Ontario College of Art and Design



Sep '06 - Jul '07

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    End of term I.

    By Arnaud M.
    Nov 23, '06 8:14 PM EST

    I had an in-term crit yesterday, at which we were supposed to present our current stage of planning for our thesis project. I put together a masterplan and a couple of site sections, the whole a 1:500 scale. The crit went well and although the scheme clearly needs more work, I know I am in the right direction. I eventually managed to pull together a scheme that addresses both the enormous size of the site (about 5 hectares) and the other elements in the surroundings. I'm pretty satisfied with what I got and ready to keep on refining to the point where I can start thinking about the few building designs. I know it must be hard to picture what I'm talking about without images. I planned on taking pictures of my plans tomorrow which I will post in here.

    As for what the other students presented, I felt both disappointed and insulted by the poor amount and quality of the work that's been presented. About half of the students didn't have any preliminary scheme or images refined enough to be conducive to an interesting conversation. With the experience of presenting, I came to realize that even if you have the best Idea for a project and you don't have clearly legible and understandable documents to support your presentation, any project will fall short of making its point across. And it happened, all the presentations were boring and I couldn't managed to get a grasp of what the projects were about, because nothing was pinned up that I could understand without an explanation.

    I had a little nervous breakdown yesterday, because I was tired and angry at those fellow students that wasted my time by doing poor presentations. I might read a tad uptight here, but I really think that when you're expected to do a formal presentation, you show up with properly formatted documents, a speech that makes sense, is structured and dressed properly (I'm not talking about tuxedos here). This is why I felt insulted by these people who think they can fool us as well as the teachers with their shitty work. The reason why I had this breakdown is that the way the crit went made me realize the college is not a good creative environment. I find the students disappointing in the sense that they always complain, don't do the work and critically lack any ambition whatsoever. I can't find this emulating spirit of competition and fairness that always pushes you to go to the extra length because your fellow students went there. I can't find inspiration in this half-ass open studio through which the main hallway runs and is more of a kindergarten playground than a working and creative environment.
    Don't get me wrong, OCAD has great teachers and I truly love my thesis project, with which I'm having fun. But the school doesn't help me to feel energized and the only way I found to reclaim my motivation is by going outside and talk to people who don't know the project, it always helps me to refine the big picture and you get interesting insights that triggers something in your head and motivates you again.

    I know that lately I might have appeared to be whining more than often. But the end of this term is becoming kinda painful, read I really need this break in Australia.

    I'll post pictures really soon of my plans with a little text defining the project.

    I'd like to encourage all of you who are struggling to finish the term. I know what it feels like. Keep it up!

    May the Kangaroo power be with you!

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