Saturday, November 5, 2011

Warped Interior Boulevard?

sooo.. here is my project. it is a "very interesting project"

This semester, I'm working on a team of three, and while we were assigned the site, we get to choose the program. Above is a model I built for our first review.. it just gets the massing idea across.. platforms (that are now called Decks) that accommodate parking and car program -- drive-in theater, auto shows, and a high class Porsche dealer -- with retail volumes hanging off the side..
Here is an excerpt from the few pages of bs we submitted with our initial proposal.

Summary: The current Whole Foods Parking annex is strategically located on the edge of several conditions – the edge of work, play, and home. This space is meant to be a transition – transition from work to home, home to play, work to play, etc. as well as a transportation transition. Bordered by 6th St., 5th St. and Shoal Creek, our site is an under-utilized transportation hub. The proposed program for the site involves integrating the 3 main modes of transport in Austin – the vehicle, the bicycle, and the pedestrian. By intertwining select retail, open space, and public and private parking into one site, we seek to create a new urban environment. Condensing and folding the urban street and storefront in on itself, the project succeeds in producing a new definition of urban density – the Urban Car Park.

The Urban car park creates a node of transition between the automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian. Stacking program vertically, the project promotes interaction between the users of the designed parking space, retail, event space, bicycle facilities and green space. The project is essentially a warped interior boulevard of ramps and parking space, creating an urban sponge of accessibility and program.

The project will integrate seamlessly with the surrounding context – it provides small-scale retail to counter the larger stores on Lamar, parking for shoppers, an open public space for the nearby residents, and a bicycle storage and shower facility for those commuting to work.

One of the latest models.. we spent 2 weeks developing the ground site and courtyards.. so they are staying put while we develop what the heck happens above ground.

We had our first formal critique (with outside professors) a week and a half ago, and we were torn apart. Project was called a vertical suburban strip mall and a glorified garage. but we took a few days off, rallied, and are changing the way we talk about and describe the project.. "Parking Platforms" and "Garage" have been eliminated from our vocabulary, and we are pressing on! Next review is on Wednesday... hopefully it will go a lot better. We'll be better prepared to present the project, i think.

sooo... this project is nothing like what I want to do with my life.. and just when I was getting discouraged, I got an email about a lunch session with Katie Swenson -- who is pretty much who I want to be as far as architecture goes.. here is her bio from the email:
"Katie Swenson, a national leader in sustainable design for low-income communities, recently named an emerging leader by the Design Futures Council, and to Steelcase’s prestigious Green Giant list. She is the Vice President of National Design Initiatives at \Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. She is also the Director of the Rose Architectural Fellowship and Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute."

The Rose Fellowship is AWESOME, and something I have had in my "opportunities for the future" list for years... you have to have a professional degree, so I definitely plan to apply once I'm done at UT. Anyway, I'll be meeting her on Thursday, so I've got to come up with some great questions and become her best friend. advice? AHHHH so excited!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

sketch models

First project is OVER.!

So, I guess I will chronicle the studio events in my life. hah cause i'm lame like that.

For the first project (well second really, the first was a bunch of mapping of the site) we made a series of sketch model that were to depict Attitude, Concept, Space and Form. They are supposed to be really abstract and "fun!" these are my favorites from our group - we made like 13 models hah

We started by talking about what interested us about the site.. Right now, it is an overflow employee parking lot for the Whole Foods on Lamar.. it butts up to the rear service entrance of Whole Foods, and is on the edge of the creek. There is a ton of shopping and single family housing to the west, tall condos to the south, offices to the north, and bars/downtown to the east.

Our site is kind of this transition space between work - home - shopping but it is kind of an eye-sore right now. So our plan is to make this space a pause button of sorts.. a place where you drop by on your way somewhere else and can help foster this transition to work, or to home, or a night out. We don't really know where these ideas are leading.. but i know we will provide open public space, retail, and revolutionize the parking situation! but since we get to pick our own program (no restrictions!) it should be pretty fun!

credits: YT, James Sherman and Chad Bunnell

walking toourr

On Friday, my studio class went on a walking tour of parts of downtown..

We started on the 17th floor of the Shore - my professor's apartment.

some gorgeous views!

we analyzed why this sunken public space does not work.

It was a beautiful day for some exploration, but we were exhausted by the time we actually reached our site!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

this week

Hi friends,

So, I’ve now had my first week of classes – although I might place out of one and I haven’t yet attended another… oh well. First graduate school assignment? Create an object that appears to be a circle in plan, a square in elevation, and a triangle in another elevation. It took me the remaining 10 minutes of class to figure it out, and the next 1.5-hour lecture to determine how to build it. K you got it? Go.

I’ve been able to get to know a little bit about my studio-mates. there are 12 of us in my studio, and it seems pretty well divided between newbies and the second years. First question to ask? Where is the best place to sleep?

Answer? Across the street in the “presidential suite” of the student union. AWESOME.

In other happenings, I think my keychain has doubled in weight in the past 7 days. I need to find a way to divide it up.. any advice? I have car, home, lake house, apartment, bike lock, studio, studio desk lock, and mail key. I guess I could take the house keys and car keys off.

Also, today, I went to a new church. Last week I went back to Austin Stone – which I know is a solid, great church, but I am not certain it’s for me. Today, however, I went to check out Austin City Life. I went in thinking that I wanted to just check it out, not expecting to like it. On their website, they say, “We’ve been told our downtown gathering ‘feels like Austin.’” And, “On Sundays you'll find an interesting juxtaposition of theological depth and cultural expression. You might say we are ‘theologically conservative and culturally liberal.’”

I think they identify closely with the Acts 29 church movement? Any thoughts on this? I really want your input, so I know I am supported in which church I choose to join.

About City Life – It was so cool! They meet in the Ballet building downtown, and there were fewer than 100 people there today. 3 people introduced themselves to me before the service began – which was really great and refreshing. It seems like they have great community, and are really invested in each other’s lives. They kept saying that they wanted this to be a place to meet God and stressed that ‘church’ to them is the gathering of people and community, not just meeting on Sunday in a building. We talked about generosity today, I heard the gospel, and they made a point to say that the point of today’s talk was not that you don’t give enough and to go give, but that we should seek God so we can begin to understand His great grace and generosity towards us.

Anyway, I really liked it. And although they are not listed on the 9marks site, they did have some of 9marks’ literature on a table. Soo idk. oh and they used to have sunday services in a bar on 6th st - the local college bar hangout aka where Jenna Bush was ticketed for MIP.

oh AND they played Sigur Ros - Staralfur while we were filing out of the auditorium. this is like one of my favorite songs, and this simple act scored major points in my book.

Ok. Gearing up for week 2.

and let me add a picture because this post is lacking visuals.

the painted desert summer 2008.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Feets have moved!


As of this past friday, I am an Austinite.

been fixin the place up.. it's getting there. I really want to explore the city, but it is just way too hot to set out on foot. seriously. the high is 105 today. and tomorrow? 107. ridiculous. fall weather please get here fast.
I rode my bike to campus yesterday and almost had a heat stroke on the return trip. not to mention the basket on the back was making the brakes brake, making this high pitched AWFUL NOISE. I was SO EMBARRASSED. Finally got it fixed. thank you clown bike shop.

Today, I took the bus to campus and it wasn't too bad. only a 4 minute ride! I am hoping its not too crowded when the semester starts. And I stopped by the Library. I heard that the library was a little difficult to get used to.. really who knows how to used the library of congress catalog system? But it wasn't that bad once I found a map. And I get to keep Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire until Jan 22. woot

In other news, guys, I am totally experiencing a spiritual slump. will you guys please pray for me? I went to the Austin Stone church this past sunday, and the message was very convicting. I know that I've been pretty lazy in my walk with the Lord these past several months, but that message hit me like a ton of bricks. please pray for a stirring in my soul and a desire to KNOW Him deeply and truly. How can I say I Love Jesus when I do not whole-heartedly pursue Him, meet with Him daily, and seek HIM in all things?

I am also really hungry for a biblical community to be apart of, and I hopefully will find a church to be grounded in soon. I'll let you know how the process goes. I went to Austin Stone on a number of recommendations - they are part of the SBC, but a little out-there. Many many students and young people - and this church is BIG - 7-8? services every sunday at two locations. I went to the 1100 service, and it was packed. They did fulfill my #1 though - I heard the Gospel in the message. The only thing that concerns me is that before the pastor shared the gospel, he said something to the effect of "many of you don't know what the meat of the gospel is." or something - it leads me to wonder how often it is shared in the large-group setting. But, I will definitely need to attend more Sunday services before I can make any assumptions.

Also, guys, my dear friend David Brown received a kidney on Sunday! I am so so so happy for him! He'd been on the transplant list for 5 years. He is 4 days with the new kidney, and so far so good. pray that he has a quick recovery!

Monday, July 25, 2011

TV on the Radio

just watched the TV on the Radio film - Nine Types of Light on Palladia and this is my favorite I think:

I was trying to remember how I first discovered TV ot R.. and it was 2006 - they opened for Nine Inch Nails - I was in the pit. weird huh?

am really enjoying their new album btw.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

estate sales.

so, lately, i've been going to lots of estate sales and resale shops. I am trying my hardest not to buy a lot of new stuff for my apartment, and instead am looking for quality used items that I can give a second life to, and maybe save from the garbage heap.

anyway, lately, i've found some pretty awesome things, and I thought I would take the opportunity to share them with you.

First up, this paper towel, wax paper, and foil holder! It is copper and pink, and you mount it on the wall or inside a cupboard for easy access... I did a little internet research and it was manufactured in the early 50's. also, it was made by "Beautyware" so you can't really beat that!

Then, yesterday I scored all of these cameras and a lot of other stuff! (it was a fill up a paper grocery sack with whatever you want for $10). Two of them still have film in them, (35mm and 110), so I'm planning on using up the rest of it, get it developed and if there is anything of import, hopefully I can send the pics back to the family.

THEN, I saw this beauty. Sunbeam stand mixer - with a lamp! It had all of the parts, and the previous owner kept all of the manuals and warranty information.

Once I got home and took a closer look, I found where she had written the day it was purchased on the inside cover: April 21, 1981, from Foley's. Then, I noticed something familiar on the cover of a pie booklet that came with it too:

She bought it from Womack's Minimax: which was my grandpa's (Lounds Samuel Womack sr.) grocery store!! He opened the store before my grandparents were married, and owned it for 30+ years, opening a few others in the area. We have a great picture of him on opening day: he rode an elephant around the store. haha anyway, that was a fun surprise.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Yesterday, the next door kitty came over to play. She's sweet.

and it was fun to shoot a new subject!

Monday, June 6, 2011

new (old) art

I finally got some of my stuffs framed.. I've had all this lying around forevs, and finally found frames for them..

I got the idea of framing various currency from Hob Lob - no joke. There was a print of all this old money in the framed art dept. I thought it was a great way to display the bills I've collected from different countries, instead of keeping them hidden in an envelope. They are so pretty, and works of art in their own right - how dare they be hidden away. If you have some old or foreign currency stowed away, I definitely suggest digging it out and displaying it!
And this fun painting will keep mao bi company for a while..

she was pretty excited about it!

I scored this frame at a storage complex clean out - 1 pound of stuff = $1. and painted it green .. and the photograph was given to me.. This lady at my cousin's church donated her entire house and all of the contents to the church for them to sell. She was an amateur photographer and had all these really cool photos from the 50s and 60s.

and I made this clock a few weeks ago.. less than $5. gotta love hobby lobby.

Monday, May 23, 2011


i've been dreaming of faraway lands..

le sigh

on the way

this past saturday, I had the honor of attending Melanie and Evan's wedding in Crawford. It was so cute, sweet, and glorifying to the Lord. They were married in a little white church surrounded by pastureland. My GPS took me down a bunch of one lane roads through this:

It was so pretty! and since it was stormy, the sky looked really cool. After driving through this for a while, I was greeted by a little hand-painted sign that simply said, "WEDDING" so I knew I was on the right path. Between the ceremony and reception, I went back through the roads to take some more pictures.

I won't post any pictures of the bride and groom without their permission, but I will say it was such a joyful occasion!

On the way back to Houston, I passed through Calvert, TX.. which is about two blocks of "old town" very quaint. I stopped to explore a little and found this cool building with trees growing in the middle.

it was a nice trip, and I decided I love Texas a lot, and someday I want to build/buy a plantation house with creaky wood floors, a huge wrap-around porch, and lots of pastures, cows, and rope swings .. where my kids can spend their summers smelling like fresh air and sunshine, not coming home until dusk, and catching lightning bugs. yep that would be nice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I recently got an old roll of film developed.. black and white.. my 1970's Yashica

and these are my favorites

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