How Fast Can A Project be Finished?

Today’s Topics:

  • Total Time, or Total Days?
  • AIA Architecture Competition

Total Time, or Total Days

How long does it take to come up with a design idea?

Well that part is easy, you can be thinking about it in your head. It gets hard when you have to put your intentions on paper.

When working on a project, it can be recorded by the number of total hours that you have spent on it.

You could have spent 20 hours working on something within a span of 2 days, or that same amount of hours could have been 7 days.

Does it matter how spaced out those hours are? What makes it result in a different outcome (likely better results) when you have more time in between?

AIA Architecture Competition

This past weekend I participated in the AIA Virginia Prize competition.

A project that had a very short timeline being released on Friday at 5 PM with a Monday morning 9 AM due date.

I spent every bit of free time working on it amounting to around 35 hours of work. Almost a full 40 hour work week in 2 and a half days.

We were to design a pillar installation in Alexandria, Virginia Market Square representing Joseph McCoy and Benjamin Thomas, two black men that have been lynched in the history of the old town.

I devoted my project to symbolism of the shackles that black lives have been wrapped under by white supremacy.

Early version of project (real version released after competition)

Here are a couple of topics that I have addressed with my design idea:

  • Inhumane
    • broken chains symbolizing how both men were ripped out of their jail cells and beaten, and dragged by rope, and hung on a lamp post.
  • Discrimination
    • Like the roaring waves of an ocean, pushing land and turning crisis to everything in its path, white supremacy has done the same to black lives, separating them from families and killing people off with public lynchings.
  • Negligence
    • Given that they were literally ripped out of their cells, the police officers had no intention of putting an end to the crisis as they watched it happen.
  • Escaping White Supremacy
    • African-Americans have made strides in a journey of hundreds of years to escape white supremacy which has been portrayed through the waveform structure.

When thinking about designing this building, I could have chosen to redevelop the whole site, but I also realize that what is currently there is a historic place with the country’s longest running farmer’s market.

Keeping that intact, I decided on an addition to the water feature representing how African-Americans are born into a a life where they have had no historical foundation being placed in shallow water with no support.


Thanks for tuning into this week’s blog post! Let me know your thoughts and opinions on this project in the comments. As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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