Monday, April 25, 2011

review of IAR 451

taking pro practice class brought lots of good aspects to me. i met people who are in the field and showed my portfolio and get some advice from them. i had portfolio reviewing last year but it was different. talked one by one and got some feedback. also, i could extend my network especailly Lisa Sherry Interiuer people.
Also, visiting furniture market in High Point and AIA meeting were great experience to me. i met many people and i learned personal lesson for my future design and knowledge. i enjoyed worked with third year students. branding their project seemed hard but worked together and tried to figure out were a good experience and fun.

 i think i know what to do for applying a job and taking exams for licence step by step. i really appericiate travis to push us hard and make handle all assignments which helped to develop ourselves.

trace ink branding

networking 2

I heard many times that Highpoint is the most popular city for furniture markets and the show opens two times a year but I had not opportunity to look at it until now. Robert, Meg and I went there on April 5th. My first impression was “Wow”. I was kind of shocked because I did not expect a city-looking downtown and all downtown was a furniture showroom. We did not know where we were going, so we went into International Home Furnishings Center.

As an IAR librarian, I have had lots of chances to look at magazines to deliver to the library. While I took a look, I wrote down some companies and product lines to use for my future project or personal use. I was expecting to see real product at the show.

We had to stop by at Shiner because of their eye-catching product lines that, their bed and sofa were swinging itself just like a cradle. Their products were so popular. Many people stopped by to get brochures, business card, take a picture and question to clerks. I decided to talk with them. So I looked around their showroom. They had interesting lighting lines that people could make themselves but never tried. They made lighting frame with cardboard. The light structure was quite rare. They stacked cardboard vertically and glued them and stretched cardboard to see its grains so light came through it.

I asked the clerk about concept and their design policy. He asked the designer Joe Manus had inspired his first black eye when he was a child and ever since, the shiner has been his personal emblem for something tough, dark, and proudly damaged. He brought his emblem or idea to the manufacturing techniques and brutal aesthetic that earned his reputation for high-end boutiques and nightclubs in Atlanta, Georgia, to his first collection of modern, eco-friendly furnishings. It’s dirty, sexy, clever, and dark. We continued the conversation. I asked about eco-friendly furnishing. I thought it was related to federal regulation or sustainable material or LEED credits. He said eco-friendly furnishing is their goal to transform tons of landfill-destined materials into killer designs. By building heirloom pieces out of disposable elements, they refine the future by upcycling the past. Everything from their product such as steel, hardwoods, and cardboard to their lexan and linen is diverted from the incinerator. So Shiner vision has become contagious and has led to strategic partnerships with refuse and recycling leaders. He wanted to talk with us more but he had to leave to greet real customers.

We were so excited to have experience which felt we are already designers and walked around to buy furniture. The show organized by floor with furniture, fabric, textile, accessories and so on. I remembered Nuevo from the magazine, and their showroom was exactly same as the magazine. Their modern and contemporary furniture style were leather sofas, chairs, steel benches, tables, modern lighting and decor. They looked specialized in modern classic furniture, contemporary dining, living room, bedroom and outdoor furniture. I really liked their products because contemporary and good quality materials, revolutionary approaches to furniture concepts, ultra-modern styling, and minimalist, yet outstanding decorating schemes set Nuevo Furniture apart and give credence to everything this company designs. However, all of their products were extremely expensive. There was no furniture below $800, even a simple standing light cost $ 300. I could not talk with them but I got lots of inspiration from their product.

I was looking for Lisa Sherry Interiuer to meet my mentor Kathryn and my friend Lily. I knew Lily was working there as an intern and I promised to visit her and to see the firm’s work by myself. For my research paper, I just emailed Kathryn and Lisa to get information about their project and their thinking so I wanted to visit and thank them. That was my part of plan. However, the showroom, whole down town, was too big to walk around to find their spot, even though I had a map. We gave up visiting them and just enjoyed the market.

While I walked around, everything caught my eyes and we had so much fun each showroom that we lost count of time. I went to student work showroom. I guess many professional people handed in their design for competition or exhibit, but SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) students will participate for Furniture Design Summit 2011 so it was a kind of pre-exhibition for their department showcase. Their subject was “Re-defining American Design.” The SCAD furniture design department will present the first summit focused on bringing designers and manufacturers together in a forum to discuss the past, present and future of the furniture industry. I really liked their design because they looked more amateur compared to other furniture, but more fresh and creative. The worker there said opportunities for industry collaboration and domestic and international exhibitions of student work form a valuable aspect of the program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students exhibit their work at national and international furniture trade shows including Italian Trade Commission, High Point Market, DeRose Design, and Urban Outfitters. I was surprised school supports students and cooperates with national and international companies to turn out excellent future designers.

I kept trying to talk with someone who representing their company but we barely talked with them. It was not set up to sell one-off pieces and they were looking for large orders from retail customers. I realized they generally do not want to take time to deal with small buyers or students. I really wanted to ask about trend, how this furniture show affects their business, how it works between company and retail customer.

We could not go around all furniture showrooms but it was a great time to take a look furniture market, have lots of inspiration for my future project, and talk with people in the furniture market. I really enjoyed the show and I will try to go the second furniture show in this year.

networking 1

For assignment 4.0 – Networking Project, I needed to attend two events by two different professional organizations and I went to only High Point furniture market show. I decided to go AIA meeting in Morrisville on April 7th. I was expecting a big forum at a convention center or a hotel in a big city because ASID, IIDA or AIA sounds formal and fancy.

I attended the AIA meeting with Chelsea, Diana and Jennifer on Thursday. We were excited about the topic that “Women In Architecture”, It sounded interesting and never thought about it before. At the meeting, hostesses handed out a paper which showed nine questions. The first thirty minutes, they wanted to meet and introduce people and share their information before starting video documentary. To fill out the nine questions we had to ask around people who qualified with it such as “Who visited to Wright’s place? Who is a friend of Architect? or who does not have design degree?”

While I talked with people, I realized that half of people were not related with design. They were just supporting women’s righst or architecture somehow. People gave their business card and told what they do. Naturally, people continued their conversation and I asked what the purpose and benefits of this kind of meeting are. Most people said just making network and it lead to their personal and their firm’s prosperity. That was true. I could understand why Travis mentioned rejection and greeting letter are important for future career. Socializing with the paper made me think further. Without the paper, it might be very hard to ask their job, habit or interesting. I felt the social networking was not that hard and very useful for my future career. It was a great time to meet and talk or discuss common interests.

After socializing, the hostesses introduced today’s topic with video clips. It was the "A Girl Is A Fellow Here", It was about Women Architects in the Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright and focused on six of those women; Marion Mahony, Isabel Roberts, Lois Gottlieb, Jane Duncombe, Eleanore Petterson, and Read Weber. They had four different video clips but showed three of them.

The first video was interviewed with Beverly Willis who is president of BWAF, had a lauded 50-year career in architectural and design practice following a career as a multimedia artist It explained why she wanted to track those six people’s achievement and their effectiveness in the U.S architecture history to pass along to the public. The video kept introducing six important women with their achievements in the field briefly.

While I watched the video I tried to write down the information. At a time when few architectural firms would hire women, Frank Lloyd Wright unhesitatingly employed women, giving them both training and the opportunity to practice. Ultimately, over 100 women architects and designers worked with Wright, many of them going on to remarkable careers of their own. Wright trained and practiced with women as draftsmen, designers, and fellow visionaries.

I remember Marion Mahony who was the first person Frank Lloyd Wright hired as he ramped up his burgeoning new architectural practice in 1895. She was the second woman to graduate from MIT and the first woman in the world to receive a license to practice architecture. While she was working with Wright, her skills as a draftsperson and her ability to make a pencil create magic. Her drawings captured the essence of the kind of building Wright was working so hard to create. The documentary video continued introducing the rest of them with their career but I only could write down their names.

The next video showed interview with one of his Frank’s women, Lois Davidson Gottlieb, at Guggenheim museum in New York. She worked at Taliesin from 1948 to 1949 and left to study at Harvard. She described Frank or worked with him was about how to make life better for clients, for everybody. But Harvard taught to make drawings for the drawing department. They did not do anything to the rooms themselves. She said working with him was a beautiful life. I do believe she wanted to tell people how great he was and how to use the design to make better life.

Hostess stopped the video and wanted to discuss about their life and what women have to do for future. My personal thinking is that women already dominated design field and spread out further. I guessed they have different perspective to design. Compare to men’s design, women design more sensuous and delicate especially detailing. Like Lois said, when she worked at Taliesin she fixed and changed a part of window but the greatest architect Frank praised her. It turned her design was better than his. They know how to give a difference with little change and it shifted the entire atmosphere of design. Now there are lots of designers these days but at that time, people barely hired women. As time went by people realized women have different insight which was society was looking for and men had to admit their abilities. I believe men have to learn women’s perspective or observation somehow. Men need to be more sensitive and delicate to design. I cannot point out exactly what that is but women have different view. That is why we need to corporate and produce better design.

Under Frank's guidance, from Oak Park to the Arizona Taliesin, his people learned their craft and honed their ideas. After they left his studio, they created thousands of projects across the country. Houses and hospitals, churches and libraries, theaters and wineries, from West coast to East coast, their architecture endured. They were Frank Lloyd Wright's unknown legacy, and their practice forms a legacy for all women working in architecture today. I felt like I found a pearl on the beach. The unexpected subject, people and video clips gave me lots of lessons especially the video documentary reminded me why he is one of the greatest Architects in human history again. I really enjoyed this meeting and the topic. I will attend this kind of forum as much as I can to get new knowledge and expand social network.