Archinect

California College of the Arts (Ted Rzad)

  • 1 week left...

    As twilight descends upon my time here at CCA, the pressures of completing my Thesis work are morphing into a caricature of itself. The relief of the end of tunnel light, the excitement for possibilities ahead, and just some nice, sunny weather are keeping the ghouls of anxiety from whispering too many ill thoughts in my ear as I amass a mountain of spent #11 blades.

    A fascinating Grad Theory Seminar completed last night. Led by the brilliant Michael Bogan, we explored writings on the emergence, manipulation, and persistence of patterns in nature and science while distilling our ruminations into Maya animations. Densely intellectual to be sure, but I gleaned a deeper understanding of the evolutionary and environmentally programmed elements in my own sensibilities that both drew me to architecture and continue to serve the aesthetic and intellectual pursuits within my work.

    Unfortunately, this seminar runs from 7-10pm on Thursday nights, causing me to miss Cameron Sinclair presenting his new book on the work of Architecture for Humanity. Sorry, Cameron. It seemed to be going well when I cruised through the event to get a bottle of water.

    In related news, I have been selected to be a Design Corps Fellow for 2006-7. My wife and I have been planning for me to do a year of career enrichment after completing my M.Arch, and this looks to be a fine way to combine my architectural and photographic skill set with community service and social justice. Check out their site and feel free to ask me any questions about my motivations and interests in this fascinating and effective program.

    Design Corps, along with Urban Ecology and Public Architecture (thanks Jess and John!), both San Francisco architecture and urban design-based social advocacy groups, recently put together an incredible symposium, Structures for Inclusion 6, bringing top practitioners in community design together to discuss not just what ”˜ought' to be done, but what they have successfully completed. The tool box of the architect can be as socially relevant as that of the medical doctor, yet is most often utilized to either aggrandize the resources of the client of the aesthetics of the designer. Check it out.

    ALSO, who will be the next CCA Archinect Blogger(s)?! Come on: it's fun, it's great networking; plus, it'll make you more attractive, smell better, build models faster, and people will actually think you're cool!


  • Passing the Torch

    As the end is in sight, one order of business remains to be resolved: who will take over the CCA blog? I've had a good time with it, and it's been a great way for those interested in learning more about the B.Arch and M.Arch programs to get insider info. I've been asking around, but as of yet, no...


  • Less than 5 weeks left ‘til the gallows swings

    Why do I feel so calm? I am presenting my Thesis four weeks and two days from today. I have my macro story, but have yet to catch the micro moves fluttering around in my brain and my sketchbook in a fully compelling fashion. My desk crit from yesterday boiled down to “you have a bunch of...


  • it just keeps comin'

    This is my last semester at CCA. Accordingly, I've been taking inventory of my time here; and I'm still happy I came. For example, after watching the latest of a series of amazing sunsets from my studio (see image below), I received a firm and poignant desk crit from Neal Schwartz and Jasmine...


  • SFMoMA Installation report (overdue)

    Here are some images of the SFMoMA installation that consumed the first three weeks of this semester. It was a lot of fun, and a great experience in project management and client communication. The museum hosted the event to celebrate the closing of the 2x4 exhibit and lecture by founder Michael...


  • It's hard to write a blog when your semester's boot is firmly lodged in your...

    The semester is half over and I am writing my first blog for Fall 2005. This just goes to show how heavy things have been. My courses are excellent: A skyscraper studio taught by SOM, a high performance envelope detailing seminar taught by ARUP, a contemporary Asian art criticism seminar taught by...


  • Thinning the bookshelf herd

    The joy of moving is upon us. In pondering how to cram our copious possessions into a downtown shoebox, 5 years of Architectural Record, Architecture, and Contract seem not worth moving, especially since I can roll down to CCA post graduation and scan articles as needed. Thoughts? Donate (to...


  • Summer Studio 333

    Ah yes: summer school. Once regarded as the dreaded nadir of the pit of despair (at least for me while trudging through grade school), summer school took an enticing twist this year. CCA's Studio 333 (three critics, three weeks, three times the fun...) was a great way to cram your brain into an...


  • summer in the city

    It seems the summer time is one of catching up. Sleeping, reading fiction, cooking something other than than mac and cheese...It's been great, but the lure of all things architorture is actually too great: yes, it is summer school time! Hopefully I will get into the closed Studio 333: 3 weeks...


  • Spring Break no more (sigh)

    I had a huge list of stuff to do this past week; got a cold, did about 30%. I literally slept for 2 days. Is grad school supposed to be like this? I am seriously wiped out and there's still 6 weeks left of the semester. Am I alone in feeling strung out by all of this? Am I taking it too seriously?...


  • Juxtaposition

    One of the canons of CCA is the opportunity for interdisciplinary studies. It's a major reason why I chose CCA of my other opportunities, and as such, the reason I enrolled in an additional studio as a free elective. The studio, taught by members from IDEO, overlaps architecture students with...


  • unstuck in the middle

    The last 10 days have been fraught with peril. Sleep deprivation lurking in every shadow. Deadlines in 2 studios, plus design project deadlines in my other two classes falling within a week of each other. Torrential rain and the resultant water in the carbs inherent in riding a...


  • miles to go

    Midreview in process; I'm sitting at the back with wireless. Bret Terpeluk from Renzo's office is describing a cast multiple threaded rod fixture that supports compound-curved glazing above the central piazza of the new Academy of Science (of which Bret's the Project Architect). We're presenting...


  • It's getting hot in the kitchen

    Thinking of frying pans and spinning plates”¦this two studio thing is getting interesting. IDEO wants interviews with strangers about their notions of “home”, and Skin Studio wants full size mock-ups of curtain wall details from Renzo's Academy of Science. I think...


  • sweet, sweet slumber

    Big deadlines in both studios during the same week; dang. Today (Saturday), I've done pretty much nothing and have loved it. My wife's at a trapeze lesson and I'm chillin'. Great lecture this past week (at CCA): Stephane Pratte of Montreal-based Atelier In Situ http://www.insitu.qc.ca/ Great...


  • feelin' the love

    This B-Tech semester is coming along well. The tech part of making buildings is so instinctual for me that it hardly feels like work. I wonder how I'll feel on that subject later in the semester, though”¦ We just had desk crits in my Skin studio with a Structural Engineer from Ove...


  • here we go again...

    The semester just started last week, and I'm already working at school on the weekends, boring my friends with Archispeak, and obsessing in my sketchbook. Commitment or evidence that I should be committed? Yes. Last semester saw me presenting in my final crit an extremely detailed 3D model...


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