In the beginning of the semester we were asked to write down goals that we wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Some of the goals that I jotted down for myself were to hone in on a specific area that I wanted to study, work on my time management, explore new hand rendering techniques, and improve my writing skills. Overall, I feel that I have touched on all of my goals to some degree. Time management was one of the things that I was forced to work on the most because of all the group work and the limited time we had to complete projects. Before this class I never took the time to sit down and plan out a schedule of what needed to get done in order to move forward with the project. Now I know that I need to move quicker with some things in order to give more attention to detailed deliverables. Being more organized when I tackle a project has also aided me in scheduling other work for the rest of my classes. Although I did explore some hand rendering this semester I didn’t do as much as I would have liked to. This will be something that I will investigate in my free time over the summer.
Over the course of the semester we were challenged with different lessons that would help us move on to the next phase of the project and ultimately build us up to take those lessons and continue on to third year. Some of those lessons we learned were being able to take individual ideas and weaving them together with multiple other concepts to make a cohesive whole. We also learned about means of egress and designing them to be ADA compliant, understand circulation of spaces and buildings as a whole in order to have a design that is easy to navigate, and being able to present these ideas in multiple forms (through speech, writing, drawings, diagrams, and boards). I feel that one of the most important lessons was presenting our work, because we can do all of the components to the project with great effort and detail but those drawings and models can’t speak for themselves. There will always be questions about our designs and we need to be able to “sell” them to the best of our ability and through any means possible. I think this class has touched on many ways to present ideas and has given us the tools we need to represent and explain our projects in the media that we see fit.
As much as we all whined and complained about group work, in my opinion it was one of the best lessons we could have learned. Of course when I work individually I get to focus on what I want to do, when I want to do it, and how it will be done. However, we have this studio to learn from other people. You can only push yourself so far when you work by yourself. That’s why I think group work is so important; because we get to learn different techniques in drawing, organizing, model making, writing, and computer skills. When I started this semester I had no idea how to computer render or schedule my time, but through observing and learning from my team I became proficient in computer aided rendering and most definitely improved my time management. Although we all have our little tiffs at times for the most part it was great working in groups because we all developed the best work possible and brought the best out in each other. Learning how to work in groups now is so crucial to our futures because we will always be working in teams for the rest of our careers.
Because this class was writing intensive I was a little bit scared because I have not always been the best of writers. Nevertheless, I went full steam ahead and tackled all of the writing assignments and found them all to be extremely relevant to everything we have accomplished in the class. They were integrated well into our design process and helped me understand my own projects more thoroughly. Also the writings where we had to either asses others or ourselves really helped me understand my own concepts and then after analyzing others I would get more ideas for myself or our group.
Looking back now through this part of the year I can see how much I have grown from the beginning of the semester. I have become more efficient on the computer, my writing has improved, I feel like I could work in a group of 30 if the challenge arose, and overall I think I have become a better designer. Even through all the group work where sometimes-individual personalities can be lost, my design voice stood strong and I improved my own design process. Thank you to Patrick and Claire for all the wonderful times, intriguing lessons, and the motivation you both provided this semester. I will always cherish this knowledge and passion you have given me.