Jan '05 - Jan '07
The most interesting class this year, the 5th out of 6 years, is called ”˜esthetics' and it is meant to drag us through the whole 20th century: ideas, architects, currents, doctrines etc. The teacher in charge is an elderly lady who knows pretty good what she is talking about. Her only fault is not being able to create a dialogue with the students; there are no discussions on the subjects but rather her monologue. But then again, for a dialogue you need another person interested in the subject and apparently it's not the case here.
Some of us are playing on their cellphones, others are reading some novels, others are simply sleeping. She says ”˜I'm sure you already know all of Venturi's works', some heads that paid attention start looking to the right, to the left, searching in some books ”˜what was that name? ven-what?'. Teacher ”˜as for the Piazza d'Italia of Charles Moore, which everyone has seen in pics...' - we are looking at each other and start laughing... what the hell is she talking about?
One hour and some other unknown examples later we have to present a paper about modernist,postmodernist architecture, art etc.
We read our presentation remembering those silly shows in kindergarten, when you had to say 4 lines and never were able to remember them. 20 years , a few (very few) books and some steps of evolution later, we are still in a pink dress/ blue pants trying to figure out what we are reading but still not asking ourselves why we do it.
The lack of interest, time is visible from overseas.
By paper we understand the architects CV and a small description of his projects - as in ”˜symmetry, more or less; column, exaggerated ...'.
We, the students, are laughing... ”˜this silly clown, Venturi, they are actually wasting their time teaching us about him, unbelievable!' or ”˜this is what they call architecture?!".
We do complain not having enough material, access to information, but the internet still doesn't attract us. Things we could find out by simply googling the key word of our paper, we will never know. But we will always cry out for someone to donate a book which we won't read.
We are unable to comment upon architecture with other justifications then ”˜I like it / I dislike it'. You can smell the inability of expressing ourselves, the lack of words and common knowledge so we remain with the intelligent look of our eyes.
Next day, we, the same students are complaining about our project teachers and how narrow minded they are. They are ruining our lives and waisting our time and are not interested in anything. sounds familiar?
The circle is closed. We deserve each other, we are their mirror image. I just hope the good teachers will have their mirror as well...
It's like the thing with the brick wall house, the only project in school we finish completely, til its details. They say we have to do it because it's the only thing you are going to work on in real life. In case this so called reality changes, you will not be able to work on anything else as this is what you have learned to do. They complain people ask only for brick houses, but we wouldn't know to offer anything else. Do we?
Last year, at the ”˜art history exam' for the freshmen, the teacher put one question that puzzled the audience: ”˜when did world war 2 took place?'. The answers were as colorful as pantone: every single century was ”˜blessed' with it.
Aren't we creative?