Claire McManus + Herlong Architects : Week 7 : 10.19.20-10.23.20

Week 7 : 16 hours

10/19 – 10/23


3213 Middle Street Project – Sullivan’s Island


Monday : 4 hours

I worked on a final render for the clients with a few minor adjustments.  I processed a higher quality image for the renders, and while they inevitably took longer, they are very crisp and turned out great.


Tuesday : 4 hours

I put the renders in photoshop and was able to learn how to download different brushes to create a “Spartina” grass look, as well as lightened up the roof, and adjusted some tones.  We then sent them to the clients.


Wednesday : 4 hours

I worked on cleaning the model up so that it would be easier to navigate in the future for any changes that need to be made.  It got very crowded with all of the “extras” I put in it from podium.  I also received word back from one of the clients that they loved the renders and were going to print them out.  This is a spec house, so these renders will potentially draw someone in to inquiring the house, and it’s pretty cool to think I had a small part in that through Herlong.


Thursday: 4 hours

I spent most of today replying to emails and looking at a design review board packet that my boss, Steve, passed along.  He is on the design review board for Sullivan’s Island, so it was neat to kind of see the process behind that through one of our submittals.  I also found out the next project I’ll be working on is a 3D model for a house on Isle of Palms.  Excited to begin that!



Weekly AXP Hours: 16 hours / Project Development & Documentation



Weekly Lessons Learned: This week, I did not get to attend the class meeting due to a doctor’s appointment in Clemson.  However, I did discuss the article with Brooke from the firm, and we had similar thoughts on the topic Ashley prompted me with, which was “How do we, as architects or architecture students, actively break down the distinction between Professionalism and Social Engagement?”


I could not help but reflect upon the issues happening in society today when reading this article.  It seems like everyone wants to “be the change” in the world, yet it’s hard to when everyone comes from such diverse backgrounds and beliefs, with no compromising willing to be made.  In fact, it has turned into nothing but riots, hatred and complete turmoil from all Americans, whether you believe you are right or wrong.  As I was reading, this quote was noted and made me wonder if somehow architecture could be a prominent profession in helping “change the world” for society today.  The quote is as follows: “Architects do change the world. They do so mostly by creating alternative worlds, wish images for what the world could be.”  That makes it sound easy for us architects and architectural students to do, right?  In all actuality, it may not be easy, but I do think we are provided with a job that allows us to face these injustices and work to create more comfortable and joint spaces for all, while combining the knowledge and desires of many diverse people.  It reminded me of something my Professional Practice professor said one day in class: “Architects do not know a lot about everything, but a little about a lot.” (Kate Schwennsen).  I feel like that is a very valid and very true point.  Knowing a little about a lot of different professions and concepts only allows for us to better cross-examine and design with a broad knowledge and not on a biased scale.

As the article mentioned, the world (of architecture) changed roughly seven months ago when the pandemic arose, and everyone was forced to communicate through a zoom grid.  I never really thought about it until I read the words that on those zoom calls, we “yearn” for the presence of architecture.  We want to be able to see the place where someone is and take us into that other world, so to speak.  It’s an interesting concept that I wonder if we would have come to if the pandemic had not occurred.

Brooke, a fellow coworker at Herlong Architects, mentioned that it reminded her of a story she heard about once. A husband and wife that grew tired of their view outside their one story bedroom apartment window in Singapore.  The created a website called window-swap, that allows people to share the view outside of their windows.  The intent is to expand our world view through technology, to help us resolve our desperate need for a connection to other places within our confined current existence.

This only leads into the future of architecture.  The following quote from the article supports the idea that our profession is having to adapt to the issues in today’s world.  “We are clearly seeing changes happen in the methods of design, production, and assembly of buildings. We are also seeing the new technologies turn some of the principles of the discipline around.”  Across design professions, we are able to not only grow in a technological way, but also in a societal and cultural way through the connections we are afforded with today.

“When the article describes the scalar turn that has occurred through the advent of computation, it reminds me of a social media post on our Building Badass site. This is a Facebook page designed for women in design.  The post illustrated images of men drawing by hand over the decades. A scaled city map would have to fill an entire room. The draftsmen would crawl around on this enormous drafting table to draft the city grids. Now, cross-discipline and cross-racial and gender connections are more readily accessible. We can now intertwine the different components of the design process early on, rather than postponing them. The slow to evolve diversity in the profession also allows for a different perspective on design.  The scales of design are expanding not just physically through technological advancement, but also socially through cultural advancement.” (Brooke)

The last section of the article focused on Beirut, where the following the quote really just could not escape my thoughts:

“Enough resilience,” people were screaming, defeatedly acknowledging that they have reached their limit of tacitly tolerating over the years all the injustices and corruption that have led to wars and explosions of this sort. Beirut has to be rebuilt from this position. When citizens collectively scream “enough,” it is one of the most congealing moments of civil society.  The question was raised in the article “…can people rebuild their own city?”  What happened in Beirut definitely connects with what is going on in America today, in my opinion.  Riots and protests are demolishing many of our cities.  Perhaps it’s time to remodel and reconstruct society as the people in Beirut are doing.

With all of the uncertainties in today’s world, I think that as architects and architecture students, we have the opportunity to design with purpose, with the intertwining of all aspects of realization, and with intention to help guide the world into a better place for all humans.

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