Hello to all from the great city of New York.
I am back following a month-long stint in Rome, having promptly begun a new job at... ARQUITECTONICA. In Rome I ran around and drew in my notebook all day with 33 other Yalies as we listened to an architectural history play-by-play in our walkie-talkie ear pieces. That's right--it was a drawing class with 34 students and 3 professors, plus assorted guests and local experts. Sounds great, I know, and it was, but I have to say that Rome is a dirty place. Physically filthy. After 9 hours in the city streets I felt disgusting. Fortunately an opposite feeling of well-being could be had from a visit to the American Academy, where two of our three professors stayed. One students said that the primary reason architects travel to Rome is cultural cachet. So that in the future one can say, “Ah yes, I remember when I studied in Rome... it was so lovely... my professor stayed at the Academy of course...” I didn't learn all that much about architectural history””I knew a fair amount about the Renaissance and the Baroque periods already due to previous courses””but I did appreciate having the extra time to draw in what would otherwise have been more days here at the office.
I'll post up some sketches soon.
As for my current daily existence, it's quite nice. People here are “more normal and sane” then they are at other offices, i.e. everyone leaves by 7pm. Everyone. Most leave by 6. And people here are fun and kind and have interesting plans for their weekends. I've been looking into all the free outdoor movie festivals around the city. People say New York in the summer is awful, but actually it's the best time of year. As long as you have an air conditioner at home, you're set. There are so many outdoor concerts, movies, plays, and dances that you could do something fun every night and never pay a cover. Not bad. I have fond memories of summer stage, but now I'm trying to branch out. Socrates Sculpture Park shows foreign flicks, the first of which was yesterday””Zorba the Greek. There's a Korean film coming up called “Take care of my cat,” filmed in 2001 which sounds really good. The same wonderful lady who made the cultural cachet comment came from the film world. She says that architects think film and architecture are alike, but they're not. We just want them to be alike since film is cool. A friend from Berkeley who now has a degree in digital animation and works in film said that film people feel the same way about architecture. I think I know how to bridge the gap and actually connect the two. In the same way that presentations drawings have morphed over time from primary plans and sections into axons and then into renderings, they will morph again into animations and films. Then architects will have to study motion more carefully. Architecture is definitely cinematic, and I think many people design with motion in mind, but I'd like to see tame fly-throughs for clients become something more spectacular (not in a Deleuzian sort of way necessarily). Part of the reason why this occurred to me is the quality of interior spaces shown in Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, an anime show on adult swim. Here's a sample:
God, I love anime. Good anime, that is. It's a recent obsession.
Has anyone read “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson? It's fantastic. It touches on a lot of different ideas about representation and information. Plus it has Gibson's punk edge.
All for now.