a room built for a bench

When I was an architecture student, I spent a lot of time building scale models out of bass wood, cardboard, thick paper, foamcore, metal, and whatever else I might find that worked at about one-quarter inch to one foot. Eventually, I also spent a lot of time creating 3D models with software. These photos show one of my favorite projects, designed the old-fashioned way, from my third year of undergraduate school. First, we were tasked with designing a piece of furniture, and then we designed a room around the piece of furniture. I designed a modern bench shown in the photo above against the wall on the right. The bench was actually built at full size, and it was constructed of square, metal tube which was drilled and bolted together, and sanded, pale pine boards were bolted to the metal frame. The piece included a level for sitting, a small tabletop level, and a lower shelf. In designing the space around this piece, the use of levels and metal framework were repeated.

The wall opposite the entry wall with the bench was an existing, curved wall which was squared-off on the interior with a sculptural framework of thin pieces of metal and wood.

stages of bamboo

Several years ago, we began the project of choosing plants for our property. Basically, the front yard is very sunny and is planted with cacti, succulents, and Mediterranean palms, and the back is shady and is planted with big-leaved things like banana plants, a loquat tree, sago palms, and bamboo. Our goal was to add privacy at the very back of the property with a wall of clumping-style bamboo. Also, along the west side of the property next to our house, we planted a second wall of clumping-style bamboo for shade and privacy.

The bamboo grew well for several years. We did achieve our goals of privacy and shade.

Even the butterflies that migrate through Austin in the fall enjoyed our bamboo.

Then, last winter happened. We had a few days of the coldest weather anyone had ever experienced in Austin. Our tall bamboo died back to the ground. The plants are still alive, but they’re having to start over with tiny, new growth like brand new plants. We had to remove all the dead stalks, and each time we cut down another piece, I had new ideas as to how to put it to use. I was determined to work with the bamboo in some creative fashion and make something lasting from all this material that we had grown.

I became interested in the cross-sections of the bamboo pieces. Each piece is slightly unique from all the others. Some are bigger, smaller, thicker, flatter on one side, etc.

Check back to see what becomes of all these little pieces of bamboo as I continue to work with them.

site redesign

For the redesign of my site, I wanted to present three main categories of work on the homepage. Each of three categories would occupy a big square, and the squares would sit next to each other horizontally in the main content area of the homepage. There would be a heading for each, and I wanted a way to add some information for each category that would appear on a mouseover. I had in mind a banner that would animate in on a rollover and disappear when the mouse moved away. Based on a demo I found here, I was able to create the desired effect.


This is the big square for the work category.

And, the banner that appears on a mouseover.

The script that I revised as needed:

<script type="text/javascript">

	$(".cwhm_work a").hover(function() {
"show", top: "110"}, "slow");
	}, function() {
"hide", top: "140"}, "fast");


And, the html:

<div class="cwhm_work">
		<p><a href="work.htm"><img src="images/trans.gif">
</a> <span>Samples of professional work in art direction, graphic 
design, and web design.</span></p>

The heading is an h1 styled to sit above the margin of the box. The background, border, and shadow are applied to the div containing the link and banner text. The link is a transparent gif that is sized to fit the full area of the square. The banner text is set to display: none, and the animate function is applied to the linked image on a hover. When the mouse enters the square, the function shows the text and the background applied to the banner text.

See the demo version of this page.

farm photos

For whatever reason, when I was in college and graduate school, I always used slide film. I was sorting through some boxes of old slides the other day and found the ones shown here. These were taken at my grandparents’ farm in Illinois in the winter of 1993.

Most of my old slides are of architectural scale models from school projects or urban locations of proposed sites for those projects. Then, there were these random, rural, farm scenes with the cold, grey sky. I’d almost forgotten life before digital cameras, so as soon as I found these slides, I scanned them.