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MIT student blogger Jenny X. '13

Goodbye Free-Body Diagrams by Jenny X. '13

Hello free -

sketchbook, pencil, tape, drafting board, knife, T-Square, tracing paper, refill lead, glue, wood, drafting dots… Wooooooo – I arrived at my work space in the intro architecture studio to find this:

This is simply a dream. One of the most exciting things about partaking in art-related anything is the sheer range of supplies you get to use! Although all of the above goodies are complementary with the class, I still need to go out and buy fome-cor this weekend. Not complaining…yet. I really hope expenditures for 4.111 materials will be manageable as I can no longer depend on the parental units for feeding this creative money-sucker habit of art-making. (OK – a classmate just informed me that we could quite possibly be charged a lab fee …but oh well, a sketchbook is a sketchbook!!! :P)

The following is a crop of the syllabus we got for studio this semester.

The purported “blizzard” that otherwise left 49 of the 50 US states covered somewhere in snow last week, forgot about dear Boston. But this past Tuesday brought an actual blizzard that killed our plans again. In the shot above, Professor Bill Hubbard describes our sad 4.111 week.

So essentially, today was the first real session of studio, and we…


practiced drawing a regular floor plan of our lecture space, just to get acquainted with representing a real 3D space on paper…


practiced drawing a section plan with a little person inside, as to imagine a body inhabiting a space…


and learned about our first project: we’re given a long stretch of lake-front space and a single wall, as shown above, and essentially have to design an environment for one person’s perfect reading experience – taking into account sunlight and shadows, views, the estate close by, etc.

One thing I realized during the 3-hour process was that I need to use the materials now! No more saving everything for later, long-lasting use! Architecture is about to take over my life, and it should… I’m beginning to experience the huge transition from taking mostly GIRs to classes in something you want to commit to. Commitment is scary, guys! (End/rambing)

More pictures! :)


Our workspaces! Equipped with drawing/cutting boards and T-squares!


The knife with which I will do much damage. :P


Sam ’12, revelling in his new sketchbook.


An overhead drawing demo during lecture.

Lastly, Prof. Hubbard used drafting dots during a demo, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Who knew something made of some puny paper and plastic can be so perfect! They’re like Pez dispensers for drafting dots! Drafting dots, by the way, are used to mildly tape down tracing paper and the like. I have a feeling I’ll be using lots of those.

Hooray for second and last half of the week! ‚ò∫

17 responses to “Goodbye Free-Body Diagrams”

  1. kat says:

    haha jenny, i think our student account gets charged a lab fee…still, i won’t deny that getting a desk full of nifty supplies gives me the jollies smile

  2. Jewhee says:

    Makes me want to take 4.111 now…

  3. Kesha says:

    I miss the days of using .3mm drafting pencils and T-squares for drawing pretty, straight lines…

  4. Paul D. says:

    Wow, the “reading environment” design project looks very exciting!
    Thanks for the entry.

  5. C2 says:

    Oh, I thought you meant physics’ free body diagram =]
    YOU GOT SNOW DAY IN MIT? That is just weird…lol (I didn’t know america will have that much snow =[ )

  6. dinar says:

    Tenth. Nice post.
    reCaptcha: Maximize visit

  7. M. Zweig says:

    I wish it would snow over here, cursed Bay Area and it’s lack of a proper winter.

    Architecture is a very cool major, and best of success on your project!

  8. Anonymous says:

    board drafting is a pain. Autocad, etc is the greatest thing ever.

  9. oasis '11 says:

    do you mean “complimentary?” raspberry

    i see the geometry is getting to you wink

  10. genius ('18) says:

    The knife with which I will do much damage. raspberry
    ————————————-
    Yeah right, LOL. I said the same thing when I got my first car (it was OLD)-good thing I never lived THAT up! (Except I substituted vehicle for knife, of course!)

  11. Jenny'13 says:

    @ C2 – :p America gets lots of snow. MIT didn’t get a “snow day”, but because my architecture class that day was scheduled to take a tour outside, our class got cancelled. But some other colleges in Boston got snow days – even though they’re like 10 minutes away….

    @ oasis – Yes… complimentary…. Haha, thanks.

    @ Winnie – both things you said are so true; I thought I was settled on architecture, but these days, urban planning and management also sound tempting!

  12. Winnie says:

    oh WOW architecture at MIT looks exciting :D
    it’s so hard to choose a major X__X

  13. lurker says:

    squee! I have the same sketchbook. owo

  14. winni says:

    i have read your feelings in mit. i’m still a high school student and after reading your discriptions of MIT, I hope one day we can meet there.

  15. winni says:

    i have read your feelings in mit. i’m still a high school student and after reading your discriptions of MIT, I hope one day we can meet there.