Sunday, May 1, 2011

Summer Time = School is OUT and Internship!

I am one week away from being done with classes and then one week of finals! I am so close I can taste it, and its sweet. After a semester full of new experiences such as: putting together a polished resume that is for more than a waitress hosstess position (my first job), designing my portfolio to include both my architecture studio work and my interior design work, and job hunting for an internship! I worked so hard on each of these is hopes that it would lead to landing a summer internship not only an internship, but my dream internship at a firm in Dallas.

After some interviews I was offered a postion with Duncan Miller Ullmann in Dallas, TX which I happily accepted! So...this summer I will be working in an interior architecture firm which is exactly what I want to do after school!

I have nearly a month before I leave for Dallas but as school draws near to a finish the more my level of excitement goes up! I cant wait to work on real projects and especially the hospitaltiy projects, which are my favorite.

Here are a few of their projects!

Blue Frog | Macau, China | Dining

Zhouzhuang Resort | Zhouzhuang, China | Night Club

Hotel Zaza | Houstn, Texas | Lobby

10 things…ON THE WALL

...paint on the wall
We love painting walls, it helps make rooms in our homes different from one another and display our character. Solid walls of color can be great for accenting one wall over another or to just make an entire room more vibrant.

…stripes of paint on the wall
This is a nice alternative to plain walls. You had can add a little bit of pattern and excitement to the room or a lot!...depending on how big the strips are and how many you do.

…paper on the wall
Wall paper is wonderful to add pattern to a room! You can have wild and crazy patterns, or very soft and elegant. Even newspaper can be used on the walls like a wall paper!

…fabric boards on the wall
Fabric boards are my favorite to display pictures and drawings! I have multiple fabric boards in my room where I can easily change out pictures. Just choose a fabric that matches the scheme of the room and select a ribbon or two that coordinate with the fabic and wrap them around a stretcher from hobby lobby…so easy to make!

…chalkboard paint on the wall
Chalkboard paint I think is wonderful for children’s rooms and perhaps a cafĂ© where daily features change. For the childrens room they can draw on the wall which is what ever kid naturally wants to do, so why not allow them to in a way that also seconds as a wall treatment.

…frames on the wall
Frames on the wall allows beautiful photographs to be a focal point of a room. Many families take pride in photographs of trips and children and such therefore why not show them off as part of the design of the room! Frames can be coordinating or mixed matched, in a row or scattered, they look great any way!

…tiles on the wall
Tiles are usually thought of as square and sometimes as boring, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Tiles can be all shapes and colors, and the unique thing is you can mix and matched to make beautiful designs…and they design is unique displaying your own taste and character

Did you realize there were so many beautiful ways to treat walls!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Folio Print Corps: Studio Project

I recently completed a studio project for a publishing compnay that published Art, Architecture, and Design books. For this project we had to dervive our concept basesd on the company's goals and objectives to have a more collaborative work environment and have a space that promotes printing books that will last a lifetime even in a world that is becoming more and more paperless. My concept was derived from both the company goals and the inspiration of the leaf. The leaf is symbolic to the pages of a book, the very item this company works to produce. The leaf inherently embodies the very design qualities this office is seeking for their space.

Here are my boards for the project, there are to be pinned up in a four square.

Concept, Rendered Floor Plan

The circulation paths reflect the stem and structure of the leaf. Also the VP offices are located along that path at the center of the workspace allowing for departments to be close in proximity to their respective VP office. 


Perspective of Reception, Perspective on Mezzanine Level, Sections

Perspective of a Collaborative Space, Perspective of the Breakroom and Kitchen,  Solution Statement

Section, Perspective of Exhibit from Mezzanine Level, Perspective of Informal Client Meeting Space 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SPRING into Mellon Square Park

With SPRING having teased North West Arkansas about its arrival this year, the anticipation of consistent beautiful weather has had my mind occupied with thoughts of being outside and the experience of exterior spaces.  I have been trying to fully take in the experience of walking to and from classes, and taking more often trips to the mail box as an excuse to enjoy the sunshine on its rare occurrence in combination with warm weather.  While the desire to be outside by the pool during sunny weather was on my mind tonight, I was sitting inside during a rain storm listening to lectures for my landscape architecture class.  After about an hour of taking notes on the lecture, I found myself completely enthralled by the very last space discussed in the lecture. Mellon Square by John Simonds.
                        BEAUTY=  "perceived harmonious relationship of all the elements"
                                                                                                              -John O. Simonds
While watching the video that accompanied the lecture I was listening to, I realized how desperately I want to go to Pittsburg to experience this park.  Mellon Square Park is actually a space that I am now very interested in for many reasons.
FIRST. The park is located on the roof of a parking garage in the middle of the large city. The treatment of roofs with green space is of great interest to me lately as I am learning more and more about sustainable design. Also green roofs allow for green space to be given back to a city, where it was taken away by the constuction of the building or structure itself.

SECOND. Due to the space being on the roof it creates an “oasis” for escape in the middle of the city, as the design concept intended it to. This really excites me because of the decreasing amount of green space in cities as they grow and become more urban with tall buildings. The park allows for a place to retreat during ones lunch hour, but it also allows for a wonderful view for the inhabitants of the surrounding buildings; where as previously the space was a boring parking lot.

THIRD. The design is very modern! BUT it was actually designed in 1955. The space has such clean lines and simplicity, but in no way lacks detail. The detail comes in very unique treatments of water features, and the articulation of seating to create spaces.  And the treatment of the ground pavement that not only has symbolic meaning to the location of the park but also provides an energy to the space that accompanies views and sounds of flowing water.

Watch this video that got me so excited about Mellon Square Park to help you understand why I want to go to Pittsburg solely to be in this exquisite outdoor space.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Designing with Concrete

Concrete can be a wonderful choice of material to design sinks, countertops, and bathtubs. One of the wonderful aspects of using conrete is the flexibility; the design can be as custom as you want therefore no one else will have the same thing as you. Any kind of shape can be formed, and changing the color is as easy as adding a die to the mix.After designing the sink you begin with making the formwork that will create the mold, wood is usually used to create the basic mold.

Custom sink designed by a friend and fellow students in the Architecture Design Build Program at the University of Arkansas. -This picture shows the placement of rebar after some concrete has been poured into the mold.

You also have to reinforce the structure with rebar and somesort of wiring, such as galvanized wire mesh. The use of these materials helps hold the structure in place, because movement can cause cracking. Also to avoid cracking you have to consider where to place expansion joints.  If the distance between joints is to great there is a higher chance for cracking. The mixture for concrete to build sinks, countertops, and bathtubs uses only about 20% cement and the rest is sand, aggregate, and water.

This picture shows the sink in complete form, yet before any sealers were put on.

Also the curing process is very important; the least amount of moisture the sturucture retains the strongeer it is. This is the drying out process but in order the keep the exterior from drying to fast and chipping or crumbling, you have to keep it moist. The curing process usually takes about 3-14 days depending on size and thickness. Finishing the structure is also very important for sanitation and longevity purposes. An apoxy and food sealer should be on structures for the kitchen or where food will be present. This will protect from particals and bacteria soaking into the concrete. Sealers also help keep the surfaces from being scrathced and chipped.

Here is the sink complete with sealers and installed in the bathroom of the house.

Concrete when built and constructed correctly can be the perfect solution to personal and design a sleek modern space.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Trip to the Top!

I recently took a trip to St Louis where I had my second adventure to the Gateway Arch!  The first time I went two years ago I was so excited I didn’t pay much attention to detail and design. This time I had the luxury of taking a friend who had never been before so I got to do a lot of the explain of how things worked AND we both paid a LOT of attention to how things were designed and how joints and ends came together.

After tightly packed tram ride to the top of the arch, we viewed out over the city taking it all in, trying to find our hotel and such. BUT we both felt like we could feel the arch moving the whole time! So one of the biggest questions we both had about the entire experience was: Does the arch really sway?!  After some research I learned that the Arch does sway! Up to 9 inches in either direction in fact. Its designed to be resistant to wind up to 150MPH and earthquake resistant. This design feature is something that with the recent earthquake in Japan has become very important to a lot of people, having the security of knowing the building being designed will be able to survive and protect them during tragedy.
Another design feature that we both were in awe of and wanted to know more about was the exterior panels the arch is cladded with, and if the really narrowed as they went up or if it was just an illusion. Like with the swaying factor, I did some research when we got home about the structure of the building. The panels are 4x8  stainless steel, a skin covering that’s welded in place. The panels cover a carbon steal wall that’s reinforced with concrete in the middle, and this structure rises to 300ft, where it then turns in to solely the carbon steel all the way to the top.  And as for the whether, the panels actually get smaller or not, the legs do actually narrow from 54ft to 17 ft. And the height and with of the structure are the same at 360ft!

A little extra trivia about the beautiful arch: there is a time capsule located welded into the keystone. The capsule holds signatures of 762,000 students from the St. Louis area, and the capsule was placed in right before the last piece was set in place. Very cool!
Do any of you have any interesting facts about the arch, or things that you have wondered about?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Brunch at Copelands of New Orleans

As well as being a full time student I also work at Copeland’s of New Orleans Restaurant in Rogers, Arkansas. I have worked there for four years and it has been an amazing place to work. We have wonderful food, staff, and guests who dine with us! On Sunday mornings we have offered a brunch menu as well as our lunch and dinner menus; yet today we began something new and exciting! A buffet!
The new buffet will be every Sunday morning from 10am-3pm; which extends our previous brunch time by an hour. We still have our regular Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner menus but the buffet offers some new things to include: Prime Rib, Honey Spiral Ham, Boiled Shrimp (peel em and eat em), Breakfast Bar, Lunch Bar, Soups Salads and Dessert!
From a designer’s viewpoint I was very skeptical over the past few weeks about some key issues that arose when I found out we were adding the buffet on Sunday mornings. Not to spill the beans to the public but behind the scenes of all restaurants there are some things that become stressful when we are busy. The alarms sounded in my mind about circulation.  Traffic during the busy times with the additional traffic from people moving to and from the buffet and their seats is one of the main concerns I had. I know that during the original design of a space a certain percentage of square feet is added to an initial square footage to allow for circulation. Some spaces only need circulation for the employees but due to the space being used by both staff and guests the amount of space for circulation is increased. With the addition of the buffet to a restaurant design that only included space allotment for seating and circulation in the dining area, I was also concerned with where the food for the buffet would be placed.
As the day began this morning my concerns for how the buffet might cause issues were for the most part alleviated. The placement of the food in the dining room only minimally changed our table arrangements and actually forced us to open the banquet room to larger parties to allow for additional seating. There was certainly an increased amount of traffic from guests moving around the restaurant but on the side of the waitress/ waiter we were moving to and from the tables with plates less which helped keep congestion to a minimum. All in all guests seemed to enjoy the buffet very much. It allowed them to sample things and combine some breakfast items and some lunch items to create their meal.
I encourage each of you to come and try our new buffet on Sunday mornings. The experience is a higher class buffet combined with the wonderful Copeland’s atmosphere. Also check out the Copeland’s facebook page @ Copeland's Rogers Ar, to keep up with the happenings of our restaurant.