Tire Cutting!

Portia and Sehrish watch as Rosina and Rafi cut the tire in half!

After an unsuccessful first attempt at cutting the tires, the gang rolled up their sleeves, and armed with new material, got to it once again.

We rented a bolt cutter and a sawzall from the Lebel building, and began hacking away once again. At the suggestion of a Masters student, who was hanging around the Lebel building during our work, we fastened the tires as shown in the picture so that it is easier and safer to cut right down the middle. It was a very slow process getting through all of the metal bits embedded in the tire, but we managed to cut at least two full tires.

Later in the week, a few of us met Rod to discuss further options to make the cutting process faster. He showed us how to use the bench saw to cut the tires quickly and smoothly, as the blade is much thicker and runs on a powerful machine.

This upcoming weekend will hold a lot of importance as we test out the correct painting supplies and sealers.

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Progress on Design!

Our preliminary plans for the vacant lot (photoshop): Recycled tires made into planters and suspended from each wall. On the right, our second idea- two stacks of tire planters placed in the middle of the lot. This will be added, along with a seating area for passersby.

 

This week the team had two group meetings outside the class hours to decide on the final design and the materials required for Public Seating Space and Decoration. Much of the work was focused on reworking our original concept for Sidewalk Furniture Design.

We continued to explore the downtown area to look for a suitable place where we can implement our plan. While doing so, we came across a vacant lot between two buildings, which looked odd in the middle of the downtown area. We thought of decorating it as shown in the photoshoped picture above. We are in the process of contacting the owner of the vacant lot, so that we can implement our idea and have a ‘test run’.

Last week, we had a critical evaluation of the current chairs in the sidewalk. After noticing the uncomfortableness and the one way seating of the benches on Oulette, we knew we wanted ours to be round, so that the passerby can sit and view things from any angle they please. Keeping these points in mind, we did some research on the internet. We came up with few ideas and drew some sketches based on the criteria we had. A multifunctional seating space was in mind so ideas of adding a solar powered charging station for cell phones were also talked about.

 

Sketches of our ideas, slowly evolving.

 

After much deliberation and realizations, we concluded that our idea for our seating space needed to be simplified: using too many different materials would be expensive and inefficient. Using recyclable material, such as car tires, would be easy to find and manipulate into what we were making. We need to experiment more with our selected material to create our design for the seating space.

 

More sketches: A circular seating space, with a planter of flowers in the middle. Coming close to a final design!

 

Stay tuned for the final design!

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The Sound Wall Completed: Ready For Testing

The prototype versions of what will hopefully be used to create a sound reducing pocket park along the green corridor is complete. After placing the daub (a mixture of clay, sand, straw and water) on the pallets, we waited till they were dry and installed them in their temporary locations.

First we had materials delivered to us by PCR Contractors, the group building the new engineering building. They gave us a good helping of clay, sand, rocks and a bale of straw.

Then we began to mix.

After the daub was mixed we were able to apply it to the pallets, let them dry, then install them. All went according to plan, now they need to be tested for sound canceling ability.

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Design Like You Give A Damn!

Design Like You Give A Damn is the name of a book by Architecture for Hunanity. I was told about this book and another, Design For The Other 90%, by Gaelyn from Tug Collective. I (Stephen) was very interested in these ideas of design from the beginning of the course. I am also very interested in implementing these ideas in my own practices within the near future. After Kevin and I began to work out methods of treatment for our pallet structure Gaelyn sent us a page from Design Like You Give  A Damn. This depicts our chosen construction methods.

“The pallets can be plastered in wattle and daub or filled with straw, rubble or other material for insulation.” -Design Like You Give A Damn, a project by I-Beam Design

The ability to re-use one of Windsor’s most plentiful object (the pallet) gives rise to the opportunity to create extremely low impact structures and community sites. Our group is doing experiments that will give insight into many aspects of this building method.

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Sound Incubator: Growth and Process

The gestation of the sound incubator has been one of creative discovery, beginning with our humble desire to create silence in order to better understand how sound effects the human condition–and evolving into an exploration of using transformational techniques to turn shipping pallets from trash to shields against the omnipresent traffic noise.

The idea began simply enough, we would create a wall between the student population and the intruding sound that would help improve the quality of life of the students as they traversed the desire path that has formed in front of the LeBel building.

Utilizing eco-friendly materials and principles of resonance, we had hoped to create an island of serenity in a sea of noise. Consequently we began to gather the materials, seen above, principally pallets, but also scrap wood of varying sizes.

The pile grew, and eventually construction began. In the intervening time our intention changed, through conversation and exploration of the nature of noise we gradually came to view the project as an attempt to create a pocket park, where students could rest and be shielded from the passing trucks. We built the wall with this concept in mind, including a weaving technique of thin strips of wood through the pallets to create something similar to a wattle, which (along with daub) became our chosen method for filling in the wall. This was chosen for its natural feel and low-environmental impact, as well as being an interesting way to transform our mundane materials into something more.

During today’s class, Stephen and I (Kevin Kapustiak) met with our instructors to further define the project, and discussed the future of the Sound Incubator. Ultimately we knew that our intentions were good, and methods had the potential to work–but we didn’t really know what would happen. Accordingly, the project became more exploratory in nature. A multitude of methods on a number of single-pallet panels, including the aforementioned wattle and daub, sod, plaster, and even newspaper have been discussed as potential sound barriers–and each will be tested in this new incarnation of the sound wall.

In the next few days, things will rapidly take shape and our logistics materials will become something more than they are.

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THE DH CLUB PRESENTS OUR JOURNEY

Proud Windsorite(s)

THE DH CLUB PRESENTS OUR JOURNEY

Today, our group presented the story of our Green Furniture group. We have been slowly yet strongly developing a more concrete direction through intensive research. Our group is at the foundational stage which makes us rather unique to the other groups as they have more solid plans and direction. We have appreciated our classmates and professors support as we weed through the trials and tribulations of the early phases of project development.

During our presentation, we discussed the metamorphosis of our process – from Green Furniture ideas, to a gazebo using recycled materials, to an outdoor unconventional classroom, to research on various uses of space, to a potential business model for a second-hand furniture shop for students, to a drive-in bicycle movie theatre… As you can see there are many directions we are interested in pursuing.

The next step is to decide on the best idea! We are enjoying this experience – it has been fun, stressful, chaotic and a complete learning experience. Our ultimate desire is to create an idea, a structure, a product or design that will affect Windsor in some positive way.

An early research direction

Gazebo idea

A different perspective on space

The Jackson Park Overpass

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High Tech and Organic!

We have been busy researching possible self-sustaining greenhouses.  We are looking for something high tech and organic looking.  The greenhouse might be a 2 storey with a kitchen lab, greenhouse area and studio.  We have started our archive which includes examples of very different and interesting architecture-including one shaped like an intestine.  We have also gathered examples of several materials including: stainless steel kitchen, recycled materials, and different kinds of plastics.  We will be deciding on a design and size in our next few meetings.  We need to meet back with Jennifer Willet and Rod to confirm our choice.  We took away many of the suggestions from the critique and will now be looking at a more specific time line and what our end goal will be.  We are all excited to move ahead with this project!!

Photo courtesy of inhabitat.com

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