Today's Reviews Include:

Advanced Studio Michael Benedikt
Interior Design - Design V Nerea Feliz
Vertical Studio Will Fox
Comprehensive Studio Martin Haettasch
Landscape Architecture - Design III Maggie Hansen
Architecture - Design III Aleksandra Jaeschke
Advanced Studio Piergianna Mazzocca
Comprehensive Studio Michael McCall
Architecture Design III Juan Miro
Advanced Studio Wilfried Wang
Vertical Studio Nichole Wiedemann
Community & Regional Planning Practicum Ming Zhang

 

Links to watch each studio's live-stream will be added to this page at 10:00 a.m., once the review has begun. Each review will be broken up into three sessions:

  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 

Advanced Studio - Distance and Relation

Instructor: Michael Benedikt

While the three run-up exercises in this studio will be rather like art/science projects involving diagramming, photography, video, stop-action moviemaking, Grasshopper script-running (to create "presence fields"), and isovist studies (using the ISOVIST app), the final project will be a building set in a particularly fine part of the landscape of Shoal Creek, near Seiders Springs, about a mile from UT campus.

Its program will be the Summer School for Art and Science (SSAS). Open to junior-high students from all around Austin, and operating only in the summer months, it will be force-ventilated but not air-conditioned. Starting with hand drawings, then moving to digital media, students of this studio will design a real school and its virtual (online or "cyberspace") counterpart, the idea being that SSAS students would interact with both in a time-interleaved way. In this, the SSAS presages the school of the future.

 

Interior Design: Design V - Pop-Up Interior

Instructor: Nerea Feliz

The 2020 pandemic has profoundly disrupted existing social dynamics. As long-term gathering in crowded interior spaces has become unsafe, social activities have either been canceled, restricted, or gradually moved from the inside to the outside. Today, as traditional associations of exterior and interior and public and private are blurred, we find ourselves working from our homes, exposing private spaces via Zoom, sitting on patios, and meeting friends for picnics in public parks. This design studio reflects on the current pressures on public interiority with a commitment to urbanity as a condition of diverse and informal conviviality among people from various socioeconomic groups and cultural backgrounds. Is there a way to reconcile strict safety protocols and heavily curated social mediation with social spontaneity?

This studio asks students to design a pop-up interior by transferring selected commercial activity from the inside of The Crescent strip mall to the parking lot outside. With a particular emphasis on the design, documentation, production, and placement of objects and surfaces, this studio considers how interior design elements such as surface treatments, lighting design, and furniture placement can help cultivate a sense of interiority in an outdoor environment to foster a sense of public intimacy among users in a regained pedestrian space.

 

Vertical Studio - High / Low

Instructor: Will Fox

Finding inspiration from an analysis of popular culture, the everyday, fine art, and kitsch: A hybrid of inputs, high and low, to localize a project to a cultural vernacular. The studio will look to analyze cultural artifacts and concepts through images and use that analysis to translate program of a micro fulfillment center and community art center onto a 4-acre site in East Austin.

Students will select a site of their choice in Austin to adapt their program massing models to the physical and cultural landscape. We’ll begin with an image and ideas-based document from which we will select from to move forward in translating the model.

 

Comprehensive Studio - Mat Strategies: Alternatives for Medium Density Housing

Instructor: Martin Haettasch

The medium density range of housing has been all but irrelevant for decades in mainstream urban planning in the U.S. Only in recent years has the concept of the “Missing Middle” begun to refocus the attention of (some) planners, architects, and city officials on the possibilities of this range, namely its ability to generate ecologically and economically sustainable densities without sacrificing qualities typically associated with the single-family house.

The studio project will be for a group of 20 -24 residential units, ranging from 2-4 bedrooms and approximately 1,200 – 2,200 sf in size. All units must have private (ground floor) access and parking, as well as one or more private outdoor spaces (roof terraces, patios, gardens, courtyards). The units should be designed to enable an attractive model of family-friendly (or any other cohabitation model involving more than two persons) urban living. They are explicitly not to be understood as ‘low-cost’ or ‘low-income’ housing, but rather a viable alternative to the individual house in the ring of densifying central neighborhoods in Austin. To explore the potentials for programmatic hybridity inherent in this type, a small commercial component will be part of the design challenge.

 


Landscape Architecture: Studio III

Instructor: Maggie hansen

This studio will require students to construct physical models from a variety of media and to explore spatial relationships through digital modeling in Rhino and using digital and hand representation techniques. Students will work both independently and as a part of a design team, to explore complex urban sites, and to propose designs informed by these layered interconnections. 

 

Architecture: Design III - Artist-in-Residence Center

Instructor: Aleksandra Jaeschke

Austin is the uncontested capital of live music. Music is played everywhere: at festivals, in concert halls, clubs, coffee shops, grocery stores, in the streets, and even at the airport. The city owes its unique character to thousands of artists who have chosen to share their art with this particular community, turning a once sleepy town into an oasis of music. Yet, Austin’s relentless growth has put a lot of strain on both the artists and club owners. Rising rents and property prices have forced many artists to relocate and numerous clubs to close. The situation has been further aggravated by the ongoing pandemic. Austin's music scene will need help to survive, thrive, and continue attracting visitors and new residents to the city.

As part of the many, ongoing initiatives to save the Austin music scene, an anonymous donor has joined forces with the City of Austin to create a musician-in-residency program. The goal is to offer temporary lodging and practice space but to also provide a performance space that will allow the musicians to share their work with the local community. The site purchased for this purpose is located on Lake Austin Boulevard, a quarter-mile west of MoPac, and in close proximity to Downtown Austin and Colorado River. The hope is that by offering the musicians a home and a stage on Lake Austin Boulevard this project also acts as a catalyst for bringing the Austin music community to this predominantly residential yet very central neighborhood.
 

 

Advanced Studio - Good - Well, Better

Instructor: Piergianna Mazzocca 

Given today’s public health crisis, it is incumbent on us to wonder about our past attitudes towards similar issues to understand how these preoccupations have been culturally and architecturally constructed. From the garden city to the Ville-Radieuse, from the sanatorium to the roof terrace, architecture’s complicity with the betterment of our bodies, people, and societies stretches beyond those typologies that have dealt with health care directly to others were their relationship is not always so apparent or direct. These concerns with architecture’s representation of goodness and its biopolitical applications will be at the core of the studio’s focus.

This studio interrogates the organization of welfare and public assistance in the urban context of Austin, Texas. Students are encouraged to respond to this collective site by questioning the spatial types that directly or indirectly deal with the city’s medicalizing processes.  Students will project strategies that reconsider their established arrangement of space and the expected consequences these have in the construction of a new concept of public health. The studio aims at expanding on architecture’s methods of analysis when confronting past and current attitudes towards health and the built environment and how these can help us project a more sustainable relationship with our bodies, our dwellings, and our cities when care and sustenance are the drivers of change.

 

Architecture Design V - Analog Architecture in the Anthropocene

Instructor: Michael McCall

In this studio, we will explore extreme sites on earth that are analogous to future sites that we anticipate engaging more generally on earth due to environmental and climate change. Since the beginning of space exploration, NASA and other agencies have used terrestrial analog missions on earth to simulate the conditions on other planets. By addressing conditions on earth that are analogous to those found on other planets, scientists are able to simulate their missions in these environments, hence reducing the risks of the actual missions while increasing their chances of success. As we hasten toward dramatic human-caused climate change on earth it is, in part, the role of the architect to work toward architectures of resiliency that can both mitigate climate change and provide architectures that adapt to these changes.

This studio proposes that contemporary analog sites can be predictive of more common future conditions on earth. Similar to how scientists have selected space analog sites underwater, in deserts, and at polar regions, earth analogs could also be situated in select sites that are analogous to increased desertification, ocean level rise, increased flooding, loss of glaciers, changes in flora and fauna, and other locations that share similarities to future widespread environmental changes. The final project for this studio will entail the design of an earth analog environment for the Anthropocene. 

 

Architecture Design III - Artist-in-Residence Center

Instructor: Juan Miro

Austin is the uncontested capital of live music. Music is played everywhere: at festivals, in concert halls, clubs, coffee shops, grocery stores, in the streets, and even at the airport. The city owes its unique character to thousands of artists who have chosen to share their art with this particular community, turning a once sleepy town into an oasis of music. Yet, Austin’s relentless growth has put a lot of strain on both the artists and club owners. Rising rents and property prices have forced many artists to relocate and numerous clubs to close. The situation has been further aggravated by the ongoing pandemic. Austin's music scene will need help to survive, thrive, and continue attracting visitors and new residents to the city.

​As part of the many, ongoing initiatives to save the Austin music scene, an anonymous donor has joined forces with the City of Austin to create a musician-in-residency program. The goal is to offer temporary lodging and practice space but to also provide a performance space that will allow the musicians to share their work with the local community. The site purchased for this purpose is located on Lake Austin Boulevard, a quarter-mile west of MoPac, and in close proximity to Downtown Austin and Colorado River. The hope is that by offering the musicians a home and a stage on Lake Austin Boulevard this project also acts as a catalyst for bringing the Austin music community to this predominantly residential yet very central neighborhood.

 

Advanced Studio - Design as Criticism: Architecture Where it Matters

Instructor: Wilfried Wang

Real needs exist everywhere: in Austin, in the USA, in the Americas, in the world. There are neighborhoods that lack water and sanitation; that have no health care facilities; that are "food deserts"; that lack decent schools. Each student in this studio will propose to change one part of the world, one place at a time. It may not get built, it may not make it into social media, but it could show those in need that there are people who are thinking about others. Perhaps your design proposal could inspire hope.

Students should conceive of ideal living conditions that take the place of the inadequate situation. Be cognizant of the limiting conditions and limited resources that you have available. How would you engage with the community? How might you inspire them to get involved? How would the community become part of the project? Each architectural design should be an intelligent, appropriate, sustainable, minimal, and beautiful response to the identified need.  At the end of the semester, each student will have designed a detail, a space, a building, and a neighborhood – at different scales of resolution – that together allow anyone to understand both in general as well as in detail how living conditions would improve with your architectural design.

 

 

Vertical Studio - Architecture and the PERIPATETIC 2

Instructor: Nichole Wiedemann

Shoal Creek rises in northwest Austin and runs south for ten miles to its mouth on the Colorado River. It traverses generally flat to rolling terrain with some local steep slopes; the clay and sandy loam soils support junipers, oaks, pecans, and grasses. As Austin grew, a variety of business and residential areas were built along the creek, and concern about the construction's impact on the environment began to grow as well. The paved streets channeled large amounts of runoff into the creek, which made it rise quickly during rainstorms and led to occasional floods. One of the most devastating of these occurred in 1981 when thirteen people were killed and an estimated $30 million in property damage was done.

This semester we will focus on Shoal Creek, as site and subject, for the duration of the semester. As a studio, there will be significant time on-site engaged in “making” in order to gain an intimate understanding, or awareness, through direct experience, which will complement our broader cultural and ecological research. Building upon the Shoal Creek Trail Plan (2018), the studio will explore a collection of public programs – SUSPEND, GATHER, REFRESH – that engage a range of users. While each program may be relatively modest, the collection of interventions will help define an itinerary, revealing the environment by traveling from place to place.

 

Community & Regional Planning Studio - Integrated Land Use: Transit Planning for Corridor TOD along the MetroRail Red Line

Instructor: Ming Zhang

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) promotes the practice of developing high density, mixed functions, and pedestrian-friendly land uses around transit stations. Capital Metro (CapMetro), the public transit agency serving the greater Austin region, has developed a TOD Priority Tool to inform the public and private sectors about the potential for TOD projects on CapMetro’s properties along its high capacity MetroRail and MetroRapid (bus) routes. The current practice of TOD planning has focused predominantly on individual station areas. Whereas individual station areas make critical TOD nodes, the existing nodal approach for TOD leaves the potential of network effects associated with transit systems largely untapped. The next generation of TOD practice will go beyond individual nodal TODs to tap into the potential of corridor- and networked-TODs. 

The transportation practicum for fall 2020 will focus on planning for corridor TOD (C-TOD) through the case of the Metro Rail Red Line corridor in the greater Austin region. Participants of the practicum will examine not only the high-profile TOD nodes such as Plaza Saltillo, MLK, Crestview, and Leander Station, but will also study the fast-growing station areas that do not have any TOD plans. More importantly, the practicum team will develop and evaluate alternatives to integrate C-TOD development across multiple communities along the Red Line corridor. The practicum is sponsored by CM2 and aims to fulfill the CM2 objective of educating the next generation of planners in transportation and related fields. CM2 will provide partial funding to support local travel for site visits and the development of C-TOD planning tools.

*All listed studio descriptions are subject to change