Sarah Halford

Architecture and Ceramics

day to day business

I finished my diploma in 2005, one year after Google launched Google Earth. My peers discovered SketchUp in 2003. I was taught classically, at a drawing board with Rotring pens, set squares, the whole thing, and took an evening course in AutoCAD in order to be more employable. I taught myself Photoshop the hard way, by seeing things online and thinking ‘I wonder how they did that’. These days I learn an even harder way, by looking critically at my work and thinking ‘would that look out of place on Photoshop Disasters?’. It’s important to have standards.

Here are two visualisations I did for the planning department. The building has planning permission; are the two facts related? I’d like to think so. One of the perks of being somewhat techno literate is that I can blind my colleagues with technobabble! This week my poor computer conked out and 25% of the memory was fried [after only 18 months of use, that’s a different story]. I convinced my boss to replace it with a bumper bit of memory kit by sitting whistling while my renders took three times as long to complete.

It’s essential for designers to use all the tools they can to communicate their ideas in the most effective way, which often menas tailoring a presentation to a very specific audience. This is something that is taught very well during undergrad, and you get very used to picking up anything you can [or anything you can afford] to make your idea come to life. One group of classmates took a railway sleeper, superimposed a map of Shanghai, and were then told ‘gild the whole thing’. So they did. At a cost of £200. Looked pretty amazing though! Not sure who’s parents have it in their garden now – probably would cost another £200 to get it moved.

I rarely have time to go to see sites before putting together feasibility studies – a terrible state of affairs but I might be in a situation where a colleague has taken photos and I have a topographical study, and it’s raining*. What are you going to do? Well, first you’re going to go to multimap, type in the postcode a go to Birds Eye. Pretty amazing for free information, right?

Just to show off my ‘radical style’ here’s an image that formed part of my diploma work, for a theatre next to Waverly station in Edinburgh. The idea was that it would have a very visually busy facade, with different events celebrated throughout the year, to enliven the area, which is sort of ‘behind’ the station [not that Edinburgh really has backs and front of buildings]. In a dream world, Sparks would play there every night.

*obviously if it’s a project I’ll be working on I will visit the site, this is just for feasibility purposes where a trip to site might take three hours out of my 15 hours working week!


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This entry was posted on September 23, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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