Archinect

Lian (Harvard GSD M.Arch.I)

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

  • Live Blog - Dorie Clark, "Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future"

    Hi Archinect,

    Fair warning: this one isn't architecture. I'm at a Harvard Alumni event--author and marketing, branding, and business strategy expert Dorie Clark is talking about "reinventing yourself." Clark is an alumnus of Harvard's Divinity School.

    Clark opens with an anecdote about Joanne Chang, a Harvard mathematics graduate who left her first career to bake cookies. She started by writing letters to all the top chefs in Boston, telling them that her background was in business consulting but that she wanted to cook, and that she was willing to work hard and start at the bottom. All the chefs eventually wrote her back, and she found her way in the industry, founding Myers + Chang and Flour Bakery in the Boston area.

    We have lots of connections, but their perceptions of us are 2-3 years out of date; this is a problem.

    We think of branding as a "phony" exercise. But (because of social media), we live in a world where it's not really possible to have a "phony" identity anymore--so it's really about discovering your brand.

    First, what are people's perceptions of you? A proverb from angel investor Judy Robinett: "If 3 people tell you you're a horse, buy a saddle." Your brand is what other people think it is.

    DC's friend, Mary, had a "focus group" in which her friends told her about what her strengths and weaknesses were, and what they thought she should do with her life. We can also get this kind of feedback through a "360. Or, for free: ask five friends to describe you in three words. By the time you reach the fifth person, you'll begin to see patterns.

    We make our own opportunities: an anecdote about (yes, another Harvard Business School grad...sorry, it's an alumni event) who decided to get into politics although she had no experience. She started at the bottom, as a volunteer making phone calls, and caught the attention of the campaign and soon started a career as a campaign manager. The message: don't be afraid to temporarily take a step down to move into a new career.

    We all know we need mentors! But they're in short supply. Anecdote from Thomas J. DeLong, who found that when he asked a group of people if they'd ever had a great mentor, the people over 40 would raise their hands but the under-40s wouldn't. Is the culture of work changing, in which mentoring isn't valued as much as the bottom line? This is (if I understand correctly) DeLong's theory. [My personal theory would be that we get more grateful as we grow older, and realize who has helped us along the way.]

    Hank Phillippi Ryan, investigative reporter and now an author of mystery novels, always wanted to write a novel but had not gotten around to it. At some point her intern asked her to write a romance novel, and she realized that she should go for it. A zen moment: "when the student is ready, the teacher will arrive," even in a surprising form.

    Ronald Burt at the University of Chicago, says "make yourself a hub." Every organization has silos. If you are the one who gets out and builds relationships, you'll have access to information that gives you a fresh perspective and you'll become known as a central player.

    But what about introverts? Still: Clark has a friend who promised herself to ask someone from a different department to lunch once a week.

    Take on leadership roles, even if it is a volunteer role. The social proof of the position opens up opportunities with exponentially greater value.

    One of Clark's favorite strategies that she describes in her book is having a wingman. If you constantly brag about yourself, "nobody will like you." If somebody else says those things, "people will think you're fantastic." So find a like-minded friend or colleague and agree to talk each other up.

    The internet! Clark wrote a blog post called "If You're Serious About Ideas, Get Serious About Blogging." Her publishing contract for her current book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Futurecame from having a blog that a Craigs-lister found when she was scoping her out before buying her bicycle, who put her in touch with the HBR blog, where she eventually was asked to rework an HBR blog post into an HBR magazine piece that was seen by a publisher. The moral of the story is: go for it.

    End.

    Question from the audience: What does Clark think about Daniel Pink's advice to be able to describe yourself in a tweet or single word? Clark: a single word is a bit short, but yes! It's important to have a narrative.

    Question from the audience: What about LinkedIn? Clark: It's a professional necessity these days, but just one part of the story. Don't obsess over it.

    Question from the audience: Which social media to focus on? Clark: Blog and use Twitter. Facebook is a mass medium--it's great for sharing pictures with friends and family or reaching general consumers, but decision-makers and leaders are reachable Twitter more than Facebook.

    Thanks for reading!

    Lian


  • Useless Architectures: Interview with 2013 SOM Prize Winner James Leng

    The SOM Prize is an annual $50 000 fellowship allowing a recent graduate of an accredited American undergraduate or graduate program in architecture, urban design, or related fields to conduct research and travel for a project of their choice. The SOM Foundation recently announced James Leng, who...


  • Live Blog - Sylvia Lavin and Eric Owen Moss

    Hi Archinect! I'm in Los Angeles (yeah!) for an ACSA board meeting and we thought we'd take in Sylvia Lavin and Eric Owen Moss at SCI-Arc. SL: ...There are all of the different things that architects make and that we recognize as architecture in some way.  And then, what are the different...


  • Graduation: final post as a Harvard GSD M.Arch.I school blogger

    Hi Archinect! We graduated! Although I'll continue to blog and live blog when I can, this is my last post as a GSD M.Arch.I student.  Graduation was hot and sweaty, with lots of waiting--but also incredibly exciting and gratifying to enjoy this final day with classmates, friends, and family...


  • New Haven/Yale School of Architecture

    Hi Archinect! I was in New Haven today, to interview Michelle Addington. I haven't been here since I was a prospective student, so it is somehow fitting to be back now that my M.Arch.I degree is done. It was also great to spend some time with Michelle, as her work is so interesting and her move...


  • Live Blog - John David Todd, "Sometimes alone. Mostly with others" (M.Arch.I thesis)

    Hi Archinect, Last session of the day. John Todd, advised by Toshiko Mori. 4:30: JT: "We live in a post-utopian world...Meaning is not created from a transcendent source but emerges from around us [through an immanence]... The idea of individual vs. collective is a false dialectic. We are not...


  • Live Blog - M.Arch.I thesis reviews...pictures

    Hi Archinect, Just a few scenes from the GSD this afternoon, our last day as M.Arch.I students...   Thanks for looking! Lian


  • Live Blog - Ceri Edmunds, "Consolidation: The suburban shopping mall as a paradigm of public space."

    Hi Archinect,   1:10: Ceri Edmunds is presenting. "This project places the shopping mall into anatagonism with the suburban residential. This project seeks consolidation..." At the bottom level are loading docks and parking; the loading docks service the three voids. Above this are the...


  • Live Blog - Trey Kirk, "Seattle Public Library and Courthouse"

    Hi Archinect,Okay, we're only an hour behind schedule.12:00: Trey Kirk begins, describing Mies' seminal courtroom design, with a cell off of each courtroom; and a typology of courtrooms since then. In the internal programming for courtrooms, double-height courtrooms and single height judges'...


  • Live Blog - Drew Cowdrey, "Contemporary Asylum" (M.Arch.I Thesis Review)

    Hi Archinect, 10:44: Drew begins. The focus here moves from the adaptation of self to the adjustment of nature...For centuries, architects have attempted to [cure] the self through what I'll term 'environmental modification.' In contrast there is biological modification, as in the film...


  • Live Blog - Fareez Giga, "Nonsense" (M.Arch.I thesis review)

    Hi Archinect! Second day of M.Arch.I thesis reviews at the GSD. 9:30 am: Fareez Giga begins presenting "Nonsense." Advisor: P. Scott Cohen. "This all began with Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." ...Reality is a construct, a fiction. To confront the real is to...understand this...


  • Live Blog - Cathleen McGuigan, "Women and the Changing World of Architecture"

    Hi Archinect! Studio reviews are over at the GSD. I'm finishing up a few papers--my last school assignments ever--and helping some friends with thesis. I'm also excited for tonight's lecture, from the editor-in-chief at Architectural Record, Cathleen McGuigan. From the GSD website: "Cathleen...


  • Iñaki Ábalos appointed Chair of Architecture at Harvard GSD

    Hi Archinect, At long last, Jose Ignacio Ábalos Vazquez has been announced as the incoming chair of architecture at the GSD. This has been widely rumored for over a year around school, but only now has been made official and public. The announcement was low-key and almost content-free...


  • Live Blog - Preston Scott Cohen, "Successive Architecture"

    Hi Archinect, We're in full Piper tonight for a historic event, the Walter Gropius Lecture, delivered by our Chair of Architecture, Preston Scott Cohen. [I'll add a link to the video when it's posted; this blog post is just the low-budget teaser for a must-watch blockbuster film.] [Photo op with...

    [Scott's roast - Fareez Giga, James Martin, and others.]



  • Live Blog - Techniques: James Carpenter and TriPyramid, "Extending Collaboration"

    Hi Archinect, I'm in Stubbins (a small room at the GSD) for James Carpenter and Michael Mulhern, a founding partner at TriPyramid Structures. Martin Bechthold made the introductions. JC: "Michael just informed me that we've completed over 60 projects together." MM: We build widgets, at the end of...


  • Live Blog - Rahul Mehrotra, KUMBH MELA: Mapping the Ephemeral City

    Hi Archinect! Tonight's event is one that I've been (peripherally) involved in, as this project is one that we've been discussing in the context of an urban planning and design seminar that I'm taking led by Rahul Mehrotra, called "Kinetic City." (Full video available at here.) From the website...


  • PETITION: Recognize Denise Scott Brown for her work in Robert Venturi's 1991 Prize

    Hi Archinect, You might have seen that Denise Scott Brown has asked to be recognized by the Pritzker committee. As Dezeen reports, "At the time the prize was awarded, Scott Brown had been a partner at the couple's practice Venturi Scott Brown and Associates for 22 years and had co-authored with...


  • Me-moji.com: an online photobooth and gallery to share your emoji (emoticon) faces!

    Hi Archinect, I love emoji faces. I love to send them, I love to receive them, and I love to make little scenes with them. So does my boyfriend, Drew Harry. So much so that we've been working on a little side project called me-moji.com. It's a website where you can browse people's attempts at...


  • Co-Host 'ARCHITECT Live' with Stephen Chung, AIA

    Hi Archinect, Did you see this? Until March 29, you can submit a 2-minute video audition for a chance to be a co-host of "ARCHITECT Live" at the 2013 AIA National Convention in Denver at the end of June. The AIA flies you to Denver, puts you up, and pays you $75 a day (hey, it's still...


  • Live Blog - Zaha Hadid

    Hi Archinect, You can watch the full video of this event at the GSD's YouTube Channel. 6:29: Zaha's in the house tonight. There was a huge line in the lobby--she's obviously one of the few architects who attracts such large non-architect audiences. The lecture is apparently untitled. It's already...


  • Live Blog - GSD Alternative Careers Panel

    Hi Archinect! 6:35 pm. Judy Sue Fulton and Lauren Kim, two M.Arch.I students in my class, are hosting a panel on alternative design careers. There will be short introductions and then some conversation with individual panelists around tables. Bryan Boyer: says he's a "confused" professional. "I'm...


  • Defending Your Life--and other stuff

    Hello Archinect! So...I finished my thesis but still have a few classes to wrap up this semester. I'm taking a statistics class with Michael Hooper, an independent study research project with Jay Wickersham (as a professional practice elective), and a seminar with Rahul Mehrotra on the "Kinetic...


  • Thesis FINISHED! (Drawn out: performances of mundane inhabitation)

    Hi Archinect,Well, I'm very happy to say that I presented my thesis just over a week ago, and it went well. I gave the following very short preamble:There’s a termite in the southern hemisphere that lives in a colony, that builds a mound, that acts as an external lung. The mound—which, after...

    Drawn out: performances of mundane inhabitation



  • Thesis: Drawn out: performances of mundane inhabitation

    Hi Archinect, My thesis project has been keeping me from live blogging lately, but I wanted to share some clips of my thesis work in progress. I'm calling the project "Drawn out: performances of mundane inhabitation." It's not a design project, but an essay in the form of a video, exploring the...

    Wake up - attention and the senses


    Cooking - habits and memory


    Going outdoors - environmental stimuli


    Library - movement, activity, quiet, and immersion



  • Comment: I know that Steve Jobs wasn’t God: That’s the whole point

    Hi Archinect,A year ago, after Steve Jobs died and a public debate played out over whether or not he deserved to be mourned--"a fine designer and astute businessman, but surely no saint"--I wrote this essay. It argues that there are different ways to give back to the world, and that most of them...


  • Video - GSD Conference on Design I: Liminal Objects - Design and the Museum

    Hi Archinect, If you're in areas affected by the storm, or have loved ones who are, all the best to you. To everyone else: back to work! Storm day is over. It has been said within our school that furniture, interiors, and design thinking--and dealing with these issues in a serious intellectual...

    GSD: Liminal Objects - Introduction, Design - in - Practice


    GSD: Liminal Objects - Design and the Museum


    GSD: Liminal Objects - Round Table



  • Live Blog - Iñaki Ábalos, 'Thermodynamism and Architecture'

    Hi Archinect! I'm in Stubbins (a smaller room) tonight for a lecture by GSD Professor in Residence Iñaki Ábalos, widely rumored among students to be our next chair of Architecture. The lecture, entitled "Thermodynamics of mixed use high rise prototypes: theory and practice" will be...


  • Live Blog - Toyo Ito, "What Was Metabolism? Reflections on the Life of Kiyonori Kikutake"

    Hi Archinect, We're in full, full Piper tonight for Toyo Ito's lecture. (You can watch the full video at the GSD's YouTube Channel.) From the GSD website: The Metabolist Movement in the 1960s established the foundation from which contemporary architecture in Japan has emerged up to the present...


  • Live Blog - Aggregate and Ed Eigen

    Hi Archinect, I haven't normally attended the GSD's "PhD Talks" as I'm not a PhD student here, but today the researchers collectively known as "Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative" are having a conversation wtih Ed Eigen, about a book that I admire very much called Governing by Design...


  • Live Blog - Kengo Kuma, "After March 11th"

    Hi Archinect, Kengo Kuma in full Piper tonight! You can view the video at the GSD's YouTube channel. I came in a little late, unfortunately, but just in time to see KK show a picture of a recent project in which "nothing happens"--there was no evidence of the project in this image of a hill...


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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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  • Lian Chikako Chang

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