January 17, 2010

refine and document

Monday started out with an office meeting. Randy went over the ideas and history of the studio at Randy Brown Architects. RBA started in 1993 as a small firm where a lot of collaboration between design members took place. It changed a lot over the years and RBA was up to 12 architects at one point and that was when a lot of the collaboration stopped. This caused the firm to lose its focus. Now it’s back down to seven full time members and one part time.  Randy believes this is better because design ideas won’t get lost in translation, and more collaboration can occur. We also talked about making blogs for the firm. Jon and I are going to use material from our journals to posts on a blogging page. Randy thinks it will be a great way to express to people what is accomplished at RBA each week.

Randy also discussed at the meeting his system of design. I learned he has a very appealing system of refinement and documenting the process. The final conversation was about the projects to work on. Jon and I were assigned to the schematic design phase of the DiNucci Residence. It is a house for a family of four located at 78th and State in Omaha. We were to compose a series of sketches and CAD drawings of new floor plans, sections, and elevations.

The rest of the week was spent on refining and revising the drawings. Saturday was a day of driving. We drove all around the suburban area to get a better understanding of what Omaha is like. Omaha is very similar to my home town of St. Charles, which is a suburb about forty minutes from downtown St. Louis. There are a lot of stripe malls and “cookie cutter” neighbor hoods that look very similar. We also drove by a project Randy designed. It is a strip mall located at 120th and Blonde. It was noticeable an architect designed it because of how different it was from everything else around. I also went to Westroads which is an indoor mall off of Dodge Street. It was very similar to the malls in my home town.

Sunday I went down to the Old Market near downtown Omaha and saw some interesting restaurants and shops. Due to the cold temperatures it was not ideal for walking around but when it warms up it seems to be a great place to eat, shop, and spend an afternoon walking around. Also, I drove around the downtown area and saw some interesting buildings.

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