Sunday, December 4, 2011

                            A Cabinet of Curiosity   By Cory Odell            11/21/11

I have always felt that furniture should be functional, but not be stripped of any aesthetics at the same time. I feel if anything, pieces should be functional works of art. Many of my designs over the course of time here in the IARC program have been very conceptual pieces of art, maybe not with the most furniture functionality aspects. I felt that it was time to add more functionality, but still promote the same idea of artistic elements as well. This was a very heavy driving force in my concept for my cabinet of curiosity piece.
            When first approaching the project I felt I needed to take all the objects being presented along with the piece, must be taken in consideration with the design. I wanted to draw a true connection between my design and what they were designing to go into the cabinet. I felt this was the only true way to make these pieces truly fit with my design.
When talking with Claire Druga, Shelley Gates, and Fallon Shearin I was able to grasp a better understanding of what they were designing in their studio. They were creating vessels for objects for other classmates. These vessels were then going to find a place to fit within our cabinet… a vessel for vessels if you will.
            The first object is a box that contains a cat collar. Claire Druga designed this. It has pictures of another studio mates cat and a place to put the collar. The second is a tray for a teacup and tea. Shelley Gates designed this piece. Lastly we have Fallon Shearin’s object, a box for a hair-dryer that is done in Mendhi designs. These are the henna tattoos that are worn on the hands of Indian brides. After seeing all three pieces, I realized that there was an easy connection to be made. That connection was Victorian era design.
            As I learned in Professor Mendoza’s class, the Victorian’s loved gadgets. They were right in the middle of the industrial revolution, and building and design objects to add simplicity to life was a huge trend. They created gadgets that had specific purpose. This made me think of Shelley’s tea tray that holds both the tea and the traveler’s mug.
            Cats were also very big in interior design from this time period. That is also what drew my connection to Claire’s piece. It also connected well to the specific gadgets for specific uses theory as well.
            Fallon’s Mendhi designed box made me think about “Orientalism” design. This was very popular during the Victorian era. It was pieces of furniture that were based upon Asian cultural pieces, but they lacked the cultural ties. They were mainly wanted for their exotic looks, but few people knew or understood the true purpose and the meaning of the designs.
            All three of these objects lead me to my final design idea, basing the piece on an idea of Indian traditional cabinetry, but presented in an “Orientalism” design. These were what I felt best spoke to the inspiration and to the pieces themselves.
            My materials were based off of many traditional elements of Indian design. I used Rosewood as a material, a species of lumber commonly found and used in India. I used Rattan on the doors; this is a style of design that was all the rage in Europe, when Britain imported it back from India during the Victorian era. I also used cast iron elements on the piece. There is also elephant style heads on the side to hold the doors open. Elephants are very popular in traditional Indian works of design and art.
            The piece features three shelves, one, which is enclosed behind iron, bared doors. On the top shelf there is also to smaller spaces behind small doors. There are larger doors on the front of the piece that can be opened or closed and give the piece a more traditional armoire appearance.
            I used a lot of colors that can be commonly found in Indian art and design, bright oranges, reds, purples, and turquoise. These colors can be found highlighting the three shelves within the piece.
The piece stands just shy of 3 ½ feet tall. I saw it as also being a functional piece in the sense it could also be used as a side table. That was my main goal in the overall design; I wanted it to have multiple purposes.
I also tried very hard to allow it to have various functional ways, yet still have varying looks. This is what brought me to add piano hinges on the front so they can be pulled completely to the side, and allow of all the shelves to show. It also allows the piece to have a lot more dimensions and colors when the piece is fully opened. The doors can be hooked to the sides on elephant head cast iron hooks that will keep the doors held open if one wishes, but the elephant heads also add another unique design element if one chose to keep the front doors of the cabinet closed.I thought is also very unique that my piece contained a cabinet within the cabinet. I used this concept based upon my first ideas of a vessel for vessel, a cabinet within a cabinet. I also thought this would be a fitting spot for the tea tray designed by Shelley. It played off the idea of cabinets for tea sets, something that was also very popular during the Victorian era.
  I used a lot of historic elements to pull this piece together in its entirety. I looked a both traditional Indian cabinetry as well as the historic Victorian era. All of these elements, along with the pieces created by Shelley, Fallon, and Claire helped me to create my final design. I feel that it is a multi-functional piece, which has several different ways to allow it to take on one look or another. I feel that it could work in many different living spaces, and it is a piece that is simple, yet charismatic and enchanting, a true cabinet of curiosity.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A New Concept for the Yacht

a design for future sea living life was recently brought to my attention... and for any james bond movie buffs, a yacht like the villain lair in the spy who loved me.
it is called utopia. and it is a living space on the sea.

"Utopia is not an object to travel in," said a spokesperson. "It is a place to be, an island established for anyone who has the vision to create such a place."

it is roughly the size of a modern day cruise liner, 100m x 100m
four helicopter pads
a swimming pool
observation deck

this concept came from a james bond film called the spy who loved. the designers Yacht Island Design and BMT Nigel Gee say Atlantis, as it was called in the film, drew into their design greatly... design ideas really can come from anything.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Blog Post 005: Lights

Lighting was something the WAM group has bounced back and forth on. At first we felt like putting lighting within the piece, but due to budget and lighting limitation we chose not to go that route

Making the piece run off interior light had two options, battery lights, that would need to be changed or recharged, and connecting it to the wall. We didn't care for the latter idea either. It would limit where our piece could go, and we wanted this structure to be able to be moved anywhere, and not have to be up against a wall or connected to a wall outlet.

This lighting question is what brought us to make the top clear. We wanted to just cover it with a sheet of acrylic to let the natural light come in. The Weatherspoon lobby already has tons of natural light coming in through the oval dome skylight. This way it allowed for complete mobility, and could be lighted as well.

Lighting was a large factor in what brought us to our final version of the cabinet. Lighting should always be a large factor in any design. Great lighting in a space makes for great possibilities within the space.

Facebook going North... Way North

Facebook has plans to build a running plant in Sweden 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. The plant will be running off hydroelectric power from a near by river that produces twice as much power as the Hoover Dam does. It will also have 14 backup diesel power generators.

The whole reason to build so far north is that the Arctic temperatures will help keep the servers cool and prevent them from melting down and crashing. This new European location is also going to create faster Facebook speeds throughout Europe. The project is expected to cost around 760 million dollars and will hopefully be completed by 2014.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mexico's Radical "Sky Scrapper"

Mexico City may see a new sky scrapper, but not up into the air, but down into the ground. The new concept design would go over 300 meters into the ground, be about 65 stories, and the design holds historical grounding in ancient pyramids built by natives to the country. They also have plans to have offices and apartments within the structure. The top would be a glass atrium area, that would allow for a lot of lighting to enter the space.

Many critics have cited that the bottom could feel very closed in and claustrophobic. There is also a worry that earthquakes, which are some what common to this area, could pose a danger to the construction. They came up with this concept because many people feel that high rise buildings would harm the look of the traditional skyline of Mexico City.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

VC: Design Instructions

Instructions give us information on how to carry an action out, our how to construct something with steps along the way to building it. The best success with these lies in the use of easy to understand steps, very detailed yet simple drawings or graphics that help you know what exactly to perform. There is a very logical yet artistic work show in many of the guides.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Blog Post 004: WAM Design Elements

When analyzing our cabinet for the Weatherspoon and how the elements of design apply, I can clearly see how our project connects two the seven elements.

Space- The space element applies more here in what the cabinet will do to the Weatherspoon space it is in. It will allow a display addition for the gift shop. It will also add an element of inspired design in the lobby space.

Line- Our lines seem very fluid in the piece. We focus a lot on the curves and allow the piece to reflect a lot of the curves that can be found in the lobby space and of the overall shape and style of the building as a whole.

Color- Our piece is mostly birch wood, a color element not really seen in the lobby or the building. This will add a new element and color to the space, making it stand out more, and add color to a space that really has very little contrast within it.

Value- The piece we are creating adds value in the space because it is much lighter than most of the interior in the lobby space. It creates a contrast within the space from light to dark. It adds an element to the space that is not seen already.

Form- The form of the cabinet is made to fit the interior in many ways. It reflects the elements of curves and fluidity in the space. The space is very open and it lacks objects within the space, this display cabinet adds to the space and brings more furniture into the space, yet does not clutter the overall space. Not only is it a piece that fits, but the piece fits the space in its form and design.

Shape- The shape of the piece is very loose, and fluid. It has a curved top, asymmetrical doors, and the handles for the pieces reflect the curve of the top. The space follows a lot of these same curved and fluid design ideas. The piece has very similar elements to the space it is being placed in.

Texture- The piece is mostly made of birch wood. It is smooth, but not as glossy smooth as say the marble floor in the gallery. It has some sense of contrast within the space, but it still has a smooth texture too it like much of the Weatherspoon does. The difference in color and materials is what adds to the contrast in the space then I would say the texture does.

This piece has a lot of elements that relate to the gallery overall when it comes to design and style. The fluid curves and the smooth exterior have similarities. The contrast comes with the materials used and the colors of the piece. I feel the cabinet has the perfect balance of similarity and contrast to the lobby space it is going within.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Light Effects

Reflection on Floors- They reflect almost perfectly back off of shinny materials. Off carpet though it just mostly reflects back the light.
Light Reflecting off the mall floor.

Light Reflection on my bedroom floor.

Reflections off Verticals- When it is shinny it act just like a mirror.
Light Reflecting off of my TV.

Light reflecting off mall glass window.

Interior Shadows- These are harder to find, even though they are all around us all the time. I felt it was harder to get a better example of these.
Shadows from light behind plant. At my parents house.

Shadows from daylight on back wall. In studio.  

Artificial light- These seem to be very easy to find. The quality of light that comes out is a lot different than natural light too. It seems more intense and have a brighter light quality to it.
Lighting Piece at Freer Asian Art Museum in Washington DC

Overhead Light shinning down at my work.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WAM Budget Work... So Far

WAM Budget/Material Options

Wood Options
Looking at wood we have determined these possible options.
Birch plywood 4’x8’ ¾’’ not seeing wood of any kind at 1’’ thick
We are going to need at least 5 panels for this project.
At 54.00 dollars we would need 270.00 just for wood.
Baltic birch is also an option. It is marine grade and is more commonly used for boats. It has a slicker smoother finish
More commonly found in 5’x5’ options. 4’x8’ are possible though.
It would be 79.00 for sheets at ¾’’ and would cost somewhere in the ballpark of 395.00 dollars.
Birch Veneer is also possible. I believe this will take a lot of work to make a usable exterior for the chest. It is available in many sizes.
13x16’’x25’ 8.00
13x16’’x50’ 13.50
13/16’’x x250’ 36.00
2’’x25’ 19.00
2’’x50’ 32.50
Prefinished birch is also an option. This is actually what they would use to make cabinets in houses.
4’x8’ at ¾’’ would be 285 dollars
If price needed to be lower, stains and finishes could be added to many of these lower grades of wood to make them smoother, slicker, and more cosmetically pleasing. This would lower costs, but would add to labor and time of final production.

Interior Shelf Ideas
We are currently pursuing options in the shelving ideas
Plexiglass is a cheap and very possible to use. Either sprays, or steel wool can frost Plexiglass, but it has the tendency to hold and show dirt and oil from human contact, not a very appealing look on a display rack
Fiberglass is an option. Thick enough with help from added supports that could be added would make them durable enough
They could be made to fit pretty easily and cheaply enough by just adding a peg support column to the inside sides of the chest. It would also make it very easy to change the width between the shelves to included wider selves if needed.
Glass is also a possibility, but this would not be the cheapest or possibly the safest material to use.
Wood shelves covered in some type of metal paneling are also a possibility. It would add to cost because more wood would have to be bought, but with the addition of metal it would create more of a possible interior reflection to take place with the right type of metal.
Exterior Options and Ideas
We have looked into adding nickel knobs, handles, handle bars to the exterior. These are hard to pinpoint an exact amount on. They range from all styles and price spectrums. It can easily be said, lower the price, lower the quality of the piece.
Shelves similar to the ones on the interior could be added to the sides, to expand display space. That would be along the same price Hinges will also have to be bought for the doors on the front face of the piece.
Adding a lighted interior could make display more noticeable, but would limit mobility of overall piece unless battery operated.
Changing the shape and size of the doors could change the ways and spaces for display space.
My rough estimations at this stage in the game would be anywhere from 600-700 dollars.

Budget After Detailed Pricing

Wood- We need 5 sheets of the following (prices of overall total)
Birch plywood- 270.00
Baltic Birch- 395.00
Prefinished Birch- 285.00
Birch Veneer – an option but the sizes are different and we would need different amounts which could affect the overall price for less or more, may not fit needs overall.
Interior- Shelving for gift shop items to be displayed
.220 24x48 Acrylic sheets- 53.99
Battery LED Lights (Pack of 2)- 32.07
Peg rack railing and pegs- 3.00-5.00
Hinges for the doors- 3.00-5.00
Corkboard (3/16 inch 4ft x8ft)- 17.48
Corkboard hanging shelves- 6.48 a piece
Bottom Drawer/Exterior of Display Doors- Extra storage for items displayed
Knobs- 3.00-5.00 (Can even be more expensive depending on exact quality and taste)
Drawer Track- 11.00-15.00

Additional Items
10x10 Aluminum Metal sheets- to add metallic element possible desired-10.98
Satin Finish- Will give very neutral finish- 36.98
Semi-Gloss Finish- Give more reflective quality to wood- 37.98
Pull Plate- Strong Handle for cabinet- 20.00
Screws- Possibly already in wood shop- no cost
Sandpaper- Possibly in wood shop- no cost
PMS 380 green paint- Possibly already at WAM- No cost
Wheels- for moving cabinet- 6-13 (a piece)
Electrical System- Wood require wall plug- Prices may vary
Paints- For whatever purposes desired- Prices may vary
Wood trim- Add to exterior- 98 cents and up
Screw peg covers- birch color, covers screws- 5.00

Next Stages
Decide on a more finalized idea
Account in new budget changes to overall final budget
Meet with WAM and decide their opinions on our finalized idea
Begin buying supplies, and starting construction on the piece

WAM Budget Work This Week

As our group works ahead on creating our gift shop cabinet piece we have been dealing with a lot of ideas and issues. I have been working on pricing a budget.

Monday I drove out to a wood store in Gibsonville to price wood prices and get an idea of what kind of wood style we should use. Kate at the WAM gift shop said birch wood, so I looked at the various types and what prices I could get them at.

We are looking a birch ply, birch veneer, and a Baltic birch. All different types have various uses, looks, and different needs to help it reach it's final look.

Wednesday Matt and I went to look for acrylic sheets that we could use for our shelving inside of the cabinet. We had not so great luck with this venture.

Thursday night I went to Lowes hardware and looked at prices at all things needed to go along with this. I found wheels for the base, metal sheeting for a possible material, handles, knobs, hinges, LED lighting, etc.

What I am quickly realizing is how many items are needed to complete this project. It also makes it hard in the beginning because there are so many options and so many different items needed to make all those various ideas happen.

Tomorrow is first pinup... I look forward with presenting my findings and prices of the various items I have looked and, and had to learn about.

photo provided through

Blog Post 003: Speaking of Speeches

Never know when you'll have to give one.

When first presented with this speech assignment, I wasn't nervous or worried at all. I don't clam to be an expert at speeches, but I am not shy, and I don't mind talking to people or in front of them.

When writing it I just wanted to keep it very simple. That is why I chose to focus on just one site. The less you remember to talk about, the more you can focus on the details of the speech, and remember easier about what you planned to talk about.

I found our visit from the speaking center very helpful and it gave me a better direction to follow. I did feel that I lacked the convincing aspect that they mentioned, but I felt that I more wanted to describe how I felt in the space, and not really sway an opinion in any sort of direction. Do I think a visit to the center would have helped my speech??? Of course I do.

Next time I plan to slow up my pace. I feel like I talked way to fast. I also brought a pen up with me that I fidgeted with, I won't do that again... I move my hands enough when I talk as it is. I want to have a much more detailed visual aid next time around. I feel mine was limited on major detail and was a little all over the place.

I enjoyed this project and I see the importance of learning to give proper speeches. In our future field of design, we will constantly give speeches on project ideas, work with teams, and be able to really describe and convince clients of various degrees of ideas, concepts, and recommendations. The better I become at this, the more I will be prepared in the future as a designer.

photo provided by google

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Torii is a Shinto design item that stands in front of temples. It is a symbol one is entering a scared space and no longer in the common world. They were orignally made from wood and stone. Today they are more commonly made of concrete. The oldest one dates back to the 12th century. This one is from the Itsukushima Shrine in the city of Hatsukaichi, located in the Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan.

I love how the design of this object resembles the background and the water that it sits in. It is very natural in shape i think, and that is very fighting that it is a symbol in the Shinto religion since it is so tied to nature. 

It serves as a symbolic gateway into the Shinto ideals. It plays off the elements are representing nature and natural form.

photo provide by wikipedia

Owls in Interiors

I have a huge obsession with collecting owl interior things. Pictures, figurines, wall hangings, big owls, small owls. I loved when we were in dc and i found this in a mural on the mosaic tile on the wall.
I started thinking about all the different decor items that feature/are owls, and looking at my collection i found many different uses and styles... the home decor owl is like a multi-use object in an interior space. Mark my words... it's the new black.

Salt/Pepper Shaker

Pencil/Pen Holder



Hand Towel Holder


Wall Hangings

photos provided by myself

Blog Post 002: Combine the DC Visual Sites

when visiting the natural history museum i loved the stuffed animals they had. while walking through the exhibits i found one of my favorites, a raccoon. they are so adorable to me and i have always had the largest soft spot for them... i actually hate the fact that i am pretty sure this little fella was alive, died, and is now stuffed... but at least he is living on as a teaching and learning tool.

when i visited the national art and portrait gallery i found the opening lobby space to be very dull, it was small, dull colored, and really had no spirit what so ever... I had almost passed this building off as a design disaster, until I found the middle courtyard area. the ceiling, designed by norman foster was one of the most amazing things i have ever, it looked so fluid, and made this a usable space all year long now. i can see why it was controversial, it is very modern, and this is very obviously an old building.

After looking closely to my dc photos i thought about taking the cute raccoon photo, and the ceiling of the kogod courtyard by norman foster... and what do you get???

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

VC: Reception Desk Ideas

I feel this desk could work very well in my reception space. It has a very simplistic design and that is how I personally see the design of daisies naturally. I also think that just as the desk lights up and illuminates, light is one of the whole reasons daisies exist. I feel that these two items have a lot more in connection with one another then what would first meet the eye. Something about the colors of the desk even remind me of summer and green fields of daisies growing.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blog 001: Seeing for the Blind

i have never thought about how a blind person lives, i have just thought how i never wanted to be that way; a horrible thought i know, but in all honesty... i am being truthful.

when i first entered in the waiting room/lobby space i saw it as bland and drab. i felt the space had no spirit, and even though i know all people who enter there are not blind, i felt it said they cannot see, so why focus on visual aesthetics? the only space i felt that had any spirit to it, was the small, and rather tacky indoor garden.
indoor garden
After going up and passing through a yet dull office space we entered the large warehouse. this space was your typical dim light with ultra violet lights, concrete floor, and bland concrete walls.
my favorite area was the working area. it was so busy and so alive. i have never seen so much action going on in one place. it felt like being in the very center of a beehive. everyone working, moving at a quick speed, almost like robots. it did feel like you stereotypical sweatshop, not in work or ethics of the place, but just the style of the room design. dim lights, closed off to the world, no idea of the world outside. i believe opening that up would do amazing aesthetics not only to the interior space, but the city itself. it is a world worth viewing.

it was amazing to see an environment like that. true human production at it's best. while the building felt lacking in aesthetics appeal, it should not dull the ethics and spirit of the facility. what these people are doing both workers and management should be proud of themselves.

now i feel like the facility should reflect that spirit.

VC: Name Tag

Friday, September 9, 2011

GHM Exhibits

Entering the exhibits of the museum gave me a new light and feeling for the space and what it needs to provide in the lobby space. This truly is an amazing space after one gets an entire feeling for the space.
When I first came in I entered the Jewish heritage of the south exhibit. I found this to be very interesting. I never knew so much Jewish connects were throughout the state. I also really enjoyed the fact many things were interactive, and you could touch and open, and try on. This was a very exciting museum experience. I have never been in a setting like that where one was allowed to have so much freedom in their learning experience in the museum. This is something the lobby lacks. This is a very interesting aspect to the space as a whole. Maybe a small example of how their museum works ahead. Something people could get a feel of the freedom liberties within the museum.
Moving beyond this space I visited the Civil War guns and knives room. I see the cultural connect to the history of the south here, but I found it to be my least favorite and rather boring. It felt much more cold and disciplined room on the trip. I did however like the paintings on the wall in this room. I felt they not only added a aesthetic to the room, but linked art and history conflicts together that is always an interesting aspect in learning about history I think.
Moving deeper into the weaving path of this museum I enter the historical exhibit of Greensboro. I found this space to be very exciting. It creates it’s own time capsule. Where I did find it campy and a little excessive at moments, it did feel very welcoming and created an image I don’t think harms the idea of Greensboro. It also was very hands on and made this feel more unique then most people would be to museum learning.
Down another spiral staircase we are met with what was once the old church. I find the preservation of the stained glass window to be very fitting with the history and tradition of the space, and I found this entrance oddly enough more inviting and unique then the one they presently use as their lobby space. This is also the start place to enter the Voices of Greensboro exhibit.
This is the largest and lengthiest of all the exhibits, as it should be since I think this part sums up the entire idea of this museum space as a whole. It creates a time line from Native American start to what Greensboro is like today; different generations of all races and finical statuses, from sports to entertainment, to Greensboro’s contributions to the globe. They had it all. Where it was a very interesting site to see, it lacked in the unique hands on approach that much of the other museum used. It made it feel very standard to all other museum spaces that I have been to in my life, and honestly made me not enjoy this main attraction of the space as much as I feel I possibly could have.
After winding and weaving through the maze of the Voices exhibit we are brought into the gift shop. I find the placement of this space rather odd. It feels like I should have already passed by it, or I haven’t quite reached it yet. The space was very relaxing when I comes to museum shopping, but I felt it lacked in personality to the space overall. It felt many of the items were nothing more then what one could find at their local Target or Pier 1 imports. There was a small collection of original pottery from the local Sea Grove pottery area, and that was very nice to see. It also tied in very well with the local pottery collection exhibit that lie just ahead of the shop.
One of the strangest things I found was the cemetery off of the gift shop. Since this use to be an old church there was a very historic graveyard outside. It was one of my favorite parts of the museum experience. It was a true chance to walk more amongst the long history of the city. It was also a very added experience of offering an outdoor learning opportunity. The part I found so odd, is how it came off of the gift shop, and how without real close examination of the door leading out, one would not think this was a part of the museum trip. I even had to ask if I was even allowed to go out there.
As I said before, through the shop we enter the last real exhibit of the trip, pottery and some more examples of historic living in Greensboro. This part was an interesting space. I enjoyed getting to see the old designs of the nice interior rooms. It made me to begin thinking an overall theme of this interior space would add a lot of character to the lobby space and add much more of a connection to the space overall. The real connection was the colors that are used and how much of the lobby already shows these, and the lighting pieces that were used. They were chandeliers that would add aesthetic appeal for the mezzanine unlike the lighting fixtures presently, which really add no experience looking over from that mezzanine now.
Finally we come to the small Dolly Madison exhibit before we come out on the mezzanine leading back down to the lobby. Leaving with much more ideas for the lobby space and how to connect it better with the rest of the space.
My overall main thoughts are that people need more of a hands on experience to showcase many of the exhibits that are ahead, and the lobby overall should reflect a design theme of some period, possibly very similar to the Cone interiors. This could create a more historic connection over all in that lobby space.

Seeing the museum overall did give me many more ideas on what could be done with the space, and I think of my trip as just another tool in adding inspiration to me ideas for designing the space.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Place

After visiting the three sites. I have decided that personally I would like to work at the WAM or IOB. These two spaces were my favorite ones.

WAM I would like to get more hands on building training, that is something I have never really done before. I also would really like to work on conceptional ideas on where to put the chest and what ideas it could be used for. I haven't heard a true idea on what to use, and I would like to be involved with that project as well.

At IOB I greatly enjoyed the idea behind the factory, their history, and the possible concepts for designing that space. I felt the possibilities were endless there. I still struggle greatly witch sketches and drawings, but I would love to come up with ideas for them. Concept work would be amazing at this project. I would love to think up ways to relate the design ideas to the ideas the company holds in their long history of operation.

GHM was not so much a favorite place to visit. Where I like the shape and design of the building, and coming up with possibilites of what could be sound amazing, it just didn't make my top interest. However given the chance to work there as well would be an amazing chance no matter what.

I believe my strengths lie within being able to come up with creative ideas to help building the project. I think I am a very creative mind, and I find working with materials, and looking at colors, and possible design ideas, give me the most inspiration and help me work at my best.

IOB Narrative and Diagram

The Industries for the Blind, INC. has a 78-year history in Greensboro. When the company first began it gave jobs to the blind to have them feel as though they had a civil service duty in society. They made mops and brooms. It was a non-profit organization.
Today they make profits, pay wages for the seeing impaired employees, have huge accounts with the United States military, and employee over 215 people. They employee people from all walks of life, and even from other nations; most with sight disabilities.
With such a long lasting relationship with North Carolina and Greensboro, it is amazing we know very little about them like we do… Well, they wish to change that.
The idea for the space is to open it up to the world, both physically and metaphorically. The space lack very few windows, a sign of former management that didn’t quite see the employees as the people they deserved to be seen as. They felt too much exposure to the world, would limit their ability to work more productively.
When entering the space we are met with the bright morning sun shinning over the building and the parking lot that we stand in. It gives the building a bright feeling, but all of this is quickly lost.
When we enter we have a small lobby, very vacant of color, and even personality. The front desk is behind a glass window, and the door that leads beyond is locked.
After being buzzed through we come to a small stairwell. Elevators are also located here. In a corner we see an indoor garden. It feels very tacky and lacking in much taste to be as honest as I can be. It is a nice touch though. It is the first real moment of the space as a whole, a true moment of “Zen” if you will. This becomes more justified the deeper I go on the journey.
Up the stairs is where offices and conference room is located. This space has much more natural light coming in from windows, but still is outdone by the ultra-violet ceiling lights.
Through the offices we enter the factory. We see storage rooms, vast rooms with crates and shipment ready to send out, work areas alive with machines and workers. This area resembles more of a beehive of activity. Everything feels alive. Through this Journey we circle back around and come out at the indoor garden once again.
And as promised… Zen.
Zen gardens are to allow for tranquility to find meditation possible. I feel the factory, as a whole, is in somewhat meditation.
The workers, many of who are seen to be disabled too much of society are allowed to work and be fully functioning members of the world. They go to work everyday, make wages, and learn skills. They are proving lack of sight does not have to be a set back in being a person in society.
Just as mediation is to teach one the way of the world, the meaning to life, so does this company. It gives these workers a chance at their own life. That is why I feel that indoor garden is such a useful tool for this space.
This space should be more open. Allow the world to see into the space. It is an amazing space with great potential to not only these people’s lives that work within, but also the meaning of their work to the world.