28 April, 2008

Friends until the end Viva - barcelona

Everything is wrapping up. Final boards have been redone and sent, data cards and case studies are coming to an end, final travels are starting to take place, and some are heading home. Sad times… What was once a huge culture shock has made me grow to love this place.
Juan Carlos once asked a group of us if we would live here. I have learned most of the ins and outs that allow you to successfully live in BCN over the past four months. On the contrary my answer still remains no, but I will defiantly come back to visit.
I have been away from the states for some time now and I am ready to enjoy the ol so sweet comforts of home… mom’s cooking, grandma’s cakes, road trips to go visit friends, laughing at ourselves, and the list could go on for miles. However I know I am going to miss BCN too. The long nights in studio, the tourists walking slow in front of you, the random locals on the streets at night trying to sell you cerveza or hashish, Dulce and her Reese’s Cups, new found friends, ping pong in the streets, game/pizza/movie nights, and sharing life experiences just to get the list started…

Barcelona - such a beautiful horizon
Barcelona - like a jewel in the sun
Por ti sere gaviota de tu bella mar
Barcelona - suenan las campamas
Barcelona - abre tus puertas al mundo
If God is willing
-if God is willing
If God is willing
Friends until the end
Viva - barcelona
I figured I'd get in one last blog before I go without a computer for a month. We 're leaving tomorrow at 4 am for a month long Euro-trip, and right now I'm just trying to get boards and books finished up. The book isn't going quite how I wanted, so I think I'll try to revisit it when I return from the trip, but right now I'm just gonna get as much done as possible and make some revisions before I print it. Right now I feel more cruched than I did before the final review though. Every article of clothing I brought (with the exception of what I'm wearing) is in the wash, I have to clean up my room, finish my book, meet with my group to finish boards, pack, and get outta here by 4am. It's gonna be a long day, but in the end it should be well worth it.
My Mom keeps asking me for my travel itenerary ("in case of an emergency") but truthfully we don't exactly have one. I have 2 airplane tickets Barcelona-Milan, and Venice-Prague. In between will be some assortment of trains to get us to Cinqueterre, Rome, Venice, Prague, Bratislava, and Vienna. I don't have any transportation arranged back to Barcelona, but hopefully I can make my way back within 10-12 days, stopping undecided places inbetween. It should definitely be an adventure.

27 April, 2008

final dinner

here are the two group shots from the dinner.

thanks for an awesome semester everybody, see you all back in tiger town.

26 April, 2008

Table for 17

It looks a bit empty right now but just you wait until Labor Day!!! There's a ping pong room over to the right but you can't see it. And our chef wear a shirt when cooking bacon Josh.

Dress Code

Don't cook bacon without a shirt. Something I have learned. Figured maybe someone could benefit from that information... By the way, this is Josh; it says Shannon for some reason. hmm...

Just for you Joey

SO we are sitting in Studio after our final review has been over for more than 3 days now. We have to work on some touch ups on the board to finalize things.
Joey was getting frustrated because he was the last one to blog, so here you go Joey. this blog is just for you bro.

22 April, 2008

And it's over...sorta

So Group Cuatro TRANSforum presentation is complete! I don't know what I was expecting before today (I didnt really have the time to think about it), but presenting a project to 7 professional completely different architects is pretty intimidating. I was pretty proud of how the final boards turned out, and the critique went okay.

Our biggest challenge was narrowing down our four months of study to a 10 minute speech and four 20 inch square boards. Much of the feedback we received was valid, but it was frustrating to know we had some of the research to back up their questions. Two big issues we need to address before our final submission are showing design process and research and bringing our design into the city context of BCN. Structural clarity of the steel design is also important to go back and look at. But before that, I think we all deserve a nice day of sleep and relaxation. I'm checkin' this day as a success.

21 April, 2008

Title? (Oh yeah, we should think of one of those...)

So it’s the day before final reviews. Things are falling into place as they should, however it’s not all lilies and roses. THEREFORE I’m taking a short break from the madness and taking this opportunity to get ahead on this week’s blog posts.

The project has come along pretty nicely. And I am learning Illustrator a little better now. I must admit that I have only used Illustrator primarily for text until this point. After a night of modifying line weights and making sure lines are attached, etc, as you can see in this image of the master plan. I feel as though I have gotten my foot in the door. With these few simple abilities, the fear of learning a new program has shank overnight. My only regret: I wish I would have done this sooner in the semester.

20 April, 2008


so no summer internship at a firm for me...again....i need to intern at least one summer...this is ridiculous...hopefully i'll b able to get a job in clemson...at least if all fails, i can work at my old job at the country club...hell of a commute, but no choice...i just can't b jobless, and i'm startin to get a lil worried.

Why is the rum always gone?

I was raised in what I would call just about the middle of nowhere in Ohio. You know, those places where there's strawberry farms and cow pastures down the road? I never thought I could ever live in a city, but I love Barcelona. I mean, yes, the tourists are a pain in the ass, but they are a helluva good time to people watch, and yes, I am that old lady that loves to people watch. The weather is beautiful. The amount of parks and spaces you can explore are amazing, and the people are great. But, what I have noticed after living here for 4 months is that I don't really have any hobbies. I mean, there is studio, which doesn't really count... and then there is drinking, which isn't a great hobby to have... and then there's the time where you can run or play soccer, which is exciting and relaxing. I have no idea how I am going to go back to Tiger Town Tavern Upstairs and play APA pool... I'm going to be awful and I love to hustle. And it's late April... it can't get more exciting than that. It's just warm enough back home that all the car shows and Rod cruises through the mountains are starting up... and I can't be a grease monkey. I think when I go home, the first thing I am going to do is clean my baby's 350 and take her out, clean the carbon out of her. And hug my padres of course ;) And hopefully, Wednesday will start a new 6 month training regime for a marathon, I hope. My plans are set on 26 miles by about January. So excited, but I'm going to miss this place, I really am. There is just something about traveling that those people who never leave South Carolina, even for another state, will never understand.

i can't go back to frank's car wash.

budding architecture student seeks summer internship.

proficient with:
adobe photoshop & illustrator
pc/apple platforms
spot-free wax & interior detailing
won't skimp on the armor-all.

no references. available for phone interview.


Woo Hoo! So I have completed my first “complete” attempt at my portfolio! Finally, after starting over five times, I have finally liked a layout enough to complete a full run of my portfolio. After listening to Hecker’s advice on graphics, I have finally come up with a format that is simple and versatile.

So I've been told... "You are suppose to sleep at night."

So I have totally gotten off from the European time. Pulling all nighters just to complete the portfolio has thrown off my sleep schedule. What really stinks is that I still have not gotten back on schedule.

Take ... Luck!

Kathrin’s class is over now along with Dulce’s. Leaving us with Hecker and Carlos’ classes. This should allow for more time right? Well, technically it should, and it does…. More time to spend on the final project. Which is good. I’m much rather have the extra time than try and get all of that done at once. :-D Good luck to everyone on their final presentations!

Josep M. Folch i Torres

So working on Kathrin’s paper has been fun. Calvin and I observed how people use Plaza de Josep M. Folch i Torres and how the construction has begun to affect the park. Adding slides to our presentation isn’t all that bad, a few more diagrams and updated pictures. What are we gonna talk about? We have tried looking everywhere for information on this park. After trying everywhere that Kathrin has sent us, we have come up empty handed. With this being the case, we decided to try and go to the people that use the park by handing out a questionnaire that had a few questions on it to try and gain an insight to this park. Apparently that wasn’t such a good idea…. Or so we found out at our review. Questionnaires have underlined meanings behind them. However, I feel that the questionnaire was a struggle and ended with slim success.

Senioritis.... ?

So I have found myself trying to get over this bad case of senioritis. No matter how much I want to go out and play, and enjoy myself, there seems to be more work. As you can tell, from my lapse in blog posts, I have been pushing work to the side to be able to enjoy myself a little more. With a portfolio developing at hand, I have began to focus all extra energies toward getting that thing done and out the door. Wish me luck… luck on a good internship this summer. :-D

19 April, 2008

You Know It's TRUE

Ideas not good enough, old hybrid rendering is despised by the Gehry-hating JC, eyes closing, vision getting fuzzy, sleep on the mind and bed out of sight. Studio Boot Camp can solve this little problem. That’s right just send your puny students away for a harsh reality check with BCN boot camp, we promise we’ll have them fully nocturnal within six weeks. Thought the states had architecture, thought you could sleep 8 hours a night, or even thought you could get along with all your studio mates? HAHA, my friend you are as blind as man swimming in doner kababs!! Life is hard, and architecture isn’t even close to having the luxury of such a muted adjective. But why then do we choose to live our lives like this? It’s because architecture gives so much back in return; the rewards are unexplainable and there is an endless road of knowledge to absorb. Every student who stays with the major and enters a firm has the burning desire for challenges and the strength to cope with a high probability of failure. Not everyone here will follow that road but that’s why you’re at BCN boot camp.

Shortcuts rule

So recently, I found that it is possible to not only import Rhino models into Form Z (aka: el diablo), but also Sketchup models. Which makes things so much easier. Especially when you have an angular building. Sketchup isn't great with curvy forms (it's actually probably easier in el Diablo), but with angular forms, it's a breeze. Obivously the quality isn't as good, renderwise, which is why some people are so stupidly dead set against it. I mean, it's a tool, if you can use and and make it look good, you shouldn't go and knock on someone else's project just because you spent twice the time on yours. But it's a really good tool for getting basic formal stuff down, like the overall forms of your 2 million sq. ft. pavilions :-P, and then importing it into Form Z to add details and make it look awesome. Which has been a lifesaver...the strawberries and cream kind :-D

Parc del Clot... a park and a thorough fare

On Monday, Ryan and I had our final presentation for Arch 412. We were studying Parc del Clot which is one of the more successful community green spaces that have been created in the Barcelona residential areas. The 10 acre site offers vast amounts of program spaces from basketball to a more restful green hill where you can take your dog or even a pet cat on a leash. I have seen one, and there is a lady in my neighborhood who walks her cats. Yeah, it is South Carolina. Anyway, one of the main aspects of the park was the fact that the park acts as a thorough fare for the surrounding community. The architects looked into how people effectively move from one connecting street through the park without being truly delayed or obstructed. This approach really kind of enlightened me on how to work with public exterior circulation. There should be an efficiency in circulation, and there should be a way to cut through an area without having direct interaction with people who are using a space for more leisure or any other purpose outside of just moving through.


So let’s talk about a time at the beginning of this journey when my mom was here with me. After a visit to one of Gaudi’s many master pieces we went into this art décor store where in the front window were rows of these plastic translucent molds of pugs. My mom went nuts and ranted of how I had to take a picture of these fake dogs. I mean I know I’m a tourist and it was only my third day in Barcelona but to take a picture of a window display was a little Busch League. So I said no and walked away. O yea my mom is diffidently obsessed with pugs seeing as how we have a little black pug Gordita, who has at least 8 doggie beds to her name and so many statuettes around that we could make a pug farm. But in order to appease my mother I did go back there and took the stupid picture. So it’s probably already printed, framed, and hanging above one of Gordita’s many thrones.

Run Time Error


Im not losing any work to its ridiculous number of shutdowns, but im obviously not moving forward either, and thats real bad news at this point. It just doesnt make sense because I've swept so many other things in the model by now, so this should be working the same way. Given everyone's technological mishaps of late, i'm kinda wary it's the computer struggling on a bigger scale....great. Anyway, back to it, theres other "less taxing" things I can be doing instead. Blog more later.

18 April, 2008

Some numbers...

The countdown has begun...
0 more classes
3 days till review
7+ review panel
6 days until final dinner
1 trip to london
? amounts of other travels
30 days until I am back in the states
32 days until I get to see the guy in my desktop picture (go ahead and tease I dont care)
40 days until I am off to Hilton Head for the summer

It has been an interesting semester to say the least and it has gone by fast...its hard to believe things are already wrapping up when it seems like not that long ago we were in the taxi trying to find our way to RESA from the airport. I have enjoyed it and I have learned a lot...I am ready to go home but I wouldn't have traded the last 4 months

Tourists, I can see why they are not so popular.

So, as the summer gets closer and the weather gets nicer, it is obvious that tourism continues to becomes a larger force in Barcelona. The chief place where you see it obviously is on La Rambla. It is slightly ridiculous. People move so slow. They crowd around the living statue performers. They take pictures of everything, and you don't want to get in the picture. However, my sympathy for picture taking has gone down a lot. These crowded crazy conditions are just remind me that this is exactly what we have been learning about in studio and with Arch 412. I am not the most patient person especially when it comes to get somewhere that I need to be, and recently I went to Dunkin Donuts before studio one morning, imagine that. There was no one on La Rambla. It was SO FAST! I got there in like in one song on my iPod. I was amazed. I could not believe how short of a distance it really was. I think for now on I would really like to do all of my shopping at nine o'clock because it made that one morning so much easier. It is interesting also how crowded conditions and the slow movement creates an idea of increased distance.

I really wish I had a Kit-Kat right now

Seriously though, I've ate about 100 kit kats in the past week. They are delicious. Here's the point; our steel and hybrid structure has taken on the form of a possible space frame coupled with a triangulated mesh structure. It is interesting, and although I have two summers of experience in the construction field, I honestly don't completely understand how this structure will go together. I have been sketching out possible ideas for it lately and I think I might have a grasp on it by the end of the night.

The idea is that the space frame itself is a structure that is made of triangulated cells that rely on tension and compression to become structurally sound. This is fine if the structure has a logical way of transferring loads to the ground, however attempting to use space frames as a skeleton for creating a triangulated meshing structure seems a bit odd. I mean, I'm sure theres a way to do it, but looking at my model right now, it seems that the tension and compression that the space frames rely on for support are not in equilibrium because of the odd shapes that the mesh appearance give. There would probably be lots of research in the composition of each triangular panel to achieve the adequate forces needed for the structure to stand, however I am only one architect with 4 days left and a structural idea that came up too late in the game to be properly researched.

Love and Architecture


i'm ron burgundy?

so eggl came up with a brilliant plan earlier today...if i'm only allowed 4 hrs a day to eat, s**t, and sleep, (direct quote, by the way) then i don't have any time to b walkin back and forth to studio, or goin back to the room to cook my meals...so wat does that mean? well, eggl's suggestion was to actually move into studio. grab ur clothes, sleeping bag and food, we're changin homes...to b perfectly honest, the studio has everythin we need, and everythin's better than the stuff at resa neways...they hav a full kitchen, washer, shower, big fridge...so y not? i'm prty much gonna b livin in studio neways, might as well make the best of it...let's see how this turns out, i'm sure there're gonna b some interestin video logs within the next couple of days


So the time has come to prepare for the final review. We all know what that means.....living in studio. However, in light of the necessity for 18 hours of production a day, 4 hours for sleep, and 2 hours for eat, shower, and bathroom breaks, I think living in studio would be a good idea...literally. So myself, Adam "Lets go see a show" Kerechanin, and Harry "540 back dragon kick" Han have decided to say farewell to our Resa rooms for the next 4 days and say hello to our new accomadations at the 5 star hotel on Sant Francesc. It should be fun, it has all the necessities and and Ive got my sleeping bag ready. Well, I need to render a space frame now, so thats it.

Love and Architecture


Yo-ho Yo-ho and really bad eggs!

Were down to the last wire. Although not really. This is a nice schedule for producing work. We are not usually privileged with four days of finishing time. Usually we have a critic on Friday with a review on Monday hardly leaving time for printing. But this semester we had our last review on Thursday and get to present on Tuesday afternoon, four full days of production and two half days which is amazing. I really hope everything comes together though. Splitting work up can be difficult and people will be stressed out I am sure, if it has not already happened. We will just have to keep on working!

Looks like I'm Going to Parc Guell Again

So as many of you know, I've had plenty of visitors over the course of these past four months. Many of them with in intention of seeing Barcelona probably with a little bigger priority then visiting me. It seems like this semester was just the best time to go abroad in college, which works out conveniently for me, especially when planning to travel to different European countries.

As I found myself on the metro today taking my friend Brittany, who is studying in the French Riveria, to the Vallcarca stop yet again, I was trying to figure out how many times I've actually been there. That would be a total of NINE times, counting our visit the first week and then as part of the BCN blitz a few days later. Thats about as many times as I've entered the tap bar down the street. Crazy to me, but I'm always happy to do it. I don't think looking down over the city high atop the three crosses will ever get old. Just one of the many reasons I love this place. I'm sure going to miss it. And a pigeon definitely flew into the side of my head today. Bout time to get down to business for Group No Girls though, time is a churning. Wake me up when its Tuesday night por favor.

Crunch time

We're getting to that point in the project where you start to hope things are going to fall into place and all this group craziness is going to turn out a finished project idea. The hardest part at this point for me is how many of the things that need to be done seem to only be accomplishing one purpose and not many. Things need to be done just for the review, that wont affect the competition aspect at all. Other things need to be done just for Hecker's materials aspects, that Juan Carlos himself told us not to do, since he didnt know it was for the other class. And then details of the boards, that need to get done, but get pushed back to get all this other stuff done. Makes for a stressful last weekend of classes. Hopefully the group will make it out ok. The review is looking pretty light...you know, some pretty chill reviewers...haha or the exact opposite. Quite a crew of critics has been assembled to form what could the most formidable (and numerous) group of critiquers any of have ever presented before. This group includes the usual...Juan Carlos, Doug Hecker and Miguel Roldan...then a few more Barcelona additions...Kathrin Golda-Pongratz and Xavier Costa...then add a few more Clemson folk...you know, Chris Mills and Martha Skinner...and then someone from Catholic University?? My favorite part is that Juan Carlos in under the impression that a jury of eight, yes eight, people will critique 6 groups on five months of work in just 4 hours. Should be interesting to see...because it would be a minor miracle if that actually happens. In all honestly, there is something about this jury that makes me want to work that much harder, because these are some pretty major people, but it also makes me very worried. I feel like the first two months of the semester when we mapped the city 900 times and make a frank plan...we were just drawing out something that could have been done so much faster. I hope that the designing that we did in the time that we had makes the cut in the end and that our project is something that we are proud of at the final review. I guess this weekend is where the we get the chance to show what we are made of...will we pull it together? or crumble under the pressure? I sure am hoping for the first one.

(as I typed this, Harry is playing something kind of dark and really awesome on the piano in the background...makes everything seem more dramatic haha)

The end is near

The end is certainly in sight. Kathrin's project is pretty much wrapped up, and final studio review is in 4 days (sounds crazy) and then all thats left is reworking the boards a bit and doing the semester compilation book for Hecker. Im getting really excited for my time here in Barcelona after classes end. As Johanna pointed out, its like when we were here at the beginning and saw a lot of stuff, except this time around, we know the city. We've already compiled a big list of things left to see in Barcelona before we fly out including seeing Torre Agbar at night and hitting up the Magic Fountains for like the 10th time :) I think Im most looking forward to being able to wake up, swing by the awesome bakery in our plaza from Kathrin's class, and head out for a day on the beach. There is also some travel planned into this after class time. I hoping to be able to hit up Paris with Shannon, Josh and Ryan for 3-4 days and then do a few cities in Italy, hopefully Rome, Florence and maybe Venice. Problem is, with all this crunch time at the last minute, its been tough to find time to search for flights and more importantly search for hostels/hotels in Paris. We've heard finding a place to stay in Paris is really hard. Hopefully we'll get it all worked out so that the last month spent here is just fun and relaxing.

17 April, 2008

Well, there's 1352 guitar pickers in Nashville...

Architecture studio is (from what I invisioned) very similar to Landscape Architecture because over the period of the semester, we are constantly dealing with scope creep. Scope creep is one of my favorite terms when it comes to studio, even though it can get frustrating towards the end. So the easiest way to overcome this scope creep, other than adding Wild Turkey to your agenda for each day, is to start at the beginning and tell yourself that you are going to go above and beyond what they are asking and add additional items and illustratives/sections/diagrams to your final boards, because in essence, the clients would much rather look at pictures of what the site could become, as opposed to trying to figure out the area in plan view, no matter how good your renderings appear, because this place you are designing is to be experienced with the townspeople's feet on the ground, not directly above the site in an airplane.

So back to scope creep. This semester we kind of had a good idea as to where our work was headed, as long as the syllabus was near, however, it seems that almost weekly our project takes another turn in another direction, down a dark alley, with a low tank of gas. So, by the time we get ourselves out of the first dark alley and we have something new and fresh, we are sent down a different alley to better the more fresh ideas... or, just start over again. Completely. Usually the second scenario is the case. So our brains are literally running around in circles trying to find something new and fresh, but why? Every week we hit another wall... and are sent down another damn alley with no direction and no gas. Sometimes makes me wanna shove a pool stick somewhere... Yo bromo, yo bromo. But really... I actually thought we were on to something the week before the final... and of course there is always tweaking to be done, right? No. We should definitely have something somewhat completely different in four days. Something sexy and, maybe, floating islands, that travel from place to place. Whoa. JC, I know you are just trying to help, but you are out of the scope creep zone. You really do want us to work 18 hours a day, shit shower and eat for 2, and sleep for 4, don't you? For the next 3 weeks...

Welp, hopefully some good brainstorming will come on our semi-new project that we are designing in 4 days. I am no longer excited about this, because there are new things that don't quite make sense to me, I am getting tired of the reoccuring poo, and I am frustrated because I don't like working last minute. And, we are still lacking a title and program/project statement or whichever one we are missing...


so now our project is startin to roll...all the wheels r in motion, and even though this means tons of work to do in the next 4 days, this is the first time i've been legit excited bout our project. i think we have a rly strong concept, and i kno for a fact that we're gonna blow a&m's reviews outta the water...here's to clemson

Architecture in Barcelona is NOT muy vale!!! HA I KID I KID

Dearest blog,

These past few months have truly been a great time. Between the worries of money, grades, and surviving, to maturing a whole hell of alot, to learning about the culture, and architecture, and somewhere fitting in time for fun, its been wild.

There are several things I'm going to miss when I go back to the states
Malik's doner kebabs
Tex-Mex doritos
The beach
Pollo Rico
my roomate Eduardo
Estrella damm
The friends i've made here
Petit Apollo
Things that i won't miss:
Spanish street hecklers
no salad dressings

Whatever happens in the rest of my life I know my 4 months here have been amazing and i will never forget the lessons learned here. Keep in touch everyone.

Wash Owt


This past weekend Lindsay and I took a ferry to the lovely island of Mallorca. It was cool to take a new form of transportation even though it took seven hours as opposed to a 40 minute flight. We briefly saw the city of Palma before we headed to our hostel which was in a pleasant, village-like place. We didn't do much other than enjoy the sunshine and ocean and eat some awesome fish croquettes. It was nice to get some relaxation before a week of work for Kathrin and Juan Carlos. I would definitely recommend going to Mallorca if you have the time, although spend at least 2 full days there and maybe take a flight if your subject to motion sickness like someone I know ;)

Custom DRY - cleaning

Dearest Blog,

Architecture here is wonderful....unless of course you are struggling with it in Studio at 3 AM on a wednesday night. Ha, i don't like to complain alot and i'm not going to here. Instead I'm going to write about how the Dry-In house is a really cool idea that seems easily enough applied.

The first concept about Dry-In house that really interested me was the endless amounts of wooden truss roof systems that are possible even in a shotgun house form. It seems that you could make any possible geometric shapes with the trusses.

Also, the speed and efficiency of the trusses being cut by computerized saw and the ease at which they are put together by workers was surprising. The efforts, money, and time saved by this truss construction and deliver system is much better than the conventional methods.

The customization of your own house was really my favorite part. The fact that you get a sheet that you can draw a sketch on and change factors to make your own house was great! I can really see this project being very successful and helping many people in need in New Orleans while still giving them the freedom of designing a place that is "THEIR OWN" at the original place their homes were.

Wash Owt.

16 April, 2008

Gravity, stay the hell away from me....

So, this week I have been working on models for our project. I started the week out with a site model showing where marshlands would be located on our site. Turns out that the marsh is just going to take everything over and eventually there will be no islands. So then, the group came to the decision to make a section model of the building. One that shows the support system inside the building. Only problem is, our sample does not have ends, so now I have a model showing the columns perfectly, but gravity is tearing it apart from the ground up. My only hope is to keep working with stabilizing the structure until it can support itself. But it just begs the question, is this system going to work?



Yesterday, Shannon, Brett, and myself went to take pictures of the site. We'll just crossing the bridge wasn't good enough for us...so we decided to go into Mont Juic. So there we were, the site to our backs and Mont Juic towering infront of us. The road separated us from the foot of the mountain...how were we going to cross? A tunnel lie before us dark and forboding. Who knew what creatures we would find slumbering away inside. Brett pulled up his shorts and I tightened the drawstrings on my bag and Shannon secured her camera into her back pocket. We were going in. The dark tunnel swallowed us as if we were krill being swallowed by a blue whale...and what lie inside was even more interesting. The smell of urine and decaying food stuck like mortar in my lungs caking and saturating my lungs. Foul, homeless creatures lay, slumbering like lions in a den. We were careful not to disturb them for we were in their lair and not welcome at that! Then we saw the other end of the tunnel...we were free...we exited the smelly hole and found ourselves at the mountain.

The cliffs were steep and seemed unpenatrable, but we had an "ace in the hole," Brett the rock climber. He found us a perfect way in up the face of the mountain. So Shannon and I followed Brett's lead until we reached the next landing. We came to a flat surface and noticed we were in a desert-scape. Cacti and succulant plants with gorgeous flowers were all around us. This was not Spain, we were in some kind of different place. Shannon and I were entraced by the flowers, taking pictures left and right, while Brett maintained his steadfastness about this mission. This areas had a strange calm about it, as there were no people to be seen anywhere. Where had Brett lead us to? It was some kind of park, and we were not supposed to be there. But alas, we needed that all-perfect shot of our site. As I was perched over a cactus, Brett calls out, "Duck your heads, they're watching."
I look up and what do i find but a security camera in front of me. I hide my face and we ran to the pole where the camera was situated. This way the camera could not see us. (I had learned this little trick from playing video games.) Next we traveled along a path and I still found myself awe-struck by the plants. Again, "Duck your heads!"
We divert to another path without any cameras. Then Brett spots a weakness in the surrounding fences. We exploit this weakness but we had to push our way through dangerous cacti with large and dangerous quills!
Once we got street side, we made our way up to a new construction site. This was the perfect place to get our shot. But again, the workers would not let us pass. So we walk to a bar, sit and have drinks. We reminisce about things then we realized it was getting late and we still needed that shot. So Brett makes his way back to the construction site and no one is there. He sneaks out into the side, moving the fence just so, so that he could slip through, when suddenly a man in a trailor is alerted to Brett's presence. Brett quickly gets out of his line of site and rendezvous with us in front of the cafe.
Now it seemed as though we would never get the shot we had come so far to get. But Brett thought otherwise. He instructed me to go to up and along the wall and try to get the shot, but the man that had spotted him had spotted me also and yelled something in catalan to which I could only imagine were a slew of curse words and warnings. I then, knowing I had to come through found a weakness in a gate that sat just below me. I shimmied through this tiny hole and was again, back among the desert plants. I had to then scale down part of the mountainside, but to my dismay I fell down the mountainside. But I must have been disoriented from my fall and a little disoriented from the alcohol of my beer, because I only managed to take a shot of me and a cactus and not of the site.
Suddenly I hear, footsteps running towards me. I get ready to fight or flee when I noticed it was Brett. He ran and grabbed the camera took the shot and we ran back to the gate. Both of us jumped and scaled the gate, me not as gracefully as Brett, to meet Shannon on the other side. As we were leaving, the faint sound of some alarm was going off in the distance. Could this have been from us? Maybe, I would have liked to think so.

After all of this, we made our way back to HQ or RESA and settled down for the night.


Insane Zaniness

I just wanted to point out during my run along the beach today I saw a senior citizen walking down the beach boulevard with a black PIG. I promise I saw it. I even stopped for a second to double check. Yup, just walking along the coast with her pet hog on a leash.

Thats all.

14 April, 2008

It's harder to blog while eating a peanut butter sandwich.

Group Four.

Things are finally starting to fall into place for our rag-tag team of hooligans. Everyone's started focusing their attention on a different aspect of our presentation material so we can get this thing done in time for beach season. The name of the game is "do what you do". Hopefully it all comes together. Either way, we're goin' to the beach.

One thing that's still buggin' me is our lack of a project title. We need to come up with something bold and clever. A project title which strikes fear into the hearts of all the other projects in the competition. Possibly using one or more of the prefixes 'super','mega','ultra', or 'turbo'. Young children should cry when they see it. I'm in B411 if you've got suggestions.


13 April, 2008

Form Z

I tried learning Rhino, I really did. But without a gabillion plug ins it just does not have the rendering abilities that Form Z has. So I reinstalled Form Z...It was a little painful but then I started remembering all the cool stuff I did with the program...I also thought I remembered for the most part how to do stuff. So I start messing with it...mostly with the topography button because I wanted to model Mont Juic. Of course the second I start doing anything, it starts acting screwy. I kept trying different buttons and options and I even looked up directions on how to do it but I could not ever it to work for the life of me. I wasted a solid 3 hours just trying to get 2 commands to work...and like typical form z it suddenly decided to spring to life when someone else touched it. Oh well, At least it seems to be working now. I'm sure it will get another chance to annoy me though in the near future.

Kathrin's Paper

So here we are, final week of class. I'm currently working on the paper for Kathrin's class (yes I'm using the blog as a procrastination method). Tomorrow is going to be a long day of presentations and then major studio work for the rest of the week. For now, though, I'm focusing on the differences between Parc de Sant Marti and Plaza de General Moragues. This picture is from the Calatrava bridge that separates them. Across the train tracks you can see that it is well maintained and inviting while on my side it is the opposite. Why are two similar spaces so close together so different? That's what I'm brainstorming on right now, wait for our presentation tomorrow to find out.

"We got... Snakes on a... Site."

Thinking in broad stokes, trying to incorporate spaces that are used all day every day, connecting the site to the city, circulation between program spaces, and connections to Montjuic. We are making it all happen. The Texas A&M review was helpful to see what JC wants for us to create. I'm starting to get the impression that strong images are more important than strong ideas, but the groups who did the best had a successful weaving of these two concepts. Our solid group ideas are there, and our images are coming along. We actually made good use of the division of labor this weekend, by designating what we all needed to do in terms of final images. Things are coming together, here is a taste...and it only gets better from here. The title for this blog was a Lauren Manning quote when she saw these images...

12 April, 2008


So I think for the first time in the semester, our group knows where we are heading. I guess its better late than never. But our concept of making our site into a transportation hub has started to evolve. After watching the reviews from a&m on Thursday, I feel pretty confident our group will be ready next week. In particular, I've been trying to revamp all of our old stuff from past reviews and figure out how we are going to present them on our final boards. Its hard trying to all work smart independently when so much stuff your doing effects what your partner is doing. I'm excited to see the final results of everyone's work for the past 4 months, and also pretty ready to say goodbye to the barcelona port. It definately went too fast, and I miss Dulce. The picture is a sweet rendering some lady working for Diagonal Mar gave me when we went in to inquire about the park.


So I took some much needed time away yesterday, mostly far away from my computer, and headed down to the beach with Chad, Steven, and Jeremy. We had every intention of gettin some good ping pong in at Plaza Poeta Bosca on the way until I crushed the ball after about 11 minutes of gaming. What's worse is that I crushed it by stepping on it and wasn't smart enough to bring spares, because ping pong balls are such durable creations.

So on to the beach we went. Jeremy had been talkin about finding a good place to do slackline, and I'd just been nodding my head and pretending like I knew what was going on. Then he asked if I'd ever done it, and I admitted I had no clue what was about to happen. Basically, it's a massive, industrial strength rubber band suspended between two trees, poles, etc. to create a tightrope. Then, you amuse yourself and others by walking on it, running on it, jumping on it, and/or getting thrown by it. It seems like it'd be fun to get good at it, but I never got up and stayed up for more than a few seconds. Jeremy was pretty good though, drew a few spectators even. Funniest part though was this kid on a bike who apparently didn't see it somehow and ran into it while we were setting it up. Hearing the really loud snap, we turned around and saw this look of pure confused terror on his face....priceless! It was definitely a good day at the beach.

Roasted Grasshopper

Yesterday we went to Malik's underground. There was a couple of spaniards sitting beside us, and they were shouting. and I looked to see what they were shouting about. It turns out one of the guys wanted the rest to try whatever he was eating from a small white plate. It was dark so I couldnt see what exactly it was. The guy saw me looking at it, so he brings the plate to me and light up his lighter and brings it closer to the plate and tells me to try it.
It was a grasshopper, they were black roasted grasshoppers. I do not know what made me reach to it and grab one and chew on it, but I did, and seeing that Calvin was up to it as well, made it less awkward. while Calvin swallowed it and kept on eating his Doner kebap. I kinda wanted to see how it tasted, and honestly, it was soooooooo good!!! a little salty but it was roasted so well and MMmmmm...
It doesnt look as good as the picture, but I couldnt find a picture of only the roasted grasshoppers.

Hokay, so, I'm a big dork, but I really do love museums. Even dorkier, I'm still thinking about the one's I've gotten to see, specifically over indy travel. The Mercedes-Benz, Neue Nationalgalerie, Jewish Museum, Tate Modern, etc etc. They all are homes of amazing collections, yet each really created such a different impact on my interaction with the collection. The Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart really takes the cake, with the Neue Nationalgalerie following up a close second. I love the idea of starting at the top and working your way down the ramp like in the M-B; it broke the traditional mold of starting on a ground-level and working your way up. Also really striking was the double-helix interior shaping they used to maximize space, while also allowing you to view other parts of the museum - kind of a way to see where you're going vs. where you're at & where you have been. Granted, I also love cars, so that didn't hurt either. The circulation of the Neue Nationalgalerie is almost opposite of that of the Mercedes-Benz. Your direction is extremely directed in the M-B Museum, whereas there is an extremely open circulation in the Neue Nationalgalerie, without being confusing like the Jewish Museum. The art was set up mostly chronologically in the NNg, dividing each space with a partition. The partitions made them feel more connected, and you were able to access a space at least three different ways, making the route feel less contrived. There were a significant amount of people in the museum, but it never really felt like that because there was constant movement (much unlike standing still at the Van Gogh museum) and it was easy to move between rooms. I had previously thought that designing a museum space would be so simple because you have few programmatic elements, and just have to create different sized spaces to accommodate the work. And, while this is true, the differences in circulation have really created the success or failure of the building, as well as impacted my enjoyment of the space and the collection.

The Office

The Office has become one of my new favorite shows. I had always thought it looked kind of dumb and it came on during a different show that I really liked, so I never watched it. In Frankfurt, we had a little down time one night so we watched some of the episodes Johanna had with her, and I really liked it. Since then, I've watched all the episodes she brought with her and now I'm downloading episodes from tudou.com every day. I wish the website had better quality but its one of the only ones I've found that has all the episodes, so its all I've got. I certainly am looking forward to being able to watch it in normal quality back in the US, even though that will probably have to wait until next season.

Calatrava Land

Last Saturday Josh, Shannon and I took a day trip to Valencia. I was really excited to see "Calatrava Land." Sophomore year when we all were assigned an architect to research and then base aspects of our design off of, my architect was Calatrava. The building was the Auditorio de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, but since that is still quite far from here, seeing his work in Valencia was the next best thing. The three major buildings in the City of Arts and Sciences did not let down. We could see the Palau de Arts from a distance and then gradually got to see more and more as we got closer. My favorite part was once we walked down and were along the waters edge looking up at the buildings. It was cool to see Calatrava's use of trencadis with all white tiles, as opposed to Gaudi's more flamboyant approach to the same idea. I think its great how different these buildings look from the rest of the city and how they have become such a major landmark of Valencia.

death by bike, how LAME

Yesterday we started a quest to find Mexican food. It was a group of us after the Texas A&M review: Sonal, Susan, Christina, Matt, Chad, Jeremy, Stephen, and Steven (or is it like the other Stephen? No se...) But anyway, as we were wandering around L'Eixample, mostly lost (they wouldn't outright admit it), and starving. We get to a crosswalk that's red. Well there wasn't really anyone coming so I started crossing. The next thing I hear is Jeremy yelling, watch out for the bike! I almost got hit by the bike, yes, but I did get out of the way. To make the story worse, it was one of those dinky Bicing bikes. But it's okay, everyone was too busy cracking up. :-P

montages rule

So far in studio...well let's just not talk about the professors comments...but anyway, as far as the project goes, it's changed. A lot. Many times. But I think (and hope, A LOT) that it's starting to come together. Our islands are looking pretty sweet, even though they still need some work in form Z on my part. But the part that I like best so far is actually one of Hecker's suggestions. He told us on Tuesday when he talked to us to do a quick montage of what we picture the place as looking like. Which I excitedly jumped on, cause I like messing with stuff in Photoshop like that. And I've got to say, I really like the way that it turned out. Especially the montage style. I really like the way that it looks.

P.S. - As Hecker quickly pointed out, why yes, I did rip off a Zaha Hadid building.

The Dark Knight

Opening as one of the most anticipated summer releases, on July 19 The Dark Knight will become the 6th Batman movie in the last 19 years. Not only will it be an amazing extension in the new series with Christian Bale, but mostly it will always be remembered by Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the new Joker. Having a darker and more realistic murderous mind set, Heath will likely (it’s very hard for me to say this but) outshine Nicholson’s role as the Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, also drawing a lot of attention as being one of Ledger’s last major roles done before his death just over two months ago. It will be a shame watching the movie knowing that such a talented actor will never be seen ever again.

I have to say that I feel legitimately more excited for this movie than I have ever felt for any other flick. I never ever see a movie twice while it’s still in theaters, but I knowingly will see this one at least twice. The movie will also kick start the role of Harvey two-face, played by Aaron Eckhart (Thank you for smoking), his role should pull through the next Batman movie as well. There will be new bat-suits, bat-mobiles, bat-weapons, and bat-caves. Until then I can only watch the trailer and imagine how insane this 135 minute ride will be.

R.I.P. Heath Ledger april_19_1979 - janurary_22_08

11 April, 2008

My new favorite.

So, I have been trying to eat better and more cost efficiently for a while. However, I do not always have time to make a larger meal, so I have recently been trying to compact it all into one portion... the awesomest sandwich de Barcelona. It requires three pieces of bread, lots of butter, cheese, ham, maybe bacon if you like, and an egg. You start off by cutting a circle in a piece of bread to about the size of a yolk. You then crack an egg in a hot skillet, then take the piece of bread and place it on top of the egg so that the yolk is through the hole. Then, put the circle of bread left over on top of the yolk. Add a some butter on the bread and let it cook. Then, toast the other two slices in a pan and place some cheese on top of one slice. Do not put the two slices together. Then, take the egg bread and put it in between the two toasted slices. Add the meat to you desire and presto. It is not a new sandwich or anything, but it is good and cheap. I cook a lot with eggs because they are cheap along with ham. So, just get on with your eggs and eat good.

Can Miguel Roldan Cook the Final Dinner?

Every time we have a review with Miguel, he manages to throw in cooking metaphors. We have "all the ingredients for a good project, we just have to figure out the recipe", or he "can start to taste" or "digest" what our building is about. I guess that really is what a competition is about, really showing a "taste" of what you plan to do, but I was also thinking, if Miguel talks about food so much, he must be a good cook, right?

I Can Wait

It seems like everyone's starting to get anxious about the end. I just can't believe it's here already... I could stay another semester. Barcelona's been awesome, but I feel like I still haven't seen it all... I started thinking that I've missed out on traveling Europe because I've only been on 4 trips outside of Barcelona this whole semester, but in the end I wouldn't change anything. I love exploring Barcelona. It's a great city with sooo much variety. Besides, I think I'll do plenty of traveling after we get out of class. I'm going to stay in Europe until June 11... it may be a challenge, considering that I'm quickly running out of funds, but I've already planned travel to milan, cinque terre, venice, prague, and vienna with Joe and Cromer- should be fun...
Kathrin's paper/presentation combo are due pretty much Monday.
My favorite Genova kids are coming here next weekend.
Studio review is in 1.5 weeks.
Data cards are due early May.
Still don't have an internship for the summer.
And, I have become my Daddy-O, whom I love.

I'm so psyched about finishing the work with well-developed ideas, strategies, illustrations, etc. that needs to be done, so that play time can exist. However, I feel that others are living in now and not future (future, like one week), which is fine, but I personally feel the sooner things get done, the sooner play time comes for real, right? Mas o menos. But, when I was having a chat with the person who wants to become a mime and read children's books on La Rambla, I realized that I am the only one on my boat, making me a little frustrated. Okays, a lot frustrated.

I personally, I would love to set goals for the paper being done early Sunday (instead of Monday morning, which I fear for)... studio boards getting finished Friday-ish... and data cards will be finished the following week, but, all is dependent upon meeting times... this, that, and the other. All of which I cannot control. I love variables.

Variables are also controlling my ability to find a summer internship/job dealing somewhat in the LA field. My friend who is a construction manager in Hotalanta was just telling me how they are lacking in work because of the housing market being down... really down. Then, 2 days ago, I get an email from a really awesome firm down by the coast telling me that I have a great resume because of my work experiences and opportunities I have taken advantage of, but they just can't hire an intern this summer... because of the stupid housing market. So check back before I graduate in December... this has occurred multiple times. Variables and frustrations. Frustrations and variables.

Don't get me wrong, I love life and I love Barcelona and I love being on my own. Three of my favorite things, but I am ready to be finished with this semester forever. A lot of things have been a PITA, especially the variations in ages and maturity levels, and if you have been in the workforce, you know what this is. I am very excited to see my favorites this next weekend and show them around one of my favorite places... they'll finally get to see some really awesome contemporary architecture, as well as a multitude of other awesome places where I have called home these last few months. I am also excited to see my cousin and his family in Southern Germany when we finish reviews. I cannot remember the last time I saw him and I cannot wait to meet his little guy and wifey and spend some time being the people we love to hate (tourists). The video is my cuzo and his son and the reason I am looking forward to being finished with this semester :)



so last couple of weeks here in barcelona...that means every major project will b due in this small period of time...gonna b rough...for professor hecker we have a book due, which means revisitin our old friend the data card...but this shouldn't b too bad, seein how it's rly bout our experience here in barcelona...i rly wrote about this so i could get a chance to use this picture

Boardwalks are blue?!

Yesterday, I sat through what I guess I could call my first architecture final review. ALL of it. It wasn't ours, but it was a good insight to a week and a half from now. Nothing against A&M, but wow. How can you spend 4 months working on a project and have as little as they did when they are only taking 12 credit hours??? And what kills me is the fact that the grade they get here will get bumped up a letter grade when they get home, so the rumors go...

Highlights from the review if you missed this hilarious show:

They did not show really any kind of program, or talk about it... no circulation criteria, really... they had a huge lack of scales and references (people, cars, bikes, etc.)... their designs were not seductive enough... they didn't even think to use sections and sketches to show spaces, circulation... no materials... hardly any steel... very boring and monotonous sections... a lot of apologies and excuses (ps, you get reamed for doing this in an LA review)... not enough diagrams... boring renderings... no project or program statements... boardwalks are apparently really evident when colored blue... hotels are apparently red... commercial is yellow?... (apparently no zoning research was done about this)... and I really enjoyed the A&M professor's humor about this review and his comments as to what would have happened if they showed him the work they did in his fourth year studio. He was awesome and cracked me up a bit. Doug Hecker was also awesome with the shaking of the head and his questions and comments. If you didn't stay, you really missed a good time, in my head anyways.

Hopefully my notes will help all of us in one week point 5 :)