Halloween’s Terror Behind the Walls!


This was a spooky Halloween break that several of my classmates and I took. This event is held annually during October at the Eastern State Penitentiary. I wrote a review previously of a daytime visit to the prison turned museum. It is a wonderful place to visit and should certainly be visited if you are in Philadelphia.

Terror Behind the Walls is a series of haunted house experiences woven throughout the prison-museum. Overall it was fun! I was hyping myself for a much more terrifying experience. The way it operates is that after entering you sign a release form, basically saying you won’t sue if you are scared to death. Then the show begins, after each house you immediately enter another line to go into the next haunted house. Along the way those who have opted for a more enhanced experience are approached, touched,
“kidnapped” or diverted to an alternate experience. These people are given red glow in the dark necklaces to stand out to the event staff/actors.

Unfortunately for me all my friends opted in by the end of the event and so I was ultimately divereted into a different experience, isolated from them. However, this last house, the one I went through alone was by far the best haunted house experience out of all of them. It played the most tricks on your mind and held the most surprises.

If you have ever been the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and been on the Haunted Mansion consider this experience as a more interactive and slightly scarier version. On a regular night it would be too much for young kids but there are several kid friendly nights where they can tell the monsters to be nice and leave them alone.

If you are looking for a little Halloween fun this is defintely something to put on the list next to costume party, trick or treat, and pumpkin carving!

And much to my classmates surprise each year I have secretly put out Halloween cards and candy. I love seeing the surprise, joy, and the mystery lift the spirits of mid semester stress to something more light hearted! Til next year!!

Archives As Reference

This semester we have visited the Archives at Penn several times. This is an amazing resource! The Archives are located below the Fisher Fine Arts Library. The entrance is located just off 34th street by the crosswalk between Morgan and Fisher.

The Archives are always open and often have exhibits. As a class we have gone to see several of these including geologic mappings, a Robert Venturi exhibit, and the Laurie Olin exhibition of drawings. Laurie Olin even came in to walk us through his understanding of gardens and his growth and process of drawings.

I love visiting the archives becuase everytime I go in I come out with ideas and references. From color, style, drawing types, process etc the archive is full of ideas about what design is or was.

If you come to visit Penn I would definitely recommend stopping by the archive for a quick peek at the exhibit on display. It is always a wonderful experience.



Garden Review

What a wonderful review! I presented first and so had the reviewers at thier liveliest. Presenting first to third is my preffered place in the order of presentations only becuase the critics are the most attentive and you get to set up the standard for the presentations. You get to decide what background information to tell, what to highlight in the process, and the overall structure of the project. I feel this is still true even when professors begin reviews with introductory presentations on the site, process, and studio focus. Your presentation grounds what the professors presented prior.

I really enjoyed this review as a conversation. For once the review wasn’t simply a praise or debate of asethetic. Rather it was a conversation about ideas, intent, and design. The critics started with opinions but followed with suggestions and questions anticipating that I reply. It felt more like working towards a future solution than an end, close out review of a product like you’d find on Amazon. I appreciated that at no point in this conversation was I told what I had to do, what the “real” solution was. Rather options were discussed, and my ideas were tested, refined in strength. Ultimately I have a good sense of where the design needs refinement and what will help push me forward in the design process.

Sadly the jury rotated halfway through and tired out by the end. It seems the conversation started to die and only in at the very end in the overall closing of the review was there a lively conversation once more.


This has not been the first review this semester. Below are a few photos of the past two reviews of site analysis and case study research which lead up to and supported this design. Both these reviews were helpful in aesthetic critique but less so in terms of idea or design process. Primarily it was about processing data into and understandings of landscape spaces into drawings to aid in the future.



Not on a design note, this was the first time this semester that we were on time. For once we started when we were supposed to and we finished on time! This is super important to me. Time is something you can’t get back and need to use efficiently. While I love landscapes relaxed, positive atmosphere I can only hope this timeliness keeps up. It is definitely a welcome improvement!


And after every review a real clean up is needed. The amount of reference work, process, sketches, and miscellanous objects that appear on and around ones desk is astonshing. Thankfully Tuesday was a relaxing clean up and organization day. Now my desk is set for the next several weeks of design!