ISBU Design Project

It has been exactly one month since my graduation from ACC. I’ve been in job search mode for the past 3 weeks and patiently waiting for delivery of my official A.A.S. Diploma which, by the way, will represent the beginning of my engineering career -or- my architectural “pre-education”. After the first few semesters, I came to realize that even after I obtained my associates degree, I would not even be close to having the priviledge of calling myself an architect. In fact, after hearing how much more schooling I would need to undergo, I wasn’t completely sure that I wanted to take it that far. After all, it seems to me like the education-to-salary ratio for architects is a bit uneven in comparison to other engineering careers. Being an architect no longer has the superstar appeal that it did when I was a kid. Still, I feel like I’m being lead down this path for some unknown reason. With one degree down and at least one more to go, I need to keep up the momentum. For now, I’ll need to keep the bills paid and the little mouths fed using the skills from my previous careers(i.e. sales, IT or customer service)

In order to stay sharp in all the rendering programs that I have learned to use over the last 18 months, like AutoCAD, 3DS Max and Revit, I have decided to initiate a few of my personal design projects. One of the ideas that had been floating around in my head was a design for a personal creative space/art studio that is constructed from one or more ISBU’s(Intermodal Steel Shipping Unit) – better known as shipping containers.

Basic 20ft  and 40ft ISBUs drafted using AutoCAD 2013.

Basic 20ft and 40ft ISBUs I drafted using AutoCAD 2013.

Shipping container test rendered using 3DS Max with low light and no background.

My ISBU test rendering using 3DS Max with low light and no background.

Styrofoam blocks a made for quick and configuration mock-ups and sketches.

Some styrofoam blocks that I made for quick configuration mock-ups and sketches.

There are already a few ISBU projects that have been successfully completed here in Austin. Probably the most recognized was the La Boite coffee shop on south Lamar. I found out later that La Boite was designed by a UT School of Architecture graduate. After a few weeks of research, I found several other local projects in the works. Not to mention the countless other – and much more elaborate projects around the world. I have collected a few of my favorite examples.

Single-family design by MEKA World

Single-family design by MEKA World

Stunning house built with 7 ISBUs by Maison IDEKIT Home.

Stunning house built with 7 ISBUs by Maison IDEKIT Home.

2-container cliffhanger home bt Studio-H:T

2-container cliffhanger home by Studio-H:T

I plan on starting with this stand-alone, green studio project using 1 – 3 20ft. containers. In order to maximize the natural light, much of the steel paneling will be cut out to make room for large windows on every wall except the main hanging wall which will double as the painting/work wall. The studio will be wired for lighting, heating and air conditioning. Roof-mounted solar panels will provide auxiliary power. I want to integrate as many natural materials into the interior as possible. Bamboo is my favorite wood-like materials. It should do well for the flooring and the furniture.

As I learn more about the various building methods, from foundations to insulation and external veneers, I will attempt to design something larger. Something that is a little more architecturally unique. From what I have seen so far, there are no set rules regarding these ISBU-based designs – with the exception of regional building codes. Again, being less of an architect and more of a drafter, codes will remain one of my areas of weakness until I get further in my architectural education.


Official video summary of RAW’s Holiday RAWk Show!

It’s been a while since my last post.  I have spent the majority of the last month either finishing my final class architectural project, preparing for the Holiday RAWk show, or preparing for graduation.  Posting(and painting) will begin in earnest in 2013!  Until then… The official video summary of RAW Austin’s December show was released not too long ago.  Take a look!

The final show of the year…

Would you like to help prepare me for my next art show?

This show will be my second live show.  I am already hard at work on new drawings, paintings and scratchworks to tantalize the eyes and stimulate the mind.   I’m hoping to have a much greater impact this time.

If you want to give me a hand, you can check out my new Kickstarter project!  You can begin supporting me for as little as $1.  And, YES, there is a reward for every backer!

If you are in the Austin area and/or prefer a more direct approach to support, you can grab a virtual ticket to “HOLIDAY RAWk” directly from my RAW profile!

Updates on the upcoming show and subsequent artwork will soon follow.


Thanks for following!!


RAW: Austin’s “PROVOCATION” show re-cap

RAW: Austin’s “PROVOCATIONS” show was quite an experience!

Pre-Show & Set-up

Although I was running a little behind for the visual artist set-up call, I got a break when I pulled up to The Parish and the load/unload parking space directly in front of the entrance was free.  It only took me about 5 minutes to run all of my artwork and supplies up the stairs and place them at my designated display spot.  I felt a twinge of pre-show nervousness while I was hanging my larger paintings.  It was probably because I started having trouble getting the height and angles right.  It was then that I remembered my brother’s offer to help me several weeks earlier.  I worked it out by myself, though purely by accident.  Eventually, I ran out of time and wall space.  So, I gathered my tools and my smaller art pieces and stashed them in the green room.  I hadn’t even placed info tags on my work.  I didn’t stress about it.  I figured that if anyone was really interested in buying, they would find me.  By around 8pm some of the guests started trickling in.  I stepped back and snapped a few cell phone pics of my own display before making my around the room to mingle and check out some of the other artists’ work.


The show definitely had that underground/indie vibe.  It may have lacked the upscale feel of a lounge at The W, but it definitely felt less “common” than the average walk-in bar on 6th street.  The atmosphere was very chill.  Thanks to D Bobby West who surprised me with his refreshing mixes.  I felt at home as I walked around greeting the patrons.  I made a special effort to greet those who I noticed were viewing my paintings.  It felt good, indeed, to observe individuals, couples and small groups of people walk up to my display and fix their gaze on a particular piece.  Then, with one hand tucked under an armpit and the other hand cupping their chin, they would lean slightly closer to examine the details.  I left the building only twice,  Once, to feed the parking meter and again, to feed my growling stomach.  That’s right!   I needed some time to rest my aching back and feet.  So, I took a stroll to Roppolo’s Pizzeria with a few good folks who were on my guest list.  Then it was back to The Parish for the last hour and a half of the show.

I walked around the room several times throughout the night to scope out the work of my peers.  I spoke to a few of the artists including the two Sams.  That is.. two different artists with two very different artistic styles – but both with the same name.  I was close to the stage when the short films of Jaime Sanchez and Deepak Chetty were featured.  Both films held my attention.  I made sure to let Jaime know that I was diggin’ the tracks he used in his film.  There were a few other artists who I intended to talk to, but never got to meet.

There were a handful of talented musicians who performed.  Three semi-solo acts and two bands.  I caught Anya’s performance as I was returning from my dinner break.  Having grown up listening to hiphop music while living in Philadelphia, I was initially hearing with critical ears.  But as she spit verse after verse, my head started bobbing.  No angry MC call-outs.  No false street bravado.  Simply intelligent, heartfelt and well-delivered lyrics.  She had it down!  Especially when she performed “Geronimo” which I recalled hearing on a local urban radio station.  I went to her soundcloud page to sample more during the weekend.  Nice!

Another act that I really enjoyed was the group Language Room.  Their music wasn’t normally my type of music… but good music is good music!  And, I literally rocked to every song hey played.  They sounded very polished.  If I had paid to get into the show, their performance alone would have gave me my money’s worth!

Of course, I continue to dream of having my very own solo show – where throngs of enthusiastic art lovers come to see me and my latest works of art.  Where ambient music fills the air and every wall in the exclusive venue is adorned with several of my highly desirable masterpieces.  But, there remains much work to do between now and then.  For now, being a RAW artist is as good as it gets.  And, I m looking forward to the next show(s).  I am already working on designs for a much cooler, interactive art display.  Can’t wait!