Yale School of Architecture (savanna)

  • Gehry and Goldberger

    By savanna
    Apr 9, '06 5:30 PM EST

    Paul Goldberger, former architecture critic for the New York Times, interviewed Frank Gehry last night in Hastings Hall. I was invited to the post-lecture dinner at Dean Stern's apartment, so I arrived dressed up (i.e., wearing heels). Post-lecture dinner invitations are more or less random (restricted to graduating students), although some students have been known to issue special requests to Dean Stern when an architect the student is dying to meet comes to town; others just crash.

    I got lucky and was invited the regular way, via email a month in advance. The lecture itself wasn't all that eventful. Goldberger started off by asking Gehry was he felt about the A&A building, which will be renovated in a year's time. Gehry knew Paul Rudolph, and it seems that Rudolph must have been to his era as Rem is to ours, or Jim Sterling was to his. Rudolph was the man, and everyone respected him. The conversation then turned towards recent projects, Bilbao and how Philip Johnson cried when he saw it (Gehry speculates the tears may have been faked), Gehry's new house, and the jewelry he's designed for Tiffany's.

    The topic of the new Santa Monica house (actually it's in Venice Beach, I think,) seemed to be a sore one. Gehry bemoaned having to start over after his first set of plans was published (without permission, it seems) by Nicolai Ouroussoff, another Times critic. Once the project was published Gehry no longer liked it. I thought that was fascinating. It's as though he's so famous, and so much in the public eye, that he couldn't bare the thought of every architect in the world knowing the layout of his own home””that was too personal. A line had to be drawn.

    Here's the image printed in the NYT

    The conversation about jewelry was really moving, perhaps because I'm fascinated by small things and by craft. I used to make a lot of my own jewelry and even clothing as a teenager. I have small hands so it's easy for me to achieve meticulous details. Gehry noted that the level of craftsmanship in the jewelry pieces is so much higher than it is for architecture, as it should be, he said.

    Some images lifted from Tiffany & Co.'s web site

    Here are some Gehry quotes I wrote down:
    “I read Proust a lot, almost like someone reads the bible... he captures fleeting glimpses of thoughts in all of us.”
    “Designing a chair is an exquisite experience. It's decoration, engineering and function all at once.”
    “Dreaming architecture.”

    Gehry is so different from our usual guests. He's unassuming, maybe because it doesn't have to pretend to be anything he's not. He's also getting pretty old and he was so tired. He kept telling Goldberger to stop the interview!

    The dinner was nice. I drank too much, however. That seems to happen a lot at Dean Stern's house. You have to at least have a drink in your hand at all times. I need to learn to sip more slowly. It was nice to chat with a few professors I never see. I talked to Phillip Bernstein about his recruitment expo's; Phil is trying single-handedly to put the “professional” in “professional school.” He wants to teach organizational theory and teamwork/ leadership skills. That would be so great, I think. I could use it. I didn't talk to Gehry or Goldberger so much””they were both surrounded and I felt a bit overwhelmed. Well, it was more that Gehry seemed so put-upon, I just didn't want to bother him. That was probably a mistake.

    In other news, studio is going wretchedly. I'm starting my design over for the 3rd time. Will (Bruder) just keeps finding huge holes in my ideas and he's right, for the most part. So I'm going back to a clear parti and working forward. I have 3 weeks until the final review. I should be okay. I have hope.


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  • I'm Back

    By savanna
    Mar 24, '06 10:11 PM EST

    After suffering a severe depression last semester in the Krier studio, only to return in the spring to the shame of the 2nd-year portfolio scandal [see this] [or this] [and this], I thought I would loose all faith in Yale and warn you in this blog that Yale was not a good place to go to school and... View full entry

  • A little bit about day-to-day life

    By savanna
    Nov 29, '05 9:03 PM EST

    I went upstairs to the 6th floor to check out the first-year M.Arch I studio””see what they were up to. This is what greets you on your way in: leftovers from Keller Easterling's famous shoe wall project. "Design a wall 40 feet long that both holds shoes and displays them..." or... View full entry

  • Halloween Dream

    By savanna
    Nov 26, '05 11:54 AM EST

    I seem to write retroactive blogs these days, always about the past. Perhaps, since it's my last year at Yale, I'm trying to slow down time in some personalized fashion. Looking back keeps my mind occupied so I don't have to look forward. Psychoanalysis aside, this was a great party, and I've got... View full entry

  • Reflections

    By savanna
    Nov 10, '05 10:42 PM EST

    We are edging towards the end of the semester and I feel as though I'm about to fall over a cliff. Everything is due at once: two models and two rendering for my Maya class, (models that must be done using machines like the 3D plastic printer, which has a line 3 days long); a presentation on Mark... View full entry

  • Love is how it's lost

    By savanna
    Oct 14, '05 6:02 PM EST

    This heart was found scrawled on the walls of both our decrepit elevators last week. They've since been painted over, leaving only a penciled inscription, “Where did the love go?” It got me to thinking. Why are there so many architect couples? Many are very famous; does working... View full entry

  • Longing for Rome

    By savanna
    Oct 1, '05 7:03 PM EST

    My friend Dan, who's not an architect, just came to visit me. As we walked toward my desk, I pointed out the red lanterns and flying dragons that decorate the Plattus studio. "They got to go to China?!" "Yeah, so did the Balmori [Sanders] studio." "Really? And you only got to go to Colonial... View full entry

  • Shackled by History

    By savanna
    Sep 27, '05 5:43 PM EST

    Colonial Williamsburg is historicism in action; an oxymoron that attracts thousands each summer to tour the past. But whose past is it? I was pleasantly surprised that the team of architectural historians and patron-enthusiast who toil diligently in the background of this grand... View full entry

  • Hello from Fall 2005 (+photos)

    By savanna
    Sep 13, '05 11:51 AM EST

    A lot has happened since school began two weeks ago. I've put off writing this first blog of the semester because I didn't want it to be full of insults””words that would inevitably make their way back to the dean, as did those of a fellow blogger in the past. So, I'm going to be... View full entry

  • when fall thoughts loom...

    By savanna
    Aug 5, '05 4:34 PM EST

    The end of the summer is approaching and my thoughts have drifted more and more frequently to the fall studios. Now that I'm in my last year, I get to have a go at the advanced studios. This fall's batch includes: Glenn Murcutt Alan Plattus Peter Eisenman Leon Krier Jeannie Gang Brigitte Shim Joel... View full entry

  • summer job

    By savanna
    Jul 7, '05 7:21 PM EST

    Hello to all from the great city of New York. I am back following a month-long stint in Rome, having promptly begun a new job at... ARQUITECTONICA. In Rome I ran around and drew in my notebook all day with 33 other Yalies as we listened to an architectural history play-by-play in our walkie-talkie... View full entry

  • Spring Fever

    By savanna
    Apr 6, '05 10:16 PM EST

    Lethargy has set in. It was near 70 degrees today, and all I wanted to do was be outside with my watercolors. I've been ticking off the days until the semester ends. Assignments are nearing completion: my final paper for contemporary theory is half finished, and a reading review for atmosphere and... View full entry

  • Tell me - where should I work?

    By savanna
    Apr 1, '05 10:23 PM EST

    Hello Readers, Here's what new: I finished 1/2 of my contemporary theory paper for the rough draft deadline this past week; title: Embassies, Empire, and Heterotopia. Aww yeah. We had a landscape architect guest critic in studio and she rocked our world. She took a fuzzy, not-quite-hashed-out... View full entry

  • What's with Kipnis?

    By savanna
    Mar 24, '05 10:52 PM EST

    I've been reading a lot of Jeffrey Kipnis and I've decided that the man is determined to work eroticism, erotica, fetishization, or anything overtly sensual or sexual into his commentary no matter what! It made me wonder--what would sex with Kipnis be like? Wouldn't that make for a hysterical... View full entry

  • This blog is not abandoned

    By savanna
    Feb 21, '05 11:04 AM EST

    Although it may seem to be, this blog is not abandoned. Sorry to my readers for my delinquency, and a big thank you to all who sent words of encouragement after my last post. I'm now in mid-term hell... so much to do. During spring break I'll be applying for jobs and scholarships, so that won't be... View full entry

  • Titles and alliances

    By savanna
    Feb 8, '05 11:42 AM EST

    Hello reader, It's that time of year again—sick time. Everyone's getting the flu. I already have it and it's knocked me out for the last couple of days. I've been scrambling to keep up with class work. There's so much to do. Just tons. I've got systems... View full entry

  • To see the Sistine Chapel for the first time...

    By savanna
    Jan 23, '05 12:23 PM EST

    Hello All, Semester is back in full swing now. I decided to take a class on Reyner Banham with one of my favorite critics/lecturers, and that's proving to be a lot of fun. Banham is so refreshing to read, especially for me, since I have a science background and Banham favors innovative technology... View full entry

  • Spring Semester Starts

    By savanna
    Jan 10, '05 1:44 PM EST

    It's my first day back and I'm already messing up! I missed the studio lottery this morning. I had a doctor's appointment and assumed that the lottery would be at 2pm, when studio normally begins. I didn't check the Monday class list to see when things were actually happening. Ugh. Now I'm at the... View full entry

  • The Post-Review Report

    By savanna
    Dec 10, '04 9:40 PM EST

    Ovid's words kept me up through the night: I'm sorry for any fool who rates sleep a prime blessing And enjoys it from dusk till dawn Night in, night out. What's sleep but cold death's reflection? Plenty of time for rest when you are in your grave. (from elegy 9b) Dawn comes through once again! In... View full entry

  • Elevator Graffitti

    By savanna
    Nov 20, '04 8:06 PM EST

    At Carnegie Mellon University, graffitti is a tradition: "The Fence, on the Cut-the grassy area of campus between Forbes Avenue and Hunt Library-is the university billboard for student groups. The Fence must be painted in its entirety and no painting may be done during daylight hours. Students... View full entry

  • Photos of the A&A

    By savanna
    Nov 18, '04 10:33 PM EST

    Hello. Thank you for the encouraging comments on my last posts. Today has been a good day; a good crit, a good meeting with my theory professor, and all-around good vibes. The "big game" between Harvard and Yale is coming up this Saturday, and I'm going, so I'm happily anticipating that as well... View full entry


    By savanna
    Nov 18, '04 12:22 AM EST

    It seems that most of the other bloggers have posted way more entries than I have. Especially the GSD and Princeton peeps. I am very competitive and I want to assuage my sense of inferiority somehow. I checked in on my two fellow Yalie bloggers, and they have even fewer posts that I do... View full entry

  • Papers and Plans

    By savanna
    Nov 17, '04 11:43 PM EST

    I have a list of things to tell you about, but I'm too tired to get up out of my chair and go get it. Instead I'll tell you what I've been doing these last few weeks. One thing I wanted to mention is that I read the Bartlett article and I can say for certain: you will never queue here. This is... View full entry

  • Thom Mayne and Monica Ponce de Leon: the genius of it all

    By savanna
    Oct 26, '04 7:10 PM EST

    Last week, we saw two excellent guest lectures in Hastings Hall, Thom Mayne and Monica Ponce de Leon. One colleague said that if he had to choose the two architects he would most like to hear speak, it would have been these two. He was in ecstasy. Hastings Hall is a dark, dank, carpeted, airless... View full entry

  • More Photojournal!!!

    By savanna
    Oct 19, '04 4:30 PM EST

    Super huge photo fabulousness Hey Kids! I took a lot of pictures for your visual pleasure. Check 'em out. Our in-house cafe, the "Designer's Alcove." Legend has it that Paul Rudolph used to sleep here. Reading in the cafe. Maria has run this cafe for over 25 years. Don't mess with her, or else you... View full entry

  • For Thomas

    By savanna
    Oct 7, '04 10:12 PM EST

    Well, it seems that trouble has been brewing in Yale-land. If you have been following Thomas's blog, then you know that he was pretty upset about a certain class he's taking. Unfortunately, word got around that someone was badmouthing the program and the entire first year class got a talking to... View full entry

  • Massive Photo Journal!!!!

    By savanna
    Sep 28, '04 11:04 AM EST

    Hello Readers! I haven't written anything in a while and I feel ashamed to have neglected my blogger duties. I also feel challanged by my prolific blog-mates to put out more quality posting for your enlightened comsumption. Did you see that guy from Princeton? Wow, he has some serious time on his... View full entry

  • being a TA

    By savanna
    Sep 9, '04 6:16 PM EST

    I got into my elective, Writing on Architecture. I think it's going to be great. Carter Wiseman, the professor, is very personable and even grandfatherly. He's against archispeak, which is fine. It's good, actually, because I think the real challenge to avant-garde architects is to be able to... View full entry

  • Galaxies

    By savanna
    Sep 9, '04 6:15 PM EST

    Last night I went to the Leitner Family Observatory for an astronomy open house. The observatory is just past science hill, between the student organic garden and the Divinity school. The telescopes were out and pointing at various phenomena. I started talking to an astronomy grad student about... View full entry

  • Studio Lotteries

    By savanna
    Sep 1, '04 5:52 PM EST

    Today we had our studio lottery. Second year M.Arch I students are given a choice between instructors within the same studio. The program of the studio is the same for all. Third year M.Arch I and second year post-pro (M.Arch II) students choose between different studios. The offerings for them... View full entry

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