Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ferry Mapping

Today I'm going to map the different ferry routes and frequencies throughout the year to show the ebb and flow of the traffic coming in and out of MV. I think I'm going to print the 12 different maps on mylar and present them as overlays to show the network. Or, I've been thinking about making it model somehow too, but I can't figure out how to three-dimensionalize it yet.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Post-Crit Thoughts

We had our first pin-up the other day with Thomas and our secondary advisor John Hartmann. They made some very good points about the direction of my project. I was planning on doing 'affordable housing' for the locals that get displaced every summer. The problem is that solving this problem isn't architectural. The solution has more to do with local policy and land ownership than architecture.

What does interest me is the ebb and flow of people, use, and money throughout the year in these resort towns. The relationship between the two extremes of the seasons and people who live and visit are one of a symbiosis that only work when the two are working together. While the local economies need the high season to make enough money for the rest of the year, a ramification is that places close and the towns offer much less activity for the locals. Most high seasons are 3-4 months long, with many of the businesses (and houses) closed (or open less frequently) during the other 8 months of the year.

What happens to these buildings the rest of the year? How can we use a building that lays dormant in the winter as an infrastructure to a different use and program for the remaining 8 months? For example, in the summer months in Martha's Vineyard, 14 ferry trips run from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs everyday. After the summer, however, the ferry only runs to Vineyard Haven, leaving the Oak Bluffs ferry terminal unoccupied and unused the rest of the year. Maybe a new ferry terminal could be built that uses the qualities of that space to change into something that the locals could benefit from; a winter farmers market or something that facilitates larger gatherings.

Not really this...but a little.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wintersession Update

I guess we've been back in our studio space for 3 weeks now and it's been interesting to see everyone's different processes and ways of getting into their projects. Most people have changed their trajectories slightly (or a lot) since last semester, I being one of them. A lot of the undercurrents are the same, but the actual focus is quite different from what I started with.

Still interested with routines, I've chosen to look at various resort towns because of the semi-annual expansion and contraction of population, economy, and mood of these places. What are the ramifications of these shifts from winter to summer, summer to winter? Specifically, I've been looking at Aspen, CO and Martha's Vineyard, MA and the people who are displaced by the influx of wealthier people (low-income workforce can't afford to live in high-priced resort town). I'm going to be working with Martha's Vineyard for my eventual proposal and am using Aspen as another case study to learn from.

The interesting thing is that the relationship between the locals and the wealthy tourists is not only symbiotic but also parasitic. The high-tourist seasons generate a massive amount of money for both the towns and local people, but also raise housing sales and rental properties making it nearly impossible for the local population to sustain living there, forcing many people to move to bedroom communities.

I've been reading a lot about affordable housing and gentrification, but I'm not entirely sure that is the answer. I've done a few sketches that begin to try to bring two unlikely situations together. For me, these towns have a lot to do with contradiction and contrast. New - old, rich - poor, winter - summer, swollen population - very few people, etc. The sketches below are trying to describe bringing these two worlds together in some way using existing infrastructure from Aspen and MV. You can read into them how you like.

Also, I'm going to MV tonight to spend the weekend there interviewing people, observing, researching, recording, feeling, to see what happens. I'm going to be recording what's open now as opposed to the summer, how people live, what towns offer what, what is necessary, etc. We'll see how it turns out, but I'm very excited to go to Martha's Vineyard with new eyes.