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Carleton vs. Dalhousie any advice??

Apr 18 '13 5 Last Comment
oswald
Apr 18, 13 8:06 pm

Just wondering if there's anyone out there who knows what Carleton is like for Masters. I've gotten some good positive feedback about Dalhousie, and have been accepted at both schools, but Carleton has offered me $$ and now I need to think about it.

Any insights would be helpful, thanks!!

 

Stephanie BraconnierStephanie Braconnier
Apr 19, 13 8:27 am

Re Carleton: I don't know much about the actual program - there's not that much info on it. I went to visit the facilities when I was applying for master's programs and they struck me as quite bad. The studios were a warren of unventilated, overcrowded rooms with poorly maintained creaky old drafting tables, bad lighting, and no personal storage. I felt depressed just being there.

oswald
Apr 19, 13 10:28 am

Wow, sounds pretty horrible, though not all that different from what I went through in undergrad...thanks for the info!

tiorted
Apr 19, 13 11:18 am

Carleton has a brutalist building, which is a product of its time. It has an overall industrial and experimental feel. The studios were a bit dark when I saw them, but I imagine having lots of free space to make models and really pursue projects in the studio (like an artist's studio). From some work I have seen at all levels, it is far more independent--you can interpret architecture on a wider spectrum. From what I know about Dalhousie, having seen work at all levels, and knowing some people who went there, you are focusing on the construction of space using traditional architectural language. It is probably Canada's most strict "architecture as architecture, for architecture's sake" pedagogy. Having gone through the complete opposite curriculum, sometimes I am envious of that approach. But confront what you want out of the program and try to match your interests.

BenC
Apr 19, 13 6:43 pm

I tend to lean more to tiorted's idea of the studios as well.

The building was purposely made to seem "unfinished" - I thought this gave it a relatively open feel actually. However, from searching this forum I believe Oswald is applying to the Masters program, which recently moved to a new location. It is now 1-2 buildings over from the Azrieli in a very new building with a 4th floor studio (connected underground). The new space is actually quite spacious and beautiful; it's shared with the M.ID students and there are separate studios for those in the first year and thesis years of the program. The only downside to this is that all the facilities are still in the original Azrieli building, so its a bit of a move to get from one to the next with materials, etc. The good news is that you can easily wheel things over in the tunnel system.

Coming from Dalhousie's undergrad and now moving to Carleton's M.Arch this fall, Dalhousie is certainly an architectural-focused school. The projects all revolve around truly "buildable" projects - this can have very elegant results and the most succesful projects typically reflect the influence of Brian MacKay-Lyons. This can also get pushed to a fault and result in some rather boring student projects, so it's largely dependent on the direction and creativity of the individual. It was a great grounding for me, but I've come to realize that I'm looking for something more experimental in my M.Arch degree. I believe Stephanie ^^ could also give some good insight into the Dal program. The fabrication facilities are very good at Carleton and there are more digital opportunities. I was happy to be admitted to both, and it was a tough choice, but I know I've made the right decision. I'm looking forward to Ottawa this fall.

oswald
Apr 22, 13 10:38 am

Guys, thanks for your input. From what I've been hearing Carleton sounds like a similar experience to U of Manitoba in a lot of ways, from the facilities to the pedagogy. I'm thinking Dal will offer a greater change of experience both in terms of the school, and the climate/environment (coming from Winnipeg), which is part of the reason for doing this degree in the first place. Also, my interests tend to lie more towards the buildable/practical end of the spectrum.

Cheers

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