It’s been a busy year! I ended up leaving the architecture doctorate program I was in to begin SCAD’s brand new graduate program in Themed Entertainment Design. I couldn’t be more excited! In addition I also rebuilt my entire portfolio website, to in order to see all the new cool stuff, head on over to dianebuchwalder.com.
Books and reading are extremely important to me. I have always been a reader. These days it’s more online than all the books I used to absorb, but I still buy and read quite a few. These are a few that I currently have on me (there’s no way I could have shipped my whole collection out to me– I’d be penniless!), and I figure a good start to get me going for now. I’m planning to do a small write-up about each one as I finish them– hopefully to not only acquaint myself more with the field but to make sure I’m analyzing what I’m taking in, and actually processing and learning from it as well. I’d like to avoid whatever the reading equivalent is of “in one ear and out the other”.
I’m currently starting with “Theme Park Design” and in a few weeks I’ll probably roll right through the others when I’m on spring break. That’s the hope, at least!
I have a few at home that I have finished, but would like to go back to– one about the history of a ride design company, that I recall off the top of my head. I also think I have started “Project Future” before but either finished it quickly or accidentally never finished it… but I have it now, and that’s the important part!
(On the bright side of cross-country-moving, I got a Kindle as a gift recently. It is loaded up and extremely convenient, if I do say so myself.)
I’m posting these as part of a portfolio update, but here’s the background: I took some hand drafting classes in high school, which is where some of my previous images come from. That is probably the most experience I’ve had with any certain specific type of drawing, other than taking a drawing class in college. However, we’ve done a few precendent studies in our studio class, and I figure they are probably a better representation of some of my skills since they are more recent and more intense (although I can still see areas to work on).
I have to apologize for the photo quality, I couldn’t get access to a large enough scanner to fit the whole page so they are taken from a slight angle and don’t look quite right (pun intended).
Firstly, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey house:
Second, a few study images of the North Carlton Green House by Zen Architects:
I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but I just started my first semester of grad school, for a Doctor of Architecture program.
So far, I am enjoying it immensely! I had initially planned to go into architecture but was convinced to study civil engineering for undergraduate instead so that I had more understanding of the technical as well as the design sides of things.
At any rate, since studying engineering is so vastly different than more artistic focuses, this is the first brush I’ve had with Photoshop. We’ve only had a very brief run-through of a few basics in the digital presentation class, as there are other programs getting more focus, but I thought it seemed like somewhat of a milestone (for me at the least).
As such I present to you my first ever photoshopped image!
This is an image-based analysis of the LAX Theme Building. I really love the shape of it (and the lightposts, too, check those out!), but I also tried to include a sense of the interior and the location in the analysis. I don’t think it’s too bad for a first try! I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about how to use Photohop, Illustrator, and other related programs.
In other news, since I’m doing more design now (all design all the time!), I’m going to try to update two to three times a week. So keep a weather eye out!
Source images pulled from around the web
For the past few weeks, my mom and I have been taking a metal casting class. It uses the lost-wax casting method, and this is my first piece.
It is a sterling silver ring (for myself) that is a little battie-monster to perch on your finger. It is a bit wider than a normal ring (and rather pointy– watch out, he bites!), but is not too heavy or too in the way to be a nuisance.
I started with a ring blank and sketched out several ideas. You can see here some of the different designs, alongside the final wax version with a sprue attached (although I ended up attaching a second sprue to make sure the silver reached all the way out to the wings).
You can see here on the unpolished version how thick the wings are as well as the second sprue. (This is immediately after casting and release from the mold.)
And finally, the ring in action! The body of the ring was polished with different files to achieve a brushed metal look, while the teeth and wings were left mostly untouched to retain the contrast of the oxidation.
Apologies for my recent absence — I have several great pictures from Halloween and other events to post, but I lost a dear family member and we are currently trying to deal with the hectic-ness that is a combination Thanksgiving/Memorial Service. Alas, a blog must fall by the wayside.
I will return soon, with lots of goodies! =)
Well, I haven’t posted in a bit, sadly. Been a bit busy with family matters and trying to get everything together for Halloween! A bit of a challenge when you’re really into the details of getting things juuuuuuuust right.
But! I sent my Halloween invites out yesterday, and I thought I would share them. I originally just planned to keep my plans small this year, just do a costume since I didn’t have a big party to go to, buuuuuut that didn’t happen. I had one simple party theme idea and it sparked a whole cascade of things to do! And so here I am trying to finish them all.
I was originally just planning to do a facebook invite as well, but since the whole thing started getting theme-y, well, invites had to as well. So here are the (details changed) invites, to get the thematic wheels turning! Just a taste of what is up next with a post of the research I had to do for my costume/party:
I decided to keep it simple, just mailed them out in plain envelopes, but when I got to the post office I saw some stamps that were almost too perfect to pass up. Love the designs. Since I am sort of “setting” my party in late 1947, in the research facility of the military-industrial-complex-gone-postwar the pieces chosen by the USPS actually set the tone fairly well (although I have no idea, off the top of my head, of any piece’s actual date). The color theme actually works out pretty well in my favor as well…
Image from the USPS
And now, to collect all the resources for the research post!
I got back from SATE ’11 on Saturday evening, but I have to admit I am still sort of in recovery mode. A lot of information, a lot to do! And I realized, if there is anyone who didn’t follow my website to this blog, I haven’t introduced myself.
My name is Diane Buchwalder, and I just finished up my undergraduate studies in civil engineering. I am starting grad school for architecture in Hawaii, and my dream job would be some sort of design job like museums or amusement parks. I fell in love with it because of COSI‘s Adventure! exhibit. (That’s the really, really brief version– you can find more at buchd.com.)
At any rate, since engineering seems so isolated, I have spent my post-graduation summer trying to figure out how to get involved in the field. I was directed to the TEA and IAAPA, and recommended to attend SATE ’11. And I have to say, I was not let down in the least.
I am usually pretty introverted and get nervous easily, especially meeting new people or giving presentations or doing interviews or anything like that, but within the first few hours at SATE I felt relaxed, and was actually enjoying myself.
The community is some of the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met. The first few people I met introduced me to others I should get in contact with, and so forth, and everyone was welcoming and fascinating. I was told the community was rather small and tight-knit, and I don’t doubt it. At times it seemed almost like a large group of friends hanging out rather than just a professional conference, and I had an absolute blast.
Part of that, for me, was the information being presented. After five years of engineering (and a very small handful of art history classes), finally being surrounded by what interests me the most– knowing I’m close to finding my niche– made me incredibly happy. (And I have to say, I’ve never been entertained in an engineering lecture before, even when the subject is interesting.) It was also great to be immersed in the field I’m interested in so that I can learn my way around it– I felt like I was learning a whole new language, but now I feel like I have a good start on being able to find my way around. (Not to mention, I think I took about twenty pages of notes, on interesting concepts and new ideas.)
To everyone I met who might be reading this, thank you for everything. For all your help and kindness, and I hope one day soon to be working with you to make the world a much more interesting place!
In the meantime, I had a brainstorm on Halloween plans on the flight home, and the next (probably many) posts are sure to be about the whole planning and design schemes that go into my Halloween projects. Luckily I have a little over a month, there’s a lot to do!
(Bonus secret trick I learned at the conference for all the women out there who don’t have pockets on their outfits: clippy-style nametags are a great place to stash business cards.)
I have to admit that I have a fondness for getting people to enjoy and get involved in science (making it fun is best!). A really good site, for example, is Science for Citizens, who have a long list of projects people can get involved in, but have also reached out to facebook and phone apps to track wildlife sightings and educate users about what they are seeing as well.
So I was excited to see these two stories show up in my news lately;
The first, a story about how gamers were able to determine the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus. Some of the highlights:
…[A] microscope gives only a flat image of what to the outsider looks like a plate of one-dimensional scrunched-up spaghetti. Pharmacologists, though, need a 3-D picture that “unfolds” the molecule and rotates it in order to reveal potential targets for drugs.
This is where Foldit comes in.
Developed in 2008 by the University of Washington, it is a fun-for-purpose video game in which gamers, divided into competing groups, compete to unfold chains of amino acids — the building blocks of proteins — using a set of online tools.
To the astonishment of the scientists, the gamers produced an accurate model of the enzyme in just three weeks.
That is the part that is most interesting to me, that despite how fast computers can crunch numbers and data, there are still some things the human brain can do better (in this case, according to the article, spatial reasoning).
The next one is a bit more fun (although I can’t say I played Foldit, so I wouldn’t know); an “altered-reality” combination app/podcast that encourages you to run, while gaining benefits in-game.
That one I am excited for, because I hate running. I rely a lot on hyping myself up different ways, and I have to say, fast-zombie films are one of them. (Rule #1: Cardio.)
So! Not the best post I’ve ever written, but I’m a bit anxious for my upcoming adventures at SATE 2011! Probably coming up next… putting together the sound effect system for my Halloween costume’s prop.