Jan '07 - Jun '07
I attended a faculty interview last week for a position at UCLA to head the new undergraduate program. The school is starting up the program next year and from what I understand it will not be a bachelor of architecture degree but it will draw undergrads in their third and fourth years, probably in hopes that they stay on for a masters degree. I haven't paid much attention to the specifics other than peeking in on these faculty interviews/presentations and noticing the space they are preparing for them downstairs. Upon hearing, at the beginning of the year that they were starting this program I was thinking it was a shame, hoping it didn't dilute the great graduate research environment they have developed here. One of the things that drew me to the school was the size, and the fact that it was only had graduate students here.
The presenter last week had very focused work with interests tied to digital fabrication and the scripting of form. It raised the question, will the new undergrad program be intended as a grad-lite program or will it be more well rounded? It seems like the school will have to confront its identity and decide how it applies a few years out of high school. My undergraduate program used a Bauhaus/ Black Mt College model that got us into the shops and art studios our very first year in college exploring abstract exercises in geometry, form, composition, joinery, etc. It was a great foundation but the school struggled to develop a strong focus for its graduate program. Either way the establishment of an undergraduate program here will be one that requires a translation of the themes of the grad program, another chance for the school to test the scope and reach of its interests.
- Aaron T(A)DS