E.T.S.A.B. (Oliver Bayliss)

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    By Oliver Bayliss
    Oct 7, '05 4:56 PM EST

    Well I've started my first semester here in Barcelona. As expected my first week was a pretty confusing experience! All notices were in Catalan and all the other students looked very busy whilst I spent the week walking around with a very obvious expression of ¿Que? engraved on my face! To my rescue was Miguel; the student/international relations officer/hero. He explained all the procedures about what subjects I could choose where to do it!

    The university here is huge! There are 3000 architecture students alone and the set up is very much like being back at school. There are classrooms with blackboards! Teachers stand at the front and hammer out three hour lectures about the luminosity of a light bulb to a room full of 50 mulleted Catalans! A slightly different approach to what I ”˜m used to. Last year I was studying at London Metropolitan University and most of our time was spent discussing the correct proportions for mixing plaster. Fun as it was, it seems very far removed from what the Spanish define as architecture. In England education is far vaguer. At times it is not ”˜architecture' per say but more of a vehicle for a series of intellectual exercises. Important this may be, but here they teach architecture and that's it! There are some more conceptual modules to choose from, including one that involves a semester of drawing faces, fantastic! However the obligatory subjects are driven towards teaching students the fundamentals of how glass meets wood meets metal.

    So I am set for a year of detailing and I'm very pleased about that. It is not going to be easy though. The level of construction here is very high with little margin for error. But I will definitely learn a lot. All in all, it's good to be here!


    • AP
      Barcelona...lucky man, keep us posted...
      Oct 7, 05 5:54 pm

      of course is good to be there...if i hear you complaining i'll come over there and kick your "brit on holiday" ass!

      Oct 7, 05 7:55 pm

      if you would have chosen ETSAB's little sister: the ETSAV in the nearby town of Sant Cugat del Vallès, you'd have found a less crowded school (around 700 students), but it also would have been less fun -St Cugat is just 45 minutes by train from Plaça Catalunya, but its on the other side of the Collserola mountain and it has a very different atmosphere, almost rural-..

      the ETSAB is more oriented to design and projects, while the ETSAV has a strongest technical approach -construction, structures, engineering..-, but both share a very similar academic structure.. though most local starchitects teach at the ETSAB..

      detailing isn't that complicated, you usually look at any issue from the spanish magazine Tectónica and copy details from there, or check out the companies' compilations at the end of each number and take details from the companies websites, catalogues, cds, etc... It's probably the best arch magazine around here, together with AV, Quaderns and Pasajes, and since each number is monothematic -by materials, or by construction typologies- its pretty useful... somehow is like the spanish version of the german Detail.

      You'll find that catalan language is everywhere, so if you learn some basic notions it will be easier for you to wander around.. but in BCN city you won't have any problems if you can only speak and read spanish... if you travel the rest of the country, specially at north, then you'll need some catalan knowledge. But in the end, and contrary to what some prejudiced spaniards tend to say, catalan people we will kindly switch to spanish anytime a foreigner looks like "Que?" or if you just simply ask for it -some, youngsters mostly, will even switch to english if you're lucky, though this is southern europe and lots of people don't speak more english than 'hello' and 'goodbye'-... we have this bad reputation of being rude -fostered by your-typical-spanish-right-wing-conservatives- but you'll discover by yourself how nice most people are...

      good luck!

      Oct 8, 05 6:16 am
      Christopher Daniel

      Go Bayliss! Glad you managed to get your blog up and running.

      I think everyone reading this should be made aware that your first post is probably the longest individual communication I have witnessed from Oliver Bayliss in my 6 years of knowing him.

      He is, however, a very good photographer. I think we should all demand a different pretty picture on every post from ETSAB. c'mon Ollie, start with some of your famous "street grime" stuff!

      Oct 8, 05 1:02 pm

      You are very very lucky to be studying there. I am currently trying to figure out a way to get accepted and i could really use some advice from someone that has been through that. It's one of my biggest dreams, since i am truely in love with the city.
      If you are not too busy and could give a hand to someone that is even more lost than you were, i would really appreciate some guideing.

      i leave you an e-mail where you can reach me:

      thank you

      Mar 25, 09 8:40 am

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