Feb '10 - Sep '10
It is mid term time and the energy seems to be on High. Today, the faculty was out and about, moving from one preliminary MRP presentation to the next. I fell in line to catch a few presentations and was reminded of the reasons why I like being at UF: SoA.
While the MRP is going the way of the dodo in many schools, it is alive and well here; in fact, it has been getting a facelift in order to better prepare students to conduct their research. I wonder how much of this effort is simply preemptive maintenance [So when other schools ask “Why are you still driving that beat up old car?” We reply “Because it still runs like a top”]. The class that presented today is the last class to carry it out in the old fashion. The class that will be presenting in Spring 2011 will be the first to have the benefit of the new solution. The major changes to the process being more time, more check-points and more dialogue with supporting faculty members.
Two projects stuck out. One was a poetic preservation project that deployed constructed mythologies on an abandoned train station to inform a detailed architectural installation. The overall narrative was supplemented by well crafted hand drawings that began to work though some more phenomenological aspects of the site and how they might be reconciled with the stories being placed within it. The other project was about developing a set of tool that would mediate the occupation of a large field in an Amish community. In this body-meets-world sort of investigation, these tools are designed for the task of dictating relative scales and sequencing an experience of seclusion in a feral and bucolic environment.
What is great about the MRP is, after years of study under constraints imposed by anything outside our control, we can finally define the parameters of our own inquiries. In this way, without it resulting in something ego-centric, we get a chance to understand and synthesize ourselves, our process and our work into something personal and boundless.
The connection might be tenuous but I couldn’t help but think of Full Metal Jacket.
“Graduation is only a few days away, and the recruits of platoon 30-92 are salty. They are ready to eats their own guts and ask for seconds. The drill instructors are proud to see that we are growing beyond their control. The Marine Corp* does not want robots. The Marine Corp wants killers. The Marine Corp wants to build indestructible men; men without fear.”
* Marine Corp = School of Architecture