After Fall semester break, the Moundville Pavilion team focused on moving the design forward and shifting the narrative from the physical boards to a digital presentation for Halloween Reviews. This process included looking back at all the work we have done up to this point and learning how to begin talking about the narrative of the project. Some of the first steps we took were to understand the previous team’s motivations through their drawings and to diagram them.
The pavilion is designed to shed water and protect while also allowing light in and emphasizing views outward
Wednesday night, the Studio participated in the College of Architecture Design and Construction’s Annual Pumpkin Carve tradition (in Newbern!) by trading our pencils for carving tools and having fun with our neighbors.
Dressed for Success
By Friday, the costumes were sewn, or in some cases taped, and the presentation was ready. The team created a familiar scene for the viewers, a Girl Scout (Caitlyn) selling cookies (Collin) at Publix (Jackie), while her mother (Brenton) supported her entrepreneurial spirit. The Studio welcomed Marlon Blackwell, Meryati Johari Blackwell, Jen Pindyck, Emilie Taylor Welty, and the Front Porch Initiative team to participate in the festivities and provide feedback that will help the team move forward. Forward to what exactly? Well, you’ll just have to catch us next month on the Moundville Pavilion team blog!
Happy Halloween! Rural Studio wasn’t the same last year without our annual traditional Halloween celebration. This year, we made up for it tenfold by carving pumpkins with our neighbors and friends again, and holding outdoor reviews during which everyone could show off their elaborately-handmade costumes.
Our annual Pumpkin Carve was held on Wednesday at Red Barn, and the event would not have been possible without our partnership with the incredible Newbern Library Team. Thank you to Barbara Williams and Mary Jane Everett for helping put together a successful event, and shoutout to the Braxton family and Chris Carter for providing hotdogs fresh off the grill!
We held Halloween Reviews on Friday, where current student teams presented their projects to special guest reviewers. Our fantastic crew of reviewers included Marlon Blackwell and Meryati Johari Blackwell of Marlon Blackwell Architects; Tulane University’s Assistant Director of the Small Center, Emilie Taylor Welty; Auburn University’s Assistant Professor, Jen Pindyck; and Auburn’s Front Porch Initiative Team: Betsy Farrell Garcia, Mackenzie Stagg, and Rusty Smith.
Most importantly, students all wore their costumes while presenting their projects to the talented team of reviewers. There’s nothing like presenting design work to an AIA Gold Medalist while wearing a fake mustache and bowl-cut brunette wig.
At the end of the day, we announced winners for the Pumpkin Carving Contest and the Costume Contest. Thanks to the Newbern Mercantile and the Newbern Library for providing amazing prizes! Congrats to all and thank you to our judges!
From costume contests to coding classes, the Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation Research Project takes on a new form everyday.
In the past weeks, the team has been designing a Pod which is a small dwelling or dorm that 3rd-years use for sleep and storage. The Pod will be used to test the Optimal Tuning Theory. The team presented the Optimal Tuning Theory and their current pod design at the annual Rural Studio Halloween Review. Unfortunately, all of you lovely readers were not able to make the review, so this post will be dedicated to explaining the Optimal Tuning Theory and showing off the teams Halloween Review Costumes.
What is the Optimal Tuning Theory?
First, let’s get a couple of definitions out of the way, what are Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation? Thermal Mass is a property of the mass of a building which enables it to store and release heat. A typical example would be an adobe home or pueblo where the thick, earthen walls absorb the hot, desert sun during the day keeping the interior space cool. Later during the cold, desert night the thick, earthen walls release that heat into the interior thus warming the space. Buoyancy Ventilation, often refereed to as the “stack” or “chimney” effect, utilizes the natural ventilation cycle of hot air rising and cool air falling to supply air to a space without mechanical systems.
The Optimal Tuning Theory theorizes that a space can be comfortably and passively ventilated, heated, and cooled by coupling an internal Thermal Mass with Buoyancy Ventilation. If these systems are synchronized or “optimally tuned” it would allow architects and builders to use the ancient practice of Thermal Mass building in a more predictive manner. The typical issue with Thermal Mass buildings is that the Thermal Mass is never able to release all the heat it absorbed in the day, therefore the cycle does not start over the next day and the passive system does not work efficiently. By keeping the Thermal Mass on the interior, shaded from the sun and insulated, and using Buoyancy Ventilation to draw out access heat or supply heat from the air, the system is able to reset for the next day. The Optimal Tuning Theory is the crux of the Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation Research Project.
The Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation Research Project Team will build a Pod as a scientific instrument to test the Optimal Tuning Theory. A Pod is an appropriate, human scale that they can test the temperature and air flows of easily and can be inhabited by 3rd-years later on.
Now for the real magic, Rural Studio’s own Transformers! Each TMBVRP team member transformed into a classic Rural Studio vehicle. From left to right starred: Livia Barrett as Andrew Freear’s Honda Fit including his front license plate that reads “British Nut;” Rowe Price as the crisp, new Student Truck; Cory Subasic as Hale County Classic Tractor fit with hand wheels; and Jeff Jeong as our beloved Johnny Parker’s beloved BobCat. The team came second in the local costume contest, but Jeff won Best Pumpkin! Thanks for TUNING in, we hope to see you at Soup Roast!
The Halloween Reviews week is here! This week for the big review, the 3rd-years presented their 20K design and research for 20K Ophelia’s Home. Much of the busy week was spent in preparation for the Thursday review and their group costume, the “Last Supper.”
The 3rd-years finished their final quilting blocks in the elective class just in time to be hung and presented alongside their initial renderings. Aaron Head (local artist) returned to lead a sticking workshop on Wednesday as the students begin the process of actually “quilting” the quilt top, batting, and bottom together. Those couple hours of stitching were so peaceful, a pleasant break from studio work.
As Halloween grew closer, the students rapidly worked to finalize plan details, construction documents, and presentation flow.
On that hallowed day, guest reviewers Marlon Blackwell, Mike Newman, and Katrina Van Valkenburgh, alongside Rural Studio faculty, probed the students about the decisions they made behind their work, gave insightful critiques, and encouraged the 3rd-years in their research to improve the design of 20K Ophelia’s Home. Overall the review was a success!
And the students did enjoy itself all the while! The reviews of the 5th-year and master’s students were extremely interesting and engaging (not typically a word used to describe review days) and it was great to see what the rest of Red Barn was up to. Tuesday was the annual community Pumpkin Carve with the Halloween celebrations and costume contest on Thursday. The disciples definitely enjoyed themselves.