Architecture 484/584 • Spring 2007 • Brook Muller + James Meyer and OPSIS Architecture



The studio entails collaboration with OPSIS Architecture in Portland and utilizes their state-of-the-art Pringle Creek “green” development in Salem as the locus for design inquiry. Our challenge will be to design high quality and high performance live/work units in close association with memorable, attractive and ecologically rich outdoor space.


*Working in Teams*

Effective collaborative work settings increase the likelihood that we will raise the kinds of questions that are germane to the design problem at hand, to the point that it becomes both fun and worthwhile to solve.

*Respectful Engagement*

The design studio is a unique educational setting, and we all must strive to build a cohesive environment that promotes communication, respect and open engagement.

*Competition Mode*

A 9+ week design quarter corresponds nicely to the amount of time a design team in a professional setting would commit to a competition. Although we value a cooperative studio environment, a competition model will be adopted with respect to the need to express our ideas in an accessible, compelling and timely manner.

*Integrating Built and Outdoor Space*

When we concentrate all of our attention on a building, we are led to believe we must solve all of the world’s problems through architecture. When we expand our thinking to include the larger site and landscape, our work tends to get lighter and better.

*The Creative Class *

In his book /The Rise of the Creative Class: How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life/, Richard Florida describes an emerging sector of our population that would likely be attracted to the live/work concept. We need to understand who these people are.

*Contending with Environmental Problems in an Aggressive Manner*

This studio endorses the architect Ed Mazria’s 2010 imperative “that all projects be designed to engage the environment in a way that dramatically reduces or eliminates the need for fossil fuels.” Design decisions will also be influenced by goals for healthy interior environments, air and water quality, and neighborhood and regional ecological integrity.


Pringle Creek is real and is intended to attract real people. Our proposals must appeal to an audience beyond that of the academy (architecture school).

*Designing Drawings*

Our focus will be as much the design of drawings as the design of buildings and open space. Representations we make are at once studies and for presentation, with the quality of the discussions and learning dependent on the quality of the work. (Quantity also matters!). Please note the “90% set” review scheduled for May 25 where we will not only discuss the details of your proposal but the manner in which you intend to communicate/represent these details.


Please note there will be 2 official field trips to Salem and 2 official reviews at OPSIS Architecture in Portland (please see schedule). There will be additional opportunities to visit the site as the quarter progresses.

*Working with OPSIS Architecture*

We have a privileged opportunity work with James Meyer, a partner of OPSIS, and his associates. The firm values high quality design /and /environmental responsibility. They are visionaries and pragmatists.


A sketchbook is a requirement for this course. You should always carry your sketchbook with you, and use it for reflective thinking, and to record compelling places, objects and experiences, class discussions and presentations. Cite all books and other sources you use. Your sketchbook will become an invaluable resource for future design work!

You are asked to generate an elaborated diagram – an illustrated timetable with words – that describes your future life and career: what you will do, where you will live, the community (communities) you wish to be a member of, how often you will be moving to take on new challenges, etc.

*Some questions to consider:*

• If you expect your life to have a measure of complexity and richness, the elaborated diagram should reflect this. Is there a pattern? Will your future life be characterized by collage-like superimpositions/juxtapositions or fluid continuity (best of luck with the latter)? Will it be colorful and creative? Will your life be more linear (arrow) or circuitous or perhaps even radial (characterized by probings from and returnings to a home base)?

• What is the relationship between your occupation and other aspects of your life? Is it consuming? Sustainable? Balanced? Rich? Rewarding?

• What kinds of communities do you intend to immerse yourself in? How might your community be affected by the places you choose to live? How might your community be affected by the technology you will use?

*Formatting and compositional recommendations*

• The elaborated diagram should be prepared on a 17”W x 11”H sheet (landscape format)

• Focus on pattern, line weight and line type, color and composition to tell your life’s tale, vs. iconic imagery (although use of collage and ‘borrowed graphics’ is encouraged, it is not necessary or desirable to cut images of beautiful interiors out of /Architectural Digest/)

• Words are always helpful in communicating additional layers of


Monday, April 2 • Introduce EX01

Wednesday, April 4 • Pringle Creek Field Trip 1; EX01 due for discussion

*Some Possible Resources*

Mark Lombardi • /Global Networks/
Ben Nicholson • /Appliance House/
Edward Tufte • /Envisioning Information/ (see also his other works)