Aug '08 - May '09
[or] "Cultural Rites of Passage as Performed by Architecture vs. Landscape Architecture Students"
With just under two months left until final thesis presentations, our group decided to host the weekly Good Times happy hour last Friday. I don't know if we all just needed to blow off some steam or needed another excuse to procrastinate or wanted to host one last Good Times before graduation or what, but we spent a collective week planning and orchestrating our Smash Hits Good Times.
We mashed up our favourite themes and dorky activities from the past four years of Good Times (see collection of posters above - or as many as i had saved in my email) loosely centred around the theme of smashing or mashing... we served mashed foods, made punch, rigged up a ping pong tournament, intended but forgot potato bocce, and made a little arts and crafts corner to make folded paper box professors... and... to get at the heart of this post... hand crafted pinatas of our thesis professor's heads and... you guessed it... smashed them... which devolved into some other slightly freudian moments...
Then a few of us trekked across the city to the retirement party of a beloved Landscape Architecture professor, Doug Paterson, thrown by the Landscape students. They themed the party Vaudeville meets Masquerade, rented a hall, made food, hired a band and prepared a variety show of Doug centred student acts... poems, jokes, limericks, and a rendition of "Hey, Doug" to the tune of "Hey, Jude" sung by the entire undergraduate class... it was cheesy and lovely all at the same time... but it brought me squarely to this point or question or whatever...
How do we explain these two ritual evenings... their intentions and their effects... 1: the making and smashing of our architecture professor's heads in effigy and 2: the landscape students singing tribute songs and forming dance circles around theirs?
Coming out of all the recent talk about our big school merger... SALA SALA SALA... and the latest director search lectures... we can talk all we want about cooperation and integration and horizons and vanishing points, but are we really just two totally different animals? can we be caged together? the obvious answer is yes, and i am a big supporter of being one school in one building and for having more interaction. But days like this make me think the road may be much steeper than we originally thought.