Sunday, February 21, 2010

"and all that i can see is just another lemon tree"

Design, Space & Function. Year One.

I look back at this project with great joy. It was the first real big project we had. I remember struggling at first on how I was supposed to get information on the site as it was so far away from Edinburgh. And what information that I found would actually be of importance to the project? The site itself had been an orchard and it was from there I took my inspiration. My project focused on the symbols of trees, and I reserched the mythology and the history of the symbol. In art it is a commonly used subject and that fell quite well in with the fact that the building on the site was a proposed art centre.
The idea of the design was that the tree structure of the paths and the planting would only be noticable from above and as you moved through the woodland different clearings with video art and sculptures would appear. One of the ideas with the choise of video art on the site was to get people out exploring even after hours of darkness, portable chairs would be up for lend in the art shop, an idea to keep the clearings as natural as possible without to many built structures.

Feedback from Ross Mclean:
The proposal has many strengths in particular the use of a central and clear motif to generate the rest of the design. This is carried through the site well, with varied application from functional structures of the car park, the singular tree specimen in contrast to dense planting. It's good to use a bit of poetic touch in design to appeal more directly to why people and users are moved by landscape. The use of moveable chairs also creates a good interactive idea.
The notion of a forest on such a small site needs to be explored ans demonstrated. At present it doesn't have the impact of a forest and is too clustered in one area, while it could be applied more comprehensively through the site. It is
also not clear what effect the dogwood would have? And how this transition between planting and outer border spaces works. The decking also creates an interesting experience, but seems somewhat isolated from the tree planting.
Graphically your proposal is described well, with good use of sections, diagrams and montages that portray your proposals. The index of materials also is effective at describing what elements make up the proposal.
Overall the use of technology and the manipulation of natural elements create compelling encounters. The arrangement of these elements could have better effect and create more comprehensive site coverage and connection between various elements. Try to rationalize and itensify your ideas a bit more. There is some good thinking here, so be more confident and apply things more boldl

Wow, reading this again makes me proud of this project, it was fun and I enjoyed every bit from the research to the final presentation. The thing that strikes me the most is Ross' last sentence. If I had a penny for every time a tutor have told me to be more bold I wouldn't have to take a student loan anymore. Funny that though, that I've noticed that the more I hear that the more freaked out and nervous I am going in to the next project. In first year I felt like I had quite a strong theme behind most of my projects, something I hope I still have, although I know I've dropped it a bit. I don't know if I have moved away from poetry, history and thematic importance to become more commercial and fit in. Or have I become uninspired and tired or is it all just me being extremely harsh about my own work? I don't know. Funny how this process is supposed to answer the how and why but I just end up dwelling up on it more.
I know at least that this project made me a bit more confident and it was also a great practice when it came to designing hardscape in a better way. I think it was here I for the first time started using planting as a way to solve the issues of pollution and it was here my love for sustainable and ecological design started. I remember reading about Sedum in books and on the internet and I couldn't stop! Overall, I'm proud of this project and I think it gave me a lot more than I can really comprehend.

Site Exploration: B
Evaluation: B
Design Exploration: C
Presentation: B

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Sitting outside enjoying the sun thinking about all the things I've done over the last couple of years at ECA. It's overwhelming in a way. The first feeling that hits me is sddly dissapointment. I'm really quite dissapointed and ashamed of my work load. It's like I know I could have done better but for some reason I haven't. Hopefully I can use this blog to investigate why this has happened and if everything becomes clear to me I hope I can use that knowledge to become the better, more serious landscape architect I know I can be.

The structure for my inputs into this blog doesn't follow a definitive pattern, I'm gonna go through them as they appear to me in my memory or heart. If I'm having a good day I might write about a good project, if I'm feeling down I might take one of those that I'm not very proud of. We'll see what happens. This blog will be a reflection of how unstructured and haphazard my everyday life is. And hopefully I will learn more about myself by doing it that way as well.