Hello again Archinect, I'm enjoying the new site!
The end of Winter Quarter was, as always, filled with excitement here at the KSA. My partner and I made a fun model of our proposed looping transit system for Ohio. (I'm pretty sure I can draw the state now without looking at a map.)
It's always exciting to see the school transform and get filled with everyone's hard work. We also got to celebrate with Final Friday, an event cooked up by Section Head Mike Cadwell, with some prizes that range from the usual best project, to more lighthearted awards.
Spring Break was wonderfully busy for me beginning with the opportunity to be a critic on final reviews at Kent, along with another student and KSA's own Bart Overly and Beth Blostein. Form there I went to Pittsburgh, Rochester, and Chicago for various things, which included my first NBA game. (Much better in person than on TV by the way, go Bulls!) While I was gone, the members of the Solar Decathlon Team who were in Columbus were able to get a lot of construction done on the house. It's so exciting to see the things that you draw become reality, and I'm excited to continue with construction this quarter and summer. You can check out our progress and lots of other stuff about the house on our website.
That went by very quickly and now we are in Spring Quarter. The quarter began with an accreditation visit, which seemed to go quite well, so was totally worth all of the hard work put in by the school in preparation for showing off all of the great work and learning that happens at the KSA. Academically, this is the quarter of being overwhelmed for all of us G3s. First of all, we all need to find jobs at some point soon, which, as you all know I'm sure, is no easy task, although some have things lined up.
The major project for the quarter though is the Exit Review. For those of you unfamiliar with the process, the Exit Review is the KSA's unique model for a thesis. Instead of doing one design project, we present a 30-40 minute public talk that situates our work and interests into contemporary practice. This includes looking at architecture historically, through parallel disciplines, and through an analysis of our own work thus far. And all of this in approximately 4 weeks. Hence, the overwhelmed feelings we all get.
I've been finding that as I have been sifting through my interests and figuring out what my opinions really are, it's really an exciting and interesting way to end my graduate education. People are exploring a wide variety of topics from pedagogy, sustainability, user control, and infill. My own topic is a move towards micro-utopias. Although the modernist project of negation and totalizing utopias, fortunately, did not work out, I am proposing a move back to this project, but on a much smaller scale. Architecture is inherently projective and I think the profession needs to actively engage that project to have efficacy in the world. I'll keep you posted on how that plays out.
Finally, we of course have the lecture series. So far we have had some wonderful talks including:
Allen Wexler: During the 1970’s, Allan Wexler was part of a group of artists and architects who questioned the perceived divide between the fine arts and the applied arts. For 30 years, his work has resulted in objects, buildings and environments that blur the borderlines between sculpture and architecture. Function, desire and invention are the subjects of his artistic inquiry.
As metaphors for human interaction, much of Wexler’s work evolves from ritual and ceremony. Influenced by architecture and by methods of scientific research, his work dissects our daily domestic needs and actions. Eating, sleeping, bathing and socializing become artful investigations. Wexler’s drawings, sculptures, designs, images and installations, unwrap the obscured meanings of objects and transform our ordinary daily activities into theater.
Florencia Pita: Florencia Pita mod is a collaborative practice that deploys a mannerist use of digital technology. As new modes of design and production are more involved with new technologies, the firm focuses on the underlying mechanisms of overlaying forms.
Andrew Bernheimer: Andrew Bernheimer is a founding partner in Della Valle + Bernheimer Design, which specializes in the thoughtful translation of concept into built form, executing works of complexity and subtlety with a strong sense of economy and practicality. With his partner, Jared Della Valle, Bernheimer has worked for diverse public, institutional, non-profit, and private clients who have elicited a welcome variety of thought and response. His work includes the design of a competition-winning entry for an installation at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as the design of private residences in upstate New York, Connecticut, and the Hamptons.
Ron Witte: Ron Witte teaches architecture at Rice University and is partner, with Sarah Whiting, in WW Architecture. WW has recently received commissions for public work including a Museum of Art + Design for San Jose State University, renovations for the Drama Division of the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center, and an Arts and Athletics Building for St. Francis High School in Louisville, Kentucky. WW have won or been finalists in numerous design competitions, including the San Jose and Louisville projects mentioned above as well as urban design competitions for the Toronto Central Waterfront, San Diego Harbor, and the Museum of Modern Art's PS1 Competition. WW also undertake residential and commercial work, with current work including the Golden House in Princeton, New Jersey.
I always enjoy the range of work we see during these lectures, and the spring lecture series has not disappointed.
And now I will leave you with Dwell's article and slideshow about our very own Knowlton Hall. [As a fun side note my back is in slide 4.]