The halfway mark of my M.Arch program has snuck up on me. I am not going to reminisce and tell you it went by too fast or too slow or that it was tough but I pulled through- I am just saying that when I started I thought I had three comfy years for the economy to turn around, but now that period is cut in half.
In more pressing matters, I am facing my busiest semester yet. I have four new programs to learn for three classes, a small exhibition from my summer trip to China to prepare and I have to turn in a portfolio for academic review in May. However, this is also the most exciting start to any semester yet and I am looking forward to all of it.
I am taking a class called Life/Support about aquaponics. I was interested in this because my studio project last semester involved using an aquaponic system to produce food for 5000 people. While it was all on paper (and thus, too ideological to be realistic), in this class we are designing and building real systems with real-world constraints. I hope everything thrives (survives?).
For studio I ended up in the C-BIP/IDS, a new program that combines three studios/critics into one large group. The goals are ambitious, and the presentation at the lottery seemed to include a lot of ideas, but we are going to refine our individual approaches on Monday when we are matched with specific critics. The main themes are to foster collaboration, study group intelligence and address the green-renovation of older buildings, more or less.
By collaboration I not only mean among students (we will be contributing our own work to a larger body, though details are still unclear) but also among architects, engineers and contractors. If you read the link up there, the program is focused on the future of architecture practice, and though it will be modeling itself after industries that implement mass-production, it is most concerned with the information management and communication aspect of those fields. We will be using CATIA and the Columbia fabrication lab extensively.