Lawrence Technological University (Jason)



Sep '06 - Aug '08

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    Lights Out

    By Chili Davis
    Oct 5, '06 11:04 AM EST

    Wednesday was the due date for the group projects in studio. We got to pick what we wanted to research, and I of course chose Detroit architecture. The other research areas were precedent study, Detroit history, site study, and a site model. It appeared Tuesday as I left the studio that we would be the only group done in time. Our presentation was pinned up a full day before it was due. So Wednesday rolls around, and I get to school about 15 minutes before class starts. I parked in the front row, which is very unusual. As I was walking to the architecture building, I noticed it was very dark inside. It was when I got to the door that I knew what was going on. The campus was without power and no classes would be held for the remainder of the day. All of that hard work for [seemingly] nothing. Hopefully with an extra 5 days, everyones projects will be up to par. Anyway, it's good to have a day off once in a while to have a drink and watch the Tigers... they got rained out. Anyway, I did manage to catch The Fountainhead on TCM. Can you ever see that too many times??


    • Oops!!

      The power was off? Can't the new LEED certified "student" center power the school? I bet you could have rigged up some kind of turbine contraption to run off of that cheesy steaming rock in the quadrangle...anarchy symbol...corporate memorial park...MGM studio theme park...

      Sorry for being so critical but LTU is run by former CEO’s of the big three…and it shows!

      Are you in the detroit studio with Joon?

      Oct 5, 06 12:10 pm
      Chili Davis

      Unfortunately the new LEED building wasn't able to power the entire campus, but they were able to gather all of the full-time faculty in the pentagon and generated enough wind power to run the entire city of Detroit. I also share your dislike for the steaming rock. It may be the dumbest thing I've ever seen, aside from the one time I saw that J-Lo movie.

      No I'm not in the Detroit studio. I was enrolled in the class and then a new job came along so I had to rework my schedule. I wish I could have taken it though. Maybe next semester.

      Oct 5, 06 12:37 pm

      nahh, you're not sorry to be critical.

      Oct 5, 06 12:40 pm
      brian buchalski

      no power and/or lights hardly qualifies as an excuse to stop working on architecture. you don't need to plug in t-square.

      when i was in school once our building was without water for a couple of days and while technically "closed" few of us used that as an excuse. although i'll admit the bathrooms got pretty gross and having to walk a quarter of a mile (a broken main to out water to most of the area) to the nearest working restroom was very annoying.

      Oct 5, 06 1:04 pm
      Chili Davis

      Hmm... I think a burnt out light bulb may qualify as an excuse to stop working on architecture when the Tigers are in the playoffs! How often does that happen?

      Oct 5, 06 1:07 pm

      yeah chilli, you're lucky if they heat your studios, kid. i remember many a wintry studio day before they cranked on the university's steam heat system... and of course we had no shoes back then...

      Oct 5, 06 1:28 pm
      vado retro

      puddles why dint you use a chamber pot?

      Oct 5, 06 2:56 pm

      I learned a lot while working down in the Detroit studio and it is a great opportunity to get away from all the suburban kids and "bro's" up in Southfeild. However, I didn't learn much while in the Detroit studio through Joon. It took a second semester down there with Brian Koehn to really get involved. Unfortunately, Brian Koehn isn't teaching down there any longer or at LTU in general (to my knowledge). He was a huge proponent of doing something good for Detroit and he got off his ass and did it…

      -First step, he moved there and signed his kids up for public schools.
      -Second step, he Joined or started progressive committees that didn't sit around and bicker.
      -Third step, he set up shop in an old building in the Corktown and established his office instead of moving to Royal Oak.
      -Fourth step, he picked up teaching to educate people in the area about critical issues opposed to picking up a teaching position to win awards or look important tothe new urbanists kidos.

      He was basically forced out of a position by the idiots in charge at LTU. The reason is probably because Brian was one of the guys asking questions (which is a NO NO at LTU) like "why the heck are you proposing a skyscraper, of all things, in downtown Detroit".

      Oct 5, 06 4:53 pm
      Arjun Bhat

      I remember in undergrad during some random night (a random night during finals week) a window unic air conditioner exploded and spewed freon and some black grimy substance all over the freshman studio work. I remember seeing some freshman start to laugh and talk about how no way would the prof. expect the projects to be ready to be turned in the next day ... they were wrong.

      Oct 5, 06 10:28 pm
      brian buchalski

      we didn't have a chamber pot, and that might ahve been unpleasant anyways. an outhouse probably would have been acceptable though...maybe we should have held a design/build contest that night and corrected the situation. i'm sure the dean would have loved to find a dozen outhouses on the front lawn the next morning.

      Oct 6, 06 11:11 am
      Chili Davis

      mhopkins, I've been trying to find info on Brian Koehn but have yet to come up with anything. Do you have any current information on him? Does he have a website? Where is he working now? Any info you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

      Oct 6, 06 1:38 pm
      Although I'm not a big proponent of the AIA or AIAS...I think this award is legitimate.
      Oct 6, 06 8:25 pm

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