The END (ish)

The final blog post of the semester falls into the hands of the “princess” of Studio V. As much as I love the spotlight, this blog post shines a little light on those who kindly responded to my email during finals week. Even though we are still throwing together the final touches to our Enston Home Farm Stand baby, we have had a lot of time this week to reflect on our experiences throughout the semester. I will be highlighting some of that here with these few questions I asked the studio this week!.


1.) To which construction component do you feel that you made the most significant contribution? What was your involvement?

Kendall: Slab – I was one of the two people screeding the concrete after it was poured.
Audrey: I made the biggest contribution to the trusses. Looking at the final model and drawings and how they needed to be adjusted after mock ups to create templates to perfect the design and plan ahead for construction. I was able to take the adjusted file and separate the pieces to be CNC’ed so that angles and bolt alignment could be assured. I also made alterations to the shop drawings to understand bolt lengths and placement and web placement.
Taylor: The truss design from start to finish. I feel my contribution stemmed with design all the way through construction. I helped with problem solving and several other components – obviously one of the “Fab Four” members!
Lauren: I think I was really involved in the design ideas in the beginning. After that I felt like I was just learning. I don’t feel focused on one particular component because I felt like I was constantly helping with new things whether it was gluing up the trusses, test pieces for the program, or sanding up the concrete piers.
Alex: All of it.
Jaylin: Site work and my contribution was to help make sure that the site was properly ready for construction to be done.
2.) What is your favorite component of the project, and how do you think it could be improved?
Kendall: My favorite component was the benches. I feel that the material used may be improved to help reduce the overall weight.
Audrey: My favorite component is more of a feature, integration. Each element is directly impacted by those touching it and can then affect a subsequent element more so than other projects. Most importantly is where the trusses connect to the piers. This moment is awesome in the end as the two fit together.
Taylor: My favorite component is specifically the middle truss in truss assembly number 3.
Lauren: I love the overall complexity of the project and how everything is integrated. It’s hard to say one component because i think it is strengthened by the others. The roof is strengthened by the trusses which are strengthened by the piers. However, I do think the way the bottom roof reflects to the top is just perfection. Also the archway in the middle is beautiful and so warming. Give me like ten years and maybe I could come up with an improvement but to me we are pretty masterclass right now.
Alex: The trusses of course, because we killed that.
Jaylin: My favorite component was the physical process of the project where we were able to do a lot of hands on work. It was a great opportunity to learn new skills and understanding the importance of good design.
3.) In your opinion, what is the biggest takeaway from this project and the design/build process?
Kendall: The biggest takeaway for me is effective time management, how drastically it affects the results of a project, especially in a team effort.
Taylor: Communication is always key; but I think its important to take away responsibility as well. There’s a project that you design and feel connected to, but then there is a project you BUILD and feel responsible for. I will never take this experience for granted because I am responsible for showing up every day to design and constructed and give the community members a beautiful structure they will use
Lauren: Design build is a really satisfying problem solving piece of work. I learned how many skills i didn’t have!! In the future I think I will have a much better grasp of each step i have to take in order to build a project. And that has me pumped up!
Alex: Learning to work with everyone now matter their background and learning even though I fairly experienced.
Jaylin: My biggest takeaway is the importance of teamwork, commitment, and communication.
4.) If you had no previous building experience, do you feel that you were taken out of your comfort zone? And knowing what you know now, do you feel that you would be better prepared to repeat this process? How so?
Kendall: Yeah, I was definitely taken out of my element. In hindsight, I can say that the order in which you do things is important. I might’ve painted everything at the end.
Audrey: The only building experience I’ve had was from this studio last semester as well. I learned a lot between these two semesters, and although I feel comfortable in many situations there were some, based off of the projects complexity, that did throw me for a loop or mentally take me out of my comfort zone. But it’s all a learning process. I now know how to plan ahead better for a project.
Taylor: That’s the best part about this studio! Obviously we are all new to the construction industry; so none of us are perfect in what we do… BUT it’s about taking initiative to learn that creates the best project. I always feel out of my comfort zone, but how else are you supposed to learn?!
Lauren: Man I loved building. I loved the dirt. Hate the noise of power tools though. I had building experience before but this taught me more because I understood the design and drawings before I got to building. That helped me understand the significance of each step. Something that took me out of my comfort zone was the precision needed to make the trusses. I felt like there was so much responsibility to do well and make it a beautiful piece. One thing important I learned though is to always build a jig.
Alex: Yes I was taken completely out of my comfort zone and yes I feel like I could kill it.
Jaylin: This was definitely a studio that took me out of my comfort zone but was very enjoyable due to the fact that it taught me so much that I can use in the future regarding architecture.

5.) What is your favorite/ most valuable experience from working in the shop or on site?

Kendall: The most valuable experience from working on site, is pouring concrete into the forms, and witnessing the formwork blowout.
Audrey: The most valuable experience or learning moment I’d say is the points of communication, perseverance, initiative and planning. This experience day after day taught me how to deal with a variety of people, to never stop no matter what happened, to get involved and handle business early on.
Taylor: I am going to be a better architect because I know how a screw joins two pieces of wood, because I know how rebar supports concrete, because I know how purlins create a roof structure. This experience has taught me that what I design actually gets built and how to have an intellectual conversation about our industry.
Lauren: I felt like I found so many moments of pure selflessness and generosity. I really value the time anyone took to explain something to me and help me improve. I was also impressed with the amount of time people gave to the project.
Alex: Routing. Simply because I know why I will die early from all the dust.
Jaylin: My favorite and most valuable experience from both the shop and site is learning the importance of certain tools and machinery.

6.) What advice would you give to next semester’s incoming class for their project?

Kendall: Be prepared to really communicate and be fully committed to the project, as well as understanding the great but serious reality that your project will actually be built.
Audrey: My advice would be to work hard from the get go, but work smart as well. Think about when you’re doing before you do it and ask your colleagues, but have confidence in yourself. You never learn if you don’t try, so be willing to try and take initiative. Communication is also key. You are a team and it extends beyond the studio into the field and with suppliers, clients, and the community. This studio is not one for the “weak” mentally or physically, BUT what’s great is it makes you strong, in both ways, you just have to be open and willing to go through this process!
Taylor: Work hard, don’t give up, and wake up early!
Lauren: Take as few other responsibilities as possible. You won’t have time and you’ll learn the most from this studio anyways. If you don’t get a job, your life will be so much easier.  Also, be patient with people. Remember that everyone is motivated differently and responds differently to situations. Find how you are most productive and helpful and everything will fall together. If you feel like you don’t have a skill to offer, just try to learn from others as much as you can. You will see how you improve throughout the semester.
Alex: Say you know nothing and show up late. Just kidding. Maybe.
Jaylin: The advice I’d give to future students is to stay focus and motivated towards the task because the outcome will be greater
Thank you all for following along! Studio V Fall 2019 OUT!!!

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