Monday, February 27

Pen to paper

I hate technical drawing.

Sitting down at a drawing board with a T-square and scale ruler to draw precise plans, elevations and the like can be a real chore when you're used to living the cosy Moleskine and biro lifestyle. I'd much rather churn out wobbly sketches of spidery landscaping and funkily shaded walls than spend hours accurately measuring out windows and scratching away ink smudges before scrapping my work and starting again because I was out by half a metre.

Alas, this is a necessary evil of the course, even with the modern luxury of eager CAD monkeys slaving away in the dungeons of architectural practice. So here's what I've got to do:
  • Plan
  • Four elevations
  • Section
  • Isometric
  • Sectional perspective showing construction details
  • Model at 1:50 scale
When what I really want to be coming up with is more stuff like this:

Such is the life of a student these days...


Tuesday, February 21

Foamboard fabrication and Photoshop

Well I'm back from an extended hiatus, suitably replenished and motivated to get on with larnin' me some buildin' designin' skillz.

We've started our first individual project now. The brief: to design a family house for an 'Ideal Home Exhibition.' Salient conditions:
  • 20 x 20 plot
  • Maximum interior space: 200m²
  • Masonry construction (bricks/stone/concrete blocks)
It's liberating being responsible for the entire design process and I'm a lot more inspired this time around.

Here's my concept model:

And here's an unsolicited paintover Fred worked up in a couple of hours and sent back to me:

This really helped make my day. Such an awesome contribution and visualisation tool. Thanks Fred, you never cease to amaze.

Anyway, these status updates helped keep me on track last semester, so I'll try to keep things moving along here.

Oh and a warm welcome to all visitors!


Tuesday, November 29

Home stretch

Phew, that's two projects out the way... For the next three weeks we'll be crunching numbers on a roof system. The brief is to design a covered market area to fit in the library car park of Bradford-on-Avon. A truly dismal site but this project has more of an engineering slant anyway.

As for the writer's studio, the last few weeks were dedicated to frantically finishing our model, churning out last minute drawings and collating the juiciest material in an A3 brochure. I'm pretty happy with the result and generally had a lot of fun on this project.

Here's the completed brochure for you to feast your eyes upon.

Project 2: Writer's Studio - Brochure cover page
brochure.pdf (1.4MB)


Wednesday, November 9

The tedium of drafting

While I appreciate it's a handy skill to have, and producing a really stunning drawing can be very satisfying, repeatedly drawing and redrawing the same scheme in the same plane is a bit of a pain.

I redrew the plan for our writer's studio earlier tonight (which admittedly wasn't too bad since it was mostly tracing) and took a little webcam movie of the process for kicks. Check it out:

Drafting a writer's studio in plan starring James Wheare. (917kb)

I stumbled upon a fantastic blog earlier today, written by a third year Graphic Design student at Bath Spa University, just down the road. Claire Mills is examining the state of Graphic Design education and laying out what she feels such an experience should involve. Readers are encouraged to contribute their thoughts on the site, which may well be incorporated into her final major project.

As an Architecture student, her thoughts and ideas apply just as much to me as to anyone pursuing a design education and I'd definitely recommend you give it a look.

While I'm here, I'd just like to point you in the direction of an incredibly talented artist I went to school with. Fred Stidston's paintings are breathtaking, vivid and teaming with character and you should all run to his site this instant!

Right, now for some two-point perspective love...


Friday, November 4

No Balustrades

We started building a balsa wood model today after some tedious number crunching to sort out dimensions. Gotta work up some larger scale construction details to show all the exciting joint work we've planned. Hmm... yes well I hope this is more interesting:

Project 2: Writer's studio freehand drawings.

More later perhaps.


Sunday, October 30

Reaching skyward

Determining heights and proportions from scratch with no scaled reference is a bit of a pain, but eminently doable.

Project 2: Writer's studio scale cross-section of scheme.

Yes, I'm aware of the unintelligible nature of this cross-section and the distinct lack of a roof. Take it as an opportunity to stretch your imaginative flair.

Ruby's been visiting from Wimbledon for the weekend on retreat from designing costumes. That's a working retreat... of course. In the main, this work has involved languishing in bed calling out eccentricities such as "If you were a Norse God, who would you be?" and generally being a lady of consummate splendour.

What a muse.


Saturday, October 29

As promised

So, here's what I spent three hours doing today.

Project 2: Writer's studio scale plan of scheme.

Three hours?! Yeah, scale drawing is a bitch. As should be obvious from this plan, the scheme involves a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional Japanese Machiya construction style for use as a writer's studio.

Yes... quite.

So er... while I'm down here, I'd like to shout out to my homey Hugh, who's serving up some compsci magic at Cambridge. Word up in your shizzle, dog.


Friday, October 28


As you can probably see, I've got my webcam set up in the sidebar over there. Now you can keep an eye on me procrastinating or if you're lucky, draughting some architectural masterpiece.

Speaking of which, I've now started project 2, a timber framed writer's studio. I'll have some drawings to share with you tomorrow but until then, here's a teaser.

Traditional Japanese interior

Well, at least, I hope that turns out to be an accurate teaser.

Fare thee well, o ye wonders of the modern world.


Thursday, October 27

Dilatory inauguration

Well here we have it, I'm blogging (again) and I still hate that word. I'm not sure what sort of goodness will be cropping up here but I expect it'll be along the lines of thoughts, commentary, imagery and criticism. You know, the usual.

Righto, just because text is boring (?), here's a sample of what I've been up to these past few weeks:

Project 1: A space defined; group 38 brochure cover