Staying Busy, Making Cheese

Being Cheesey

I am taking this really cool food science class called “Food Facts and Fads” and our first assignment was to make cheese! Yes! You heard me! CHEESE. A simple cheese that involved adding acid to boiling milk to make the milk coagulate. This came at a perfect time since my milk was about to expire. Anyway, It was super cool (although it didn’t taste fantastic). I have documented the process for your enjoyment (and because I had to for the grade).

And TA DA!!! My plated cheese 🙂

 

Studio Things

This semester, I am taking the Baltimore Ecosystem Study studio which looks at a neighborhood in the Baltimore area that has potential for ecological designs. Baltimore is a “shrinking city” which basically means people are moving out of it and leaving lots of vacant lots (Detroit is another city like this). These vacant lots and buildings have the potential to be turned into so pretty cool community spaces like urban farms, parks, and restoration projects. Right now, we are in the inventory and analysis phase where we look at what’s there and how that might influence our designs.

I looked at environmental educational awareness and green economy for Baltimore and Johnston Square (which is our neighborhood of focus). We got to make lots of maps in GIS. For our presentations, we had to make a 10 minute power point. But it wasn’t just a power point… nO. we had to RECORD our voices and then listen to them IN CLASS. In mine, you could hear my birds in the background. (Don’t worry though, I fixed that). The presentations are to be sent out to people in Baltimore that have taken an interest in the Johnston Square area in terms of renovating areas of the neighborhood. It ought to be interesting.

LABASH

As you may or may not know, I am helping out with graphic things for a big annual student-run landscape architecture conference/networking event being held at the one and only Pennsylvania State University! Things are heading up in the communications committee. There was recently a competition to design an advertisement that will be printed in Landscape Architecture Magazine which is like the official magazine for landscape architects. Very exciting! I was chosen as a finalist with another dude and we basically smushed our two designs together to create one fancy Ad!

Here is my design:

And here is the final design:

 

Pretty Spiffy!

Getting Paid to Judge People

Yes! I am a undergrad teaching assistant for the 3rd year planting design studio! It has been an interesting experience so far, as most people do not actively seek my opinion on things. They had a deadline last night so I figured I should stop by and make sure no one was crying haha. Just kidding that doesn’t happen until the end of the semester! Anyway, they seemed appreciative of my being there which was nice!

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day!

 

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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)

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.

 

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!

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 🙂

Roane-Hopkins_Z_Masterplan_FINAL

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!

 

 

When Your USB Makes You Irrationally Angry

It wasn’t doing anything wrong. My USB was just sitting happily in my backpack. But looking at it reminded me of all the work I had to do and had yet not yet done. The deadline looked over the 2nd year LARCH students as they struggled through rendering after rendering. Sleep deprived eyes staring intently at the glowing screens. This project was the biggest thing we’ve had to put together thus far. Needless to say, we also spent a record number of hours working out all the details to put together our presentation boards that were due in less than a week. I’m sure anyone in the major can attest to the stress of upcoming deadlines. I mean, so much fun. Actually we are all emotionally drained. Sitting on your butt all day can be tiring. Anyway, here are some cool pics of my presentation board and such.

Here is my final presentation board:

boards

If you actually want to read it (although it isn’t the most captivating thing I’ve ever written) you can read the PDF version here: Roane-Hopkins_Project 2

And here are some lovely close-ups of my drawings:

COPY OF100 Scale siteTHIS ONE

This is master plan of the full site with the different farm areas

30ScaleUSE THIS

This is a smaller-scale plan of the 5-acre campus with buildings and a parking lot

Here are some cool perspectives that I drew (not quite to scale)Cafe persepcifaijPerspective front

 

Also, there was one day that I just gave up on life so my section drawing turned into someting…else…Just kidding section

 

In other news, there is now a giant hole in North Halls.

IMG_9633

Have a nice day!

 

Post Script:

I started this yesterday. So I must add on that it SNOWED today. In APRIL! SNOW! What?

IMG_9686 IMG_9689 IMG_9693

Also, my friends and I went to Sadie’s Specialty Waffle Shop (Or something like that. I can’t quite remember the name but if you’re ever in the area, check it out! So delicious!)

What I Haven’t Gotten Around to Telling You: Part 1

Let’s start with my hell week.
Yes, it has been quite a while since I have posted. It seems like all of my posts start off like that now. Anyway, Here is what has been going on for the since Thanksgiving break:

I am dedicating this post to my hell week. Now, most college students face their most stressful, horrifying, sleepless week during finals. But for all the people in Landscape Architecture, our big project is due the last week of classes (the week before finals).
Ok, honestly, as far as a terrible week goes, it could’ve been worse. However, it wasn’t fun. No one had time for anything else at all the entire week. We were all fighting over laser cutter time and computers in the studio to finish their models and boards. You could tell all us landscape architecture students were finishing our models because we were all outside collecting plants to use on our models as textures and shrubs. I spent two 9-hour days in studio which, as I said, is the low end of time spent in studio. Plotting – printing on the giant printers – is always incredibly stressful. All the plotters are always running out of ink, broken, and jammed. The week of stress really takes a toll on you! I had several dreams about building my model and finishing my digital model on the computer. After presentations on Friday of that week, we all cheered in celebration!
Here are some pictures of my final model:
IMG_8588.JPGIMG_8590.JPG

Luckily for me, I only had one final on finals week, so the rest of semester was smooth sailing!