we just finished our first week back for fall 2005. there have been and will be some changes in our school this year and next... unfortunately we lost our 2 best and most driven professors, rich shiga and amir ameri, over the summer. shiga was a force to be reckoned with for ambitious 1st year students and amir held it down in upper level studios and was the department's theory and history guy. both will be sorely missed, though not everyone is aware of this just yet. early fallout from losing amir is that the department couldn't scrape together a new instructor for arch history/theory 1, so this year's crop of students just won't learn about neolithic, egyptian, greek or roman architecture and culture i guess... rich and amir were both hoping to build something more lasting at/for PSU but once the dream of accreditation vanished, so too did resources and commitments on the part of the department and instructors. i wish them both the best and hope we can carry on with what we learned from them and do them proud regardless.
next year, it has been announced, we get kicked out of shattuck hall for 12-15 months while the building undergoes a renevation. this will be shitty and great at the same time. coming back to nic studios with electricity at every desk, heat and a/c, sinks and most importantly, bathrooms on every floor will be amazing... being stuck in some shithole in the meantime might not be. we shall see.
i'm taking 2nd year studio this semester with nikola boscanin. this is my 3rd class with nikola and i'm starting to understand were he's coming from and really starting to love his approach to architecture and life. this year the focus is all on materiality and i can't think of a better choice than nikola for this investigation.
we spent the whole of the first week reading and rereading a gaston bachelard text from "water and dreams", the title of the studio is "box of rain". very appropriate this time of year in portland. what we'll be doing in the end is unclear. at the moment we're consuming and processing knowledge of water and making drawings as a way to get our hands moving in a similar fashion to our intellects. the ultimate goal i believe is to shed light on the creative process and be able to draw a distinction between the thinking and making halves of the brain and be able to access both as needed in the service of designing, but with a clearer understanding of the limits of each. watching "rivers and tides" by andy goldsworthy on the first day was an indication of where we'd be headed.
more as it develops.