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This is how we map.

Aug 28 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

Maps for Final Presentation (Who says being a code-jockey isn’t useful :] )


And we also have these quick summations showing the paths our professors took through the building (to get to our final presentation):


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Jamm Presents: The JAMM Anti-Tourism Agency

Aug 26 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

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Free Water in Italy

Aug 25 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

One of the great things about Italy is the free water. In most cities, fountains like these are scattered around in public spaces. The water runs non-stop and is delicious and cold. Plus they have these beautiful little designs that are really wonderfully functional. (These particular fountains are in Roma, right near the Colosseum)

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Jamm Goes Mapping: Crawling Through the Bushes!

Aug 25 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

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Urban Space Analytique

Aug 24 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

When I first visited the Pinocateca Nazionale, it struck me as being fully integrated into the urban fabric… Which is to say, not terribly monumental. It’s compositional qualities are subtle, and in my analytique I tried to suss them out and make them obvious.

The Pinocateca is composed of three parts; two masses (each with their own set of clear axis) and a “leftover” trapezoidal courtyard. The resultant quality of the courtyard is most clearly expressed in its columns. I interpreted these columns as a simple field condition, and featured their irregularity with the intention of calling attention to the mediating nature of the courtyard space; it bridges the two disparate set of axis.

Moving outward from there, I wanted to represent the public nature of the street, which is codified in two ways. First is the banki (benches) outside of the Pinocateca, and the second is the steps outside of San Pietro alle Scale.

I used the street (in plan) as an organizing element, and drew sections such that the street wall lined up in section and plan (see the drawing). This basically created a “San Pietro side” and a “Pinocateca side”, which I reinforced by adding the sculpture of Saint Peter to the former, and the Pinocateca sign to the latter.

The facades were the next element to be fit into the composition, followed by the site plan. I actually wish I had extended the site plan further. If I had drawn it butting up against the edges of the other drawings, the whole composition would probably read more holistically.

Overall though, I’m really pleased with how it came out, I am a hundred times better with watercolor now then I was a month ago, and I can see marked improvement in how I think about graphic presentation.

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Ciao, Siena!

Aug 19 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

This picture is from our final group outing, when we crawled through some bushes (see the video in another post) and discovered an incredible lookout, which later became a part of our final project.

This has been absolutely *the* best team I’ve ever been a part of. We worked well together and played off eachother’s strengths. Everyone was very committed to the project, and I think our hard work paid off. Everyone contributed something to the project’s development, and everyone carried their own weight when it came time to prepare for a presentation.

This entire studio has been a great experience, I feel like I learned so much. I don’t think I will ever forget any of the names or dates of the places I’ve visited; being inside of a place is so much different then just reading about it in a textbook.

In terms of skills, I accomplished two things I set out to do:
I’ve seen my sketching ability improve drastically.
I learned watercolor, also drastically improved from the summer’s start.

Also worth mentioning: I learned a language!

And I feel as though I’ve also gained something else, something that is a little harder to describe in concise terms. Simply put, I’ve had a really broadening experience, and I can’t wait to see how all of the things I’ve done begin to fold into the way I think and design.

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Random Piece of Art

Aug 17 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

Most of the pieces in the Pinocateca Nazionale (probably 96%) dealt with either Christ’s birth or crucifiction. A majority of these feature people looking very unhappy, if not outright dour, which is strange, though I suppose happiness (or any approximation of it) probably wasn’t in fashion until the counter-reformation (when the Catholic church started to have viable competition).
I digress.
This was my favorite piece. Technically it was in the Spanish gallery, but I like how the artist represented of Christ’s divinity as light emanating from him, instead of using a traditional two dimensional halo.


Artist: Lorenzo Lotto
Title: Christi Geburt (Birth of Jesus)
Date: 1527-1528

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Mid-Review: Don’t Mind the Wall

Aug 14 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

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Pop Up Piazza: Santa Maria de Selva

Aug 14 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

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Assignment #… Something

Aug 14 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

The assignment was to analyze Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s famous ‘Allegories of Good and Bad Government’ and then to use collage to create our own. This was probably my favorite review so far, the discussion went way beyond the work and the entire class ended up discussing philosophy.

– In my collage, I tried to use allegorical figures similar to Lorenzetti’s to represent the characteristics that make for good government or bad government.
– I creatively interpreted the rule about only using one sheet of A3 per collage by cutting the sheet in half and making each twice as long. This was in responce to Lorenzetti’s compositional strategy; which relied on a linear + horizontal reading to portray so many figures and scenes without them becoming incoherent.
– There is a lot of symbolism, some of which manifested sub-consciously.. Check them out.

In Good government, the clearly defined city and country are both held in check by the allegorical figures of design, education, liberty, and security. Within the space these figures carve out, children are playing, representing a positive future. The overall aesthetic is selectively minimalist adhering to approximate symmetry.

In Bad Government, the opposite is true. The composition takes cues from Good Government, but reads more chaotically. The sprawl of the city creates a texture which spans the entire sheet. Imposed onto this sprawl are the figures of waste, drunkenness, censorship, and anti-liberty; looking quite seductive.

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Typology Study 2: Venice

Aug 14 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

Last weekend, we went to Venice to see the Biennale. The city is beautiful, and it *might* be my new favorite.. These are the sketches I did out on the streets.

And these are sectional sketches, Venice has some really unique sections, because it’s streets and canals come in literally EVERY shape and size.

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Trick of the Sun

Aug 05 2011 Published by under (Independent Work),Siena 2011

Who says you can’t get nice photos with an iPod touch? I captured this near Fontebranda while fountain hunting.

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Il Campo!

Aug 05 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

It felt sort of Architecturally Sacreligious to be in Siena and not spend any time sketching the Campo, so I decided to try my hand at watercolor. I’m not terribly pleased with the result, but I did learn 3 things:

First, decide on masses and stick with them. Watercolor relies on a slow build-up of color, and if you try to expand something halfway through, you’ll never match the tone correctly.

Second is that you should never use pen on a watercolor painting. It completely destroys the subtlety of the watercolor tones. Pencil is ok though, especially if you use multiple lead weights, or have a lot of very light lines, they look great underneath the layers of color.

Third is that people get really interested when you work in public. I had a group of three little kids “secretly” watching over my shoulder as soon as I took out my watercolors. Which was cool, because I’m always happy to be a part of the urban spectacle.

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Wonderbreakfast Design Work

Jul 25 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

I think its incredible that this beautiful logo grew out of these little concept sketches that Josemar, Erick, and I did with Natascia Fenoglioand.

These are some other ideas, Wonderbreakfasts that could-have-been, if you will. One idea was to make “Big Breakfast,” in the form of a giant prop breakfast cum lounge. Another idea was to create a tasting map by taping spoons to the walls of Il Cubo and directing people to follow certain patterns. The third idea incorporated Saturday morning cartoons (since Saturdays are the only days I really remember eating “breakfast”) where guests would order and consume media, instead of food.

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The Baths of Caracalla

Jul 24 2011 Published by under Siena 2011

The baths of Caracalla are now only ruins, but they were once a huge part of Roman public life (literally). They were built by the Emperor Caracalla around 200AD, and included extensive bathing facilities, a library, public space, and an area for athletics.

The massive architecture is said to have been an inspiration for McKim, Mead, and White when they were designing Pennsylvania Station in NYC.

This is a drawing off of an information sign, showing what the baths looked like prior to the Ostrogoths. I wish I could have seen the baths while they were operational, there is something very beautiful about the sheer size of them. Who knows though, maybe I even got to use them in a past life.

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