I suspect the litigious Jay-Z management team doesn't read the Archinect school blog project, so I'm probably free from any intellectual property suit. (Don't sue me Jay, thanks)
Anyway, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself (after my first blog post), frame this blog and give a tentative prediction as to its content. I hope the blog can accomplish a number of things. For one, it will contribute to the goal of the school blog project generally: to give insight into the student process at architecture programs throughout the world. I'm an architecture student, have some friends at some other architecture schools, have worked a bit, so (like every other student), may be qualified not only give a peek into the crowded inner-workings of the GSAPP, but offer some comparison to how it's done at other places and how firms out in the working world think of the architects the programs are churning out.
Also, I intend the blog to work for me like a thought storage facility (similar to the Ghostbuster's smoking box where they kept Slimer, only for ideas), a place where I can retrace my steps during a project and see what I was thinking before, what I'm thinking now and be able to answer the question "what did I do or see in between that affected the change?"
All of that is a bit vague. Maybe I should be a bit more specific about the future content (as much for me to remember as for you to look forward to).
OK, so I'm re-entering Columbia as a 2nd year M. Arch student after taking a year-long leave-of-absence to work, first at the Bjarke Ingels Group [BIG] in Copenhagen and then in Rotterdam for OMA/AMO. These places get some press and since leaving a handful of people have asked me to describe the working conditions at the two offices and maybe offer a comparison between OMA and BIG. That sounds like a good future post topic, so look out for that.
In my first year of school I started to strike up some collaborations (although studio didn't support that so much) and competitions seemed to be an extracurricular outlet that would get the work out of studio and into the world. After a couple of failed attempts to pull a competition entry together in the spring semester--a combination of time constraints and odd working dynamics between my collaborators aided the flop--I started to pull more submissions together (before the deadline) once I left school. I've had some success with open competitions, both in collaboration and on my own, and really enjoy doing them. Friends and I, previous and new collaborators, have plans to submit to a number of competitions during the fall semester, so I'll update on their progression as they come.
What else will be in the blog? labRAD! Oh yes, labRAD grew out of the competitions I was working on with my girlfriend (starting her M. Arch at RISD in a few weeks). labRAD is an acronym that stands for The Laboratory for Research, Architecture & Design. It's sort of an office, sort of a think-tank, kind of a design hub through which we collaborate with other students on competitions. It has a website-- www.lab-rad.com --where you can see the projects I've worked on (only projects completed or ongoing outside of school, outside of work, and in collaboration are included) and recent news. One of our projects, a submission to the Tent London Urbantine Competition was shortlisted over the summer and is going on exhibition at the Nous Gallery in London in two weeks. So, I'll write about labRAD and all that comes with that: trying to collaborate with more people, keeping one foot in school and one foot out, walking the line between firm and think-tank, posting what other people write about labRAD in other blogs, etc.
Then there's school. Here's the thing about school: taking a year to go work at some production-heavy offices made me forget what working in studio was like. I remember the reviews and final products, but I can't say I really recall so much of the day-to-day activity. Maybe I blocked it out (friends will remind me how often I was sleeping in studio and generally creeping out my classmates when they came in the morning and I was still there not accomplishing anything). Either way, this may be the most interesting topic in future posts. In the fall semester of 2nd year, GSAPP students are in Housing Studio, one of the few times where we work with partners--mine is Junhee Jung who I worked with at BIG. She stayed there threw the year. I imagine we'll share the same types of reactions to re-engaging with studio and I'll keep you updated on that. Also, I'm going to take a couple of visual studies courses, more practical in subject than anything. While I'm still shopping around for courses, I want to take one that's hands-on, something to do with fabrication, and one dealing with computation or parametrics. It might be a class called Parametric Realizations taught by Mark Bearak (also an Archinect school blogger). There are major skill sets that I'd like to explore and haven't as of yet, so updates on that to come. I'm the TA for a joint studio between Historic Preservation & M. Arch students taught by Craig Konyk and Theo Prudon that will investigate a site in central Rotterdam snuggled between a 1957 Breuer building (De Bijnkorf department store) and a proposed OMA project (Coolsingel cube). That will make for some interesting blog posts.
Other than that stuff, I go to museums and exhibitions sometimes, so you'll probably see some reviews here as well.
This is the stuff I'll be writing about and, perhaps, you'll be reading about. Check it out and comment when you can.