Monday, March 29, 2010

Unity Village: First Floor: Process 2


Scan 1

Scan 2

Unity Village: 3 Experiences

Ralph, a 72 year old man who uses a wheelchair, exits the elevator onto the first floor. He has come here to have his morning coffee along with many of his friends from the building. They often sit around the tables for hours, watching people come and go, going on about their busy lives. He is glad his life is no longer so hectic, and he and his friends talk about the days when they were rushing off to work, their days in college, and when they were kids and when their children were smaller. It is a nice spring day to go outside, and he is able to do so with the push of a button to open the door. He finds living within Unity Village to be fulfilling.

Zoe, a 6 year old girl, is sleepily dragged off of the elevator by her mother. Zoe isn’t a morning person. Her mother, about to go off to work, takes Zoe to the daycare, where she is greeted by other sleepy 6 year olds, none of them morning people. She hands her lunchbox to Courtney, her favorite daycare monitor, so that it can be stored away for later. Suddenly having a burst of energy- which may have something to do with the presence of her friends, the bright sunlight pouring in, or the bright, cheerful colors surrounding her (or maybe a combination of all of the above), she runs off to play, climbing the ladder, sliding down the indoor slide at the bottom of which she is greeted by a seven year old boy with a ball. Before she knows it, it’s the end of the day and her mother is back and she doesn’t want to leave.

Catherine, a 42 year old mother who works in the building’s small grocery store, has come downstairs to enjoy a cup of tea and look at the new collection of art she has heard is currently being displayed. She goes to the coffee bar and orders a cup of water and an Earl Grey teabag. She walks over to the art gallery area. The current exhibit is a collection of paintings done by college art students of the building working with children in the building. Catherine finds the one her son did with Manuel, one of the college students. She is pleasantly surprised at her son’s talent. One of her friends sees her and comes over, bragging on her own child’s work. They decide to sit outside and spend much of the afternoon talking while more of their friends in the building come and go.

Friday, March 19, 2010

design thinking

Design thinking is about getting away from “small” design and moving toward community-oriented “big” design. “Small” design is fashionable products that are interesting and perhaps desirable, whereas “big” design encompasses a system.

The Unity Village project is all about design thinking. It is a community project, therefore, it seems only appropriate that the community would be involved in the design. This is being accomplished through in-depth research about the user groups. Within each design decision, each user group is considered. Each space, floor, and the building as a whole is thought about as being a system- in this case, a community.

Design thinking will inform my decisions in the future as well. I have realized how important it is to not sit in a room as a designer and design a room for a consumer, but to instead involve the end user(s) in the process if at all possible. This aids in asking the right questions and finding the right answers. The people in the situation naturally have a good idea of what works or what is missing in a space. Their questions lead to bigger questions that need to be answered by the designer.

Unity Village: First Floor: Process 1

Concept Statement:
The first floor of Unity Village will contain the lobby area, mail boxes, management offices, conference rooms, daycares, and coffee shop. These spaces will be the first thing residents, guests, and staff see inside the building and the last experience before leaving. Therefore, the spaces within this floor will be lively and inviting. This will be accomplished through warm colors, soft textures, and twinkling lighting.

A rough sketch of the floor plan for the first floor of Unity Village

A page of sketches when thinking about the first floor of Unity Village.

Some information from Timesaver Standards we found to be pertinent. There is also a wealth of other information within this book that we will continue to refer to throughout our process but did not feel these pages were necessary to scan as of this time.

Chiara, Joseph, Julius Panero, and Martin Zelnik. Time-saver standards for interior design and space planning. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001. Print.


......this project is all about...
......truly significant aspects of the site include...
......unique aspects of this project include...
......the functional requirements obviously point to an organizational pattern that...
...a few adjectives that fit this project are...
...conceive workable approaches
...externalize the approaches
...consolidate ideas and choose a direction.
-There is a myth that concepts have to be unique and different.
-Ideas usually arise as thoughts, mental pictures, or diagrams or drawings while you sketch. It is important to capture ideas when they arise, even before judging them.
-Two ways to externalize concept approaches are visual and verbal.

Rengel, Roberto. Shaping Interior Space. second. New York: Fairchild Books, 2007. 138-71. Print.