Today was the first day of studio for the Spring 2013 semester in Charleston. Yesterday we were split up into groups, and there are now seven of us in Studio V – Design/Build. Professor Pastre introduced the project and definitely left me, and I’m sure others, extremely excited for this upcoming semester. Basically, our project is to design a GAP certified farming structure to help a local farmer on John’s Island. GAP stands for “Good Agricultural Practices,” and they are specific methods, that if done correctly, ultimately will result in good farming. Through research of GAP certification, we will begin to decide what exactly we want our structure to be and to do. Since most of us heard the term for the first time today, we cannot even hope to understand what our design will look like without research first. What are the most important things we want it to be? What farming processes need to be addressed the most? Is it to be economical? Is it to be easily moveable? Can it be constructed easily? Can it be massed produced? Will it have a sink? These are all questions we will need to answer first before we start to design.
One of the reasons I am very excited about this project is that it is the first time I am building an actual structure in school. I have never done a design-build studio before, and it is a very exciting prospect. This project, specifically, gives us a chance to design something that will have a real effect on real people. Professor Pastre was describing a vision he had for the project today where he saw it almost becoming an icon for farming in South Carolina and beyond. If both economical and easily produced, one would be able to drive down the high way in South Carolina and see a number of these structures on local farms. This project has a chance to have real implications and be sort of a “game-changer” for those wanting to start farming for cheap. If its affordable, easily produced, and helps the farmers with their associated processes, then I see no reason why this project can’t go the distance. It will be a lot of tough work, but I believe the studio is ready for the challenge.