Archinect

University of Washington (Erin)

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    Still alive! and considering a (screen)name change

    copper_top Jan 26 '09 3

    My archinecting has really dropped off recently. I don’t post comments because I figure I should be blogging, but then I don’t have time to actually blog! Winter quarter of second year is known for being a killer in my program, and it truly has been. The reason for this is that we’re expected to be making pretty rapid progress on thesis now (meetings have increased to weekly, there is sketching and writing going on at last), BUT also expected to still take and teach other classes. So, out of pure guilt, here’s how each of my classes are going…

    Design Foundations: TAing, not taking. It was a little wild to me the other week to realize that I was running the first critique of these students’ lives. A crazy notion⎯can you remember your first critique? I don’t think I can remember mine. I kind of wish I could.

    Graduate Seminar: this class keeps me crazy busy. Well, they all do. Every week we’ve got a pile of readings to get through, but the bigger time suck is weekly pecha-kuchas. The professor presented this idea as being an alternative to weekly reaction papers, so I’m mostly on board, but those things’ll take up as much time as I have to give (and more!). In general, my presentations have been well received. The first week we just had to do a presentation on ourselves, to kind of start to build a community and learn things about each other. Not having time to do anything else, I recycled bits of the thesis presentation I’d given to my committee the day before. The second week we were talking about language and process of developing taste, and I talked about the process I went through coming from architecture and struggling to develop typographic sensitivity. For last week, we were talking about ritual, liminal states, and the thesis/antithesis/synthesis cycle, which struck me as very heroic quest, so I set the teachings of design school and the indoctrination into the profession to imagery from Kill Bill. This week… no clue yet. I’m still procrastinating while I try to land on an idea that relates to our readings (Derrida, Levi-Strauss & Piaget)!

    Publication Design: I am LOVING this class so far. It’s really keeping me on my toes and helping me to find my own identity while at the same time not locking me into anything too soon. The process that the professor for this one expects is the closest to what I am used to, in requiring a serious amount of alternatives in the beginning of a project (instead of just three, which is the standard around here). We started with setting a short article in 20 different ways using only typographic variation (no layout!), then a longer article in ten different layouts (but still no color), and then a longer article into three different magazine spreads. I’m going to go ahead and include these three spreads in this post, because the subject is something I rant about SO MUCH on archinect. For reference, the article was taken from I love typography (dot com). You should read it.

    THESIS: still the elephant in the room. I think the elephant is getting fatter actually, because I’m getting less and less comfortable having it following me around as it is wont to do. I recently came to a crossroads with my thesis with regards to style. I’ll post some renderings in a couple of weeks, but when it came down to it, for the first time in my life I made a choice mostly based on what direction I want my career to go in and what I want people to think when they see my portfolio, instead of solely based on the problem at hand. Basically, I would rather people see my work and think of me as the girl who likes to mess with weird materials and patterns, than look at it and think of me as that weird girl that’s still hanging onto postmodernism. This was an unexpected and recent development: those who know me might know that I’ve been fascinated with the theory for a while, but have always described myself as a rationalist, with postmodern tendencies. For the first time I’m starting to consider that the rationalist label may no longer be applicable, at least not as the primary one. The deeper I get into theory, the more I’m yielding to those post-structuralist tendencies… *sigh* Either way, I’m still not sure whether that was a valid reason to make that decision. But my thesis chair wasn’t willing to come down on one side or the other of the issue in a strong way (“They’re both really good options” never sounded so rough!), so it was the only reason I had.

    Until next time, I leave you with three completely different readings of On Choosing Type by John D Boardley. See if you can guess which of these is most defining of my (still developing) style…

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    • 3 Comments

    • treekiller
      Jan 27, 09 1:28 pm

      derational?postrational?

      WonderK
      Jan 27, 09 8:30 pm

      typemaster E? :o)

      futureboy
      Jan 29, 09 1:11 pm

      rational is not always in opposition to necessity of making subjective jumps. in a way, rationalism is inherently a methodology that if it doesn't at some point confront the irrational exists like a firefly in a glass jar, constricted by the inability to move beyond itself....slowly suffocating and dying, the flame going out and becoming just another bug in a jar.
      the creative leap never starts from a rational approach, but always ends via an extension of ration to explain the inherently inexplicable.

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