After reflecting from my personal interests, and the work I have done in the past three and a half years, I’ve come to realize my few passions. I have a strong desire for social, and spiritual growth in people, and I have an appreciation in architecture. After working towards understanding my passions, and how to apply them in my work, I finally have an idea of what to do.
One previous project was to develop living sculpture for the Biological Engineering Program, under the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design at North Carolina A&T State University, that is cohesive to a vision Dr. Manny Reyes shared with me and several other artists. This vision was for urban environments to support agriculture capable of producing edible, and healthy, food in these areas for its’ inhabitants. One concept he shared to help achieve this goal was the idea of a sofa bed. This device is a miniature Greenhouse to support plant life and can be applied to various parts of urban environments. After his presentation, and his request for building a living sculpture, I immediately thought of living architecture. My Senior capstone and current project, is to research into methods and ideas to produce Green architecture and structures that match our standards of living but also helps the natural world as well. During this project, I will research, and produce a concept to fabricate and use as the living sculpture Dr. Reyes request. My full body of work will be either Illustrations, or scaled models of these concepts. Included in my body of work will be a life scaled living sculpture that will be built by an open space near Sockwell, or any location Dr. Reyes chooses. This Life scaled model will be my legacy, and my first step to exploring living architecture. In total, this life-sized model, at least four smaller models, and all their illustrations, will be my body of work for the senior show at the beginning of April.
Professor Roy Carter is my mentor and the class professor who will be monitoring my work and giving feedback regarding my design decisions. My Advisor, Todd Drake, will aid me in researching materials and artist who have worked in this field of living sculpture, green building, and Humanity’s relation with Nature. In addition, I will receive any, and all advise from him, as well as the professors I have on my board. Finally, I asked Dr. Reyes to be on my board as a committee member and I will work with him on constructing the life-sized living sculpture. I may also work with him as well for researching methods to construct the living sculpture.
Living sculpture and Green Architecture will be my focus for this class. I believe this project has the right ambitions and enough work to suffice as an adequate project, and will serve as my first step in making a statement about this topic. The materials for constructing the full-scale model will vary, but I do intend to use as much natural materials as possible to build the models In addition to that I will also use traditional drawing materials and a digital rendering software, to produce illustrations of these design ideas.
I chose this project out of other topics I want to explore because it seems more practical. I already have work exploring these concepts, artists/architects in mind to research and this will open more opportunities for my development as an artist. Dr. Reyes mentioned the potential this project and could be presented in the Earth Day Symposium that is hosted by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design on the 17th of this April. There are other presentation opportunities Reyes mentioned to me that would help my CV. My goal is research solutions already found, make any necessary changes to improve them; or apply them to existing structures, and choose one of the concepts I have researched to fabricate into the full-scale living sculpture, leftover materials will be presented and re displayed for my part of the Senior Show Exhibition.
With the scholarship money I received last semester will be used to acquiring necessary materials, such as wood, soil, seed/plants, and clay. Additional funding will be acquired through possible grants from the Foundation Community in the arts, which funds projects for the arts up to $10,000 Dollars, or by receiving Grant money from the honor program. Other grants may be used to help fund it. The materials, as stated before, will vary but are all used in producing small models of the concepts researched with the potential of supporting life. From this point on, I will begin research and developing models addressing the idea of a natural city and supportive structures. By March 8th, I should have all the developmental materials, and have chosen a solution to make into a full-scale model. Then I will begin construction of the living sculpture.
As stated before, my desire interest is growth and progression for humanity and myself through architecture, and other media as my medium to serve the communities. From high school, I remember Mr. Harvey Gantt’s advice to me to this day. More or less, he stated, “Architecture reflects culture, and by understanding the culture and its ‘health’. The infrastructures an architect designs must respond to Society’s health and current state.” I have taken this to heart and with the help of “good people” I have encountered in my budding career, I am maturing and look forward to designing for good.