Another semester of the Virginia Tech Center for Design Research OpenLab Studio has come to a close. Many memories will remain part of our studio fabric for years to come, such as donning hard hats to visit Northeastern University EXP and the New Inpatient Building at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center or touring the Harvard Art Museum or studying the streets of Chinatown. Studying the patient experience at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Chestnut Hill also stands out as a highlight, as well as engaging in conversation about the business of design with Sarah Lindenfeld, Mollica Manandhar, George Marsh, Jim Collins among many others. The new models made every week, ranging from hand held study models to massive mock ups of joinery and feature elements, will serve as artifacts for the memories of a transformative semester.
We fell into a rhythm, alternating every Thursday between informal desk crits and reviews in Wilson Practice. At the midterm review, we discussed concept and massing. From there, we moved at rapid pace, working on floor plans, wall details and large-scale fabrication mock-ups.
Walking into the final, it was beautiful to see the culmination of deep inquiry throughout the semester lining the walls of the Wilson Practice Room. We were joined by Tim Love from Utile, Mark Pasnik of OverUnder, and Leon Drachman, which combined with our Payette staff and Virginia Tech students, resulted in a full house of perspectives.
Jerry Xu and Jesper Zhang
Diana Fernandez-Borunda and Lance Liang
Adeline Chen and Justin Liu
Alexander Russo, Justin Ziegler and Kenneth Kramer
Students Chloe Xu and Daniel Zak present their project, “Grounded.”
The clarity of criticism provided by the Payette mentors has proven invaluable to my growth as a student. Sitting immersed amongst such a broad range of professionals has helped me solve design challenges, develop details, and build professional relationships at an astonishing rate. We are absolutely saturated with opportunities to ask questions, listen to critical discussions, and learn with an immediacy that I did not think was possible in academia.
The efforts of the three courses came together in a single afternoon: we are immensely proud of the investigations and learning that transpired this fall.
(Part 2 coming soon.)