January 10, 2010

documentation!!!!!

Reflecting upon the first week at Randy Brown Architects (RBA) I realized that I learned many things that I will be able to use even after I leave this internship position. The first week was about starting the year off on the right foot and getting the office to an organized state. The flat files were all sorted and all the projects that were either finished in the last year, or on hold, were neatly stacked in the dead files storage. Many things around the office were also arranged and labeled so that they can now be more readily found. For instance, the printer stand and tool wall were constructed to help keep everything in its rightful place. Whenever there is a need for 8.5 X 11 paper, it can be found in its specific paper slot on the printer stand. Staying organized was the lesson learned.

Towards the middle part of the first week, I was assigned my first real architectural task. GA Houses publication asked RBA to submit a residential work that RBA had completed within the last year. At five pm on Friday, we would be sending out the material that GA House would publish in there famous book series  GA houses. My job was to take the elevations for this project and give Randy options of different ways to render the elevations. This was something I found very interesting and rewarding. By Thursday, I had a few options for Randy and he was able to pick the most appropriate one for what he was trying to convey in the design. I learned that because we were able to see numerous possibilities of ways to render the elevations, we were able to pick the most convincing option which happened to be black and white line drawings with black shadows. By Friday, the drawings went out and I was put to another task.

Documentation. This is something that I have learned to do as a student in school, and it was intriguing to learn that it is also done in a professional firm. Everything that goes onto paper gets recorded in one way or another. Whenever a print comes out of the plotter it is recorded on a plot chart. Part of the reason that everything must be documented is to be able to budget for supplies and also to be able to bill a client for the time and money it took to complete the task. I was asked to document the elevations of the GA Houses submission, so that we could go back and look at where we started with the drawing and where we ended with the drawing. It was helpful to document everything, from sketches to printed drawings. This is a technique that I have and will continue to incorporate into my own academic career. Knowing where I started with a project will definitely be helpful in explaining how I ended with what I did in a project.

The weekend wasn’t really a chance to take a break from the first week at work, but it was a chance to see behind-the-scenes making of a movie production. Farshid Assassi came to Omaha to help RBA film a small movie of the US Data project which received an AIA National Honor Award for Interior Architecture. The neat thing about the movie idea is that while everyone else (other firms) is just flipping through slides of their projects, RBA will have a motion picture of this project. Randy said, “It’s about being one step ahead of the competition.” This is something that you will be remembered by. The hours unquestionably went into making this a very good production and I am very interested to see the movie when Farshid is finished editing and putting it all together. Just being there watching and helping set up for each scene helped me realize how important every camera angle is and what you have to go through to be “one step ahead of the competition.”

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