One Month and Counting…

One month from now we will be experiencing the culmination of Studio V.  It’s hard to believe,  considering we are just beginning Project 2 – our temporary movie screen for the screening of “Citizen Architect” in Cannon Park.  Plus everything that goes along with a public event for hundreds of people.
After our review Friday, and with some helpful input from Professor Harding up at Clemson, we reconvened this weekend.  We decided to pursue the self-supporting hammock / pocket knife scheme, but needed to make several adjustments and understand numerous details before our Monday submittal to the Design Review Committee.

Our current idea involves a brick laminate wood system that unfolds from a single beam with two large arms hinged in two places and a series of cables keeping it open and supporting the screen in tension.  The details of these hinge joints have been a major focus over the past several days.  We hope to simplify the joints and other details in their appearance, function, and assembly, stripping each element to only its essential qualities. This is proving to be a new way of thinking for many of us, and certainly for me.  The difficulty is obvious when we try to explain ideas to one another – attempting to convey the movement of how something works in a sketch, or understanding the forces that will affect an idea simply from looking at a drawing.  Though this project concerns less than a typical architectural assignment (in terms of area and program), it seems a bit out of our comfort zone and therefore more challenging.  As Professor Pastre noted in yesterday’s blog, we are designing a product to be used over and over, in front of lots of people and without us there to explain it. It’s an intimidating thought.

We are also developing the design of a trailer built specifically to transport our screen, as we hope it will be continually reused in the future.  Ben is leading the charge on this torpedo-like beauty at the moment, but ultimately the trailer and movie screen will be completely integrated in their design.  Since we are essentially hosting a party for 300 people, we have a lot on our plates beyond just the movie screen.  We prepared the first draft of our site layout today to share with the Design Review Committee which includes a seating area, restrooms, a tent for concessions, and, of course, the movie screen and all its lighting, sound, and set-up accoutrements.

During studio this afternoon, Professor Huff reviewed our scheme and offered some insightful feedback.  His major concerns were structural, but we received a positive review, and so far nothing seems to be unsolvable.  By the end of studio we had divided up into three different groups – one to focus on resources and overall planning, one to focus on design of the movie screen structure, and one to focus on the design of the trailer.  We submitted our materials to the Design Review Committee, and hope to make a lot of progress between now and our presentation on Thursday.

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