It seems only natural to begin with introductions. Though since it's the middle of a semester, let's jump right in with some work in progress, and let these photos of site models stand as proxies for their creators:
This is our second semester of the M. Arch I program at Cornell; there are thirteen of us in all. These people will pepper conversation here quite regularly, so you can expect to get to know them a little.
Our studio this semester, dubbed Cliffhanger, has an emphasis on section and site, and the kind Dr. Mark Morris has provided us with a project that satisfies on both counts: designing a home for The Alfred Hitchcock Foundation on the rocky Pacific edge of San Francisco. As you can likely tell from the above photos, we've explored material, form, and technique as well.
These are, of course, only one part of the larger work for the semester. At a interim review two weeks ago we discussed these models with Mr. Peter Eisenman over some greasy Chinese food. Being as figural as some of them are, it leads one to wonder: to what extent does a site model serve as a means to an end, or an end in and of itself, or merely as de-contextual a surface as possible?
In the case of this class the answer may lie somewhere between a means and an end. Film analyses, esquisse models, precedent studies, program diagramming, and the site models: these are the exercises we've undertaken thus far, prior to any explicit architectural design, though clearly meant to tease out and inform design. I'll continue to add work as we progress through the term.
Let me state, more broadly however, that my aim with this blog isn't reportage outright. Many of us are quite new to architecture school - myself included - and are looking to situate our studies as we refine our own lines of inquiry. In other words, I'd like to make this a place of discussion; I hope to talk about ideas, couched in the experiences that initiate them. I encourage you to participate.