Saturday, January 29, 2011

Context Models

         To prove myself worthy of internship this past summer, I was given an opportunity to work on a pro-bono project a local architecture firm was involved in, the Woodburn Elementary closing and ultimate Mileground Consolidated School. I was tasked in created a 3d model of the Woodburn community in Morgantown, spanning several city blocks. Not only had I never made a model that big,  I wasn't even sure it was possible. I soon proved myself wrong.
         The real challenge to this assignment was the terrain. The school is situated on the top of a large hill and from past experience, I knew modeling roadways or sidewalks, or anything at that, on a slope was pretty damn frustrating and pain staking.  So I was given a week or so and on my first meeting, I was unable to remedy the problems of modeling. My roadways had huge crevices and giant spikes in them anywhere there was an incongruity in the contours. After 5-6 different attempts at solutions, I finally decided to start over, and came up with a technique that I feel like is pretty efficient and streamlined.           
          Since then, I have used this technique in every project to create large neighborhood context models for inventory analysis, and for context in renderings. I feel like context is extremely important in design and so having the ability to accurately portray correlating characteristics in site is almost if not more important than the design itself. In this post, I have included several examples of my neighborhood context models. If anyone would likes this stuff, I am always willing to post tutorials. 
          I ordered them in chronological order of creation, so you can see my improvements of the method, and stylization building. Oh, and as for the internship, they loved this first model I made, and they brought me on board for a paid internship and part-time employment this past semester. Enjoy and comments are always welcome!

WVU - Downtown Campus. Morgantown, WV

Bethel, Vermont sports fields. google terrain + cadd terrain

First Ever - Woodburn Community School   

Davis and Elkins College - model for masterplanning
Fairmont - Merchant Street. Did a streetscape.

Mario's Fishbowl (2)

 Morgantown Farmers' Market (2)

  WVU Evansdale Campus (2)

Woodburn, Morgantown, West Virginia

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


      OK, here is my first post of some of my work-work (not student work) that I did for my internship with Mills Group LLC. The project was simply to upgrade an existing farmers' market, adding shade structures. In this proposal for an RFQ, we proposed photovaultic cells, a water-catchment system, and sustainable shade structures where tree plantings were not an option, while encouraging alternative uses when the market is not in session. We opted to stay away from photo-realistic renderings to come across as loose and flexible, as this project is still in its early phases.

Morgantown Farmers' Market

       We did win this project with these graphics, and I believe we were up against somewhere between 4-5 other firms. Since this plan, a new one has been revised to feature one large shade structure as opposed to the two separate.

plan view

bird's eye of back

rain barrel collectors 

 stormwater runoff into biocell

Since this plan, a new one has been revised to feature one large shade structure as opposed to the two separate. (shown below)
This is what Delegate Charlene Marshall, D-Monongalia, had to say about the designs, "I think it's a wonderful thing for the community and when you look at the diagram and see the architectural drawing and the fact that there are so many possibilities to use it for other than Saturday's market, just here today I heard so many possibilities that may be explored."

for more information on the Morgantown Farmers' Market, visit

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


    One thing I think everyone can agree on is that music is awesome, and concerts are one of the best ways to spend your time. I love seeing how festivals design their temporary cities, and this production team The Do Lab, does it better probably than anyone else around. Their most noted festival, "Lightning in a Bottle" is a low-key electronic version of burning-man with almost Avatar-esque site design. They use all recycled, recyclable, and sustainable materials to create their larger than life event structures. Check them out and maybe get some inspiration! What I wanna know is what kind of degrees these people have.... Might have to apply!


misting stage

dj booth

performance stage

shade structures



party in full swing!

if you made it this far, maybe you're willing to go alittle father? check out this Tube video, and maybe you will be joining me in flying out to Cali this summer for the best fest around! The first song on the video is "Emancipator - Shook" and the second is "Glitch Mob - Drive it Like You Stole It."

check more stuff out @

Monday, January 24, 2011

We All Suck @ Photoshop

     Working today on my layout for my 11x17's for my project, I was brushing up on some photoshop techniques. This guy, Donnie, is the best. Who wants to listen to some boring tutorial video with someone talking all monotone like "today we are going to take the spot healing tool and learn how to apply it to vector masks.." or some other drab line like that? This guy, is hilarious. His videos have a running storyline and his hatred for viewers is absolutely hilarious at times, only to be overshadowed by his hatred for his wife. 
     The wonder of "You Suck at Photoshop," (see funny name already) is that you don't mind watching it. Donnie's photo-edits are relevant to his storyline and his commentary is nothing less than comedic brilliance. The series is in order, but I'm going to skip that order and go with season 1 episode 9, "Curves." Honestly, this video series will show you the 75% of photoshop you had no idea existed.

see more videos at