Thursday, March 29, 2012


This Monday, our studios took a field trip up to San Antonio to visit a mixed use site. It's the Lake | Flato Pearl Brewery project. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, or think that Lake | Flato is a body of water, please click this link: , and proceed to fall in love. If looking at their projects and reading their vision and philosophies about sustainability doesn't mean much, you could probably do with a visit to their projects. Or their firm. Or if you're super fortunate, BOTH.

Which I was lucky enough to get to do. And I LOVE Lake | Flato.

Before going to the site, all 60ish of us met at their office, split into two groups, and proceeded to get a tour of the firm itself. Even if I hadn't already liked their projects, I would have been amazed by their office. They are so chill. The atmosphere is so relaxed and conducive to creativity, with the right amount of structure and freedom to push and pull at the designers' creative impulses and boundaries. It isn't stuffy and uptight, nor loose and inefficient. It's the kind of place you WANT to come to.

Why? Well, for one, they have chalkboard painted doors to their conference room. I want to draw in chalk on the door of my conference room at a meeting! I mean, what if an idea hits, and I, God forbid, (along with everyone else at the meeting), run out of trace or lose my Micron?! Well, I'd be totally safe, because I could draw my idea out on the DOOR.

Also, the details are shweeeeet. This office used to be a parking tower, so its got all this crazy heavy concrete beam supports to hold up the roof. How insane is that? I love the idea of taking this huge ugly structure that no one likes because it's, well, a parking garage, and turning it into an incredible space for creativity, a space where architects and designers come together and collaborate to design sustainable, beautiful structures with public interest always in mind.

In addition, apparently, you can write on the walls.

They have sweet models. And you can put them anywhere. Like your desk. Or even better, your colleague's desk.

Did I mention they have sweet models?

 I don't follow sports, other than soccer whenever I'm free, but this photo ought to speak for itself.

They celebrate hand drawing. I can't say much more than that. But i could say it twice. They celebrate hand drawing.

They get their own workspace. This is pretty critical for architects, I'd say. Ya know. Maybe.

You could always shoot some hoops if you need to take a breather.

Lots of natural light! This is crucial; it just adds so much warmth to the office. It's bright and cheery and welcoming and happy.

I just love love love the expression of the original structure. I could wax on for another Ice Age, but I'm just going to stop with the fact that I am madly in love with my major. And architects are crazy crazy cool.

It gives me chills, sometimes, how much I love what I do. How many people can pause during the day and realize that they are truly truly passionate about what they're pursuing and learning about? I can't really express it in words; ultimately, I feel like I essentially focus my time and energy to learn as much as I can about as much as I can, and to have a purpose in life and throw my heart and soul into following it. Which is precisely what my heart and soul are doing.

Friday, March 23, 2012


you sparkled from afar
but the closer i got
the more i realized
how empty you are.
THURSDAY NIGHT | brrrrilliant crazy art and philosophy and life and music and inspiration conversation with the inimitable Justin Klein
FRIDAY MORNING | inspiring brainstorm session in Design
FRIDAY AFTERNOON | table overlooking the entire store at Medici and getting a lot of writing done as I observed everyone around me + giving Michael his painting! + awesome awesome conversation with him about Vonnegut and playwrights and the descent into madness and the beauties in tragedy and The Fault In Our Stars + lunch and Bubble Tea with Ayesha, Maliha, and Amirah + getting stuck in an overheated car + cute detective guy
FRIDAY NIGHT | chilling at Amirah's place + letting Ayesha use my face for a canvas + Amirah's homemade tacos + The Cakeball at the Domain with spectacular people

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Over Spring Break, the fabulous Sabina Raja started to teach me how to shoot in film. Needless to say, my photography skills are way rusty. The thing I love about film is how quickly you learn to improve your technique. You're more cautious with film, because unlike with a digital camera, you can't just take a zillion shots and end up with 2 spectacular ones. You either get a good shot or not. And film costs money. And you just don't WANT to mess up, so you take more care with composition, lighting, editing and so on, before you're even confident enough to take the picture.

p.s. ignore the fact that i didn't feel like rotating the vertical ones :)

Here are some of the decent ones:

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Tonight was the halaqa at my house! Besides seeing my pretty pretty friends, I got to chill with some of the cutest kids on the planet. Seriously, they are sickeningly adorable. I'm just melting.

Friday, March 16, 2012


IT'S A REALLY BIG CANVAS GUYS! 4'x3', for Mrs. Joslin! And I'm so so psyched to start on this. I've never had a project of this size before, and I got really lucky that she gave me this opportunity/challenge. There's something really freeing about a canvas as big as myself. Okay, I'm 5' 1/4" (yes, that's vastly important), so a foot and a quarter taller, but STILL. Working at this scale is going to be so. much. FUN.

Also, I got some nail compliments so I just wanted to record them :) I was just having fun, ya know, keeping up the whole Rule of Thirds and being a designer in every aspect of my liiiiiife as usual, no big deal...

Thursday, March 15, 2012


It's complete, it's complete! Here's how it looks overall. I had been channeling my inner Da Vinci (we all have an inner Da Vinci, seriously. You just hafta listen for it); really, I was sort of treating this as a sketchbook of thoughts. And I went a sort of anatomical route, because when I think of humanity and our ultimate ephemerality and struggle to transition to permanence, I equate it with flight. We've always been fascinated with the idea of lifting off of solid earth and achieving the complete and utter independence of flight. We haven't really gotten it yet. But we always try, don't we? That's the thing about humans. Who cares how impossible something sounds? There will always be at least one person amongst us who will believe in the unlikely, the improbable, the supposedly impossible. And we've made a lot of impossible things happen. It's almost as if the knowledge of having an end date to our lives pushes us to seek a purpose, to love without restraint, to live to our fullest, to seek adventure, to fight with all our heart to make the most of what little time we have. And as Michael puts it, "by the nature of our inescapable conflict with a temporal existence, our lives are beautiful, our actions powerful, and maybe somehow our existence slightly more permanent."
I think that captures it perfectly.
Detail shots follow!

[p.s. click on the images for a higher resolution shot]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


wayyyyy too tired to post anything but pictures of this work in progress; good news: so close to finishing! it should be done tomorrow! i promise to have good quality photos at the end :)

Buying new paint is the best, especially when the colors are delicioussss

 More or less how the canvas looked yesterday morning...

Until after more and more and more layers of paint and text, I started to get to this...

And my thoughts got all awesomely unpretentiously deep, ha. But seriously, I just read John Green's The Fault In Our Stars in one sitting today, and it just made me think about mortality and how fascinating our ephemeral lives are and I am entirely too exhausted to get into this now because I shall spout gibberish, but everyone should read this book because it is beauty. 

How it looks overall right now...

And another detail of my thoughts.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


This is my lovely friend Kaitlin and I planning our future trip backpacking across Asia. Clearly, we enjoy eating exotic food, walking, exploring, adventuring, and being artists. I think that sums us up quite nicely: Foodie Artist Adventurers.

P.S. we think we're really cool too.