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    thesis reviews pt. 1: the work

    Nick Sowers May 5 '09 1

    The storm that had been brewing on the 9th floor of Wurster Hall, such a heavy, latent cloud above the rest of the building, unleashed its load down the elevators this past Friday night. Miraculously, the precipitation (in drops of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, and an occasional charcoal thunder) organized itself in a neat gridded fashion on the walls. Hailstones of digital printed plastic sat assembled in thoughtful rows on plywood pedestals. The smell of freshly laser'd chipboard hung in the air.

    The weatherman declared a 95% chance of thesis occurring at Berkeley this year. And it wasn't even a catastrophe (in spite of laser cutters and starch printers breaking down). Many have agreed the work is better than last year which was better than the year before, etc.

    I actually thought it was fantastic. It was great for me especially because I went through thesis prep with everyone and so I know their deepest and darkest secrets. It's also a preview to where I might be one year from now.

    In the interest of my own time, I can't go in and explain any of these projects. (I also missed a bunch of them because my cat got sick and we had to rush him to the vet. He's fine now) Perhaps I'll just give the title and let you figure it out from these itty bitty pixels. I'll put up a few comments that I heard and had the gumption to right down.

    A big thanks to the folks who composed the juries on each day, with a gold medal for David Ross who stayed both days and had lots of great things to say. Thanks also to Mark Linder, Mark Mack, Neal Schwartz, Stanley Saitowitz, Thom Faulders, Max Underwood, Bob Shepherd, Kevin Daly, and Wes Jones.

    Also, it was a pleasure to meet our new dean, Jennifer Wolch, and to hear her perspective as she weighed in on the discussions.

    The Episodic Architecture of the Marvelous Real: A Reflective Loop through Havana, Cuba

    image
    "who are the agents - how can the illusion be sustained pragmatically"image "how is the proposal not emergent?"

    Penrose Chancery

    image "there is a tension between the graphic and the spatial"

    Exit.Grid.Net

    image

    Gap in Translation :: Thicken the Gap

    image
    "how does the project increase in scale? You've atomized the problem"

    Mass-Reinterpretation

    image "there is a disengagement of the interior w/ the wall"
    "architecture happens when you pull back from the limits of possibility"
    "there is also a techne of spatial possibility"
    "the NURBS surface is the machine"

    publicCITY : www.activistarchitecture.com

    image "there is an absurdity which relates to Dada and Situationist movements"
    "this project isn't about absurdity. You need to edit the hell out of it"

    Stadium Form / Stadium Transform

    image
    "this is an opportunity to scrutinize the olympics and the opening ceremony"
    "rhetoric of anti-icon reveals a desire for mutability"
    image
    "difference between icon and image--how does the building drift through the media"

    How to Make Mountains

    image "are those dimension lines? That's great."

    The Forgotten

    image "this is a project about loss"
    "this is a project about recovery"
    "you need to de-delineate the architecture"
    "set up forces outside of your control"

    Vigil: Designing for Long Term Awareness

    image "it would be interesting to see the analog versus the digital analysis"image

    Epiphenomenal Architecture

    image "it's a machine no different than Cartesian geometry. How do you render a space that is full?"
    "There is no frontier."

    Paradise From Scratch™

    image"if you believe it, go down the road of technically figuring it out (have control)"
    "crisis and critical are born of the same root… to be critical is to operate at those limits"
    "the mistake was calling it a satire"
    image "there's an accumulation of anxieties about consumption"
    "it needs specificity to be wonderfully absurd"

    The New Mission Gardens

    image "this is not a trick question: are you interested in science or are you interested in philosophy?...if this is an emergent mechanism, how do you stop it?"
    "you have to develop a methodology to test it at an urban scale"
    "there is a promise for new social practices - new uses for the garden. Where does the problem of the stain or the ugly occur in gardening? Why can't you have the ugly in the home?"
    "if it's satire, push the representation to its extreme"

    The Unfinished House

    image

    Reinventing Suburbia After the Crisis

    image

    Sea Change and the Urban Float

    image

    (ephemeral)

    imageimage

    Urban Seam

    image
    question: "where do you see this project in 50 years?"
    student: "I see it built"

     

     
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