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The Gestalt of Design

  • And It Hit Me All At Once

    So most of my life, I always strived to be a little more mature that I should be. I take on bigger responsibilities and became the 'mom' of my friend group. I rarely had time to be young and have fun. I was always focused on the future, and what it expected from me.

    Well, I recently watched 'Archiculture' which is a 25-minute documentary of what it is like to be an Architecture student, with the perspective of 5 Pratt Institute Architecture majors and insight from architects and related professionals. While most of the documentary was what I imagined from my experience with studio culture, one insight took a strong hold on me.

    A professional reminded me something I never realized about Studio. So far, I have thought of Studio in context of all the all-nighters, the failed designs that need to be reworked by the next day, the touchy-feely critics that just does not care how many hours were spent building a final model and almost always rip them apart... Well, surprisingly (or so to me), Studio will probably be the last time I get to design, for a really long time.

    Obviously when you graduate and become a licensed architect, you start designing projects but it isn't the same. Designing in the real world has far greater consequences, and much planning. In the real world, you have to follow codes, have real clients that may straight-up hate your design, you have to stick to a deadline that involves so many people beyond you. You are not as independent. You will not be able to call your own shots. You will not be able to be free.

    Design studio is open to a greater plug for creativity that isn't as restrictive as the real world. We create habitats for bees and worms. We design interesting food stands and follies. We make handshakes that become cubes and then homes. These projects will never be economically justified, or understood to the greater public, but it is fun. That's right, Studio is fun.

    I just keep on thinking, how crazy of me to look down at my Studio's for not working with codes, building systems, and construction work! I have a lifetime for that. For now, I have no restraints. Design is design. There is no bureaucracy, limitations, and disastrous outcomes. You design and build your own project. You are there from beginning to end and chief to any position you like. This is the best thing ever. REPEAT: BEST. THING. EVER.

    That cantilever can extend as far as it wants. That structural wall can be that thin. Yes, design your heart out! Get it out of your system, because you will never design like an undergraduate ever again.

    I think now I know what it feels like to have fun. There is this great balance between working towards my future and liberating myself from my future.


  • Reflections: Frank Lloyd Wright

    “There could be no separation between our architecture and our culture, Nor any separation of either from our happiness, Nor any separation from our work."– Frank Lloyd Wright, Natural House


  • Lecture Series: Inga Saffron

    The Philadelphia Inquirer Architecture critic Inga Saffron gives insight in architectural criticism today. While many hope to read about immense projects done by a guild of architects known as 'starchitects,' most will often read smaller stories, set in their neighborhood, of buildings they pass...


  • I: Introducing Project I

    A new semester, a new project. Our first project focuses on doing precedent analysis of any of the 13 listed modern homes (below) and then creating a 3-D model derived from what we learned in our analysis.Schroeder-Schrader House, Gerrit Rietveld, Utrecht, Netherlands, 1924-25Villa Stein, Le...


  • Reflections: Jade Doskow

    "‘Decay’ implies death; making these pictures is more about giving these structures a new life."– Jade Doskow, on her exhibit World's Fair: Lost Utopias


  • Reflections: Stephen King

    “You are the grim, goal-oriented ones who will not believe that the joy is in the journey rather than the destination no matter how many times it has been proven to you.”– Stephen King, from The Dark Towers VII: The Dark Tower Sometimes you just need to remind yourself.


  • The Times They are A'changin

    I like books. I read to know things, know people, places. For me, I have to empathize to create, be inspired, and to dig into my thoughts.So I recently finished a side reading of mine: The Master Builders by Peter Blake. To backtrack a bit, I took an amazing course on everything Frank Lloyd Wright...


  • Reflections: Theodore Baird

    "Things wear out. Roofs leak, pipes freeze, glass breaks, the oil burner falls apart and goes boom, the toaster no longer pops up. The catalog is endless, and it is humiliating. You can measure a life span in many ways, by class reunions, marriages, wars, depressions. How many ice boxes and...


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About this Blog

I am a current undergraduate student in the field of Architecture and Design. I collect quotes, explore images, and write about all the good things that I like. Here is where I bridge them all together.

Authored by:

  • victoriapham

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