TA Help Desk

As we make our final push on the Boathouse design Chris and Chan have agreed to hold help desk hours outside of studio time.  If you need feedback on your work or if you have software issues, they can be found for assistance at the following times:

Thursdays, 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Room 204 of 3410

Sundays, 2:00pm – 6:00 pm, Room 208 of 3410



Digital Intro

Becoming Bloggers
This semester, studio wide communication will be managed through this blog. You will receive assignments, announcements, resources, inspiration etc. collectively from the faculty at large.  In addition, some of you may decide or be asked to maintain your own blog.  If done rigorously and with care, a personal blog can become a very useful resource in your design process and professional lives.  In the way a sketchbook becomes a container and organizer of thoughts, ideas, solutions, etc beyond the extent of the lines drawn on the page, so too can a blog.  Taking advantage of the “tagging” abilities, a highly intuitive and effective catalog of topics can be constructed.

Part of operating significantly with new media is to understand and respect the ethics of its process.  Please consider the way in which public information can affect you and those around you, and make any contributions to the public forum productive and respectful. Pay special care to the intellectual properties of others and always execute proper use thereof.

Staying on top of the information flow
Perhaps the most important condition for adding any new technology/process to your lifestyle is for it to be as simple as possible, more easily allowing you to make it a habitual practice.

  • Check out the blog regularly. Make the website your “home” page in the browser of choice so every time you start your computer it’s there.
  • subscribe to the class RSS feed and use an rss reader like google reader to access the blog’s stream of posts.  If you would like to know more about rss and how to streamline your information collection. 
  • subscribe to the blog via email and receive a copy of each post as they are added.

Computers and the studio
The integration of digital tools into a process alongside hand sketching, drawing and model making is paramount to successful design communication. Thus the use of computers in your studio work is deeply encouraged.  However, it is important to recognize the way in which the computer can have mal-affect on your work habits.  During studio hours it is uniformly expected that the use of computers in the studio be to progress studio work, and not to be used for the browsing of non-studio related material and social networking.  The use of laptops within the studio is generally more widely desired than lab- or home-based computers which disconnect students geographically/physically from the highly charged creative atmosphere of the studio.   Each individual studio instructor will have slightly different policies and approaches to the use of digital technologies. Please discuss any specific questions about policies of use with your studio instructor.

A short testimony on hardware and software told through two commonly asked questions.

“what kind of computer should I buy?”

  • Put as much money as you can into the video card.
  • RAM is cheap, get it, or at least optimize it.
  • If it’s a question of cost, get the slowest processor in the most recent family you can afford.  Never buy a Celeron. Probably don’t need a xeon.
  • Yes the industrial design is worth the $500 premium you pay to have the Apple computer with the same specs.  But could you get equivalent computation for $500 less … probably.

“what software should I use”

  • Whatever make you the most effective; design fluidity, pragmatic efficiency, interoperability.
  • I personally use the Adobe suite (imagers), rhino (modeler), 3dsmax (rendering/animation), acad (drawing).
  • There are many people who use sketchup and revit (together or separate) to design and document their projects and a few who do it truly elegantly.  However I would contend that to varying degrees both sketchup and revit tend to orient students to very particular processes based on the software’s approach or interface and I would prefer students be more omnidirectional and open.
  • Free software is improving, though I still find the ease and power I have in my adobe products outweighs the positive moral feelings I get when I use their open source counterparts.  I would highly recommend students consider using, and supporting, openoffice.org as an alternative to microsoft office
  • I recommend buying your software legitimately through educationally priced distribution, and then taking full advantage of any help resources those purchases might enable.
  • There are a lot of books, and there are few that are significantly better than the help and tutorial systems which are integrated into the releases of software themselves.  Learn to use them.

This blog will collect a particular set of resources for digital technology.  use the digital tag to extract a feed of digitally oriented resources.  In addition the College of Architecture faculty of digital media is using a blog at http://digiitalarchfab.com/, to centralize tutorial and resources for digital media coursework.


Over the course of the year a series of digital media workshops will be organized/led by Professor Kearns.  These workshops will be extracurricular to the studio and will support a range of processes for your current and future coursework.  Workshop space will be limited, and reserved, please check back for more information as it becomes available.  If there is self-organized commitment to any particular topic, workshops will be created, please present collected interest in a topic to Professor Kearns.

Welcome to Third Year

Welcome back from what we hope was a great summer
Welcome to the digital home for the third year core studio in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

This blog will be used to centralize communication between faculty and students, promote the top work being performed in the studio, and deliver resources for studio participation.  Please take the time to subscribe to the blog so you can easily stay up to date with the content.