Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Final Presentation: UNITY VILLAGE-ground floor

These are the slides from our final presentation. We also had to write a script for each slide which made the day a lot less nerve-wracking. I am so happy with how this project turned out and how hard we worked. Working with Tracey was a great experience because we have the same goals and standards when it comes to our work. I'm looking forward to moving on to the residential units in UNITY VILLAGE and getting the chance to work on individual designs.

Friday, March 26, 2010


These are the renderings I created for the Unity Village project, focusing on the grocery and laundry areas. Although Tracey and I have different rendering styles, our renderings are consistent with each other to create a unified presentation. As long as you are using the same colors to convey materials correctly different styles are a great thing to show when presenting the design.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Precedent images

We've been trying to find interesting precedent images that relate to our space and concept. Here are some for the grocery area:

Monday, March 22, 2010

User Needs

Mexican Fathers

Come home to a peaceful, comfortable home

  • Work long hours in strenuous job and need to relax

Functional space to raise family

  • Many have young children
  • Possibly have extended family living with them

Opportunities/Resources for family present in living community

  • Many decide where they live based on what things are available for them their (i.e. schools, etc)

Space for entertaining family/friends

  • Often invite lots of people over for holidays, celebrations

Vibrant colors evocative of their culture

  • Want to incorporate bright colors reminding them of Mexico

Friday, March 19, 2010

Community in Greensboro

Natural Science Center

One of the most important resources in Greensboro, NC is the Natural Science Center. It is an area attraction that encourages people to learn more about the natural world around them. Anyone who lives here knows that visiting it is one of the most fun things you can do in this city.

The interior design allows for visitors to meander through the different exhibits and activities. It easily allows large groups of people to fit in the space, but they have to gather closer together to view and participate. This allows for natural fellowship to occur with strangers. The design really shines in the outdoor park area. You follow along winding paths to different animal destinations. The same gathering between strangers occurs, especially under the covered viewing areas. These spots allow for a chance to rest comfortably and watch the animals, another area for natural conversation to begin.

People young and old have the opportunity to learn about science and animals, up close and personal. Not only can you visit on your own, events are held there to teach and entertain large groups. You can even have an outdoor picnic while watching tigers and monkeys! Whether a person goes on their own or with a group of thirty, the science center offers a fun and accessible place for people to congregate. It is also representative of something people in the area are proud of and cherish.

what is design thinking?

Design thinking is problem solving. A designer's job is more than making something look nice. The point of design is to figure out how to make something function better, which does involve aesthetics. You have to think outside the box and approach a challenge in a new way. If you don't there is no evolution in design.

Community is the most important aspect that we have to think about in Unity Village. Design thinking is being used when considering who we are designing for. A quote from the Tim Brown video we watched about design thinking says, "Design is too important to be left to designers." This statement means that you have to put the client and user's needs first and make sure that you are satisfying them. A designer is no good if they are only satisfying their own ego. We have done a lot of research about the users of Unity Village and what kind of things they need in a home.

Collection of design standards

Ground Floor design standards


Hallways should have a minimum width of 36 inches.

All interior doors intended for passage must have minimum clear opening

width of 34 inches.


Maximum shelf height 72”

Circulation zone 30”-36”

Activity zone (pulling items off shelf, etc.) minimum 18”


¨ All walls and ceilings in rooms which are used for day care purposes and are part of the exiting path shall have surfaces of noncombustible construction (plaster or gypsum wallboard).

¨ Rooms where occupants receive care in I-4 and R-3 adult and child day care facilities shall be on the level of exit discharge.

Number of Exits. Group E and Group R-4 adult and child day care facilities shall have two exits.

Exception: Rooms where occupants receive care are located on the level of exit discharge and each of these rooms has an exit door directly to the exterior.


Wheel Chair turnaround space

The development’s community laundry must consist of at least 1 washer and 1 dryer for every 10 units in the development. Exceptions: a) If all units in the development have washer/dryer connections, then the community laundry must consist of at least 1 washer and 1 dryer for every 15 units in the development; b) If all units in the development have a washer and dryer furnished at no cost to the tenants by the development, then the development is required to provide at least 1 washer and 1 dryer; and c) Developments consisting of Single Family Detached Units exclusively.


Water closets:

1 fixture for each sex (1-15 people)

2 fixtures for each sex (16-35 people)


1 per 1-20 people

2 per 21-40

Inspiration images

These are some images that Tracey and I pulled together as inspiration for our concept for the ground floor of Unity Village. The images represent color, light, movement, openness, and interaction between spaces and people.

We want our concept to pull all of the spaces together on the ground floor, bringing people together making the spaces more user friendly and fun to use.

Chapter 6: Ideation

We read Chapter 6 in Rengel's book Shaping Interior Space. This has come in handy while Tracey and I are trying to figure out our concept. According to Rengel, the point of a concept is to "give the project a sense of cohesion and identity." Concepts help you figure out design decisions such as shape, orientation, placement, and color. Concepts have to address the challenges of the particular project and provide stability to the design process. He makes it clear that most concepts are not going to come from a sudden flash of genius, you have to think about it and find out what the space needs.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ideas for the Ground floor

Here are the first sketches I did for the ground floor of unity village. I quickly wanted to get down the ideas of we've had for the daycare and grocery store. The daycare will have bursts of color throughout the space, with those colors being carried out to the other rooms in a more subtle way. The whole floor will be light filled and open, with the ability to see all the spaces from any point.

Here are some of the initial notes about our concept idea:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Unity Village: Ground Floor

Phase two of the Unity Village project involves designing the interior of the first three floors. Tracey and I are working together on the ground floor, which includes a daycare center, grocery store, and laundry room. We haven't completely nailed down our concept but we know what we want in the space. Most importantly, light will play a huge role. The natural light coming through the windows in the daycare will flood into the other parts of the space. There is not much natural light on the other side of the building, so openness on this floor is extremely important. We want the spaces to flow into one another with no distinct barrier between them. This means that we will probably use glass or another material that lets light through. The spaces will be connected through common colors and shapes. Some images that inspire us:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Unity Village: Phase 1

In groups, we recently completed models, diagrams, and programming for the Unity Village project. We are using the existing Gateway Plaza building as the site for the apartment complex which will house students, immigrants, and the elderly.

1/4"=1' model of first three floors:

1/16"=1' model of building:

diagrams and programming:

Sketch-Up model: