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    The other side of the crit.

    Mike Taylor Jun 13 '11 0

    Once again, I find myself almost a year behind in posts. Since last summer I have had my best studio so far, instructed by Architect Tony Robins; spent a term in London at the AA; and got a job at BIG in Copenhagen for the summer. But, before we get into all that I’ll start off at the beginning: September 2010.

    I started my second year here at UBC by TA’ing the summer workshops for our incoming first years. The optional drawing workshop and the mandatory intro workshop run the last two weeks of summer, before labour day weekend. I took both workshops in my first year and had a blast, so I was really excited to help instruct them.

    The drawing workshop is four days of hand drafting and is super intense, but one of few opportunities you have in architecture school to pour everything you’ve got into a drawing. Being a TA was a really wild experience, particularly during pin-ups and critiques. It had never occurred to me how exhausting being a critic can be. Obviously, presenting is stressful, but having to listen to nervous students for hours on end and make sense of their ideas and then give them useful advice is hard too.

    The toughest was building off the other critic’s feedback to create a helpful conversation. I am sure everyone has had at least one crit that digresses into an irrelevant debate amongst jury members, but after being on the other side I see how easy it is for a jury end up in this situation.

    The Intro workshop involved group tutorials to help move a mixed media project along. This was way too much fun. It was all brainstorming and never having to actually worry about the production. I can see why some instructors push ideas to the bitter end, who doesn’t love to brainstorm?

    All in all, working as a TA was a great experience and I recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity. Being able to constructively give feedback on a project and feel like you are helping someone’s design is a huge ego boost. I started my first vertical studio with much more confidence after these two weeks!

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    The other TA's preparing the welcome back BBQ at Trout Lake Park.

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    My workshop group, at the end of week party. Theme: 90's Prom

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    class of 2013!

     

     
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