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The post-GSAPP years



Apr '10 - Feb '14

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    #3: Cornell AAP and Me

    Anthony Sunga
    Apr 15, '10 12:12 PM EST

    Place: Bedroom in Brooklyn
    Song: House Jam by Gang Gang Dance

    The last four days I spent in Ithaca, NY visiting the Cornell AAP Open House for Accepted Students. The Campus to Campus bus between the two was fantastic. The chairs are comfy, there's internet, outlets, and free snacks and drinks. The commute takes four hours and I have to say that it's very scenic especially driving past the Poconos.

    Monday was a half-day and we were introduced to the faculty and administration at the AAP. It was concluded by a campus walking tour and a dinner at the only pizza place in Ithaca that can accommodate 30+ people.image

    Tuesday was the meat and potatoes of the program. Several administrators expounded the details of the program and the changes they are looking to make. Of which are the nomadic studio, a travel option to several global destinations for research and studio. The NYC AAP program which is speculated to be mandatory for graduate students. And most importantly, the new Millstein Hall opening Fall 2011. The space looks beautiful and will accommodate new lecture hall, crit space, open studios, and connect Sibley and Rand Halls. (The new building is one of their greatest selling points.) imageimage The program concluded with a lecture by Rem Koolhaas and an intimate reception in the gallery with the Dean and him.image

    My take on the program is that it is great for people who want a well-rounded education in architecture and more so for people who do not have a background in architecture.imageimage They are really focusing on graduate students which up until now has been overshadowed by its undergrad program. The program is quite flexible and supports open class requirements through heavy credit waivers. The dean is very big on interdisciplinary exchange and explained there are several moments in the program where the student will interact with other majors. I was rather relieved to know the AAP isn't rigid and strict.

    The campus is beautiful, sprawling, and quiet with an eclectic collection of era architecture.image The winters aren't as terrible as one would suspect of upstate New York. A good friend of mine from my undergrad at Cornell for three years doing his PhD in physics says he loves Cornell but doesn't like Ithaca. The town is very, very liberal with students organizations like DASH, Direct Action to Stop Heteronormativity. Outside of Cornell the town is quaint, centering in College Town where a number of restaurants and bars are located. I ate at Just a Taste for tapas and Maxie's for Cajun. Both were very excellent and very well priced.

    I made my final decision last night and officially accepted my invitation to Columbia's GSAPP. It boiled down to financial aid and after several attempts to know Cornell's offer, they didn't give me a concrete answer. Columbia offered me need-based scholarship in the acceptance letter and has given me the results of my FAFSA Tuesday. That leads me to believe that Columbia is very professional, direct, and efficient.

    I can't wait to start in September and good luck to everyone on their collegiate pursuit!


    • tzara

      Awesome meeting you! You are hilarious and really enjoyed your company at the open house!

      Apr 15, 10 12:17 pm  · 

      Per the model shown for Millstein Hall looks like a huge cantilever...

      Apr 15, 10 1:10 pm  · 


      Yeah, the new hall will cantilever over a road and pay it's respect to the historic foundry across the way. It caused a lot delay in construction and ultimately the University purchased the stretch of road from the city.

      Apr 15, 10 1:14 pm  · 

      I like how this post ends.

      Apr 15, 10 2:03 pm  · 

      I am trying to decide between Cornell and Upenn. Upenn accepted me 1 year March2 program and Corrnel 2.5 year March1 AP program.

      I want to study longer however i am not so sure the March quality of Cornell. Upenn has really great Prof.s like Leatherbarrow, Ali Rahim, Cecil Balmond on the other side Cornell has practicing architects in their studio. Most of people says Cornell teaches traditional arch. which is a kind of old stff. They are also not very sure how often practicing architects comes to the studios for critics. my prof. says that don't fall for the fancy architects names like OMA, Rem Koolhaas. They come to their studio only once or twice in one semestre.

      Upenn is more digital and focusing more on future systems. If i would be accepted to Upenn's 2 years/3 years March 1 program I would definetly go there. However I am not sure in this situation. Upenn is good in digital design and the last year program of March 1 and March2 has the same curriculum.

      I haven't learn anything about digital design in my previous school. So in Upenn my works can look very slow and basic in digital design while studying with March1 students.

      I am so worried. I need more help. I am an international std. Please help me :)

      Apr 15, 10 4:18 pm  · 

      way to market another ivy league program, rem!

      how much did they pay you for that one?

      enjoy the honorarium!

      Apr 16, 10 11:05 pm  · 
      Lian Chikako Chang

      Whew! Glad you don't have to change the school category for your blog. :)

      I looked at Cornell seemed like a great school but I did NOT want to live in Ithaca, given the weather and the smallness/remoteness of the town. Which was too bad because they have PONIES and I would have liked to go to a school that has PONIES.

      Anyways...! Congrats on your decision and have an awesome summer!

      Apr 17, 10 12:27 am  · 

      @ lian

      Yeah the program is making some really amazing changes and the new building is going to be amazing. I just couldn't find myself living in Ithaca even though the ponies were amazing. (I hear they will eat an apple right out of your hand and their tears cure all types of illnesses.) You have a fantastic summer too! I hope either of us wins the lottery so we can bypass a lot of steps to architecture stardom!

      Apr 18, 10 11:33 pm  · 

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