Archinect

Lian (Harvard GSD M.Arch.I)

I graduated in 2013, but still live-blog here once in a while.

  • Ten signs that the GSD has ruined me

    Ten signs that the GSD has ruined me:

    1. I briefly considered making Mom a diagram for Christmas. This follows on my present from last year, which was prepared on the laser cutter.

    2. When 45 minutes go by without an email appearing in my inbox, I check my server settings.

    3. I don't have strong opinions on whether a haircut is "pretty," but when the hairdresser uses un-rigorous technique (volumizing with a a round brush before the final pass of cutting), I go ballistic.

    4. When classmate A tells me that he slept with classmate B the night before, I assume that he means that they napped on adjacent couches in the lounge.

    5. (Sign that the GSD has ruined all of us: this is indeed what classmate A meant.)

    6. I can't enjoy an activity without taking photos or at least thinking of how to frame and light the shot.

    7. When a medical student friend tells me that she'll be working 80 hours a week for her residency, I accidentally offend her by responding "oh, that's not so bad."

    8. I think of Trader Joe's snacks as a luxury.

    9. I tell my roommates that we need to reduce the Heating Degree Days (HDD) in our apartment.

    10. When cutting apples, I do this:image

    Thanks for reading!
    Lian

    P.S. Welcome to Andreas Viglakis, a GSD MAUD student who has just joined the ranks of Archinect school bloggers.

    P.P.S. A quick update on studio:

    image [My below-grade lobby space, as of Nov 11.]

    image [Elevation ideas at our Nov 11 pin-up with Dean Mostafavi. This did NOT go over well.]

    image [Dean Mohsen Mostafavi is on the left.]

    image [New elevation idea: louvers that follow the slope of the south facade, which will go over a long strip window and some punched (but less punchy than before) windows. Also, the landscape is becoming less of a monumental plinth and more topographical--and, I hope, more complex in the way it negotiates its relationship with the ground and the object-buildings. I'll post other views of this exterior space over the next couple of weeks.]

    image [Alice Tully hall and the Tokyo International Forum have been important precedents for me.]

    image [A few weekends ago, I attended a conference at the Kennedy School of Government and found this space at the public center of one of their buildings. Looking past its stylistic awkwardness, I thought this was a really great space that allows for spontaneous and casual theatricality while also accommodating staged events. If all goes well, you'll be able to find this kind of space at different exterior, interior, and in-between moments in my project.]


  • Campus Catalyst: MASS weighs in at World Architecture Festival

    Hello Archinect! Big congratulations to GSD architecture students Robin Bankert, Michael Murphy, Caroline Shannon (my M.Arch.I. 2nd year classmate!!) and Joseph Wilfong, who brought home the top prize from the World Architecture Festival earlier this month in Barcelona! This year's theme at the...


  • On the function of folly

    Hello...! I started to compose these thoughts in the comments section, but it got too long as I started chasing digressions, so here it is as a new post: Although I don't know BIG's work very well, I agree that it's hard to pin down. It's slick, beautiful, and shallow, and feels no guilt or shame...


  • Live Blogging Bjarke Ingels with Preston Scott Cohen

    Hello Archinect! Please bear with me for an experiment tonight, as I attempt to live blog Scott Cohen's discussion with Bjarke Ingels. Even this late in the semester, the house is packed and the mood is buoyant. Not, the consensus seems to be, because Bjarke is that important of an architect, but...


  • Krieger: "reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated"

    Never met the man but I like him already:http://www.metropolismag.com/pov/20101108/krieger-to-duany Anyways, the conference next week is sure to be packed, for all the wrong reasons. You know I'll be there.


  • midterm

    Hello Archinect! While digging through my photos, I found this: Turns out I did go to Neil Denari's lecture after all! Here, Neil is showing his competition entry for the Maribor Museum of Art and Scott is pressing him about the window openings. Why, he was asking, does this window have a rounded...


  • On the Flagship with Preston Scott

    Election day is as good a day as any for partisanship, so I thought I’d share with you the conversation I had with our department chair, Preston Scott Cohen, as he set up for his presentation in our studio this afternoon: PSC: So what have you blogged lately? LC: The new desks…and...


  • In defense of homasote

    Hello Archinect, Wow, such modernists here! I've been following the comments to my post about our new workspaces and--partly because I know that outsiders' impressions of our school often align with these comments--feel compelled to use this space to respond. I have to say that just because...


  • Lessons from the Superfly Machine

    Hello Archinect!The greatest thing just happened at the GSD.My day so far has been: counting square feet of programmed space in my building, constructing a spreadsheet and making charts in excel, being given way too much information about the various algorithms that V-Ray uses for rendering light...


  • The GSD took my desk away and all I got are these crummy drafting dots.

    Hello Archinect! At the beginning of September, I promised to write about our new workspaces, but as we settled in, I actually started to like them and found it less pressing to itemize for you just how many square inches we lost (although for the record, it seems to be about 1300 square inches...


  • Edible

    Hello Archinect! Time for a head-to-head. Here are photos of the two recent food-and-architecture events that I attended: MXT at McGill University School of Architecture, and Three States of Hors d'oeuvres by the GSD's Project on Spatial Sciences. MXT by Alberto Pérez-Gómez and team...


  • It's not about the words this time

    Image by Alberto Pérez-Gómez, as displayed during the MXT event at McGill University School of Architecture, September 16-17 2010. Will post more on this event soon. Thanks for looking! Lian


  • Out with the old, in with the new

    Hi Archinect! We did another quick charrette two weeks ago, studying a selected interior space for our community performing arts center. I chose the lobby, and was interested in how an interior space can set up a transition to, and experience of, the exterior. (We were instructed to make "rough"...


  • Bicycles in Montreal

    Hi Archinect! I went back to visit McGill two weekends ago. It's hard to express what it means to feel so much at home in a place, but maybe I can just say that there's no place like Montreal. Lian


  • Three States of Hors d'oeuvres

    Hi Archinect! Guest blog this week from some of my friends in the MDESS, MLA, and upper-year MArch programs, who are embarking on the injection of the GSD into the arts-science-technology-design-branding fest that is the Lab at Harvard. Their exhibition is opening at 8:30 pm on October 7, 2010, at...


  • He said they should be rough.


  • To the ends of the earth...and back

    Hi Archinect! I was planning to write some long, thoughtful posts over the summer, digesting and meditating on my first-year experiences at the GSD, but it turns out that what I really needed was just a break from the school routine. I definitely got that, as did most of my classmates...


  • China!

    Hi Archinect! In a week and a day I'll be en route to Beijing for my one month trip to Beijing, Shanghai, and a number of smaller places in between. The trip is funded my my alma mater, McGill School of Architecture, with the only condition being that I bring back materials to hold an exhibition...


  • Career Discovery

    Hi Archinect! I'm making my guilty face again because it's been a while since I've written, but... The semester ended well enough for me, and since then it's been fun and busy and all over the place. I went on vacation with some friends to Washington DC and NYC, spent time with family in Boston...


  • School's out!

    Hello Archinect! It's late May. Theses have been defended (congrats everyone)! The yard has been set up with chairs and tents for graduation. The graduating students' posters are being put up. The trays are being cleared out and cleaned up for graduation ceremonies in the GSD. The first tray is...


  • 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?...


  • 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...


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About this Blog

Lectures and exhibitions, news and events, now primarily from the Bay Area! Please note that all live blogs are abridged and approximate. If you want to see exactly what happened, in many cases a video of the event is posted online by the event's hosts.

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Authored by:

  • Lian Chikako Chang

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