11 March 2009

VCUQatar’s Senior Students Participate in ‘Urbanized Fabrics’ Workshop

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar’s Interior and Graphic Design senior students participated in a three-day design studio workshop entitled ‘Urbanized Fabrics’. The workshop was conducted by visiting guest Associate Professor Jeffery L. Day

Students were divided info four groups and given the materials on Monday. They were then asked to start working with no plans or sketches, but to come up with ideas on their own. “Interior design students usually build things at scale, either on their computer or models,” explained Mr. Day. “In this case it’s an actual experience of the space, as they are building the structure at full scale, so it’s something new for them as well.” They are also learning how to use materials, so it’s not just a design idea. “They are working with ropes, poles, and if they have problems, they have to work them out,” he added.

The other motivation behind the workshop was to treat the traditional tent as a form of architecture and make the students think of how it could be used as space. They had to experiment how these materials could be used in the city – tent like architecture that functions as regular space. Students were told to think beyond the traditional use and look at more contemporary concepts. The structures were critiqued by Mr. Day, Mr. Johan Granberg and Mr. Brett Kearney, both Assistant Professors of VCUQatar’s Interior Design Department who also met up with the students and gave them their feedback.

Mr. Day found the whole experiment with VCUQatar students very interesting. “I got here on Sunday and we jumped right in. The students got it very quickly, learning to collaborate, working on a traditional concept while giving it a more contemporary form.” The students now move on to another project in Mr. Kearney’s studio where they will work on a domestic project –  thinking also of the tent as a sort of dwelling, an enclosed space. The structures created by the students are currently up around the VCUQatar building.

Jeffrey L. Day, AIA is a principal of Min | Day in Omaha, Nebraska and an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln With an AB, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in Visual and Environmental Studies on the American East Coast the and M of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley from the West coast Mr. Day is currently operating under the name of Min|Day in the Heartland of America (Omaha, Nebraska). In both his architectural practice and his selection of home Mr. Day has found a middle ground that is refreshingly unexplored and oddly forgotten. His interest in traditional techniques and conventional standardizations in combination with advanced digitally-controlled production systems has resulted in a series of interesting architectural explorations in the Nebraskan landscape. In addition to this Mr. Day is active in projects all over the United States. His work ranges from teaching and writing to installation art and architecture. Jeff is true to the website statement of Min|Day: “we do not choose to work from a rigid theoretical position or to adopt an ideological approach to design. Instead, we prefer to take a flexible, tactical approach that deals with immediate circumstances.” For more information, please visit http://www.minday.com

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