Thursday, 10 March 2016

Maximal | Minimal - A Studio Assignment

When I got back to uni this semester I was expecting what I had seen two of my friends go through - go to the studio class and they would say you have an assignment due in one week.  I had geared myself up for this, and was honestly a little disappointed when I saw that the assignment was due in week 3.  Look at me, complaining that we have more time for an assignment!

Looking further into the assignment I saw we had to make two models.  Completely different assignment.  Also, I didn't think I'd have to make any models this year so there was another thing.

I've written two post which include what happened in my first day which you can check out here and here but I have to say as first assignments go, this one was actually quite a lot of fun.  A lot of this comes down to the awesome group I had, but I actually really enjoyed this assignment.  Maximal and Minimal.  Essentially we had our site and we had to make maximal and minimal changes to the building, while taking into account the historic condition, the urban condition and also the programmatic condition.  And we also had to engage with the Burra Charter.  It seemed quite daunting reading through it initially, but once you broke it down, it wasn't too bad.

My group organised times where we'd meet up outside of class time, and we initially used our first session for research.  Getting background information on the site, revisiting the Burra Charter, jotting down ideas and after this first session we went home and studied more and came back the next day ready to share what we had come up with.  We worked so well together in these sessions and when it came to showing our tutor what our ideas were in the next lesson, we were prepared and had some ideas which our tutor loved and also ideas which we were able to expand and develop further.

The weekend before the assignment was due, we went to the apartment of one of the girls and made our models and spent a solid 17+ hours working away on everything that we'd need for the presentation.  We'd already started making components for the models earlier in the week, so for some parts all we needed to do was glue bits together, but for the new additions we were introducing, we had to make and they were bothersome!  I came up with the idea of putting in an amiphitheatre.  Seemed like a great idea, tutor loved it, group loved it.  Cutting out the shape we needed on the plywood was easy peasy compared to trying to glue together the parts for the amphitheatre.  It was really only a couple of pieces of white cardboard, had some curves, glue them together and bam you have a the steps for the amphitheatre.  Oh I wish it was that easy!  I got there in the end, after many juicy words, and managed to get it to all work and look good in the model!

Our maximal model included an amphitheatre, a new addition which 'grew' from out of the original building, and also we removed sections of walls and floor to reveal previous fabrics and stories.

And for our minimal model, we added a new extension on which complemented the original building and introduced some raised platforms which would improve sight lines in the hall, and also retained part of an extension which was added in the 1980's.

When it came to presenting, I was team leader and was nervous!  Even if I'm confident with a design, I'll still get nervous when it comes to presenting.  Our tutors group would be going first, and we were third on the list which I was pretty happy about.  Gave us time to listen to how the first two groups were presenting and if needed fix up anything we needed to in what we were saying.  The place where we were presenting was like a sauna as well so that didn't help the situation!

When it was our turn to present, I nearly dropped the minimal model.  Go Emma.  But apart from that, I think our presentation went really well!  I could feel myself getting nervous as I started talking but I embraced the nerves and used them to my advantage instead of letting them get the better of me!  A previous group, had mentioned an amphitheatre and it didn't go down that well so with the amphitheatre being my idea, I was worried it would ruin everything.  I was just so relieved when they loved it!  I think it all came down to how we explained and justified why it was included in the design!  Ah I was so happy!

Once we finished presenting, we could all relax and listen to the rest of the presentations.  Which went on for a good 4+ hours!  I loved seeing what everyone came up with and it was interesting to see how each group had interpreted the brief.  There were some were I had no clue what they were saying, and not being able to fully see their models didn't help but damn there were some amazing models and ideas!

We had a fire alarm go off while one group was presenting and they seemed happy to get out of presenting for a bit haha going outside to where it was so much cooler was so nice.  It was so stuffy and sticky up in the studio, wasn't ideal!  Also nearly burning your hands with thing coffee cups isn't the best as well!  Nearly dropped my tutor's coffee when I handed it to her!  I did however ask whether me grabbing some a coffee would act as extra credit for my group.....  Sadly it wouldn't but they did have a good laugh!

I'm not at uni, spending so much time here, working on the next assignment we've been given for studio.  It's worth 80% and I am terrified.  We've been given a detailed program of what to bring to each lesson so as long as I break down the assignment, get my head around it and follow the schedule I think I'll be in a good place!  I'll still stress, because I always stress but I'm hoping there won't be too many breakdowns over the semester!

Now I'm going to eat some lunch because I've been waiting for it to be midday for a long time and I'm pretty hungry!

Until next time, keep smiling :)  Em xx

PS!! Come and say hello!!! :) x


  1. wow, great post!

  2. I saw the photo of this project at your Instagram and was wondering since when what it really was. And now you made a post about it! I am so happy to hear that your presentation worked well and they loved it! It sure looks amazing to me and I am sure it was a lot of fun to create :)

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    1. Oh! Yeah it was such a relief when it all went smoothly! Now to just wait for the results! Em xx

  3. This reminds me of my Uni days. Great Work!


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