B.A.R Review + Stress Management

This week we have been continuing work on construction documents and program planing for the Farmer’s Stand as well as for the B.A.R presentation on Thursday.

We have submitted for final approval for the Farmer’s Stand in order to be able to to start construction and finish the project in a timely manner (Mid-December).
If the board does not approve of the project we won’t not be able to finish it and will have to push it back to next semester which would be ABSOLUTELY TRAGIC.
Yesterday in studio we decided who was presenting the project in front of the B.A.R:
Audrey will take the lead on the historical portion of the project, Alex will focus on the structure and I will talk about the function and programming of the Farm Manager’s Stand. I get very very nervous when speaking directly to an audience who is there for the sole purpose of evaluating (shivers and all that fun stuff), so this was a very unpleasant 24 hours for me. Knowing that the way we present could affect the jury’s decision really did not help the situation. We have also made so much progress between Monday when we submitted the presentation and today, that our presentation does not reflect our new resolutions for the project. This is the one chance we are getting to convince the board that our project is worth building, that our design is appropriate for the site and that our structure will work. No pressure AT ALL!
Fast forward to this morning [October 10th] I woke up reciting my speech over and over in my head. Alex, Audrey and I had not met yet to rehearse together but we shared our main talking points with each other. We met around 2pm at the CDCC to make sure that our narrative was cohesive. At this point we still didn’t know if the most recent PowerPoint submission would be the one being displayed during the presentation, we were prepared for the worst.
Stressed David then came in and did not alleviate our stress because he told us to emphasize on all of these different points during our presentation.  We got together again to revise our speeches and presented in front of Ashley and Ray who have experience with presenting to the B.A.R small. They told us what to emphasize on and what not to mention.
We got to the B.A.R at 4:30pm (we were 11th on the list of participants) we got to see some people’s projects being denied which did not help boost our confidence.
It is a very interesting concept to me. Every project located in a historical district/ site has to go through the B.A.R. It is a very different process than what any of us are used to. It was a good experience to get to watch other people present on some issues that to me seemed minimal but were very important to the city.
FINALLY our turn came around and the best thing that could have happened, did: there was a podium, which meant that no one could really see how nervous the three of us were because we were behind it and could put our flashcards on it (Grateful!). The acoustics of the space were pretty amazing too, we stood under a dome structure. We presented  our project,  one of the jury members was honestly not convinced. She said that she did not want to be the first one to crush our project but she did anyway. The other members of the jury picked out things they thought were interesting in the project, gave us suggestions and told us/asked about parts of the project they did not understand. In the end we were able to get votes in favor of our final submittal for conceptual, under staff approval with the condition that we revisit certain items that had been discussed and critiqued. We will therefore have to provide more information, but the good thing is that it did not get denied and I can sleep peacefully tonight.

Honestly this was a great opportunity. Would I  willingly do it again? probably not. Am I happy that I did? Absolutely. Would I encourage others to do it? Definitely.

As Architecture students we are used to people tearing apart our projects, it’s part of our education, we are trained to accept criticism. They are however, usually conceptual project that will never get built.
This studio is different. The project becomes your baby and you become very protective of it. I am however not attached to it looking a certain way and always want it to be evolving and better. The idea of having a board vote against the project and killing it, a project that 12 of us are working on together is really terrifying. It is not easy to work with 12 different people with different ideas,  so what we are able to accomplish as a collective is pretty amazing.

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