SCI-Arc (Steve Fuchs)



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    RETRO POST #06: ROTO|phosis (part 1)

    Steve Fuchs
    May 27, '04 8:27 AM EST
    RETRO POST #06: ROTO|phosis (part 1)
    From my personal blog (before Archinect)
    Authored on 2004-05-27 @ 07:07:07 AM

    Yesterday at LAHC's ARCH34 Critique I got a chance to prepare for, observe and engage Michael Rotondi -- it is a funny story actually.


    Before the critique I made sure to prepare for my chance to speak with Michael:

    My reason for going to sciarc (as grilled by Hernan):
    "Personal sabatical to find my voice outside the current limits of design"

    1. Intuitive Surfaces
    2. Cosmetic Augmentation
    3. Fabrication vs. Representation

    1. Advice for starting graduate school @ sciarc (m.arch2)?
    2. Instructor Recommendations?
    3. Best way to research sciarc history?
    4. Current trends in architectural theory?
    5. What are current grad students lacking?
    6. Which instructors are worth persuing to be my advisor?
    7. Could I schedule a visit to your office within the next few weeks?

    Observations of MR

    1. Takes as lot of notes and sketches over everything to visually investigate his thoughts.
    2. Very funny comic relief before most commentary (poked fun at himself a lot)
    3. Q: Why are we all architects? A: To make the world a better place
    4. Rights (American) vs. Responsibility (Key to Federalist Papers)
    5. When you have your epiphany, your ego dictates whether your ideas are selfish or selfless (for others).
    6. "Sometimes you shoot the arrow, THEN place the target (a bullseye)."
    7. There are misconceptions of the word "organic". Read D'Arcy Thompson's book, "On Growth & Form". There is a deep intelligence to intuition (thinking while acting).


    After the critique, I walked out and took a restroom break. In a hurried manner, I briskly walked back to the lecture room for a chance to have a "moment" with Rotondi. Dr. Wakita saw me "in wait" and I felt a bit of tension (as in, are you waiting for me or him? or maybe, here's your chance, depending on the side of the "force" you are on) -- moving on has been quite refreshing, so I took my chance when Michael slipped away and made the u-turn to the parking lot. While slowing down to match his relaxed pace, I subtly asked for some time as he walked back to his car. In a rockstar/groupie fashion, he asked me to hold his *coffee cup while he walked to the restroom. During that time, I was left dangling like a ballsack without nuts; I searched for meaning... Wakita entered my line-of-sight 100 ft away and made eye contact. The torch had been passed or should I say coffee cup (the eternal flame of architecture is the noctural beverage within the styrofoam container I was carrying). For me this was a defining moment; from master to master, I was on my way to sciarc.

    After he finished and walked back out, we spoke for 10-15 minutes (time stopped for me) about sciarc. To his enlightenment, I mentioned that I was recently accepted into sciar's m.arch2 graduate program. He congradulated me and asked which school I studied at for my undergrad. I mentioned TESC and its online BS Architectural Design (a 4-year distance education program). Considering how much of a family man I am, I told him that TESC allowed me to actively lead my family and participate in the practice and schooling of architecture. In addition, I asserted the "Wakita factor", including: 3 books, teaching assistance, and digital/CAD expertise.

    Once the alliance was forged, I deferred to the Jedi Knight's knowledge. It was a real Luke / Obi-Wan moment, symbolic of leaving Master Yoda's swamp for the city). Though I asked a single question, the force was strong and sensed my thirst for deeper understanding. Advice followed:

    a. skillset enhancement: mostly digital, though I mentioned fabrication over representation, and he agreed.
    b. digital skills allow for many more iterations of concept.
    c. many students are lacking in being able to ideate, though they can think conceptually.

    (to be continued...)

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