architecture school + eric.

current/past work of eric lawler. i'm a third year architecture student at ball state. this blog will encompass my entire undergraduate and graduate experience in architecture school.

In the third interrogation I’ve been testing plastic bags for their strength at both retaining air and not popping. It’s been interesting trying to use only plastic parts, the ties keeping them air-tight and linking them together are simply ripped plastic bags. 

I plan to next iron plastic bags together to create a tough, flexible, fabric-like material so that I can explore its strength and practical uses. I want to unite all my interrogations into a single comprehensive study by the presentation time. 

Each interrogation I do opens up new possibilities for the use of plastic bags as a material of design. Who knows, maybe I’ll become the plastic bag Shigeru Ban?

The second interrogation I give plastic bags includes a second pot to be placed inside the first to avoid any contact between plastic and oil. This results in a product that isn’t oily which gives me the 100% plastic bag result I was looking for. I wasn’t pleased with the oil in the past interrogation; it gave me a creation that wasn’t pure. 

However, I forgot to get a nonstick pot and the plastic got stuck to the sides of the steel one and wouldn’t separate. I was intending for the plastic to bunch up into a ball an basically resemble the same “loaf” as the last study I had but without the result of oilyness. My next plan is to unite these past two studies with a new one: inflated bags. With the addition of the element of air, I can create a material that’s not hard and heavy. I hope it can hold human weight and serve as a seating material.

New project! Much different from the others I’ve posted on this site. I’m looking into how to mold plastic bags into shapes. Maybe as bricks or large blocks. This first step is stirring cut up bags in a large bowl of oil until they turn gum-like. It’s taken a ton of bags. I really should have been counting but I’d estimate between 15-20 bags.

No fumes, no smells, it’s a pretty convenient process. Except getting boiling oil on your skin, that’s not convenient…

Update: I’ve used at least 30 bags at this point, still probably only equals a few cups of plastic bag goop… It’s a pretty efficient means of recycling if so many bags can occupy such a small amount of space.

Final Update: Just about the size of a loaf of banana bread. It’s really slimey from the oil. Next time around I’m going to try a double pot method that will avoid having oil touch the plastic. It’ll be 100% plastic without any gross oil in it. That would be a more realistic model. I also need to find a more cube-shaped mold. Or make one. Too bad we don’t have any ABS 3D printers at school for me to use for mold making.  the powder printer we have would be too expensive for mold making. I should probably give it a shot anyway.

Anonymous asked: Nice CAP banner, I saw it today when I walked through CAP (I'm an LA student) and I was like, "hey I saw that on tumblr!"

Thank you! Glad to hear it’s been well received.

The final iteration of the CAP House came to be after the Dean informed me my design was chosen to be put up in the interior of the building. After working with the Dean’s Assistant Lori Pence for over a week, I finally came to a design that we were all pleased with. Wider, more trees, more readable font, and a busier street. Changing the original design resulted in a much better banner, in my opinion. I’ve always been curious what it’ll be like in the professional world where compromise happens more often than in school, and this tiny bit of insight makes it seem like less of a negative thing. I am much more pleased with this design than with the first one I posted on this site a few weeks ago. That’s been consistent with all my other projects too. All of my first ideas were considerably less interesting than the final developed one. Of course that seems like common sense but I think it’s something good to remind yourself when you think some idea you have is too good to change. Change is a great thing.

The last two photos are of the design in real life, finally realized in full banner form! It was incredibly nice to see it like this after it’s been so small on my screen for so long. That’s the most rewarding part of all this: seeing your work finally come to life AND realizing that it looks even better in actual material reality. 


CAP House - Eric Lawler

Entry to Ball State University’s CAP 50th Anniversary Design Competition. 

Through the design I wanted to convey the function of the college as a family. While it often resembles family feud when it comes to design approaches, discussing the future, and whether or not formalism is appropriate, we nevertheless will leave with more friends than we entered with. So I created a house made within the CAP acronym featuring studios, elevators, conversations, a lecture hall, and a crit going on at the top. I also wanted the design to reflect the methods in which we design and intend to experience our designs, so CAP House was created in the 3D CAD program Rhino and viewed from an angle to emphasize this. As I browse the other entries, I’m truly convinced that the college is sorely in need of a design that indicates a direction more interesting than ‘we all use grids!’ or ‘look how marketable this banner design is!’ and I hope this design accomplishes that.

(via ericlawler)

CAP 50th Design Competition Voting Survey

If you have a few minutes, please vote for my design! I’m the seventh one, or if the entries are shuffled for each new voter, I’m the entry with the description:

“The CAP house represents the family that all past, present, and future members of the college belong to. Spread across different fields, we all work toward the same goal: redesigning a better future. We work with a vast number of mediums and will eventually spread to all corners of the Earth; however, our origin is shared be each and every one of us: good ol’ CAP!” 

Winning this competition means I will have my design printed on a 10 foot by 60 foot banner and displayed against the building for a whole year. How incredible is that! At best the school work I spend countless hours on gets a place in the hallway for a few days or a week and then disappears to make room for more presentations. 

Thank you so much!

This is the first interesting thing I’ve been able to make in Processing! First I used to get the color codes from this beautiful picture of Jojo with a pumpkin. Then I put these codes into Processing with a ‘sketch’ that I learned in a tutorial. This sketch (sketch is what processing calls each new file, or program) basically created a bunch of rectangles that would change colors at a random time to another color. The 5 colors used in this sketch came from Jojo’s picture. The effect is really cool!

The code looks like this:

color[] jojo = {#000000, #B84C45, #327547, #8B1216, #F98202};

color[] palette = jojo;

int s = 15;

void setup(){

  size (375,150);





for(int x = 0; x < width; x += s){

 for(int y = 0; y < height; y +=s){ 






void draw (){


 int x = int(random(width/s))*s;

 int y = int(random(height/s))*s;




Draft of the CAP 50th anniversary banner. I need to add more text, figure out what goes behind rather than gray, and maybe a few more things below the giant CAP logo. Deadline July 25th. 

Yellow wall gunk in La Coruña, Spain. June 2014.

Yellow wall gunk in La Coruña, Spain. June 2014.