Over the past few weeks, I have gone through various stages of project work and various levels of design. In the early portion of the dates listed above, I finally finished the drawings for the ADA ramp for the College of Charleston and was able to submit it to the BAR. I have also done several series of redlines for various projects. Those projects being a recovery center for police and firemen, a central meeting and administrative area for different parts of the emergency work field, and another fire station in the lower part of the state. The recovery building was the most challenging because the edits to it were beyond the scope of what I have mostly done so far. Part of my work in that project heavily involved an increase in my education of Revit. I was to import ME&P models from various consultant firms of this particular project and ensure that they matched the existing file on the server. Any edits to walls, dimensions, materials, etc. was to be documented and adjusted for maximum clarity. Another project I worked on these past few weeks was in a totally different department than “construction drawings”. I had the opportunity to create a color board with finish samples for a school project. However simple it may have sounded at the beginning, I quickly learned the importance and decision making techniques used to determine whether or not a material, sample, color, etc. should be used in a particular project. I did get an enormous amount of satisfaction from doing this board because in my mind now, I will remember when I pass this particular school, once it is completed, that I had a small say in what colors went where, what materials made aesthetic sense, and important interior design decisions that will impact hundreds of people in more than one way. While doing this project, I tried to remember my days as a student prior to college and the environment I went to class in. I tried to remember things like what the building atmosphere felt like, how the color choices impacted that feeling, and the feelings I had associated with particular materials such as CMU block walls (which from my elementary days felt a lot like a prison, primarily because the school I attended was very drab and not exciting with their choice of color palette). I remember most schools I had been in were nearly the same; the same vinyl tile floors, CMU block walls, matte paint, and wooden doors with single vision windows. I tried to think, if these materials are so common, what can make them more inviting? I found the colors were of particular importance and patterning within materials was important as well.
From my preconceived notions about architecture, I found it interesting how much the “field of architecture” spans. I think even from my earliest days of wanting to be an architect (which, by the way, extends well into my childhood as far back as the first grade), I always assumed the job was basically drawing up plans of a building you wanted, added the stuff you thought would be good, then publish it, sell it, or build it. But now that I have been able to attend college and pursue a degree in a profession I originally knew very little about, I am drastically aware of the complexities architecture has; in particular its impacts on society and social well-being.
I was also surprised in my internship that something I would consider “interior design work” was the job of an architect, at least in this particular project. Another complexity to prove there is still much to learn in this field beyond the classroom and how architecture is a very case by case basis. Each project is different, calls for different skill sets and different people to fulfill those skill sets. Also, architects are used in a variety of purposes, not just the design process for building from the ground up. There are numerous uses that expand from furniture design to even interior design in some cases.
I look forward to exploring the boundaries of architecture in the near future and understanding what it means to be a small part of this larger environment.