~The Exposure Triangle~

Each student must hit an total hourly quota to receive their end-of-the-program stipend. Noah offers to show up early on Saturday and teach a photography tutorial to all willing students. Phoenix, Esu, and Noah arrive at noon on Saturday ready to learn.

The three corners of the “The Exposure Triangle” represent aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Balancing the exposure is important in order to collect all the necessary information in a photo. Through manipulating the three variables in play, the photographer has the ability to arrive at many different outcomes…



The Fresh Smells of Paint

The Student’s Designer Toolkits have been laid aside. We move all existing furniture into the center of the room. A furniture island has been created. Nothing is obstructing the brushes and rollers paths to all four walls.

Between Gwen and Noah (but mostly Gwen) we have: rollers, roller handles, roller extensions, paint trays, paint tray sleeves, tarps, drop cloths, painting rags, putty knifes, measuring tapes, triangles, straight edges, brushes, buckets, smaller buckets, and lots and lots of tape!

Jesse and Christian join us from Olson Kundig. Lindsay comes from SAM. The students are focused and ready and painting!


Teen Room Ready For Change: Preproduction Painting excitement !)

Gwen has arranged one of their friends (Tracy) to join the class today. Tracy is a professional painter. Tracy arrives and is welcomed into our class. They take a look at the Teen Room and go over the details of what we will need to do in order to successfully paint the room.  Tracy talks about materials needed, oil vs acrylic paint, primer, sanding, and taping the walls. We all decide it is a good idea to prep the mural walls with the color that will be most present in the new mural, “blue.”

Gwen leaves to pick up supplies at Home Depot. It is a “beautiful” day for early spring in Seattle and the class goes outside to the Bitter Lake playground.

After everyone returns to the Teen Room, Gwen passes out fresh sandpaper and the team sands down the mural walls.

Noah offers to put together a film for the Teen Room’s transformative painting process. Noah asks the class if any of the students would be interested in learning the basics for filming and fill the role of cinematographer. Phoenix, Esu, Kamiya, and Melissa all seems a little shy but also curious and excited about the idea.

Noah takes “before” photos of the Teen Room. The murals, colors, and furniture items will all be changing soon…

Melissa photo documents Kamiya and Phoenix jumping for excitement!


Murals, Materials, Budget (And a little more daylight!)

Joy: Winter is growing old. These Seattle days are brighter!

Even more joy: The students are proving their amazing design talent! Staying on schedule and finishing each design step is becoming more integral each day. The students are persisting and impressing everyone with their confident design skills!

Kamiya and Phoenix put together a polished budget and purchase list. The list includes couches, lamps, rugs, books, games, cushions and much more. The students carefully pick out furniture that will make the room complete and enjoyable.

Melissa calmly creates an amazing patterned mural design during our journal exercise. The class is super impressed! Esu adapts Melissa’s mural into our proposed color palette.  Esu keeps in mind the dimensions, function, and colors of the room. Using Melissa’s original design as inspiration, Esu creates two murals to cover both the East and West walls. The two patterned murals are similar but also successfully reflect their own immediate space.

Gwen, Satpreet, Noah, and Lindsay begin recording all the necessary materials to remake the Teen Room!


Floor Plans Continued and Refined!

Journal Prompt: What’s the thing you are most excited about changing in the room?

Esu focuses their excitement toward specific items: “Lighting, lighting ornaments, chairs, couches, wall color.”

Kamiya Focuses their interests towards general functionality:  “More usable, make room work efficiently.”

Based on a to scale plan drawing of the rooms shape and perimeter, Esu and Kamiya use transparent drafting paper to continue working out ideas. They are asked to consider space, movement of patrons, functions of objects, size of objects, and individual activities within the space.

Kamiya and Esu both have a few refined iterations on paper. Now they focus on the common objects. Each student traces their couch, TV, table, books shelf, and lamps. With this trace they cut out each object and color in the piece with a distinct representative color. The objects are now free to be moved around the floor plan for further refinement of space and function. The students present!



Floor Plans

Layout Activity

(Step 1) 2 minute floor plan sketch of a new Teen Room layout. Go!

(Step 2) Turn the page in your notebook. 2 minute floor plan sketch of a different Teen Room layout. Go!

(Step 3) Repeat Step 2!

(Step 4) 60 seconds, Last one!

Satpreet begins the class with this quick brainstorm sketch exercise. The students produce exciting results.

Important ideas are expressed across the various iterations. The students take turns presenting their sketch plans to the class. This is great practice for communicating their brainstorms both verbally and visually. The class is energetic and ready to dive into a more refined approach.


-Creating Color Palettes-


Over the course of two class sessions, the students work on creating color palettes. The students work on their own. It is important to think about needed furniture, carpets, and tables. What items will stay in the room? What items will be added? What colors are they? The soundproofing wall carpet currently on display needs to stay. It is an attractive deep blue. Because it is (and will remain) a dominant feature in the room, the students use the deep blue as a main color to work off of.

After diving into their own color palette boards, the students convene. They have an open discussion about their chosen colors. Some colors are dropped. Some colors remain and are combined with new tones. The class displays three separate variations to be voted on by the community center patrons.