Today we received our design brief. After two weeks of analysis, without any hint of a direction towards design, it was a relief to finally discover what my final project of undergraduate was going to be. Before being assigned to the specific projects, I too was laughing with the rest of the class when “A House for a Nomad” was introduced. But now that I’ve been assigned to it, I find myself to be unusually ecstatic to begin.

I have never been excited by a project to the extent that it distracts me from the rest of my life. Sure, I’ve sacrificed my spare time to be in the studio before, but that has been out of necessity not choice. I could be socialising tonight. Most from my class are celebrating the launch of the brief by painting the town a nice shade of beige, but my mind is excited about something and will not allow me to focus on anything else.

Every aspect of the brief excites me. Recently, I have been researching psychology in architecture and I cannot imagine a client with a more interesting mindset than a nomad. As an introvert myself, I feel I could sympathise with the nomadic lifestyle a fair amount, with additional interests in material technology and sustainability – two aspects of this project that will be key. With the brief fulfilling everything I could ask of a project, this really is make or break time. If I cannot ace this project, then it might be time I realised architecture is not be for me.

In the coming weeks, I will be tasked with developing a complete comprehension of the nomadic lifestyle. I will be doing a lot of reading around the subjects of nomads and psychology in order to fully understand the effect this intervention will have on its inhabitants and the surrounding context. I will attempt to the evolve the form of the building holistically as I go: developing a full understanding of the site and the way materials will sit in it.

My reaction to the brief was to work on a series of collages that attempt to capture the atmosphere I would like to design. The brief describes the issue with mass housing developing pop-up buildings designed to last 20-50 years, and how the Nomad’s Rest will provide a more permanent and adaptable alternative to this wasteful practice. My initial thoughts were an impenetrable cave with carefully placed light shafts shaping the interior space.

Cave Collage

I look forward to Thursday when we get to meet our tutors, to get a better impression of what is expected for this project.


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