Sep '06 - Oct '07
I just spent a lovely New York evening saying farewell to a dear friend of mine who decided to take the year off for work. Several of my fellow classmates sat around a dazzling array of delicious japanese/korean bbq down near the Cooper Union, cooking away at tasty dishes, talking about school and life and our interests prior to Columbia and now that we are there. I'm a firm believer in taking breaks from work, meeting over good food and sake, to talk and discuss- isn't that why we are here to begin with? To meet and collaborate over ideas and food? When I first came to Columbia, I had no idea that students don't really team up on projects. If anything, I learned the first year that if anything, the trend is to get students to develop their own way of thinking about design and 'develop personaes'. It's really refreshing that second year, you have the opportunity to pair up and collaborate- though I heard many pairs end up in bitter divorce because egos and ideas collide with no resolution. I'm hoping that won't happen with our year, but hey, the divorce statistic is now up to 60% who get married get divorces in the end-- maybe our culture is becoming more willing to split than compromise, but we'll see.
On another note, both in response to my last post and the comments I received, was in relation to design and money. I don't know very much (yet) about markets and how they drive design, and I'm hoping that I can get a taste of that in my studio at least, on a conceptual level from the standpoint of 'who's funding' the work and ideas that are driving it. I don't mind 'dirtying' the design talk by asking realistic questions. I hope that our studio encourages that- because only then, can the fantasy of academia have an impact on the real world. Maybe I'm being naieve and idealistic. I welcome your experiences in this area if you've had them! Do share! Apparently in the UK, there's much more support for creative thinking when it comes to topics in housing, where in the US it's not as common. When it does happen in the US, I'm really interested in learning how it came about, and how to manipulate the system here so that one can then infuse so-called good work and honest design thinking into a number of disciplines.
One thing I've been interested in, is how buildings grow and evolve over time, and how architects should perhaps be involved in their change as part of their way of thinking about design. I'm very interested in how people live in buildings, and what works and what doesn't AFTER the building is handed off. Does anyone work in this capacity as an architect? I would love to hear about it. It seems the possibility and the need to have a more interactive, and long-term relationship with those living in these spaces could help architects expand their role in the long-term and be perhaps more involved in redesign of spaces, developing a finer grain of understanding about their 'client' over time, with the capacity to evolve with them.