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    First Crit day

    mikilee Sep 23 '06 13

    So today we had our first pinup review. It was okay- i purposely felt and acted unprepared- not quite ready to give a show of things. I heard the trick is to have a lot of ideas, hide your work, then smash the competition towards the end. Generally it's a good technique, if you know where you're going with things. One of my best friends from childhood who went to UPenn architecture, (and is now getting her license) told me she had a bunch of friends from Turkey who were akin to this notion. They said, "Do a lot of work- then HIDE IT." When it comes to the final review, your teacher is so anxious that you didn't develop an idea, that you didnt' "get it" that when you show it all they are aghast. I know this works, and have seen it in action. It's good to take breaks. Long breaks, and walks around the park, mulling about things alone. Good things happen from leisure time alone.

    My studio is filled with great people. There are also not so great people, and I have to admit that the Queen of Unconstructive Criticism is in my studio this year. It kind of sucks because I feel like we're all up there, under the gun, and design is about helping eachother (I believe in the Knowledge Economy) and when others make comments for ego-sake, or for whatever-sake, that's not trying to help fellow design collegues, you are in school for another reason.

    It's true that designers steal ideas from others- to not do so is to be oblivious to the conversation that is happening in your age and generation. Nobody has 'original ideas', they are all developed from your own cultural bias. That's okay. That's how designers work. But i find it very problemmatic when people claim 'originality' and therefore build themselves and their ideas up on a pedestal that others cannot reach. ie. Elitists.

    I happen to come from a school that is called Elitist all the time. While I do not like that association, I do notice that the more theoretical stuff I learned back in 99 gets pleasantly dirty as the years go by. I have learned to step down from the ivy league pedestal, and hate it generally, all the while making fun of those who stand up and tilt their dresses ever so slightly, to show off a little leg because they're wearinig stilleto white heels out of season. there's different levels to that- because the ivy league as well shares the same mechanism, of wearing those stilletos. they may not be quite as apparent as the actual ones, but they serve the same purpose. to basically prostitute yourself and think you're great and sexy, all at the same time, while ignoring any constructive way of changing the world of design and architecture.

    ok that's all for now. till the next review.

     

     
    • 13 Comments

    • Steven WardSteven Ward
      Sep 23, 06 8:03 am
      I heard the trick is to have a lot of ideas, hide your work, then smash the competition towards the end. Generally it's a good technique, if you know where you're going with things.

      this is MADDENING for instructors. your instructors are there to help your project develop and the pinups are to make the projects' development part of a larger conversation the studio is supposed to have. this holding-out strategy is just what you said - a competition strategy and selfish.

      not that this is a knock on you, miki, but you've taken advice that will undermine your ability to get as much as you can out of this experience. open up and share what you've got. it might even (probably will) get better.

      if you 'know where you're going with things' at the beginning of the first project, you're suggesting that columbia has nothing to teach you. you might as well go to a much less expensive school if you already know...
      switters
      Sep 23, 06 9:26 am

      i am with Ward on this...you are throwing a lot of cash away with your aversion to openess, sharing, and dialogue with you instructor. yet, it is your cash, so do as you please. but your 'trick' is the opposite of the knowledge economy.

      orEqual
      Sep 23, 06 10:25 am

      Studios aren't always an ideal, gradual progress towards an idea based on regular input from an instructor. Ideas can happen out of sequence and out of synch, and showmanship can be a very powerful thing.

      I don't think miki's situation necessarily precludes dialogue. Every studio is a unique animal that allows for a different individual response. I also don't think that the entire cost of an education at Columbia should be tied to the studio experience. If that was the case, then at the junction of the knowledge economy and the real economy, I've been playing $500-slots and haven't yet hit a jackpot.

      Though there are free drinks on occasion.

      Misen
      Sep 23, 06 10:43 am

      I've seen someone do what Miki mentioned above and walk away with As in studios. I know Columbia doesn't give letter grades (and grades don't matter in grad school anyways), but it seems like the instructors are oblivious to this type of behavior and really think the student is something really special. It's also maddening to see your hard work and gradual development be under-evaluated for some miracle pulled out of ass at last minute frenzy.

      ooid
      Sep 23, 06 12:18 pm

      told me she had a bunch of friends from Turkey who were akin to this notion. They said, "Do a lot of work- then HIDE IT."

      -did not know that we(turkish people) acting this way :)..funny generalization anyway.

      not per--corell
      Sep 23, 06 2:21 pm

      as long as you're smarter than the instructor going in and got nothin' to learn, go for it.

      Tim DoTim Do
      Sep 23, 06 4:23 pm

      keep in mind that you are also holding out from your peers as pin-up is sometimes the only opportunity for other students to see what you are thinking about.

      this notion of hiding ideas is architectural cannibalism if you ask me.

      AP
      Sep 23, 06 7:50 pm

      poor citizenship, at the least.

      also, as switters pointed out, you contradict yourself. To have this hiding trick as your m.o. and then to claim that design is about helping eachother...these 2 ideas seem at odds with one another...to not expose yourself is to not contribute fully.


      Nevertheless, thanks for sharing.

      AbrahamNR
      Sep 23, 06 9:21 pm

      I've seen someone do what Miki mentioned above and walk away with As in studios.

      And I've seen one of my instructors give the student a C, even thougth the instructor said "it really was an A+ project".

      I've always thougth that architecture school (and any kind of design/art education really) is more about the process and less about the end result. It's during the process where you learn. While I agree with a lot of what Miki has said (specially about the mith of originality in design), I must dissagree with this mindset.

      Like a good friend of mine said; architectural reviews are just like sex. After all fun during the act, then it's just kinda over and you're just left swetty and tired.

      not_here
      Sep 23, 06 9:27 pm

      AP, i dont think he's contradicting himself. during crits, the studio essentially stops working as a cohesive whole (at least in the crits i've been in so far (4)). It's you and the critics. and there (as i learned during my last project last semester), it is not often about learning, but rather about appeasing the ideas embodied by that critic. only in my last crit was this not the case.


      anyways. just thought i'd jump in.

      Tim DoTim Do
      Sep 23, 06 11:20 pm

      if it's not about learning, then somebody needs to speak up.

      AbrahamNR
      Sep 24, 06 1:09 am

      It's you and the critics. and there (as i learned during my last project last semester), it is not often about learning, but rather about appeasing the ideas embodied by that critic.

      The that guy/gal was a VERY bad reviewer. Even in a crit where they're ripping you appart you should learn. I've learned the most from some of the harshest crittics I've ever had.

      mikilee
      Sep 24, 06 2:18 am

      Haha- such good comments. I threw out that experience just to see if anyone was listening. Glad to hear some people care...

      :)

      all i have to say, now, is that there is a dynamic between instructors and students in school that is quite interesting. there's a mutual anxiety shared, about knowing and not knowing, about producing and revealing your work. there's something to be said about working on your own ideas, and thinking through problems, and also communicating to the group. some students want to learn, others don't. some want to share, some don't - it's quite like kindergarden.

      i come from a very collaborative background, and find it really interesting how people work in studio. it's a shame when people don't share- but it's human. think about that.

      that's all for now- till my next notorious post.

      M.I.K.I.

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