The Intern XVII: The Triumphant Return To Normal

Monday, 16th June 2014

David Weir Architects

Mosman Park, Western Australia, Australia

Semester one is done. Do you know what that means?

It means that I can catch David on the phone with a builder while he's scratching his belly on site of the new DWA project, The East Fremantle House. Yes, I'm malevolent.

It also means that I can finally keep up with more regular entries of THE INTERN Writing Series. It's been incredibly sporadic these past few weeks (or months); juggling is difficult. I have enough trouble catching a football. But now those flaming pins are taken out of the equation! I love writing about my zany adventures, and I feel that I've been severely lacking in this department since early April, at the very least. It's time for a triumphant return.

This week marks the first week that I'm free from the chains of coursework, so instead of the usual 10:30am start time, I had already knocked back a proposed plan, perspective drawing and brought the office up to date with all financial paperwork by the time the in-semester Cale had even walked in the door. I was firing on all cylinders, thanks to that morning coffee and a slice of delicious processed banana bread, that gave me absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever.

It's been a while since I've updated you on what's going on at DWA, so let's have a quick refresh session. Take a knee:

  • Pictured above, The East Fremantle House recently received that illustrious building permit, so site works have begun. Prepare yourselves for continuing updates of this project, because it's incredibly close to the office, and it's time to watch a residential project go up - from site works to final inspection.
  • House Roux is gaining some serious headway, as we edge our way closer towards applying for a building permit. Details are being finalised and consultants are signing off drawings. It's coming together. It's another residential project that I'll have first-hand experience in administering along with David. Mostly listening, though.
  • The Exploding! Shed House: Under construction. Should be finished soon!

Meanwhile, we're hard at work on a plethora of other projects; from the small to the grandeur. I'm taking on a larger role in the office, fulfilling duties to clients through drawings and drafting work. It's exciting to see something that I've worked on over a few hours be sent to a client for review, to a builder as a solution to a problem, or to a local council for planning and development. Everything goes through the watchful eye of DW - after all, I'm qualified for absolutely nothing, and god help us all - but at the end of the day, I'm contributing towards something incredible. The architecture machine will go on.

We will also try not to be as synchronous as we have been.

This needs to stop.

Outside of DWA, there's a whole lot of other things happening. The ALVA Student Society has acquired a 24-inch A1 colour plotter as a donation from Mr Weir - mostly to get it out of his office - but there's a bit of work that needs to be done to get it back in operational order. The rubber carriage belt was severely charred and a test run without a proper inspection resulted in rubber debris everywhere clogging up the systems; this was a rookie mistake, and you hate to see it. The carriage belt has since been replaced, and inspections are under way to make sure that the motor has not been burnt out or if other systems are compromised as a result of said rookie mistake. The inks are surprisingly good for use, but the printer heads need a flush out; sitting idle for a few years, it's to be expected. Hopefully, I want to see it up and running ready for next semester's folio rush. We're working with the university and the UWA Guild now to see what we can do, but there are many roadblocks that we're needing to go around to make it happen. Watch this space.

After removing the carriage and the damaged belt, things are looking...good?

I'm flying out to Sydney on the red-eye flight this Friday-Saturday for the Mid Year SONA Conference. It's my first time to the state of rugby, opera houses and bridges. The weekend will be occupied with SONA strategy meetings and elections for the 2015 Executive - maybe I might return home with a new title for the new year? You're going to have to wait and see. Work is also chugging along for this year's SUPERSTUDIO, a 24-hour national design competition to respond to a brief through creative ideas against teams from around the country. The brief is released at the same time around Australia (5:00pm AEST/3:00pm AWST), with teams of three coming up with a concept, response and presentation at the conclusion of the 24 hours. SUPERSTUDIO does not champion presentation skills, however - ideas and responses are valued much higher. Winning state teams move on to a 10-day Stage Two, where they can polish up their response and put more emphasis on the presentation, ready for national review by a jury. The winning national team goes to the Venice Biennale - a huge deal if a UWA team wins, as the Australian Exhibition at this year's Biennale was conceived, designed and constructed by the creative team of tutors, lecturers and academics at UWA. I'll talk a little more about SUPERSTUDIO in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned.

That's about it for now. I'm now in the process of working on some side projects, including:

  • School visits from Aspire UWA schools around the metropolitan area to UWA, where they learn about the different faculties and what they do. Myself and wAILA FRESH Student Representative (and Landscape Architecture student) Kelly Hodgson are running the ALVA activity, along with Yasas Botene. We're about to enter Day 2 of four days, and it rocks. Year 9 students are learning more and more about architecture - mostly, it's not what How I Met Your Mother portrays it as. This reminds me of my ALVA Summer Studio post that I'm still working on - it's a good five thousand words, and it's nearly completed for review. I'll get on to that, promise.
  • Physical model for DWA with Mitch Cook. Laser cutting and glue. Fun!
  • ALVA Student Society website - launching very soon.
  • Revit tutorials in collaboration with MERGE and Parametric.
  • Semester Reports for UWA Guild.
  • Have to make an incredible three-course dinner soon. Get planning!
  • Everything else that comes my way.

In closing, here's a quote that has been in Ariane Prevost's office ad infinitum:

Returning to normal,