Thursday, May 27, 2010


The article “Computing in Architectural Design” by Yehuda Kalay provides a very detailed description of the history of the use of computers to aid in design dating back to the 1950s. Beginning with Ivan Sutherland in the early 1960s and his development of the “light-pen” and sketchpad, computer aided design has come an extremely long way. The concept for this first system was one in which the draftsman would draw using the light-pen onto a complex display known as a sketchpad, where the computer would process what has been drawn by hand and convert it to math and a graphed set of numbers. The article follows the timelines through the decades describing high points of noteworthy breakthroughs of CAD technology. Some lessons I took from this article are that technology will never stop getting faster and smaller, and by the time a new precedent is set in CAD, there is already something more innovative in the works. The most important point I took from this article re-enforces the thinking I have been talking about for years: no matter how far technology advances, the most precious resource in the world will always be the creative thought processes of the human mind.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


As students in the field of design, we are privileged to expand our knowledge in areas that can be applied in many aspects of life. Understanding basic elements of design such as line, form, and color transcend the purposes we typically use them for. Of course when designing an apartment, a coffee table, or a car, control and use of these elements are essential. However while learning to control design elements and principles, we are also learning to control the things that greatly affect our happiness. The same thought processes used to design an apartment and a coffee table, are also used to write a piece of music, or cook a good meal. At first, this may sound odd, but if you reduce what you are doing when you are cooking, drawing, or playing music to their most refined state, you will see that when doing most things that make you happy, you are in some way always doing the same thing, you are just using a different vehicle to get there.
Music is one thing that makes me happier than most other things in the world. For me, making music is not unlike designing. I have written a piece of music on my bass guitar that is a representation of the way I would describe my design process. The piece represents the course of a project from start to finish. Starting with a steady rhythm, each project or design always starts with an idea or a spark. This idea is explored for a while, leading to new avenues and ideas that are also explored. We go back and forth between two or three ideas, always in search of the Utopian design: the one design that answers all of the questions and inspires everyone who engages the piece. Inevitably, we always end up over-thinking and over-analyzing until we grind to a halt. But eventually we make a decision, head in a direction, and rework our ideas until we arrive at our final product. At that point we are happy to have made it to the end, excited the struggle is over, and looking forward for what will come next. It was my goal to embody this process in this piece of music entitled ‘Keep Moving.’

- Jeff Linn

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This is a design that makes me VERY happy. This is a picture of a Warwick Dolphin Pro I Bass that is the same model that I have owned and played for 8 and a half years. I have played literally hundreds of bass guitars in the course of my life, and I have yet to play one that I feel has been better designed than this one. Obvious masterfull craftsmanship are demonstrated throughout evry minute detail of this instrument. For example, the body of the bass actualy curves to fit the contour of your body so it is more comfortable to play. The frets are made of the same bronze used to make bells to increase resonance of the stringas and increase tone depth and sustain. I could talk for days about why this is an example of excellence in design. I could talk for even longer about why exactly this design make me happy. Mostly, this is the one designed object that I have in my life that inspries me every time I pick it up, and I notice something new to appreciate about it every time I play it.

This is a picture of a Fender Precision Bass. I own a mexican version of this bass, which was my very first bass. While I truly love this instrument, I can also say that there are many things about this design I would LOVE to change. I will never sell or get rid of this bass, but at the same time, I definitely plan on making some improvements to the design at some point. This was the original design of the first electric bass guitar that was developed in the early 50's by Leo Fender. It was a design that changed the chape of music forever, and layed the foundation for an eternity of Electric Bass musicians. Since its design, it many other basses have been designed and created, but with out this one, none of the others would exist.

Friday, April 23, 2010



Like a refreshing gust of wind, Cindy Heffernan breathes life into her community with her contagious personality, and her love of life. Her apartment number six on the fourteenth floor of Unity Village is a place that inspires her artwork and provides a gathering place for neighbors who take watercolor lessons and participate in a book club together. Ms. Heffernan’s home is an extension of herself, and together they serve to refresh the community that is, Unity Village.


- Project assigned
- Brainstorming begins
- User needs are outlined and identified
- Breakdown of space diagramed
- Collection of images, information, search for inspiration
- SKETCH< SKETCH- Concept revisited, reformed and solidified
- Floor plans and arrangement of space is explored
- Explore, and select materials, furnishings, etc.
- Once floor plan is solidified, elevation and walls are considered (put the fun, function, and concept together)
- Model the design in sketch up
- Review the entire space, go back over user needs and confirm that all needs are met.
- Once confidence is there, begin the rendering process….
- Continue rendering….
- Render some more…
- Keep rendering….
- Is the entire space represented? Oh crap, I need one more perspective…
- I guess I’ll render one more.
- Scan all images that have been created by hand.
- Begin to play with board layout options. (What all needs to be on the final presentation board? Does each element help or hurt the board? If is hurts, take it out! Is my concept easily read and felt based on my presentation?)
- Once I feel good about it, try to send it to be printed.
- It failed, try to send it again.
- Failed again, repeat the last step about 9 times for the next 4 or 5 hours.
- Give up on emailing the file and take it on a flash drive to the print shop.
- After 30 minutes of the print shop computer crashing a couple of times, get it printed, and FINALLY – PIN UP!
- Try to ignore the desire to feel a sense of accomplishment in being finished because you know you still have the process book to do.
- Sleep a few hours and then re-group, focus, and keep on truckin’
- Find your motivation in whatever form it may be, and move forward
- Run down the list of deliverables and pray to god that what you think you need to do and what is expected by the T.A. and the Teacher actually align.
- Once all proper requirements are represented, organize, arrange, and bind booklet.
- Turn in Final Process Booklet.
- Allow yourself to feel some sense of “Being Finished” and accomplishment. (But not too much because there is still a mystery assignment for the next week and a half…)


Wow, I can’t believe it’s over! Wait… is it over? I hope so, but it won’t feel like it until around may tenth or so. Anyways, to reflect on my process, and think back about the beginning of phase three and everything that has happened in between then and now it makes my head hurt. Then if I think back between now and phase two, phase one, and all of the work in between it makes me feel kind of nauseous. Honestly at this point I have a lot of feelings about the process. I feel burned out; proud of my work, happy it’s almost over, and nervous about my grade.
That being said, I feel very good about the work I have done, the things I have learned and the progress I have made this semester. I know I have learned some important lessons this year. The biggest lesson I have learned I think is how to work fast. This has mainly been out of necessity. Unlike most of my fellow classmates, I have a part time job, I am planning a wedding, and am a little older. Thus I have a different set of responsibilities and obstacles than most of the others. So when things get to crunch time with my assignments, I can honestly say that I have done the best of my abilities with my time management. And I can only hope for a good grade I suppose.

In the future I will probably do some things a little bit different. This time around I have done a lot better about documenting my process. But ultimately, I will just have to never say that I ‘just’ have to finish this or that. Because that little ‘just’ always seems to stretch into infinity.