Evening all.  Hope it has been a productive weekend, and that you are well prepared for Midterms tomorrow.

A few notes:

We will be in Upper Core tomorrow, with our own studios, and in the general location indicated below.  We would like to begin at 2:00pm promptly, which means that setup will need to occur prior to that.  As you are aware, 2:00pm reviews often don’t start until well past the hour, which only shortens the time left for conversation and review of your work, so we encourage the first few of  you to begin taping up early.

As this is our first pin-up in Upper Core, and the first time our drawings will be on display for the school to see, I’d like to request that you demonstrate care and craft while pinning up.  Let’s try to keep drawings and presentations square and plumb, and aligned with each other as necessary and possible.  The clarity of you ideas and intent will always be partially demonstrated by the technique of your presentation and this is no different.

Additionally, this will be our first review with guest reviewers, and as our success depends on their participation, it will be nice to put on a good show.  As always, please show them the necessary respect by being on time, presenting yourself well (in every way possible), and by being clear.

And on top of all of this, please remember to show yourself the necessary respect as well.  Staying up all night may very well not be the best course of action for you.  Please do what is necessary to be present and coherent for the entire review tomorrow – especially your review.

We are all looking forward to it.


Mid-Term Prep

A Parti, from the French prendre parti meaning “to make a decision”, is often referred to as the big idea, and is the chief organizing thought or decision behind an architect’s design presented in the form of basic diagrams, models and/or simple statements.

After weeks of research, analysis and study, you are ready to define the specifics of your approach to the Fire House. That is, begin to develop a parti.  Review your work to date and define your objectives.  Develop a sequence of images that frames your strategy by representing the relevant analysis across scales. Make your proposal (or set of proposals) which build on those analyses.


  • formulate problems and questions that you discovered throughout your research
  • show different ways how critical components of your research and analyses get synthesized towards a design solution
  • frame a position (or set of positions) on behalf of your analysis and in support of your conclusions.
  • communicate your ideas precisely and deliver compelling and reasoned arguments
  • represent your ideas through focused visual communication
  • formulate an evocative representation of a design intent.
  • lead a conversation of your ideas and work
  • formulate questions

As we have discussed, our midterm this semester is intended to be a conversation about the potential of your ideas and solution strategies.  The success of this dialogue relies on your ability to frame your position and formulate questions.  Begin by clarifying your objectives and criteria. Where has your analysis led you, and which concepts are now driving your process?  Then look back at the breadth of your work to date, and evaluate which of your studies belongs in the conversation.  De-emphasize or discard  the studies that don’t support your current proposal, and re-work the analyses that could further support your position(s) moving forward.

Frame the conversation as a choreographed sequence of drawings/images/diagrams and models.   Your sequence should stem from the specifics of your position as determined by your analysis. It should not be merely chronological, nor based on any particular sequence set forth by the studio. The choreography should be particularly relevant to the components of your analysis – and should be presented in support of your ideas.

Present your work with the intent of developing a conversation regarding the potential of your concept. A clear composition, a well-rehearsed and choreographed presentation, and artifacts of your process which show your design intent will allow for a deep and rich conversation.

Due Friday, October 12th:

  1. Written summary of key components of your research/analysis that have informed your current position. That is, written documentation of what you plan to say at the midterm on Monday – and a guide for how you plan to organize your work “on the wall”.
  2. Delineate a specific set of questions to be posited to your classmates and jurors during your presentation. They should build

Due Monday, October 15th:

  1. A comprehensive composition of artifacts/representations of your research and analysis to date – to include summaries of S,M,L,XL and all other relevant sketches, models, drawings, diagrams, etc.
  2. Representation of your current approach to Engine Co. 99. To be comprised of no less than six (6) horizontally formatted 11x17s. This may overlap/dovetail with the summary research above, but have a clarified emphasis.