The new American Dream: 100K(+ 20) | Starter Home

Final Meeting Time by thomas kearns
May 3, 2011, 2:48 pm
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We will be meeting this week during our scheduled final exam date and time.  This is Thursday May  5 at 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.  You should be prepared to demonstrate your final projects.  You will have until Saturday to finish your blog posts, refine your first and/or second projects.  Good luck, see you on Thursday.

final review by thomas kearns
December 3, 2008, 9:38 pm
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The final review will be held on Friday afternoon in our studio in 3410.  For this reason it is imperative that everyone clean off the walls and clean out all of your workspace materials before Friday morning.  I will be arriving as close to 12:00 as I can to facilitate moving of the desks and desktops to accomodate a review.

I would like for all those who are not in an IPRO to be in studio pinning up your work by 1:00.  I have asked the jurors to arrive between 1:00 and 1:30.  I would like to begin as soon as we can so that we can finish at a reasonable time.  Due to budget cuts I can not supply everyone with food, but I will bring some refreshments.  If you would like to grab a lunch and eat lunch with the jury and I before hand that would be great.  For everyone with an IPRO, please make an effort to have your materials in the studio and ready to be pinned up before you go to your IPRO meeting.

RE: presentation materials

you should have the following

-background/midterm information
– big section perspective or model
– site plan + floor plans
– exterior elevation(s) or perspectives
– key selling point documents
– print out of the master page with category totals

Wherever possible you should use 11×17 prints and/or plot early, rumor has it printing has been a bit of a nightmare.

Cost Estimation Worksheet by thomas kearns
November 28, 2008, 5:34 pm
Filed under: meta-studio

The revised and updated cost estimation worksheet can be downloaded, see the nav bar to the left.

2nd Half of the Semester by thomas kearns
October 20, 2008, 5:10 pm
Filed under: meta-studio

I hope everyone had a fantastic break, and is rejuvinated and ready to work hard on the second half of the semester.  As I have mentioned before, we will be changing gears and diving in to things at a larger scale.  The goal of the next phase of work is to explore the core concepts, through the projects construction and materiality, of a specific section of the project.  This might be a slice, a corner, a wall, a portion.  It should go without saying, but the condition you choose should be the condition that best represents your project.  We will be looking first from a spatial point of view and then from constructability.  Through this investigation you should have a more acute understanding of the cost implications allowing for a more accurate final estimate.

The goal will either be for the production of, 2 to 3 – 3dspace + material study images or a large scale physical model both with a revised cost estimate.  We will dedicate 4 1/2 weeks for this part of the project, with a public review of the finished drawings or models a week before thanksgiving break.  This should allow ample time to revise projects through the production of a small rendered construction document set for the end of the semester.

Drawings are to be 1-2 fully rendered 3 dimensional sections drawn to fill a minimum of a 24×36 sheet size, at the largest scale compositionally appropriate  to the scope of the subject matter, this could result in approximately 1/2″ = 1′-0″ foreground scale  for your entire building or upwards of 3 = 1′-0″ for a smaller section thereof.  Students who choose to drawings must complete atleast 1 interior sectional perspective and 1 in-situ exterior rendering and if desired/necessary 1 additional drawing of either type.  Physical models should be of quality material construction akin to a 2nd year model at a scale of atleast 1/2″ = 1′-0″ for the entire house, or a larger scale relative to what would be the equivalent drawings (see above) of a portion of the house.


Mon Oct 20th – 1 hr mockups + quick group review

Mon Oct 27th – all drawings mocked up model framed out

Mon Nov 3rd – spatial group review – progress

Wed Nov 12th – constructability group review – progress

Fri Nov 14th – Begin Final production Drawings + Models

Fri Nov 21st – review w/guest – Drawings, Models, Cost analysis

REVIEW STARTS AT 1:00 on WED ROOM 10 by thomas kearns
October 14, 2008, 4:56 am
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please be pinned up, and ready to go at 1:00.  We will begin as soon as the jurors are there and there is work to be reviewed.  Please work towards printing on Tuesday.  This is a real deadline, make it count!

im running late … see you soon by thomas kearns
October 6, 2008, 6:38 pm
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as the title says

Monday September 29th by thomas kearns
September 29, 2008, 1:40 pm
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I am recovering from a sinus infection and will not be in studio today.  Everyone should be working towards completion of your cost worksheets.  I am glad to see that pages have begun to be added, if you havent seen already, I made a sample page (site construction) and an index page please create new and add to index as necessary.  To begin class on wednesday, we will have a disucssion about the range of budgets encountered through your work (everyone should have compelted as thorough take-offs as possible from their drawings with corresponding costs before class begins on wednesday) and spread over the second half of wednesday and friday’s meetings we will do desk crits.  Good luck, please be productive in my absence.

Upcoming Dates by thomas kearns
September 24, 2008, 7:11 pm
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I would like to draw attention to some key dates and milestones that everyone should be working towards.  Ultimately our largest objective is to continue refining the design strategies that support the core concept(s) of your houses, with a major design review scheduled for October 15th the Wednesday before fall break.

For this review you will put together a formal presentation on large format printed boards, size and orientation of your choosing.  Presentations should elegantly and concisely articulate your parti + fundamental concepts, introduce and explicate unique building technologies and strategies (i.e. rainwater harvesting, straw bale construction, green roofing, etc), thoroughly document the design through necessary (but not necessarily complete) plan, sections + elevation drawings, and represent the spatial/material conditions either through renderings of a computer model or a scaled physical model.  The winning presentation boards for the 99k house project are ideal examples of the scope of the presentation and a marker of a desired level of quality/craft.

Prior to this review we will have two milestones that will support your work towards the midterm review.  On Wednesday October 1st students should have completed an initial budget analysis on a co-related set of revised drawings (quantified(drawing takeoffs) + qualified( group researched construction costs-see below).  On Monday October 6th all students should have a revised set of drawings (that reflect value engineering + project refinement post budget analysis-the leaner, meaner … yet still conceptually stable proposal.) with commitments to all necessary building technologies and systematic approaches.

Construction Cost Research
We will be discussing in studio, and organizing the group effort for, a constuction cost investigation.  The objective of the investigation is to clearly and concisely create a rule-of-thumb guide for estimating the cost of your proposals.  We will organize the data as pages (not posts) on the class blog, as such you should understand that your “mini-site” should be worthy of being a public document of record and theoretically should be of value to a large population of designers in practice (therefore accuracy through valid and documented sources is critical)

Schematic Design Review by thomas kearns
September 15, 2008, 7:32 pm
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On Monday September 22nd, we will be having a schematic design review.  Due for review on this day will be the following materials.

physical model at either 1/8″ or 1/4″ scale, preferably larger.  Note this is not a parti model or a massing model but a schematic model that should express the core conditions of concept – space/volume, shape, materiality, transparency etc. Goal is not realism but clear understanding/expression of design ideas and general form at a true scale

1/8″ = 1′-0″ site plan showing the roofplan of the house and architecturally or environmentally significant landscaping ideas and including at least a portion of the front street, rear adjacent lot or alley and at least the next adjacent homes (street if you or on the corner) in their entirety.  If your proposals are responding to the position of the sun it would be good to add a degree of relevant diagramatic information without obscuring the inforamtion of the drawing itself.

1/4″ = 1′-0″ floor plans for each floor showing at least the most adjacent site conditions, such as access points, or immediately adjacent site fixtures, i.e. planters, etc  Walls can be a solid or hatched poche and do not need to speak to assembly methods.  Sufficient interior objects should be included to understand space planning, i.e. furniture + fixtures.

1/4″=1’0″ sections taken at key formal locations, sections must include relevant interior + exterior elevational information and should match the plans in their scope (see above).  At minimum one longitudinal and one transverse section should be developed, many proposals will need more than one.

1/4″=1’0″ exterior elevations, quantity should be tied to an undestanding of the materiality of the building, in otherwords one may be sufficient but more may be required.

please have all materials printed and hung by 2:15 on Monday, location to follow.

Seeding the blog by thomas kearns
August 26, 2008, 1:55 am
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As we discussed in class this afternoon, you will be using this blog as a repository for research on issues and technologies related to the objective of designing a progressively designed affordable house.  To begin with you are asked to complete thorough research on a number of topics listed below.  This should manifest as a series of blog posts related to each topic.

Select four topics of investigation to research within the following areas.

Material/Building Systems: This might be something like a cementitious cladding system or a particular material like fiberglass.  Research should include thorough cost information both for materials/systems and for its installation.  Wherever possible thorough specification information should be included along with pertinent detail drawings and precedent examples.

New Technologies:  This is a fairly open area of investigation, but likely topics will fall into either newly accessible sustainable technologies such as wind turbines or water reclamation and smart home technologies that automate processes, create interactive spatial conditions, or otherwise extend the space of the home through digital technologies such as computer controlled illumination.

Social/Cultural Issues:  These topics will likely center around accessibility, federal or state housing programs, the homogeneity of the common American subdivision, cooperative neighborhoods, etc.

Precedents:  Quite simply this would be the research and documentation of a relevant precedent project.

As stated above each of the four investigations you are responsible for should include multiple blog posts, with each post accounting for a sub-topic.  Posts should include media and proper references + citations should be included.