Harvard University - GSD (Quilian)



Sep '06 - Dec '09

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    everyone's talking

    Quilian Riano
    Dec 8, '08 3:59 PM EST

    This is the semester when the GSD decided to talk. Maybe it is the new leadership, more vocal students, or the fact that my class is in thesis prep (forcing us out of studio and talk to each other more), or a combination of these things, but it seems to me that this semester there is an increase in conversations all over the GSD.

    Internally, we changed the student communication system, from the good ol' studentannounce mass email system to students.gsd, a new website (for students only) with forums, blogs, etc... After the initial uproar and dissent over the change people seem to be getting used to it and, I think, it is changing the way we interact. The sometimes heated conversation over the system itself (people even began renegade communication systems) and some controversies around the new GSD Platform (which I will not get into in this space, but we will try to deal with soon, in a constructive way, in trays) and the poster have solidified its place in the school.

    Also, the 'hot' events this semester (at least in architecture) have not really been lectures by starchitects, but a series of conversations hosted by Dean Mostafavi, Scott Cohen, and the Ordos talk with Jeff Kipnis that have turned out to be much more fun. For now, I am not concerned about the content of this talks but rather the method, which I find interesting.

    Finally (and personally), I have been involved with some friends in a self organized thesis-prep group. It is part therapy, part drunken stuppor, part pin-up, and all helpful. The fun thing is that only a couple of other preppers are directly interested in the same issues that I am, but have found that the perspective and comments from the prepper's that are not invaluable. Just this Saturday we had an all day formal session of presentations and critique that have really helped me clear my thoughts before finalizing my thesis prep document.

    You can see the progress on my thesis here (constructive comments are always welcomed):

    To see the work of a couple of other Thesis Groupers go to the Fellow Thesis Groupers section on the bottom right hand of my blog. Some really interesting theses, programs, and sites await you.

    Ok, one more final thought, I would like to think that trays is part (and perhaps a product) of this increased conversational mood. And as much as it is time for conversation, around the GSD it is also time for transition and we have found new fresh team for the journal. I am very happy having had the Voting Booth Competition during this moment of transition in the school and trays. The competition was able to fulfill some of our visions for how trays should work; to conflate things happening in the GSD (and the larger society in this case), with a series of interesting student design solutions on those interests, and an event in which we invited the entire design community to participate in that conversation.

    By the way, to see the results of the competition go to my (updated) previous post; and may this conversational mood continue, it is invigorating.


    • this_guy

      wow. i am currently doing a thesis that cover much of the same ground. it has different parameters, and a different scope, but it is exciting to see someone else dealing with similar issues. Very few of my classmates are in the same veins as me either. We even have a very similar reading list. Awesome work with the web site. I tried it but was overcome as the semester moved on. Good luck next semester.

      Dec 9, 08 5:19 pm  · 

      if you want to, this guy, send me an email, we can chat.


      Dec 9, 08 5:28 pm  · 

      your thesis could have been done in the 1920s.
      It is not projective and needs to be deleted.

      /end thread

      Dec 9, 08 8:59 pm  · 

      Wow, harsh words there.

      Look, it is easy to take anonymous shots at those that are open about their work and who they are. As I said in the entry, comments are always welcomed, but I would appreciate if they are constructive.

      On the argument:

      I am not sure the issues that I am working on have been solved or do not need some more thinking. Thankfully there is a legacy of discourse on them (if not I wouldn't have a thesis) and people have been throwing ideas out there for a while. If nothing else, they seem to be gathering renewed interest among practitioners and thinkers (HDM, Crisis Boogazine, etc...).

      Dec 9, 08 9:40 pm  · 

      i wish i had seen that crisis boogazine before, it would have helped with some research i just turned in. i might still be able to add in some of it though. what would be the easiest way to get that issue?

      [i will definitely look at your site and offer some constructive crit, later, right now i'm procrastinating from final papers and have to get back to them]

      Dec 10, 08 2:52 pm  · 

      ps. nevermind, i just saw the amazon link. that's a pricy boogazine tho!

      Dec 10, 08 2:53 pm  · 

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