Rockin’ in a Furness with Black Kids & Virgins
I can’t seem to escape Frank Furness
these days. He, of course, designed the Fisher Fine Arts Library where I spend a good deal of my time, but he also designed the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia where I saw Black Kids
, The Virgins
, and The Magic Wands
on Monday night. The show was pretty good, but it was really cool to see an indie rock show in the basement “rec room” of an active church in a building that is a national historic landmark. My only question, why do hipsters look like epileptics when they dance?
The Magic Wands
On Tuesday, we had our first writing assignment due in Witold Rybcynski’s Writing on Architecture
class. It was a 500 word essay on “Why does architecture matter?” It was a bit nerve-racking for several reasons. First, we were supposed to be using a very different style of writing than I’m used to. I’m typically a very academic writer. I am a PhD student after all. This essay was supposed to be written for the layperson. But what was more nerve-racking was that we read, critiqued and edited each other’s essays in class. I wasn’t entirely happy with my essay, but it ended up being relatively well received.Bill Braham
was a guest lecturer in my Advanced Architecture Research
class. He gave a lecture entitled Ecology, Technology & Architecture
in which he discussed an ecological approach to architectural technology. I’m not entirely sold that architecture can truly be “ecological”, but I did come away with some interesting ideas that could be applied to my research at the scale of the city.
Finally, last night I attended my first lecture at Penn. Unfortunately, there were actually two lectures scheduled at the same time. Barry Bergdoll from MoMA and landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson. I was actually required to attend the Gustafson lecture for my landscape theory class, so I didn’t really have a choice, but it seemed weird that they were overlapping. The lecture was OK, but she was rushing through everything because the PennDesign Board of Overseers were in the audience and Kathryn wanted to get the lecture done before they had to leave for dinner. I like her work and I’d like to see her lecture again when she’s not so rushed. The last project that she showed was an installation from this year’s Venice Biennale. I couldn’t find any pictures of it, but here’s a rendering.