As this will be my last blog post, I’d like to reflect on what I have learned about systems, sites, and building over this past semester.  When I came to the first class I wasn’t ready for what was in store.  All of a sudden the room was in complete silence and darkness, and we were being told to become conscious of our breathing, of our surroundings, and of the little things we normally overlook.  Looking back, that exercise set the tone for the rest of the semester, a semester in which I came to notice and understand the numerous systems at work in my environment.  When walking through my own house, Campbell Hall, and any other building I frequent I have now become aware of things like ventilation, natural lighting, and climate.  I can recognize the complex systems at work in my everyday life, similar to the workings of the web of stocks, flows, and feedback loops in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Most of all, I have come to think about my studio work in terms of integrating the use of light, ventilation, temperature, and the like, which has helped this semester in 301, but will further impact my work for the rest of my time here at the University and throughout my long career (hopefully) as an architect.  Instead of designing first and fitting these factors in later, I can now put the two together, and use what I have learned this semester through the entire design process, from diagrams to finished models.

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