Working on a team requires compromise and trust, two things our studio has become increasingly bad at throughout the year. Our problems are probably not uncommon to issues that typical teams face when being thrust together without consent; dysfunctionality, tension, stepping on each other’s toes. And a lot of these issues stem from how poorly our communication has become. We can’t articulate our frustrations or critiques in a constructive way. We lash out in anger. We have trouble confronting our authoritative figures when something is bothering us. We have yet to develop effective solutions, and we should, because without effective communication, things can deteriorate rapidly, people become defensive and things don’t get done...(more)

After multiple iterations, it’s interesting that our redesign of the general layout has landed on almost exactly that of the kit house. Unintentionally, by preserving the external walls we have also been led to preserve the original use of space within the kit house. This emphasizes the amount of care and thought that went into this mass-produced house, as well as its placement in the landscape. It’s a layout that fits well. Even after stripping away the interior walls - the shell and context of the house have an almost haunting ability to determine the use of space within the open volume...(more)

Working on a team requires compromise and trust, two things our studio has become increasingly bad at throughout the year. Our problems are probably not uncommon to issues that typical teams face when being thrust together without consent; dysfunctionality, tension, stepping on each other’s toes. And a lot of these issues stem from how poorly our communication has become. We can’t articulate our frustrations or critiques in a constructive way. We lash out in anger. We have trouble confronting our authoritative figures when something is bothering us. We have yet to develop effective solutions, and we should, because without effective communication, things can deteriorate rapidly, people become defensive and things don’t get done...(more)

All firms have their own design process and approach to architecture. Yet many times architects can often land on the similar ideas for buildings. Take Patty Reece & Mel Zeigler, both astoundingly successful folks that are aiming high to create something that is still a relatively new typology: the rural residency. These two met for the first time in March 2018 and shared the vision and creation of a rural artist residency program. Even though there are many similarities, the approach the 2 have taken is actually quite different. The Volland Institute is focused on community and believes the artists should live and work in the town that it is founded on. The Sand Hills Institute is focused on community as well...(more)

Nearing the end of my Masters in Architecture study tenure, I have become most interested and aware of how the tools I used to complete it have shaped me as a designer. I wasn’t aware that the importance of tool choice to complete my assignments would have a profound way on how I think about architecture and the physical object that is to be produced in the end. What John Culkin is saying is that humans design the tools we use and in turn the tools have an effect on our physical body and mental thought processes we use when problem solving. Swinging a hammer gives one strength and specific muscle memory to become more efficient at the job...(more)

Initially, I expected the design studio to be a collaborative haven; an academic year that I could use to improve my collaborative skills while simultaneously refining my hands on experience to better equip me for the work space after my graduation. Having received a little bit of insight from the students that preceded me about the workings of the studio, I anticipated a smooth seamless workflow amongst my peers, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead what I’ve continued to experience is a repetitive and slightly abrasive venture that in turn slowly shapes my character and that of my peers around me, into more seamless pieces in the puzzle of the studio’s workflow...(more)

As a college student preparing to graduate, the worries of being hired immediately out of college lurks in the back of our minds endlessly. We all want to accomplish great things throughout our lives and to become a successful professional in our respective fields. In my own experience, from merely listening to conversations, I have noticed a common concern or reoccurring question among individuals that are in the hunt for a future that consists of a job. The common question may be worded differently from each individual but in one way or another it basically goes like this: “What am I supposed to do to get a job?”...(more)

According to David L. Brown in Rural People and Communities in the 21st Century: Resilience and Transformation, small towns across america are decreasing in population and progress at a steady rate. There has been a decline in progress and development in rural towns which is harmful to their resilience in an urban dominated society. Rural America represents just about 14 percent of the national population, rural America also accounts for the vast majority of the U.S. landmass...(more)

Architects have the responsibility to be sensitive of the approach for each project. Just like with anything in the world, no one project is ever the same as the other. There will always be different sites, clients, programs, budgets, and time constraints. The challenge of design is understanding what is the most important aspect that drives the design. There is never one single solution to the equation. Thinking about what materials to use in a design is an extremely important variable in the equation...(more)

A detail is defined as a small part in relation to a larger whole. While this is a seemingly vague definition, detailing can take on a multiplicity of forms. Whether it is a construction detail, a small moment where two contrasting materials join together, or simply custom hardware on a door, architecture is essentially made up of details. Details are often thought of as a necessity in designing, but for the more creative architect, they’re countless opportunities to elevate the expression of a building...(more)

A building can do more than just shape space. It has the power to shape community. Through design, a project can transform from a single entity to an extension of a community. A building that responds to its community is far more compelling and captivating in design, usage and presence than one that stands alone.As designers, it’s important to expand our viewpoint from designing just a buildings physical attributes to include its surroundings; its characteristics that will contribute to its community...(more)

Having grown up in Frankfort, Kansas, a town of roughly 700 people, I feel as if I have a true understanding as to what composes the sense of community within a rural setting. Living in a rural environment allows for people to have a strong presence of familiarity surrounding them.  The residents of small communities typically savor the fact that they are familiar with the other members that help to make up their community and the ways of life in which people who live there reside. Often rural people have little to no access to art within their surrounding community compared to their urban counterparts...(more)

As soon as I lost cell phone signal, I knew; I knew that this would be an unfamiliar place, somewhere I wouldn’t normally explore. It’s funny how our mind works sometimes, drawing conclusions based on things you have experienced or seen. Often times we can be surprised by a person or a place when our assumptions turn out to be different than reality. As my navigation system told me to turn right, I couldn’t help but wonder where I was going as the familiar sounds of a car’s rubber tires against the pavement gave way to a gravel-paved landscape... (more)

There is an understated elegance and beauty in Volland, Kansas that has survived and flourished through the years, with its most recent owners, the Reece’s, beginning to uncover and fine tune its qualities. It's iconic store; has been transformed into a simple hollow shell of brick and stone, repurposed with provisions for town gatherings, displaying pieces of art, and the occasional dinner party. With the Reece’s interest in further developing the property to be an institute for artists, writers, philosophers, and those alike, our studio, Design+Make, is now in the process of redesigning and renovating the North House as accommodation... (more)

There are a few different expressions regarding place; Sense of Place, Place Identity, and Attachment to Place are a few. All these expressions describe the way in which we perceive the world around us. Place Identity consists of significant meanings a person fixes to their environment. An Attachment to Place is the connection a specific person fosters with a specific place, or the way in which that person’s daily life is constructed by their own surroundings. However, Sense of Place is the prevailing verbiage in the study of place. In Jennifer Adams words, “sense of place describes our relationship... (more)

Architecture at its core is a balancing act between the creativity of design and the constraints that can confine ideas. The design process includes a continuous cycle of research, design solutions, and new obstacles that must be tackled. In school all our projects exist in a fantasy world, where the design is the only focusing point. Student projects are put in a world where the realities of construction and client constraints do not exist. The Design+Make studio is a student’s first opportunity to see into the functional side of the profession of architecture. Architecture can be used as a problem-solving tool... (more)