Aug '09 - May '10
Midway through the 3rd week of Gradschool2.0 and things seem both fast and slow.
On one hand, I'm surprised that things are moving by quickly.
My electives are going full speed ahead and they are pretty great thus far. Studio is a bit slow...I'm waiting for it to kick into high gear; we seem to be treading water.
Regarding my classes thus far:
I was apprehensive upon reading the course descriptions that all of my classes would lean heavily towards either technique or theory and disregard the other, but they've generally been pretty balanced. There's seems to be a healthy level of skepticism too for what we're doing; every time parametric design is mentioned there is the disclaimer to follow that we are still designers, and although we may let the computer make some decisions, at the end of the day, we go to school because we want to be designers (not programmers, scripting geniuses, renderers, or psuedoscientists) - parametrics (colloquially used...swap it for "scripting" "algorithmic" etc) is still design because we are designing the parameters and have complete control over the outcome
The Post-prof's are split into 3 sections with Winka Dubbeldam coordinating - I'm in Ferda Kolatan's section; Roland Snooksteaches the other. I think the skepticism towards psuedoscience is the most surprising thing about studio and I'm glad because that was one of the things that I continually have issue with – fake biomimicry, feigned structural efficiency, digital-for-digital-sake-because-I-can-just-3dprint-it, etc. Although we look to science for logic, form, etc; we're making the decisions and this is design studio...we're going to be designers (and architecture is more than just design too).
The real difference here is that in the past, I've felt that my studios have at times ended up being a week of half-hearted wikipedia research which is encouraged to fully fuel your project...until midterms when the experts come in and tell you the real answer. At this point, it's a rush to spin your idea around to the new “right answer”....
when in actuality, we're pretending to be experts in something in 3 months and pitch it to people with full confidence...this has it's time and place but isn't the only right way.
At this point, I'm drawn to a paraphrased thought from the Stephen Kieran lecture this past Monday – he talked about the importance of a 4 part sequence of design - Think, Do, Evaluate, Learn - and how in school we're really good thinkers, we're just starting to get to the do part (rarely), but almost nobody actually gets to the Evaluation and Learn sections of the process – we do something once, get a grade (or a paycheck) and move on to bigger and better things. It becomes looked down upon to re-investigate old ideas which is maybe the opposite of what we should be doing to really solve problems and get to inventive solutions.
All this aside, we are hitting research and digital really hard - I've been taught the basics of Maya on three different required occasions, so although there seems to be skepticism toward the digital-for-digital sake, the goal is to become so immersed in tool-use that it can be an uninhibited design method – We talked in Ali Rahim's class of how technique drives technology...
to be continued.
So much to write, so little time. Feel free to ask questions.