Open (Hurricane) Season

Order has been restored and everyone is back in Charleston after many of us evacuated the area as Irma passed through. Thankfully from what I have seen, the damage in Charleston was minimal and the floodwater has subsided. We had a few unexpected days off from class and studio. The individual design reviews that were originally planned for Friday, have been rescheduled for next Wednesday to allow us a few extra days to make up the work we missed while we were gone. We have all been working on our individual design concepts for the shade/storage structure. So, in terms of studio, not much has developed this week, but obviously it has been an eventful week for Charleston and much of the Southeast. My thoughts and prayers have been with those that were in a more direct path of the storm, especially those in Florida.IMG_2882.JPG

It was humbling to see such a phenomenal and brutal natural disaster sweep across the southeastern United States. Many of us consider ourselves designers, creators, and builder. But an event like this is a huge reminder to me of our place on this Earth. Even when I convince myself that I am in control, the reality is that there are many more factors out of my control than under it. From a massive hurricane to simple drops of condensation, there will always be threats to the comfort and integrity of our buildings. It is inspiring to see architecture that attempts to establish a balance between man and nature- not trying to change the Earth’s systems but rather adapt to them in a respectful way and use them for our benefit. An exciting aspect of this project at Medway Park is the potential partnership with Clemson’s Rainwater Harvesting department. We plan to design and build this structure to be able to have a rainwater collection system added to it in the near future. I believe that this is a great way we can take advantage of an aspect of nature while being conscious of our impact on the site and the environment. Water is collected instead of being pumped from a municipal system or well. Rainfall either becomes ground water or transpires through the leave of the plants of which it is used to grow- effectively minimizing our interruption in the water cycle while reaping the benefits of accessible irrigation.

“The only certainty is that nothing is certain”  _Pliny The Elder (died in wake of Mt. Vesuvius eruption 79 AD)

“Architects spend an entire life with this unreasonable idea that you can fight against gravity” _Renzo Piano

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