Introducing the First Annual SASC

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It’s August. The summer is winding down, stores are stocking school supplies, and students all over are packing as much fun into their last few weeks of summer freedom as they possibly can. After recent budget cuts (discussed here), a lot of students won’t have after school programs, art or music classes, or their favorite electives to look forward to.

So, we decided to see if we can fix that, and give students something to look forward to.

At Dyron Murphy Architects, P.C. (DMA) we are continually looking for ways we can help our community. This year, we wanted to do something bigger. Something better. Something that will benefit Native American students throughout the southwest. Our goal is to empower students, to encourage them to not only make it through school, but excel and even enjoy their classes. We want to inspire engagement with all areas of education, from math and science, to reading and cultural studies.

DMA is pleased to announce the first annual Native American Student Architect Sketch Competition (SASC). The SASC gives students the opportunity to explore their creativity while thinking critically about the structural elements of a building. The competition exposes students to the field of architecture, and provides a creative platform for teachers and students to investigate core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) lessons, in addition to history, communication, language and other lessons.

For more information on the competition (rules and regulations, etc.) check out the “Student Architect Sketch Competition” tab above. Or click here.

Taking Chances

There is always a risk. It doesn’t matter what profession you’re in or what your job title is, at some point you’re taking a chance on something. Whether you’re an intern architect at a “big-box” firm debating whether or not it’s worth it to remind your boss you’ve been working your butt off and need a raise, or you’re the boss debating whether or not it’s worth it to battle the client on a design element you personally added in, you’re taking a risk. In our case, we took a risk on some new industry technology.

You may have noticed the “AR Media” tab that was recently added to our blog menu. If you read through the instructions and had no idea what the heck they’re for…well, here you go. Augmented Reality (AR) refers to programs that digitally enhance the natural world. Its applications are practically limitless – from education to gaming to marketing, companies across the globe have been trying to tap in to the power of AR technology to advance their business. In the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) industry, AR is a relatively new and unexplored territory. But why? Architects build 3D models all the time, don’t they? So why not build one digitally, and present it to a client via their tablet or smart phone? Seems much more practical than carrying around a foam-core board, doesn’t it?

It sounds great in theory, and it’s that theory that we worked off of as we began implementing AR technology into our practices. We’re a long way off from showing clients AR versions of their projects on-site via GPS coordinates, but we’ve definitely made strides with showing off a couple of our current projects. One of the problems we ran into was the debate over whether AR media is “gimmicky” and whether it’s effective. Are these digital models showing off our design capabilities properly? Do our clients understand that we use state-of-the-art industry technology to develop their projects in the most affordable and efficient way possible? And that this technology is just another way to show that?

Since we’ve just started using AR, we don’t have enough feedback yet to answer these questions. Right now, anyone can follow the directions on the AR Media tab above. Just download the AR Media app, install the DMA building files, point your smartphone or tablet at the DMA logo, and check out either the Institute of American Indian Arts Welcome Center, or the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation Office Complex. Or both. And if you feel particularly inspired, let us know what you think – are we on the right track?

Don’t You Wish You Worked Here?

If you ever find yourself in the new Navajo Division of Transportation Complex (NDOT), you might look at the floor. And you might notice that there’s a row of lights, in the floor. And you might wonder, “what the heck?” No, it’s not a flaw in the design. It’s an intentional representation of a key part of air transportation – a runway. Make sense now? There are other symbolic representations of various types of transportation incorporated into the design of this office, some easily recognizable, others subtle.

Who says the office needs to be a boring place? Could, perhaps, the design of the office be inspirational and anything but boring? Most people are probably familiar with – and envious of – the Google grounds (employee gym? restaurants in-office? yes please). But what makes it so much better than any other office? The plush furniture? Open spaces? The overall design? Why is the stereotypical office full of cramped cubicles?

Okay, we’ll stop asking rhetorical questions. But seriously, all it takes is a little creativity, and a little imagination, and you get places like NDOT, or Google. If you’re not daydreaming about a new office yet, or if you’re not looking around work for design features in your already-inspiring-comfortable-amazing office and thinking “that’s why I like it here” then try reading this article, which highlights some of the most creative office designs out there:

Best 38 I’d-Like-To-Work-In-That-Place Offices

Enjoy!

6 Examples of Innovative Architecture Inspired By Music | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

6 Examples of Innovative Architecture Inspired By Music | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

We all know that inspiration can come from anywhere. Music and sound are one of the most prominent, influential and diverse forms of inspiration for artists, designers, and people of all disciplines. These projects, highlighted by inhabitat, are incredible examples of architecture influenced and inspired by music. Enjoy the creativity!