Proceed + Be Bold….

Now that the 3-weeks-to-go mark is upon us, we, STUDIO V, have arrived at a point where it is now time to PROCEED.


Drawing inspiration from a sign atop the painfully high birding tower built in Auburn’s Rural Studio, I have decided that now is a better time than any to adopt somewhat of a motto for our studio which is, after all, taking so much from the incredible work down in rural Alabama.  I remember when a fellow classmate of mine and I swiftly climbed to the top of the tower to reach the incredible view – it was stunning – when most of our classmates dubbed it “too high.”  More of a feat of engineering in the middle of the cypress swamplands of Alabama, the care and attention to detail was still quite evident in the structure. The cross bracing was beautiful – galvanized steel held together with nuts and bolts – materials you just aren’t used to seeing in the middle of swamplands.  As you climbed higher, the level of intimacy grew, as did the view above the trees, and the space around you began to feel more and more confined (even though it wasn’t).  After a long hike along the swampland floor, the tower provided a sense of relief from the earth, a break-through above the trees – an experience I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Furthermore, if you still weren’t inspired, like I said above, a small sign from an Anonymous donor read – PROCEED & BE BOLD…..

….Which brings us to our studio’s next step – quite a big one in this design process, and as a group, we will see our work in a highly polished state, presented to the Design Review Committee of the City of Charleston tomorrow morning.  Fingers crossed that everything will go as planned, that our boards will look pristine, our model will stand up, and we will all be wide-eyed and bushy-tailed for the meeting….Hopefully, tomorrow, we will create our own break-through of sorts.

I have been working with the highly talented, incredibly obstinate Jim Graham, building a detail model of what we are referring to as our compression pilaster – the key component to our wall system that will be displaying our information for the upcoming bluesphere event.  After several iterations, the slatted, undulating wall form has solidified itself as a firm architectural form with room for improvisation and adaptation during construction.

What I am really enjoying in seeing this project progress is how we are taking a simple concept – be it space formed by a grid of columns, a curved wall, a straight wall, or a couple different undulating walls – and applying it to how we will encourage people to move about the space and also receive information.  In a time where I keep hearing about these “guerilla-type” events happening in cities all over America, I can’t help but think about our project.  It’s almost as though we are taking a public space [Marion Square], and thrusting this bold, architectural form into it without anyone’s permission.  (This is of course untrue, as we will be receiving official permission by the city tomorrow.)  But, you catch my drift here….

How will it be received?  Some kids could just come by smash the heck out of it until it becomes kindling.  Who knows? But I do know that tomorrow will certainly be a break-through – we all have worked hard together, we have each given our input and put in the labor and hours needed to get the project to this point.  It is still only the beginning, but it is nice to all be on the same page, or maybe, all on the same steps up the tower.  I’m confident that from now until the end of the November, we will all certainly continue to Proceed….

and Be Bold.

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