is this thing on?
It's been nearly five years since I graduated from OSU with my M.Arch, and though I moved away - to Rome, and then to Shanghai, then Seattle - I'm still very much connected to the school. Professor Jackie Gargus has been kind enough to invite me - again and again - on her legendary European architecture tours, and together we organized and ran two tours of (eastern) China, in 2011 and 2012.
This year, we're doing Japan.
We've hired a charter bus, booked hotels, and hammered out an itinerary. Starting December 6th, 30 students and a handful of professors will land in Tokyo, tour central Japan city-by-city, then fly back in time for Christmas. While this type of whirlwind tour isn't the ideal way to appreciate, say, the zen-calm of Kyoto's gardens, it does pack in as many sights as possible in a short amount of time, and leaves each student with an amazing archive of photos, a first-hand sense of the distinct urbanism of a unique culture, and - hopefully - the desire to return for a vacation (which this intense study tour is most definitely not) or further study.
Over the past year or two I've been focused more on longer-form essays than on off-the-cuff blog posts, and I hope to remedy that somewhat over the course of the trip, and offer up quick impressions of each city we visiting. With their permission, I hope to include some thoughts and impressions from the students, and from professor Gargus, and from the rest of our "leadship team" - professors Karla Trott, Doug Graf, OSU alum and Columbia PhD student Addison Godel, all of whom should be familiar to KSA students and alumni from the past few years.
While I can't promise a post every day, I do hope to use this space as a platform to discuss the tour as it proceeds, and offer brief impressions of the many cities and works of architecture we'll see. In addition, at some point I'll link to the interactive maps I've generated for the tour, though these will take a little tweaking before they're ready for public consumption.
While every dead blog's final post promises "more soon," I hope I'm not lying when I say watch this space in December, for a series of posts on the architecture and urbanism of Japan.
Our Itinerary, in Brief:
Dec 6-10: Tokyo
Dec 11: Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya
Dec 12: Nagoya, Ise, Osaka
Dec 13: Osaka, Nara
Dec 14: Osaka, Takamatsu
Dec 15: Takamatsu, Hiroshima
Dec 16: Hiroshima
Dec 17-19: Kyoto
Dec 20: Kanazawa
Dec 21: Takayama
Dec 22: Matsumoto, Nagano
Dec 23: Tokyo, Departure
I look forward to sharing with you all.
Thoughts on the M.Arch I program at the Ohio State University, 2005-2009, plus additional work with OSU as a critic and lecturer.