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UC Berkeley (Nick)

 

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Aug '08 - Jun '10

 
  • the penultimate week

    Nick Sowers
    Dec 5, '08 10:28 PM EST

    photoblogtime. Im working on my sound art installation, due on Tuesday. Im soldering, tangling up speaker wire, casting latex... I finished my sketchbook and didnt feel like buying another so Im making them from now on. I highly recommend it, just stitch your favorite drawing paper together... View full entry



  • a sixty minute city

    Nick Sowers
    Dec 3, '08 3:01 AM EST

    What would you teach about architecture if you had one hour with a cafeteria full of middle school kids? This is the question Ive been asking myself for over a month, ever since my sister, who is an art teacher at a Catholic school, suggested that I come teach her class while in Denver over... View full entry



  • like a science fair

    Nick Sowers
    Nov 21, '08 7:30 PM EST

    Last night was probably the best thesis session of the semester. For the first time we had outside critics come and review our work. Everyone pinned up on the 1st floor of Wurster and sat by their research as professors mingled around and struck up conversations. I found it really easy to explain... View full entry



  • melting buildings

    Nick Sowers
    Nov 19, '08 10:33 PM EST

    I was at a GIS (Geospatial Information Services) open house today on the other side of campus and saw a pretty scary depiction of our world, actually the UC Berkeley campus:you can see more here Darb Dabney (I wish that was my name) has been mapping in Second Life reflective LIDAR data with... View full entry




  • no more stabbing

    Nick Sowers
    Nov 17, '08 3:24 AM EST

    There never was a war that was not inward; I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war. --Marianne Moore I will try to recap as briefly as possible a stellar week. (Im trying not to be overbearing, hence the lack of thesis stabs in this post) The week started by reading what has... View full entry



  • the Berkeley Guide Pt. 3

    Nick Sowers
    Nov 12, '08 9:40 PM EST

    Part 3 of the Berkeley Guide is about the building that we call home.WURSTER HALL!! Its a hard case to make that this is a great building. I wouldnt dare take on that task, but it has its *cough* charm. First, its unanimously considered the ugliest building on campus by the rest of the... View full entry



  • Stab Two: A Thesis Declaration

    Nick Sowers
    Nov 8, '08 2:53 AM EST

    .....heres hoping that my explanation (lineage), set of assumptions, and direction, are now more clear........... “War leaves its mark on the social body; it is because, through the intermediary of military institutions, it has general effects on the civil order as a whole.” (Michel... View full entry



  • the Berkeley Guide pt. 2

    Nick Sowers
    Nov 6, '08 3:10 AM EST

    Part 2: The danger that entails in a year at Berkeley. I figure its somewhat late in the game to be enticing malleable minds to consider Berkeley as a place to apply, but maybe there are some of you out there. Or maybe you are fortunate to still have a job, but are wondering if next year is the... View full entry



  • Stab one: a thesis declaration

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 31, '08 3:10 AM EST

    War leaves its mark on the social body; it is because, through the intermediary of military institutions, it has general effects on the civil order as a whole. -Michel Foucault. Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the College de France. p. 159 Well no point in keeping my desires underground... View full entry



  • the Berkeley Guide pt. 1.1

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 29, '08 3:36 AM EST

    Work, continued. More work from my colleagues. The next installment of the guide will be of my own work over the past year, teaching, etc. This is work from Ron Raels studio on the US/Mexico border, going on right now: This is a body of work from an option 2 student who graduated last spring... View full entry



  • SoundScraping

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 29, '08 3:03 AM EST

    Hi all, its been a great week so far. I had my sound art mid review today. This is a class in the art school, which is exciting to be out of my element. In the end I want to find a way back to architecture through sound. You can listen to the project if you like, comments always appreciated. The... View full entry



  • Paul Virilio: Trajectories of the Catastrophic

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 26, '08 5:30 AM EST

    Bunker Wallace, Marin Headlands This summer I picked up a copy of Bunker Archaeology by Paul Virilio, and this guy has lit a fire in me. No one has every written so eloquently about big chunks of concrete. His writings have pushed me to see the world as a landscape of perpetual war. Rather, I... View full entry



  • fun with GPS

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 23, '08 3:17 AM EST

    So Im poking around the web (procrastinating thesis of course) and I came across this website that takes a GPS file that you upload and turns it into this sweet little interactive map. I uploaded a walk I did last year that was for studio. Anyway, the whole point of this is to find a way to... View full entry



  • the Berkeley Guide pt. 1

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 21, '08 4:46 AM EST

    This is the first installment of the Berkeley Guide, an endeavor which I hope will better present the school to those of you interested in applying this year. You are probably aware that our coursework gallery is pretty dated, and largely unrepresented by graduate work. The office is in the... View full entry



  • strange things going on

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 17, '08 1:41 PM EST

    last night, spotted in Wurster Hall....... ^^^ our esteemed thesis prep critics ^^^ What do architecture students do when the 3d plastic printer is about to run out of plastic at midnight? ....they get desperate. Luckily, we have an in-house MacGyver View full entry



  • XXS, XXL

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 15, '08 7:57 PM EST

    Theres something really wonderful about being at such a big research University. When you walk about a block away from Wurster Hall, theres this cafe called Strada (that probably grosses a million dollars in coffee sales from architecture students alone). Usually we go, grab the coffee and get... View full entry



  • Nader Tehrani workshop

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 14, '08 3:06 AM EST

    Nader Tehrani of Office dA came to give a workshop at Wurster Hall this afternoon. While I would hardly call what transpired a workshop, I wont complain--it was great, just more of an informal lecture and a discussion which followed. Tonight at CCA he gave a formal lecture which I did not... View full entry



  • big BIG news

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 13, '08 2:15 AM EST

    So last Wednesday, I received an email that has re-arranged my life plans (for the next year and a half at least). I have been announced as one of three winners of the John K. Branner Fellowship, a year-long travel grant ($35,000 award) that the department gives out to students in their final... View full entry



  • Bogotá: exhibit and symposium

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 5, '08 8:31 PM EST

    For the past couple weeks Ive been busying myself with some graphic and exhibit design, in collaboration with some fellow Berkeley students from Colombia and Professor Nicholas de Monchaux. Friday marked the opening of the exhibit and a great lecture by former mayor Enrique Penalosa. Yesterday... View full entry



  • don't say that word

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 3, '08 11:24 AM EST

    thesis. Its a bad word. Let me tell you a tale about 35 Berkeley thesis students. For five weeks, we were producing work and searching our interests and talking about all kinds of things that you would never think would apply to the ominous question: what is your thesis about? But the assignment... View full entry



  • Serpentine and Ingenhoven and thesisisms oh my!

    Nick Sowers
    Oct 2, '08 2:44 AM EST

    Busy day today. Up at 7am, shot some hoops at the gym in my Cal-Berkeley jersey (I actually got asked if I played for the team one day by a guy on my local court--that was before he saw me stumble around, bounce the basketball off my shoe and throw airballs). At 64 1/2, people just assume you... View full entry




  • Renzo Piano lecture @CAS

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 27, '08 10:57 PM EST

    Ive never seen an architect (let alone a world famous one) lecture inside his or her own building. What a treat this was, the day before the California Academy of Sciences was to open to the public-- a few hundred students from CCA and UC Berkeley were invited to see Renzo speak in the piazza... View full entry




  • concrete & sound

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 24, '08 4:03 PM EST

    Sitting down for a quick bite in between a site visit to a pre-cast concrete fabricator and my poetry class. With W.B. Yeats on my mind, I think I can appreciate the terrible beauty of the concrete yard: rebar sticking out everywhere, concrete units stacked and spread out awaiting installation... View full entry



  • The Studio Tourist

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 18, '08 4:00 AM EST

    Not being in a studio this semester (extra time to work on thesis) means a nice privilege: I get to walk around and see what everyones up to. Another reason Im excited to post this blog entry is that Berkeley is so bad at presenting student work online. Its ridiculously bad because we actually... View full entry



  • fall lecture series/exhibitions

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 17, '08 12:10 AM EST

    considering Im actually working on the lecture/exhibition series, I figure I should probably plug it. Check em out: Wed 9/24 Gwendolyn Wright | A Prismatic History of Modern Architecture Wed 10/1 Christoph Ingenhoven | A Green Future Wed 10/8 Renzo Piano Lecture Video Screening | A Conversation... View full entry



  • the_cyst v.1.1

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 12, '08 2:52 PM EST

    I wish I could play little league now. Id be way better than before - Mitch Hedberg another episode of thesis prep last night. our assignment was to design a cube of space. 1st year undergrad project, right? it was a lot of fun though. there were some really great ideas from my classmates: an... View full entry



  • the tree-sitters are down

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 9, '08 4:48 PM EST

    At long last, those brave tree sitters are climbing down. The view from Wursters 9th floor reveals all the action, cherry-pickers, scaffolding, even a basket suspended from a crane among the devices used by the University police to get those guys out. On the ground, police are containing those... View full entry



  • the_cyst v.1.0

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 8, '08 2:27 AM EST

    Last Thursday was the second meeting of thesis (I like the_cyst) prep, all 35 of us in the 1st floor lobby pinning up a favorite project of our own doing and 5 projects that we react strongly to. (a running tally marked Peter Zumthors baths leading w/ 6 picks to Yokohama ferrys 3). It might be... View full entry



  • the trees are falling!

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 6, '08 12:00 PM EST

    Since December 2006 a grove of oak trees just outside UC Berkeleys stadium has been occupied by a bunch of hippies. The University wants to build a new gym for athletes, and needs to clear this grove in order to do so. You might think that this grove of oaks is particularly special, planted by... View full entry



  • schedule anxiety and thesis strategies

    Nick Sowers
    Sep 3, '08 1:23 AM EST

    Leaving behind the summer of good intentions it is clear that there is work ahead. A lot of work. I realized at the beginning last fall that grad school is complete and utter surrender. What exactly it is that you must capitulate to is uncertain. The only certainty is that you will sacrifice... View full entry



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