Saturday, March 5, 2011

Getting Up To Speed With "Now"

Dear Reader,

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've also set my myspace profile on Private, so only my friends can read it; sorry about that as well. But if you'd like to read, please just add me as a friend yea? ;)

To get you guys up to speed since my last post- I've finally selected a site for my Major Design Project. It's in London at the Lower Lea Valley in Bow Creek. The Site currently has plans for construction by SOM, but as far as I know they've haulted the project due to lack of funds....the recession, I guess? How IS the economy back at home by the way? I've been so disconnected, living the university world, that the real world seems miles away....

To get back on my MDP, I've decided to take this project on because it's a flood zone and is a gateway to and from the Lea Valley Regional Park. Hence, it will become a park/flood mitigation zone- a point along the River Lea which is distinguished by its meander. In my project, I'm proposing to de-canalize the river and let the landscape evolve naturally, while adding a "pedestrian" layer of boardwalks, stitching the context.

Here's a portion of my Site near the Eco-Park

And another view from Canning Town Tube Station.

In SOM's design, they proposed to build several high-rise residential towers and mixed-use services on podium level. This doesn't seem appropriate to me. Why build high-rises within a flood zone right? Also, why build high rises in a context which has too many unsuccessful projects. To be fair, I know my project would never get built. It requires a long consultation and planning approval process; but it's a paper landscape after all. One is allowed to post a scenario where canalized edges are viable lol! It gets more involved than this, but I'll spare you the details and move forward.

I've been working on this project since last January and so far it's developed well; but I suppose like many designers, I don't feel like I've developed it enough to feel safe. I've got another Crit in less than 2 weeks, and I've got to pick myself up and design like a mad woman! Down to the details no less....which means I'll have to thoroughly figure out my master plan and timescale maps.... I've never done a timescale map before, so I'm a little hesitant to get into it. I know I should be brave and jump into the water, so I've cornered myself by scheduling a photoshoot with Agnes next weekend hahah! I must be insane. It will be fun and refreshing though, because it will be outdoors at the Botanic Gardens. A surreal "Alice" shoot to be exact. I'm totally looking forward to it. Maybe "winging" it in front of the camera will get me to be more confident about "jumping" into my timescale map. That's it! I feel much better about it now. =)

I suppose to make things a bit more interesting, I'm also planning on entering this project into the Forgotten Spaces competition in London. The registration deadline is the 30th of this month, so I've got to get myself moving along. The submission deadline is the 12th of May, which is shortly after our MDP Hand-In. It's going to be an intense next few months. I'd better be ready to do a lot of jumping lol!

Progress in other facets of my career have somewhat gone forward as well. I've been thinking about extending my stay here in the UK, perhaps working for Chora in London for a year. I'm not too sure how it will work out. I've tried contacting Raoul several times whenever I go to London for site visits, but our timetables are like passing ships. We go sailing by silently in a fog hahah! That said, I have several plans- A) work in London or Edinburgh, B) work in Zurich for Gunther Vogt, C) move back to NYC and apply for a job with Terraform ONE or Diana Balmori...maybe even be a teaching assistant at Columbia Uni, D) move back to Cali, apply for work with the government or work with David Fletcher in Northern Cali. I've got too many options, I know; but that's where I stand right now.

I've also been thinking about freelancing again- improving my website, learning Dreamweaver and Flash- and getting gigs especially for Set Design and graphic design..It will just be for little things here and there. Why not right? =) For modeling, I don't know if there's much potential by way of it becoming a major cash flow. It's more like a hobby really; a different form of creative expression which I don't get from architecture to be honest. I'm glad I have both though. They keep me level-headed.

That's all the vital things I have to write about for now. I'll have more to write about as the week goes by. I'm sure I'll have a lot to reflect on as my project develops...maybe I'll even have some sexy graphics to show! How exciting will THAT be? Until then, stay warm, wherever you are; all the best on your endeavours.

Swing low dear chariot,
Lesley Ann

ps: Some inspiration for my design concept. =)

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