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    p o r t f o l i okelsey matteson

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    table of contents

    visual communications i design i visual communications ii design ii visual communications iii design iii design iv construction iii environmental controls i design v

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    rockite cast

    This rockite cast was created by distorting an every day object - the plastic water bottle. The cast began as a solid rectangular prism, and then the water bottle form was introduced. Inserting the plastic into the rockite mold forced one to think not only about the space being formed by the rockite, but the negative space created by the void of the bottle. Once the concrete set, the plastic was removed, and the negative spaces were celebrated. The industrial, plastic, man-made water bottle, once distorted, created remarkably beautiful organic hollows within the rockite. Design is not only about the built space, it is about the resultant negative space; the occupiable space is where life happens.

    rectilinear form study

    planar study

    rotated view of planar study

    focus grounded spine

    This project began simply with black rectangles on a white piece of paper. Ironic, because life is so rarely black and white. Basic compositions were tested, and created with different words in mind. Those pictured above are: focus, grounded, and spine. These three compositions, two dimensional in nature, were then prescribed to three dimensions, as elements were pushed and pulled in space. The three dimensional designs were represented physically in the block of clay, and then transformed back into two dimensions through sectional drawings. From the drawings, the forms were transformed once again into three dimensions, but not as solids, but as planar elements, proving the interplay of dimensions within design and design thinking.

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    figure drawing

    Studying the human body teaches not only about proportion and the natural relation of elements, but about the most essential aspect of architecture, the user. This investigation of human form is a study of motion, light and shadow, and basic geometry.

    wood joint

    The wood joint project began with blind contour drawings of human hands. It takes great discipline to draw an object while looking only at the object and not the drawing itself. Once completed, the drawings were studied, and compared to the life they were drawn from. An interesting form of hands was selected and transfigured and simplified into a wood joint, proving that inspiration for design is ubiquitous, and where there is life, there is the opportunity for design.

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    tool drawing

    Through analyzing the geometries within the structure of a vice grip, objects began to appear as more than what they were. Every object, both natural and man-made is comprised of basic geometries, regardless of how complex it appears initially. In drawing not only the structure but the movement, this is inherent of each tool that was selected. However, for this assignment, one was not allowed to use a straight edge. Doing this drawing led to the discovery that the human body, like the tools, is entirely made of geometric forms, and that a circle can be created by hand, if the correct systems are utilized.

    light + shadow study

    Drawing the light and shadow found in the natural and built environment proved to be a difficult task for some. To do this, properly, one must abandon preconceived ideas of what the texture of water, stone, and concrete are. The process to creating the final drawing was to divide up the black and white image, and move square by square, drawing only what you see, not how you interpret water to be. Square by square, misconceptions about architecture dissolved to allow for what is true to come to through.

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    stop projectmicroprogram study

    Carving a space based on what is going to be happening inside is quintessentially architecture. Starting by documenting a simple movement - a leg stretch - and the physical space necessary to do the task is what drove this design. Other aspects considered are the visual space necessary or desired, and the space an individual needs to be comfortable doing the task. The final design began with a solid rectangular prism, and each move carved away a section of the interior, until the minimum space necessary to do the stretch is reached. This project defines both stereotomic and architecture itself.

    Not quite a bus stop, but a resting place for passers-by on the street, this stop allows for multiple levels of escape from the street. The wrap around bench at the base of the design just peels off of the street, allowing for easy access and a quick stop for people on the move. The second level is the dual staircase. The stair furthest away from the street is meant to bring people up, and separate them from the hum of the commute of everyday life. The larger stairs are for sitting and watching the people on the street. The highest level, is for a longer stop, to rest and observe the life happening below.

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    performance space In this space, life itself is the performance, as much, if not more than the musical creation or dance people are going to observe. The procession of people up and around the space is an act, and others are involuntarily observant of the world around them. The grand circulation brings people up and into the space, forcing them to ascend to reach the performance, making the music or dance very ethereal. The circulation is inspired by great architects that focus more on the movement of people than the intended program of the space. Every route in this space leads to watching the performance, and the long ramps build excitement in the viewers. The anticipation builds up to a climax, followed by a cathartic resolution once the performance starts. Circulation is extremely important musically and visually in a performance and in a building, and it is the most important aspect of this space, allowing the audience to observe all performances, intended, and unintended.

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    performance space

    performance space model

    watercolor + pattern study

    Practicing watercolor provided insight into something that architects are often afraid of - color. Mixing colors and uncovering the ways colors interact is essential design knowledge. This project introduces the idea of patterns, what they mean, how they can be created, and how shading and color can change the pattern itself. A continuing theme in both design and nature is pattern.

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    gypsy trail residence case study

    A case study drawing and diagramming the Gypsy Trail Residence exposes one not only to crafting a new piece of architecture, but to analyzing an existing one. The core of this residence is organic, and provides the life to the house. Extruded from the diagram above, the core houses the kitchen, arguably one of the most lively areas of any residence. All of the power and systems exist in this organic core, which then grows and becomes the rest of the house. The house outside of the core is mostly for resting, showing great contrast between the two distinct areas of the house.

    succulent geometry

    Much like the tool drawing in the first semester of design, this drawing and analysis is to discover the underlying geometries in nature. Coryphantha Werdermannii is a spherical cacti, which grows into an oblong shape after years, and flowers, through the central core. The tubercles wrap the sides of the cactus in a spiral pattern. This investigation provided great insight for future design projects, and proved that there is always a great source of inspiration in nature.

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    succulent pavilion

    After intense analysis of the Coryphantha Werdermannii cactus, a pattern was derived based on the underlying geometries. Modules were crafted based on the turbercles, simplified to three intersecting triangles, and light studies of the modules derived the pattern. This pattern was applied to one of the walls, and became a green wall for the cactus to grow in and be observed as an exhibit at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The geometries of the module leant themselves to becoming a seating area for visitors to rest, as well as an observation area to learn more about the plant. The dynamism of the triangular forms draw the visitors to the pavilion, and simultaneously displays the cacti.

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    lady bird johnson civic center This civic center is located just off the path surrounding the grassy plain behind Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It houses many activities, including learning and research areas, to discover more about the plants at the center, and a kitchen and large courtyard for parties or weddings. The entire design is organized along a spine, an overhead trough used to move rainwater to the far end of the path, creating a waterfall at the very end during heavy rainstorms. This spine is derived from natural elements, especially the wind flow, which will go directly through the South-East facing channel. This spine forms a dog run between the buildings on either side. The materiality of the buildings represent the function inside: the wood buildings are the more communal spaces, while the concrete is for the private areas, such as restrooms. While the buildings themselves are separated, the windows, and outdoor space i