Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Well, here we are the last day of class and I have somehow managed to cram all of my blogging in. The whole blogging thing has not been as bad as I thought it would be, except for pretty much doing them all in one night. But that one is all my fault. I do see now how this could be use to the landscape architecture field and others. I just wish that there were less that was required. I think I could have gotten about the same thing with less entries. Anywhoo, it’s over and who knows I may make a return to blog in the near future. I at least need to check up on my mates and see what they have found. And I’m out.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Day in the Life of Living on my Project Two

The utopian lifestyle that will be created on the site formally known as Aiken village will not be paradise for everyone. However, for those who choose to live here the rewards will be numerous. Inhabitants will be given personal satisfaction to know that their daily lives reduce their carbon foot print on the Earth.

“Early to bed, early to rise” will be the common routine living on this intentional community. The sunshine filtering through high windows will help to awaken students from their slumber.
The morning shower will get its warmth from water heated by the sun. Water that goes down the drain will be piped to a garden, where it can be cleaned, nurture plants and be used again to flush toilets in the house. 

Next, everyone heads to the community kitchen for some breakfast. This meal is not always labor intensive, so most of the time, everyone is on their own for breakfast.  Next, it is off feed the animals. Starting with pets and then moving to the chickens, which will provide fresh eggs and occasional meat. Once everyone is feed it is off to class.

After class, everyone will return to paradise to finish daily chores.  Gardens must be checked for weeds, pests and disease. If rain has been absent for a while, irrigation can provide water to the plants from water stored in rain barrels and cisterns. The constructed wetlands should occasionally be checked for debris or trash that may have made its way into the hydrologic system.

In and around the buildings, private spaces will be offered so that tenets can have some alone time away from the group to relax, to talk on the phone or do some homework. These private spaces will be extremely important for everyone’s mental health and to help to avoid social conflict.

Supper time will be an important time because everyone will chip in to bring the meal to the table by using as much locally produced energy and products as possible. The energy used to light the kitchen and heat the oven will be from solar panels on the roofs. The produce on the plates will have been grown in the gardens on site. Leftovers from previous meals were used to make compost that nurtured the plants for the current meal.

After supper is finished and the kitchen is cleaned, students can congregate in the large social space. There will be room for plenty of room for different activities such throwing a ball, playing music or relaxing by a fire.

Support Drawings for Project Two

These are the support drawings that were done to give some character to the master plan. Included are three perspectives that show how the community should look, two sections that show the spaces created between the buildings and an elevation that offers some insight to the thought behind tree selection and the general architecture of a building.

Finished Project Two Plan

This is my enlarged plan for our second project. I am very happy with the way that I turned out. I feel that I created some nice spaces, both residential and academic. I also included a site plan to put the enlarged plan in context and to show that I tried to incorporate all of the elements that were required for the project.

Still working in Class

Day three of working in class raised the difficulty level. Or maybe I just had a bad day. The previous class we were to refine our concept drawings adding housing layouts and do two sections of our site. On third day we were to further refine our plans by adding details. For some reason I had a lot of problem committing to details. I enjoy this pace because it speeds up the design process and we are able to produce more, but if you have a bad day or you brain refuses to cooperate it really puts you in a corner.

Preliminary Plan 1
Preliminary Plan 2

Working in Class on Project Two

For this second project we were challenged to do our work in class. So rather than a week to come up with two concepts, we had about two hours. That is a pretty substantial difference in time. But, I hate to say that Taze is right when he says that students produce the same amount of work in the shorter time frame when the proper amount of motivation is applied. I enjoyed this process not because I like the pressure but because it was nice to have all of our work complete by lunch and not have to worry about it for a while. I am assuming that this will be very similar to the process used by our future employers, if there are any jobs available. So I guess this whole produce by forced pressure will be good for us in the long run.

Option One

Option Two
These were the first two drawings that were due at the end of the two hour class. I chose two extremely different approaches for the site. The first used the hill as the location for all of the housing and class rooms. I did this so that the flatter land could be used for farming. The second option placed the housing closer to the creek in the flatter area.

Project Two Introduction

Aiken Village as of now
Project two was located on a site that most of us grad students know all too well, Aiken Village.  This was the third time that most of us have done a design for at least a small part of the site.
It seems that the apartments on the site have reached a state of disrepair that the best option is to just start over. So, our challenge was to design a new intentional community on the site. This was to be our own little piece of utopia. Looking back I am not sure that I made it quite to that point, after all there are not proposed snow covered mountains I my design.