Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Building Materials Lecture: Introduction to Wood

October 16th, 2010
Screen shot 2010-10-16 at 2.49.52 PM

With one week until the official 5-week design process starts for our chicken coop project, we’re doing a series of lectures on building materials so that students have a sense of material constraints, how to choose hardware, etc. This first presentation was on wood, and Matt introduced the basics of how lumber and sheetgoods are cut, processed, measured, and sold. The presentation (embedded above as a PowerPoint) also included a wide range of examples of wood applications for architecture and design, ranging from trellises of


Learning the craft of modelmaking

October 13th, 2010

Following our foam core exercise on Monday, we continued to explore the art of modelmaking in a new material: chipboard. Chipboard is a much denser board than cardboard, harder to cut through but more rigid for architectural models. Many students had struggled with the “fluffiness” of foam core, so the chipboard was a nice departure. The goal, like on Monday, was to construct a 4″ cube, but instead of mitred corners, we chose to use “knee braces” with the chipboard, which are essentially 45-45-90-degree triangles


We build: The Importance of going beyond representation

October 13th, 2010
Matt video building

Here’s a quick video of Matt explaining the pedagogy of Studio H. In particular, our curriculum is in a way, constructive critique on many university-level design programs, which often stop at representation. Much of design education is learning how to develop and represent ideas in 2d, 3d, verbal, and visual media, but often the final product is the representation. We have founded Studio H on the idea that design is only design when it is built and real. All of our projects carry concepts from


Powers of Ten, Scale, and Cube-making

October 11th, 2010

In celebration of 10/10/10, we spent the first part of our class today watching the iconic film Powers of Ten by prolific design duo Ray and Charles Eames. The film was made in 1968 and explores the idea of scale beautifully. By starting with the image of a man and woman on a picnic blanket on Chicago’s lakefront, the field of view zooms out, by a factor of 10 every 10 seconds, zooming beyond Chicago, beyond the United States, into the atmosphere, into the solar


Recap of our Cornhole Showdown fundraiser

October 9th, 2010
Cornhole Showdown

Today’s Cornhole Showdown play day and auction was a HUGE success! Despite a last-minute venue change, we had about fifty people come out to toss some bags, meet our students, and bid on the handmade sets of boards. Most of our students were there with their family and friends, too. Even for those who had never heard of the game, by the end of the day, everyone was crazy for Cornhole! And after some heated bidding wars settled and the silent auction was closed, we


Architectural Precedent Studies

October 8th, 2010

As a brief project leading into the chicken coop design (which may very well become something different in response to the recent floods), we spent three days doing architectural precedent studies, which are an integral research phase to any design project. Below is a description of the precedent study’s importance, taken from the handout we gave to our students for the project: As designers it is critical that we thoroughly understand what has come before us so that we may better build upon the mistakes


Our Cornhole project makes the front page!

September 29th, 2010

The Bertie Ledger-Advance, our local weekly paper, hit the proverbial “newsstands” today with our Cornhole project front and center! Despite a few terminological errors (calling the boards “cornholes” instead of “cornhole boards”), we were so grateful to Barry Ward, who came by last week to photograph the boards, interview the students about the project, and advertise our upcoming Cornhole Showdown. Thanks Barry! Hope to see everyone at the Cornhole event on October 9th when we’ll auction off the board sets, and until then, for a


Design Bootcamp (Cornhole Boards): Project Recap

September 27th, 2010

After 7 weeks of Design Bootcamp, our students have completed their Cornhole boards and now have all the basic skills: woodshop tools, elementary drafting, layout and measurements, graphic design, color theory, Adobe Illustrator, poster and communication design, and printing production (whew!). Here are links to recaps of each step of the process: Week 1-2: Drafting Cornhole boards to scale Week 3: Basic Graphic Elements and Color Theory/Color Wheels Week 4: Shop intro and certification project Week 4-5: Building the Cornhole boards Week 5-6: Verb-inspired Cornhole


Painting and finishing the Cornhole boards

September 27th, 2010

Often, things that appear simple and beautiful require immense detail and hard work. Our Cornhole boards were no exception! After our students had developed their graphic concepts, inspired by Richard Serra’s action verbs (fold, twist, hinge, etc), it was time to turn our sketches into reality. Screenshot of Adobe Illustrator We began with a tutorial on Adobe Illustrator, a graphic software tool used to create “vector-based” illustrations for things like posters, business cards, signs, even cartoons and animations. Adobe is also one of our Studio


Cornhole Showdown and Auction October 9th!

September 27th, 2010

Want to play Cornhole all day, eat delicious barbecue, support Bertie Early College High School’s Studio H students, AND take home the most beautiful set of Cornhole boards you’ve ever seen?! On October 9th, we’ll be celebrating the completion of our first design project, Cornhole board design and construction, with a public Cornhole Showdown and auction. Come on down and place your bid to take home a set of our students’ beautiful, inspired handmade board sets (they spent 5 weeks building them, developing a graphic

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Studio H is a public high school "design/build" curriculum that sparks rural community development through real-world, creative projects. By learning through a design sensibility, applied core subjects, and "dirt-under-your-fingernails" construction skills, students develop the creative capital, critical thinking, and citizenship necessary for their own success and for the future of their communities.


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