University of Washington (Yamani Hernandez)

  • in conclusion

    By yamani
    Jul 1, '05 3:36 AM EST

    I think this might be my final post on this blog. I discovered that i can really only keep up with one blog at a time...kind of. and i got that email from paul today saying if you don't want to or cant keep going with it, then lets make room for some new folk. i don't really want to give it up, but realistically, i havent posted in like 2 months so....clearly.

    Re: university of washington, i should give a discalimer about my "final thoughts"...1st, i based my entire expectations of architecture school on my husband's experience in architecture school at cornell university which was just plain foolish secondly, these final thoughts aren't so final...they change from time to time as having interdisciplinary interests, my priorities change from time to time . but i'm going to give you a brief and not so thorough personal and intelligent run-down of the school since the website ihas not been updated. what i have discovered amidst all of my bitching, moaning, disappointment, pleasant surprises, cherished moments and profound connections is that this school is in a transition phase. which makes it a bit of an awkward time to be here. its hard to have an definitively positive or negative opinion. It has a high emphasis on craft...manual craft that is. after all, this is whereFRANK CHING teaches! anybody in any architecture school, office etc. anywhere has seen and used his books extensively. you can't deny that is a valuable component or resource. they have an amazing wood and metal shop and an award winning furniture program (class). and a very thorough set of courses in actually building things and understanding the properties of materials. the level of manual craft emphasis in the architecture program is just not balanced with technological competitiveness among other architecture schools. they don't say it explicitly anywhere but my feeling is that the emphasis on craft isn't just about being outdated...its a theoretical stance ala arendt. the design machine group is an enity within the college doing design computing research however they are VERY independent. if you go to them, they are wonderful people but their technological 'advancedness' is not really reflected in the rest of the college. i have to say as a three year student, i personally feel underprepared technologically. the entire first year is 3 quarters of manual drafting and a random one week crash course in form-z. then in the second year we get mixed with students who have 4year degrees in architecture which is really a blow to the ego. they are all using CAD and 3-D modelling and we all only know manual everything. then its just up to us to pick up the classes and skills to get up to speed.

    re: studios. this program is very modernist regionalist focused. i personally have not had one project out of seattle or the puget sound area. i think this is a gross pedagogical problem. regionalism is an important issue to discuss, be sensitive to and maybe even uphold, but if the school is going to be as nationally and internationally relevant as it would like to be, or prepare people for practice in general not just practice in seattle we need to do projects that aren't in this area as well. The program is HIGHLY pragmatic. we do more making than thinking in my opinion. 80% of projects have had a 50,000 square foot program with the exception of the tectonic studio and the very first introduction studio. the quarter system highly limits the design and production process, and i think as a whole most projects are underdeveloped because of the timeline.

    Most studio professors that i've had are working professionals who were really challenging and a pleasure to work with. There are some fantastic things going on here that i think have the potential to make this school has a strong social responsibility component that i really appreciate. There are many things in flux though, such as the design build program and many things that are just the sustainability faculty. It just needs to decide who it wants to be.

    i'm tired and i guess i'm ending this mid-stream. other thoughts are about the thesis process, but i'm just beginning that so i'll have more to say as the final year progresses.

    its been fun.


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  • tent city charrette

    By yamani
    May 18, '05 1:01 AM EST

    boo. the sleep out would have been tonight if we didn't nix it in favor of putting our limited energy and resources toward the tent-city design charette on saturday which was a tremendous success. the issue is their kitchen tent. the floor is a major issue. it is wood and sits directly on the... View full entry

  • back.

    By yamani
    May 5, '05 4:59 AM EST

    playing serious catch up from the 10 day excursion with mutated strep throat from hell. but... design activism project has gotten way unwieldly. henry sanoff, community participation guru came and laid the smack down b/c we met w/ him a little prematurely b4 our ideas and designs really got more... View full entry

  • design activism

    By yamani
    Apr 17, '05 4:03 AM EST

    on a more exciting note: our project for design activism is growing. we are now a group of 6. our project geared toward addressing homelessness is three-fold, beginning with designing low cost temporary shelter to be used by people who are homeless. Apart from “designing”, the... View full entry

  • life:mixing oil and water

    By yamani
    Apr 17, '05 3:47 AM EST

    ..its an eyeful... my earache intensifies. and since i won't be able to sleep well given the pain and my need for drugs...yet i NEED sleep to get better, i figure i will kill a little time with the connundrum that wrecks my soul lately...not that i shouldn't be finishing my portion of the site... View full entry

  • super

    By yamani
    Apr 12, '05 1:21 AM EST

    superpower: we have a laser cutter super weakness: its kind of a secret View full entry

  • tube stake tent

    By yamani
    Apr 7, '05 5:24 PM EST

    this was for our warm up project for studio. something portable to be used in the public realm i was trying to make a makeshift shelter for a homeless person. some people made stages, 3card monty tables, artist display cases...etc. this is also an exploration for design activism class. i have... View full entry

  • things are a buzzin

    By yamani
    Mar 30, '05 2:56 AM EST

    the spring quarter has begun. by hook or crook i scraped by the last quarter of structures and things are lookin up! This is the quarter called the "comprehensive" studio where we are supposed to address the integration of all the building systems (HVAC etc.) this is the last "mandatory... View full entry

  • Question for School bloggers

    By yamani
    Mar 21, '05 2:46 AM EST

    I am writing a proposal to develop a course at the university of washington's architecture department about critical perspectives (gender, race, sexuality/sexual orientation etc.) on architecture and a part of a fellowship we have here aimed toward broadening the boundaries of teaching... View full entry

  • finals

    By yamani
    Mar 15, '05 2:22 PM EST

    so much for staying on top of this thing. our final review was yesterday. i'm sad that its all over. it was a really fruitful studio. both for the collaborative learning we did for the first half...all group crits all the time....and for the insight and direction of our prof. it seems a long way... View full entry

  • convention

    By yamani
    Feb 10, '05 2:47 PM EST

    oooh, is this model to scale? me: why yes, yes it is. great, lets see it with a scale figure in it me: oh, ok make it at 6' me: actually, how bout i make it at 5'6" umm, NO. how about you make it at 6' me: well, i'm not 6'. are you? no me: why would i base this building off of how a 6' person... View full entry

  • a taste of architecture hall

    By yamani
    Feb 9, '05 1:25 AM EST

    corny name i know. but this is where our studios are held. there's a wonderful building across the street Gould Hall where all our other classes are held. i'll get some pics tomorrow. since i missed the first month of the school project i now feel compelled to backtrack and think of some things of... View full entry

  • mic check one check two.

    By yamani
    Feb 8, '05 12:49 AM EST

    Yamani Hernandez?....Present! hmmm, so apparently i am apart of this school blog project thing. i sent in the request to participate, however i never heard anything. so i figured either i wasn't cool enough, or "UDub" wasn't on the radar and therefore deemed uninteresting orrr...who knows with... View full entry

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