T e a m 8 8 | prelude

The flood

Green is the compliment of…

Architecture is visual, but prompts are written. Somewhere, a few hours into a sheet of trace, an important discovery is made: there must be a connection to the second floor. This proceeds disparagement of any idea intailing a bridge or a ramp.

Thus comes my first lesson: read the SPEC.


Murphy’s law

As his luck would have it, Murphy was a computer-based designer. Such assumptions are easily believable when computer models suddenly decide a concrete platform is made of slowly softening wax, the base bending out and the top warping like a hand saw. When this problem solves itself, Photoshop begins to dance around the computer screen like a 14 year old whose twin, CAD, is in need of work ethic and an attitude adjustment. All this is forgivable in light of assumed measurements being incorrect and geography being crooked.


‘Architecture is its own language.’ But a student is not taught the language of designers. Language evolves in isolated groups and to meet a need. Perhaps, somehow, potentially, maybe: the words of self-protection from pragmatic criticism. It seems no matter how perfect a solution is, it is not. It is wrong. So the attachment of one of these four buffer terms to any proposed idea shields the speaker from mockery. To exemplify: ‘Perhaps we could maybe create a potentially brilliant idea, somehow.’   The speaker said nothing, but is too tentative to be critiqued.


There are several stages of tiredness.

First is the mere yawn and lowered focus.

Soon after, people cackle with lunacy. Short pulses of laughter in excitement or humor disrupt the hushed buzz of others concentrating. Words slur and ideas grow more illogical. People laugh more than think, and solutions are far from excellent. Hunger takes over as bodies decide to rely on calories instead of sleep. Locations of work often change to supply stimulation to a tiring mind.

Then eyes fade darker, and the focus greater; efficiency takes control of the project. Solutions replace the whimsical, humorous ideas of earlier, but this is not to say that creativity vanishes: it is refined.

Lesser ideas

ski lifts–direct access from parking lot to second floor, replaces T-link, possible extensions to other buildings for class    changes.

ski resorts–faster building access, slope passes could fund campus construction

victorian and ceramic doors–no plausible benefits


This bridge would be elegant and practical… if it was ADA compliant.

Maybe if we bend it. But then there must be a landing.

Maybe extend it a foot. You forgot about the landing before the doors.

How short is too short? About 30 feet short of compliant.



Above all else, code has most affected the design. Beauty and feasibility are vital, but law is essential. What was once a smooth line from door to sidewalk has acquired curves, steps, hand rails, and above all, size. This is not complaining about a ruined concept, though. Another lesson is taught: with constraints comes more creative thinking. The project would be infantile if not forced to grow.


Calories are needed to maintain the brain’s higher thinking abilities. With poor nutrition and starvation, the mind goes along with the wasting body. Subsequently, eating is a vital part of the design process.

Unfortunately, eating takes time. So when a design group finally eats, they eat furiously–to curb current hunger and maximize time until the next meal.

burger, fries, drink, frosty, three chicken wraps

chicken sandwich, another chicken sandwich, frosty, side salad, cup of pickles.

All-you-can-eat Indian buffets

Hot wings, more hot wings, chicken sandwich, another chicken sandwich, fries, a bag of pickles, Sprite, Fanta, another Fanta, birthday cake milkshake.


completed project