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    Wednesday the uneventful_v1.3

    By Hasselhoff
    Feb 8, '06 2:36 PM EST

    Nothing major has really happened lately. But I figured I would blog anyway.

    I rode the subway down to Utrecht today. There was some crazy guy on the train SCREAMING, and I mean screaming, "GOD D@MN I HATE THOSE WHITE B*$CHES!" over and over. Then he kind of smashed a muffin into his mouth and threw the wrapper on the floor. I stopped in Wendy's for lunch, always a mistake. Some guy was going from table to table asking for money. Someone offered him some food and he started shouting at the guy. Then he walked away, turned around and went back again! This city is interesting. The homeless/crazy are much more aggressive than in Boston. We had some classics there, but not quite as insane. The most agro guy I remember was "Snotty Drunk Guy" who was always blasted and had snot coming out of his nose. He would wander up to everyone on the platform at Harvard or Porter stations and say "WHAT TIME IS IT!? Can I have a quarter"

    Studio is still not really going anywhere. No one has done much and our assignment/focus continues to ellude us. We know we are supposed to have a building by spring break...but we haven't really started. We've only had one desk crit so far. We are building a site model though... ha.

    Only one more class of high performance building envelopes left, then a review. That went by very quickly. It was a good class though.

    I have come to the conclusion that I really hate undergrads. In photo, we're in the dark room processing film and there is some dude from another Photo I class in there working. I don't know if you guys saw the Family Guy when Peter remembered his days as Kevin Federline's magic mirror. But I wanted to go up to the kid and ask him if he conciously thought out the fact that he wanted to look like a douche bag today. His photos were equally douchbagtastic. He took photos of folded clothes at Urban Outfitters. On top of that, he couldn't figure out how to use canned air and had to ask our teacher.

    I thought that I wasn't going to see my daily crying undergrad yesterday, but near Qdoba, I see this cute couple fighting. Both are totally bawling. And in his romantic way, Romeo tried to win back his Juliet with this prose, "I always f#$%ing tell you that I f&^%ing love you b*&$ch! F*&k you!" True love right there for you.

    In faculty news, they are searching for a new construction prof. They have a short list of four who each give a lecture to the hiring committee and interested students. All of the people they are looking at (from what we've seen and read on those who haven't talked yet) are into digital fabrication and haven't built anything. They just do interiors and furniture. Ok, so I get it. The school wants to be cutting edge or what have you. But come on. Digital fabrication (the type they are talking about) is like .5% of what gets built. What I'd like to see is some big fat contractor with dirty fingernails who talks about buildings. This is stuff we need to know. I don't want some Banana Republic, black pants wearing, Columbia grad* talking about Catia and CNC. That's what electives are for. I know people that still don't understand that cables can't take compression because we work in a wireframe goofy world. We need some real life information at the core. When we talk about steel, get some leather faced welder in here to talk about it. Conrete, I want to see a dirty sweatshirt and an asscrack. We NEED to know that stuff. Our construction I teacher was really bad, and is gone now, and I think construction II guy wants to retire. We just need to be drawing wall sections and talking to roofers. There are somethings that you just need to know and learn. Construction workers don't give a crap about theory. They don't care that you used real flow to come up with your blob, they just want to weld something. **

    Finally, in some sad news. My Japanese friend's grandfather died from lung cancer. I met him in Japan and he ruled. Didn't speak a word of English, but he was so nice to me. He bowed everytime he saw me. He was 80. Rest in peace Takeshita-san.

    *This is not meant to bash Columbia. It's just a result of a large part of our core studio critic base being made up of "Columbians" who have never built anything. Many of our tech courses are taught by people from Arup and Kling. It's the construction course that is up for grabs and could be a disaster.

    **I actually had a talk with one of my old profs and she cleared up some stuff for me, but I still think this part is funny, so I'll leave it anyway. The compression cables thing is still true though.


    • jajoca

      our construction/tech/advanced curtain wall classes
      are all taught by some of the most experienced and
      knowledgeable BUILDERS i’ve ever seen, who
      work for firms who BUILD.
      You should come up and check one out.

      Columbia student

      Feb 8, 06 4:11 pm  · 
      liberty bell

      Hasselhoff, I love reading your blog. Your pain is archinect's gain. Thank you.

      Feb 8, 06 4:13 pm  · 

      I definitely found the undergrads insufferable on Locust Walk ... until I moved to Boston. The BU undergrads are unbelievable. And you're right -- those fights -- the other night we sat on some steps and watched for a long while a pack of drunk boys get into a fight in front of a bar. It was such a ballet -- or a west side story -- as they took turns holding one another back, and the boys on the periphery held on tight to the pack as they rotated together. A heroic girl stepped out, held out her cell phone high in the air and said, "I'm calling 911!" Then, she accidentally got punched.

      Feb 8, 06 6:08 pm  · 

      why are schools of so insecure when it comes to technology? they are soooo nostalgic about the future... they absolutely nothing about digital fabrication other than they assume they need it cuz everyone else does. why are we so f*&$%ing irrational about purportedly the most rational of endeavors-technology? i hope penn is smart enough to see the naivity of the cnc crowd. its like hiring a guy in 1990, tenture track, because he knew autocad. the columbia sequence is amazingly good, as it should with the NYC resources. look, the world is full of glossy panzies who can't build shit. they are famous not because what they are doing is smart or makes any sense. it is just sexy and makes schools of architecture feel savy. but it is mindless and hubristic in the end. soon, a bunch of guys from some tech school in oklahoma or something will be running projects telling a bunch of ivy league how to run a project, build a building, etc. 'lofting' just doesn't matter in the larger domain of technics.

      Feb 8, 06 6:28 pm  · 

      Bagging on undergrads is sooo passe.

      Feb 8, 06 7:52 pm  · 

      our tech and construction courses in grad school used to be quite iffy too, but now they has got THIS up and running i am hoping things is better (i of course graduated just as they were finishing the place and only got to cast some plaster in prelude to the big show...). There was a huge wall set aside for students to weld shit up and pour concrete und whatnot...

      they are making stuff like this there:

      the director (Mark West) recently won an award from holcim that has a nice wee pdf file if interested here
      very cool, and not a nurb in site; sometimes complex forms can be achieved naturally; you know with gravity instead of a rapid ptotype thingy-dang doodle. mark has been able to build huge funky columns in south america with just a few suitcases full of spandex forwork...try THAT with a nurb! (note: i have lots of friends who are nurbs and am not prejudiced against them in any way)

      but to be honest i don't see how you can really learn all the tech stuff at school anyway. best place is on the job where it matters. school should be about learning basic concepts not the details (you know, what the forces involved are and how to deal with them; not knowing that wires can't take compression is much more dangerous than not knowing how to deal with a reglet).

      Feb 8, 06 9:01 pm  · 
      liberty bell

      Mark West's concrete forms had a huge influence on me in grad school. Love how sensual they are - sensual like a frog. Like concrete in that Peter Schejldahl essay I've posted here before. Concrete is amazing.

      Feb 8, 06 9:24 pm  · 

      the cable in compression boggles my mind, but anyway...
      that facility in manitoba looks incredible...
      i like the resurgence of craft in technology and construction
      these days. thats the way i look at what your calling
      'nurbs' building/construction.
      i also think schools should require a summer spent on
      a local construction site.

      ps should stick around in philly

      Feb 9, 06 11:05 am  · 

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