2020 Semester Design/Build - Week 5

September 29, 2020
By Eva Hogue, Semester Program Teaching Assistant


Written by: Norberto Lopez & Aidan Levesque


Following last week’s critique, we eagerly got back to it - conceptualizing a new iteration based on our design’s strongest features and new insights brought to light by our knowledgeable critics last week, Mac, Johno, & Britton. Working as a whole we defined what needed to be done and efficiently broke in to teams delegating responsibilities, encouraging communication and cooperation. The pressure was high as we only had until Wednesday before revealing our design to our clients, Phoebe and Scott. Having wrapped up a successful work day some students came together for a night of reflection around the fire pit. Something which had come to be an unspoken tradition in our 4 weeks of coming together as a community. Unfortunately, this night was disrupted by an act of vandalism and hate crime, targeting some student built social advocacy road signs. 

We truly came together that night in our shared detest as we witnessed the pitiful perpetrators hastily flee the scene. We picked up the pieces and reported the incident to the staff and instructors.


After the rather unsettling night and waking early to a chilling frost it became a personal priority to take action and rebuild the signs rather than idly lingering on the incident. An act which would showcase our resilience and determination as a community of designers and builders. Work continued on the project as we only had one night before presenting our newly innovated design to our clients. We all worked into the evening putting much effort to make sure it all came together for our presentation prep the morning after.


With nervous anticipation we rushed to coordinate our presentation. Considering the seating orientation, format of plans, and even order speakers as we would walk the clients though the experience of the design. Explaining our reasoning and how we arrived at our design. Taking the clients though the imaginative hypothetical approach from the road and site plan to the driveway, zooming in scope up to the front door and in the space. Invoking the sense of being in the space and allowing them to imagine what it would be like to go about their day in their home.

They loved it!! After such anticipation and built up stress the presentation was a success. Though Phoebe and Scott expressed some needs and wants yet to be met they only needed minor alterations to be satisfactory. We also took the opportunity to get and request new information regarding foundations and future site plans. Full with the feeling of accomplishment, We gathered together formally to welcome Mac Rood as our new head building advisor and instructor. He had shown us a wonderful presentation of the works he had the pleasure of being a part of as an Architect Builder designer human.

We also gather to watch the speaker series; Adventures in Ecosocial Design Hosted by Yestermorrow's very own Rachel. A discussion which gave a unique look at community engagement and the importance of communal perspective in design.


We are met with a welcome change as we shift focus back to the physical construction of our  recently designed chicken coop. Again, like a well oiled machine we all came together as a unit working in teams tasked with a different component of the Coop Co-op. We made record pace putting that coop together only being halted by shortage of roofing fasteners and stain for the siding. Rather than letting this hiccup get in the way, it served as a teaching opportunity and mini field trip to the local lumber yard, where we were able to get some first hand experience and insight on the various products and various grading systems that correlate with the building materials. 


We came to a close on a very eventful week, starting with a morning discussion focused on the Article “Race, Space, and Architecture” a discussion between Huda Tayob and Frances Richard. Giving all the opportunity to express their thoughts and takeaways from readings. Sparking the interest in the root of the article and offering an opportunity to think introspectively.

With much food for thought we moved forward to mending our design, thinking deeply on the changes that need to be made. All pooling our minds together to create the latest iteration of our design, to try and understand this metaphysical structure as to bring it into physical space.