UNSW Built Environment Architectural Studies: Patrick Griffen

10 05 2010

Over the summer break I participated in an elective design studio called ‘Project X3‘, which was basically a multidisciplinary design workshop. It was an intensive 2 week course where I was working in a team of students from various degrees, from UNSW Built Environment, COFA, and Engineering. We worked together to design an accommodation facility for a rock climbing company in China; ‘China Climb’ in groups of 5 or 6. I found the experience of working with interior architects, engineers and industrial designers interesting, challenging and a great way to get some experience in collaborative design. Out of the 7 designs presented to the client, ours was chosen to be carried to the next stage of design fabrication and construction. Hopefully the project will be built sometime in the next year or two.

Project X3

With a little break between my summer courses and Semester 1, I began the 3rd year of my degree. This session my subjects include a design studio, an environment course and modelling visualisation course. The design studio this session involves designing an apartment/restaurant complex on a site in North Bondi beach. I’ve spent the first few weeks analysing the site and considering the factors that will influence the outcome of the design process such as views, solar access etc. The work load is quite demanding and there is also a much higher expectation of quality in our work.  At this stage I’ve made a series of design models outlining my current progress.

Another subject I’ve been working hard at is ‘Design Modelling and Visualisation‘  which focuses on of communicating designs through mediums such as computer rendered images. I’ve been learning how to use the software ‘3Ds Max’ to render photo-realistic scenes, which includes modelling objects or buildings then calibrating colour, texture, materials and lighting. The result is a visually impressive looking image which can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from a photograph (if it is a good render). I plan to use the skills I’ve gained in this course in my design courses to present my ideas.

Between huge assignments, I’ve been going surfing and continuing to enjoy the lifestyle of living on campus. There’s a lot more work to come, 3rd year is really interesting so far, but also really intense.

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