Not My Last Semester

Yeah. Hi. So I’m back at school again. Classes started on Monday. If I were in almost any other major, this would be my last semester. But instead, I still have another year. That’s probably good since I don’t really feel like being a full-on adult yet.

Classes are hard and its cold outside. But not as cold as it was a few days ago! I’m excited for all my classes, although there is a lot more reading than I’ve ever had to do and that stinks because I am a very slow reader. Like painfully slow. But if I don’t read slowly, I forget what I read. I have three classes (Studio, geography, and ecology + design seminar) that will require copious amounts of reading. Currently, I am writing this blog post to continue procrastinating. Anyway, my studio this semester is all about urban ecology in Baltimore! Very exciting! I am also taking Food Facts and Fads which will be AWESOME and also counts for THREE credits of gym. Ha! I beat the system.

Since we are all in different studios, we were assigned to new desk clusters. I moved to the other side of the building. Here is my new desk:

The state of relative neatness that you see here will not remain for long! My laptop screen shows the blog post that I’m writing right at this very moment!

Also note the drawing of the Penne pasta:

All is good so far! But things will pick up soon and I will be very stressed. So yay for that (not really).

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Final Review, Finally Home

I DID IT

No all-nighters necessary but still some pretty late nights required to pull everything together for my final project. Oh man, it was rough. But done! and you get to see all the cool stuff I made that took hours to make and were only glanced at for two minutes. It is so nice to be home!
Anyway, ap (according to my mother) there are some adoptee people interested in seeing my final design, as it would take lots of explaining, but will post pictures and do some explaining in this post!

The Inbetween: International Adoptee Memorial Park

First off, if  you haven’t seen it yet, check out my mid-review project which is in an older post.I didn’t explain much in it but you can look at it if you want to. Also, watch the video animation -CLICK THIS LINK- cause it took forever and I’m very proud of it and it also shows some of the aspects of adoption I considered in my design.

Did you see everything? Ok good.

Some notes about the “rules” for my studio’s projects:

  1. It is technically “siteless.” Mine is located in an urban setting and is, in theory, going to be located in every major city in the world. You’ll see why eventually.
  2. Practicality of building materials, scale, cost, technology are non-existent, so no need to scrutinize over pavement joint spacing or funding from private donors and local municipalities.
  3. Hmm

So, here goes. This is the plan view of my design. There’s no scale, but the block is 600 feet by 650 feet, which is absolutely huge for a design like this.

Also here is my site from a birdseye view:

Below is a diagram from my project board that identifies the different parts of the design:

The ground plane pattern was made using the idea of cracked earth as a representation of a not fully whole identity. It also could be thought of as a road map to a city, so there’s is a duality of scale where you can imagine yourself simultaneously as an ant walking across the ground and a giant bounding across a streetscape. I liked this because it creates a sense of placelessness in feeling small in a big world, feeling like the distance between yourself and your birth life is impossibly large. But at the same time, your very existence stretches across continents and oceans. In the center is a slightly raised platform of tiles. It’s shaped like an abstraction of all the continents crammed together. This tiled grid will light up where ever you step. And, if you imagine this same memorial site located in every city in the world, the glowing path of every person walking on the grid will also show up in every other city. Here is another animation I made to demonstrate this point:

Also in the animation, you see holographic paper airplanes that can be thrown into the sky by making a throwing motion. These airplanes explode into a ‘hello’ that is translated across countries. I thought it was interesting to imagine being able to throw a paper airplane half way around the world.
All of this emphasizes the idea of dualities. With the glowing tiles, it is a reminder that there are people out there that you may be connected to, but that feel/are inaccessible to you.

In the plan, you can also see there are areas of water with paths crossing them. There are acoustic mirrors that concentrate sound from a far distance so you can talk to someone across the water. The idea here being communication across oceans (represented by water). The section cutting through one of these paths shows what it looks like:

Now in my mid-review design, I used the mounds to signify all the unattainable knowledge about an adoptee’s origins. I decided to break the mounds up and turn them into active places. These include climbing areas, chalkboard areas, and slide areas.

Here is my model on the milling table

Final model

In addition to redenerings, we also had to make 3D models. I milled mine out of MDF in the wood shop. The CNC miller is like a giant drill bit on moving arms that carves out landform from a block of foam or wood.

My model included some 3D printed objects that were designed in a 3D modeling program called Rhino. Below are images of my final model and close ups of the 3D printed parts.            

Final Review Day (dun dun duuunn)

So it’s review day, and ya know who’s invited??? KEN SMITH. He’s a landscape architect who owns a firm named after himself in New York City! Anyway, he’s famous and important but for some reason came to out little presentation day in surrounded by mountains and deer Pennsylvania. That’s crazy! Ken and five other supremely intelligent people came to our critique as well and they are all important and they all wore black. Everyone wore black. That’s the thing apparently. Although I made a mental note to find some more colorful pants. All in all, our critique (we had 17 students) lasted about seven and a half hours. I was standing for a good majority of that because I hate sitting. My presentation was about half way through, so most people were still awake and attentive. I felt like I was all over the place, probably because I’d forgotten to actually write what I wanted to say. Ugh. It’s ok though because they didn’t hate it. One critique I got was that there was too much going on and the activity needed to be distilled into a more purposeful experience in regards to how one moves through the site and how different people with different life experiences feel in the site. But the best thing was, Ken Smith told me, “you are very good.” I thought I was going to fall over. I didn’t. And I know that no design is perfect but I couldn’t believe he said that to me. I took a super creepy stalker picture of him:

I could’ve taken my picture with him but I was too nervous haha.

Here are my presentation boards (they were GIGANTIC!):

And after all of that, I am home! (actually I’ve been home since Friday)

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 (If you are having trouble reading this, here is the PDF link: Zoe Roane-Hopkins_ACT3 NYC_Timeline)

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!

I Went to a Bar and I Fell: Two Unrelated Events

Hello Friends! It has been a busy week! I’m gonna start with last weekend!

I Went to a Bar

On Friday night, I went to the BARS! Like the kind where people drink alcohol. First, my friends and I went to Pickles which is on Allen Street. There were two bouncers and two policemen standing out front which is pretty intimidating. Pickles was loud and crowded. My friends ordered beers and I got a sprite. After some casual chit chat, we changed venues. That’s right. I BAR HOPPED. haha! We went a very short distance to Zeno’s, located beneath the Corner Room also on Allen Street. Zeno’s was much quieter. I got a water and also ate some of the soft pretzel, fries, and mozzarella that my friend brought.

Extremely Mild Racism

Saturday morning, Logan (the boy I date) and I were walking down the street, headed to the HUB to get some textbooks. At no later than 11:30 in the morning, we passed a student house. Five or six clearly drunk guys were sitting on the porch drinking (what a shock!). As we passed, a bottle flew by our heads into a bush.
“Hey, a White and and Asian!” Yelled one of the guys.

There was a pause. And all I could think was what a perfect moment to say something incredibly clever like, “Great observation!” or “Wow! No way! I had no idea I was Asian until you pointed it out to me!” Unfortunately, I didn’t think of anything quite fast enough before Logan yelled at them to shut up.

I just think it’s hilarious that they were trying to be rude but utterly failed to say anything that was actually offensive.

I Fell

Last Tuedsay, I was riding my scooter home from studio. It was dark and it had just rained. These dark and wet conditions are not particularly ideal for scootering, but I wasn’t too worried. But as I sped down the mall between Old Main and the HUB, I hit a big bump in the sidewalk and went flying off. I got all scraped up. I thought about walking home, then texting Logan but after a few steps I decided I should probably text Logan to let him know. Here is the actual text conversation:

7:56 PM

Me: “I fell”

Me: “Ack blood”

Logan immediately calls me to figure out what happened. He told me to wait.

*The call ends*

7:59 PM

Me: I see a skunk!

He came and walked home with me. Don’t worry, I cleaned all the cuts out and put a bunch of band aids on them.

 

 

How Does the Sun Trim His Toenails?

Eclipse them!!!

Yes, I am back at school for the fourth year! It will be an interesting one I’m sure! Today was the first day of classes but luckily we got out just in time to go to the arboretum and watch the solar eclipse! (Shout out to my parents for getting me fancy eclipse glasses!) A ton of people showed up to watch the event! (About 1,000 people according to a credible source/friend).

I was hoping that it would get darker out, but the change in lighting was pretty subtle since a storm was passing by and it wasn’t obvious whether the darkness was from the clouds or the eclipse. It also got a little cooler as the eclipse reached it’s maximum coverage point. Before it started, the heat from the sun was pretty brutal, but as the moon moved into the sun’s path, the temperature definitely lowered.

I actually got a few picture of the eclipse happening by covering my phone camera with the eclipse lenses! They aren’t very good but still pretty cool!

And here’s a cool thing that happens during an eclipse: the shadows of leaves turn into crescent shapes! Strange right!? I’m not sure why it happens but it was pretty interesting to see.

So all in all, a pretty good first day of 4th year!