Kaitiakitanga: homegrown resilience

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.53.37 amThis project asks you to renovate a small dwelling at 29 Fisk Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt. You are asked to design with consideration for the predicted issues confronting us at local, regional and global levels. You will be guided in the use of an abstract ‘generator’ with an aim to producing a creative spatial ‘solution’ to the problems of future re-design. This includes a proposed subdivision of the site, reducing the land area from 510msq to 400msq (the typical size of NZ suburban subdivision… currently).

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The brief is available here: 257_2 [the schedule has been updated to reflect studio]
PDF of intro information
House Plans and Sections

FYI Data sets on environmental conditions in the Hutt Valley region are available from the Greater Wellington Regional Council website here.


Monday 26 – trouble shooting


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Some rules of thumb

* do not use objects from the SketchUp 3D warehouse as furniture etc, unless you’ve thought up a really clever way of using them. They always look ‘wrong’. There are fixed parts of your design (the building) and flexible parts ‘owned’ by the client (e.g. furniture) – these should always look different in your render images.

* a comfortable stair steepness can be worked out using the equation (2 x rise + ‘run’ = 600mm) There is a stair calculator here, but it doesn’t include the comfort factor. Branz also provides a guide on stairs here. For stairs with irregular shaped treads (the bit you step on) eg spiral stairs: measure the tread length at the middle of the step.

* ‘Sections’ are identified on the assessment schedule as a thing that needs to be addressed. Please make sure you have a think about how you will do your sections for presentation soon.

* as a rough guide your floors should be twice the thickness of your exterior walls. If an exterior wall is 100mm, then your floor/ceiling will be 200mm. [This is not a structural solution, it is just what looks ‘about right’ in a presentation drawing.

* the site is 15.5m by 25.8m (a total of 400msq). The site is angled geographically – north bi-sects the back right / front left corner (roughly). SketchUp can be used to ‘geolocate’ your model – follow the steps here.

* the poster template for final submission (friday) is in the Student Shared – you will submit this as a pdf to stream (like an essay for Culture & Context paper)

* avoid presenting any drawing or image directly from a modelling program or Indigo. All CAD drawings and images will need tweaking (consider: if there is something that can be made with a single button click then anyone can do it, therefore we don’t need YOU to do it).

* the 1:1 material model is NOT a construction detail (we haven’t taught you that yet!). It is a ‘composition’ of materials &/or textures that suggest how materials ‘sit’ next to each other, and ideally, with a suggestion of proportion eg. lots of concrete and a little wood, or piles of gravel and a small amount of metal framing. See here and here and here (not so lovely) as a guide.

* try to think through your presentation in terms of what each part needs to show. Seek to avoid repetition. eg. if your 1:100 site model can show your material (at 1:1) then you don’t need an additional material model.

* people on PinInterest are assembling some pretty amazing examples or presentation work here.

* for those doing green/plant roofs, there is a nice set of images showing how they’re made here.

* the aim of this project, under the title KAITIAKITANGA, was to start you thinking about how designing (and building) forces you to have an opinion – and your design could be thought of as an ‘argument’ supporting that opinion. There is no such thing as a ‘neutral’ position for design because you are making a proposal to change the world, a city, a street, a house or a room. When you come to write your “design statement” this is a good thing to consider – but make sure you state your position in a positive way. eg. Designing a home puts beauty in the world; House design enables people to live more sustainably; Designing a home gives the occupants a safe place; Homes need to be flexible to reflect people’s changing needs.

* NEW * one of the tricks to rendering with shadows is not to make your shadows black or grey – as this dulls out your colours, and isn’t lifelike. See here for some tips for hand rendering. To follow this principle using software to render (eg. CryEngine), you need to consider the colour of your light source, and how to use ‘fill lights’ to get a nice colour of light in the shadows. The internet abounds with references on this, but here is one that is reasonably straightforward.


Monday May 19 and Tuesday May 20

Pretty much all we’re doing this week is developing designs for final presentation.

Guideline for final presentation:

1:1000 location plan/map
1:50 floor plans (all floors)
1:50 ‘long’ and ‘cross’ sections
At least one 3D drawing (perspective or isometric)
1:100 model that incorporates the site and house (analog)
1:1 material study (i.e. NOT A CONSTRUCTION DETAIL, just examples of materials or surface finishes)
Significant concept development images
Important precedent images
A design statement
A digital slide show to ‘walk us through’ your presentation

!!!!This list is open for negotiation!!!!

Depending on your design, and what you need to explain, your presentation may require bigger or smaller or more or less of modes of representation. For example, I have not included any moving image requirement, but for some this will be far more important than any static perspective view. Or, you may really want to show your design is one big exploded isometric/axonometric view, which would cancel out the need for floor plans and sections.

NOTE: I have put an Illustrator template in the /Spatial Design/257_DesignStudio_IIa_Spatial/ /student shared/spatial_257 server folder. This template is how I would like you to re-package your work for the final digital submission. It is called “257_Kaitakitanga_Surname-FirstName_Final-Poster_2014.ait” – the funny long name follows the file naming standard the Spatial Design program uses (see here to remind yourself). You may use this poster format as a guide for the presentation but WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR POSTER PRINTS for the presentation.


Monday May 12

We’ll present in two groups according to this schedule.
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A digital slide show which includes:

* 1 slide stating conceptual ‘intent’ (this is sometimes called the ‘design narrative’ – it is a story which seduces the client)

* slides of plans (site and all floor levels)

* slides of sections (x2)

* at least one perspective view

* 1 slide of design development (e.g. diagrams developed from your ‘spatial generator’ term)

* 1 slide of precedents (cool ideas and design tricks)

* 1 slide of other research (mostly technical stuff)

Please submit your slide show as a PDF to the appropriate folder in the Student Shared server, like so:
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A folder called “Servers” &/or the “Student Shared” drive should now turnip on your desktop when you login. If it isn’t there use the “Go” menu to “Connect to Server” as shown in this image.

Tuesday May 13

* seminar on Sustainability By Design_form, scale, lifestyle

A relevant design for this seminar is the HighLine by Diller, Scofidio & Renfro Architects with James Corner of Field Operations. Please review it in preparation for this seminar. And here too.

* workshop on presentation techniques_focus on ‘line weights’
* small group visits to the Toy Store.


Links to youtube videos on sustainable issues in the invention, use and consumption of materials (aka natural resources)

The Story of Stuff (as mentioned by Mercia – this is a great intro guide to how consumerism has us all trapped!)
A Horizon Guide to Materials (this is a series by BBC on the history of the invention of materials and their uses – this is more general interest)
Embodied [embedded] Energy Explained
A profile show on BedZED – Sustainable Mixed Use Development in South London, 2002.
1 – the need for sustainable communities
2 – sustainability during construction
3 – energy efficiency and low carbon power
4 – sustainable management of water and biodiversity
5 – sustainable lifestyles: food, transport and waste
& 6 – conclusions
Earthship is a 70s idea getting a re-vamp in the 21st century Earthships for New Zealand”… personally, I think they are pretty awful.


Monday May 5

It’s an action packed schedule today (hopefully!) – we’ve got two technical demos (large format printer & ‘Toy Store’), a quick seminar, a small group task and, of course, small group roundtable discussion of your design CONCEPT.

9-9.30 Seminar on today’s task : sustainable by design_materials

9.30-10 KLAUS on the Large Format Printer

10-11.30 will be 30 minutes for CONCEPT presentation and 1hr for group task. To make things run smoothly, I have allocated you to groups looking at a material (groups / materials / times) if you want to swap groups please arrange this amongst your selves.

Reports on materials… edited ; )

11.30-12 KEIR on the ‘Toy Store’

** Check out “The Story of Stuff” on you tube **

Tuesday May 6

9-10 Reporting back on Task

10-12 Trouble Shooting toward INTERIM on Monday

REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERIM : a digital slide show which includes

* 1 slide stating conceptual ‘intent’

* slides of plans (site and all floor levels)

* slides of sections (x2)

* at least one perspective view

* 1 slide of design development (e.g. spatial diagram studies)

* 1 slide of precedents

* 1 slide of other research

NOTE: coming up in week 10 there is a wednesday clinic on “PDF Creation for Digital Presentation” – How to use Adobe InDesign and Acrobat to create PDFs for use as a digital presentation tool. Includes discussion around embedding of images and video.
This will be very useful for your final submission – please signup if you have time.
Link to signup page in stream


Monday April 28

First up we’ll review what you’ve come up with re. your spatial generator.
Second, we’ll go over the presentation (plans&diagrams), and set you up with a house plan analysis task which we will discuss on Tuesday.

External resource: presentation from Izmir University of Economics, Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design, on Bubble Diagrams.

Tuesday April 29

1. Reviewing house plan analysis task.
2. Workshopping ‘how to work’ (software, hardware, wear & tear)
3. In small groups you will get a tutorial on using the large format printers.


Over the break – have a break!

What I would like to see on the Monday (April 28) we come back is an analogue or digital thing, based on your ‘spatial generator’, which you can explain as a ‘diagram’ of the issues you see as most important for this project (in reaction to the reports we discussed), and an idea on how you are going to work on this project.

Now “an analogue or digital thing… explained as a ‘diagram’ ” sounds super-vague, but Bjarke Ingles was doing this in the presentation we watched (Bjarke Ingels: Hedonistic sustainability)… he of course did it in a hugely confident the-project-is-all-complete-anyway kind of a way! I will expect you to be more tentative.

All the ‘spatial generator’ terms were chosen because they describe a relationship between things (one thing wraps another thing, sits alongside, ties up, or ties to, another thing). For example, if you were interested in how suburbs cause people to live alongside each other in comfortable, uncomfortable, dynamic or oppressive ways. Rather than assume you know the hows and wherefore of ‘alongsidensss’ we are asking you to make diagrams to explore ‘alongsideness’ as a problem. You could make models in multiple colours of play dough (?!) looking at how colours mix into each other, test ways to keep the space, or re-separate, the colours. Or you could add another material like wood to show how the hardness of one influences the softness of the other. The principle is that, in ‘making’ the diagram, we start to see the problem differently… but warning – as Antony Vidler discusses, this can also get completely abstracted from the real world!

On the matter of how you will work: we had been planning to for a physical or digital model of the existing house by the end of the break. The aim was to be ready to explore sunlight/solar design using different tools (the link is to a government site on solar design – this is not lovely, but is accurate). Rather than come with the whole house, we’re just asking that you just make a start – firstly by deciding whether you want to go analogue or digital, and if digital, which of the following software might be more interesting to work in: SketchUp, VectorWorks, ArchiCAD, or Revit. (These programs all get a very brief rundown here).


The first week consisted of two activities:

* a group task reviewing on of the following reports on the Naenae &/or issues relating to climate change.

Climate Futures / REPORT_ClimateFutures

Community Profile: Taita and Naenae


Greater-Wellington-Socio-Demographic-Profile-1986-2031 by Profeessor-Natalie-Jackson-2012

Synthesis: community-vulnerability-resilience-and-adaptation-to-climate-change-in-nz

Towards carbon-neutral and climate-adapted domestic buildings / REPORT_CarbonNeutral-ClimateAdapted

* investigation of a ‘spatial generator’ term.

Last modified: May 23, 2014