Built Form

My Inspiration and Original Idea

When we were given this assignment, I knew right away that I wanted to tell a story about a person. And, more importantly, I wanted to give them power in the piece – the power to use their voice. Additionally, because this was a video essay, I knew I needed interesting b-roll. My friend recommended that I talk to one of her Architecture classmates who was working with robotics in one of his courses. Architecture and robots? I was instantly sold on the idea and contacted her classmate right away. 

The Art of Architecture 

Shaurya Dhir is a senior studying Architectural Studies at the University of Illinois. Dhir is from New Delhi, India, and he was shy, humble and very kind during our interview. He brought me to his studio where he gave me a brief tour of his stomping grounds. I quickly learned that Dhir is an avid soccer fan, he is fond of sleeping in, and he is a dedicated student in the classroom. I admired the drawings he showed me and the stories he told me about his projects. One thing Dhir repeated throughout the interview was how Architecture gives him the creative license to express himself through built form. He enjoys seeing his ideas come to life. And, he wants to be a real estate developer at his own firm one day. It was interesting to observe his quiet demeanor change during the interview as he became more comfortable talking about the passion he has for his major. Finally, Shaurya told me about the giant robot he’s been using this semester. He jokingly admits that his professor used a lot of grant money to purchase this robot, yet they have no idea how to use it. In that moment, I realized that this University is up to some pretty amazing things. And, there are a lot of pretty amazing people here, too. Shaurya is definitely one of them. In just 20 minutes, he taught me about the art in architecture. The art in technology. The art in design. The art in sketches, drawings, and calculations. The art in built form.

Senior Architectural Studies major Shaurya Dhir looks at the robot he and his classmates have been working on this semester.

My Reflection 

I’m going to be completely honest. This project took me quite a bit of time. Shaurya had such an interesting story, and I wanted to make sure that I pulled the best pieces of that story for the video essay. I wish I captured a greater variety of b-roll to add to his statements. It was difficult to record interesting natural sound because we were the only ones in the quiet studio at the time. However, I am pleased with my sequencing. I made an effort to focus on getting wide, medium, and tight shots, and I think that shows in my video. I enjoyed the creative freedom I was able to have in making decisions as the producer. I carefully chose the actualities and the order they appear in. I purposefully placed two moments of b-roll and natural audio in-between his narration to give the story a natural pause and a break-up.

Shaurya Dhir doodles sketches on the whiteboard in his design studio.

This is such an exciting journey, and I’m happy to see where it is going. Each week provides a different challenge, and I’m sincerely enjoying learning more about multimedia and myself.

This week, I was able to showcase an amazing peer at my school. Isn’t it interesting how our paths may have never crossed if it weren’t for this assignment? That’s my favorite part about journalism – the opportunity to meet new people and to hear their stories.

Feel free to check out my video here.

-Olivia

One thought on “Built Form

  1. Kerndl, Angela Megan

    I really loved your video for this assignment, Olivia. I enjoyed seeing how passionate Shaurya was about architecture. I also really liked how you mentioned that if it weren’t for this assignment, you may never have crossed paths with him. The editing throughout the entire video was extremely well done, everything went together so nicely. I enjoyed seeing the video go back and forth between him talking to the camera and him actually working. The pacing of the story seemed perfect, too. I thought all of different angles were great, and no shot seemed boring to me. The audio editing was also very well put together. I liked how he was telling his story the whole time and I thought the music in the background really went well with it. At the very end, however, I thought it was a bit hard to understand what he was saying, so I would suggest maybe upping the volume at that point during the editing process, or asking him to speak up a little more during the interview. Overall, I thought you really did a great job capturing Shaurya’s story. I look forward to seeing your work for the next assignment!

    -Angela Kerndl

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