Monday, November 12, 2012

Spring 2013 Wishlist:10 Things I Need In My Studio

Spring semester is approaching, and with it, a new studio. After having spent all your drafting pens, and using up all your good bristol paper on your final project for fall, it's time to shop for new supplies. But what do I need? In a perfect world, everything that Office Depot, Michaels, and Home Depot can give me. But if I can't have all that, I will definitely take these:

1. Electric Eraser
We've all been there. Smears, tears, and blurs all over your beautiful project. As architects move further and further from drawn media, and into printed media, we might feel as if erasers are obsolete. This couldn't be further from the truth. Most people would agree that kneaded erasers produce some of the best results, but unfortunately because of their shape, make it difficult to be precise with your erasing. 
The Sakura Electric Eraser is one of the highest rated and most expensive. But $49.50 is a small price to pay for subtractive perfection right? Right?
Alvin & Co. SE2000 Sakura Electric Eraser
2. Alarm Clock
I won't say that I'm a morning person. Long years in the architectural program have semi-permanently altered my sleep cycle. This requires me to set at least 3 alarms, in different parts of my room, to stop me from pressing the snooze button. Some fantastic examples are the Flying Alarm Clock, the Ivee Voice Activated Alarm Clock, and the Clocky Robotic Alarm.

3. Tube for Drawings
Possibly the worst fate to befall your projects after they're complete? Ripping, tearing, shoe marks, folds, and smears due to insufficient protection. Simply rubber banding might seem like the solution, but when you take them off your paper, they can sometimes cause more damage than leaving it alone. Enter the drawing tube. Portability, Safety, Water-proof-ness (possibly not a word), and Simplicity.

If you're worried that it'll make finding the drawing difficult, you can just get some regular scotch tape, write the drawing name on it twice, and tape it making a tab that sticks out from your drawing, so that you can easily read it without taking out the whole roll. Color-coding is doable as well.
4. Light Box
It's the day before the final project, the library is closed and all the light tables are full. How do you put your intricate floor plan on your presentation paper now while you still have time, and no access to a printer? Oh wait, never mind you have a light box. I have been on a mission to make one myself, and as soon as I do, I promise I will post the tutorial. In the meantime, you can buy one from here.

5.Arrow Template
A fairly consistent mistake in studio, in all the rush to finish our projects, is forgetting to put on a north arrow. It is a basic requirement, learned in first year, but frequently overlooked until the last minute, and then scrawled on with a pen before your professor can look at it. With this template, your professor never needs to be able to tell that you forgot, delivering perfect and professional arrows every time.

Okay, so I went over drawing tubes earlier. However, this is taking the tube concept to another level. Everybody knows that when it comes to your drawings, in the professor's eyes, bigger is better, and makes it all the easier to go over the finer details of your plans and elevations. These particular tubes by work by adding a middle section, kind of like an expandable table, adding more than a foot of space with each additional section. Another great feature is the water resistance, for obvious reasons.

7. Drafting Chair
Many of us in studio have dealt with the stool forr several years. It offers no back support, numbs your legs, and is usually not adjustable. Behold! The drafting chair! Back support! Cushioned seats! Adjustability!
You can find many different varieties online, but this particular model makes the top of my wishlist.
Great things include optional armrests, orthopedic spine support, and upholstered seats.

8. Cable Organizers
These little things are useful both in studio or in your room, for gathering your cables and not having them lie in a tangled mess on your table or on the floor. My favorites so far are the Cable Monkey which is adorable and functional, and the Cordies Cable Organizers which are functional and simple to use. Either one is a match made in heaven.

9. Ninja Star Pushpins
Give your project a bit of spice, and as a plus, you will always know which pushpins are yours. These pushpins have 2 pins per ninja star, for extra reinforcement, which is great for bigger or heavier presentation boards.

10. USB Toast Handwarmers
You might think these are not a neccesity, but that makes me think that maybe you are not an architecture major at all, and possibly a business administration major here to spy for the other side. Picture yourself in studio, in winter, in the middle of the ngiht. Every square inch of you is bundled up except for your hands, which you need to type. Though your body is warm, your hands are freezing and becoming more and more useless and ice-like every hour.
Solution? Handwarmers! They plug into your laptop, which is already beng heavily taxed, so a little bit more won't hurt it. And as a bonus, you can type with them! And as a double double bonus, they are ridiculously adorable.

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