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    007 - "post a description of your studio working experience!!"

    Danny Wills Sep 27 '06 2

    (Kent State University)

    I have a favor to ask.
    A popular discussion about a month ago, asking us to post a picture of our studio space, brought up some interest in me..

    I've visited Sci-Arc, I've been inside the DAAP in Cincy, viewed pictures from Toronto, I've heard stories from other institutions from around the country. But today after a meeting with our Dean discussing our current facility situations, I'm wondering what it's like to actually work in your studio.

    What is the atmosphere like? Is it comfortable, are there enough windows? Is it split between years or connected to one another, year to year?
    Are your peers nice? Do you all get along and share a common goal, a common ideology for architecture? Or do you disagree, do some love what they do, or do they hate it?
    How are your facilities? Do you have good access to plotting/fabrication machines? Does it cost money?
    Is your school connected to the rest of the university, or are you separated and hide in studio all day?
    Do you even work at your desk?
    Do you have groups/organizations/publications?

    How would you rate your overall experience in the program?

    I ask these questions to compare the results, not to get jealous or proud, but to get a better understanding of the architecture studio experience overall, across the country, or world. I think for the betterment of all schools, we need to know more than what the studio looks like, we need to know how it feels. I wonder if the ivy league is any better than the state schools, if the material is any different, if a crit is really different.

    I wonder these things constantly. Stepping into another studio is like stepping into a new world, but at the same time it's the same world I've been in before. I wonder how I would adapt to these different studios. If I could survive, if anything would feel different. If I would have a better desire to design and creatively think.

    All comments are appreciated..


    In my next entry I will respond to the comments as well as share my studio atmosphere.

     

     
    • 2 Comments

    • Arnaud M.
      Sep 28, 06 12:16 am

      The studio at OCAD has a hallway running in the middle of it, doesn't enough desks (about one for three people), has a lot of white noise (f****** a/c pipes) and its windows aren't operable. I still like working there because I have a bigger desk than the one I have at home and I don't have to carry my work around. The main problem with the studio is that it is not accessible 24/7 and even I don't usually work at night (I'm an early bird) it's still good to have the possibility of going there anytime.

      But the school management chose to build a fancy piece of crap (sharp center by Alsop) rather than building an extension that would actually serve students. I'm in kind of love/hate relationshipo with this studio. I tend to get too distracted by other procrastinating student and I very often feel like I'm wasting my time.

      ladsnine
      Sep 28, 06 8:24 pm

      Well, this became more of a rant. But, I like my school, really :-)

      We have 3 buildings here at IIT. Your studio work environment totally depends on where you end up. Crown Hall is the best...well-kept and nicely renovated, 3410 Building is okay, and Minerals & Metals Building (used to be a foundry) gets downright ghetto. (We have 750 students, up from 400 5 years ago, so they're way behind on facilities upgrades for all these new students...but they're working on it) The reason I say this is the really bad leaking problem (cascading waterfall) down the 1940s-era window wall in M&M. You can't hear other people talk in there either because the HVAC is so loud. And the Metra trains outside. And the construction project next door.

      We have ~80 computers in 2 labs, all the architecture buildings have wireless. Right now the labs are open 9am-11pm. Later in the semester they go 24 hour. We have 4 plotters and a color laser, though it costs $5/foot to plot. We used to have a free plotter (you provide the paper), but they got rid of it.

      We have 2 laser cutters (we had one last year, but the laser cutter guy had to still till 2am everyday, so they got another one), and a CNC. The lasers are open to all, but the CNC is only for classes.

      Our library is small, but growing immensely in its collection. It's due for a renovation this spring to expand it. It should be really nice in a year or two. It's already my place of choice to hang out. Given that it has almost the number of visitors as the main campus library (for the other 4000 students on campus), I'd say I'm not the only one.

      Buildings are open 24/7/365. However, weekends, they don't regulate the temperature so whatever was on Friday is on all weekend, so it gets miserable to work sometimes. Also, we usually run out of TP and paper towels on Saturday sometime.

      Studio life is good, in the years where you hand-draft, especially nights when everyone's there. In computerized years (3rd and up), the studios are abandoned at night, so you can't really bounce ideas off people.

      Class sizes in the CoA are horrible. Like...most required classes have 125-200 students (studios have good ratios, however, 15 or so.) This is actually kind of a good thing for community, though, since everyone has the same work due at the same time, it allows a lot of collaboration.

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