Harvard GSD



Sep '04 - Aug '08

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    Oh, hello.

    By bryan boyer
    Sep 21, '07 12:21 AM EST

    Tap tap tap. Is this thing on?

    Well, that was a blur. In the past year I had one of the best studios of my life with Wes Jones, designed a Zeemonster during my second option studio with Francine Houben of Mecanoo, TA'd both semesters, and then spent the summer working in Spain for F451, a great young firm with an office in the center of Barcelona.

    Left: Box of models on their way to Rotterdam. Customs man asked me to declare their value. Response: "Don't worry, no one is buying these." Right: Goal!!! at Camp Nou

    Oh, I also traveled a bit, made a new website for Toshiko Mori, participated in the Rotterdam Architecture Biennial, started eating eggs (have always hated them), and developed an excellent serve in Wii tennis.

    From an awesome weekend in Porto. One of the best things about working in BCN was the ability to visit other (relatively) nearby cities like Porto, Valencia, and Rome.

    Entering my final year at the GSD I've decided to resurrect this blog in an attempt to give people some insight into the life of a thesis student. During core (the first two years of study) a GSD student is peppy and motivated enough to devote time to all sorts of extracurricular activities, but by the time I made it through this veritable bootcamp there was nothing left in me. My blog went flat because I didn't really have any thing else to give. The only reason I survived Wes' studio was the presence of two awesome teammates to work with on the design project. Yes, last Fall kicked my ass (in a good way), but after relaxing a bit during Spring and Summer I'm now feeling the urge to write a bit.

    school starts this week
    Mailboxes stuffed with papers that no one reads

    Thesis students have the option to "split" meaning that the 3.5 year program is stretched to four years. Students who split complete their thesis project in the Spring rather than the Fall and thus they begin the research or "prep semester" now, in the Fall. In previous years the balance between split and non-split thesis students has been more or less half and half but my year seems to have reached the tipping point. We now have a majority of split students. Avoiding the realities of real life, the job search, and a general getting on with it? Never!


    • AP

      welcome back boyer blog!

      so, other than having an extra semester to develop your thesis project, and of course foregoing reality for a few more months, what's the big attraction of the split? do split students still pay full tuition for both semesters? does the school offer a specific thesis-prep curriculum for students that (presumably) delve deeper into their research projects?

      Sep 21, 07 10:51 am  · 
      bryan boyer

      Students who split pay for one semester of school so the only difference is your living expenses. The biggest benefit, as far as I'm concerned, is that you don't have to do your thesis prep while you're doing your second options studio. By splitting you have more time to focus on options as well as more time for thesis.

      Sep 21, 07 10:53 am  · 

      well hopefully you have more time for thesis. I also heard that you just have more time. Which could be a problem. :)

      Sep 21, 07 12:32 pm  · 

      and you an sit-in in more classes, explore outside the GSD, etc...

      Until last week I was pretty sure I was NOT going to split, than we had a conversation with Toshiko and Timothy Hyde and now I am pretty sure I will for all the reasons Bryan described above.

      Sep 21, 07 12:32 pm  · 

      I found that not splitting really hurt my second option studio - I put much more work into my thesis prep than I did into my studio work. On the other hand, by the time April rolls around everyone who does split is so burned out on thesis and school they wish they hadn't split. So, you are pretty much screwed either way.

      BB, who's your advisor?

      Sep 23, 07 2:58 pm  · 

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