Architecture School of TM; Romania



Jan '05 - Jan '07

  • anchor

    final redemption // subject closed

    By Oana S.
    Nov 9, '05 6:26 AM EST

    The most interesting class this year, the 5th out of 6 years, is called ”˜esthetics' and it is meant to drag us through the whole 20th century: ideas, architects, currents, doctrines etc. The teacher in charge is an elderly lady who knows pretty good what she is talking about. Her only fault is not being able to create a dialogue with the students; there are no discussions on the subjects but rather her monologue. But then again, for a dialogue you need another person interested in the subject and apparently it's not the case here.
    Some of us are playing on their cellphones, others are reading some novels, others are simply sleeping. She says ”˜I'm sure you already know all of Venturi's works', some heads that paid attention start looking to the right, to the left, searching in some books ”˜what was that name? ven-what?'. Teacher ”˜as for the Piazza d'Italia of Charles Moore, which everyone has seen in pics...' - we are looking at each other and start laughing... what the hell is she talking about?

    One hour and some other unknown examples later we have to present a paper about modernist,postmodernist architecture, art etc.
    We read our presentation remembering those silly shows in kindergarten, when you had to say 4 lines and never were able to remember them. 20 years , a few (very few) books and some steps of evolution later, we are still in a pink dress/ blue pants trying to figure out what we are reading but still not asking ourselves why we do it.
    The lack of interest, time is visible from overseas.
    By paper we understand the architects CV and a small description of his projects - as in ”˜symmetry, more or less; column, exaggerated ...'.
    We, the students, are laughing... ”˜this silly clown, Venturi, they are actually wasting their time teaching us about him, unbelievable!' or ”˜this is what they call architecture?!".
    student ID

    We do complain not having enough material, access to information, but the internet still doesn't attract us. Things we could find out by simply googling the key word of our paper, we will never know. But we will always cry out for someone to donate a book which we won't read.

    We are unable to comment upon architecture with other justifications then ”˜I like it / I dislike it'. You can smell the inability of expressing ourselves, the lack of words and common knowledge so we remain with the intelligent look of our eyes.

    Next day, we, the same students are complaining about our project teachers and how narrow minded they are. They are ruining our lives and waisting our time and are not interested in anything. sounds familiar?
    The circle is closed. We deserve each other, we are their mirror image. I just hope the good teachers will have their mirror as well...

    It's like the thing with the brick wall house, the only project in school we finish completely, til its details. They say we have to do it because it's the only thing you are going to work on in real life. In case this so called reality changes, you will not be able to work on anything else as this is what you have learned to do. They complain people ask only for brick houses, but we wouldn't know to offer anything else. Do we?

    Last year, at the ”˜art history exam' for the freshmen, the teacher put one question that puzzled the audience: ”˜when did world war 2 took place?'. The answers were as colorful as pantone: every single century was ”˜blessed' with it.
    Aren't we creative?


    • vado retro

      you mean there were two world wars? so much for the american public school system. cute id pic.

      Nov 9, 05 7:07 am
      brian buchalski

      pink dress/blue pants

      .........and sycophants

      Nov 9, 05 4:01 pm
      vado retro

      isnt she? pretty in pink.

      Nov 9, 05 6:29 pm

      damn, the girl is kinda hot in the id pic

      Nov 10, 05 4:45 am
      Oana S.

      i hate it!
      i appreciate your remarks but the pic is made at the end of highschool, for class album. the kind of pic in which you don't recognise yourself. were you have to look nice and stupid. for posterity.

      Nov 10, 05 9:08 am
      brian buchalski

      forget the shitty id picture...i'm continually impressed with oana's insightful commentary. if only more young architects were that intelligent...

      Nov 10, 05 10:02 am
      Oana S.

      so you think my id picture is shitty...

      Nov 10, 05 10:15 am

      the classroom situation that you mentioned lucidly describes my experience with Architectural Theory 1, taught during the 3rd semester of our program, to a room full of 19 and 20 year olds...

      The instructor was brilliant, expected as much of us, and most of the class couldn't be bothered to addition, they could be heard complaining about the class and its perceived irrelevance on a regular basis. One had to sit in the front row to avoid the distraction, and hopefully catch a nugget or two of this lady's wisdom.

      oh, and nice pic...

      Nov 10, 05 12:15 pm

      hey AP, I think you forgot to mention the incredible TA(s) oin that theory class. I gotta say that more people actually paid attention in your class than when I had her, everyone in my class was dead. A shame, Im glad I TA'ed for her (I got her super duper secret notes and extra materials for the class).

      Nov 10, 05 12:57 pm

      This reminds me of my architectural history professor. He'd come into the lecture hall and just write on the chalk board for 10 minutes several buildings, years constructed and architect. They guy was an arch. history genius. Meanwhile we'd just sleep. It's the school's fault for putting padded seats in that classroom.

      Nov 10, 05 1:01 pm
      brian buchalski

      did oana just stick out her tongue at me? maybe i better apologize!!??

      Nov 10, 05 1:14 pm

      Oana, cute?!?! Your picture is straight up hot!!!
      Good to see the beautiful face behind the insightful, interesting posts.

      Nov 10, 05 1:21 pm

      ya +q, my off the chain professor and one incredible TA to help us make sense of it all...*sigh* those were the days...If I go back there for grad, I may have to TA that class as well....

      Nov 10, 05 1:38 pm
      Oana S.

      A: I also had a history/ theory genius (he was a database but not only in architecture), which i blame for not knowing how to share 1% of his knowledge. his didn't write dates on the blackboard but considered his audience plain and simple stupid and made no effort in giving us real information, but was busy prooving us dumb. too bad.

      Nov 10, 05 3:14 pm

      I just read a description of my clases written by a girl who lives on another continent (viva mexico)... i guess school is shitty al over the world... maybe we diserve that kind of teachers like you said, i dont know if the solution is giving up school or just becoming "worthy" of better teachers...

      Nov 13, 05 2:38 pm

      re: "They say we have to do it because it’s the only thing you are going to work on in real life."

      It makes me really sad to hear comments like this about arch. school experiences. Apparently there are a lot of schools out there that think like this. Frankly, you're gonna be doing that for years and years AFTER you finish school; school should be about teaching you all the realm of possibilities and amazing things you COULD do, not the shit you might get stuck doing once you graduate! It's our one chance to really design whatever the hell we want. I hate it when schools nip that creativity in the bid and resign their students to a vicious self-fulfilling prophecy of dull buildings just like the ones already being built. Ugh.

      Also, about the other students... in my university we noticed that went year-by-year; as in, my year was randomly a bunch of hyper, really engaged students that--despite some sleeping in class since none of us every slept--for the most part forced our profs to engage in dialogue even when they might have been simply the write-on-the-chalkboard type. The other years, however, varied in character. The year behind us was mostly the quiet, overachieving, anal type who took notes without saying anything, mixed in with a lot of duds who didn't engage themselves or their peers. (Perhaps an oversimplification, of course, but I heard the same complaint from kids in that year.)

      Also... my arch. history teacher was BRILLIANT, and although she didn't allow much dialogue (too much material to cover crammed into not enough time already), she made the lectures themselves fascinating and highly engaging. I don't think I've ever been blessed with a better lecturer, in any subject, in all my life.

      Nov 15, 05 1:46 pm

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