This summer for PURM I worked with Professor Daniel Barber, an architecture professor at Penn, and architecture PhD student Linfang Liu. I was able to work remotely in Minnesota within my public library system while keeping in contact with them. The inter-library system enabled me to pull books from colleges and libraries from all over the state.
The project I worked on involves building an online database of climate orientated global architecture. We used the platform Timescape, a new startup that maps different entries on a 3D map of the world. The research mainly involved reading and finding buildings in books, not online. Despite not having studied architecture before, I found the content extremely interesting and the buildings beautiful. To start off, I read about the history of climate oriented architecture and the newly popular brise soleil, features on a building that provide shading and deflect heat. I looked at many buildings that were built to work within its environment to accommodate the sun, heat, and cold. Many of these buildings contained louvers, a sun shading device. We focused on material efficiency, sun shading and control, and special organization when categorizing the buildings.
I helped scan and photoshop images, track down books, and put entries into a database. Once I was able to recognize climate oriented buildings, I looked for my own references and had to identify buildings myself. This involved learning how to use specific search strategies to find the right sources at the library, reading and looking for key words, finding the right buildings within the text, and choosing the right images to put on the database.
Overall, my experience this summer with PURM has been positive and I hope to continue this project or pursue architecture in some form or another.