University of Pennsylvania

  • First I Graduated...Then I Went To Iceland

    By adrienne
    May 25, '06 10:22 AM EST

    Well it's all over. I somehow finished a project (finished as in had something to present). I moved a car load of stuff out of studio. I made it to graduation day. I got to hear Jodie Foster and Steve Wynn as commencement speakers. I got my UPENN diploma. I returned my cap and gown. And then I headed off to Iceland for a week, where I got to hang out at the Sirkus Bar in Reykjavik, and then got stuck in a blizzard on a mountain in a tiny Toyota Yaris in a town that I can't even pretend to pronounce. Somehow I made it home yesterday after being in Iceland, New York and Philadelphia all in 24 hours. And now??

    I actually am not really sure, which is a really weird sensation for me. I have never had a real lapse between school and work. In undergrad I always had internships lined up and ready for the summer and went straight from school to work. After graduation in 02 i took 1 week off between finishing school and starting work for 2 years. Even last summer I had a clear job lined up. But now? I have been on what seems like 100 interviews, but things are still pretty amorphous. I am looking a mostly small Philadelphia firms, which is probably part of the reason I am in this situation. It is difficult for these smaller firms to commit to hiring a new person. I have started thinking of expanding my search to New York, although I really love it here.

    All the while, my bank account is shrinking and my loans are looming larger on the horizon, and I am feeling a stress that I am totally unfamiliar with...absolute uncertainty.

    I guess part of the problem is that after 2 intense years of school and 6 years altogether of blood, sweat and tears, I don't want to settle into a static pattern now. I want something more, and that may be totally idealistic, but maybe that's not such a bad thing at this point.

    Anyway, I am still sending out more resumes, researching grant opportunites and praying to win the lottery. In the meantime I am going to try and keep blogging here...I figure this transition period is sort of school related. If you are interested in some pictures from Iceland you can check them out here:

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  • Regurgitating Robots and Max on a Mac

    By adrienne
    Apr 13, '06 1:25 PM EST

    So much work to do now...a surprise visit from Francois is scheduled for Sunday (that's right Easter Sunday). We have to meet him at his hotel with digitial models ready for 3d printing. I think I speak for the whole class when I models of what exactly?? Everyone has been... View full entry

  • I made a concrete turd

    By adrienne
    Mar 31, '06 12:12 PM EST

    I really did. I squeezed clumpy concrete through my hands and let it drip and pile up and it pretty much looked like dog crap...kinda juicy dog crap, and I was actually trying to make a model. So this leaves me feeling like WTF! I am about to walk out of here with a master's degree?! I mean at... View full entry

  • Snack Heaven

    By adrienne
    Mar 28, '06 4:52 PM EST

    Ok this one is going to take some explaining...It all started last semester when one of my industrious classmates decided to start a new venture called J-Mart. Basically, J-Mart sells all kinds of candy and sodas and is based out of a fridge near the owner's desk. You can go at any time and make a... View full entry

  • My poor little mid-review

    By adrienne
    Mar 22, '06 1:04 PM EST

    We had mid-review last week. A little late in the semester, but it seems like many studios waited until after spring break to have reviews. It was really sad because I got pretty sick two days before the review. I had to do alll of my work from my bed. Just me, my dog and my laptop all buried... View full entry

  • My studio teacher hypnotized me...

    By adrienne
    Feb 24, '06 12:52 PM EST

    So Francois was in again last week, and it was pretty much awesome. The first thing that he did was try to hypnotize us using a movie that he made for a project. It was basically this old man's face and a creepy voice that gave you instructions on relaxation. It was really cool. He wanted us to... View full entry

  • Striving for Mediocrity

    By adrienne
    Feb 13, '06 8:47 PM EST

    This is something I have been wanting to post on for a few days. I think I mentioned the exhibition/competition that I took part in last week. It is basically an exhibit of 3 project from each of the architecture schools in Philly. It is really interesting/unsettling to see all of the different... View full entry

  • I need to get my A$S in GEAR!!!!

    By adrienne
    Feb 7, '06 3:34 PM EST

    WTF! We are in week 5 of our semester and I have pretty much nothing to show for it yet. I am researching lots of cool stuff in studio, but if I don't output something soon, I think I am going to have a breakdown. I am doing work...not staying up crazy late or anything, but I am keeping a pretty... View full entry

  • French desk crits are my favorite

    By adrienne
    Jan 28, '06 4:21 PM EST

    I had my first desk crit with Francois yesterday. It was such a weird day...I had professional practice in the morning (9-12) after which I ran upstairs to squeeze a 30 minute deskcrit in before heading off to my theory class on Meaning and Modes of Representation with Dalibor Vessly. Such a... View full entry

  • BioNoodles + BOOM!

    By adrienne
    Jan 22, '06 3:14 PM EST

    Well its back to the grindstone in studio...We have been working towards our first pinup with Francois which is later this week. The class has been divided into groups, for researching various topics (swarming, robotics, termites, scripting, etc) I am in the swarming group. I have mostly been... View full entry

  • French madness!!!!!!!!

    By adrienne
    Jan 16, '06 5:00 PM EST

    HOORAY! I am so happy to have gotten my first choice in the studio lottery. I am in Francois Roche's studio. You can check out the work of his firm, R&Sie here, but be warned, the site might give you a siezure. The other choices for the 704 research studios were David Adjaye, Cecil Balmond... View full entry

  • Final Project Pics_Cabinet of Curiosities

    By adrienne
    Jan 12, '06 12:24 PM EST

    OK, here it is...the result of last semester's work...hopefully it will make sense to you. This studio enjoyed the experience of working for a real client, the Folk Arts Charter School in Chinatown, Philadelphia, and seeing the design through to a built prototype. The charge was to create a... View full entry

  • Where did I go? AKA Paul, please dont shut my blog down :)

    By adrienne
    Jan 4, '06 10:51 PM EST

    OK, OK I know I didn't keep up as well with the posting this semester, but I had some reasoning behind it, so don't be too mad at me. I guess basically my feelings towards studio this semester were just getting too negative, and I didn't want to post something nasty and really regret it later. So... View full entry

  • Non-linear stirrings

    By adrienne
    Nov 11, '05 12:05 PM EST

    Things are a buzz throughout the school right now because of the launch of the Non-linear Systems Organization. It is basically a small research group under the direction of Cecil Balmond that is going to be studying lots of yummy non-linear things. The really cool part about it is that it brings... View full entry

  • wait for it....

    By adrienne
    Oct 26, '05 4:11 PM EST

    i haven't posted in so long, because i have been waiting for a big breakthrough in studio to tell you about. well i kept waiting and waiting, and still nothing. now i am just getting sad about it. i don't know where this semester is heading right now. things are feeling very very stale in my work... View full entry

  • Here's what it looks like...

    By adrienne
    Oct 6, '05 12:34 PM EST

    Studio is still shrouded in mystery. A strange sight visit with unforseen hints about what our project might be yesterday has left us all wondering. I am struggling to make some sense of all of it... Electives have been great though. In Ali Rahim's class yesterday we had Mark Goulthorpe as a guest... View full entry

  • The phases of frustration

    By adrienne
    Sep 22, '05 1:40 PM EST

    !@$%* %$@@! @#!!!!!!... is what i have been feeling like lately. studio has been so so frustrating. we are in the process of making "material probes" and "cabinets of curiosities" the definition of everything is extremely vague as you can imagine. this is not really the frustrating part though. i... View full entry

  • back to school

    By adrienne
    Sep 15, '05 1:36 PM EST

    as of yesterday i finally made it through one round of all of my new classes. last week was our official first week of school, but with studio and elective presentations taking up much of the week, things got off to a slow start. i am in wesley wei's studio this semester. i was really hoping to... View full entry

  • Katrina Info

    By adrienne
    Sep 2, '05 4:13 PM EST

    Just wanted to make a quick post for any students that have been displaced by the starts for us next week, after labor day. the university is doing its best to try and open up as many spaces as possible, and the city of Philadelphia is working to house families that have been... View full entry

  • Sorry for disappearing

    By adrienne
    May 16, '05 8:13 PM EST

    Sorry I never followed up after our final review. Things have been spiraling quickly since then. Our review went pretty well, although many of us didn't get too much feedback, it was more of a laid-back review. One of the fun thinks that we did was to publish magazine covers for our projects. It... View full entry

  • Concert line??? No it's just for the laser cutter

    By adrienne
    Apr 24, '05 10:48 AM EST

    I had to document the craziness that is the laser cutter line before final reviews. Apparently the line started at 5:30 am and the sign up is not until 1pm. The pictures can't capture the extent of the line or the frustration of the people in it. The line wraps around the hallway and as of 11 am... View full entry

  • increase caffine levels STAT!

    By adrienne
    Apr 19, '05 12:41 PM EST

    Apologies for not posting in so long, but i am officially swamped. Material Effects ends on Thursday so I am building models and diagramming like a champ. Then it is back to studio for final review next Thursday. Meanwhile I am trying to squeeze in work for Daylighting and Professional Practice... View full entry

  • steel fabricators are cool

    By adrienne
    Apr 1, '05 4:30 PM EST

    we just got back from a steel fabrication plant field trip. it was pretty amazing to see the sheer size of some of the pieces and the processes of drilling, cutting and welding. it made me realize that architecture really comes down to a processing of material, which is something that can be... View full entry

  • demolition is cool

    By adrienne
    Mar 22, '05 12:39 PM EST

    as a break from studio a few of us have been taking field trips to observe the demolition of the old convention center, which is right down the street from our building. While it is a bit sad to watch them tear it down, the process has been pretty amazing to see. One of my studiomates has been... View full entry

  • are graduate students just a bunch of whiners?

    By adrienne
    Mar 17, '05 2:22 PM EST

    As you have probably gathered if you have been following my semester, we have been struggling with the issue of teacher attendance a bit. After we approached our critic about this, it really turned out to be just a case of miscommunication rather than a lack of interest on his part. Things have... View full entry

  • spring break ends and i didn't even go to cancun!

    By adrienne
    Mar 14, '05 8:59 AM EST

    Well here we are back from spring break. I am a little nervous because i didn't do much work or thinking about work over the break at all, but I think that might turn out to be a good thing. Maybe the time away will result in brilliant inspirations for all my classes...maybe not... I spent the... View full entry

  • My First Crit

    By adrienne
    Feb 26, '05 4:54 PM EST

    I got my first actual desk crit of the semester this week with David Turnbull! Scheduling conflicts have set our studio a bit off balance, but it was nice to get some feedback on the work that we have been doing so far. I am still really worried about midreview next week though. I just feel like... View full entry

  • itunes capers and death by stench

    By adrienne
    Feb 17, '05 11:58 PM EST

    I think i am dying a slow death from the smell that continues to eminate from our clogged sink. Many a brave maintenance man has come to try and conquer her festering pipes with the finest plungers available, each time facing the horrible stench that awaits them beyond the makeshift particle board... View full entry

  • Slots in the City and a stinky sink

    By adrienne
    Feb 14, '05 2:35 PM EST

    Well the big charette is over and alas my team didn't win. i would say it was a good experience overall and was a big help in rethinking my studio project since it dealt with the same subject. Three of my studiomates were paired with a city planner and a wharton student. Unfortunately the wharton... View full entry

  • The Big Charrette Begins

    By adrienne
    Feb 10, '05 10:13 PM EST

    Well we are kicking of on our school wide charrette today to take a closer look at gambling coming into Philadelphia. I am working with a couple of my studio mates on our demolition concept, along with a city planner and a student from Wharton. It should be a pretty intense couple of days coming... View full entry

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