Final Year 3 Presentation Board~ Zeyna Sanjania

Final Year 3 Presentation Board~ Zeyna Sanjania

Freedom. At Long Last. Three years have gone by, and studies for Part 1 of becoming an Architect have been completed. Today was the final portfolio submission, but more alarmingly, today marks the end of a continuous 18 years in academic education. *gulp*

I suppose my first instinct would be to say oh how quickly the past three years have run by me and so forth. I suppose in a way it has, but in more ways it has in fact been a long and gruelling three year process whereby any and all of my ideas have been challenged and scrutinised. At the end of the day that’s what Architecture is, isn’t it? Ideas and Opinions. If you happen to win over the majority in believing into your idea and opinion, then you have made great and successful architecture. If you haven’t, tough luck. Start again!

During the three years, I found myself envious of my friends studying academic subjects that stem from Science and Mathematics, because in those fields the answer is either right or wrong. It is not dependent on anything. The answer to the question must not take into account the surrounding its in, its historic origins, how well it goes with the initial concept, whether the function and form work well together or even what the tutors personal opinions may be. It is either right or wrong, and the mark schemes adhere to this.

Final Year 3 Presentation Board~ Zeyna Sanjania

Final Year 3 Presentation Board~ Zeyna Sanjania

When I first joined my school of Architecture, I did think I would be taught a lot more about rules and regulations, including formulas about structures. However, I was left waiting. Instead, I was pushed into the depths of conceptual thinking and turning literature into building-like forms. Or as my “Sciency” friends would put it, I was “making models out of toothpicks”. How was I to describe to them that those toothpicks symbolised Entrapment and other such ideas that would later inform my building proposal? Others thought that my course was simply about “doodling”, and I suppose if you were to boil it down, that really IS our job as Architecture students. We doodle out ideas and hope to God that they can be brought to life.

It all sounds quite critical, but this “doodling” and “toothpick model making” were the stepping stones that helped us reach where we are today. Yes, I admit we were not pressurised into thinking if the building will in fact stand from the very start, but we were gradually given the tools we needed over the three years, and I feel I now have sufficient knowledge to be able to work with an engineer to be able to carry out a successful job. And in any case, our main aim as Architect is to DESIGN.

Final Year 3 Presentation Board~ Zeyna Sanjania

Final Year 3 Presentation Board~ Zeyna Sanjania

In the three years, I think more than any lectures or tests, it is the Critical Review Presentations , also knows as “Crits”, that have taught us the most. I believe that it is very much a Love-Hate relationship between an architect student and their Crits. Love, because it is a platform whereby we learn to stand up for ourselves and our ideas. It is here that we gain expertise, or sometimes fail miserably, in convincing the audience that one’s proposal is the best there is. It gives the confidence we need to be able to carry out this task in our future careers, because people’s opinion is an every day thing we must all face. It is the stage where we can show off our ideas of not just buildings but our views on society.

However, the Hate part of the relationship comes in due to what I have already mentioned, that our answer is neither right nor wrong. The outcome of the Crit could perhaps largely depend on the ideologies of the tutors and audience, and whether they agree with your mentality or not. This is why we often hear that our tutors have been battling it out in the staff room due to a difference in opinion. It is not simply that the student drew Item A and therefore, marks should be given for the inclusion of Item A. This is a rather frustrating concept for a student in more ways than I can possibly articulate.

Final Year 3 Presentation Board~ Zeyna Sanjania

Final Year 3 Presentation Board~ Zeyna Sanjaniaopini

Conclusively, I would say the last three years have not been without its trials and tribulations. Personally, I believe Architecture School has made me into a stronger individual and improved vastly my skills whereby I can sell an idea. It is a place that has allowed me to experiment and voice my opinions in front of a crowd of critics.  It has taught me to defend my ideas, but also realise and improve upon my mistakes. However, now that this stage is complete and I have done all that I can in my power, all I can hope for is that the ones who will be marking my portfolio will share the same ideologies as me, or at least be open minded towards them. Now the wait for Results Day and Graduation commences.

In the meantime, I find myself lost. Though I started this blog post with the words FREEDOM, what I have been doing for the past three years is all that I know how to do. Without it, I am incomplete, and this freedom is empty, because actually….I miss “doodling and toothpick model making” already.

P.S. My apologies for the low quality photographs of my presentation board…They were taken in a hurry on my mobile phone, whilst in a state of overwhelming excitement. Examples of my work will be uploaded soon onto my Facebook page.

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Here are a couple of videos I came across, showing the development of the new One World Trade Centre.

The one below is a beautifully created time lapse film of the building, designed by the highly talented design company: Piranha NYC.

I love how images are seen as reflections from neighbouring buildings and car windows, a unique idea that I have not come across before. The quality of the renderings are also very realistic and of a high standard.

 

The following video shows the World Trade Centre Spire, rising to the top. It seems as if the entire Spire is being pulled up by one man using a tight rope!

 

I look forward to seeing the new addition to the NYC skyline to be completed.

As for more videos from Piranha NYC, why not check them out on the link below:

http://piranhanyc.com/

After months of research, library errands, typing, draft copies, proof reading, tutorial meetings and over £200 spent on printing and binding costs, my Architectural Discourse is finally complete! As the three copies of my newly bound dissertation were handed to me, I felt relieved more than anything. I also vowed to myself that I would not look at the text in detail lest I would find a silly spelling mistake, though I have checked for that a zillion times prior to printing the final copies.

Below is a photograph of the three copies of my dissertation: Hard Bound, with gold lettering at the front, ready to be handed in for the examiners to decide the fate of my grades. The complete text of my dissertation will be uploaded onto this blog once it has been marked and graded, due to copyright issues. So, watch this space!

Architectural Discourse/Dissertation Final Copies ~ Zeyna Sanjania

Architectural Discourse/Dissertation Final Copies ~ Zeyna Sanjania

As one can imagine, and I am sure you have guessed from the way I have already described it in the previous lines, it has become a prized possession. This is not my first piece of professional writing due to writing numerous other papers through out my time in education, as well as having an active Architectural Blog. However, it is perhaps the seriousness of this final dissertation of Year 3 Part 1 BA (Hons) Architecture which elevates the status of this writing to be the first “proper” discourse I have written.

The completion of the architectural discourse also means that the End is Nigh. The final year of my Part 1 studies are coming to a close, and in just over a month, I will have completed and handed in all of my work that is to be submitted for this course. It is a scary thought indeed, but one that is also welcomed and has been long awaited.

However, the only thing to be done is working harder than ever, so that we may reap the rewards of graduation. I wish the best of luck to all those coming to the end of their courses and awaiting the time when they may hold up their degrees with pride.

Rendered Image: Copyright to Dewan Architects

Rendered Image: Copyright to Dewan Architects

It is not often that we get to see the conceptual thinking behind a building. This can be due to architectural firms not taking part in the conceptual method, as it may not be their style of creating a building.

However, below is an example where conceptual ideas have been showcased, and I have spent much time admiring over them too! The illustrations below are of the Basra Cultural Centre, aimed to be located in Basra, Iraq. The illustrations are created by Dewan Architects.

The Basra Cultural Centre will contain fine arts exhibition areas, meeting rooms, conference halls, a heritage museum, cinema halls, theatre, a radio and television broadcasting department, public library, cafeteria and outdoor areas. Hmm…not a small building then!

The Centre is also set to host different cultural events and festivals, and will be part of Basra’s new administrative complex. The approximate site area is 15,275 metres squared.

Without further delay, here are a couple of conceptual illustrations for the Basra Cultural Centre:

The Concept: Dewan Architects

The Concept: Copyright to Dewan Architects

The building facade has randomly placed parallelogram-shaped openings, reminiscent of the “dots” in Arabic calligraphy. The large void in the centre of the building signifies the heart of the project where social interaction will take place, as well as being the main entrance for the public. The curvilinear architectural elements symbolise an open book.

Below is a 3-dimensional representation of the above illustrations.

Rendered Image: Copyright to  Dewan Architects

Rendered Image: Copyright to Dewan Architects

Below is a long section cut through the long span of the building, showing all the different spaces in which activities will be taking place. The section is followed by other rendered images of the Cultural Centre.

Section through Building: Copyright to  Dewan Architects

Section through Building: Copyright to Dewan Architects

Rendered Image: Copyright to Dewan Architects

Rendered Image: Copyright to Dewan Architects

Rendered Image: Copyright to Dewan Architects

Rendered Image: Copyright to Dewan Architects

Reference:

Construction Week Online: Middle East Architect, March 2013, Volume 07, Issue 03

The World Expo is a large public exhibition which takes place in varying parts of the World. The next Expo will be in Milan, Italy in 2015. However, the bids for Expo 2020 have already been taking place, and there are currently five cities that have lodged official bids to be the hosting city for this World Fair.

The five cities that are battling it out for being the host city are as follows:

1) Izmir, Turkey

2) Ayutthaya, Thailand

3) Yekaterinburg, Russia

4) Sao Paulo, Brazil

5) Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Below are the promotional films from the city itself, for why they should be chosen. The films seem to be a short history lesson for each of the cities, but also showcase what is perceived to be the most appealing architecture. So, I would urge everyone to take some time and watch these exquisite films that will teach you about the range and richness of culture that binds this world together.

Promotional Films:

1) Izmir, Turkey

 

2) Ayutthaya, Thailand

 

3) Yekaterinburg, Russia

 

4) Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

5) Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 

Which city would YOU like to see be the host of Expo 2020?

Hearty Congratulations to Toyo Ito on being the recipient of the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Click on the link below to find out more!

http://www.pritzkerprize.com/

Toyo Ito: 2013 Winner

Toyo Ito: 2013 Winner

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BD Statistics
Courtesy of BDOnline

 

If you are not already aware of the above statistics, these are the findings as part of a survey conducted by BD (Building Design). The statistics that apply most to me at this given time is the column of non-qualified graduates, and if I was being pessimistic I would perhaps be concentrating on the number of 44% of non-qualified graduates being unemployed.

This is a rather disturbing figure to say the least, however the numbers should not really be surprising. We were all expecting it, weren’t we? It is more disappointing to know that we are still stuck in the “Unemployment Rut” after what seems an age after the recession first hit us. There seems to be no new hope or revival for those in the architecture industry, and the numbers certainly don’t do anything to persuade prospective students looking to becoming architects.

However, the optimist side of me concentrates on the numbers that say 18% of non-qualified graduates and 45% of architects are self-employed. It seems to me that brave individuals are taking it upon themselves to survive the current climate of recession. I believe this is very much commendable and perhaps a growing trend. After countless attempts to be employed, becoming your own boss seems like the way out, because consequently, those bills still need to be paid!

Recently, due to my dissertation case study being set in Dubai, I have had numerous conversations about the Middle East construction market. I have come across many negative comments about some cities in the Middle East sinking into debts and construction coming to a stand still. However, from reading architectural magazines from the Middle East region, I can see from the project updates that construction is definitely taking place, and happening at an extra-ordinary scale, contradictory to some of the misconceptions of people I have spoken to.

I feel these misconceptions may be down to firstly, not having enough knowledge about the topic, and simply going along with the “word on the street” as it were. Secondly, I believe many Western attitudes boil down to Jealousy. There is no nicer way to put it. Middle East and many other Eastern regions are doing particularly well. Of course, there are complex issues involved and money is tight everywhere. I do not claim to know the industry inside out, and I also do not comment on the topic without being ignorant to the wider political aspects.I am simply recording my reactions and more importantly, I am talking in comparison to the western construction market which seems to be lagging behind.

I think there needs to be more initiative to be building inspirational projects that build the confidence of a city, such as The Shard in London, which has given something for people in the industry to talk about. Simple projects such as a local park with features that bring pride into the city are so helpful in turning around the depressing attitudes that seem to have no end. These kind of projects should be enjoyed by all the civilians of the city, without fee. A successful Middle Eastern example is that of the Dancing Fountain at the foot of Burj Khalifa.  The fountain puts on a spectacular show every evening from 6 pm at half an hour intervals, free of charge and without a doubt the place is packed with people every single night. This I can vouch for myself, having experienced the ambiance and pride that is oozing from the public, and it is spectacular to see that Architecture can do this to a person.

Therefore, to conclude I suppose my reaction to the statistics found by BD would be for the western construction society to pick itself back up by showing more pride and confidence in itself, regardless of scale, rather than being jealous and comparing itself to other growing cities.

I would be happy to know what you feel about this topic, so feel free to comment below!