The Wall Street Journal has published a piece entitled "Blog Watch", including a write-up on the Archinect School Blog Project. Archinect school blogger Jill Fehrenbacher's Inhabitat and Archinect Editor Geoff Manaugh's BLDGBLOG are also included. Print version is in yesterday's WSJ, Page R12, or you can read the full article here...
By JAMES WILLHITE
March 26, 2007; Page R12
Jill Fehrenbacher, a graduate student at Columbia University's
architecture program, created her group blog in 2005 to explore what
seemed to be an untapped topic: sustainable architecture, which
focuses on using recycled materials and otherwise protecting the
environment. "I wanted to read something that had that focus, and
couldn't find anything out there," Ms. Fehrenbacher says. "There are
publications dedicated to design, and policy issues, but nothing
about the overlap between the two."
Recent posts cover a "disposable chandelier" made of plastic wine
glasses, and the designs for towers in a park that are meant to be
covered with vines.
Ms. Fehrenbacher says that the site has as many as 20 contributors,
but that only five write frequently; she edits all the posts in
addition to contributing her own. One post by contributor Adele Chong
focuses on a lounge chair constructed from aluminum-can pull tabs.
Another by Evelyn Lee points to an art exhibit that uses fiber-optic
cables to channel sunlight indoors.
Archinect School Blog Project
Paul Petrunia, a Web producer who helps architects develop sites for
their projects, founded the Archinect school as a resource for
aspiring architecture students. The close-knit nature of the
industry, he says, presents a challenge for people who want to know
which programs are the best and which skills they should develop.
Students in architecture programs apply for the right to have a blog
on the site, which Mr. Petrunia generally allows so long as the
students post to them regularly. Architecture hopefuls can then
browse the blogs -- which are indexed by region and school -- to get
an inside look at programs that interest them.
"The student blogs are a more personal insight into what each program
offers, from a student perspective," Mr. Petrunia says. "Some have
contributed so much about their personal lives that it shows what
attracted people to different schools."
"6 weeks into the semester, and I'm exhausted and frustrated," writes
Nicholas Ng, a graduate student at Boston Architectural College.
"There are times I question myself whether this is such a good idea
or not." Mr. Ng, the president of his school's Global Student
Association, admits that his blog can appear unduly negative, as he
often uses it to vent frustrations.
Other blogs are less dire. "I finally have real professors this
year," writes Danny Wills, a student at Kent State University. "No
more grad assistants for studio, it's the real deal this time. And
arch history! I have a teacher who makes me want to learn the
material and pay attention in class."
Geoff Manaugh says that there are architecture writers who are
primarily concerned with buildings and others who are interested in
anything architectural. His blog is definitely an example of the latter.
Recent posts have covered a photograph of a "cosmic volcano"
associated with star formation, a shantytown built on a frozen lake
in Minnesota and the recent purchase on eBay of the window through
which John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Mr. Manaugh worked briefly as an administrative assistant for English
architect Norman Foster, but has since worked primarily as a writer.
His blog was selected by Yahoo as one of its Picks of the Year for 2006.
--Mr. Willhite is an editor for The Wall Street Journal Online in New
Write to James Willhite at firstname.lastname@example.org