Mayline vs. T-Square, Mechanical Pencil vs. Lead Holder

Today was the second day of Making + Meaning, a summer studio at SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture.)  The studio is comprised of 80 students, half of which are beginning the M.Arch 1 program this fall (that's me!) and the other half are people wishing to gain more knowledge of architecture to:  A) decide if they want to pursue architecture as a career or B) build their portfolios and resumes for grad school applications for next year.

Alexis Rochas is the director and he has a passion for drafting tools.  While I agree with most of his obsession (confession: I've always been obsessed with office supplies) I HATE the fact that we had to have a Mayline on the first day of class and that they cost $220 at the supply store.  Also, why don't they make 48" T-Squares?  Such B.S. really.  The architecture supply market has a monopoly on this stuff.  And they know in today's digital age that you are only going to use that thing for like one semester an then it's gonzo.  Obviously I have an issue with the price of the Mayline, but I admit that it is pretty nice thus far.  I'm highly skilled at a T-Square, but this is nice for a change.  Also given the fact that I absolutely love hand drafting and find it to be a lost art form, I have been quite content in my little studio space the past few days.

Our first drawing was based on a grid system we created the first day with 20 horizontal and 30 vertical lines and dots at their intersections.  Today we had to experiment using other marks such as arcs, curves, dots, lines, etc... This created many intersections and I feel that the important issue at hand is how to address these intersections.  Originally I used points radiating outward in one area, arcs radiating outward and getting more intense on the exterior in another area and then the 30 and 45 degree angles which later became my overall theme.  The original idea, which has now became a background to the angles, was for these 4 different marks to merge in areas of high density and the question of collaboration versus conflict.  I likened the page to a representation of an urban landscape with high density downtown spreading out and converging into the more suburban areas which also have areas of intensity.   Instead it became more about the series of 30 degree angles moving from a few moments of intensity to moments of sparsity and 45 degree angles doing the same but in the opposite directions.  This brought intersections that allowed me to create my own little "weird" shapes, as my instructor told me.  Then this parallelogram shape became my theme with which I completed the drawing, making the entire page visually become one large parallelogram.  When I was finished I realized how three dimensional the piece looked and how my small little weird shapes became almost planes of an axonometric of some sort.

After our drawing was complete we had to chose three 8"x8" snapshots and they were photocopied and put onto a transparent adhesive which we put onto our three sided plexi box that we made.  Tomorrow we get our next step in the design process.  I'm thinking we will use the designs on the plexi to create a 3D piece, though I'm not sure what materials we will utilize, but I am very excited to find out!

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