My Fall 2020 Semester Wrap-Up

Today’s Topics:

  • Recap
  • Projects
  • What this semester has meant for me

Recap

At the start of 2020, everything was normal. Then it all changed when I went home for spring break.

First it was just an extra week off of school, but then it turned into packing up my things and moving off campus due to COVID-19.

As we entered the summer and I was gearing up for my internship, I tore my Achilles. An injury that required surgery and a years worth of recovery.

This caused me to miss out on my internship, but in turn, I spent more time working on this website.

With the injury in mind, I also made the decision to stay off campus for the semester and do online school again.

This semester has been very different in many ways, but I managed to establish a routine that allowed me to keep a great workflow and complete everything on time.

Projects

One of the most important classes for architecture students is studio. Every week there are 3 classes that are each 4 hours long.

This semester There were a couple of things I wanted to focus on.

  • Design Realism
    • Designing buildings that look and feel more realistic from the structure to the finishes
  • Expand my BIM skills through different software
    • Google SketchUp
    • Revit
    • Rhino
    • Enscape
    • Rhino
    • Photoshop
  • Concept Development and space optimization

We completed 3 different projects and going from one to the next, they increasingly got better within each aspect of focus.

At the end of the semester, for a final, we had to create a board explaining each project.

The first project I worked on, we had to design a Visitor Station/Overlook.

The main focus was to design a building looking out into the national forest through a cantilever edge.

The next project was for a coffee shop/study space near the duck pond in Blacksburg.

With the design of this project, I focused on context of designing within the Virginia Tech campus, and the purpose of the building connecting students more to the Duck Pond.

Lastly, I completed a project that would serve as an artist studio/gallery space

Often times, there are visiting professors that visit the campus and having a dedicated place for them to live, work, and interact with design can be essential for their success as a professor.

Capping off with these final boards, I was fully satisfied with how thoroughly I worked towards my goals, and I can feel things starting to click as a better understanding of art, design, and architecture.

What This Semester Has Meant For Me

Over the course of this semester, I have taken on a huge load of work.

I’ve had 5 very challenging courses that I have done extremely well in, but outside of that, I’ve done so much more.

I have been a CAUS Ambassador helping with student recruitment, I served as the Vice President for NOMAS focusing heavily on social injustice this year. I have been part of forming a new organization called the CAUS Student Coalition, I worked on a real project with Design for America, I’ve attended numerous conferences getting the chance to meet amazing professionals and getting to see the work while receiving feedback.

Outside of architecture alone, I became an assistant coach for my alma mater varsity soccer team training 5 days per week, I am personal trainer working on soccer skills for a developing player, and I became a head coach for a U15 boys travel soccer team.

Something that will carry on with me throughout my career, Is that I am always eager to get involved with something. If there is an opportunity, I will take it, because not everyone has the luxury of being able to do what I do.


Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog post. Sorry I wasn’t able to post on Monday, as I had to take my last final exam, but I hope you liked this! If you have any questions about anything I’ve done, please let me know! As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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