Monday, March 29, 2010

oh scotland ye beautiful.

Design: Landscape Reclamation. Year three.

In this project I tried to distil and reconstruct the landscape that makes the Highlands what it is. To take all the components and separate them to them put them back together again but in a slightly different order. The plants are so much what make Scotland so special and I wanted to showcase them and bring them into focus. And at first plant them in a strict pattern to then let them grow and spread, as they want. To let Scotland take over and be what it once was. So you can see the change from year to year and have evolution happen right in front of your eyes.

For this project I also made a quilt that symbolised my thought processes and what Scotland represents for me.

Overall this was an emotionally loaded project for me, whilst struggling with the thought that I am not right for Landscape Architecture I had to produce a new piece of landscape and be just what I couldn’t identify myself as; a landscape architect.

Feedback from Lisa Mackenzie:
You present a rich array of concepts in this project, during the crit the external visitors felt that a further explanation of the way you apply concepts to structure and form for the site could have been addressed more clearly. It is important that you let analysis and investigation inform some of your design moves.

For example – How might some of your ideas been applied to the south west of the city?
What is the relationship of your ideas to the edge of the water?

You have an ability to pick up on intriguing and curious external inspiration, if you can also apply principles from an understanding and reading of the site and context you will sharpen yours skills and make better projects.

This is often about thinking about scale and the difference between MICRO and MACRO.
I appreciate that you found the project a challenge and I am glad that you pulled together your work towards the end of the semester. I particularly liked the ideas about management with sheep and the strips of gorse.

Demonstrate a knowledge of a range of complex issues associated with derelict land: C
Demonstrate a basic understanding of ecosystem restoration using the principles of landscape engineering: C
Design at a range of scales, strategically and a over time: C

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"i'm in the grip of a hurricane, i'm gonna blow myself away"

I'm doing two projects right now that both are about Islamic cultures.

One is for my architecture and the City class, my group have been assigned Timbuktu in Mali. We're analyzing the structure and the grid of the town. History, demographics, traffic flows. Everything. And just as we speak I'm doing my first ever Nolli Map. Interesting stuff.

The second project is the one in Dubai. The design project. Every group has to come up with one site specific sculpture that includes some form of renewable energy. So much fun.

That's why I'm so happy I found this film on youtube. It's in 10 parts but it's so worth watching each one.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"it really really really could happen"

I usually find inspiration in the weirdest of places. And often things like this can stay in my head for weeks.

Just love, love, love it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"hold the earth above me, lay down in the green grass"

Design, Landscape Planning & Ecology. Year two.

This was an interesting project and it is always a great experience to work in groups. The project was set in Dunbar and it was the first project that had a wider concept than just a park or a housing development. We were asked to find a new profile for the town to attract more tourists and improve the overall living standard.
The first half of the project we were divided into different research groups that all had different subjects. My group focused on the biodiversity in Dunbar and that meant hours and hours of reading documents given to us by the council. I found this fun and a good practice for doing research. Many times I often skip doing thorough research because I want to start designing straight away and that is never ever good. It always backfires somehow when you need to explain the choices you've made. So, this was really, really important for me on how to prepare myself before designing.

In the second part of the project we got split up into new groups so that one from each group ended up in a new one and it was now our research showed to be important in every part. To be able to deliver a good project like this one you really have to know all aspects of the client. I.e. Dunbar. Euan Maharg, Jono Burgess, Nicholas Gruter and I spent several weeks in the studio focusing on finding relevant solutions for a sustainable town but also to add more fun projects to attract visitors and make the people of the town more proud of Dunbar. We came up with an overall plan on how to make the town more self-sufficient, with local produce and Saturday farmers markets. We also connected the town with the so popular cycling route that runs along the east coast of Scotland. We had great fun doing it together and I learnt so much from the boys, my Photoshop skills improved dramatically as they showed me new techniques and pushed me to try new things. We were all very proud of our project and got very good response from the Dunbar council when we presented it.

Feedback from Simon Bell:
The work on nature conservation was a good summary and ...(have no idea what he wrote) of a lot of detailed material. The plan contained many original ideas, though was somewhat weak in the use of green corridors.

Application of skills and knowledge in the design and planning of large-scale landscapes: B
An understanding of sustainability as it relates to landscape architecture: B
An understanding of the main principles and concepts of landscape ecology: B

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"the flowers you gave me are rotting and still i refuse to throw them away"

It's fun studying here in Brisbane! Right now I'm doing research on both Timbuktu and Abu Dhabi. A little bit different from Inverness to say the least. For the Abu Dhabi project the whole class is divided into research groups and then one from each group are joining a new design group for next week. Super fun. The brief for the project is from an actual competition. Definitely different.

My research group is investigating solar panels and photovoltaics, my task is to find examples of renewable energy in art. Just love Sara Hall's projects. And ZM Architects Solar Lilly for Glasgow City Council is really refreshing.

The research on Timbuktu is for the class Architecture And The City, one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken. And on the lecture the other day I won a large chocolate bar because I was the first out of 200 students to identify a picture on the slideshow as Paris! Haha.

I'll keep you posted on my progress in the different subjects.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"sittin' on the dock of a bay. wastin' time."

Oh! I'm so excited about this year. First of all just being in Australia has opened up so many things in me. Hopefully I can figure out how to utilize them to their fullest!

The classes I take here are so totally different from the ones at ECA. First of all there are so much more people. (One class I take has more than 200 students in it..) And secondly, it seems that they are more theoretical. I have one design course and it's as big as the other three. Interesting.

I'm taking Landscape Design 5, Architecture And The City, Landscape Construction and Interior Design History. The last one I had to change to just because my first choice of Environments In Transition clashed with Construction... Hrm.

Today second week of classes start and I'm as excited as ever! Will upload more portfolio stuff soon, first I need to write a reflective review on the Industrial Revolution.