2nd Year Creative Constructs: In Isolation Brief

Second Year Structural Studies (25)

The last two weeks have been extremely busy in the workshop thanks to the 2nd year Creative Constructs briefs. By producing a series of models, each taking the idea to a more defined level of explanation, students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of aspects of structural design. These should include understanding of scale, junction detailing, overall strength of the structure and their ability to be repeated to work in conjunction with identical components.

Second Year Structural Studies (3) Second Year Structural Studies (14) Second Year Structural Studies (34) Second Year Structural Studies (33) Second Year Structural Studies  (1)Second Year Structural Studies  (3)Second Year Structural Studies (13)

Second Year Structural Studies (31)

Many of the projects we’ve seen for this brief have followed the trends of others in the group who have made a quick start. This has been an issue for latecomers due to the time restraints and capacity of the workshops both here and Chatham.

Second Year Structural Studies (5) Second Year Structural Studies (27)

For students taking part in this project in future it’s worth noting the time involved in producing these projects. Many of you have been surprised at the amount of thought required to make your models a reality though really this shouldn’t come as a shock as that thought is essential to your learning. By taking the time early on to think about the different aspects of your idea and defining them accurately you can then take your information and apply those defined ideas to the creation of your model.

Second Year Structural Studies (19) Second Year Structural Studies (8)

 

Without defined constraints you are simply guessing or making aspects of your project up on the spot which isn’t really helping you to learn anything. You should be able to explain the use of particular joints of construction methods based on research rather than their aesthetic or convenience to make as a model. There have been some interesting ideas appearing so far and I’m sure they’ll be more to come!

Scott

Fabricate – 1st year Project

1st Year Farbicate (14)

Last week we were very busy dealing with the first real workshop-based project for our new first year students. Their fabricate brief took their initial ideas for an animal habitat a step further to refine the details of design and assembly.

1st Year Farbicate (16)

 

1st Year Farbicate (8)

Both myself and Jim agree that a major learning curve of this week-long project has to be in time management. Many students found themselves rushing elements of their projects as it had been left too late in the week. As was said during inductions and many times since – please come to see us to discuss how realistic your ideas are for the time frame. If you do this at the earliest possible stage in the process we can help to get the best results with your project and importantly – to get it completed by the deadline! 1st Year Farbicate (7)

1st Year Farbicate (28) 1st Year Farbicate (24)

All in all it was a fun week with many interesting projects making their way in and out of the workshop. Enjoy your trip to Berlin and we’ll see you for your next project when you return!

Scott and Jim

1st Year Farbicate (18) 1st Year Farbicate (20) 1st Year Farbicate (13)

First Year Fabricate Projects

1st Year Habitat (8)

Following their recent inductions 1st year students have this week been flooding into the workshop to advance their initial ideas for the animal habitat project. We have been really happy even at this early stage with the response from this year in terms of organisation and good practices when approaching making. Hopefully we can continue this for the rest of the year and beyond to produce some great projects.

1st Year Habitat (7)

Due to the high numbers expected this afternoon and Friday we would recommend that you get in early and consult us on what you need to do before starting. We may advise that you work from home due to the nature of your project as we cannot accommodate more than 20 students at any one time. Please understand this and try to organise your ideas efficiently so we can help as quickly as possible and you can meet your deadlines on time.

1st Year Habitat (3) 1st Year Habitat (4)

Materials Recycling, Saving the World! (and yourself some money!)

One of the most important habits we can pick up as designers and makers is to make the most efficient use of anything that is freely available to us. It is essential that we consider the conservation of materials and the reduction of waste from our projects in order to play our part in maintaining a broader sustainability for the future. The least we can do is to efficiently plan how best to use the material we are working with.

This can be seen as a hindrance to quickly starting a project but in reality, effective planning can help reveal more appropriate materials for a particular task as well as best use of those at hand. This saves money and expands our understanding of material qualities.

Before planning based on an infinite amount of material it’s good practice to break down your projects into components as a list or drawing which can be referred to when assigning materials. With this reference at hand we can decide on the most appropriate materials for each component or group of components.

An example of this might be all ‘green’ or natural areas of a site could be represented using timber against a coloured acrylic as the man made roadways. Knowing this we could separate those components and begin collecting materials that suit the required sizes.

Material Saving 2

Looking through off-cuts left from past projects it is likely you can produce much, if not all of your model for free by using these.

Using Sheet Material for Component Layouts

By working out what you need from a particular piece of material before you begin to cut you can get the most from each piece you use – off cut or new.

Material Saving

This applies to both hand drawn and CAD drawn components. Rather than placing components scattered around a sheet, tessellate and arrange them in a manner that gets the most out of each piece (See Screen Shot above for a good example).

This example from Abhi Chauhan’s project below demonstrates how a piece of laser cut MDF with effective component arrangement can get the most out of a sheet of material.

DSC03077

Re-Use of materials and model components

 

Before you decide to use new materials you can also look at the role of your existing works and rework them into new ideas as demonstrated in this student video made by Signe Perkone and Sigita Zigure who graduated BA Architecture last year. Whilst we are keen to record all work produced it is impossible for us to keep everything so by re-using models this way we are helping to do our bit to reduce waste.

Scott

1st Year BA Architecture Inductions

This week we have given a general introduction to modelmaking to the new wave of BA Architecture First Year students. We hope everyone who attended enjoyed their sessions and are ready to get making things this year.

If you have any questions get in touch.

1st Year Inductions (3)

More info about products and your discounts at 4D Modelshop can be found on their site at http://modelshop.co.uk/

As there were several people who didn’t attend the inductions we may be holding catch up sessions one day next week but this is yet to be confirmed. We will keep you posted.

Enjoy your weekend!

Scott and Jim

1st Year Inductions and 4D Modelshop visit 17th & 18th September

1st Year Inductions this week This year we will be inducting each and every newcomer to MSA into the theory of Modelmaking in their studies. These inductions will be taking place in the workshop this coming Wednesday and Thursday and we will therefore be closed to all other year groups for these two days. 4D_logo[1] 4D Modelshop Visit 4D Modelshop is one of the main suppliers of modelmaking tools and materials in the UK. They are based in London but offer and efficient web service allowing quick delivery to Manchester. Deliveries can be made to our workshop or your home address.

As part of these first year inductions we have been able to invite a representative for 4D Modelshop in the the building to demonstrate and display some of the materials available that will come in handy for your studies. 4D Will be set up on our first floor near the B.15:45 Exhibition and will be on hand throughout both days to all – not just 1st year inductees.

We recommend you drop by to see what will be on offer as there will be student discount opportunities on starter tool kits and materials samples so well worth a look.  Scott and Jim

MSA Graduate Show 2014

This years graduate show at MSA is being held on floors 6,7 and 8 of Chatham Building at MMU. Find out more by clicking here.

IMG_4772 IMG_4774 IMG_4775 IMG_4778 IMG_4783 IMG_4787 IMG_4793 IMG_4794 IMG_4796 Stunning hand drawings by Richard Coskie on display below.

IMG_4799 The Processional Cities Atelier of BA3 produced an outstanding room display of their work. One reason this particular presentation was successful is down to the clear placement of each persons work and, being focussed round a central master plan  model, where each project fits in relation to the area of study on the site.

IMG_4803 IMG_4804 IMG_4807DSC02686DSC02696DSC02700DSC02702DSC02705DSC02709

It’s great to see the value the models produced throughout the year have played in each persons project.

Be sure to get over there for a look around some of the fantastic work on show before in closes next Wednesday 25th June!

‘Lithification’ 1:200 site model, James Taylor-Foster

As part of the final major project for his 3rd year submission James decided to produce his completed concept for the former Odeon cinema site on Oxford Street in Manchester at 1:200 scale.

James described the project for us below:
This project is, fundamentally, a house for stone fragments in the heart of Manchesters civic centre. Combining gallery spaces with workshops for stonemasonry, the buildings programme hinges around a tripartite relationship between stone as symbol, material and object. The spaces which consolidate these three spatial threads create a communicative dialogue between street and threshold, node and surface, alongside person and occupation. Designed to activate encounters between the material fabric of the built environment, movement of people, and the intimate craft of stone carving, the scheme seeks to integrate with (rather than reconfigure) the symbolic fabric of the city. The scheme, heavily influenced by ritualised occupancy both human and non-human (such as the daily, repeated zenith of falling light), distills the principle elements of a building into a collection of interdependent, intangible relationships. Volume, void and light align to create moments of lateral swelling in which the interaction of people supersedes, yet elevates and accentuates, particular formal moves. Capturing these ideas in a model was a challenge. Using a lightly grained wood, jelutong, to mass the large volumes of space, 3D printed elements bring focus to two elements: the entrance loggia in the centre of the building and the facade that faces Oxford Street, a busy Mancunian thoroughfare. In using a modest palette of materials, focus is drawn to the relationship between these two key elements that activate the street and public space they face. All sat on a heavy mahogany base – elevated by a thin sheet of plywood which denotes the street kerb – this simple, diagrammatic, 1:200 model works alongside a collection of drawings to visualise a complex orchestration of space. (James Taylor-Foster 2014)

Due to the fragile nature of the powder printing material when used in thin volumes there were several breakages to smaller elements of the model. These were repaired using a mix of styrene strips and filler. Once repaired the whole model was reinforced by soaking it in superglue and finished with a coat of white paint. It is always worth remembering that the smaller details of designs are a potential break risk for 3D powder printing. If possible try not to produce components smaller that 2mm in size and thickness. You should always consider the removal process and how this will be successfully carried out given your design. See more of James’ work by clicking here.

2014 Show Preparations in B.15

Final 2 weeks (42) As submission deadlines have hastily come up on us so has the end of year show. Over the last few weeks students have frantically been assembling models and display details for their ateliers. We’ve seen some fantastic projects reach completion and have no doubt the completed exhibition will be just as good.

Final 2 weeks (48) Final 2 weeks (56) Final 2 weeks (67) Exhibition construction often involves taking up large spaces in the workshop and this year has been no exception with large quantities of material being cut and assembled before being taken across to the studio spaces. A tip for future groups is to look for as much recyclable material as possible to keep the overall cost and waste down. One group has been able to construct a series of acrylic i-pad display stands using entirely recycled material from a former display at the Manchester Museum saving them many hundreds of pounds.

Final 2 weeks (47)Final 2 weeks (74) Final 2 weeks (81) Georgina Mitchell (3) Sima (2)

For more information about visiting the degree show click here.

We will be covering the show once it has opened after next Friday 13th June. Well done everyone involved! Scott and Jim

Using our Photographic Studio

As many of you are now aware this year we have been able to open our own photographic studio for you to document your work before it leaves the building. So far this has proved a great success and the studio is seeing constant use as the academic year nears its end.

Andra Calin (4)

We currently do not have a booking system in place for the facility and would like to keep it this way to make life easier for people needed to drop by unannounced. In order to keep things the way they are we would like to ask you to follow these simple rules:

Please only use the studio to document your work and not for modelmaking. We are trying to maintain a clean environment for model display here. Any assembly or processes should remain strictly in the workshop space.

Please do not move or touch any work being stored in the room as this is either current project work or part of the University Heritage collection dating back nearly 45 years.

Please do not congregate in groups in the studio as their is little free space in the room and the potential for damage of work is fairly high. 

Once you are finished using the facility please let one of us know so we can ensure it is locked and tidy.

And that is it!

Don’t hesitate to ask if you are unsure about setting up specific photographs or any issues you may have with lighting. We are happy to help. Happy snapping! Jim and Scott

Exploded Model (3)