ben brady


just messing around trying to figure this stuff out.


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I am totally into studio but i have to think about other things too.  My thesis is about Digital space in a library.  What happens to the book in the digital age?  It stays relevant of course.  I have been thinking about “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility”  by Benjamin.  What happens to the original when it is put through a machine?  I always think about this.  I mean, I have all these images on the webpage, but the original ones are here with me.   You are just looking at a reproduction of it.  But then again, what if the original is not a hand drawn thing…but rather something that was made for a digital world…a digital file, a website, yada yada.  I just keep thinking about what gets lost in digital world.  I took a picture of my desk, then i put the opened the picture in photoshop, and then took a picture again.  this could go on an infinite number of times.  Each time i took a picture, the ‘original’ will become more and more distorted.  Each time I am putting a slightly different perspective on it.  I did an experiment like this to put in my undergraduate portfolio where i took a picture, printed it, took a picture of that picture, printed it…and so on for about 24 times.   It was crazy how distorted and messed up things got and how quickly.  Anyways, stuff that’s on my mind most of my waking life and some of my unawake life. 

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VENICE 11: Street View

I had my first desk crit of the semester today.  It went well and my teacher really liked this view which I am excited about.  I think it could be compelling as an elevation, to see a string of gables hovering over your head.  So the gables float over the buses.  I remember when I was younger seeing people park cars in their garages and sometimes people would hang tennis balls on a string from the ceiling of the garage and use it as a marker.  They would drive into the garage and when their windshield hit the tennis ball they knew their car was all the way in or in the right place or whatever.  I like the idea of that and I think it would be funny to see a bunch of tennis balls hanging from this thing so that buses didn’t run into it and destroy the archives inside.  The resolution is pretty bad.

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I have to do a thesis.

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Tomorrow is my first desk crit of the semester so I am eager to hear what my teacher thinks of my ideas so far.  He has seen some images and has some concerns about the edges of the building so I made a quick sketch model and put it in the bigger site model to better understand the building in the context of the site/city.  I think it isn’t successful yet, but it was helpful to see it.  Basically the move has been to dissolve  one edge in favor of pedestrian circulation in the middle.  I realized today that I was thinking about this as a bus station, which it is, but I was just sort of thinking how the buses would move through the site and how a building could sort of weave around that existing condition.  This kid in my class called Andre was thinking that the buses are sort of imovable object and even goes as far as to poche them on his sections solid.  It is very interesting and smart.  But, I was thinking about the circulation of the buses and not enough of the pedestrian.  Basically, a HUGE amount of people park in that massive building next to mine each day.  They need to get to Venice to work, so the strongest axis in the project should be from that garage through the site into the city.  So, this is the center of my building and at that point it becomes a walkable/drivable roof.  It is late, and i am not making sense.  Too many late nights in a row.   Here are some pictures.

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I can never resist throwing like LEDs or rope lights, or flourescents, or in this case, glow sticks into a model.

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I started making models this weekend.  I re-designed my project so that the roof becomes the building itself.  I haven’t figured out the plan or sections very much yet, but basically I identified the center of the site as a really important axis for pedestrians and I didn’t want to ignore it  Before, there was just one/sort of tenuous connection to the train station, but also, what is very important are the flows between the parking garage and the rest of Venice.  SO, the center of the site is the sort of flat part now and either side cants up to shelter the buses and create elevated spaces.  It’s important to me that the program of the bus station and the program of the digital archive are completely blurred, so the building now is one system that is the structure, the spanning element, the roof, the floor, and the archive/bus station.  Before, I had sort of a shitty little thing slid under a roof that was too thin.  I like this more…lots to go though.

I went to my favorite store in Boston called Altec Plastics.  They basically have every kind of plexi glass you could want.  I hadn’t been there in a really long time because i was in Paris last semester but when I went in, the woman behind the counter smiled and said “Ben!! Where have you been!?”  It is sort of like cheers.  It was really sweet and nice and a bit sad because that means over the last couple years I must have spent a fortune there.  I think I am putting Mr. and Mrs. Altec’s kids through school!  Anyways, I got some milk plex and black plex and the idea was to make my structure in black and the covering in milk.  That way if i lit it from above, it would appear opaque, but if I put a light in it or under it, the structural ribs would shine through.  It works sort of, but i am using too thick of a plexi glass for this scale model (1:250) so I had trouble folding and bending it where I wanted too.  So I just flattened the design and made the model more of a diagram…leaving some areas unsheathed to show the structure below.  It isn’t ideal, but hopefully later this week i will make it again but with some kind of vellum or paper that is thinner and easier to work with.  I had to heat the plexi glass with a heat-gun and sort of drape it over the ribs…a bit annoying and sloppy.

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