All things tend toward disorder, including built work.

In the end, everything falls apart. Nowhere is this more apparent than in built work in outdoor environments, where weaknesses in construction methods and materials, the extremes of nature, and the creative destructiveness of people all begin to break down structures from the moment of installation. Good design and careful attention to construction detail can delay the inevitable; knowledge is power in this effort. Here we learn more about entropy (aka chaos, disorganization, randomness) in sitework and small structures.

What if entropy was not the enemy, but the inspiration?

Project site:
Campus bus stops, on Connective Corridor and South Campus routes. Each student will choose one (1) of the stops. I recommend one of these, but will entertain suggestions for other stops:

  • SU College Place bus stop
  • Manley Field house bus stop
  • Skytop parking lot bus stop

Site functions (program):

  • Be a good bus stop: provide seating, shelter, and visibility to both bus riders and bus drivers. Also must allow the bus to stop safely.
  • Integrates structures with site (landscape) to meet these functions.
  • Enrich quality of life: be beautiful, striking or otherwise intriguing to riders and passers-by.
  • Resist and enlist one entropic process selected from the list below: design what should endure to resist your chosen process, and enlist that process to gracefully transform what should fall apart.

Project schedule:

F 1.22.16     Project brief posted via @susandieterlen and on City Wild (blog)
Tu 1.26         Short presentation by Susan; peer group discussion on processes and initial sketches.
Th 1.28         80% done at 1:00; Peer group discussions/desk crits. Class decides how to share final products.
M 2.1.16      Project due in pdf to class Google drive folder. PLEASE PUT YOUR LAST NAME IN THE FILENAME. Final products will be shared with class via TBA digital means.

2 or 3 – boards in 11”x17” including:

  • Explanation of your chosen entropic process and its impact on your design (infographics, strategies to resist or incorporate the process, precedents, etc.)
  • Plan/perspective/section(s) presenting your design for one (1) bus stop.
  • Design development-level detail: materials identified, indication of earthwork (ie shaping of ground plan).
  • Schematic construction details for one or more major elements.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Design serves function well, including public health, safety, and welfare concerns.
  • Design enhances aesthetic appeal, identity and/or sense of place of site.
  • Design features one (1) chosen process from the list below, with parts designed to resist the process and others meant to be transformed by it.
  • Project includes design development–level work as described above, and at least one schematic construction detail.
  • Deliverables communicate well and at an appropriate level of detail (including how design resists and incorporates entropic process).
  • Deliverables demonstrate good graphic representation and craft.

Processes that destroy sitework

  1. Corrosion-Oxidation
  2. Salt
  3. Erosion
  4. Freeze/Thaw
  5. Wind
  6. Photodegradation
  7. Uncontrolled ruderal/successional vegetation  
  8. Insect activity
  9. Mammal or bird activity
  10. Acid rain
  11. Plant diseases (Dutch Elm, Emerald Ash Borer, etc)
  12. Vandalism
  13. Overuse – wear and tear
  14. Fire
  15. Flood
  16. Heat
  17. Accumulation of debris
  18. Rot/decay
  19. Air pollution
  20. Structural overload