Sep '05 - Feb '06
The final presentation for this semesters studio is over now (only the seminar papers have still to be submitted now) and I wish to thank Reinhold Martin for his amazing studio, the critics for their benevolent discussion of our studios and my studiomates for their help in making this studio so much fun. This studio was, as far as I am concerned, the best that I ever had. We had a healthy competition among us students in a friendly way, encouragiing ourselves to push the bounds with every step on the way. The theoretical discussion was very profound (although I think that a lot of Reinholds amusement with me came from me not getting half of what he was telling me... :-) ). The question of whether a utopian building can be also an icon lasted throughout the semester and was not really solved by the end, maybe there is no answer. The buildings proposed ranged from a 3-mile diameter ring connecting Brooklyn, Manhattan and Governors Island over a multi-perforated-screen themed building creating a classical courtyard or an upside-down buried museum to my own stranded alienship. The multitude of ideas was furthered by Reinhold who gave advice and restrictions to each project according to its agenda and who did not try to form us into mini mes of himself. The result was staggering: All projects were individual and pushed to results that I would not have dared imagined at the begin of the semester due to the long hesitational phase then. The "going straight into production" idea of creating four different approaches with minimal conceptual base directly at the beginning worked out pretty well in that direction. The concept came later when the project that cristallized from these diverse approaches became clearer and could be worked on. After that it was sort of a process of going back and forth between theory and the try to apply it to the proposed building. Questioning was encouraged throughout the project and it was an opportunity that was taken by all of us. One of the bigger factors for me was that by all earnest work and discussion there was always a factor of fun involved that kept one going even when there was no sleep for three days or the project got stuck somewhere really bad. It also helped that we had some great lectures by creators of "iconic buildings" such as Frank Gehry, Peter Eisenman or Mr. Jencks who gave a talk about his book that is concerned with even this topic.
The conclusion of most projects was that it is nearly impossible to produce Architecture "with a capital A" or the instant iconic building. most utopias as well as icons have their sell by date from the moment the are published and thus are not iconic in the end at all. To embrace that ending of being iconic and imply it in the design was one of my goals and I rhink that I am still not fully there yet with my design although I really like it at that stage. Maybe I will take it a step further when I prepare my portfolio and go over it for a second time. Most of the critics were distraught by the totalitarian vision that I made up for the building, not getting at first that I was projecting a dystopia by design, a coutionary tale in built form. After clearing that up the discussion moved on to more detailed questions that were raised by the bad quality of the projection that ruined most of my interior renderings by way of missing light strength of the projector. Enough for today, more will follow soon as well as a post concerning the progress of the work on the generative components.