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December 21, 2015

North Austin Community Garden Wins A|N Best of Design Awards 2015

Thoughtbarn's North Austin Community Garden won the Landscape & Urban Design cateogory of the Architect's Newspaper Best of Design Awards 2015. (Full article here).

Many thanks (and…

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Thoughtbarn's North Austin Community Garden won the Landscape & Urban Design cateogory of the Architect's Newspaper Best of Design Awards 2015. (Full article here).

Many thanks (and congratulations!) to all our project partners (including Art in Public PlacesYMCA of AustinSustainable Food Center, the City's Sustainable Urban Agriculture program, John Hart Asher of the Ladybird Wildflower Center, and the Garden Leadership Group, led bySharon Mays), the dedicated Thoughtbarn team (past and present: Andrei Klypin, Kate Nichols and Kyle Norman, with support from Brian Carville and Kaziah Haviland), our many talented craftsmen (Connor Finn, Rhys Andersen, Shane Riley, Jimmy Rittenberry, Jon Davidson (DoeFabCo) and Ann Armstrong (Ann-Made), as well as DeLara Landscaping and Native Irrigation), our 100+ volunteers (including an energetic crew from JE Dunn and Junior Girl Scout Troop 1210), and to Eastside Lumber.

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November 24, 2015

Fair Market Wins Preservation Merit Award 2015


Fair Market is a unique event space that has hosted vintage motorcycle shows, art and craft fairs, dance parties, weddings and fashion shows against its industrial backdrop since its 2014 opening.…

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Fair Market is a unique event space that has hosted vintage motorcycle shows, art and craft fairs, dance parties, weddings and fashion shows against its industrial backdrop since its 2014 opening. It was converted from a five-bay (1600 SF) Quonset hut constructed in the 1950's. The core vision was to keep the essential character of the building in tact. The strategy of “less is more” was employed, leaving the structure exposed and the building uninsulated while adding new entrances, bathrooms, and large ceiling fans.

On November 20, 2015, Fair Market was recognized with a 2015 Preservation Merit Award for its visionary approach to preserving Austin's architectural, cultural, and environmental heritage.

Jury Comments: This remarkable transformation preserves an important remnant of East Austin’s industrial past at a time when so many of the neighborhood’s historic resources are being lost. The jury further appreciates that the project preserved an early 20th century board and batten cottage and usable greenspace adjacent to the warehouse.

Many thanks to our partner business, DELINEATE studio, and to Guerilla Suit for working with us on the signage.

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November 23, 2015

Works in Progress / Construction at Brackenridge

Construction progress on one of our current projects: Brackenride Follies.
We are adding a pool, porch, shed, and outdoor fireplace to an existing home.

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Construction progress on one of our current projects: Brackenride Follies.
We are adding a pool, porch, shed, and outdoor fireplace to an existing home.

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November 11, 2015

Weekend of Art Installations in Austin


We are excited to share several events happening in Austin this weekend that we have participated in or our friends have contributed to:

#1 - Thurs, Nov 12: Waller Creek Conservancy's Creek Show, …

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We are excited to share several events happening in Austin this weekend that we have participated in or our friends have contributed to:

#1 - Thurs, Nov 12: Waller Creek Conservancy's Creek ShowOpening Night 6-11pm

#2 - Fri, Nov 13: Field Constructs Design Competition, Exhibition Opening Reception 5-7pm

#3 - Sat & Sun, Nov 14-15: Tempo & AIPP Art Installations

#4 - Sun, Nov 15: Drawing Lines: District Nine, Final Exhibition Day

 



#1 - Waller Creek Conservancy's Creek Show (November 12-21, 2015)


"High Water Mark" by Thoughtbarn (Creek Show, 2014)

We had the privilege of being part of the inaugural Creek Show last year. Creek Show attracted thousands of visitors to the creek. It is back this year in an expanded, nine-night format with five brand new site-specific installations all designed by local artists, architects, and landscape architects. This free public event will captivate visitors through visionary art that illustrates the intersection of natural environment, innovative design, and urban life. RSVP requested.

Opening Night: November 12, 6-11pm
November 12-21, 2015: 6-11pm
Waller Creek between 5th St and 8th St.
www.creekshow.com



#2 - Field Constructs Design Competition Exhibition (November 13-23, 2015)



Our friend and colleague, Igor Siddiqui of ISSStudio, was on the curation team for the exterior installation competition Field Constructs Design Competition (FCDC). Competition submissions by 2015 FCDC Winners, Jury Selection Finalists, and Curators’ Choices will be on display November 13-23, 2015.

Mebane Gallery in Goldsmith Hall at The University of Texas School of Architecture
Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm
Opening Reception for Gallery Exhibitioin: Friday, November 13, 2015 from 5-7pm (Introductory remarks by the curators at 5:15pm)
Opening Reception at 900 Grove Boulevard: Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 1-4pm
http://fieldconstructs.org/



#3 - Tempo and AIPP (Art in Public Places) Art Installations (November 2015)


"Omission" by Juan Deleon (TEMPO, November 2015)


Sat, Nov 14 - TEMPO: Omission
Sat, Nov 14  - EAST Public Art Crawl
Sat, Nov 14  - TEMPO: Born and Bread
Sun, Nov 15  - AIPP 30: Art Party for the People

http://austintexas.gov/tempo
http://austintexas.gov/department/art-in-public-places
 


#4 - Drawing Lines: District Nine (through Sunday, November 15, 2015)


"Construction Event" by Jack Sanders (Drawing Lines, November 2015)

Our friend Jack Sanders' (Founder of Design Build Adventure) installation "Construction Event" will be on display at the Elizabet Ney Museum through Sunday, November 15, 2015.
http://www.drawinglinesaustin.com/

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July 06, 2015

Press Coverage / Colors in the Garden

Thoughtbarn's YMCA Garden was featured in the 2015 May/June Issue of Texas Architect, which looks at the bold use of color in diverse architectural projects. View the full article here.…more

Thoughtbarn's YMCA Garden was featured in the 2015 May/June Issue of Texas Architect, which looks at the bold use of color in diverse architectural projects. View the full article here.

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March 31, 2015

JOB OPENING / OFFICE WIZARD

We're looking for someone to help us part-time with the administrative side of things in the office.  This includes tasks related to invoicing, financial record-keeping, project scheduling,…

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We're looking for someone to help us part-time with the administrative side of things in the office.  This includes tasks related to invoicing, financial record-keeping, project scheduling, insurance, employee resources, potential projects, and, with the right skillset, marketing as well. Anticipated workload is 16hrs/wk with possibility of more hours if marketing is part of job too. Job description below.  If you're interested please send your resume to Lucy at lucy@thoughtbarn - or send this on to someone you think might be! 

Office Wizard Job Opening

The following qualifications are desirable:
- Interest in architecture, design and construction.
- Good organizational skills, both analog and digital.
- Proficiency with Word and Excel.
- Proficiency with Quickbooks, or desire to learn.
- Good communication skills, both written and verbal.
- Ability to take initiative/self-direct.
- Knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator and website management a plus.

Job Duties

Potential Projects
- Manage incoming inquiries about potential projects (emails, client calls, meeting scheduling).
- Assist directors in putting together contracts for new projects.

Financial/Record-Keeping
- Send and follow-up on invoices to clients.
- Assist book-keeper in compiling receipts/invoices.
- Collect timesheets from employees and maintain project reports tracking hours, income and expenses.
- Work with directors and CPA to files taxes, ensure state and federal tax requirements are met.
- Deposit incoming checks to bank and assist in handling subcontractor/consultant payments.
- Assist directors in running payroll and managing related paperwork.

Scheduling
- Help directors manage weekly schedules and appointments.
- Organize occasional work travel arrangements for directors.

Maintenance
- Keep office clean, organized and stocked with stationary / water / supplies.

Employees/Subcontractors
- Manage incoming resumes from candidates seeking work, set up meetings where appropriate.
- Ensure we have w-9 information from subcontractors and consultants.

Insurance
- Document all office valuables, keep records for insurance.
- Manage paperwork requirements to keep insurance current.
- Periodically review insurance plans (health, liability, workers comp) and work with agent to research alternatives.

Marketing (optional)
- Keep a calendar of upcoming RFQ and award deadlines
- Put together press packets, award submissions, RFQ applications for various projects.
- Upload project photos, text, blog updates to website, social media.

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November 09, 2014

WORKS IN PROGRESS / “CREEK SHOW” + HIGH WATER MARK

Preparations are underway at the studio for the installation this week of ‘High Water Mark’, Thoughtbarn’s contribution to “Creek Show”, an event organized by Ingrid Spencer and the Waller Creek…

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Preparations are underway at the studio for the installation this week of ‘High Water Mark’, Thoughtbarn’s contribution to “Creek Show”, an event organized by Ingrid Spencer and the Waller Creek Conservancy.  Five local designers from Austin will be creating light-based temporary artworks in and around the creek as an initiative to bring people to the area and propel public interest in its future development.  The opening night is on Thursday 13th Nov and the exhibition will be up through Sunday 16th November to coincide with the East Austin Studio Tour.  Thursday’s event includes happy hour at Easy Tiger, a DJ set on Sabine St and a musical line-up at Empire Control Room.  The installations are located between 5th and 8th St bridges and will be on display all night. More information on the event can be found at the Creek Show website, Culture Map and Texas Architect.

Thoughtbarn’s installation, High Water Mark, is a manifestation of an invisible line that will soon be erased – Waller Creek’s 100-year floodplain (an area with a 1% probability or greater of flooding annually). Thanks to the vast new Waller Creek stormwater bypass tunnel, 28 acres of downtown will be newly opened up for redevelopment. The idea of High Water Mark is to make visible a fragment of this disappearing floodplain with a 50’ long installation of electroluminescent wire inspired by hydrological flow patterns.  Suspended above the creek under the 7th St bridge, visitors are invited to imagine the area under extreme flood conditions while enjoying the chance to see illuminated the (usually hidden) spectacular double curvature stonework of the bridge.

Since the historic status of the bridge prevents us from hanging anything from it, the wire will be elevated on a delicate steel framework secured to the creek bed instead.  Jon Davidson and Connor Finn have been fabricating the frame in Jon’s shop this week, with parts laser-cut by Austin Water Jet.  Andrei will be soldering the EL wire and a team will be taking it in several pieces to the site to install.  It remains to be seen who’ll brave getting in the water for the task!

This has been an unusual, invigorating opportunity to work closely with colleagues in the local design community on the conceptualizing of the event as a whole, as well as our individual piece.  Conversations began almost two years ago and we’re intrigued to see everything come together later this week.  Thanks to Murray Legge, Baldridge Architects, Design Workshop and Jason Sowell, as well as Ingrid Spencer, the Waller Creek Conservancy and Pentagram, for the collaboration!

Please join us for what promises to be a unique Austin event!

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August 26, 2014

YMCA COMMUNITY GARDEN / SXSW ECO FINALIST

We're delighted that the North Austin Community Garden has been shortlisted as a finalist for the SXSW Eco 'Place By Design' competition.  The award celebrates "breakthrough ideas in the…

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We're delighted that the North Austin Community Garden has been shortlisted as a finalist for the SXSW Eco 'Place By Design' competition.  The award celebrates "breakthrough ideas in the reinvention of public space".  We were selected along with fourteen other finalists from a pool of applicants around the world. Winners will be announced on October 7th 2014 at the SXSW Eco Awards at the Austin Convention Center.

The garden was, and continues to be, a labor of love for many different people and organizations.  A big thank you and congratulations to all our project partners including Art in Public Places, YMCA of Austin, Sustainable Food Center, the City's Sustainable Urban Agriculture program, John Hart Asher of the Ladybird Wildflower Center and, of course, the Garden Leadership Group, led by the tireless Sharon Mays.  

The dedicated Thoughtbarn team, past and present, consisted of Andrei Klypin, Kate Nichols and Kyle Norman, with support from Brian Carville and Kaziah Haviland.  The project was built with the help of talented craftsmen Connor Finn, Rhys Andersen, Shane Riley, Jimmy Rittenberry, Jon Davidson (DoeFabCo) and Ann Armstrong (Ann-Made), as well as DeLara Landscaping and Native Irrigation.  We also couldn't have done it without the help of over 100 volunteers who helped weave the sculptural fence and build garden beds on the community workdays, including an energetic crew from JE Dunn and Junior Girl Scout Troop 1210.  Eastside Lumber allowed us to stretch our budget further by giving us all the cedar boards at cost.

We think the project is a compelling example of how public art can help amplify the impact of community gardens - and hope this recognition provides momentum for more projects of this kind in the city!  More images of the garden can be seen here and a short documentary about the project by Flow Non-Fiction here.

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March 27, 2014

GRAND OPENING / YMCA COMMUNITY GARDEN

 

A big day for the garden is fast approaching! The garden will be open for planting to those who have signed up for a plot this Saturday, March 29th, following a fun schedule of opening…

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A big day for the garden is fast approaching! The garden will be open for planting to those who have signed up for a plot this Saturday, March 29th, following a fun schedule of opening events. You are invited to join in on opening day festivities! The opening day event will begin at 11:30a with remarks from garden project leaders and a ribbon cutting. At 12:30, the YMCA will host a plant sale. The events will be wrapped up by an onsite gardening demo from 1:30-2.

Congrats to all those who have signed up for a garden plot! We are pleased to announce that all of the plots were sold out on the day they became available. If you were unable to obtain a plot but are still interested in being in the garden, you can look forward to many future garden events and ways to be involved.

Here’s a peak at the garden’s progress. Thanks to the help of many wonderful volunteers, the fence is complete! The toolshed is nearly ready.

Thanks again to all of the great volunteers who made it out to the community workdays. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you. We hope to see you in the garden soon!

 

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"... "It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...” - Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

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February 13, 2014

Works in Progress / YMCA Community Garden

This one’s been a long time coming …..which is why current momentum on the ground is particularly gratifying.  At the beginning of 2012 we won a commission from Art in Public Places to design…

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This one’s been a long time coming …..which is why current momentum on the ground is particularly gratifying.  At the beginning of 2012 we won a commission from Art in Public Places to design the first “artist-led community garden” in Austin.  The site is at the North Austin YMCA on Rundberg Lane, an impressive new facility designed by Studio 8 Architects.  

The project is an experiment on many levels – in defining a garden as public art, in making publicly-owned land available for community gardening, in growing food at a YMCA facility – and is an example of expanding citywide efforts to support local, sustainable food production at the institutional level. Friends, beware the ‘institutional experiment’!  We’ve encountered energetic support and bureaucratic hurdles in equal measure. No less than eight City departments had jurisdiction over the project.  We’ve been through a change of site, endless design revisions, permitting delays and a billion meetings. 

But here we are! The radial site plan is beginning to take shape, in the form of gravel paths and pie-shaped mulched areas.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be installing a sculptural fence and toolshed, raised and handicapped accessible garden beds, fruit trees and wildflowers.  The intention is for the garden to work for both individual gardeners and YMCA programming.  The sculptural fence will form a secure boundary around the members’ garden plots while a ‘public spine’, open to everyone, will contain YMCA-managed demonstration beds and a shady gathering space beneath an existing Arizona Ash.  Future phases will hopefully include a teaching pavilion, greenhouse and additional teaching and member plots.

The project has enjoyed tremendous support from many different sources.  Both the City and the YMCA have been incredibly committed to the project.  Sari Albornoz of the Sustainable Food Center and John Hart Asher of the Ecosystem Design Group at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center have been invaluable sounding boards. The Garden Leadership Group, made up of energetic local residents, has done the hard work of creating by-laws, site rules and a membership sign-up system. Local film-makers, Flow Non-Fiction, have been documenting the process to make into a short film.  And from our office, Kyle Norman, Andrei Klypin and Kate Nichols have each been instrumental in getting the project to this point.

Now we’re so close!  And there are opportunities for everyone to help us finish! We’re holding a series of Community Workdays on Saturday February 22, March 1st and March 8th, from 10am – 2pm.  Activities will include weaving the sculptural fence, building the garden beds, planting trees and painting the toolshed.  If you would like to volunteer for any of these days, please sign up through this link.  You can also email lucy@thoughtbarn.com with any questions.  All ages are welcome.

The garden will be open for membership in mid-March.  The final details of the sign-up system are being ironed out and will be released before the end of this month on the garden website.  In the meantime more updates to come as the fun, photogenic stuff gets underway….LB  


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