Coffee Sketch Podcast

102 - Abstract Realities

September 09, 2022 Kurt Neiswender/Jamie Crawley Season 4 Episode 102
Coffee Sketch Podcast
102 - Abstract Realities
Show Notes Transcript

Thank you for listening. We both hope that you enjoyed this episode of Coffee Sketch Podcast. Our Theme music is provided by my brother who goes by @c_0ldfashioned on Instagram and Twitter. Our podcast is hosted at coffeesketchpodcast.com find more show notes and information from this episode. And finally, if you liked this episode please rate us on iTunes and share us with your friends! Thank you!


Buy us a Coffee! Support the Show!


https://www.buymeacoffee.com/coffeesketch


Music on the Show


CNEIS - https://cneis.bandcamp.com/

c_0ldfashioned - https://www.instagram.com/c_0ldfashioned/ 

Compilation - https://triplicaterecords.bandcamp.com/track/cneis-more-or-less 


Our Links


Follow Jamie on Instagram  - https://www.instagram.com/falloutstudio/ 

Follow Kurt on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/kurtneiswender/ 

Kurt’s Practice - https://www.instagram.com/urbancolabarchitecture/ 


Coffee Sketch on Twitter - https://twitter.com/coffeesketch 

Jamie on Twitter - https://twitter.com/falloutstudio 

Kurt on Twitter - https://twitter.com/kurtneiswender 


On the Web


Website - www.coffeesketchpodcast.com

Kurt’s Practice - www.urbancolab.design 

Contact Me - info@urbancolab.design 

NFT Artwork - https://hicetnunc.art/urbancolab 


Coffee Sketch Podcast is on YouTube for extended cuts and more visual content of Jamie’s beautiful sketches. Please consider subscribing!


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_lQkY3-OqmHaTl_jdOgtvw 


Kurt’s Practice Urban Colab Architecture, shares about the practice of architecture and is also on YouTube. Please Subscribe to: 


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuMXvvQXgrQIVE1uJ8QHxsw 


Tags


In situ, art, architecture, sketching, coffee, coffee sketch, podcast, coffee sketch podcast, what an architect does, design, design thinking, drawing, buildings, building sketches, sketches, pen, paper, sketchbook, coffee stains, watercolor, pencil sketches, markers, black and white, architects, architecting, ink sketch, ink drawing, cafe sketch, cafe sketching, urban sketching 

Support the show
Kurt:

morning, Jamie, how are you? Morning? How are you? Oh, increase in, well we've, we've reached a hundred episodes. Yes. And now we're starting into the next 100. Next 100. That's why I

Jamie:

feel like I just, I can't turn on the lights in the house. No, I'm just kidding. So

Kurt:

why is, why is it, is it too hot or you wanna, yes. Well, it is

Jamie:

very hot. Yeah.

Kurt:

the, well, I figured, we start 1 0 1 off with some formality, formalness formalness and a new, a new, prop DS. So I have, I think I showed you this before my 3d printed towel that I thought was fun as the first print on my 3d printer, but they see how long what they seem. It's not what it seems and we'll see how long it sits up there. And hopefully, if we, I would even, I would even entertain a comment on YouTube that says, take that damn owl off the microphone, cuz it's outta focus. I, I'm gonna challenge somebody to just say something about it. buried in the clip. Yeah. Cause we have, we have listeners and, and Watchers and lurkers and Splunkers and I'm sure they're out there, out there. So anyway, this is to all the fans and all the fans that have that know the inside joke of the.

Jamie:

Yeah. And, and, and the fact that they're, they've been with us for a hundred and, and years to the next, cheers to cheers to the next. yeah. So what's what, what's the coffee of the day today?

Kurt:

Well, I ran out, I had to drop Daniel off to, she's gonna sell cheese with her sister. So I suppose that makes her a monger for the day. So at the farmer's market and next to the cheese shop is their, my favorite coffee spot called Penn's cafe. And, I actually didn't ask what they I'd have to take a guess, but I, I just got a large coffee and they, they only use, rootless, our local Flint guys. So, I gotta imagine it is probably the, the dam fine cup of coffee, which would tie into our owl.

Jamie:

I think that's appropriate. Yeah. Probably just pulled you in, just go with that.

Kurt:

what about you? Yeah,

Jamie:

I I'm, I I'm having the Austin local QA

Kurt:

coffee that was Cuba. The, the. QA. Yeah. Mm-hmm yeah. You you've had some other stuff before.

Jamie:

Oh yeah. Yeah. This is, this is, this is their dark roast. they, they call it west pole. and it's, it, but it's a smoother, dark roast. A lot of, a lot of dark roast can be kind of a little bit bitter mm-hmm or on the bitter side, which I don't mind necessarily. but yeah, lately I've, I've, I've been having like. Sort of a, a run of lighter roast coffees. I don't know why. Maybe it's maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's in my brain. but had this, on the shelf and, and decided that, it would be nice to have a, a much darker, richer kind of roast for today. Cool.

Kurt:

That's a nice little bag too. It's got a nice color.

Jamie:

Oh yeah, yeah. They're branding it. Their branding is, yeah, their branding's pretty nice. gotta say, yeah,

Kurt:

smell this coffee. Yeah. Oh, is that like the little, yeah, it's the little,

Jamie:

little thing. Yeah. The little thing in the back. Yeah.

Kurt:

The, the mystery mystery plastic,

Jamie:

we just

Kurt:

cool, man. So, There's a lot of thoughts I've had since creating or, posting our hundredth episode. And it's just been all positive and fun just to think about that. You've you and I have done this actually, and we've gotten a few comments from friends on Twitter and, Instagram or where, whatever in passing, and actually I've even crossed paths with some people that I didn't even think were listening. and I'll, I can't remember exactly. But, the word is getting out there. People are aware of what we're doing and we're having fun. And, and that's, I think the, the key, and so I'm gonna start off, before we were, we were kind of before recording, we were warming up and maybe just catching up on life and going through ups and downs and different, Maybe highlights and low lights might have had a little chip on chips, chip chips on chips, on shoulders. It's pretty even. Yeah, you look,

Jamie:

I think we're, we're all set

Kurt:

but it's just been fun to do this. So I, I just wanted to say, thanks again, cuz we're now recording 101 and we'll just keep going. Yeah, one,

Jamie:

one day, one day we will reveal the, the, underlying motivation for all this. I'm just kidding. There's there is no underlying motivation for this that's subluminal yeah, we might have a, we might have a contest in our own brains of, that we're, it's you gotta gotta chase the, Chase that goal. Right, right. but no, it, it, I, I, thank you as well. it's, I've, I've noticed a couple, and have received a couple comments from folks as well. where, and everybody really keys on the fact that, yeah, it's two friends talking about art, architecture, catching up pop culture. and, and we, we enjoy. So, this is, this is supposed to be fun. Yeah.

Kurt:

Thanks. And, it actually, it causes me to think too about, some new people we can invite on and talk about their sketches, which we haven't done in a little while. And, there's some friends and friends of friends that I think would be. Some interesting, future, future, collaborators. So we'll, we'll have to brainstorm on that. a little, we have to do a little work note to self Yeah. Well, it's a recorded notes and that it's, it's forever now.

Jamie:

so

Kurt:

let's talk some sketches. Yeah, let's do it. So I have, oops. I, let's see, here we go. Let me zoom in. So we've got we, we decided we'll start with this, which is really, a fun one. And we have a, another one we're gonna try and jump to two and do it pretty quick. Right. So tell me about this. I mean, you've hashed levering. And, an interesting little garden plan and also, adjacent to a, nice little silhouette of a, of a house or a small structure there. So, where's this one coming from.

Jamie:

this is a real project. that's actually, this is one of those moments that I just, I wanted to share kind of in the, in the spirit of, 1 0 1 for our episodes, and sort of these little projects that could, and these kind of brainstormed ideas that you're not really sure when you sort of send it off into the world, whether or not, anybody's gonna listen or like it. Or enjoy it or appreciate it. and in this particular case, this is a small project, which is actually, it's a small intervention, but a really big project, in, in terms of impact, potentially for, at least of importance for this community. so this is a small town, just east of Austin. ELGAN Texas. and they're known for, brick manufacturing. They have a large brick manufacturing plant. they're part of the Acme family now. And, but the, a lot of, a lot of these towns would grow up around the rail. and so the building, the silhouette that you see in the background is actually their, historic railway. Okay. now, now turned into a museum, but it's, it's a, kind of a nice little, one story, typical wood construction, low slung building, kind of at the intersection of the railroad tracks, kind of that crisscross through town. but at this location, this Depot is, is at the edge of main street, kind of the edge of their historic district. It's a national register district. and. The city is about to, celebrate its sesquicentennial mm-hmm And so, as part of that, a lot of public dollars, a lot of public interest, has gone into, different aspects of infrastructure and, to, kind of get the city. and also to sort of see the city into the future. they've got a lot of development come coming out of Austin, into their, into their community. And so there's a lot of, lot of great projects going on, in and around town. And, and then they have this wonderful event coming up. And so the city, saw it as a design opportunity, to have a time capsule. no matter how you feel about time capsules as a concept, I have no idea. Don't ask me what they're putting in it. Cause I don't know but, they, they approached me and asked me if, if I would help them, cite a location for the time capsule. as well as, kind of what is that space gonna look like? and they had some initial ideas and yeah, I shared here as sort of, it took me a while, and took me, in con conversation with some other designers that I work with, to iterate kind of some concepts, of how do you create a public space with something that's super special? It's almost like a Memorial mm-hmm but, at the same time, it's, you don't. create a space that nobody goes to and enjoy. so I imagined, just as, as a designer might, if a busload of school kids or a family were coming to this museum and, or guests, or just a, people on a date and they encountered a space that had a really intricate pattern on the ground and a little bit of whimsy, What would that do would they, would they stay a little while? Would they read a plaque? and so there was, played with some, some abstract patterns, did a lot of, sketches sort of in, abstracting, the landscape figure, field exercises, all the architecture kind of terminology. And then, didn't like any of it, frankly. and then. kind of walked away from him for a minute and then came back and thought, what about like a, what, if this was sort of like a secret garden and, and that kind of got me on this kind of idea of English labyrinths, and, and that was that sort of unlocked, kind of where this sketch was.

Kurt:

Oh, that's cool. I, I mean, I think that's a good point about the process, right? Sometimes there's. You gotta go through the Mo the, not the motions, but the, the, just the, the process through sketching or, the tech technical site plan strategizing. And then, you move through all that. And then you, the, the concept emerged, so it was like the, the center is where are they gonna bury the, the time capsule? I, that's kind of neat. what's interesting is the, you. No. In, in 100, we were talking about the, the memory marks space, which has a similar sort of tipping or this, this ellipse or curving, bench wall. And it seems like there's maybe some influence in your space with, with the, the sort of. Elevation change of the, the, the wall, the bench and the floor and the, and, and then I assume in integrating, brick as a material from a local, local recognition or local histor, historical, business presence, business of the, yeah. So actually

Jamie:

it's yeah, no, you're, you're, you're, you're spot on. and, and, and thanks for, thanks for pointing that out. Cause that's it's it really was, it was, it was clearly an influence, that, that space in Richmond that our, excuse me, in, in Charlottesville that I saw on the, on my Richmond trip, it it's, obviously a very, very different space, for a very, very different purpose. But it, it is sort of about gathering, and, and those kind of gathering spaces, there's some natural geometries to that. and then the subtlety of the move that they did to integrate it into that landscape, gave me a clue here with a struggle that I was having in terms of citing this, the, the way the building, the Depot is positioned it's off grid. to the rest of downtown and because of the rail lines and sort of the, the edge of downtown that it sits on. And so there's some interesting pie pieces of landscape area that are basically decomposed granite. There's nothing in there. There's no benches, there's no plants. There's like a sign. and that's it. And so there were sort of two natural spots, the one where you're seeing it here in the sketch. And then the one that I really liked, which was on the back side of the building. a much larger space. And, because I felt like if, if you had a patio or a Plaza space back there, or a Piazza space back there, it would really integrate well with the interior of the building. I could imagine, the inside and outside being activated in a, in a really special way with the backdrop of rail rail lines behind, but in talking to the. the folks there, it, it, it, that really wasn't gonna be feasible. it, it would, it would really, miss the opportunity to celebrate it at the front door of the building mm-hmm and their, their fear was that it would be almost forgotten about, and it really would become that sort of secret garden that everybody forgot about. and, and I think in this case, I, I was, kind of happy. They kind of forced me into kind of rethinking the front door here, but in dropping that circle so that it sort of drops, as it, as it moves around the arc and drops the, the brick, changes in elevation and, and really starts to reengage the ground playing, it really is sort of this subtle nod to. Okay. Maybe I can walk out of this space and back into that, future secret garden, that maybe they'll develop, as, as a, as another Piazza space or, at some

Kurt:

later date. Yeah. Well, I think that's, that's great. I mean, that's a really smart move and, and, and also potential to allow the, the experience or the occupant to, to. Their own function, make their own, move through the space or, use it in their way. At least you're thinking in that potential.

Jamie:

So, well you have to listen and, and, and I think that the, when one part of this to leave on is that, come December, this is gonna be built. You're gonna be burying a capsule. So that's

Kurt:

yeah. Cool. Yeah. That's great. Yeah. We'll, we'll have to follow back up on that. Because we have, only a few more months till then, so yeah. Whereas you can probably dig holes in Texas in the winter, unlike Michigan. Yeah, right. So, well we were all, we, we wanted to plan to talk also about this, which is maybe visually not, a good segue, but however, chronologically it, it sort of shows maybe the. The left brain, right brain or, two, two, two sides to, to Jamie's two pages to Jamie's sketchbook, I guess, is, is a pun But the, is a fun one for me, cuz I always like the, when, when you, when you make these, sort of abstractions and they, they reminisce a lot of, My undergraduate day is like, soaking in Morphosis, monographs and things like that. Tom main drawings and so on and, or everything from their office, but, especially like these sort of, sort of arcing web shapes that are somehow, I don't know, there's something, I can't, I can't what's, I don't know what the word is, but it's basically always, you have an affinity for them affinity for this sort. Shape and volume. I don't know. And, and also you, I used to see these a lot in some old Morphosis Folies and, and models and things like that. And so, anyway, so where, where is this somewhere or something?

Jamie:

Well, and it, and it's, and it's a, I think it's, kind of along the lines of what you were speaking of is that. their work, the, Southern California school there and of, of all those architects, and and, and others, I think their graphic influence on me, like yourself, was sort of at a. made an indelible mark, in, in terms of influence. But I think that having worked on the project in ELGAN, where it's sort of thinking about space and at the same time, not just thinking about space, but also trying to dream up program, you're, you're given kind of a, a little bit of a prompt. and you're also having to imagine how people might use a space and then how the materials or the structure or the tectonics, start to generate a design from that, in, in that case, I knew it was gonna be built, but what it does is, for me in my sort of creative mind is starts to send me on a path of thinking about Follies and sculpture and. public art. And so when I don't have a site and I don't have necessarily a, a program prompt, a lot of sketches, like this start to get generated. Mm-hmm And so this is, this is one of those ones that can gets born out of that, interest in art and public space and folly and. program list spaces that need program. And, so then it's an exploration of line and form and space and scale and order and trying to create some order in the space so that it's recognizable. And here, it, this is a, this is a fast drawing this, it's, there's an intricacy to it, but it's, it's really fast. And I think the telltale sign that it's fast is it's all one line weight. And, and it's, it, it, it's a drawing that's seeking purpose. and, and not necessarily starting out with one. which is a, a different kind of exercise. Yeah, it's a challenge. I mean, but it's, it's one where that we've talked about before is where I try and challenge myself with some artificial rules. And, in this particular case is, oh, wow. You've been thinking about public art and these spaces and, and Follies and things. Okay. Let's, let's get some of those ideas out on the page and let's only give ourselves 10 minutes to do it.

Kurt:

Yeah. I, I see that and I, it makes a lot of sense too, because. I think one thing to, to end on for me is, is the scale right? Is trying to put your, your thought process into a particular scale of project. And just like you said, in the beginning of the first sketch, which you're, it's a small public space. But it has an impact and a presence to the occupant is a very different design, scale to, to have your brain work in than say, designing a stadium or an office building. I mean, those are much bigger, a stadium's a much bigger scale, but I mean, you're. The moves, the strokes, the things that the gestures are, are very different in both senses and both are both spec ends of the spectrum. And so, so I could see that and it makes a lot of sense. And, and I think we'll have a couple more, as that we're gonna talk about in the future, that, that, that probably are still part of the same thought process. so thanks a lot.