Friday, August 31, 2012

4 Years & 10 Days later

4 years in the Big Apple was an adventure to say the least. Saw and did a lot of things, but most importantly I met some awesome people. Playing football and joining a frat introduced me to a bunch of good people and some of my best friends. My best friend Shea Selsor (not in the image above) came from a small town in Ohio (Piqua). Not going to lie, the guy was weird and awkward at first. I mean, when your town population is as the same size to the school your going too it can get overwhelming. Aside from eating salami sticks meat sticks regularly, being the messiest person ever and thinking the state of Ohio is the greatest place on earth, Shea was an awesome friend. Smart guy and awkwardly funny. Will Claunch aka Pirate aka SoFlo was another guy me and Shea hung out a lot with freshman year. The guy is all about his fishing with Gary (a 4 pound little dog), Kentucky Basketball and listening to  reggae. Claunch hated New York from day 1, and to be honest we all did to an extent. Me and Claunch always told Shea we left Paradise to come to a Concrete Jungle. Guys like Karson Bodnovich, David Chao, Mark Muston, Nick Mistretta, Bob House, Nico Papas, Ben Popeck, and Pete Holst-Grubbe were people I hung out with the most and we all really became brothers. Visiting each others home towns and living under the same roof was an awesome experience. From the Frat parties, to watching NFL games and exploring the city, these guys made bad times good and good times bad (Just ask Will about our last night on our Spring Break trip and the next morning at the airport). Over the 4 years I met incredible people outside my brothers like Donia Abdelaziz. Hailing from Egypt, me and her had an awesome dynamic relationship, which included daily debates over Rihanna and Beyonce and me telling her LA is better than New York. She is truly an awesome person and I am happy for all the success she has. Working currently at Ralph Lauren, I learned a lot from her and always appreciated the insightful conversations we had about politics, music and fashion (which must of the time she would school me on) But people like her is what made Columbia an awesome place, even though I am happy I am home.  I saw Yankee, Mets and Jets games, partied at some of the best clubs and lounges, attended concerts, ate some awesome food, and toured all 5 boroughs. I've had some bad and good times (everyone did), but the past 4 years really did measure and tested me as a person, and now I continue into the next phase of my life with the lessons I learned and the friends I made.

(L: Senior Day, R: 1st Bday in NY. I wish I can remember most of it lol) 

(L: Frat Composite, R: Pre-gaming at out house before a Sorority Formal)

(L: Pre-Game party before out Spring Concert, R: "40's on Forty" Senior Tradition)

(L: Last Frat Formal, R: Columbia College Senior Dinner)
(L: Gradaution, R: Me and Will)
(L: Me, Shea & Will decorating our X-mas tree freshman yr., R: Mother's Day 2012 in NY)
(L: Me and my mom at Yankee Stadium, R: Me & teammates modeling for GQ)
(L: Watching Wiz perform at Spring Concert 2010, R: Frat Formal tribute for Shea)

(L: All-nighter in the Architecture studio, R: front row for the Rihanna concert @ MSG)

(L: Arch class on top of the Arch Building, R: Celebrating a win!)
(L: Best formation in football, R: Watching Obama and McCain speak in 2008) 
(L: @ Yankee w/ my cousin watching Chelsea FC play, R: Frat Formal in 2009)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Arch+Details: Staircases

In my Arch+Details series I will be breaking down architecture to its functional elements, such as staircases, doors/gates, windows, furniture and many more. This past week I have had the urge to really study and analyze the components that make this art form possible. My first entry is staircases. Now, the purpose of this is not really to post images and list the designer or the architect who did it (you can always post a comment and ask who did which piece), but rather to allow the imagination run wild and see how a simple concept like a staircase is interpreted differently in material use, purpose and design. There have been a few articles written about staircases and what they mean. Back in antiquity, staircases were monumental and were reflections of political power and religious imagery. The pyramids of Meso-America included 4 exterior staircases that were steep to resemble the long rigorous path to reach salvation into heaven. At the top of these pyramids were either small temples or shrines in which people were sacrificed to satisfy the Gods, or for a moment of prayer to bring prosperity to the civilization. Nowadays, monumental staircases are inside/outside museums and large governmental and educational buildings. Functionally, staircases are a point of access connecting different levels of the structure. A lot of architects see staircases as the heart of the building; And I completely agree. Staircases are more than just access points, they have grown a social function as well. The high percentage of traffic flow allows for individuals to cross paths and interact. Some staircase designs incorporate a double use as either a ramp, slide (yes, I said slide. See image below), book case and landing platforms to relax on. And the concept of the staircase does not just stop at the actual structure of it, but also urban planning has adopted the staircase as a model for towns and cities (see image below). At times, the shape of a structure, or just a portion of it, is heavily influenced and dictated by the staircase. They come in different sizes, shapes, design, materials and usage, which amazes me how something so simple can truly be astonishing and captivating when completed. Some of the designs below either create an intimate moment and blend with the rest of the architecture, or it resembles an aggressive tension with the rest of the house/building. Check the images below and let me know what you think! Some of these images are incredible!


Wood Double-Stairc




Bottom of the staircase keeps the continuity intact