Columbia GSAPP (George Showman)



Jan '05 - Jul '05

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    Summer update... lifeline

    By George Showman
    Jul 7, '05 1:25 AM EST

    Hello again,

    Well, I graduated, thank God, so it's not too clear what further purpose my blog entries can serve. I am hoping to keep this blog open long enough to get my professional webpage and portfolio online, so that I can put a link in here.

    Since graduating, I've mostly been traveling, but part of it was work. I've been lucky enough to find a friend who may commission me to build a house for him and his parents in Fiji. So, he flew me to Fiji and we researched the possibilities. What an eye-opener of a trip! The house-building industry there is quite solid and well-equipped, but the political situation is so tenuous that it's not clear how my client would be able to rent the place once we build it. So we ended up spending a lot of time brain-storming on how to differentiate the house from other rental properties, and perhaps how to define a larger community on our little island that would attract tourists. It's tricky to put forward an environmentally-aware agenda in a place like that, where everything _looks_ like paradise and even the incredibly filthy soot from the many trucks is quickly forgotten in the balmy trade winds. At the same time just because Fiji seems idyllic doesn't mean it doesn't have environmental problems, or that we can neglect the issues. We're hoping that the remote-ness of our site will actually make it a particularly good place for Tokyo urbanites to re-think their relationships to the resources that support them (esp. water and power and food and construction materials).

    Driving around Fiji we met many people with various visions for development projects. Things happen very slowly there, though. I really don't like the tropics that much, due to heat and the slow pace of daily life, but I am excited about how quickly we could get something going if we had the right group of people and money. There are (so far as I know) no current legally-enforceable building codes in Fiji, at least for private homes, so anything goes.

    It's certainly the wild frontier compared to New YOrk City, which is where I am now planning to spend a few years working and learning. Job hunt starts tomorrow morning...

    Oh, I should also say thanks to Hans Park, a fellow blogger, who gave me a great tour of the Tokyo U. faculty of architecture.

    • 1 Comment

    • David Cuthbert

      island life is good life, mon!

      okay now I must shoot myself in the head, for dare using that end phrase. Gawd! the social-cultural gods are turning in their graves

      Jul 7, 05 4:28 pm

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About this Blog

I did an M.Arch. I at the GSAPP between 2002 and 2005. I started this blog only in my final semester, when I had Ed Keller as my studio critic.

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