UC Berkeley (Nick)



Aug '08 - Jun '10

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    no more hiding, Berkeley

    Nick Sowers
    Aug 30, '08 1:13 PM EST
    Whoomp, There It Is
    -Tag Team

    It seems appropriate to launch a blog on my birthday. Hello, archinect, this is the guy maybe known by a couple people as "el Duderino" or "el_Dude." I've been around archinect for about three years, and I'm really excited to have this student blog. You can read the blurb on the 'about this blog' section to see what I've been up to, and where I've been before coming to Berkeley last fall.

    So let's get started. It's the weekend after the first (half)week of classes at Berkeley. This is my second year of two in the M.Arch II program; unlike the first year, I really feel as though I know what I'm doing (haha, let's see how long that lasts). It's great to be back after a summer working in San Francisco. I did do quite a bit of scholarly stuff over the summer, reading books relating to my thesis topic (more about that later) and writing a research paper.

    Classes so far have got me pretty jazzed and, in a good way, uncertain as to what this semester is going to be like. The core of my semester will be thesis prep, which meets Thursday nights for three hours. I should mention that I'm not in studio, which is pretty unusual for a 2-year student. The deal is, I actually applied to be an option 1 student (that's two semesters to do your thesis) but was admitted to option 2 so that I could develop my thesis. Since I have a B.Arch, where I took 10 studios, plus the 2 studios done at Berkeley, it didn't seem that valuable to take #13 and compromise my thesis. So the long and short of it is, I'm going to treat my thesis prep like a full-blown studio, so that I head into the spring with a design project well on its way. (this is the sort of idealism that you should worry about...)

    In addition to two architecture seminars, one on off-site fabrication and a theory class on globalization, I'm planning to take two classes outside Wurster Hall (pictured in all its beauty below). One is Sound Art, taught by a "sound artist", and another Modern Poetry, both upper-division undergrad courses. My hope is to learn how to listen and read closer, more critically, and more productively.


    Before I go any further, I'd like to outline what I hope to do with this blogspace so that you all know what to expect. Aside from shameless self-promotion, I have a couple major agendas:

    1. Get Berkeley out there. 'nuff said.

    2. Provide some insight into the troubling yet interesting question, 'What is a thesis?'

    3. Talk about the architecture that's going on around the Bay Area.

    4. Provide some kind of assessment of what kind of place Berkeley is to study architecture.

    5. Test my thesis ideas on you all, and hopefully get some feedback.

    In the next post or two, I'm going to recap last year, showing some images of the projects I did and talking a little about the major events at the school. I really think Berkeley is a place undergoing a big transformation, if a bit slower than some might like. But it's a place that's truly made by the students, so as long as we continue to turn things up and rock the place, it's gonna be a good show. Stay tuned.

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