I went upstairs to the 6th floor to check out the first-year M.Arch I studio””see what they were up to.
This is what greets you on your way in: leftovers from Keller Easterling's famous shoe wall project. "Design a wall 40 feet long that both holds shoes and displays them..." or something along those lines. She then asks for two walls, one that speaks to Deleuze's notion of form, and another that speaks to his notion of informe. (Pronunciation with a nasal French accent is de rigueur.)
The first-years have set up an official quote board to record the absurdities of their every-day life.
Here's a sample of the humor represented therein:
“Do these shoes have to be for humans?” Student, referring to the requirements of the ”˜form/informe' project, i.e. the shoe wall
“...but I prefer to use my bedroom voice.” Architectural History professor Kurt Forster on why he likes to use the microphones in Hastings Hall
“Maybe you put in benches for the crack smoking.” Guest critic on the New Haven Train Station review
“It's like that moment in the Lion King...” First year studio critic Mark Gage, as he lifts his hands in the air
“I woke up this morning and found myself in the only slightly bigger discourse.” Student
“If you can walk in a straight line after looking through it [Eisenman's Terragni book], then good for you.” Kurt Forster
“Some structural engineer starts talking about putting pants on a truss... there's some kind of kinky fascination that brings some hope into your life.” Structures professor Jim Axley
“Not all formless things are gooey.” First year studio critic Ben Pell
“Not all gooey things are formless.” Kurt Forster
And, just for kicks, the make-shift sign-up sheet for the laser cutters.
We have three laser cutters, but they all work pretty poorly, and that means everyone's cuts take 3 or 4 times as long as they should. Notice where some names have been crossed out and rewritten. To be fair, people give their time away if they don't need it... but disputes do come up. However, everyone is very courteous and considerate””truly””it's like the myth of the pre-civil war south when it comes to politesse and helpfulness; that's the miracle of Yale. Pass/fail grades help too. No “high pass/ low pass,” just pass/fail, which simply eliminates mean-spirited competition. We have only positive competition here””everyone raising the bar on themselves, essentially.
Here's an objet I made. I scanned myself cross-legged on the 3D scanner, then played around in Rhino and Geomagic until I made a complete form. Then I mirrored it. My teacher wasn't into it, because it's figural, but it was a good experience... mostly on what not to do. It took way too much time, start to finish. I've since painted it a zazzy white with iridescent gold sparkles. Again, for fun. Fun is good.
I almost forgot, the best 6 on 7 poster of the year by Dylan Sauer. (Someone scrawled on top, “best one this year.”) 6 on 7 is the weekly Friday happy hour. The first-years (on 6) take turns buying beer and snacks for everyone, which they set up on the terrace (on 7). There's also music. And a flier. The happy hour is fun, but not enough people show up. When it's warm, there's a better turn out, naturally. Dylan styled this flier after the assignments given to their studio, font, spacing, all that. It's flawless. It reads:
This project invites student to explore the above themes. Students are also challenged to disallow discussions of architecture or other subordinate concepts relating to the Discourse (i.e. material intelligence, animality, the Field, diagramming, Diagramming, Informe) for at least a 60-minute period beginning this Friday evening. You are encouraged to engage the topics in a critical way. This is a chance to redefine previous limits of Consumption, an endeavor which has been known to perennially target students throughout their career.
Students must accomplish the above with a minimum of means:
Beer, preferably of inferior quality, consumed out of plastic cups
Fries, of some unhealthily delicious variety
Music, of some sort
etc. recommended readings include “The Complete Adventures of Curious George.” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Oh, and we celebrated loosing the Big Game recently. Party at the Blue House, a house near school that's been an architecture party house for several years. Check out last year's Yale undergrad prank at harvardsucks.org. I just know someone will comment about Ivy elistist-ness, but oh well.