Freshmen in high school find themselves in brand new environments that are often overwhelming and intimidating. Meeting new peers, navigating a new environment, and gaining more advanced knowledge are not easy tasks. However, at WHSAD there are many opportunities for freshmen to gain a solid foothold that will assist and inspire them over the course of their four years. One such opportunity is visiting the different architecture firms with which the school is in partnership. Through such excursions, students not only get a chance to interact in a more relaxed setting but also enjoy exposure to experiences that could inspire their future decisions when it comes to study and career.
In the following narratives, two WHSAD freshmen offer their thoughts about their visit to Crème/Jun Aizaki Architecture studio in Williamsburg. According to its website, Crème studio “nurture[s] a culture of design democracy and draw[s] inspiration from our clientele, our design team’s diverse backgrounds and from our extended family of artists and fabricators,” which speaks to the essential nature of communication and listening to all stakeholders, something the WHSAD community fosters on a daily basis. To learn more about Crème, visit their website at the following link: https://cremedesign.com/
As my first photography trip, I went with Mr. Codio, Ms. Cumberbatch, and the WHSAD Design Club to Crème Architects to learn about their business, their projects, and what architects like them do on a daily basis. During this time I was tasked with taking photos of the group and the building we were in. I was also tasked with trying to capture the events of what was going on in the photo that I was taking. With this only being my first time taking photos for the photography club, I wanted to try my best to do that to my fullest.
Immediately walking into the firm, we were greeted with a wooden and warm feel. I could see the energy flow throughout the room and the vibes that Jun Aizaki wanted us to feel. During this time I took photos of the firm, the fabrics and tiles on the table, the conference room and many small details like their light fixtures, awards, and chairs. Partaking in this experience truly helped me learn the connection between photography and architecture.
While I do want to be an architect when I grow up, I also learned how photography takes a key role in our projects and how crucial it is for someone to properly depict our work in the best way possible. For example, making sure that all of the colors we use are highlighted and making sure that the photo captures all the details that we put in so that people can feel like they are inside of the building through a photo. I specifically saw this in the photos that Mr. Aizaki showed us of his current and past projects, with each photo I was able to see all of their work throughout, all of their process and color choices. I could feel the vibe of each room through the photo and with all the details that were captured in each picture it did feel like I was in the room myself. Architecture has always been an important thing to me and so is photography, but from this trip I learned the overall connection between the two and the importance of the types of photos we take.
Going more in depth, I realized that things like lighting, steadiness, background, and many more features all take a key part in how we take our photos. From Mr. Aizaki to Mr. Codio I finally was able to see that clearly. But not only that, with Ms. Cumberbatch I was able to see that the things we learned about in class like color theory, perspective, value, and many more actually do have a part in architecture and completely impact our projects.
With learning in Architecture and Design 101, I found it difficult to branch how learning about colors and designing buildings went hand in hand, but after this trip, with the photos of their projects and all the responses I heard from Mr. Aizaki it sunk in that the things we learn in class do truly take place in the architecture field. For example, the first thing that caught my eye was the use of color theory in all of Mr. Aizaki’s projects. Mr. Aizaki demonstrated the importance of the use of color and how it adds to the type of feeling you get when entering a space. As we had previously learned in class, the colors you use when designing your building immediately impact the people’s perspective who are entering or looking through photos. Specifically, when Mr. Aizaki showed us a restaurant for one of his projects in China, we were able to immediately tell the vibe, and we also learned that they used the color to match one of their signature dishes, the Flying Hog. I thought it was amazing and interesting how they were able to tie in the main dish to the overall look to the room, and how they were able to use color in every one of their projects to make it unique to each one.
However, Mr. Aizaki and his firm go further than just architecture and design as they have a hand in almost every single thing in each room that they build and design, whether it’s from using their own furniture that they designed, to using their own tiles and fabrics. Mr. Aizaki and his teams carefully pick out every little thing to make each room specially curated to the overall look of the building. Last but not least, learning about how Crème Architects work with the environment around them and their surroundings of the building that they are designing. In the same hotel as the Flying Hog, Mr. Aizaki shares that they used the volcano near the building and the surrounding buildings to help impact the way they design, with each room having a clear view of the volcano which helps patrons somehow feel connected to it.
One thing that I liked specifically was the use of layers in their reception desk to bring the culture and environment around the building into the project. It added depth and it highlighted, not only the connection to the environment, but a connection to the people who live around and their culture.
-Bella Pierre, WHSAD Freshman
My first time going to an architecture firm, I went with Mr. Codio, Ms. Cumberbatch, and my fellow design members. We visited Crème Architects to learn about their business, their projects, and what architects do on a daily basis and how architecture is not only just about designing houses but it’s also about designing many other things we use in daily life for example chairs, couches, carpets, etc.
As I walked in I immediately noticed that the floor was wooden and the walls were thick. I couldn’t stop myself from touching and feeling the walls because all of this was new to me, and I wanted to experience every detail of an architecture firm. Walking into the architecture room, I was greeted by the founder, Jun Aizaki and his partner. They were kind, welcoming, and even offered us snacks. Mr Jun Aizaki first started off showing us a slideshow of his projects that he worked on, and I immediately noticed some art techniques we worked on in school, such as one point perspective, bird’s eye view, color theory, color schemes.
Going further into his slides I realized that lighting, steadiness, background, and value play a big role in designing. I had already known this, but Mr. Jun Aizaki helped improve my understanding of how little things like that can impact how a design can look. After Mr. Aizaki had finished his presentation, I was able to walk around and talk to the other designers in the firm and get to know what parts of architecture they focus on. Overall, I had an amazing time, and it was a delightful experience that I wish to visit again.
-Ouzaipha Tapsoba, WHSAD Freshman