Sep '06 - Oct '07
It's been a while since I've posted, and I am back in full swing of my final year now at GSAPP.
Summer 2007 engulfed me with travels and contemplations of the professional world within and without architecture- after an academic year of Kurgan, a summer of freelance + relaxation, + overall reflection I am back in the think mode.
This fall, there were 17 choices for studio- an overwhelmingly large number of choices, an influx of M.Arch II students, and I chose (again) a studio that was able to travel for a bit. Craig Konyk's Historic Preservation studio situated in Casablanca took us (all 25 of us) to Morocco last week for 5 packed days to study the issue of migrancy from Africa to Europe in the city. The trip was fantastically disorganized- students from both the Historic Preservation and Architecture departments combined itineries and travel agendas to visit sites in Casablanca, Marrakesh, Fez, Rabat... all during the Ramadan holiday. Armed with no cellphones, different hotels, and students with varying degrees of cognition of group travel, we embarked on a short, but intense visit to our site and the surrounds...
The trip was interesting, whirlwind, to say the least. Our first day, (after a flight of no sleep) we visited our site in Casablanca, to discover that the modernist Team 10 site had been completely filled-in. I guess we knew this, from Google earth satellite photos, where the site appeared completely built-in. Since our studio is supposed to deal with historic preservation, the big question that faced us, was the meaning of preservation on a site that has so dramatically changed, and shifted due to local economics and incentives.
While I am tempted, upon return, to design our site as an architectural project, I am also ridden with a factor of reality that- given certain architectural and urban design master planning, people will adapt and build what they want to build. My project this semester will try to deal with these local desires- and their relation to the architect as the planner of infrastructure. Political, social, and economic infrastructures, + the exciting possibility of ongoing relations between project design, local populations, and the interaction between both users and developers.
In addition to studio, I am taking the prerequisite Building systems II class, Graphic Narratives with Michael Rock (2x4), and Pro Practice. I'm enjoying the Graphic Narratives class, which is allowing me to exorcise the graphic design bug in me- if anything, it's a great class to help articulate some of the narrative interests I have in my work.
More saucy stuff to come...