Last Friday we had our first review, so someone else besides our professor had the chance to see our initial proposals and give us some feedback. I believe that the fact that our reviewer did not know anything about our studio before the discussion made the feedback that we got so much more valuable. I think our main goals and objectives are really clear, and so is our process of thinking, but the boards that we presented didn’t reflect that 100%. I feel that somehow the scale of the project made it a bit more difficult for us to be visually clear and cohesive in our presentation. We are dealing with almost an entire neighborhood and we want to implement various programs within this site, but because of that the human scale approach is somewhat more hard to achieve. I think that our professor’s advice to work with site sections was really helpful and at least in my case it was a really productive way of breaking down the size of the study area.
What i focused on in particular was the residential part of our proposal. We know that some of our objectives are to increase density, walkability and property value. My thoughts are that these will be affordable apartments, rented or owned by singles, young couples, business people, and in general a younger segment of the population that decides they want to live back in the city downtown rather than going to the suburbs. Why would they decide that? Because it’s cheap, it’s a great location close to both the Strip and the Downtown, and it’s situated in a new prosperous neighborhood that is just starting to get developed and has all these great restaurants, cafes, plazas, or the lively and safe streets. In terms of design I think it would be an interesting idea to deal with relatively small units, and pursue a “customizable” modularity. I want to take into consideration sun angles and passive strategies, and overall achieve a net zero building that is as affordable as possible. I imagine that the first and even second story would be occupied by small shops, cafes, restaurants, a recreation center, and some private community gardens, either on the upper stories or above the parking spaces. Since responding to the needs of the veterans is another objective of ours, I think that they could be engaged in building some of these facilities, or getting jobs inside these shops. Our professor and reviewer raised a good point when they said that the best way of helping the veterans is by giving them the opportunity to serve in any way possible, and to mix them with another group of people, so that their common goal would be that both groups would learn or solve a certain task together. An idea that crosses my mind with this regard is maybe a program where veterans would interact with juvenile delinquents, for the greater goal of maybe learning how to grow vegetables, or build solar panels. They would serve the community, they would learn something new, and most importantly they could make an impact on the lives of the young teenagers, offering guidance and life lessons.
Right now it’s Monday and we are going to have another review with another professor. I think the amount of feedback will be sufficient for now to give us an idea if we are on the right track with this project or not.
This is a great article that our professor Ken recommended to us, click here