Drawing Class for teens

The Class

If your young adult loves to draw or is interested in exploring this medium, share this with them and bring them to my two hour afternoon sessions on Thursdays 4:30-6:30. Our new session starts on November 17 and runs through December 15 for 5 weeks of fun and collaboration. The class is also good for those who see the beauty of our visual world or are curious in developing that capacity.

About you

I listen and flow with the interest of each individual, crafting a collaborative environment that is inspiring. In it, each student is guided by their strengths and passions to bring out each unique visual voice while developing new skills and confidence. Class size limit – 5 of you!


About me

I am a professor, an artist/designer and a mother of a teen and an artist. I have taught at the university level in the area of visualization for 18 years in places like Prague, Hong Kong, South Carolina, and Michigan. I have worked in this realm with teens in Florida, New York, Barcelona, and North Carolina. I studied in Florida, New York, Paris and Barcelona and in so many other crevices in the trajectory of my daily life. More about me. Excited to form a new group and share in creativity and curiosity. Let’s have fun!  – Martha

How we play
Here is a sample of how I often start my group classes :
Musical Table – a version of the Musical Chair, where no one is left behind. People of all ages drew together in this one.
About Musical Table in the Mountain Express by Ursula Gullow

Here is a local project by teens created and led by me :
What is Asheville? – The City of Asheville as a Living Board Game


Sample drawings by my young students

$280. $140 will secure your place in the class; $140 due at the start of class. For more information or to enroll, please call me at (864) 650-8570
14 year old student Cannon developing her style

Sample drawings by my young students

14639715_10153998040868663_2105495695055495212_n 14731161_10153998040608663_7312141607943303944_nLarge water drawings on asphalt

14606427_10154005723103663_2426649071763023960_n 14721714_10154005723238663_2158235724045233928_n 14925328_10154005722993663_3638051802534871760_nStudents drawing each other and sharing drawings

14925343_10154005723068663_7125394303616252548_nExperimenting with watercolor


15 year old Devi’s first day at class


14 year old Cannon developing her style

14711177_10153949568448663_4820259715671250539_oA collective very large drawing by many students. Faces on top of faces.


14 year student developing her style


Nude drawings from The Saturday program at the Copper Union. High school students lead by me and other Cooper Union students.

14962595_10154018128573663_5892864481135369334_nGetting inspired by the drawings of other artists, architects and designers


SEED_Haiti is an environmental and humanitarian solution for providing relief housing with the adaptive reuse of surplus ISO shipping containers which in time turn into permanent homes. This solution uses the many shipping containers that are already in Haiti and the large number of shipping containers that are being sent to Haiti with relief supplies. In the coming months, there will be thousands of containers arriving to Haiti. SEED_Haiti is working on a strong incentive package to get this surplus of containers donated from the shipping industry for homes in Haiti rather than storing them or transporting them empty.

Key elements of the SEED_Haiti Design

Haiti’s hurricane season is approaching. The estimated 500,000+ of homeless need to be housed in stables structures quickly. The containers with their unibody construction of Cor-Ten steel, are not only hurricane and earthquake proof, they are also fire, mold, and vandalism proof. The design is able to seal back up in the case of another natural disaster protecting a family’s valuable possessions so that when they return home they are not starting from scratch again.

The SEED design transforms a 40’ shipping container into a home for 6-10 people with a minimum amount of effort. The container is cut with readily available equipment and utilizes low impact foundation technology to lift the home off the ground for ventilation and protect from flood. It is also covered with a secondary roof to keep the home cool. It is a low cost emergency solution. Incentives should be given to shipping companies to donate their surplus containers in Port-au-Prince and arriving containers with relief supplies.

The SEED home is equipped with 2 low cost pallet sized “pods” (water pod and energy pod) that meet the basic needs of access to drinking water, human sanitation and food preparation.

These elements are a micro infrastructure that provides self sufficiency a key element for place that has lost all infrastructure.

Possible questions of the SEED_Haiti Design

Is housing people in shipping containers appropriate?

Not only does it effectively protect the people that would otherwise be homeless or in tents, it protects them better than before. The container’s unibody structure is stronger than the homes which collapsed during the earthquake. As a dwelling type, container housing is already common as part of many countries vernacular and is being more commonly used in construction including luxury housing.

How do you transport such heavy structures?

The shipping container is the backbone of the global trade. Virtually every country in the world, including Haiti, has equipment for handling shipping containers. Transporting them from the port to a building site will be the same challenge for any emergency housing. In fact, other building materials and equipment will be delivered to Haiti in shipping containers.

Isn’t such a material (steel) in the Caribbean a bad choice in terms of heat gain?

The material will not overturn or collapse, but it will also not mold or burn. A canopy that is part of the design, provides not only shade and an additional space on the roof of the structure, but also a tunnel draft of air which insulates the roof. The emergency garden proposed for the roof also serves as insulation. The container’s simple cuts in the horizontal planes, provide natural cross ventilation.

For more information, visit http://10to10.org/.

Proxy Florence

PROXY Florence was exhibited at the Beyond Media 2009 Festival, Visions in Florence, Italy from July 9th to 17th.

PROXY Florence is a dynamic map and a collective story of Florence created through the interplay of virtual space and physical space and the interaction of 500 collaborators from 27 countries.

The project used facebook to connect and collaborate. It used Google Panoramio’s interface to collect and organize the individual images of Florence captured, envisioned, or remembered by each of the 500 contributors from across the globe. PROXY Florence used Variable Data Printing to convert the individual images collected into 500 unique, tangible postcards that were organized spatially by their coordinate data.

These images were mapped according to the image’s remembered or imagined location. These numerous images were returned to their origin in Florence, Italy and specifically, as a scale down version of this city, at Stazione Leopolda, the space of the exhibition. The focus of PROXY 1.0 was [43°46’22”N – 11°15’27”E] from July 9 – 17.

The visitors of this event were invited to dismantle the exhibit by removing the postcard of their choice. By taking a postcard, mailing to a friend, the cycle is continued.

PROXY Florence is mapping the route of the image and connecting the recipient of the postcard with the origin of the photo and its taker.

If you took a postcard in Florence, go to www.proxyproject.org to register your postcard.

Thanks for participating! Thanks also to our sponsors and to everyone who worked on this project!!!


Clemson Advancement Foundation, Clemson University
McMahan Fund for Excellence, Clemson University
College of Architecture, Arts & Humanities, Clemson University
Modern Postcard
Each of our 500 collaborators who gave a dollar with each image submitted

Check out the videos and photos posted here and at the project’s website www.proxyproject.org


Imagine a living map of a city that is created and recreated as the city regenerates minute by minute, a map that is drawn and redrawn by the daily activities of its inhabitants. Our proposal is to equip numerous bicycles in Barcelona’s new public transportation system Bicing with A/V (Audio/Video) and GPS (Global Positioning System) devices in order to collect the everyday qualitative and quantitative aspects of the city via the routine of its inhabitants. From these numerous individual fragments of the city, a collective story is assembled as users go about their lives to “compose a manifold story that has neither author nor spectator, shaped out of fragments of trajectories and alterations of spaces: in relation to representations, it remains daily and indefinitely other.” 1 Layer upon layer of stories build into a map constructed not by the authorities but by the everyday users of the system, from the ground up. The bicycle as an extension of the human body into the city becomes a full-scale mapping instrument, which captures both the sensual/experiential and the scientific/abstract notation of the human body into the city body and viceversa.

As the city occupant cycles through Barcelona, Borges conceit of a map at full scale in A Universal History of Infamy is realized not in dimension but in precision. 2 Cycling as the city cycles, the inhabitants write and read their stories on the streets, alleys, parks and sidewalks of their terrain vividly and precisely as they go about their daily routines. Described and narrated through the imagery of the scenery and conversations recorded on the A/V device and grounded with the details of the data inscribed by GPS, the city is revealed as “pictorial and sensual, intellectual and mathematical” 3 via daily routines and interactions. The hybrid A/V/GPS device will be housed within the bicycle’s light enclosure on the handlebar and powered by the pedaling of the cyclist. The device will stream a live feed of data that would be archived into a searchable database in which the collected time code (A/V) and (GPS) information are synchronized, blending the realism and sensuality of experience with the detailed discovery of the physiology of the cyclist as related to the geography and place it occupies. The data will exist online as a “living map” of anonymous yet detailed data of the life of a city and as an open source document for scientists and artists to analyze and interpret. What do calories burned, and body mass mean as related to length, speed, imagery and sound? What do latitude, longitude and topography mean as related to heart rate and mood? What do we understand by density of movement, interactions, delays, detours as experiences accumulated on a place? What is revealed about the sensual and the abstract and about the intimate relationship between the city and its occupants? And how do we benefit from visualizing this intricate ecology? *

1 de Certeau, Michel. Walking in the City. In The Practice of Everyday Life

2 Borges, Jorge Luis. A Universal History of Infamy

3 Nuti, Lucia. Mapping Places: Chorography and Vision in the Renaissance

*A two-week study has already been conducted during 2008 in which five Barcelona residents volunteered to equip their respective Bicing bikes on each ride with A/V/GPS. From that the following documents were created and their potential is being explored. Next we will use this already collected data (70+ hrs of material) to figure out the logistics of the proposed “living map”.

1/11 Dispersed Memorial Announces its Vision to Honor 9/11 Victims

Asheville, North Carolina – Jan 11, 2011 — A project to honor the lives of 9/11 victims, Dispersed Memorial, is setting its goals for the 10th and 11th anniversaries of the tragedy. Thousands of glass plates, inscribed with written dedications to victims and an outline of the missing Twin Towers, will populate New York City in locations where the towers were once visible. The memorials will create a dispersed constellation of markers throughout the city that will connect the stories of loved ones and materialize a collective memory.

Each glass plate outline of the Twin Towers will correspond to the memory of the city’s skyline in varying locations. At night, the markers will light up one by one as an echo to the candles that were lit for the lives of victims in the days following 9/11, and will illuminate the inscriptions of stories, letters, poems and names that honor each victim. The memorial allows each contributor to choose the location of the glass plates where they wish to honor victims.

Dispersed Memorial was conceptualized in 2001 by Martha Skinner and Doug Hecker of fieldoffice, an interdisciplinary practice which challenges the distinctions between architecture, urbanism, and art. Their design response was related to their firm’s focus on the temporal quality of social responses to tragedy. Co-founder Martha Skinner explained, “As a former resident of New York City, I felt like I needed to be there, to be part of people coming together to deal with the situation, to heal, and to share something in common.” In anticipation of the 10th and 11th anniversaries of the event, fieldoffice has expanded the team to work with individuals ranging from urban planners, university professors, artists and architecture students, and is inviting additional collaborators.

By collecting and installing the stories behind the lives of 9/11 victims, Dispersed Memorial explores concepts of dispersed memory as a continual presence in a city and how that memory can connect people. “There is a sacredness within the fabric of the city. It is about the memory of the Twin Towers as an orienting device, and entire lives, and the losses that affected so many people,” Skinner said.

For more information about the project team and collaborative opportunities, visit the Dispersed Memorial website: http://www.dispersed-memorial.net/.

For high resolution images of the project,
Martha Skinner
Co-founder of Dispersed Memorial

10 ^ 10

10^1 propagates and executes simple and beautiful design ideas that have humanitarian and environmental impact!

10^2 exploits contemporary communication media and building technologies to provide smart design system solutions to pressing global problems!

10^3 harnesses the power of the individual within the collective for culturally sensitive local effects that spread globally!

10^10 projects:

1. Address a pressing humanitarian, environmental, and social need.

2. Exploit contemporary technologies to execute visionary and innovative ideas to systemic global problems.

3. Be simple, smart and quickly implemented while still being adaptable, flexible, and beautiful.

4. Address the individual scale with as much detail as the global scale with a focus on exponential effect.

SEED_Haiti inaugurates what will be a series of 10^10 projects with exponential effects. The situation in Haiti, in which 1,000,00+ people were suddenly left homeless on January 12, 2010 led to this question? How to use the Powers of 10 to house people quickly yet sensibly! Other 10^10 projects include Dispersed Memorial, superABSORBER, Dry-In House, BiCi_N, and PROXY_Florence.



This proposal references the iconography of the missing World Trade Center towers as orienting devices. It also references each life lost on September 11, 2001 and the bombing of 1993. 3,022 viewing plates are dispersed throughout the city, at points from which one could see the towers before they were gone.  Each plate is inscribed with a different profile of the lost towers and with the names and biographies of each lost life. This dispersed memorial intersects the everyday activities of the city as an organizational pattern that engages daily life. In the surrounding urban landscape, anyone can engage with the seemingly infinite memorials that populate spaces of the city. A space of meditation can occur at any time and in any place. Looking through the transparent plate, one engages that which is no longer there physically, yet continues to exist in memory. These engraved images and texts embody and celebrate these lives. Every night the plates light up one  by one in a constellation-like choreography. Like lanterns lit from within, the plates illuminate the inscriptions, cityscape and biographies, transforming into luminous and delicate, yet determined, lines decorating the city in celebration and remembrance.










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Proxy Florence Opens

PROXY Florence collaborated with friends from many coordinates in the world. The volunteers and contributors represented the following 27 countries:

Hungary, Spain, Greece, China, Iran, Israel, France, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, Romania, United States, Chile, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Colombia, Jordan, Venezuela, Canada, Serbia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Project team:

Martha Skinner, Douglas Hecker, Lauren Mitchell, Charlie Bryant (sound), Joshua Kehl, Brian Miele, Brian Leounis, Sarah Moore, Suzanne Bodson, Ayaka Tanabe, Liz Corr, Clay Montgomery, Nathan Asire, Jake DeMint, Adam James, Carla Landa and Jason Butz.


Chris Wilkins, Hali Knight, Virginia Black, Sofia Avramopoulou, Benedetta Cavallini, Erica Bucciarelli, Marco Caroti, Kristian Fosholt, Laura Tedeschi, Mauricio Skinner, David De Sevi Bruzual, Eric Brockmeyer, Nathaniel Zuelzke, Olivier Ilegems, Guillaume La Belle, and Kyle Perry.


Katalin Beck, Gerard Cuartero-Betriu, Anat Katsir, Mostafa Zaafari, Vassilis Kyriakopoulos, Rachel Sellers, Ayaka Tanabe, Erhmei Yuan, Matilde Cassani, Adie Hailat, Patricia Muñiz Núñez, Catalina Gomez, Mea Zatric, Speranta-Octavia Maior, Gerald Lehmacher, Youssef Boubekeur, and Gijs Beesems.

Guest critics:

Enrique Larrañaga, David Lee, Dan Harding, and Chuck Krekelberg.

25th year celebration

March 31, 2009  MARTHA EDIT THIS

Martha Skinner attended the 25th year celebration the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Fellowships in Architecture Program, University of Michigan at an event held at the Architectural League of New York on March 31, 2009 as an alum Sanders Fellow.

“The fellowships, as many as four per year, enable architecture and urban planning practitioners and scholars to be in residence at Taubman College during an academic year and engage in research. While engaging the student body through the teaching of studios and/or seminars, these scholars are provided with resources to advance their research.”