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When an opportunity presents itself to work for a cause that‘s greater than yourself, do you take it? The answer lies on a person by person basis. Actions speak louder than words, so I put my words into action by participating in the design and creation of an affordable housing duplex located in the Waldo neighborhood of, Kansas City. When you begin to work for something that’s greater than yourself, you tend to invest a huge amount of time into the project. This project in particular has many design and man hours invested to make a quality product that will be a shining accomplishment for all who has participated. ... (more)

Let’s talk about money. It’s everyone’s favorite topic but it also happens to be the biggest taboo topic. So what is money? Google defines money as a current medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes. In architecture money is a huge point of disconcert between the client, architect, and general contractor. The number of people involved in a project and the physical construction of a building makes the topic of money in the industry very fragile. Architects and General Contractors have the client’s money and trust at stake and the dance between getting them the best and most for their money can prove difficult when construction issues arise. But after all a project must have money in order to move. ... (more)

The eldo sledgehammer is a bit more literal than that. Because of the scope of work we have chosen to undertake, it has become the most used tool on our site. It is a tool that nearly everybody in the studio has picked up and taken at least a few swings with. Swinging a sledgehammer is tiring. It leaves your hands and muscles blistered and aching for a few days. However, it is this work that makes the entire retaining wall possible. The stakes are the backbone of the formwork. If these fail, then the entire wall fails. ... (more)

I knew the Design + Make Studio would provide me with many hurdles to jump. The one I didn’t expect however was being a woman. Although the percentage of women in the architecture schools has grown significantly, women still only represent 41-42% of recent architecture graduates. Growing up with three younger brothers, being outnumbered by men is something I am used to. For the most part in school I have been treated as an equal. After working on the construction site, I quickly learned I am not. ... (more)

It is common knowledge that humans have five senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. All but the last is commonly used in experiencing architecture. Sight is by far the most useful in judging aesthetic quality and spatial understanding. It also allows us to best experience architecture without being present better than the other senses. There are a lot of architectural works that I revere though I will most likely never get to experience many of them in person; the closest I will ever get is through images in which sight is crucial. ... (more)

I have heard on several occasions that school is nothing like the real world. I hear this and yet I don’t see any changes being made to change the fact that there is a gap between learning in school and out in the design profession. In my opinion, the practice should be as close to the real thing as possible. With this year’s design-make project, I can see a clear and distinct difference between what I have been taught and what I should know.  ... (more)

Competitions are meant to bring out the best in people and designs. Many architectural projects begin as design competitions in which a client has a project who wants to see it completed, so they open a competition to bring out the biggest and best design ideas. The competition brings many architectural minds to pursue a vision that is representative of great architecture and meets the client's desires. Our studio, Design+Make, has begun on that process of creating and implementing architectural ideas that shed light on the housing crisis of affordable housing. ... (more)

Now that we as students of architecture have gone through over 4 years of training in our chosen field, we can say that there are some things that we just know, because of repeated experience or research. For instance, we know different methods for basic design such as geometry, form types, alignment, repetition, symmetry and asymmetry, and aesthetic principles. We can quickly orient ourselves with plans and sections and the order in which a set of construction documentation tells the story of a building project. ... (more)

Before diving in lets first start with what a scheduler is defined as. In the Webster’s dictionary a scheduler (n.) is “a person or machine that organizes or maintains schedules”. With a definition like that the job itself is simple enough, right? While I do not want to put myself on my quote on quote high horse, there is a lot more that goes into play when scheduling around multiple courses for students and the already busy schedules of working professionals across several platforms. ... (more)

Through these five years, there have been times that I have felt like a loner of sorts in the College of Architecture. Even though I am at Kansas State University, it is rare for a “small town kid” to take on one of the design professions. Through the four disciplines in our fifth year, I can count on one hand peers other than myself who come from a place as small as Medicine Lodge, Kansas. As a bit of background knowledge, my hometown’s population was 2,009 at the 2010 census. ... (more)

Design-build studios are the unsung heroes of architecture school. Architecture programs typically have students design theoretical buildings, with made up clients and often no budget, which is nothing like the professional world. In the professional world, you communicate with clients, contractors, and engineers in a clear and concise manner to get a project built, but in architecture school you are not exposed to this side of the real world. Those who enter a design-build studio have an upper hand in the knowledge and process in which buildings go through to get built. ... (more)

Architecture is a profession that relies heavily on the use of various vendors to complete a project. Those vendors provide materials such as concrete, lumber, steel, metal, windows, doors, cabinetry material, plumbing fixtures, tiles, HVAC, lighting fixtures, landscaping, and even more. Having vendor’s materials or products is vital to any building project, just like the relationship architects and even contractors have with the point person providing the materials. ... (more)

Since architecture profession has become increasingly popular recently, an increasing number of students choose an architecture major as the first career step. Architecture is a major that will involve many different fields such as art, psychology, construction and so on. The complexity of architecture determines its specialty and makes architectural education unique. The architecture studio is a synthesizing space where students will need to incorporate their studies from the broader curriculum into their design work. Thus, a different educational curriculum will lead students down a very different path. ... (more)

Adaptability is something that everyone should have. Granted it’s not just something that you ­can go out and buy or take with you anywhere. Adaptability is something that you have to work towards, something that doesn’t just show up one day.  Adaptable Architecture is a very important design feature, everything having two purposes. Architecture is not the only thing that needs adaptability but life in general needs it. ... (more)

During my first four years at Kansas State University, all of the studio projects that were assigned did not have a budget. This made it possible for students to use their creativity and imagination to the fullest, resulting in beautiful masterpieces that are nothing like what we see built today. These designs had massive footprints, walls composed completely of glass, and structural feats that left even professors questioning how it would stand. These design accomplishments also left the designs with a pretty price tag that not many people would be willing to pay. ... (more)

During the last year of graduate school at Kansas State University, my final year-long studio choice was the Design+Make Studio. This decision did not come easily. In prior years, word traveled around the College of this seemingly mysterious band of design–build students who were actually granted the opportunity to construct something meaningful. During second year, my route to and from studio consisted of crossing over the link that bridged the gap between wings of Seaton Hall and Court which coincidently was directly above the College’s shop. In passing, I witnessed students crafting full size design material conditions. Some were experimenting with wood while others were welding, cutting and using the CNC. ... (more)

The internet is often seen as a distraction due to it being littered with social media. One could argue that most communication that happens over the internet is not as fruitful as a phone call or conversation in person. However, the Waldo Affordable Housing project stands as a prime example of how the internet can be used as a vital communication tool amongst professionals and students. Without our internet platforms there would be no realistic way for practicing professionals in Kansas City to mentor a studio of thirteen students located two hours away in Manhattan Kansas. ... (more)

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