Archinect

Lian (Harvard GSD M.Arch.I)

I graduated in 2013, but still live-blog here once in a while.

  • Live Blog: ACSA 103 Opening Plenary

    Hello Archinect,

    I'm in downtown Toronto for ACSA's 103rd Annual Meeting, themed "The Expanding Periphery and the Migrating Center." 

    The first plenary session is "the pecha kucha of keynotes." From the program book:

    MISSION STATEMENTS 

    Many things have changed and many things have remained the same in architectural education. This we know. Yet the debate as to what requires conservation and what requires experimentation continues. In this opening keynote event, seven academic leaders of a new generation have been asked to present what they consider to be an ideal mission statement of architectural education, free from the constraints that institutional and professional inertia often impose, in order to articulate what is new or persistent about architecture in the 21st century.

    ***

    First up: John McMorrough, U. of Michigan. 

    1. It's all about jobs.
    2. Without a job, one retreats into a defensive posture.
    3. McMorrough ends with a quote from beleaguered former Dean at Princeton, Alejandro Zaera-Polo: I believe that the best education today is delivered through research and a direct engagement with the outside – with the industry, the community or the public at large – rather than through a retreat into a self-referential system which does not take into account the broader audiences that make the work significant and enable individuals to develop a truly transformative practice.

    ***

    ​Next: Heather Woofter, Washington U. in St. Louis.

    1. Housing. Engaging architects from around the world, to work with our students on how we can negotiate a complex set of variables--economics, demographics, cultural contexts, developers and communities, regional responses to landscape?
    2. The divide between hand and digital drawings collapses. Changing the way we translate ideas from sketch to space, with Google Earth models, computer science, digital fabrication.
    3. We should be student advocates first. Not burdening students under excess curriculum. Like the AA's logo, Design with beauty; build in truth. 

    ***

    Here is ​Chris Perry, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    1. Perry directs GEOFUTURES, a post professional program in Architecture and Urbanism: Fifteen years ago, Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen announced that the world had entered a new geological age, what he termed the Anthropocene, a period characterized by industrial anthropocentrism as a new geophysical force on Earth. The principal qualities and conditions of this new age, namely those of global warming, mark a fundamental shift in human-nonhuman relations, the end of one world and the beginning of another, in which human social, psychic, and philosophical space has been infiltrated by a nonhuman presence, bringing with it a new period of environmental anxiety and existential uncertainty.
    2. Beyond the human, or between human and non-human. Animals? The aesthetics of ambiance, ambivalence.
    3. The aesthetics of the sublime. Programming for non-humans. "Does the sublime, in terms of a general displacement of humans, have implications for architectural programming?

    ***

    Fourth is Ferda Kolatan, U. of Pennsylvania 

    1. Facts Amended. Moving in a straight line vs. change.
    2. Reason has been privileged in western culture since the Enlightenment. Any attempts to address today's difficult problems without shattering this principle are doomed to fail. 
    3. Boundaries are not always bad--they encourage niche thinking. Interdisciplinary thinking requires disciplines.

    ***

    Number five: Jason Payne, U. of California Los Angeles 

    Subpop Redux (Still Keeping it On the Down-Low) - a reference to a talk that Payne gave at an ACSA conference in Chicago.

    1. Smaller is better, it allows you to pursue a specific agenda. Don't seek an audience--stay underground as long as you can. Certain freedoms come from this. If you can't stay underground, at least stay alternative. A big audience isn't necessarily smarter than a smaller, hardcore audience. "The best project always comes in second."
    2. Whatever, nevermind. Don't worship false gods--the canon. Learn the currently sanctioned canon, then learn to nevermind your way around it. Keep it real: sustainability, parametricism, affordability--these terms mean little.
    3. Keep it dark. Don't render everything out. Render for effect, not just for explication. Or are we really a service industry? But I'm not against digital imaging: post-process and post-rationalize. 

    ***

    Finally: Jonathan Massey, California College of the Arts

    "It's my privilege to have your attention alongside these panelists, and before the alcohol."

    1. PROJECT BETTER FUTURES. We aren't satisfied with the status quo. We should find points of leverage where we can tip systems and relationships into better relations. Politics, economies, disciplinary tools. I'm a pragmatist and pluralist.
    2. Architecture's whiteness and maleness is a weakness. We need to redress exclusion, and to address those who feel they might be better served by a degree in business or medicine. One thing we can do is reduce the cost of architecture degrees in time and money. Listen to Missing 32%. Black lives matter! ...And study multiple classical traditions.
    3. BUILD IT TOGETHER. ESTRANGE INSULARITY. I'm guessing that many of you have seen animals in architecture models lately. References to Corbusian modernism--also, some of them are cute. The BAAAHS big-ass amazingly awesome homosexual sheep roams the playa during Burning Man.

    Thanks for reading!

    Lian


  • Live Blog: LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne at UC Berkeley

    Hello Archinect,I'm at UC Berkeley in the beautiful East Bay to hear Christopher Hawthorne speak at the College of Environmental Design. From the UC Berkeley website: Christopher Hawthorne has been the architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times since 2004. Before coming to The Times, he was...

    Gehry on fish



  • Live Blog - San Francisco NERT Training, Class 2

    Hi Archinect,I'm back at San Francisco's Neighborhood Emergency Response Team Training, for our second class. Same disclaimer as last time: this isn't really about architecture, but I AM focusing on aspects that relate to the built environment. 6:40 pm: The dust in the air after 9-11 spread...

    That escalated quickly.



  • Live Blog - San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) Training

    Hi Archinect,I'm in a hospital basement auditorium in San Francisco for the first of six sessions to learn how to be part of the city's Neighborhood Emergency Response Team. It's a volunteer team, and the city offers the 20 hour training for free in order to help build the city's resilience in...


  • Ai Weiwei is @Large on Alcatraz

    Hi Archinect,Here are some images from Alcatraz, including Ai Weiwei's new show called @Large, open until April 26 2015. Organized by the For-Site Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, @Large includes seven new installations that...


  • Live Blog: W. Gavin Robb, "Roots Run Deep: A Tomb for Manfredo Tafuri" (M.Arch thesis)

    Hi Archinect!W. Gavin Robb is presenting his M.Arch thesis, “Roots Run Deep: A Tomb for Manfredo Tafuri."The tomb and the sublime are closely linked.Relation between technology and buildings at this scale. Empathy: a tight fit between a body and its space.Instrument: a domestic scale and an...




  • Live Blog: Anya Domlesky, "HOT ROT: A Breakdown Manual" (MLA thesis)

    Hi Archinect,I’m at the GSD for thesis reviews—Anya Domlesky is presenting “HOT ROT: A Breakdown Manual” for her MLA degree.Landscape architects should be not just the apologists or ameliorators for solid waste, but active agents in the procedures of dealing with waste.The site is South...


  • Live Blog - Marian Dörk, "From Bird's-eye Views to Street-Level Data Exploration: Taking Text for a Stroll"

    Hi Archinect!From the OpenVis Conf website:Marian Dörk is a research professor for information visualization at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. Motivated by the design opportunities and research challenges arising from growing information spaces, Marian is particularly interested in...



  • Live Blog - Mauricio Giraldo, "NYPL Labs Building Inspector" at Bocoup's OpenVis Conf

    Hi Archinect!The full title of Mauricio's talk is "NYPL Labs Building Inspector: Extracting Data from Historic Maps." From the OpenVis Conf website:Mauricio enjoys playing with code, objects and all things interactive. He is currently an interaction designer at NYPL Labs, The New York Public...


  • Live Blog - Robert Simmon, "Subtleties of Color" at Bocoup's OpenVis Conf

    Hi Archinect!Back for the second day of this great event. From the OpenVis Conf website:The purpose of data visualization is to illuminate data. To show patterns and relationships that are otherwise hidden in an impenetrable mass of numbers.In many datasets, color is one of the most effective...


  • Live Blog - Andy Kirk, "The Design of Nothing: Null, Zero, Blank" at Bocoup's OpenVis Conf

    Hi Archinect!From the OpenVis Conference Website:  Andy Kirk is a UK-based freelance data visualisation specialist. Andy launchedvisualisingdata.com in February 2010 and this has grown to become a popular source of information about the data visualisation field. He became a freelance...



  • Live Blog - Jen Christiansen, "Visualizing Science," at Bocoup's OpenVis Conf

    Hi Archinect!The full title of Jen Christiansen's talk is "Visualizing Science: Developing Information Graphics for Scientific American Magazine."From the OpenVis Conf website: From its first data-based chart (on the topic of inertia, momentum, and projection) up through to today's web...


  • Live Blog - Kennedy Elliot, "Coding for the News," at Bocoup OpenVis Conf

    Hi Archinect,Kennedy Elliot is up now, talking about using data in journalism.From the OpenVis Conf website: Each week the Washington Post publishes five to ten graphics, many of which are interactive and nearly all of them have a web presence. The reach of the graphics department covers breaking...


  • Live Blog - Mike Bostok from the New York Times, at Bocoup OpenVis Conf

    Hello Archinect!I'm in East Cambridge for the two day OpenVis Conference hosted by Bocoup, an open web technology company based here in Boston.Mike Bostok, graphics editor for The New York Times, is the first speaker. From the conference website: He is also the author of D3.js, a popular...


  • Live Blog - Eric Fischer, "Mapping Billions of Dots" at Bocoup OpenVis Conf

    Hi Archinect!Eric Fischer is up next at Bocoup's OpenVis Conf. From the conference website: Eric Fischer is a data artist and software developer at Mapbox. He was previously an artist in residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and before that was on the Android team at Google. His work...


  • Yestermorrow Design/Build for Public Interest

    Hello Archinect,This is a throwback to 2007 for me, when I attended the two week design/build course led by Jersey Devil co-founders Steve Badanes and Jim Adamson, along with New York-based architect Bill Bialosky. I had the pleasure of seeing Steve at our ACSA Annual Conference in Miami a couple...


  • Review - GSD's "Platform 6: A Year of Research through Studio Work, Theses, Lectures, Exhibitions and Events"

    [Image from Pimentel.]“You will be remembered for what you leave out or neglect.”Rosetta Elkin, Editor of Platform 6, includes these words in a short meta-essay entitled “Editing Pedagogy,” in which she retroactively imagines a brief for the project of gathering, selecting, and...

    Flip-through of Platform 6



  • Live Blog - Manuel Castells, "The Space of Autonomy: Cyberspace and Urban Space in Networked Social Movements"

    Hi Archinect,It's a packed house in (half) Piper tonight for Manuel Castells, Professor of Communication Technology and Society, USC Los Angeles. His talk responds to recent movements in Brazil and Turkey, drawing on themes from his book Networks of Outrage and Hope; Social Movements in...


  • Live Blog - Christopher Glaisek and Bruce Kuwabara on Waterfront Toronto

    Hello Archinect,I'm back in Piper to see Christopher Glaisek, vice president of planning and design for WATERFRONToronto, and Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner of Toronto-based KPMB Architects and now Chair of the Board at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. As a...


  • Review - "If You Build It," directed by Patrick Creadon

    Hi Archinect!Okayyyyyy, I'm back at the GSD to watch "If You Build It," directed by Patrick Creadon (2012), a film about the origins of Studio H's design/build education taught by Emily Pilloton and her team of teachers (including GSD grad Hallie Chen!).Studio H now hails from...

    If You Build It Official Trailer



  • Live Blog - Kyle Bergman and John Connell in conversation

    Hi Archinect,After the screening of If You Build It, film festival director Kyle Bergman and John Connell, the founder of Yestermorrow Design Build School, had a short conversation and I wanted to share it with you here. I was interested to see Connell live, as I had been to Yestermorrow for...


  • Live Blog - Futures Past: Design and the Machine (Mindell, Steenson, Theodore, Galison)

    Hi Archinect!Drew Harry and I are here at MIT’s Media Lab for Futures Past: Design and the Machine, a conference organized by Duks Koschitz (Pratt/MIT), Olga Touloumi (Harvard GSD), and Theodora Vardouli (MIT). (Don’t worry, Kanye is not in the house though if you haven't been sated yet, you...


  • Update - GSD African American Student Union and Dean Mohsen comment on Kanye West Visit

    Hi Archinect, Over the past few days there have been over 30,000 views of this blog's Archinect post on Kanye, and many times that number of reposts and articles about the event at other media outlets (including Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, USA Today, and Buzzfeed). It seems as if...


  • VIDEO - Kanye stops by studio to talk about architecture with students

    Hi Archinect, Yeezy surprised students tonight with a short visit to Harvard GSD's design studio. I REALLY like Kanye--Late Registration, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Watch the Throne basically got me through studio, from first year to thesis--so I'm bummed that I wasn't there. He...

    Kanye speaks with architecture students at Harvard Graduate School of Design (Video by and courtesy of Flavio Sciaraffia.)



  • Live Blog - Mohsen Mostafavi in Conversation with Nicholas Negroponte

    Hi Archinect! Co-live-blogging tonight with Drew Harry from MIT Media Lab. Full house in (half) Piper! From the GSD website: Mohsen Mostafavi, architect and educator, is the dean and the Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at the Harvard GSD. His work focuses on modes and...


  • Live Blog - Walid Raad and Theaster Gates in Conversation, with Mohsen Mostafavi, "On Art and Cities"

    Hi Archinect! I'm co-live-blogging tonight with Allison Green, a first-year student in the GSD's Master of Urban Planning program who is also starting to blog at Archinect. From the GSD website: Theaster Gates, an artist trained as an urban planner and sculptor, has developed a practice that...


  • Live Blog - Robert Wilson, Sensory Media Platform

    Hi Archinect! Full-ish house in Piper tonight. From the GSD's website: Robert Wilson is among the world's foremost theater and visual artists, acclaimed for stage works that integrate dance, movement, lighting, sculpture, music, and text in striking, emotionally charged images. His productions...


  • Live Blog - Craig Edward Dykers, The Psychology of Space and the Moving Body

    Hi Archinect! I'm at the Boston Society of Architect's BSA Space for a lecture from Craig Edward Dykers, Founding Partner at Snøhetta. It's the opening event for the Association of Architecture Organizations' conference "Making and Measuring IMPACT: The Value of Architecture and...


  • Live Blog - Panel Discussion: Frontiers of Design Criticism

    Hi Archinect! I'm back at the GSD for a panel moderated by Shantel Blakely of Harvard GSD Public Programs called "Frontiers of Design Criticism." From the GSD website:  Today the feedback, spin, and other acts of interpretation that were once the preserve of historians and other experts are...


  • Live Blog - Dorie Clark, "Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future"

    Hi Archinect, Fair warning: this one isn't architecture. I'm at a Harvard Alumni event--author and marketing, branding, and business strategy expert Dorie Clark is talking about "reinventing yourself." Clark is an alumnus of Harvard's Divinity School. Clark opens with an anecdote about Joanne...


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About this Blog

Lectures and exhibitions, news and events, now primarily from the Bay Area! Please note that all live blogs are abridged and approximate. If you want to see exactly what happened, in many cases a video of the event is posted online by the event's hosts.

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  • Lian Chikako Chang

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