moved with two mules.
What is a screen? Is it a retractable object that only blocks the sun when we chose? Is it a fixed object that alters it rotation to our desire? Are there just two modes of operation; on or off, open or closed? Can a screen be a wall as well as a screen, or a screen as well as a wall?
These questions, combined with the goals given by Olson Kundig Architects, pushed the research for this screen, questioning the traditional heirarchy of a screening system. We wanted to create architecture that gave the user superpowers, after all, who doesn’t want to see through walls?
The Phi Phenomenon, discovered by Max Wertheimer in 1912, published in his “Experimental Studies on the Seeing of Motion,” is ,succinctly, “the disembodied perception of motion produced by a succession of still images.” It is a perceptual illusion, not an optical one. Your eyes physically see what is before you correctly, but your mind cannot properly put it together, so you perceive the image behind as being whole. Imagine a fan as it spins, your eyes can only physically see through the 20% of the fan that is transparent at any one time, but your mind pieces all those 20%’s into one 100% image. This is the primary functionality of this screen.
A wall that is 90% opaque, blocks 90% of the sun, yet allows for 100% of the views.
A solid wall you can see through. Magic.
Project by Dan Blohowiak & JK Choi
Each transportation method is orientated by traffic patterns, pedestrian loads, and route diagrams; highly efficient. Four transportation methods, four parallel bars, two connecting hallways, no obstructions. Designed to get where you are going in the fastest way possible. The architecture designed as a means of moving people.
Micro divided into a ten by ten city grid, site, offices, and facade are there own counter culture rebellion. Buy, rent, move, take, the site is the peoples’ to have, live, and love in. Newsstands, coffee shops, sculpture, sports, picnics, all occur by simply moving the site to be what you want. Not making money? Spend more and move someplace better. Want to advertise? Put it anywhere. The panels are rearranged by a two pick point/forklift system, taking less than ten minutes.
Sculpture or office? Suspended snakes, writhing with program, look up as you pass by, its beautiful; work inside, it’s even better. A place where you want to go to work.
Monumental mobility. A solid wooden plane held aloft by a metal and chrome base; permanent, and ready to be disassembled at a moments notice.
Students break objects, hence the top being constructed of a series of 2x8s flipped on the bias, bored through and bound with all-thread. The entire table can be de-constructed rapidly for transport, or in the event of severe damage, only a small number of timbers need be replaced instead of the entire surface. File storage slots are dado cut into the sides, and writing instrument containers and planters line the top, softening the weight.
In keeping with the new dormitories LEED Silver rating, it’s built from scrap. The 2x8s are reclaimed wood from a local grain elevator being torn down, and the scrap metal was salvaged from the recycling center.
The finished table now resides in the large common room of the Olympia Avenue Dormitory on the Washington State University Campus in Pullman, WA, being beaten up, abused, and loved.
Project by Dan Blohowiak & Josh LaFreniere
A radical reinterpretation of Kahn's grid of three, which outlined three mesas, three programmatic hubs, and three layers of experience, this expansion fractally subdivides the entire site and new program into a proportional grid.
Programmatic functions are optimized and placed within the grid according to climate and human conditions. Grown along points to create conceptual program massing. Smoothed with mesh morphing rails to optimize spatial relationships.
The finished structure is a geometric scaffold on an associative parametric modelling environment consisting of a subdivided host surface defined through two perimeter curves informed through Kahn's grid.
Each data set of the architecture can be informed by extrinsic constraits, i.e. a local surface vector can be related to sun path, informing the regional articulation of the building evelope and embedding multiple performance optimization capacity into the system.
A small masonry library for the community of Pullman, WA.
By reading the work of Dr. Yogesh Malhotra we understand that "our brains branch as a knowledge management system...each new experience creating a snapshot of data."
Using this as the morphological inspiration for the the form, each area of study branches out. The heavy materiality of the CMU creates a cocoon, enveloping the user in a knowledge branch. The hierarchy is simple, with reference being the most elevated and difficult to access, and children's the easiest. Each limb ends upon a large picture window, a snapshot, orientated at regional views and offering a chance to reflect on the knowledge experienced. Glass blocks inserted at the upswept notion of each branch introduce a complimentary natural light.