The Greatest Common Factor

Our final concept design presentation is in the books! After more than a week of concerted effort, shared agony, and general lack of sleep… I feel like what we were able to share with our audience was a successful start to a great project. As the nerves wore off from presenting our ideas to a large room of highly invested partners from the West Ashley Community as well as Greater Charleston, we were able to hone in on the specifics of our proposal and identify weaker areas that needed more development. At this point, as we start to think about materials and building strategies, I’d say we are proud of the work we’ve done and quite relieved by the reception we’ve had.


Sculptural Seating Concept Model

Studio V was lucky enough to count the Director of Clemson Architecture Graduate Programs, Dan Harding, in attendance. What I primarily want to talk about was not so much the presentation but his particular feedback afterward. Below is a cartoon he shared with us in regards to the universal accessibility of our design. I’ll never be able to articulate the wisdom of that moment quite the way Dan did, but what I took away from that meeting was more of an epiphany.

Shovel The Ramp Cartoon by Michael F. Giangreco 2002

It really is so simple yet, I’ll be honest, a little foreign to think about how consideration for those that are not like us is consideration for us all. What an awesome lesson! We are all biased to our own views and our own experiences that we seldom see the world, and its design, from a different perspective. What an interesting and powerful thing to look at a process or a solution or even a long-held convention from the experience of everyone.


Farmfield Design Team presents ideas to serve the Greenway Community

Here at Clemson, and in Studio V, we are challenged to bridge the gap that may leave some of the community isolated or waiting. Dan’s simple cartoon critique is not just a code requirement but the wisdom and challenge of inclusion. The world will always present us with ways that we are different, but it is up to us to see how we are the same. Why shouldn’t we all embrace design for the greatest common factor?

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