Archinect

Harvard GSD M.Arch.I (Lian)

Lectures and exhibitions, life in the trays, happenings around the GSD and beyond.

  • What it Takes

    Have you read this recent New York Times piece by David Brooks? The questions he raises have been on my mind lately, and I'm hoping to write about career and life decisions and choices (in the Ivy Leagues and in the architectural profession) over the coming weeks. Until then, what do you think?

    Lian


    read the NYT article


  • Richard Meier Model Museum

    Hello! Last Thursday I had the chance to represent Archinect (thanks, Archinect!) at a press tour of the Richard Meier Model Museum, which is reopening for the summer 2010 season. Apparently Mr. Meier is recovering from hip surgery so wasn't entirely his normal voluble self, but we did get to hear...


  • Game on.

    Hello Archinect, Ten days to go in studio this semester. I had a breakthrough yesterday, finally realizing how to phrase my guiding concept, and how I can use it to shape my process. While I'm a bit nervous because it's so late in the game--basically the last week of a five week project--I also...


  • GSD LECTURE SERIES NAMING ALGORITHM CRACKED!

    Hello Archinect! So, we like algorithms at the GSD. Not only in design, but in optimizing options studio and electives lotteries, and--apparently--in the naming of lecture series. And I've cracked the code. Recent major conferences and lecture series have been called: Critical Ecologies Ecological...


  • In Which Elizabeth Diller Accuses Us of Being Modernist

    Hello Archinect! Tonight's Return of Nature event was called "The Nature of Information" and featured Liz Diller and Antoine Picon. This was at once the most lucid and the most light-hearted evening in the series. (There were also some unintentionally funny moments: at one point, Scott Cohen said...


  • What should I ask Rafael Moneo?

    The lottery gave me one of two student seats at dinner with Rafael Moneo tomorrow night, after his lecture. What should I ask him? Lian [Addendum: The lecture was great. It was called "Design Conditioned by Circumstance: The Advantages of Obstacles for the Architect." Michael Meredith described it...


  • details and grass and jobs

    Hi Archinect! Since it's about that time again, I just wanted to share a few things about this school, and the M.Arch.I program, that would have surprised me at this time last year: 1. Building Construction courses, aka "City of Wood" and "City of Steel." I thought Scott Cohen was just humoring me...


  • Thickened Wall: Mission (more or less) accomplished!

    When this project started, my goal was to have a clear direction from the beginning, and I took for this starting point the idea of urban fabric on the Greek island of Santorini. I was interested in stacking, nesting, and complexity in section, and the use of one building's negative space as its...


  • Three things I love about the GSD.

    1. GSD Student Announce. It's an email list for the whole GSD student population (optional, but almost everyone seems to use it). It adds a substantial amount of bulk to our inboxes, but it's the voice of the school, and I just think of it as fiber: it just passes happily and healthily through...


  • Yes, James, it was utopia.

    As we lined up to get into Stubbins today, I asked my former buttmate*, James Martin, if he thought lunch was already being served. He said "this isn't utopia: we can have either Tschumi or free food, but not both." However, the fact of the matter was that today, we did get both, because Bernard...


  • the field trip was a success.

    Louis Kahn's Exeter Library.


  • Thickened Wall

    So, to conclude our first project, we hauled all our models out to have a "round-table" discussion, in which talked about how they represented "bottom-up" processes dealing with the unit towards the whole, and how the investigations at the level of the unit and aggregations were more successful...


  • Aggregate 21 days

    Hello Archinect! It’s hard to say which is more unbelievable, that over three weeks of this semester have already gone by, or that a mere twenty-two days ago I was on my winter holiday, watching movies and hanging out with friends. The thing is that one’s experience of time is...


  • Um, hello

    Hello Archinect! So I'm feeling guilty for neglecting this blog. I have the usual excuses about being busy or trying to compose my thoughts, or whatever--but suffice to say that it's not you, it's me... and I’m going to do better now that I’m on the wagon again for semester two...


  • really advanced kindergarten

    Hello Archinect, On Friday, GSD alum Andrew Hartness brought a kindergarten class to the GSD. They toured the facilities, were greeted by Dean Mostafavi (who talked to them about Career Discovery!), and got a lesson from Andrew on the different orthographic drawing types (plan, section, elevation)...


  • The Return of Nature

    The Return of Nature is a symposium discussing "the question of architecture's autonomy in relation to contemporary debates." Each of the three panelists (a historian, theorist, and architect) presents a thesis, perhaps positioned polemically relative to the other two, and then engage in...


  • Open House Edition, Part Two

    Hello Archinect, I wanted to follow up on last week’s post with some thoughtful prose about the GSD, my experience of it so far, and what I’m learning. But—and maybe this is the best sign that I’m starting to be a real architecture student—I can’t seem to muster...


  • Open House Edition, Part One

    Hello Archinect! Well, we’ve finished four short (12-14 days each) projects and are just starting our last one for the semester: a building/pedestrian bridge integrated into, and more or less based on, one of three locks that sit at the mouth of the Charles river. I say “more or...


  • Second Project Done.

    Hello Archinect! Our second project, which was a house in a 7.5' gap between two existing gable-roofed houses, is finished. It was great to see what everyone came up with; this project required formal invention much more than the first one, which was more analytical, so there was a great deal of...


  • "Psychoanalysis with twenty people on the couch at once"

    Oh goody. Preston Scott Cohen is grilling Thom Mayne in Piper tonight. He asked him about style. Mayne, presenting himself as someone who solves problems and steers a process without a priori formal notions, said "Oh, I don't think about style. I'm very ambivalent with aesthetics." PSC said "But...


  • Frankly Speaking

    Hello Archinect! A couple of quick notes from the Gehry/Brown conversation in Piper tonight. Joe Brown is great, but he is very PC and says the right thing; Gehry is more, well, Frank, so the notes and quotes I jotted down are from him: Gehry started by talking about how it's important to "stay...


  • Project 1 done. Project 2 starting.

    Hello Archinect! It’s been three weeks since my last post, so I apologize for my absence. I’ve been busy! Our first studio project—the addition of an elevator to a 19th century building with convoluted staircases and other circulation patterns—has come and gone, and our...


  • Orientation Week

    Hello Archinect! We’re just over half way through our pre-semester horse and pony show at the GSD. It’s a long haul. On Wednesday we had international student orientation, on Thursday was a general orientation, on Friday we had more presentations and facility tours, and these will...


  • This makes me very happy.

    I printed out my dissertation today and put it in the mail, so now I can focus on my schoolwork and getting to know my new friends here!


  • My first project = your comic relief

    Ok, today was the second day of the digital skills workshop and up until this point, were were supposed to model the Rietveld Schroder House in Rhino, mess around fitting it into its site, and then do some interior renovations to adapt it for two occupants--a "misanthropic academic" and a more...


  • God bless Geeks

    Hello! Today was download/installation day, take two. I ran into some technical difficulties last week and had to re-partition and re- install Windows, then spent the afternoon with about 20 of my new classmates setting up Rhino, V-Ray, 3D-Studio Max, AutoCAD, Illustrator, and Photoshop, which is...


  • Butterflybelly

    School is slowly starting to ramp up over the next few weeks: Tomorrow is the first of two sessions where incoming students can go to Gund Hall to have our mandatory lobotomies and microchip implants—uh, I mean, free software installations in Microsoft XP. Next Wednesday, our one-week...


  • Greetings from Gund

    I couldn't resist sending you all a quick note because... this is my first post from Gund Hall! I've been fighting insect infestations at my apartment and had to step out to regain some sanity, so I figured I might as well check out the new digs. As I ascended the trays, I realized that each one...


  • You know that a PhD student will never just give the short answer.

    Hello again! Thank-you to everyone who left comments on my first post. I really appreciate it—and whenever you post questions, I’ll be sure to respond, whether by email or in this space. A couple of people asked why I’m pursuing an MArch after a PhD, and whether my goal is in...


  • Hello Archinect!

    I left Montreal and crossed the border between Canada and the United States on July 10, 2009, in the passenger seat of a mini-van driven by my best friend (I don't have a license), filled with all my worldly possessions, and headed for Boston. In just under a month I'll be a first-year M.Arch.I...


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About this Blog

Lectures and exhibitions, life in the trays, happenings around Cambridge...and once in a while, some studio and course work. Please note that all live blogs are abridged and approximate. If you want to see exactly what happened, in most cases a video of the event is posted online by the event's hosts. If you have concerns about how you are quoted, please contact me via Archinect's email.

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Authored by:

  • Lian Chikako Chang

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