Of course I had an intense first week, didn't expect any less. Looks like it's going to be a great semester!
The orientation on Monday was pretty broad but useful nonetheless. We had an IT resources talk in the morning, we were afterwards presented with all the workshop facilities and then part of the faculty addressed us newcomers. The school is incredibly well equipped, with almost any facilities you can think of - and if they don't have what you're looking for, some lab at Cornell will (such as water-jet metal cutters, because what could one possibly ask about after getting drilled with workshop resources?). All this apart from the fact that I was in Milstein for the first time - and that was quite an experience in itself.
In short, and skipping over things that we have already read about in articles on the project - it's striking how open the building feels to its surroundings. Yes, by-passers tend to take a peek (or long look) at the ongoing lecture in the auditorium every time they walk under the cantilever, and the plate is flooded with light all day. [There was a funny incident the other day when two freshmen mistook the building for a study space, (probably since they could see students working at their desks from outside) and entered the studio area bent on setting up to do some reading/working.] Most of the spaces have been thought through well and it's great to experience and interact with them in my day-to-day life (or lack thereof) for the next couple of years.
The studio space is as impressive as the rest of the building. We each get a large desk and a two-drawer cabinet to go with it, along with an extra 17" monitor to connect to our computers. Not to mention how much physical room there is. Well, at least until work starts piling up. I'm curious if and how my opinion of the building will change with time...
The reason Monday's orientation was not so exhaustive is that we will be having workshop training soon (several sessions in fact, looks like they're taking safety very seriously at the shop here) and we also are in the course of more IT workshops such as Photoshop, Illustrator etc at different levels. All thanks to the initiative and involvement of the older students here trying to help the new faces in the program! I have been feeling very welcome so far, the group is really friendly.
Speaking of workshops, our studio is the "digital studio" this semester and we will be looking at a lot of Grasshopper and Python Scripting these few months - we will be getting many workshops on those too within our studio. It's going to be rigorous, I'm excited to enhance those skills! The studio is much more than just digital skills or form generation though - just to confuse you, we've already spent days researching skate parks, boats (or nautical precedents) and architectural precedents exhibiting complex curvature (there is a good explanation for all this but it would require a post by itself).
We are also already working on various assignments (interesting ones!) for the other classes as well, so this promises to be a very productive four months. More on those as they develop.
Oh, last but not least, our lecture series and related events will start in ten days:
Jaques Herzog is coming to AAP for a series of events! There will be a lecture, a panel discussion with Peter Eisenman too and a conversation with students.
Looking forward to it!
A peek at I. M. Pei's Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell (seen from the Libe Slope) _this was taken yesterday with my phone camera - I will have to make up for this with a proper post about it later
M.Arch.I program at Cornell, plate life at Milstein, experiences in Ithaca and New York City, trips, course work, studio work, sightings, students, faculty, events, exhibitions, lectures, crits, reviews, and everything in between.