Pre-Fall Break

Hi everyone! First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!  But this is not my fall break post.  Anyway, Here is what went down since last time you looked at the internet:

Virginia Tech Meet

Yes, a fall meet. You remember the last time we went to a meet in the fall and the car I was in broke down half way to Syracuse? Well that didn’t happen this time. Which is good. Because we drove aaall the way down to Virginia Tech. It’s like six hours.

Being shuffled outside from the fire alarm

So we are at the meet, warming up when the fire alarm goes off. Hooray, we all get to stand outside in the cold. It wasn’t too bad though. We sang a bunch of songs and were generally very obnoxious while all the other teams kinda glared at us and some prospective student tours struggled to wade through the sea of warm-up clad gymnasts. Fifteen minutes later and we were back inside. The meet went well. Nothing spectacular. BUT Penn State Men and Women clenched first place for teams! Oh yeah! So that was fun. Also I won first place! Yay!

 

Hmm… What else…

Anonymous People Judging Me

We had our portfolio review “showcase” before break where all ofour portfolios are spread out on tables and everyone is invited to come write things that we need to fix on them. The only problem is that no one knows who wrote the comments so I don’t know whose advice to listen to and whose to ignore. Haha I’m kidding I listen to the criticism. I’m actually pretty happy with how my portfolio turned out. You can’t see it, however, because the internet crashed when I tried to upload it.

 

Ill-Advised Food Choices

Remember that place Momotaro that I wrote about last time. Well Logan and I went back there to get some of these cool chocolates that didn’t look edible but apparently were. They were pretty pricey at $2.50 each but we were curious. But as cool as they looked, they were just not worth the money.

Above you can see the two chocolates and the macaroon

On an unrelated note, my friend Haleigh had come over to my apartment to watch TV and we decided to eat a whole box of farafelle noodles with butter and shaky cheese. Here is a picture of that:

P.S. The header image is irrelevant to anything in this post. It’s just a cool leaf with water droplets.

 

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Finally Made it Home Before Dark

YOoooooooo! It’s been a minute friends! And by a minute I really mean a few months. SO MUCH has happened, but I have been chin deep in work! Today was actually the first day I got home just before the sun set so that was exciting. So let me just fill you in on all the things that have happened:

Studio Things First

The final for our studio project is to design a memorial for a person or event. I chose to do an international adoptee memorial because I am one of those! We just had our mid review last Thursday and although it was was 5 hours long and I was definitely not sitting in a chair for most of it, I got some good feedback on my design! Here are the boards for my design:

We also had to do a 3D printed model and a milled model of our site. 3D printing is pretty cool! Here my model is being printed out:

An here is the finished model!

Also here is my milled model:

 

And finally, we had to make a short video explaining our concept and some background on our chosen memorial topic. Most people just took videos off the internet but I wasn’t about to be that effiecent. In fact. I did the opposite of that! I made an animation about international adoption! It took a very long time but it turned out great! Here it is:

(P.S. Shout out to my awesome animator cousins for the 10 second adobe Animate tutorial that changed my life!!!!)

 

So, yeah 🙂 I made that!

Also some old studio news. Here is an old project that I forgot to post. Our prompt was to edit out a memorial from the Washington DC landscape.

Jake Shimabukuro

The other evening I went to the world-famous and super duper fantastic Jake Shimabukuro at the State Theatre!!!!! Absolutely incredible! Just. Look him up. He’s amazing.

The Never Ending Broken Laptop Hell

Yes, my laptop – once again – had problems. This time, with the hard drive. What was wrong with it? Well, I called best buy as said my computer says it has “no bootable device”

me: “oh, what does that mean?”

Best Buy “It means your hard drive is dying”

me: “Great.”

So I had to get my computer wiped… AGAIN. Luckily, my all-knowing mother had installed an online backup system after the last two times I had to get my computer reset so I didn’t lose any data. I DO however have to reinstall ALL of my softwear which isn’t hard but isn’t fun either. Hopefully with a new hard drive, all will be righted in the internal world of my Acer.

Food Adventure

On Saturday night, Logan and I had our first, and probably last, sushi burrito. It tasted about as good as anyone could guess.

For dessert, we went to Momotaro (affectionately know as “the Butt place” due to their logo) and got rolled ice cream.

Here’s a pic that I did not take of their store

And here is a picture I did take of my icecream

It was actually super fascinating a delicious!

The Last Stadium Clean Up

Yes. I did stadium clean up. No rant this year (but I do have pictures). It was gross as usual. I’m sure you’re thinking, “why did you do stadium clean up if you’re not going to be here next semester for nationals because you’ll be in Germany??”

PSYCH!!!!! Ha!

At the last minute, I got a bunch of anxiety and switched from the Spring to Fall semester for study abroad so I can go to TWO more club gymnastics nationals!

And last things last… MEET THIS WEEKEND!!!! Ah! I am not ready haha.

Studio Update!

So I realized that I have been doing a bunch of cool stuff in studio and I haven’t told you about any of it!

If Mozart Was a Landscape

An assignment we had a few weeks ago was to design a landscape out of a figurine head that we 3D scanned in the Digital Fabrication Lab in the basement. It’s super confusing to explain so don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense. First, I took our dude and made him into a 3D model that looked like this:

Then, I cut his head apart and did a bunch of crazy things and made these weird looking ‘landscapes’:

 

I picked one of the two to render and ran contours from top to bottom on it which took forever! Then I ran 5 foot contours from one side to the other to create section cuts. This linework was exported to Adobe Illustrator and I did a bunch of stuff and it turned out super crazy! We rendered a plan and perspective of our “landscape” and plotted them out on 30 in by 66 in! Which is pretty big!

The Future of New York City is Potatoes

Our second project started with a trip to NYC. We walked around and looked at different memorials, including the 9/11 Memorial, Washington Square Park, and the Irish Hunger Memorial. The FDR Memorial was also on the list but after a subway ride and a decent amount of walking, we discovered it was CLOSED on Tuesdays! Luckily, we go to take the giant gondola back from the island which was really cool!

For this assignment, we were to choose a memorial and imagine a future for it. Not a reasonable future but something super radical and insane. We created a graphic timeline that took us 100 years into the future of the memorial and a poster advertising the memorial at the end of the timeline. A lot of people imagined a future of nuclear war, robots, and underwater cities but I that was a tad too depressing for my taste.

I picked the Irish Hunger Memorial and imagined a future where all the dirt is in the city is gone, except for what remains on the memorial. People in a nearby building complex begin planting potatoes on it and as science advances, the potatoes get bigger! (Read the timeline to get the full story). This is what the memorial looks like today:

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

 

The Timeline of the Irish Hunger Memorial

The poster for the Urban Spud Coalition:

I am extremely proud of them and will likely frame them to hang in my room.

Yesterday, we went to DC to look at more monuments and to talk with the National Parks Service about how they maintain the National Mall which was really interesting. Our next project will be editing out a memorial from the landscape to see how it changes. Update to come on that project.

LABASH Logo!

LABASH is a big networking event hosted by a college every year and this year, Penn State is hosting! Only problem is, I can’t go 😦 I’ll be in Germany. BUT I did get to design the logo!

The theme for LABASH is “Identify”. The concept for the logo is idea of a leaf rubbing, the leaf being of the iconic American elm trees on campus. I’m sad that I won’t get to see it printed but I’m hoping to get a free t-shirt out of this!

The Week Before Finals: My Laptop Died Edition

This year’s installment of “the week before finals is absolute the worst” is brought to you by: my laptop’s operating system gets corrupted in the middle of final project panic. Yes. In the week when I have the least amount of time to deal with things due to final projects, I have to go to best buy and sit and wait and cry a little on the inside while they tell me that my laptop (which I just bought a two or three months ago) has to be factory reset. Sigh. I do have my final project boards though if you want to see them:

Roane-Hopkins_Z_Activity_3_Gowanus_Canal

Our assignment, which I mentioned in the post You Can’t Spell “Gowanus” without “Us”, deals with a redevelopment concept around the Gowanus canal. I did a large community plaza space thing. I’m not gonna lie, I got a lot of negative feedback on this design but I’m still happy with what I did.

I also presented my final project for photography. My concept was taking pictures from the perspective of a shoe. Here is my final project:

PSUkulele has also been doing some fun things! We had our end-of-year showcase at Webster’s Bookstore downtown:

 

And we played for an event at the Elks Country Club!

 

Now, I am home and enjoying not doing anything at all! I bought a new camera (A Nikon D5300 if you were curious) and am taking up close pictures of my parents and pets with an expensive camera instead of phone so, yeah, I’m moving up in the world. Next week I start my internship with the landscape architect working for DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources). Very exciting!

 

Longwood Gardens in Bloom

On a sunny morning in late April, we headed down to Longwood Gardens to look at some plants. You probably don’t remember, but we had actually been to Longwood during Freshman year before all the leaves were on the trees because it was still winter. Anyway, this time, there were actual flowers and things blooming and it was so lovely! If you live in the area and have never been, I would definitely recommend it, even if you are not a plant fanatic because it is beautiful and the amount of maintenance required to keep this place perfect will blow your mind.

We were supposed to be taking notes on different spaces and plants for class but I mostly just looked at all the plants and wandered around.

One of the cool things we go to do was go behind the scenes of some of the plant growing operations. We walked through green houses with rows and rows of different plant species.

There was also this tree called a Mardarinquat (I think) which looked awesome but we weren’t allowed to pick any.

They also showed us these crazy flowers they were propagating that only bloom every 7 years and cost upwards of $600 dollars if I’m not mistaken! So I think this picture should be worth at least $50 haha.

Anyway. After getting a tour, we were able to walk around on our own! Yay! I definitely could’ve stayed longer but I still got to see plenty of foliage and flora.

First we took a stroll down the Flower Garden Walk which was planted with over 250,000 bulbs! That’s crazy! Here are some pics:

Pictures of columbine flowers (I think) planted around the fountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pictures don’t really do it justice but you can still see all the pretty flowers 🙂

The formal Italian Water Garden is lined with pollarded trees which I personally am not a fan of but they do look rather sculptural in this setting

The meadow. A perscribed burn had just been done to part of the meadow which was pretty cool. These burns are important and mimic natural meadow ecosystem processes that promote seed germination, ecological health, and the suppression of weeds among other things.

We also got to walk around the indoor greenhouses which are always blooming with beautiful flowers!

 

 

And no trip to Longwood would be complete without using the famous greenwall bathrooms!

You Can’t Spell “Gowanus” Without “Us”

On Friday the 17th, 33 sleepy LARCHies got on the red-eye bus to Brooklyn, New York to see the infamous Gowanus Canal. If you are unfamiliar with the canal, as many of us were before the trip, it is/was one of the most polluted waterways in North America. I mean, it’s seriously nasty. If you were wondering what sort of business we had being in Brooklyn, it is the site of the next project in our design studio. Here are some photos of lovely Gowanus. It was actually a very pleasant day.

Something interesting I learned during our analysis of the Canal: Besides being a superfund site full of gross chemicals, trash, and sludge, it is also stagnant so nothing ever washes out. There is also little to no dissolved oxygen, which aquatic life need to survive. To fix this problem, they installed a giant flushing tunnel which brings water from butter milk channel in the Hudson Bay to the head of the canal where it is forcefully pumped. It’s actually working, because dissolved oxygen content levels have increased. However, the force also stirs up all that grossness in the bottom and results in this weird foam:

And, here is a picture of garbage at the bottom of the canal as the tide was going out:

Mmmmm. Lovely.

Leaving was a lot worse than travelling up. We got stuck in downtown Manhattan for two hours before finally getting out of the city. Some of my friends fell asleep for those two hours and awoke to find we were still in NYC. We didn’t end up returning to campus until around 1:00. Unfortunately for me, I had a gymnastics meet the next day.

 

The Home Meet

The home meet went well! I did well enough to win the All Around so that’s good. I was definitely running entirely on adrenaline because the next day, I was so sore that I walked like a hunch back who’d just gotten off a horse! haha! It wasn’t actually that bad. My cool friends also made an appearance with their funny signs:

My Third Spring Break

Well I have really been quite terrible about keeping everyone updated on my happenings. But then again, everyone said that this year would be the most difficult and time consuming year of all and I have yet to disagree. A majority of my meals last weekend consisted of chicken tenders from the commons and breakfast sandwiches from Au Bon Pain. After a grueling couple of weeks, I have finally reached that beautiful checkpoint of spring break. YAY! So, here is what I have been so busy with that I didn’t have the time to let you all know:

Studio Stuff

Our latest studio project was a to design a mixed-use community with different housing types and a commercial district. I designed a community that gave creative and educational opportunities to lower-income people. I wanted to call it “the starving artist community” but felt like that was too on the nose. Haha. Anyway, here is a pdf of my project boards if you are so inclined to view them 🙂 [EDIT: Just kidding, it’s not a PDF anymore it’s a document viewer]

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/3b4cb7b3-eef8-403b-8e4b-e8b37a8d57fe?startpage=1&allowFullscreen=true

Our next project will be on the “scenic” Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY. If you are unaware (as I was) this canal is not scenic. It smells. And apparently has a dark sludge residing in its murky bottom which is affectionately called “black molasses”. We’re going on a site visit soon, so that should be interesting.

Photography

The last assignment we submitted for photography was a “narrative.” The goal was to create scenes that told some kind of story that the viewer didn’t understand. Think sci-fi fantasy kind of deal or The Twilight Zone but in color. Here are the two photos that I submitted:

My next assignment is to choose a photographer (famous) and imitate their style. I chose Ansel Adams who photographed beautiful landscapes of California and the South West in black and white. I almost feel bad trying to copy them because mine are no where near that caliber. Also, I need some mountains.

Apartment Life

So you may or may not know that my lovely little apartment is not equipped with a washer and dryer. I recently decided to start washing my clothes in the bathroom and hanging them on a clothesline. This has proved largely inefficient due to living in a basement that is always slightly humid so that nothing every really dries. So, my dear mother decided to purchase me a tiny electric dryer and a crank washer. I am very excited to be washing clothes in my apartment and will update you on how everything works out!

Have a nice day!