Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

Quote of the Day

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Written by nevalalee

May 8, 2015 at 7:30 am

Waiting for the ice

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Eskimo at seal hole

A second pattern [in the Arctic] complements this oscillation—long stillnesses broken by sudden movement. The river you have been traveling over by dogsled every week for eight months, and have come to think of as a solid piece of the earth, you wake one day to find a heaving jumble of ice. The spring silence is broken by pistol reports of cracking on the river, and then the sound of breaking branches and the whining pop of a falling tree as the careening blocks of ice gouge the riverbanks. A related but far eerier phenomenon occurs in the coastal ice. Suddenly in the middle of winter and without warning a huge piece of sea ice surges hundreds of feet inland, like something alive. The Eskimo call it ivu. The silent arrival of caribou in an otherwise empty landscape is another example. The long wait at a seal hole for prey to surface. Waiting for a lead to close. The Eskimo have a word for this kind of long waiting, prepared for a sudden event: quinuituq. Deep patience.

Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

Written by nevalalee

February 7, 2015 at 9:00 am

The importance of overdesigning

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At the outset of the design process, make your spaces about 10 percent larger than they need to be to meet the assigned program. During the design process, additional spatial requirements will arise—for mechanical rooms, structural columns, storage, circulation space, wall thicknesses, and a hundred other things not anticipated when the building program was created.

The point of overdesigning is not to design a larger building than is necessary but to design one that is ultimately the right size. In the unlikely event the extra space turns out to be unnecessary, you will find it easier to shrink an overlarge building than to create more space where it doesn’t already exist.

Matthew Frederick, 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School
(Note: This applies to novels as well.)

Written by nevalalee

June 30, 2012 at 9:50 am

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