Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thesis: Design Method

Work in progress: Design Methodology

The ideas of this thesis depend heavily on user interaction within the built urban environment. When beginning my design methodology I will begin by heavily researching my site location. I will start by going to the site and recording any intuitions I have towards the site. I will diagram and record what I am feeling as I transverse through the urban setting. Sketching on-site will be greatly beneficial in this stage. I will want to sketch moments that I find interesting. I also want to photography the site, not just overall photographs, but also detail and “artsy” photographs to gain a different perspective on the site. The site analysis should occur several times, during different times of the day (morning and evening rush hours, weekends, weekdays, and weekend nights). I will step back and observe the site as a new comer without any preconceived notions towards the site. This will be hard to do, but I will need to remove myself from the all vantage points, and take on the role of the architect. The architect needs to assess what is happening in the site and see what the positive and negative aspects of the site are. I will have to assess what the broken connections are.

Following my initial attempts at discovering broken and neglected spaces, I will examine the history of the site. I will use the Sanborn website to download maps from the ever-changing urban site to research how and why the site exists today. It will be important to research the progression of history not as dates, but as a catalog of social events that combined and culminated to create the cultural node that exists. This research should examine not just what is occurring on the local level, but also on the global level.

Following the research of historical influences on the site I will begin looking at and diagramming the physical site trying to find any tangible relationships within in urban fabric. This will include looking for nodes of use (residential, commercial, industrial) and diagramming their relationships and boundaries. I will also diagram what is happening on a day-to-day basis such as circulation paths, junctions of meeting, and zones of tourist activity versus zones of local citizen activity.

By looking at the zoning of spaces I will be able to see where the combination of tourist and native spaces do not overlap and propose solutions to how they can be blended. The ideas will resonate with how the user relates to the site, and how my installation can improve this connection.

Once the site analysis work is complete I will have specific areas that occur near or around one another. These junctures will be transformed through the integration of installations. I will need to see which sites will benefit more from permanent installations versus temporary installations, versus impromptu installations. The use of modeling, both on the computer and by hand will help me discover the correct locations. I will create a large-scale site model of my site so critics and I can better understand specific relationships of the site. It will be difficult to create a large model, but I think it will be more beneficial to create it at that scale. (1/8th or 1/16th)

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