Laser Cutting with an Architecture Student
Hey Morgan nice to meet you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My real name is ZIMING YE, Morgan is my english name. I came from China, a city called ShenZhen near HongKong. Right Now I am studying Architecture(Second Year) at Pratt Institute. I learned art for almost 10 years, I was gonna study fine art or interior design, but after I talked to my teacher, studying architecture is better for my future and I really enjoy spending time on design and making models.
What's your most recent project?
I had a final project for school that asked us to build a hypothetical kindergarten room in Staten Island. The goal is to incorporate all the things that we learned throughout the semester such as space, ventilation, sunlight and environment.
How did you prepare for it?
First, i needed to study other existing kindergarten rooms. Their relationship with the environment is also very important
Next, I started creating modules. Modules, in architecture, are basically different blocks that are used to represent different objects of different proportions and sizes.
I kind of think of them as lego blocks that you can play around with. They are great because you can solve a complex problem by starting small, rather than building the whole thing right away. You can mix and match different modules so you can test their relationship with the site(ground). It also helps with thinking about circulation or how people inside the building can move around. The most important part is that it helps me think about creating a system that is centered around the users, which are the children.
I started sketching once I've finalized all my modules.
What was the idea behind creating stacks or steps to build your model?
It was actually my professor's idea. (laughs) Contour, as we call it, creates an illusion of a wider space.
What was the process like?
It took about 1 week to finish 2 models. It was all laser cut and the materials used is foam core.
What was the biggest challenge?
Assembling the larger model because it's too big. Jerry and Ray helped a lot. There were times when I needed to laser cut in NYC until 1 am and they stayed with me. I think they're really nice but I also think they didn't want me to accidentally burn down their studio.(laughs)
Thoughts on the finished product?
I really like the twisting. Everything is curved. I think the children might like it as they have the space to run around.
It's only your second year but you come up with incredible work already. What would you like to improve on as you get more experience in this field? (If any)
Sometimes, when I have an idea I just go with it without weighing other options that might be better. I have to work with a purpose, not just do things without thinking about it.
Any last piece of advise to those who are thinking of pursuing an Architecture degree?
Don't do it. I'm serious. (laughs) Working on this project, I spent 2 days with no sleep and 3-4 days with only 5 hours of sleep. It was a nightmare. But I like it. I love it. If you're going to do it for the money don't do it.