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    What I learned from Archeworks...

    By psteiner
    May 19, '06 1:09 AM EST

    Here's the Archeworks Alumni survey:

    1)Please indicate how your obtained initial information about the Archeworks program (check all that apply):
    __ From friend of colleague
    __ Radio or print advertisement
    __ Poster or catalogue at college/university
    __ Attended Archeworks lecture or student project critique
    __ Other: I did my own research

    2) What factors influenced your decision to apply to Archeworks? (check all that apply):
    __ Interest in obtaining knowledge/skills in socially responsible design
    __ Interest in networking
    __ Reputation of program
    __ To gain experience in design
    __ To gain experience in social service field
    __ Other:
    Interest in getting into verbal arguments with people I have never met

    3)Did Archeworks influence a change in your career or academic focus?
    ___ Yes ___ surprisingly NO
    If yes, how?

    4)Please indicate what actions you intend to take after completing Archeworks (check all that apply):
    __ Enroll in graduate school (or professional program) in architecture/design - eventually
    __ Start or continue to work in socially conscious design field
    __ Start or continue to work in nonprofit sector
    __ Continue to work in same field
    __ Other:
    continue to re-tell Stanley Tigerman stories to people who have no idea what I am talking about, and then when I try to explain the Archeworks expereince they just stare blankly

    5)How has Archeworks affected your life personally and professionally?
    - I've begun to realize how really important and insignificant everyone is. For instance, every single person in every single community must recognize without a doubt their responsibility back to their community; you cannot take if you do not give. On the other hand, it really does not matter to me, nor do I care that Victor Margolin is totally disgusted with my group's project. How dare we ask him to understand?!

    6)Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements:

    The scope of my team's project was feasible
    -once we re-wrote the project...

    My team received sufficient feedback about the progress of our project
    -yes, and good stories too. Thanks Ed!

    The time commitment of the Archeworks program was what I expected
    -no way...I never expected to have Archeworks dreams and nightmares.

    The facilitator(s) assisted my team by providing knowledge and insight about the design process
    Above and beyond, sort of like Cirque Du Soleil at your design table

    The facilitator(s) assisted my team by providing specific ideas about the project design
    Once again, like magic!

    The facilitator(s) assisted my team in team building and group dynamics
    Yes - they disagreed, disliked, and disapproved of us as much as we did of eachother

    The Tuesday night courses were intellectually challenging
    That's all covered in the blog...

    7)What changes would you have made to the direction of the team project?
    Our group pretty much made all the changes we wanted. We weren't given specific partners, we weren't given a “must-do” set of goals to meet. We took what we were given, saw how it could be so much more, how it HAD to be more, and went from there.

    8)What materials/supplies/resources would you have liked to have available to you for completing the team project?
    I wish we had more time, and more money. I am glad you didn't give us too many direct contacts or specific groups to talk to. This allowed us to pave our own way. This of course also allowed us to make fools of ourselves, to fall flat on our faces, and to succeed in a lot of different ways.

    9)What event(s) during the year was (were) most beneficial to the team project?
    Once a week, every week we had great stories from Ed Keegan. Who else could tell you in a round about way stories about a fellow Archinect blogger? (By the way Savannah, hello.) Once a week every week, Samar Hechaime would help us "find our way" through anger from Tuesday night classes, and frustrations. Then there would come Ed with more stories...These were by far the most beneficial events throughout the year.

    10)Who were the most important contacts for your project?
    Obviously Ed and Samar, Stanley was good for breaking the ice, Eva was good for saying Utopia, Sonja Griffin who wasn't Sonja Griffin, but was actually Sonja Griffin was an AMAZING contact. But really, none of our successes and failures would have ever materialized if it wasn't for the 6 contacts we made right away, and didn't forget about and kept in touch with: the six of us in the group.

    11) What further efforts would you have like to occur to promote positive group dynamics?
    There should be a huge effort to make sure you really screw with people's saftey zones and make sure that students with an architectural background don't go to the architecture project...that people don't match themselves with what they already know. That's what made our group work so well, not one of us had a majority claim on this project as far as background...

    12)What changes would you suggest to improve the program?
    Well, first off; make the groups get more involved with eachother. Not as some crazy competition to win Stanley's favor, but a real chance to understand all the different people at Archeworks that year. Instead, we really never talked to eachother; I have no idea who those people really are, and they are really just strange generalizations that happen to sit next door.

    13)Please indicate your ratings of the following:

    Application/interview process strange, good cop/bad cop-ish
    Archeworks Retreat boring, nice presentations from the facilitators, but once again; stange akward moments...I don't want that to happen again
    Lectures very good
    Computers crap,crap,crap & I don't like it
    Technical Equipment eh...
    Shop Equipment dusty crap...but functioning
    Archeoutings luckily I never went on any

    14) Please choose the most appropriate answer for the following questions:
    I had ____ contact with my facilitator(s)
    * Too Much *Too Little *Perfect Amount
    I had ____ contact with my fellow students
    * Too Much & *Too Little *Perfect Amount
    I had ___ contact with the co-founders
    * Too Much *Too Little *Perfect Amount
    I had ___ contact with the executive director
    * Too Much *Too Little *Perfect Amount

    15)Did Archeworks meet your expectations? Please explain.
    Above and beyond by far. I never would have expected to hear stories about Japanese people sitting around rubbing wood, or real-live AIDS patients. So that would be BEYOND my expectations. It met my hopeful expectations by being just as heart-pounding, gut wrentching, and critiqueingly awesome as art school was...

    16)Where should Archeworks recruit students/ how could recruitment be improved?
    I have no idea how you managed to find the strangeness that you did this year. I would really like to know if people were turned down from the program. Or are we all that applied?

    17)Would you be interested in being involved in alumni events?
    __ Yes, I've got good stories __ No

    18) Additional Comments:
    To Archeworks I say thank you for being a giant pain in the ass. A pain in the ass that didn't cooperate, didn't listen, didn't interact like a civilized being.

    I guess it's a “tough-love” school for design. Kiss my ass and get over it.

    And I wish I had a real job...not that I hold too much against the Chicago Architecture Foundation...

    image -pamela

    by the way: here's the link to our book:

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