Columbia GSAPP (Sharon)



Oct '08 - Jun '09

  • ninja - no income, no job or assets

    Jun 1, '09 11:59 AM EST

    you know you want to know...

    really, what is a just-graduated m.arch doing now that there is no longer the safety of school nor the assurance of at least a job someplace, somewhere?

    all dressed up and nowhere to go?

    it almost seems futile for my classmates and i to send out resumes when our friends out at firms as big as SOM and as small as Slade Architecture are going through layoffs, salary cuts, and 4 day work weeks. depending on how you look at it, hearing all the job issues is an advantage/disadvantage of being in new york where many of our friends and former classmates work all around us.

    there was a general meeting of the third year m.arch's with the coordinator of the advanced studio sequence, laurie hawkinson, around mid april. at the time, she mentioned that the school is trying to ramp up their advice for "alternative" paths that we could consider right after graduation - ie a few new research positions were to be available with the different research labs that several professors run down in studio x (gsapp's outpost in the architectural ghetto of 180 varick street)... as well as a discussion on how to find a way to start your career without doing the previously well-trodden path of finding a job at a large firm. so it was kind of good to know that the faculty want to help.

    laurie hawkinson also mentioned that it was refreshing to see all of the students - at least, from her perspective in her studio - really pushing forward with their studio projects and not halfway checked-out of studio because of job searching. there was some advocating of the idea that the job search would be potentially more fruitful once studio and graduation have passed, that we realize this, and that we're just sticking to the immediate present and making the most of it. either that or, undisclosed to the critics, my classmates and i were having mini meltdowns at the overwhelming reality of having to find a job that doesn't exist, find a new place to live with no income, finish studio and our papers and make sure they're good enough to let us pass and fulfill our requirements for graduation so that we don't have to plunk down yet even more money to pay for more classes, design-construct-install an exhibit for the end of year show, make a portfolio of our entire three year careers at columbia, and do this all within the next few weeks. so this year either produced some of the best work from the 6th semester studios because all concentration fell on the studio projects... or the worst because every other part of real life came pounding down on us with a heart-sinking thud.

    at least our faculty are trying to be more optimistic than most of the architects i've run in to. "wow, this is a really bad time to graduate!" yeah, thank you... i've been under a rock and had no clue until you just told me. and the usual "so what are your next plans?" question has become almost pointless. they probably all know the answer already. "i don't know yet." thank you for the shortest conversation possible.

    so now that all of that has happened in those few weeks, what will my classmates do? almost everyone has mentioned reworking the portfolio. but besides the portfolio work, most have plans that last basically only through the summer. some of the actual plans include...
    . intern at big name offices
    . intern at no name offices
    . continue to be a student in another program
    . become a teacher/critic at another school
    . take a school-sponsored research/workshop trip
    . develop iphone apps for a nascent company
    . return home outside of new york and start the job search in earnest out there
    . wait out the apartment lease and hope to find employment. else, pack up and leave the city
    . basically stall - be a TA for the summer intro to architecture program and/or the aad summer semester

    there are murmurs of some glimmers of hope. friends currently still working have said over the memorial day weekend that it's getting better, and that it's definitely better than april.

    but, really... really?

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  • false hope

    May 27, '09 3:34 PM EST

    a short entry in the midst of packing my life into little cardboard boxes... (yes, i lived in very nice columbia university housing which kicks you out of your apartment about ten days after you've graduated) way back in my first entry, i mentioned that the intro visual studies class had become a... View full entry

  • the economics of blogging

    Apr 22, '09 10:32 AM EST

    this is not really related to columbia or being in architecture school at columbia per se. but i ran across this article during my morning read of the news and thought it was rather relevant to post seeing that... well, this is a blog.America's Newest Profession: Bloggers For Hire count on the... View full entry

  • thomas demand lecture

    Apr 16, '09 1:08 AM EST

    the last lecture for columbia this year hosted artist thomas demand. i actually was looking forward to this talk since the lecture series were posted on the website. mr. demand had a solo show at the moma back in 2005, from which i remember thinking that this man is incredibly smart about lighting... View full entry

  • hello, netherlands

    Apr 7, '09 3:49 AM EST

    i mentioned in my previous post that our studio took a sponsored trip out to the netherlands. we saw soooo many buildings and walked more than i thought was humanly possible. here are a few of my favorite moments from the trip. the funen, de architekten ciethe colored glass on this housing... View full entry

  • manhattan dystopia (+ a bunch of other studios)

    Mar 24, '09 3:02 AM EST

    this semester, there are 17 studios from which to choose. there were several good studio presentations during the studio lottery - a few studio briefs were in response to the global economic recession that came during the fall of 2008 (laurie hawkinson and jeffrey inaba, for example) with... View full entry

  • building systems 2

    Jan 21, '09 11:31 PM EST

    i spent so much time last semester on building systems 2 that i found this cartoon hilarious. you may find it as boring as sticks in mud. our final design has no wind roses or 50% photovoltaics. but it does tilt 15 degrees and shade itself... View full entry

  • mustaches vs cancer

    Dec 29, '08 11:18 AM EST

    if you wandered through the architecture school in october and november, you may have wondered if looking like a royal british navy officer was the way to go, or if burt reynolds suddenly became a lot of guys' fashion hero. so what was the reason behind the fuzzy upper lips? one day posters were... View full entry

  • scripting and architecture

    Nov 19, '08 8:44 AM EST

    what do you do when you have so much work for studio and very little time before the final review? you write a post, of course. ^_^ so anyway... my school is known for embracing computers and being open to how they can affect potential futures in architecture. the past few weeks have been a bit... View full entry

  • an answer, red, and government benevolence

    Oct 12, '08 1:28 AM EST

    better late than never hello. the other columbia kids have been blogging away, and now it's time to catch up with revision a fellow blogger greg (hi there) wondered why the first year M.Arch students have a different technology/visual studies sequence. there are partial answers!... View full entry

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