Architecture School of TM; Romania



Jan '05 - Jan '07

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    a random brain

    By Oana S.
    Dec 13, '05 10:37 AM EST

    When I read on different threads that somebody is working for Koolhaas, or Zaha or H&dM; that you saw them at a lecture, that your friend met them etc. it's pretty much like watching TV. It's not the naive admiration, I'm not a groupie, still it sounds like...coming from where Santa's home is. Of course, you could sum it up and say that for me Koolhaas, Zaha, Herzog & de Meuron live in Laponia.
    Next semester I might be in Seville/Spain with a scholarship. I say ”˜might' as I don't believe there are any ”˜certain' things anymore. I am afraid to say it and don't talk about it. Probably they will have to kidnap me to get me on the plane!
    Though I loved ”˜American Beauty', every time I see a plastic bag blown by the wind, I can't help thinking it's cliché. I should definitely avoid movies for a while.
    Inevitably, the 2 weeks before Christmas are crazy. It doesn't matter if you go with it or not. It doesn't depend on you. Strangely enough, this should be the most relaxing period of the year.
    'Computer aided architectural design' is considered not only something absurd but also a tool for students too lazy to draw, in my school. You have to love Middle Age!
    Every time I receive post (as in a catalogue) or a forwarded email from a foreign school, or find out about a scholarship, it's like (I have to say it again) in the movies, when they travel in parallel worlds, through time (or in god knows what other places that somebody's sick imagination has made up), and they stick their finger/hand through a mirror or TV screen. (Actually, the whole blogging this year gave me this exact feeling, of the reality having a back door with a viscous surface.) Then again, you could conclude and say I feel like a bad actor.
    Another Christmas warning: humor disappears from this planet! Don't expect too many laughs! Girls will find men-jokes more disgusting then ever (”˜isn't anything holy to you?') and guys will have less patience with... feminine overreactions (from this point of view, Christmas is used as a good excuse). I suppose Mars doesn't come any closer to Venus on Christmas.
    My favorite joke:
    A polar bear cub asks his mother whether his dad also a polar bear is. 'Of course he is a polar bear!'
    ”˜But Mom, his mom was also a polar bear or just a bear?'
    ”˜Polar bear. Why?!'
    ”˜Nothing , just curious!........ But you think dad's dad was a polar bear too? Maybe he was a grizzly!'
    ”˜No, I met him. They all were polar bears.'
    ”˜How about your mom, was she polar too?'
    ”˜Yes honey, of course she was a polar bear.'
    ”˜My grand grand parents?'
    ”˜All were polar bears. But why are you asking me this?'
    with a shivering sincere and confused voice he replied: ”˜I'm cold.'
    For some reason or another I never liked Zaha's work too much. I suppose it's subjective, but all leaves a rather superficial impression to me. But then again, Zaha would make a great Santa dressed up!
    I recently talked to the teacher I had the best chemistry with. She asked about the studio and I was kidding around and said I quit. ”˜Too bad, you were good at it!'. It was like a fist in the face, a wake up call and a glimpse of hope. The right combination! I suppose this is the only proof I can bring you that I can actually do something, besides complaining.
    Funny enough the whole ”˜star - witch hunt' didn't avoid archinect: Brad's interested in architecture caused several threads and hundreds of posts. Why the huge interest in these people? As for Brad, he is a nice example of good design.
    For the last years, winter has been replaced by the autumn. I think this might be another problem with Christmas: the chosen date is not the best one. As everyone wants a shiny wedding day, they also want a white Christmas. From my experience, the last couple of years it started snowing only in January. Then again, maybe I'm missing something about the whole holiday: if it's not gifts, not madness and not snow, then what? It's sure ain't a good TV program.
    Even now, in the 5th study year, there is a professor who is teaching us Christopher Alexander's patterns. There have been a total of 3 classes spread over 3 semesters just with these patterns. I guess ”˜A Pattern Language' was on sale back in the 80s.
    I found myself on a comfortable chair, with a bright light in eyes and at least 5 fingers from 2 different persons in my mouth. Nothing spectacular actually, just the dentist. I thought about going to a children's dentist, they are used to be more carefully! Anyway, pain has to be balanced with small rewards!
    My all time favorite OST is the one from the English Patient. I also highly recommend the book. Such a metaphorical and passionate description of a woman's neck, leaves every ”˜her' breathless - even if it's not actually about her own neck. Still, maybe you should let Ralph Fiennes do the trick (100% guaranteed effect).
    TV on holidays is worst. They still air here ”˜Home Alone' every season. You might be lucky with a concert but that's the best you will get. And that one will most probably be with Mariah Carey. I suppose that is a higher-entity's way of making us shut down the TV in this period.
    The last weeks have been shadowed by project deadlines, which kept me not only alive but also awake. It's amazing how much energy a person can spend when he's on the limit. If I would normally give half of what I gave last weekend, the project would have been already build (by my bare hands, to dramatize it).
    One rather sad fact is that the Romanian society imports all artistic elements that can be imported, while cheering for their originality and spirit. We are the geniuses that the so-called developed countries never understand. The one pure and authentic culture. Natural, critic, the only one aware of the truth, while everyone else is caught in a sterile pink plastic world. We don't see that we are our own barrier, that we set our own trap. It's not necessarily how others see you, but how able you are to see yourself outside the given context. I fell in the trap. I suppose you can call it evolution.
    I'll spend New Years Eve in Paris. Another bad timing, as it will be once again full of tourists. But I have to say, some relatives are as if you would have chosen them!
    I can't let myself feel any joy for the next semester in Spain. Denial! But a glimpse of the trips I'll eventually make in the country makes my heart beat faster. Unfortunately I won't be able to take any pics. I guess you can call it bad luck!
    Next week, 3 days before Christmas there will be another deadline. It's kind of... lame! I want to dive in the ”˜mass turbation' and enjoy pure materialism!


    • brian buchalski

      i'm trying to get the concretes to visit me on their next tour, do you think you could help with that?

      Dec 13, 05 11:07 am
      brian buchalski

      opps! sorry that was for another blog...multi-tasking is a bad idea.

      nice post again, as always. have you been to the new mall for all the holiday shopping fun?

      Dec 13, 05 11:09 am
      Oana S.

      i was trying to figure out what you ment by the first post...
      I'll soon be a regular at the mall but because of professional reasons (pics sometime in January).

      Dec 13, 05 11:19 am
      vado retro

      oana you r the rem of bloggers!
      the zaha of photocollages!
      the hdm of archinect!
      u r a star!

      oana please visit me on your next tour of indianapolis!!!

      Dec 13, 05 2:07 pm
      brian buchalski

      ...and visit michigan too, we have a very nice mall here!

      Dec 13, 05 2:29 pm
      vado retro

      we have a fashion mall! top that puddles!

      Dec 13, 05 2:39 pm
      vado retro
      Dec 13, 05 2:41 pm

      Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall, Florida
      brought to you in part by Arquitectonica

      the mall directory depicts the plan of the complex as a huge alligator...

      Dec 13, 05 3:53 pm
      brian buchalski

      well, we have a mall with a connect the old money with the new money! how's that for social engineering :P

      Dec 13, 05 4:31 pm
      vado retro

      well we have this, which is also a bridge and an artsgarden in a totally different mall!

      Dec 13, 05 4:49 pm
      vado retro

      +q-this is between puddles and me! come to my mall(s) oana! i'll take ya to starbucks and hot topic!

      Dec 13, 05 5:21 pm

      boys, boys, behave
      Dec 13, 05 5:24 pm

      plus I think Oana wants to go skiing,
      who can make that happen? vado, puddles?
      Dec 13, 05 5:27 pm

      i just visited jon jerde's big mall in fukuoka by mistake.

      was looking for a museum and was sucked into its maw, but it was actually pretty fun, with the multicolored canyon theme and all. not-fake natural light and more or less real running water in the middle. for a mall quite impressive.

      oana, your post is as always a great read.

      Dec 13, 05 5:41 pm
      vado retro

      oana doesnt have to come to the states to ski. but america rules when it comes to the mall experience.

      Dec 13, 05 5:48 pm
      brian buchalski

      yeah, well, we were going to build a mall on a bridge (a really BIG bridge) but that's not cool anymore...or hasn't anybody told you that yet?

      moreover, i'll have you know that in michigan we have a mall that only sells christmas stuff! and their planning to add a new international terminal just for airplane flights from eastern europe. VIP for romanian architects (that's you Oana S.) so there!

      Dec 13, 05 6:14 pm
      Dec 13, 05 6:54 pm

      wow! this feels like myspace all of a sudden!

      Dec 13, 05 7:57 pm
      vado retro

      yeah well the fashion mall has an art theatre that has seven screens and stadium seating. and oana doesnt even like christmas. and the popcorns on me!

      Dec 13, 05 9:14 pm

      Saw Grass Mills is tacky, forget all of that Oana how's about a Caribbean winter, days lounging in the sun at the beach. Mojitas at sunset, thats what I'm toasting Christmas with. Snow if overplayed, sand is where its at

      Dec 13, 05 9:59 pm
      vado retro

      thats cheating man!

      Dec 13, 05 10:05 pm
      brian buchalski

      so what if Oana S. doesn't even like christmas...she doesn't like malls either but she is willing to visit them for strictly professional reasons. that's why she is such an exceptional architect/poet!

      besides...even if she doesn't visit me i'm still working to get the concretes and maybe even crown princess victoria to visit me. so there. (admittedly, i's rather have a visit from Oana S. and the subsequent feigning of immortality when she school blogs about me for all the world to see!)

      Dec 14, 05 12:24 am
      brian buchalski

      addendum: does the fashion mall really have an art theatre with seven screens? that's pretty good for a shopping mall.

      Dec 14, 05 12:28 am

      Jump: I actually have an image from mall that in my first blog post. That place is quite eclectic.

      Dec 14, 05 2:47 am

      totally ecelectic.

      ugly as well but spatially interesting, as much of jerde's stuff seems to be.

      there's still enough country in me to appreciate the overall effect, and loved the open sky in the middle of the place.

      Dec 14, 05 4:58 am
      Oana S.

      i wanted to check my mail before going to school.
      obviously a good decision, as i'm still laughing.

      i was about to say i'll visit every mall in usa but that would be quit a quest!

      i thought the 'liberty' pic would cause a reaction... silly me!

      Dec 14, 05 5:36 am
      vado retro

      well i'm sure miss liberty got a reaction from alot of folks oana, but when you live across the highway from "the concrete lawn ornament capital of the world" you just take these things in stride...

      you lose again puddles.

      Dec 14, 05 7:11 am

      While shopping at the Lakeside Mall in New Orleans, be sure to enjoy the nativity scene!

      Happy Holidays.

      ~marlin watson
      Dec 14, 05 7:49 am
      brian buchalski


      lady december



      i have to admit that i missed the liberty statue because i was looking at the caryatid on the balustrade...seemed much more exotic to me. but he looks so young and so tired, and it seems so pointless with all of those other columns right there.

      i was also spooked by the duck with the missing beak. it reminds me of this man that i occasionally see around town who doesn't have a nose, just a big hole in the middle of his face where a nose should's very disturbing to see him. a human face is supposed to have a nose, and if it doesn't then it really throws your perceptions out of balance.

      the picture of the empty street is also very lovely...i'd much rather spend a year there than an afternoon at a mall with its candy-coated holiday nostalgia. always a much better atmosphere when sadness is acknowledged as a possibility.

      Dec 14, 05 10:25 am

      i was also taken primarily by the cherubic-caryatid, not lady liberty...i "read" the image as somehow related to the preceding joke about the polar bear cub...oh imaginitave perception...

      Dec 14, 05 10:52 am
      vado retro

      will you guys quit hitting on oana.

      Dec 14, 05 11:06 am
      brian buchalski

      ha ha...that's funny coming from someone who offered to buy her popcorn at one of the seven art theaters.

      Dec 14, 05 1:21 pm
      Dec 14, 05 1:31 pm
      Oana S.

      i initially wanted liberty for the america blog, but didn't get to the place to take the photo...
      the ducky is from the site we had to work on this semester.

      Dec 14, 05 3:36 pm

      funny i missed the wee caryatid.

      we have a copy or two of lady liberty over here as well which is even stranger cuz the americans bombed the living hell out of most of this country during the war, and japan never had a revolution or a revolutionary relationship with france or anything to make a solidarity statue for..but there it is

      i rather liked the duck. he is still smiling behind the empty face...

      Dec 14, 05 6:06 pm
      vado retro
      Dec 15, 05 1:38 am

      So, y'all know where liberty was conceived and built:

      and here is the original small version of bartoldi...

      Dec 15, 05 5:46 am
      Oana S.

      i would have also kept the small one and given away the big one... :)

      Dec 15, 05 6:54 am
      vado retro

      famous last words-

      give me liberty, or give me a fashion mall. i won't settle for less!!!

      Dec 15, 05 9:12 am

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