Apr '04 - Aug '07
OK. We're back to business. The semester has started and our studio (let's rephrase that as "my perception of our studio"... if it's not clear to those that read this blog I speak for myself only.) has started off with a big dud. Besides an all-school electrical problem which crippled the school for a few days, thesis presentations were marginally exciting with a few gems of enlightenment. I was personally impressed by Eric Cheong's presentation which was a full-force architectural thesis that incorporated both digital technique and materiality. Also enlightening was the verbal Kung Fu master, Karl Chu, who took over the discussion at one point and championed a correlation between the human genome project and architecture. I was captivated for a long moment. Thesis and thesis-prep are under serious renovation at SCI-Arc; we may even have the option to do our thesis during summer. For those of you that are planning on applying or have applied to SCI-Arc, keep this in the back of your mind. Hernan and Doris Sung are helping to revamp our pedagogy. Now there's a good combination of technique and materiality :)
As far as studio, our topic is "Cellular Aggregation". Basically, we are immersed in the study of biological, emergent form making that coincides with material intelligence at both the macro and micro scale. Watch the first 20 seconds of "Fight Club" and you'll get a sense of the scale Marcello Spina & Peter Testa are talking about. We've been using a script for Maya called _genr8_ which was developed at MIT a few years ago. I made a whole family of "creature spaces" that self-intersected with only 1 line of code--now that's an impressive script. Though I was happy with my experiment, I left it behind to explore fluid dynamics. It's hard as hell to figure out how to thicken a self-intersecting surface to make architecture. Anyone have any thoughts on how to do that?
Today, we did a site visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's "Ennis-Brown House". What an 80 year-old pile of rubble! At the moment, our studio is focusing on Wright's systematic use of material intelligence and construction techniques. It looks like our projects will be on the same site as the house, but I'm not sure if we are enhancing the site or totally taking it over--most likely the latter.
My other courses are Interactive Architecture with Michael Fox, a Gehry Technologies course using CATIA/Digital Project, and Joe Rosa's theory class that seeks to help us position ourselves in the digital trajectories of our predecessors (specifically from 1994 on).
Friday's at Five is still one of the weekly highlights. Without a doubt, one of the greatest ever was the Dodge Ball themed F@5. A few of us were finishing a video series with Doug Aitken and missed our tournament time, but continued to play after the trophy was given out. We continued for a few hours after and started to become part of the game with our heart and souls... oh and beer, of course. At some point I pulled my abs twice and my right are started to remain permanently curled like the head of an ice cream scooper. I felt like I had my ass kicked over the next few days (even though I'm in very good shape from surfing all winter, nobody know's what it takes to play Testosterone-based Dodge Ball until you've tried it). The friendships and enemies built on that dodge ball court will last a lifetime.
SIDENOTE: For all you prospective SCI-Arc students, make HELLA sure your car is running great before you start school in Los Angeles. I just spent $1000 in repairs and man, that hurts the budget, big time. Not to mention, I've missed some important class time by not being able to travel the freeway. I happen to live 30 mins from school (on a good day). Try to live as close to SCI-Arc as possible and ride your bike! Spend that extra $100/mo in rent, it's worth it. Oh ya, try not to get married, have 2 kids and one on the way, too. Yes, my wife is due with our third on August 14th.
**Queue up some music on iTunes... It's gonna be a long haul!