Friday, August 6, 2010


On the final day of the Experiences in Architecture program, we invited the families of our students to come and see all of their hard work. Our 'semi-formal' review became a much more formal review, and the parents had a chance to see what a traditional architecture jury is like. After just two weeks of work on this project, the amount of work on the walls was staggering, and the jury was definitely impressed!!

After three intense weeks together, it is definitely sad to part ways... thank you all for making this program very special for us, and we hope that this experience will bolster you in your future careers!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Fieldtrip today to the National Gallery of Art! Our first stop was the plaza between the East and West wings of the museum. Here the students learned a bit about how the buildings relate to one another, and to the national mall. We then moved into the east wing to sketch a perspective of the beautiful atrium space. The atrium is the main circulation area for this building, and if you want to move from one gallery to another you have to pass through this airy and light filled "core". It really makes for an amazing experience.

We then made our way to the west wing through the underground tunnel connecting the two buildings. The lights on the walls and the moving walkways always provide for a fun experience.

The students stopped and sketched the corridor of the west wing so that they could understand the fundamental difference between the two buildings. The east wing is formed around an open center, while the west wing is a long corridor with rooms off to the sides. Both buildings are beautiful in their own right.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Today we spent the entire day working in studio on our final models, which was a nice change from the usual routine of having a field trip in the morning. I think all of us are a bit tired from the past two weeks, but our batteries have been somewhat recharged with our day indoors. We will be back at it again tomorrow with a field trip to the National Gallery of Art and the Corcoran Gallery. The models for the final review are looking great!

Michelle Rinehart, the assistant dean of undergraduate studies, gave a lecture to the students about Modernist Architecture at the end of they day. See you again tomorrow!


Georgetown was our destination today as we sketched a series of street sections along M Street, a residential street, and Cady's Alley. The students learned how to find the proportions of building height to street width, how to represent that in a drawing, and what that means in terms of how the street feels to the pedestrian. M Street is somewhat wide, while the residential street was a bit narrower, and Cady's Alley is very narrow and tall. Georgetown is a great place for architectural sketching!

We then headed back to school for a quick review of the sketchbooks and a "round robin" review of the projects, where the teachers get a chance to take a look at the work of students in other groups. The end of the project and EiA is near, and everyone is feeling a bit pressured to do the best they can for the final presentation. The work keeps improving and all the projects are getting to be really interesting!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Our field trip to the National Cathedral today started with a long and hot walk from the Cleveland Park Metro station to the church, but it was worth it! We first got a tour of the main sanctuary, and then we were taken to parts of the crypt level. The students learned about how gothic structures work, with the ribbed vaulting, flying buttresses, and massive columns, and also that this innovation in structural engineering allowed for the large stained glass windows characteristic of this time period.

After our tour we spent a good time sketching, first on the fundamentals of sketching, and then we asked them to diagram one bay of the nave wall. All of the students are improving in their ability, and each time we look at their drawings they get better and better!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Hey everybody! Today we visited Studio27, an architecture firm here in downtown DC. Todd Ray, one of the two principles of the firm, gave us a tour of the studio space and then sat the students down in the conference room to explain the design process used in an architecture firm.

We then took a field trip to one of their most recent projects, a gallery space called the "Idea Exchange" which they built for the AED. The students were given the task of drawing the plan of the space. Once they were all finished we lined all the drawings up to compare the positive and negative aspects of their work.

The second half of the day was taken up with the final jury for Project 2. It was a great success, and all of the students really progressed on their projects this past week. All were relieved to get the night off after a long night of work preparing for the final review. But we will be back at it tomorrow!