The 2012 MAX_min design problem was to make the main entrance into the Art and Architecture Building more of a destination, rather than simply a passage.
The first thing we did was sit down and look through the photos of the project site, to get a better idea of exactly where we would be working. Once we had done that, we decided to go and observe the site from the 3rd-story balcony in the A+A Building; but given the somewhat limited view of the site from that position, we chose to move outside. We were instantly able to generate ideas from that viewpoint. We threw around a few ideas: a small stage facing the area between A+A and the Humanities building, or perhaps a deck below the overhang from the building. Most of our ideas were focused on that area of the entrance (see background photo), so we decided to focus on that area. Then Ezra thought of perhaps wrapping the building with cloth or something similar to that. The inspiration came from the artwork of Christo and Jeanne-Claude:
(See http://christojeanneclaude.net/ for more of their interesting work)
We focused on the idea of using only cloth to create a destination at the entrance. Maybe we could hang short curtains that a person could easily walk under or curtains that go all the way to the ground, so they blocked the view of the road. Ezra began to generate a sketch:
It seemed obvious that there was a ceiling already in that area, so why not give it walls to make it an outdoor room? We finally decided on the simplest idea: use two large sheets slightly more than half the width of the walkway hung where they would be flush with the roadside and backside of the building. When seen from a distance it would appear as thought it were a solid wall, but could easily be used as a passage as well. Once we were back inside, discussion about how to set up the presentation board began.