One of the best parts of being a student again is being on vacation. It affords time to think, to be outside and to have discussions with others away from both academia and the workplace. Even reading and writing are entirely different animals when one's not on deadline. Witness the start of this blog. What a luxury!
Stone catching water outside the beach cabin
I've been out of school and working for a few years now so I know the routine. Vacation style? Americans take less vacation than persons of other nationalities. Two weeks max. Even that often goes untaken. A 2010 Reuters poll found that less than 60% of employed Americans take full advantage of the paid vacation days they are offered (compared to 89% of French employees and 33% of Japanese employees). I know the feeling. One doesn't want to miss anything, be the money, the project, the pace or the job itself.
Studies show that marathon work sessions followed by lag days are less efficient than shorter stints punctuated by shorter breaks. All-consuming days and nights in the studio are popular here. I won't go into the history of the 40 hour work week or the contrastingly boom and bust hours of architecture and grad school. Let me just say that I thoroughly enjoyed a longer break than I've had in years. I spent some time on the coast, thinking about oceans and shoreline ecosystems (more on that soon), Polynesian migrations, turtles, tides and color theory. You name it.
Swimming with turtles in the Pacific Ocean
Now I'm back in school. You know how hard they work us here. Expect a few great lectures to draw us out of the studio for live blogs and guest posts. Hope to see you soon!
Reading Robert Smithson, lately, I cannot help but set down a few words. His writing is clearly important to his development as an artist. His language touches on the sublime. This is understandable in context of his life and work: his monumentalizing of derelict sites and objects through...
Another of the more intriguing lectures delivered last Fall at Harvard's Graduate School of Design was by Eyal Weizman, a professor from Goldsmiths in London who spoke about what he calls “forensic architecture,” an emerging body of theory that utilizes architectural and spatial...
As I migrate over to Archinect, a few highlights from 2012: Gunther Vogt opened his lecture last Fall with a conversation about working in Europe and went on to discuss the Swiss Alps as an urbanized landscape. Within this context, he posed a series of questions: what is the difference...
The studio-based curriculum at Harvard GSD runs in parallel to the school's evening lecture series. While material from the studio finds its way into the Q & A, the most thought provoking talks do not always have direct expression. I propose this blog as a forum to hone the casual post-lecture discussion in the trays into a record of the most exciting and ephemeral aspects of an architectural education. Follow @kongsgaarden. Views are my own.