NORMAN CENTER FOR URBAN FARMING
Design a sustainable and innovative Center for Urban Farming in the heart of downtown Norman, Oklahoma. The proposed center aims to address the growing need for local and sustainable food production, community engagement, and education on urban agriculture practices. The center will serve as a beacon of sustainability and a catalyst for promoting green practices within the urban fabric. Create a multifunctional space that facilitates various urban farming practices, such as vertical farming, rooftop gardens, aquaponics, and hydroponics. The center should support the cultivation of a diverse range of crops while maximizing limited urban space.
WHAT I LEARNED
Balancing the functional needs of complex operations like farming facilities with aesthetic considerations was a challenging yet rewarding task. Incorporating elements like vertical gardens, rooftop farming, and aquaponics systems added a new dimension to my design approach. A large part of my focus on this project was on sustainability. By exploring renewable energy sources, rainwater harvesting techniques, and passive climate control strategies, I witnessed how a building can be both environmentally friendly and economically efficient.
Document and analyze the relationship between an insect and its environment in order to develop an understanding of how distinct and specialized parts make up a whole. Analyze how the insect’s overall form, physical components, and mechanics of movement relate directly to its environment, social hierarchy and purposes of survival.
Having researched the insect’s essence and purpose, use these findings to envision a new type of habitat for the insect that recombines formal, spatial and programmatic conclusions into a brand-new physical outcome.
WHAT I LEARNED
Programming was a very important part of this project. Designing for an insect allowed me to remove implicit bias of what the built environment can be. This is something that at the time seemed annoying but I now recognize allows for designs with more room for abstraction. Of course I learned a lot about my insect and its needs as well. This was critically important too because understanding the user is such an important part of architecture and design in general.
NORMAN EQUINE ASSISTED THERAPY CENTER
Develop a design solution for a compact Equine Assisted Therapy Center for persons with mental, physical, and psychological disabilities. The EATC will be located in Norman, Oklahoma. The Center will offer equine-assisted therapy to individuals looking for solace, whether treating multiple sclerosis, anger management, attention deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. Horses can do wonders to provide peace helping people achieve a sense of calm and wellness. The Center will provide stalls for six horses with adjacent support spaces that host a variety of equine-assisted experiences, including therapeutic riding, horse brushing, and petting.
WHAT I LEARNED
Programming was a very important part of this project. Not only does the design require consideration for people with special needs, but large animals as well. There was a lot of research involved in providing more than adequate accommodations for these groups. Being that this was one of our first explorations into designing real architecture, I also learned a lot about graphic representation and site analysis, as well as structure and designing to embrace it.