New Velocity

new velocity


Practice•Space is offering summer sessions. Applications due April 1st.

Call for Residents:  Announcing the Summer Session at Practice·Space. Collaborate with entrepreneurs launching new businesses in old spaces, working at the intersection of architecture, business, and storytelling.


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The Practice Space Residency program offers an opportunity to exercise creativity and build skills through hands-on collaboration on place-based projects in Detroit neighborhoods. Working out of a former auto garage in Corktown, Residents are immersed in a community of innovators and experts engaged in the rebuilding of Detroit.


Influenced by an ethos of experimentation and learning by doing, Residents divide into teams to work directly with entrepreneurs who hope to bring new life to old spaces through the design of enterprises rooted in the community. Over the course of the 4-month term, teams develop architectural concepts, discover new business models, and weave compelling stories to attract the funding and support that will allow the project to move forward. Beyond the project experience, the program fee for each term includes direct access to our network of experts and advisors, and an Off-Site membership, which features a dedicated desk and usage of the space as an event venue.


The Residency requires a commitment of 20 hours per week. The program intentionally leaves significant time open which past Residents have used to launch their projects, grow their own practice, carry a part-time job, and explore Detroit.


Terms are four months and begin each January, May, and September. Many residents choose to continue developing skills and diversify their project experience by staying for a second or third term, at a reduced rate. The next term, PS03, begins May 2014.


Residency Term Total: $2,500


For returning Residents:

  • Second term: $2,000

  • Third term: $1,500

Embodiment (plans and sections)

S14_Embodiment (plans and sections)


In an effort to resist the shallow urge to turn architectural diagramming into physical reality, consider your architecture as an active participant in your script, another character in the scene. Consider your architecture not just as the backdrop and setting for events but also as the protagonist in its own story.

 Similarly, the tectonics of the Kulturhus will involve simultaneous kinds of logic- -technical, environmental, ambient, material, etc.  Seize the opportunity to explore your building’s role as a producer of effects. Use your material studies and vignettes as a guide.


-This assignment expedites engagement with the effect of building assemblies, materials, and systems: their agency as separate systems, and the potential for poetic interrelation between systems as part of a larger composition.

-Learn to use drawing systems (like collage) as generative design tools.


1. Based on the vignettes that you generated over Spring Break generate plans and sections for each of those experiences.

2. Critique these plans and sections, and using them as a guide, collect fragments, pieces, elements of architecture – portions of a plan, sections, circulation systems, pieces of envelopes, from well-documented sources of architectural construction.  The fragments should merely symbolize characteristics of architectural assemblies (suggesting orders, thicknesses, transparencies, weight, solids, void, materialities, etc.), but they should be incomplete, and not represent a total building organization or composition (image or full composition).

3.  Now compose these fragments (including your original plans and sections)  into a new edifice – via decoupage and collage (to suggest a fully embodied plan and section).  This drawing should be completed with (a) construction lines, for reference, (b) measures, and (c) scale figures.   The process will instantly generate an accidental architecture: inheriting the materialities, thicknesses, sizes, dimensions, orders implied by the fragments.

4.  Scan this collage into an underlay (to scale) and redraw it.   The collage (underlay) will become a basis for making editorial decisions about the character of your project.

5. The short version: Generate incredible plans and sections that do both of the following:

1. Capture architectural systems that embody your concepts for the building and site (site, structure, assembly, envelope, environment, light, circulation, use, , materiality, etc).  These systems can act in alone and in concert to shape experience.

2. Embody your concepts and criteria for the design of the project in your representational style.   Conventional plans and sections are not merely enough.


-How did you use the decoupage/collage to expand the terms of your  project?

-Do the new plans propose a coherent relationship between spatial sequence, the architectural body, and atmospheric effects?

-Are your drawings and drawing techniques specific to your own concepts and ideas about driving ideas behind the project, the neighborhood, the experience, the project’s agency?

– Do your plans and sections clearly convey your intentions about the concept for the project and the relevant architectural systems (site, structure, assembly, envelope, environment, light, circulation, use, materiality, etc).


Due Friday / 4 Apr 2014

– Fully developed and detailed plans and sections of your building at ⅛” = 1′-0″ scale.  NOTE: Your first floor plan must include the adjacent site plan as part of the same drawing.


-Marco Frascari, Eleven Exercises in the Art of Architectural Drawing: Slow Food for the Architect’s Imagination, ISBN-13: 978-0415779265.

Marco Frascari, “The Tell-the-Tale Detail.”