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06.01.18 – #DanielsGrad18: Robert Raynor

Degree: Honours Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and Visual Studies

What was the most enjoyable part of your Honours Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and Visual Studies degree?
Most enjoyable for me has been the friendships I've made with my brilliant and inspiring colleagues. Students often describe Daniels as "tight-knit community", and I wholeheartedly agree; the sense of camaraderie found in the 'studio culture' of both Architecture and Visual Studies has been a memorable and gratifying aspect of my time at U of T. Supporting each other on in-school and extracurricular projects and learning from our collective experiences in fields outside architecture allows for a broader and more rewarding education, not to mention making lifelong friends along the way.

Want to Play Cars? | VIS204 Installation with Ed Pien, Dec 2017
This work explores the idea of play. As kids, we project our imaginations onto the world around us; anything can become a castle, or a road, or a bridge, or a parking lot. 'Playing cars' with friends was a big part of my childhood, so this was a lot of fun to revisit. The pipes in the installation room made for a fantastic, untapped world to explore, and I added an aerial video projection of a real city for context. So, want to play cars?

What advice would you give to a new student?
Consider all of your courses as one giant course. Although every student has different subjects that they study (or different classes within architecture), avoid artificially siloing them: each can bring something new and unique to another, and taken as a whole your education will be far more fulfilling than if they are kept in isolation. Always be thinking about how you can use what you've learned in one class to influence your work in another!

Tension Tower | ARC280 Modelling and Fabrication in Design with Nicholas Hoban, April 2018
Modelling proves a tricky means of exploring a project's physical strength. While often highly delicate, they represent towers that are designed to be strong and resilient. This project was a study in structure, where two non-parallel cores serve to anchor and self-align each floor plate. The final model was built without the use of glue, supporting itself exclusively through tension.

What are your plans after graduation? How has this degree prepared you for the future?
I currently work in the Woodworking and Fabrication lab at Daniels and plan to pursue my Master's degree in the future. As the program encourages students to pull knowledge and experience from courses outside the faculty, such as Environmental Studies, Physics, and Gender Studies, I feel that the breadth of education that Daniels provides has allowed me to broaden my sense of what art and architecture can be and how those practices can influence one another. I'm planning to pursue a career in design/build with an ecological and artistic focus.

Den | VIS431 Thesis with Joanne Tod and John Massey, April 2018 | Photo: Harry Choi
Where does architecture end, and furniture begin? Den explores the architecture of play at furniture scale. Invoking the magic of creative, anarchic, childlike freedom, Den is a playful take on the spatial spectrum and inspired by the unprogrammed primitive shelters of animals.

Illustrations in slideshow, top:
Smaller Than Life
 | VIS308 Advanced Drawing with Ed Pien, Feb 2017 | Pencil on Paper
This work compares reality and perception. Four stills of my model train set are composed as though they are actual photos of a landscape, and rendered in a traditionally realistic way. However, each still includes a nod to the truth of their existence, such as a leaning paintbrush, unhooked train track, or the rafters of my basement. As such, it is a series of drawings (abstractions) of photographs (direct depictions) of a model (abstraction) of reality, where the abstractions are meant to increase the true reality relative to the perceived and expected idea of what is being shown. The work is scaled to the relative size of the train set, self-reflecting on the idea of the constructed image.

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Convocation for #UofTDaniels students is on June 14. This month we are featuring our graduates, including their work, their memories, and their advice for new students. Follow #DanielsGrad18 for more!