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    Semester wrap-up (more cynical than optimistic)

    Patrick Beseda Dec 18 '12 9

    Here's a short view of my final project. I was fortunate enough to present at the Studio Awards. The very gracious Slaterpaull office hosted  5 studio levels, about 20 presenters and more than 100 people (on a work day). Thank you to my jury (who awarded me the Studio III John Anderson award); that was one of the best critiques and conversations I've ever had.

    And now for something of a downer.

    Pro tip to the Denver and Colorado community: the students here at UC Denver are yearning for a relationship with the local industry.

    I know, our building is pretty uninviting, our space is actually really depressing, some of our faculty (even a few of the gainfully employed among you) is particularly uninspiring, and our commuter population is conspicuously absent, but its true. We want to see you, we want to see what you’re doing, we want to know you, learn from you and if we can, we want to help you.

    If one of the most reclusive students (I wear my noise cancelling headphones around my neck to class just in case) thinks that our school is too introverted and the architects in this town are too detached, surely I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

    Probably terrible ideas:

    AIA Colorado: you’re great. Less formal, more social, more often. Come to the school.

    AIAS UC Denver: you’re nice and all too. No more “Lunch with architects”, “Portfolio (please hire me) Review night” etc. More happy hours, more exhibitions of student work, get more of the work we do in social and critique situations with the professionals we share a city with.

    Students of UC Denver: Give a fucking damn. Sounds harsh, needs to be said. Show up. Participate. Care. Collaborate. Learn. Push it. Make it happen.
    Studio instructors at UC Denver: Give a fucking damn. Sounds harsh, is actually pretty rare. Show up. Engage. Demand more of your students. Collaborate with them. Teach them. Help them. Invite the professionals you know in to your studio. Let them participate, critique, review, collaborate, teach.

    Professionals of Denver: Participate. Come to our sad empty studios (its a public building, we’re on the 3rd, 5th (me) and 7th floors). Help us learn what is relevant. Teach us about detailing, and structure, and marketing and business and finance. We pretend to don’t learn those things here. Give a desk crit. Draw something with us.
    Invite us to you office to crit our work, look at our portfolios, display our work, for jury presentations, midsemester reviews, any time reviews, just to tour your offices.

    There is passion here. Look past the unmotivated, the unwilling and the uninspiring. Find the students, the faculty, the administration (if there is any) that have a vision and a drive for what our school can be and what it can mean to the community and the industry.

     

     
    • 9 Comments

    • Jadzia
      Dec 19, 12 6:45 am

      Your inflammatory speech somehow appeals to me, though the undertone is more pissed off than cynical.

       

      PS

      Nice project.

      Patrick BesedaPatrick Beseda
      Dec 26, 12 8:16 pm

      Sorry for the delayed reply. I didn't realize anyone was reading.

      I am a little pissed off. But some of those things are out of my control and there's no reason to really be angry about it. Instead, I'll work harder next semester at connecting and surrounding myself with the people I am inspired by and want to work with. The rest can continue doing whatever is that passes for studying architecture these days. So maybe I'm actually a little optimistic.

      Thanks for the comment. Any thoughts on the images?

      Jadzia
      Dec 28, 12 10:03 am

      I like the plans and the layout. Graphically very appealing. Yellow is an interesting color to choose for the floor plans but it's a perfect fit. I  like the white sections though it's a bit confusing that they merge with the white frame and probably white wall behind it.
      The exploded view drawings are very nice. I guess they didn't only meet your instructors approval but would also appeal to real clients.
      Some more views would have been nice. The one on the intro-banner-plan looks good, nearly artistical, but carries more atmosphere - less information.
      I can't say much about the content (without context). The design of the research center  is clear, consecutive  and elegant in a natural way.
      The desing of the residance hall is a bit less stringent in my opinion.
      But all in all it's a really nice project.

      As a side note – I understand your desire to "mingle" with professionals in your town. This is probably a useful, inspiring and necessary thing to do  up to a certain point. But reality will kick in soon enough and there is (still)  a  reason behind the fact that university is somehow a life in a bubble / own universe  ;-)

      Nam HendersonNam Henderson
      Dec 28, 12 1:42 pm

      i agree re: the graphically very appealing especially the coloring scheme....

      Patrick BesedaPatrick Beseda
      Dec 29, 12 6:16 pm

      Thanks for the comments, everyone.

      Jadzia, interestingly, I spent the most of my efforts and time on the design of the residence hall.  Your comment about having more views has definitely been echoed by my juries and peers. I think a few interior perspectives and another exterior view would work well to compliment the more diagrammatic drawings.

      I think I'd like to hear how you feel about the disconnect between university and industry. As a student with much to learn I want to leverage the possibilities presented in the academy as well as prepare myself for professional projects. Should I really be treating my time in school as a hermetic bubble?

      I'm definitely appreciating the conversation by the way. So, thanks. 

      FRaC
      Dec 29, 12 11:18 pm

      Professionals of Denver: Participate. Come to our sad empty studios (its a public building, we’re on the 3rd, 5th (me) and 7th floors). Help us learn what is relevant. Teach us about detailing, and structure, and marketing and business and finance. We pretend to don’t learn those things here. Give a desk crit. Draw something with us.
      Invite us to you office to crit our work, look at our portfolios, display our work, for jury presentations, midsemester reviews, any time reviews, just to tour your offices.

      Ask your professors to teach you that stuff.  Or pay me (like you pay your professors).  You think I have time to walk around and crit your crappy projects?  Fuck you.

      Proofread your writing before you post, too. 'We pretend to don't learn ..' huh?

      Sounds harsh, needs to be said.

      Patrick BesedaPatrick Beseda
      Dec 29, 12 11:38 pm

      FRac, I'm glad you commented; I like reading your comments. Do you live in Denver?

      Do they have time to walk around and crit my crappy projects? Yes; if they care about the quality of architects coming out of the university that feeds them new employees. Some of them claim to, others couldn't care less. So I guess my invitation is to the ones who concern themselves with sharing what they've learned to a new generation. I think it's the one's who don't care and give the school the middle finger (and tell us to fuck ourselves) that I take issue with.

      PS Proofread and copied and pasted my post from my blog, the strikethrough formatting didn't stick to "pretend to".

      Jadzia
      Dec 30, 12 9:57 am

      What FRaC suggested seems natural (I refer to asking your professors to teach you the things you're asking for, not that....other... thing) , but  – again- they also live in that bubble IMO. They will teach you a lot of  necessary things like (basic) architectural vocabulary, creative thinking, formal discussion – but they're probably not the best source when it comes to mundane practical advice.  I guess you figured that out in the first place which is why you adressed your post to the professionials of your town and not to your professors.
      The design process in school is different from what you do in real world. Unique tasks, different parameters, less boundaries, the whole  academical approach – so I feel  having professionals commenting on your student projects might be only more restictive – less helpful.
      So how to overcome the disconnection between university and industry? Always the same old story, you have to go to see them and not the other way around. I'm quite aware that there's no easy way to snatch a job as an intern somewhere, but working on real projects and gaining experience WHILE still in school (which allows you to compare and classify those two worlds) is kind of priceless, really. I do also  believe that this is benecial for both sides - even long-established companies could really use some "fresh" and unbiased input on their work, too.


      Sorry if this was the worst pep talk in history.

      FRaC
      Dec 30, 12 3:17 pm

      what's the big idea with the project?  20 words or less, what is the project about?

      the research center and residence hall are near each other but one is next to the cove and the other is 'tucked in the trees' (an overall site plan would be nice).  the two buildings look interchangeable.  i understand making them of the same vocabulary, but in the presentation boards the design comes across as being very generic.

      PS you just ctrl-c ctrl-v your blog and didn't check it over? come ON!  PPS you're not an architect when you graduate from university.

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