First off, I want a free limited edition “Architecture Sucks” shirt. Black, large would be nice thank you
I also want this.
We've had two pretty good lectures in a week. As I've said, I'm not much for lectures because it's usually a jargon fest. By the way, according to a CNN article, “Management jargon can alienate staff and leave bosses looking untrustworthy and weak, according to a survey published on Monday.” I know they are talking about something a little different, but when a teacher, speaker, or critic rattles off phrase after phrase of jargon, Deluze, or really their bastardization of something they read in National Geographic once, I don't think “WOW, awesome vocabulary.” I think “Wow, you know a lot of words, don't know how to use them and are utterly useless at communicating. You've made something that is interesting and informative, irreducibly complex (jargon) and wasted my time.” If you get a project or class brief that the majority of the class needs to read more than...twice, you have failed at communicating. It's not a novel or a poem. It's basic communication. Your word bank has not helped clear up any ambiguities in the document. This brings to mind a person who will go unnamed. Some people will immediately know of whom I speak. This person speaks almost entirely in adjectives and reads his/her prewritten presentations in a way that sounds of utter boredom. I don't know if he/she thinks this makes the speech sound more intelligent or natural, but it comes off pretentious and like that kid in third grade that was pissed off when he had to read in front of the class. How can I be interested if you sound like you don't give a crap about what you think that I should be interested in? Well, this speaker realized that the crowd was tired to hearing Webster's Dictionary, picked up the speed and finished up. I wish I had a device Henry Rollins talks about. It's the “Sit the f#@$ down, shut the f*%# up button” that should be installed on airplanes.
Anyway. So the speakers were Toyo Ito last Thursday (got his autograph and told him I saw him at Takenaka, he didn't care), and Winka Dubbeldam last night. Both talks were pretty good. Nice images of built work, or work that was soon to be built. Limited and well used jargon (in Winka's case, Ito had a translator). I won't recap the lectures, but both were worth it. Only one thing came to mind. I guess mostly because I had my building systems class in the morning with my LEED hating (justifiably) prof. Winka claimed that both the Greenwich St. building and a new condo building being built in Philly were “green.” Ok, so maybe they made the LEED checklist and have low-E glass or what have you, but the Greenwich St faÃ§ade was imported from Hong Kong and Spain, and the Philly facade is being manufactured in India. I'm curious how the other systems/strategies (I don't even think the windows of Greenwich open) counter act the transport of the facades. I guess I'm just playing devil's advocate because when I hear “green building” then two seconds later “There is a 3600 sf apartment with one person living in it. The model was brought in from Singapore. This faÃ§ade was imported from India” my ears kind of perk up. I could be wrong in this case, but it often seems that while new manufacturing techniques COULD save materials etc, they have to be brought in from around the world to balance the exorbitant cost of production, probably negating the ecological savings they could have afforded. But, the building looks good and will make Philly look a little less like murder town.
OH, but the real highlight is this old dude (can't remember his name) that shows up and says CRAZYASS stuff. Story is, he used to ”˜work' for Louis Kahn, essentially saying crazyass stuff for money. The office resented him for getting a full paycheck for only saying crazyass stuff. Apparently he was also banned from Meyerson for a number of years because he was giving desk crits and saying stupid shit at lectures. Well he's back. He asked/said something to Ito about Swiss cheese, living in bone marrow, X games, and lighting yourself on fire. Every time you thought he was going to make a point...he would ramble on to something else. Now, Ito had the luxury of a language barrier. He politely translated some response that I interpreted as “I don't have a clue what you just said you crazy bastard.” Winka's response to his jibba jabba was along the lines of, “She may be happy in this building, and he may not. I can't make you happy. Maybe only your psychiatrist can do that.” OH SNAP! I think she may have knew him from his banned days. That guy is so annoying, but good for a laugh.
We had a pin up yesterday in studio (actually our first one). It was pretty good. Tina is really pushing us now and it seems like she basically wants our projects done by Thanksgiving, then just refine refine refine produce produce produce until final. I was pretty stuck last week, then she suggested busting out the Mayline. I actually started to really flow and made great leaps over the weekend. I think sometimes when you use the computer, you try to make everything perfect the first time. Some how, pencil seems more free. I will soon move back into CAD/Rhino, but it was really liberating and helpful.
The printmaking show went up last night. Today our class met to discuss what we had done. My teacher told me I have a 1940s sense of design. He then asked where I was from. I explained suburban PA. He then told me he asked because he is worried that I won't be able to design contemporary architecture. He told a story about when he took the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Japan to Finland and how Moscow was so backwards compared to Helsinki. At first I was actually pretty hurt. It's like, damn man, I'm in my 5th semester of grad school and you are telling me that I can't design buildings (which you've never seen, and how printmaking determines my architecture...I don't know). I'm not an MFA, I've never done printmaking, I don't study art. Why should I know the latest trends in printmaking? A lot of the other stuff looks pretty high school, 70s or Martha Stewart (along with some really cool stuff). It kind of made me angry. Grr.