Semester 1; Studio 1 Final Project

The project I’m choosing to describe is my Integrative Studio 1 final project. The assignment was to create either a project related to architecture/constructed environments, interior design, fashion design, or illustration and make a connection to fake, doppelganger, or an imposter. I chose to create a project in the architecture category, having to do with the concept of fake. My original idea while I thought about this was to create a sort of house or building that has initial green features part of it that aren’t necessarily green.

Something interesting I learned about architecture while gathering information for my project was the concept of “greenwashing” and how common it was. Greenwashing is basically making a a building, structure, or a home, appear as though it is “green” and environmentally friendly through its aesthetics, when in reality, it is not. It shocked me to see how many companies were continuing with this sense of fraud in the design world and how greenwashing was being distributed all because for money and financial issues. That led me to the idea of creating a project that holds many elements of this fraud to show how unnoticeable greenwashing can be.

Some ideas I had for creating the structure was to use cardboard for the material and cut pieces out with the help of an exacto knife. My plan for putting it all together consisted of using scotch tape to tape the inside of the walls together to give it a 3-dimensional appeal, yet being hidden from the outside of the exterior. Some things I got to give this building the “green appeal” was some thing paper-like material to put on the outside to represent grass.


Once I talked to my professor and some classmates about my plan, I realized what an emerging idea this was. After doing much research on upcoming “green” buildings, I found a structure that looked aesthetically pleasing and gave me an idea for my project. I found an article online mentioning how NYU had plans to tear down their old gym to replace it with a new one to fit all their general needs. When I saw the gyms renderings, I couldn’t help but notice how contemporary and progressive it looked, yet it mentioned nothing about it having any green features.

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The aesthetic structure gave me the idea to produce something similar to it with green exterior, features, etc. I quickly drew out some sketches to help portray my idea of how to make this building look like an imposter. I sketched different shaped buildings with green exterior features from buildings such as the New School University Center. Below are some of my original sketches.

After coming up with a few features that deemed to display the greenwashing look I’d been going for, my professor advised me to research more about the inside of greenwashing and come up with other features that may not be visible from the exterior of the building, but still breaking the rules of having these “green features” and by breaking the rules of the LEED instructions. After finding multiple site links that gave clear evidence about buildings that were using greenwashing, I decided to create a building in order to use my fake-imposter concept to the fullest. Some features that I had in mind while sketching out ideas for my building were the use of solar panels, grass green roofs, reusable glass for the exterior, and many other ideas.

At a certain point in the process, I only had a few exterior ideas to convey my use of greenwashing. To increase my knowledge and my point of greenwashing, I looked up the list of requirements that makes a “green” building green. Under the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) website, I found multiple examples that make a building green and how I could distribute these into my building. Some examples include reducing drinkable water usage near plant life or on project site & using recycled water/captured rainwater to reduce irrigation/eliminate irrigation (water effiency), using existing interior non-structural elements (interior walls, doors, floor coverings and ceiling systems) in at least 50% of the building (materials & resources), and keeping the lights on during a day and night span to show how the buildings open all night.

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After much time, work, and observation, I finally got to display my project and its meaning. My projects thesis basically portrays a current day greenwashing building trying to look environmentally friendly and beneficial when it is actually doing the opposite. With my project having a lot of evidence of greenwashing, I think my project turned out to be successful by conveying a persuasive meaning that really changes peoples vision or idea of what they think of architecture and current environmental issues.

AIGA & MoMa Research and Response

While visiting the AIGA & the MoMa museum, I noticed a lot of architecture drawings that were made using pencil or ink medias drawn on simple paper. Something interesting about these sketches was how these designs were so simple and could’ve even been rough drafts for even other projects. There was a lot of contemporary art in both museums, and the pieces definitely seemed very cutting edge and up to date.

During my visit the AIGA museum, I found that much of the stuff was very impressionable and did not follow a certain scale, yet it had a certain aesthetic quality that appealed to me. One part of the gallery that I really liked were the ink drawings of the Capital building a few other architecture firms. I liked how they were drawn out so casually, yet they still really good and interesting to look at. Another piece I liked was a portrait of a up-to-date church in China that sits inside a modernized skyscraper. I thought the idea of that was very introspective and advanced.

School of Athens

In this photo, our group conveyed our ideas of what we thought the School of Athens painting meant in our own setup of objects. Since we thought this painting describes the differences between people of different classes and occupation, we created an assortment of objects ranging from lower class to high class. As you see in the picture we made, we put more of the upper class materials, such as the lingerie piece, the wine glasses, Victoria’s secret bag, and the whole foods bag, on the top/middle staircases to represent how the philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists were known as the “upperclass” of their time. In the bottom of our picture, we have dirty shoes, a Metra card, empty plastic cups, and a broom.

Significant Object Peer to Peer – The Stuffed Bunny

1) My partner selected this stuffed rabbit as her object because she values it substantially on an emotional level. It defines her  life in Milan,  representing her family and friends, as well as her hometown. It is valuable to her because she got it an a very young age, and it stood next to her throughout her childhood. The object stands as a breaking point between Michela’s childhood and adulthood since she came to the U.S. without it, while it lies in her bed right now back in Milan.

2) I find the that the most inspirational part of this object is how it has gotten Michela to want to expand her horizon and make more memories with new friends in new setting. I feel that having that sort of object is very beneficial for ones mental health. That is why my goal in replicating this piece is to make it more beneficial for not only Michela, but also for me or anyone else who can  benefit from the aspiration boost.

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4) For my replication process, I’m choosing to sketch out replications of the stuffed bunny. The bunny will be drawn sitting on top of a blanket that has many copies of the bunny printed on it. By doing this, I’ll be showing how the bunny can be pictured in few different ways, which can relate to how something can be attached to something valuable like blanket. The printed bunnies on the blanket replicate how the bunnies stay with Michela through hard times.

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6) Make. Revise. Finalize.


Trojan Horse Self Portrait

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For my Trojan Horse Project, I chose to design a human heart constructed with construction paper and wiring. The reason I made this heart was because I wanted to show how something can look and be depicted in multiple ways. The reason I chose to make the heart blue was to represent a mix of bitterness and nostalgia, connecting to self memories and past-traumatic experiences. I used a thick construction paper to represent the bland and passive result of someones heart can due to chemicalized reactions over time. The wrapped wire depicts a sense of seclusion as well as self-protection. Inside the heart, I put layers of red see-through paper to show the little sentimentality, sensativity, and aspiration thats left. And finally, I connected all of this together using cheap plastic tape to show how some things can be pasted onto you over time. It also shows how fake pieces of the heart can be added on, making this heart an imposter.

The connection I made between the heart an the imposter is how the heart can go through much emotion and experience, yet it could still have its soft side. On the exterior, you see a poorly crafted heart, as the result of much experience. But in the inside, which is not very visible, there is still  some warmth tied together to show that even a a wounded heart can still have a good side, making it a good heart.