On our last day of class, we were able to attend the 3rd year's final studio critique. They presented two projects--one individual project on a new section to Central Regional Hospital and a group project for a mixed use space in downtown Durham. The individual project focused on designing a new center for the psychiatric ward of the hospital. They were to create spaces for the boys, girls, children, as well as communal areas. It was very interesting to see each designers individual approach and inspiration for the space. Some were inspired by the seasons while others were inspired by shapes and colors. I was incredibly impressed with the caliber of work presented for this project; however, the verbal presentation for some was lacking. Being able to "sell" your work is an important part of being a designer, and it just seemed that it was less natural for some.
The mixed use space in downtown Durham project was very interesting to me as it is an excellent example of the type of design work I really want to be doing. With my background in historic preservation, it was interesting to see how the designers chose to design the new space in the old building. The building is to have a wine bar/commercial space on the first floor and residential space on the second and third floor. This group project was very impressive as well as each design presented a variety of resolutions to the space. Overall, I felt the work spoke louder than the presenters, but in general I was very impressed.