Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2013

Thoughts on the Studio Model

In which will be discussed architectural pedagogy and its bizarre relationship to the real world, with the caveat that apparently all architects love talking about themselves, so I can't help it.


I can't speak to the long and surely interesting history of the studio model, which I expect is a holdover from the days of medieval mason's guilds, but I can speak to its practical effects on my life.  And having survived almost two three years of it [this post has been a long time in the making], I'm ready to make a few remarks.  (For those without any experience in this mode of instruction, this pdf gives an excellent outline of the recent history & current structure of the typical architectural design studio.  Ignore the weird characters - I think something went wrong with the pdf generation.)  Since I spent at least one semester in an "experimental" studio setting, and many others in more traditional studios, I am especially interested in this topic, so bear…

In Memoriam: John Barnes

John, we won't forget you.

I will remember not just our housing studio project together, or that first semester where we - you, me, Jenny, and the other non-architecture-students in Yoshiko Sato's studio - struggled to get a grasp on that thing that is architecture school; but I'll also remember the giant bag of chocolate-covered acai gummies you kept in your drawer, your endless series of documentaries to watch on your sticker-festooned laptop, your street art obsession, your fearlessness, and your crazy imagination.


Choosing a partner for the housing studio at Columbia is in many respects like getting married, requiring similar levels of commitment and determination to stick it out.  I should know, because I did both around the same time.  Our housing studio was fall of 2011, right after my wedding.  The housing studio semester can be amazing or terrible depending on one's choice of partner, and while John and I disagreed often and argued at length, I think our part…

The Best of Times

Happy anniversary to the best friend, co-conspirator, and husband I could ask for.  Somehow it seems like it's been a lot longer than two years, and in some sense it has, but these two years have gone faster than I could have imagined.  If these have been any indication, then I have a lot to look forward to in the next two, and in all the years after that.  You're the best.


PS: Maybe this year I'll get around to printing some of our wedding photos?  Maybe.  No promises.

Hello Silicon Valley!

We've had a whirlwind couple of months since my graduation, and have finally settled down now in Mountain View, California, a town as suburban as they come, and a new challenge for me to navigate as a fledgling urbanist.  Three years in New York has changed the way I see urban environments, and so as I figure out how to find the grocery store, get up to speed on my new job, and finish unpacking from our move, I'm also trying to figure out how to grapple with our new environment.  I can't feel smug any longer in my relative lack of carbon footprint.  Our new circumstances mean that we are now car-owners and I have been driving to work every day.  But I think we've been successful in at least a few areas, so far, to reduce the impact of our new less-dense lifestyle.

While we do now own a car, we plan to have only one, in an area where almost everyone drives alone.  We chose our new apartment carefully based on location: Justin can walk to work (15-20 minutes) and my com…

Whovian Hiatus

If you're like me, you've been wondering what to do with yourself since Season 7 of Doctor Who ended in May.  Since we still have practically an eternity to go until the November 23rd 50th anniversary special, I thought I'd help out with a handy list of ways to pass the time until then.

1.  Cry.  I can't believe Matt Smith is leaving.  I will miss his hair.
2.  Find a local Doctor Who fan club, so you can cry together about the fact that November is so far away.  Sooo far....
3.  Cry while re-watching recent Doctor Who episodes.  (The end of Vincent and the Doctor always kills me.  Also every season finale episode, ever.)
4.  Do laundry?  Or something useful?
5.  Watch all the nearly 700 previous episodes of classic Doctor Who.  Or watch them again, depending on your age.  I started from the beginning in June, and have managed to finish seasons 1, 7, and 8, plus a random selection of episodes from other seasons.  I'm currently on season 10, with the Third Doctor. …