Bartlett (Chris)

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    Testing Times

    Chris Hildrey
    Sep 24, '08 9:42 PM EST

    We're now three days into the first week and the usual routine of Bartlett registration and unit presentations has begun. Though maybe 'usual' is the wrong word to use. It actually feels anything but usual. Since Unit 22 got decommisioned over summer a world of uncertainty has opened up. Comfort levels have been thrown out the window and the daunting prospect of ending up in a unit that you dont actually want to be in has started to look like a distinct possibility.

    As always, the unit presentations were long, tiring and hugely interesting. Bob Sheil also hinted at some of the lectures coming this year, including Lebbeus Woods and Thom Mayne (a full list to be issued at some point soon).

    So, to the units... They mostly stuk to what you might expect in general terms of approach, however for the benefit of those not familiar with the Bartlett, here's a brief synopsis.

    Unit 10
    CJ Lim/Bernd Felsinger
    I don't know these guys personally - our paths have never really crossed, but they seem friendly, hard working guys (most people in the Bartlett are). A couple of turn offs for me though: A lot of the work is quite similar which suggests a certain pressure to conform output to a certain style. Either it won't be appropriate for the project, or the project itself somehow conforms. Either way, it's not really what I'm looking for in my final year.

    The field trip is a mystery which has to be solved be reading the clues hidden in the brief.

    Unit 11
    Mark Smout/Laura Allen/Anna Monrabal
    Field Operations
    Anna is a 2001 Bartlett Graduate. Most of their students are ex-Bartlett undergrads (they used to teach there before moving to Diploma). They like landscape. Their 5th year is full, so they aren't an option for me.

    Trip to NY for presidential elections.

    Unit 12
    Jonathan Hill/Matthew Butcher/Elizabeth Dow
    "Perhaps when you cut into the present the future leaks out"-William Burroughs
    They like weather. Drawings. A lot of photoshop montages/collages were shown. They seemed like a friendly enough bunch but Jonathan is away on sabatical for at least the first half of the year. I had an interview with these guys today. I think we both felt that the unit's main concerns were not really mine. I worked quite a lot with erosion/entropy/weather/poetry/temporal architecture etc in Edinburgh (undergrad), so feel like it might be a step backwards. I'm ready to move away from that rather than back towards it.

    Trip to Berlin.

    Unit 14
    Stephen Gage/Phil Ayres
    The Real Thing
    Very temporal architecture. The unit is quite flexible but typically creates 1:1 prototypes/fragments/experiments rather than an entire building proposal. Lots of CAD/CAM and potential for electronics/robotics etc. Stephen has just been made professor emeritus so will continue teaching beyond his 65th birthday.

    They'll be visiting Venice asap and then elsewhere later in the year.

    Unit 15
    Nic Clear/Simon Kennedy
    The Near Future Part II
    They make videos. Really cool videos that are truly stunning. But it's not a building, so not really what I'm looking for as I try to finish my final year of architecture.

    Unit 16
    Simon Herron/Susanna Isa
    This sheet wasn't included in my pack by accident, but generally speaking, buisness as usual. Crazy, wacky, kitch with a critical edge etc etc.

    Unit 17
    Niall McLaughlin/Yeoryia Manolopoulou
    Very decent unit. They came across very strong and with conviction. I had an interview with them and it went well, but I'm not entirely sure that their methods of working are compatible with mine and vice versa. It would be an intereseting challenge to set myself, but I'm far from 100%.

    Interestingly, they are experiementing with going anti-Bartlett this year and want to set real, unexpected constraints on projects so as to avoid the rather indulgent tendancies that have cropped up from time to time.

    Trip to Cape Town.

    Unit 18
    Colin Fornier/David Ardill
    It's Unit 18. It's Colin Fournier (and there he goes again jetting off around Europe...). I get the impression from ex students of U18 that Colin is not around all that much and David can be a little hit or miss in terms of whether or not you gel. Nobody's fault, chemistry si important - but perhaps too big a risk for final year.

    Unit 19
    Neil Spiller/Phil Watson

    Unit 20
    Marjan Colletti, Marcus Cruz

    Unit 21
    Christine Hawley, Abigail Ashton, Andrew Porter

    Unit 23
    Bob Sheil/Emmanuel Vercruysse

    Unit 24
    Michael Wilhart, Uwe Schmidt-Hess


    • Geoff over at Bld Blog did an interesting interview (in Podcast form) with the Smout and Allen of Unit 11 that i found fascinating. Especially their discussions of landscape, large forms and geologic/augmented geography....

      Sep 24, 08 11:24 pm

      Gage brought Unit 14 to Vienna last semester and presented work in progress. So, do you know if the Unit is always "Interactive Architecture" or does this vary? The robotics + the guy that does a lot with food was great: St Paul's Cathedral Jelly. Seems like a fun unit.

      Sep 25, 08 3:15 pm

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