Jack of All Trades, Master of One

This image is snagged from a similar post written by Joel Derksen for the blog “The Big Orange Slide”.

A “Jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills but is not necessarily outstanding in any particular one. This person is a generalist rather than a specialist. Now, as a student of architecture, I was introduced to Leonardo da Vinci and the aspiration of the architect to be a “Renaissance Man”, a person who is exceptional in many disciplines. This person is often referred to as a polymath. Although these two descriptions of a person seem similar, they are fundamentally different, and I don’t think that either describe the modern architect well. What an architect must be able to do is absorb a plethora of unique knowledge that applies to the project at hand, and apply it to their thought processes to use in their design and their communication of ideas.

Studio V has been on research lockdown for the past several days, and are preparing for their first review this upcoming Friday. The research phase is particularly important this semester since none of us have a background in farming or the GAP certification process to apply to the design of our GAP Shed prototype. We must rely on extensive research and the expertise of our partners in this project for the information necessary to create a successful product. Our role in this project is not to know everything about farming and certification processes, but to know what questions to ask the experts and then apply that learned information in a calculated, creative way to design a functional structure. It is this collecting and compiling of critical information turned into practical and innovative design propositions that we must be masters of as architects.

Major things we are researching, in no particular order and not limited to, are:

GAP processes, farming processes, various vegetable requirements, cleaning vegetables, storing vegetables, distributing vegetables, cooler requirements, CoolBots!, energy requirements, solar power, rain water collection, grey water irrigation, interior materials, exterior materials, material efficiency,  farming equipment, tool storage requirements, numerous program size requirements and limitations, program relationships, site relationships, farm vernacular, working buildings, construction methods, prefab methods, adaptability, multiplicity, S/M/L/XL, et cetera…

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