Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day Seventeen: Portrait photos and drawing excersize

Today we started the day off with a short artist presentation of my history as an artist. Directly after showing images of portrait work that I had done we moved straight into technical instruction on how to determine the proportions when drawing freehand. Until lunch we practiced what we learned about drawing faces. While we were practicing drawing students also took individuals aside and took several potraits of each of the students and teachers.
After lunch we had the kids break into new design teams by nominating group leaders and voting on those who were nominated. The nominated group leaders then picked their teamates. The next activity was a demonstration on how to use a grid and scale ruler to enlarge their portraits from the print outs of photos that we took that morning. The rest of the day we spent picking photos of ourselves to draw and laying out our grids to do our drawings.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Day Sixteen: Mulching

We spent today laying down mulch in the lot to keep the weeds down while the lot is in a transitional stage. During the process of putting mulch on the lot we traced out a possible path leading around the garden. By laying out the path it gave a much more clear visual sense of the space in the lot. While we were out working on the lot we we approached by a developer in the area who runs an iron works shop down the block and may be able to provide us with a fence. To see the way things come together when you are working on a project like this is quite amazing.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Day Fifteen: Visit to downtown

Today we spent the day downtown looking at all of the different types of parks and gardens. We walked through the vegetable and rose gardens, the prairie landscaping, Buckingham fountain in grant park. We visited Millennium park, the south garden of the Art Institute, Gallery 37 and the Chicago Architecture Gallery.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Day Fourteen: Documenting Utility lines, scale drawings and discussion of phased development

Today we visited the site to record the utility lines that ran through the lot as well as those that were in close proximity of the lot. After measuring and documenting utilities we incorporated them into scale drawings to consider them as we progressed with the design for the lot. To finish the day off we gathered in the courtyard to discuss what elements might be included into the 1st, 2nd and 3rd stages of the design. We addressed both our budget and community concerns as we determined what would be most important and in what order they would be implemented.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day Thirteen: Reflection and discussion

Today we wrote responses to the design charette, we individualy reflected upon the feedback we received from the community members. After this excersize we gathered as a group and talked about our individual responses and shared what we felt were the most important elements of the experience. We dismissed the students early, because of their hard work, time and effort which they put into the charette. After this we talked to Stephen Saunders from Feather Fist who shared knowledge about the community and offered insight into the project. Thank you Stephen.

Day Twelve: Finishing and practicing presentations and community design charette

We spent this monday finalizing the design presentations as well as practicing our presentations for the charette in the evening. After class we took a break for a couple hours and reconveined at the Revieval Fellowship Church where Reverend Jackson was so gracious to host our community meeting and charette. We introduced the project and the students took it from there. The presentations were very well recieved and all of the students presenting did so with confidence and delivered their ideas excellently. The SAIC students quickly presented their ideas to introduce themselves to members of the community as well as to get an initial response to their ideas. After presentations we gathered for snacks and beverages while the community members posed questions to the students as well as engaged in conversation with everyone involved. The members of the community were able to express their concerns as well as respond to the elements of the design which they liked. This was a great learning experience and catalyst for our design process.

Day Eleven: Finishing designs and making presentations

We worked on finishing the last elements of the student designs to get them ready for a design charette and community meeting. Using a digital camera and scanner we documented the designs and pictures that would inform and explain the designs. We also spent time taking pictures that would complement the presentations. We started creating powerpoint presentations that we could present to community members in order to make our design process responsive and community based.

Day eight, nine and ten: Design work

We spent three solid days working on color drawings, scale drawings, visual keys and written descriptions of elements in the designs. The students worked in groups of three to develop collaborative designs. Each group worked with a student from The Art Institute of Chicago to help guide them through the design process as well as to assist translating their ideas on to paper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Day seven: Lot clean up and discussion

We spent our seventh day we spent the day working with Openland's Neighborhood Youth Garden Corps cleaning up the lot on the corner of California and Maypole. We spent the majority of the day weeding the lot getting it ready to be mulched in the coming week. The students from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago went to meet with one of the involved residents on the block to talk about the project. We stopped in the church that was near by to eat lunch, while we were waiting for the students to eat Reverend Jackson introduced himself, The Reverend is a very kind and insightful man who shared some of his knowledge of the neighborhood. Reverend Jackson was gracious enough to let us use the church to hold a community meeting where theKidstart students would be able present preliminary designs to community members in order to receive feedback that could inform their designs from the raw survey data from which they were based on. We continued back to the classroom after lunch where we discussed a reading that was given to the students the prior week. The Hanover Principles was the title of the reading, our review and discussion of the article was centered around the responsibility we must take when we design. We talked about how issues of social and ecological sustainability could be integrated into our design.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Day Six: Visual brainstorming through collage

We ended this week with an activity that gave us the oppourtunity to draw upon existing images to explore our ideas in a visual language. For this activity we printed out images of the site and cut out images from garden magazines to rearrange, orginize and then paste on to the pictures of the site.

Day Five: Container Gardens

Thursday we spent the day constructing container gardens. The container garden activity was a way to start thinking about the layout and arrangment of plants, making creative strurctures for raised bed and container gardens, a manageable design feat, as well as a way to introduce the students to the partnership relationship that is required in the caring of a plant.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day four: Survey analysis and drawing response

On the fourth day of class we were visited by Jamie Zaplatosch who is the education and outreach manager at Openlands, Jamie has provided us with the oppourtunity to address one of the lots in this neighborhood by working on the design for a park/community garden for the space. Jamie addressed the survey process in which the Neighborhood Youth Garden Corps conducted a week prior to the begining of the Kidstart program, the surveys address questions pertaining to the neighborhood's issues of concern, needs, wants, activities that residents engage in and objects and element that can facilitate the activities that they would like to do. After we reviewed the surveys in groups we responded with drawing addressing the needs and wants of the community and issues that we have talked about in our research such as ecological stewardship.

Day Three: Field trip to Chicago Center for Green Technology and Garfield Park Conservatory

Our third day we took a field trip to both the Chicago Center for Green Technology and the Garfield Park Conservatory. During our visit to CCGT we learned about native plant landscaping, stormwater management, ecologicaly concious building materials, alternitive and renewable energy, all of these concepts which we exposed will influence the design of the lot that we are looking addressing. Visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory we observed a much different type of landscaping, the gardens in the conservatory are much more ornamental and decorative than the natural landscaped at CCGT. We were also able to see the work of Jens Jensen and his prarie inspired landscaping that has been so influential to parks especially here in the midwest. We sat in the Monet garden and dicussed our experience visiting CCGT and responded to a series of questions.

Kidstart: Chicago Center For Green Technology:
Tuesday July 10th 2007
Describe the purpose of ecologically conscious design and construction.
Why is it important to consider the options and resources that CCGT offers?
What is one piece of technology, material, or landscaping element that has peaked your interest during your visit to CCGT?
Describe a function of the landscaping on the campus of CCGT.
What are three things that you saw today that could be incorporated into our design of a garden/park? Explain your choices and reasoning.

Day two: Lot clean up

Our second day of work entailed cleaning up the lot which the residents had chosen as their first choice of the selected lots to be developed. The Kidstart course partnered with OpenLands, Neighborhood Youth Garden Corps and Students from the The School of the Art Institute of Chicago to pick up trash and weed the selected lot.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Our first day: Looking at possible sites

Day One: Introductions
Class rules discussion
Overview of project/class
-How Brendan and Kirsten came to do this project
Tour of lots and lot clean-up
-Have students write and respond to lots: location, size, neighborhood, etc
Introduction to surveys: have students complete persional surveys
-Discussion about how surveys relate to possible lot designs