Don’t Forget about Studio

Two solid weeks of studio followed the adventure in Scotland. It was kind of nice to just be in Bonn. The Christmas markets were all set up and we’d get food from them at lunch.

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My project ended up being not an actual design but a process for using community engagement to design spaces. In stead of plans and sections, I made an animation.

After working and working and working, we took the train up to Aachen to present our final designs. It was a two-day trip because we had to set up some sort of exhibit thing.

Here is everyone standing with their poster, waiting for Mike, the tallest guy in our class, to hammer all the signs into the ground. We looked like a bunch of protesters.

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Here is me with my sign!2018-12-06 13.16.36

We did some other setting up stuff and the walked around the Christmas markets in the city center.

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Friday was a long day of presentations. Since I made an animated video, I didn’t really have to talk which was great.

Here are some still images from my video


Here is my video if you are interested:

The Community Designed Project Animation


Aachen Site Visit

For the last three days (Monday through Wednesday, actually) our team of heroes has been in Aachen doing a site study for our studio. Aachen is a town on the border between German and the Netherlands. Literally a tiny scoot across the border is the neighboring town of Vaals, in the Netherlands. The history of the border itself is also quite interesting , although I can’t recall anything off the top of my head. Our site is focused on a main street that runs through both towns.

Looking toward the Netherlands side from Germany

For our site study, we had to observe, photograph, and sketch the place and choose something about the site that we wanted to investigate further. I chose graffiti after two days of indecision. Anyway, we stayed at a nice hostel by the train station. Some people enjoy having trains go by at night but these trains were not chugging, but screeching and whining across the tracks. Luckily, we walked so much every day that falling asleep wasn’t too difficult.

We spent a lot of time on site.

On Wednesday morning, we hiked to the three countries point where Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium meet.

Here I am sitting in all three countries at once

We also played on a playground which was quite fun.

In studio on Thursday, we had to compile all our photos and notes we made about our chosen focus and pin them up for a classic longer-than-Zoe-can-pay-attention-for group critique. I sat on the floor for some of it. There was a wide range of focuses from colors and textures across the site to the location and types of trash found and what that says about the area. The pin-up actually looked really cool because it was a jumble of loose paper instead of a finished board. This, however, did not detract from how long we had to sit there.

My pinup

Farms, Forests, and Fairs

This will be brief because I have to get up at 6:00 AM (It’s currently 12:14 AM but I’m not tired yet). Anyway, here’s the low-down on the last few days.

On Thursday, we took a day trip to Andernach, a permaculture town. It has a farm to generate revenue and it’s super neat.

They call the downtown area the “edible town” because there is an area where they grow produce that is available to the public for free. Here is a picture of it. It’s in an old moat.

Also, all throughout the pedestrian area are planter boxes with edible herbs, flowers, and such. Pretty swanky. At the end of our tour, they provided a nice spread of foods that were produced using the farm we had toured! It was delicious!

Friday was our first “Independent Study” day where we are free to travel or do whatever we like. A group of us got together, rented a car, and drove down to the Black Forest for a little camping trip. (Shout out to Ben for driving there and back because no one else knows how to drive stick). It was nice to sleep in a tent while wearing less than five layers of clothing (Which is what happened in Iceland). We had trouble finding a good place to hike on the first day and ended up wandering around some logging roads which were still pretty cool. Rain poured down on us for most of the afternoon but cleared up before the hike finished. Honestly, the woods looked a lot like Pennsylvania. Like if I saw a picture of where we were hiking and someone told me it was in PA, I’d be like, “Yeah, ok”.

There were more deciduous trees than I thought and it was also not quite as dark. Germany prohibits any camping not on a designated camping site so we stayed at a cute little campground that was reminiscent of Iceland. There were bathroom and a dish washing station and a covered table for gathering. OK I’m getting pretty tired, I will finish this tomorrow…

Hello it is many days after “tomorrow”. I was in Aachen for a site visit but that is a post for another day.

After our hike we played on a really fun playground and in this fountain that we think was spring fed and felt very cold and nice on our gross, sweaty feet.

In the evening we played some cards, then went to bed.

The next day we packed up an headed to another part of the forest, saw some beautiful vistas and interesting things along the trail, then decided to pay nine euro to walk along a super high boardwalk and up this crazy wood spiral structure.

Pretty crazy.

On Sunday, Logan and I went to this big festival held biannual across the river in Bonn called P├╝tzchens Markt which is a huge festival with tons of food and carnival rides. The rides were expensive so Logan and I jut ate a lot of food instead.