July 8, 2010
I start today’s post off with this photo because of all of the photos I took today, this one most resembles my brain and/or my schedule.
I’m kidding, it’s not really that bad – this was just one of the many interesting photos I took today while on a self-guided walking tour of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. Since one of our “In the City” engagements couldn’t take all 55 of us at once, those other than the 10 selected were given the morning off to complete the assigned walking tour. I was more than happy to oblige! I love when I get the chance to stroll around town and take photos of things that interest me. Whether architecture, lighting, or some combination of the two, I am always fascinated by design choices in the environment around me. I learned today, too, that nothing compares to the architectural playground that is New York City. As I was walking the streets, searching for the buildings I was supposed to be visiting, I discovered many, many other points of interest along the way. Almost every time I turned around there was something new and exciting to look at. It may be that I am looking at the city with a fresh eye compared to other cities I have lived in for several years, but I’m also sure that the pure volume of buildings in Manhattan has something to do with it. Anyway, I trekked all up and down the lower west side this morning, visiting hotels, offices, and restaurants, my camera at my side, and I had a blast.
I had an especially fun, albeit short, conversation with a bellhop at the Maritime Hotel, who caught me taking photos of every nook and cranny of the lobby and foyer.
He accused me of espionage, I laughed, and before my brain caught up with my mouth … out it came: “I’m an architecture student.” Those are words I never thought I would hear myself say! After I thought about it a bit, though, I was really okay with it. After what seems like what’s been a month (really only a week!) at Parsons, I’m actually having fun investigating design outside the four walls of a theatre (even though I miss it terribly). I guess it was just a quick and easy answer (for some reason it seemed easier than “lighting design student”), but it’s true too.
Introspective moment aside, the rest of my day involved a lot of photography too — of my own work. When I returned to Studio class in the afternoon, we presented our completed materiality projects, which were essentially sculptures using everyday objects that had to enclose some kind of negative space. Here are my two, using clothes pins:
The idea of enclosing a negative space was then to consider the objects as architectural items, to be photographed at scale with lighting conditions, etc. These are just working photos, but they give you an idea of what we’re shooting for:
By presenting these, I actually mean that we went through our first official “desk crits,” presenting to our professor and T/A at our desk to discuss our works in progress. It was official too — there was a sign-up sheet and everything! It was my first of what I’m sure will be many desk crits over the next few years. The verdict on my first one: success. Eva and Magnus gave me great feedback and offered a few areas where I could strengthen my first sculpture (both structurally and ideologically) to make it feel more like a complete structure. They also suggested that I make a third sculpture that fell somewhere in between the first, organic, and second, structured, ones, which I began right then in class.
As I mentioned, part of the project will involve taking photos of the sculptures in specific lighting environments. The true goal is to photograph them in realistic daylight simulations using the school’s light lab, which we visited for the first time today! We were taught how to use a sun-positioning diagram, as well as how to realistically simulate sunlight in our photos. We also learned tricks on how to incorporate LEDs quickly and easily into our projects, which is something I will definitely consider, when appropriate, in the future.
I’ll post the completed project photos, which we should be taking tomorrow during class, next time!