Architecture for Humanity Gets a Wish from Sun Microsystems
Every year at the TED Conference someone is granted a world-changing wish. This year it was Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity. Sinclair is currently teaching here at the University of Minnesota department of architecture. From the article:
As part of his wish, Sinclair requested a means to allow architects, funders, non-governmental organizations and communities to collaborate on generating and implementing innovative housing solutions globally. Sun answered by offering to provide an online platform that will facilitate collaboration and sharing of designs and will use advanced technology to simulate geographic/seismic, political/cultural and financial ramifications of designs. Sun and Sinclair will gather additional support from the technology, entertainment and design industries represented at the TED conference.
Processing + Architecture
On the Processing site one of the featured pieces is "Parametric Difference" by John Houck, with Morphosis architects. The software he created takes two 3d models and finds the differences between them and by doing that, creates brand new forms.
If you're interested in creating software to facilitate your creative work, you should check out processing. Processing, in geek-speak, is an IDE (integrated development environment), a program that you can use to make other programs. Processing was created by Ben Fry (Aesthetics + Computation Program at MIT) and Casey Reas (Design | Media Arts program at UCLA). It's used by designers and artists to produce software for net art, installations, performances, analysis, games and all kinds of other stuff. It's built on top of the Java programming language, but it uses its own set of vocabulary, so the learning curve is much shorter.
Free Studio Space in Minneapolis
Artists in Minneapolis, listen up. If you're in need of studio space, the Soap Factory has a great deal for you. If you volunteer as little as 8 hours of your time, you qualify to stake your claim to studio space upstairs in their building for free! Anyone who's rented studio space knows that this is a tremendous deal. Added benefits are creating art among a lot of other artists and being involved in an amazing volunteer and community based arts organization. If you're not familiar with the Soap Factory, do yourself a favor and check out some of their shows. Then take some time and volunteer to help set up a show, even if you're not interested in the studio space, it's really great fun.
Next Big Project
We (I and 49 other students) are a few weeks into the second semester of our first year of the Master's of Architecture program here at the U of M. We just finished up a design project in which we studied the planning of the Mayo Woodlands development in Rochester, MN. That project culminated in the design of a house for the development. The results (50 house designs) are on display in the courtyard of Rapson Hall through friday.
The next project, which we just started, involves developing a master plan for the Augsburg College campus here in Minneapolis. The project will run through the end of the semester with the goal of designing blocks of student housing, of which the college is in need of.