/page/2

Although never completed, the 2002 renovations proposed by architect Frank Gehry for The Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C. stand out as a masterful piece of sculptural architecture—the interior included.

Within the parameters of the original Beaux Arts design, Gehry used his unique artistry to produce a 140,000 sq. ft. stainless steel addition. The result was a fusion of old and new technology; an acknowledgment of the past as well as the future.

Since its inception, the function of The Corcoran has always been to promote interest in the arts. Beginning as a gallery featuring the private collection of William Wilson Corcoran, the current facility is now both a museum as well as a prestigious Fine Arts college.

Even without the Gehry addition, The Corcoran l is a destination and a landmark in itself. It engages the community to enter and participate in a variety of capacities from workshops to volunteer programs to educational tours.

(Source: Washington Post)

Park City, UT was settled in 1870 as a mining town. In 1980, after experiencing a long economic downturn, the city re-bounded as a tourist destination for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. It was one of two major sites in the area to host events for the 2002 Winter Olympics and is the major venue for the Sundance Film Festival.

At 17 sq. miles, Park City is by no means a large town. Actual resident count is only about 7,558, which is a population density of about 430.2 sq. miles. However, it has to its advantage a beautiful mountain range, which keeps the tourist dollars (amounting to a figure around $5 million) flowing in year to year.

The building which housed the original Kimball Arts Center began as a stable and operated as such throughout the early mining years of the town. In 1929, the building was purchased by Kimball Bros. who turned it into a garage.  It served this function for 43 years, until it was renovated once again by Bill Kimball, who turned it into The Kimball Arts Center. It has since acted as a non-profit community center for the visual arts.

The Brooks + Scarpa renovation plans are an answer to the current structure’s limited size, utility and layout. The project goals of the renovation were to: increase educational outreach, enhance quality and scale of exhibitions and to maintain free admission to the public. Of the structure itself, the client wanted it to be: artistic in design, creative in function and a source of continued inspiration.

I think Brooks + Scarpa nailed it.

Not only did these designers answer their client’s needs, but they did so with a structure that considered every aspect of sustainable design. In order to provide the best in energy-efficient climate control, the designers at Brooks + Scarpa researched and implemented site-customized solar passive design, heat exchange, and natural ventilation. The result is a structure that is beautiful from any perspective, whether inside or outside, at ground level or on the rooftop.

This is a model project not only for client-need fulfillment, but also for sustainable design, community engagement and economic development.

Here we are, the midway point of the semester. There is definitely something to be said for taking the time to reflect on the work of the past few weeks; all of the models, the film clips, the scribbled musings…

I’ve pulled the content and context of four weeks’ worth of storyboards and re-arranged it, cutting out what was truly, truly nonsense and enhancing the good and previously overlooked.

In three new storyboards, what has at times felt like arbitrary tinkering is starting to take the form of something with real meaning; a story I can tell with actual words and have it make actual sense in an actual context to actual people.

In his book Zoomscapes, author Mitchell Schwartzer describes the affect of mechanized transportation and camera reproduction on the perception of architecture, density and cityscapes. In the context of transit, the most influential force dictating a person’s perception of these entities is speed. The passing snapshot of a particular section of terrain appears to the eye that catches it aboard a fast moving commuter train is different to one on a bicycle or on foot or in a car or on a bus. Speed can cause the the elements of a frame to blur together; things go unnoticed. On foot, distances between buildings, blocks, people are all set to a different framework—one that is able to understand the complexity of human interactivity, but unable to understand the greater connectedness or transitions between different neighborhoods. Ultimately, what is most applicable to my design focus, is the perception of time and distance as it is affected by speed. And the blurring or clarity of architectural elements and light are the biproduct of this force, which provides a visual representation of this concept.
http://www.amazon.com/Zoomscape-Architecture-Motion-Mitchell-Schwarzer/dp/1568984413

In his book Zoomscapes, author Mitchell Schwartzer describes the affect of mechanized transportation and camera reproduction on the perception of architecture, density and cityscapes. In the context of transit, the most influential force dictating a person’s perception of these entities is speed. The passing snapshot of a particular section of terrain appears to the eye that catches it aboard a fast moving commuter train is different to one on a bicycle or on foot or in a car or on a bus. Speed can cause the the elements of a frame to blur together; things go unnoticed. On foot, distances between buildings, blocks, people are all set to a different framework—one that is able to understand the complexity of human interactivity, but unable to understand the greater connectedness or transitions between different neighborhoods. Ultimately, what is most applicable to my design focus, is the perception of time and distance as it is affected by speed. And the blurring or clarity of architectural elements and light are the biproduct of this force, which provides a visual representation of this concept.

http://www.amazon.com/Zoomscape-Architecture-Motion-Mitchell-Schwarzer/dp/1568984413

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority consists of four different means of communal transportation: train, bus, subway and boat. Yes, boat.

I became interested in MBTA when I was sent an article discussing “value-capture” in the context of property ownership and transit lines.

http://www.infrastructurist.com/2011/06/01/paying-for-infrastructure-value-capture-and-the-use-of-private-land/

It is interesting to me the various ways in which different cities attempt to solve their communal transit needs. It isn’t enough to have just a bus or just a train. It isn’t even enough in some areas to have one type of bus and one type of train. San Francisco is probably the most complex I’ve ever heard of. They have every possible option, from streetcars to ferryboats, with duplicates of a few of these options, all owned and operated by different companies. There’s no real unity in function and no overlap in routes. There’s no unity at all really, save for the city in which these communal transit options operate. Yet, even in places such as these, there are still gaps of imperfection that leave the consumer wanting more. In Boston, they’ve come up with a pretty wacky solution for getting people around: a bus rapid transit line whose route is sectioned in two—subway level and street level—with a bus that correspondingly transforms from electric-power to diesel.

Undoubtedly, it’s bizarre. Undoubtedly, it’s an elaborate and complicated solution. But is it effective?

It is my method, when seeking out “the public opinion”, to check the reviews—the Yelp reviews.

What I found was a series of typical critiques on BRT and public transit in general. The general consesus was best summed up by one reviewer who gave the line three stars and said:

I don’t give a fo -nizzle if the silver line is a gigantic flying piece of goat poop.  It gets me there, in a timely manner, and in the summer it’s air conditioned.  
There’s a place to put your luggage when you’re going to the airport, and it has a sort of sterile feel to it, which, for public transportation, is unexpectedly nice.
Also, at the airport, I’ve managed to sneak on a few times, so a 3rd star goes to helping me stick it to the man.

(I selected this one for its humor)

Experiments in Rhino Redux

I revisited my Rhino model in hopes that a more accurate input of data would result in a more successful model. I used actual CTA data to calculate my heights and made careful adjustments to each and every command I applied. I color coded the layers to correspond with their respective ridership data. I was organized. I was meticulous. And I was frustrated. The thing about Rhino is, I have no idea how to use it. The thing about Rhino is, what is the point? Is the implementation of Rhino in my design going to alter the course of public transit usage as we know it? Ehhhhh…sadly, I’m sure I can find someone that would make that argument. For my purposes, however, I think Excel could have relayed this very same information much more effectively and with fewer tears (oh yes, there were tears).

Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means done with Rhino. I’m all for the challenge. But I find no joy in results that fail to justify the means by which they were gotten.

Experiments in Rhino

    This past week I read an article called “Computer Aided Design Techniques” by Birger Sevaldson in which the author acknowledged a certain, “let go and let God” aspect to the generative design technique. Even if the design attempts to be a literal interpretation or visualization, there is still an element of the unforeseen in the approach that is out of the designer’s hands which affects the entire outcome.
For example, I was inspired by Figure 14 in this article: the waiting lounge for a ferry company in Oslo. It was a design based on traffic patterns through the space, highlighting zones of intensity. I wished to visualize the same information with regard to the Chicago Transit Authority using the flame as a metaphor. When I went about building my model in Rhino, I applied bits of information I gathered as part of an overall survey for CTA usage and attempted to highlight zones of intensity in the different lines on the eL. I began my model by first redrawing the CTA map, being sure to color-code each layer (red, orange, green, purple, blue, yellow, brown and pink).To achieve three-dimensionality, I “[took] advantage of the computer’s generative power by exploiting the ‘engine of the unanticipated’” by lofting the corresponding surfaces of varying heights according to the frequency of use for each line.
While the result is not exactly an accurate portrayal of the actual data, the “unanticipated” was, quite simply, pretty cool.
Down the road, I hope to figure out how to input this data into a generative diagram that produces a model more accurately visualizing the differences in frequencies. Stay tuned for that. 

Rise, Wash and Address "Powerful Goodness" from Stephanie Geurkink on Vimeo.

Rise, Wash and Address “Powerful Goodness”


As promised, here is the film I created to support the overall premise of my communal transportation research. There will likely be a follow up post down the road of a shorter, more fine-tuned version as I continue to add and remove the various bits of footage I can’t seem to stop myself from collecting.

1 :: Time Based Meditation

Personal Infrastructure: Transportation Storyboard

I am beginning some work on a close examination of transportation as it pertains to the human routine and human social habits. This is a storyboard for the project as a whole, but also for a film compilation that will attempt to visually relate this infrastructure.

Layer one of this storyboard is pulled from the daily routine of Benjamin Franklin.

Ben Franlin's Daily Routine

I loved his poignant, albeit somewhat linguistically archaic, hourly itinerary. While most of us aren’t waking up at 5am to “address Powerful Goodness" (and, being Ben Franklin, that could hold a variety of connotations), we all have a morning ritual of some sort that helps us to prepare for the day. I also think that, whether it’s simply tackling the monotony of washing last night’s dishes or paying the cable bill, it is quite admirable to maintain an expectation of goal-accomplishment for each day.

The second and fourth rows of the storyboard exemplify transportation options. The film will delve into these systems on a deeper, more visual level, but for the initial planning purposes, I kept it simple.

The band on the third row is a depiction of the varying temperature intensities of a flame. I have been collecting data on population densities as well as various categories of “hot spots” (restaurants/residences/commercial offices/grocers/performance venues) and the frequency at which transit lines/routes and these “hot spots” are activated. The flame will serve as the medium by which I visualize the data I collect. I already foresee time-based systems having a major influence on flame intensity.

Stay tuned next week for the first pass at this exploration via film!

Although never completed, the 2002 renovations proposed by architect Frank Gehry for The Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C. stand out as a masterful piece of sculptural architecture—the interior included.

Within the parameters of the original Beaux Arts design, Gehry used his unique artistry to produce a 140,000 sq. ft. stainless steel addition. The result was a fusion of old and new technology; an acknowledgment of the past as well as the future.

Since its inception, the function of The Corcoran has always been to promote interest in the arts. Beginning as a gallery featuring the private collection of William Wilson Corcoran, the current facility is now both a museum as well as a prestigious Fine Arts college.

Even without the Gehry addition, The Corcoran l is a destination and a landmark in itself. It engages the community to enter and participate in a variety of capacities from workshops to volunteer programs to educational tours.

(Source: Washington Post)

Park City, UT was settled in 1870 as a mining town. In 1980, after experiencing a long economic downturn, the city re-bounded as a tourist destination for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. It was one of two major sites in the area to host events for the 2002 Winter Olympics and is the major venue for the Sundance Film Festival.

At 17 sq. miles, Park City is by no means a large town. Actual resident count is only about 7,558, which is a population density of about 430.2 sq. miles. However, it has to its advantage a beautiful mountain range, which keeps the tourist dollars (amounting to a figure around $5 million) flowing in year to year.

The building which housed the original Kimball Arts Center began as a stable and operated as such throughout the early mining years of the town. In 1929, the building was purchased by Kimball Bros. who turned it into a garage.  It served this function for 43 years, until it was renovated once again by Bill Kimball, who turned it into The Kimball Arts Center. It has since acted as a non-profit community center for the visual arts.

The Brooks + Scarpa renovation plans are an answer to the current structure’s limited size, utility and layout. The project goals of the renovation were to: increase educational outreach, enhance quality and scale of exhibitions and to maintain free admission to the public. Of the structure itself, the client wanted it to be: artistic in design, creative in function and a source of continued inspiration.

I think Brooks + Scarpa nailed it.

Not only did these designers answer their client’s needs, but they did so with a structure that considered every aspect of sustainable design. In order to provide the best in energy-efficient climate control, the designers at Brooks + Scarpa researched and implemented site-customized solar passive design, heat exchange, and natural ventilation. The result is a structure that is beautiful from any perspective, whether inside or outside, at ground level or on the rooftop.

This is a model project not only for client-need fulfillment, but also for sustainable design, community engagement and economic development.


Read more: Brooks + Scarpa Unveil Airy Cloud-Like Renovation For the Kimball Art Center | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Here we are, the midway point of the semester. There is definitely something to be said for taking the time to reflect on the work of the past few weeks; all of the models, the film clips, the scribbled musings…

I’ve pulled the content and context of four weeks’ worth of storyboards and re-arranged it, cutting out what was truly, truly nonsense and enhancing the good and previously overlooked.

In three new storyboards, what has at times felt like arbitrary tinkering is starting to take the form of something with real meaning; a story I can tell with actual words and have it make actual sense in an actual context to actual people.

In his book Zoomscapes, author Mitchell Schwartzer describes the affect of mechanized transportation and camera reproduction on the perception of architecture, density and cityscapes. In the context of transit, the most influential force dictating a person’s perception of these entities is speed. The passing snapshot of a particular section of terrain appears to the eye that catches it aboard a fast moving commuter train is different to one on a bicycle or on foot or in a car or on a bus. Speed can cause the the elements of a frame to blur together; things go unnoticed. On foot, distances between buildings, blocks, people are all set to a different framework—one that is able to understand the complexity of human interactivity, but unable to understand the greater connectedness or transitions between different neighborhoods. Ultimately, what is most applicable to my design focus, is the perception of time and distance as it is affected by speed. And the blurring or clarity of architectural elements and light are the biproduct of this force, which provides a visual representation of this concept.
http://www.amazon.com/Zoomscape-Architecture-Motion-Mitchell-Schwarzer/dp/1568984413

In his book Zoomscapes, author Mitchell Schwartzer describes the affect of mechanized transportation and camera reproduction on the perception of architecture, density and cityscapes. In the context of transit, the most influential force dictating a person’s perception of these entities is speed. The passing snapshot of a particular section of terrain appears to the eye that catches it aboard a fast moving commuter train is different to one on a bicycle or on foot or in a car or on a bus. Speed can cause the the elements of a frame to blur together; things go unnoticed. On foot, distances between buildings, blocks, people are all set to a different framework—one that is able to understand the complexity of human interactivity, but unable to understand the greater connectedness or transitions between different neighborhoods. Ultimately, what is most applicable to my design focus, is the perception of time and distance as it is affected by speed. And the blurring or clarity of architectural elements and light are the biproduct of this force, which provides a visual representation of this concept.

http://www.amazon.com/Zoomscape-Architecture-Motion-Mitchell-Schwarzer/dp/1568984413

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority consists of four different means of communal transportation: train, bus, subway and boat. Yes, boat.

I became interested in MBTA when I was sent an article discussing “value-capture” in the context of property ownership and transit lines.

http://www.infrastructurist.com/2011/06/01/paying-for-infrastructure-value-capture-and-the-use-of-private-land/

It is interesting to me the various ways in which different cities attempt to solve their communal transit needs. It isn’t enough to have just a bus or just a train. It isn’t even enough in some areas to have one type of bus and one type of train. San Francisco is probably the most complex I’ve ever heard of. They have every possible option, from streetcars to ferryboats, with duplicates of a few of these options, all owned and operated by different companies. There’s no real unity in function and no overlap in routes. There’s no unity at all really, save for the city in which these communal transit options operate. Yet, even in places such as these, there are still gaps of imperfection that leave the consumer wanting more. In Boston, they’ve come up with a pretty wacky solution for getting people around: a bus rapid transit line whose route is sectioned in two—subway level and street level—with a bus that correspondingly transforms from electric-power to diesel.

Undoubtedly, it’s bizarre. Undoubtedly, it’s an elaborate and complicated solution. But is it effective?

It is my method, when seeking out “the public opinion”, to check the reviews—the Yelp reviews.

What I found was a series of typical critiques on BRT and public transit in general. The general consesus was best summed up by one reviewer who gave the line three stars and said:

I don’t give a fo -nizzle if the silver line is a gigantic flying piece of goat poop.  It gets me there, in a timely manner, and in the summer it’s air conditioned.  
There’s a place to put your luggage when you’re going to the airport, and it has a sort of sterile feel to it, which, for public transportation, is unexpectedly nice.
Also, at the airport, I’ve managed to sneak on a few times, so a 3rd star goes to helping me stick it to the man.

(I selected this one for its humor)

Experiments in Rhino Redux

I revisited my Rhino model in hopes that a more accurate input of data would result in a more successful model. I used actual CTA data to calculate my heights and made careful adjustments to each and every command I applied. I color coded the layers to correspond with their respective ridership data. I was organized. I was meticulous. And I was frustrated. The thing about Rhino is, I have no idea how to use it. The thing about Rhino is, what is the point? Is the implementation of Rhino in my design going to alter the course of public transit usage as we know it? Ehhhhh…sadly, I’m sure I can find someone that would make that argument. For my purposes, however, I think Excel could have relayed this very same information much more effectively and with fewer tears (oh yes, there were tears).

Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means done with Rhino. I’m all for the challenge. But I find no joy in results that fail to justify the means by which they were gotten.

Experiments in Rhino

    This past week I read an article called “Computer Aided Design Techniques” by Birger Sevaldson in which the author acknowledged a certain, “let go and let God” aspect to the generative design technique. Even if the design attempts to be a literal interpretation or visualization, there is still an element of the unforeseen in the approach that is out of the designer’s hands which affects the entire outcome.
For example, I was inspired by Figure 14 in this article: the waiting lounge for a ferry company in Oslo. It was a design based on traffic patterns through the space, highlighting zones of intensity. I wished to visualize the same information with regard to the Chicago Transit Authority using the flame as a metaphor. When I went about building my model in Rhino, I applied bits of information I gathered as part of an overall survey for CTA usage and attempted to highlight zones of intensity in the different lines on the eL. I began my model by first redrawing the CTA map, being sure to color-code each layer (red, orange, green, purple, blue, yellow, brown and pink).To achieve three-dimensionality, I “[took] advantage of the computer’s generative power by exploiting the ‘engine of the unanticipated’” by lofting the corresponding surfaces of varying heights according to the frequency of use for each line.
While the result is not exactly an accurate portrayal of the actual data, the “unanticipated” was, quite simply, pretty cool.
Down the road, I hope to figure out how to input this data into a generative diagram that produces a model more accurately visualizing the differences in frequencies. Stay tuned for that. 

Rise, Wash and Address "Powerful Goodness" from Stephanie Geurkink on Vimeo.

Rise, Wash and Address “Powerful Goodness”


As promised, here is the film I created to support the overall premise of my communal transportation research. There will likely be a follow up post down the road of a shorter, more fine-tuned version as I continue to add and remove the various bits of footage I can’t seem to stop myself from collecting.

1 :: Time Based Meditation

Personal Infrastructure: Transportation Storyboard

I am beginning some work on a close examination of transportation as it pertains to the human routine and human social habits. This is a storyboard for the project as a whole, but also for a film compilation that will attempt to visually relate this infrastructure.

Layer one of this storyboard is pulled from the daily routine of Benjamin Franklin.

Ben Franlin's Daily Routine

I loved his poignant, albeit somewhat linguistically archaic, hourly itinerary. While most of us aren’t waking up at 5am to “address Powerful Goodness" (and, being Ben Franklin, that could hold a variety of connotations), we all have a morning ritual of some sort that helps us to prepare for the day. I also think that, whether it’s simply tackling the monotony of washing last night’s dishes or paying the cable bill, it is quite admirable to maintain an expectation of goal-accomplishment for each day.

The second and fourth rows of the storyboard exemplify transportation options. The film will delve into these systems on a deeper, more visual level, but for the initial planning purposes, I kept it simple.

The band on the third row is a depiction of the varying temperature intensities of a flame. I have been collecting data on population densities as well as various categories of “hot spots” (restaurants/residences/commercial offices/grocers/performance venues) and the frequency at which transit lines/routes and these “hot spots” are activated. The flame will serve as the medium by which I visualize the data I collect. I already foresee time-based systems having a major influence on flame intensity.

Stay tuned next week for the first pass at this exploration via film!

Experiments in Rhino Redux
Experiments in Rhino
1 :: Time Based Meditation

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