Architectural Association (Michael)



Sep '09 - Aug '10

  • anchor

    Initial Confessions

    Michael Rogers
    Sep 22, '09 7:19 AM EST

    Dear Readers,

    Before I begin trying show you what will happen at the DRL this semester, I want to tell you why I am here. The answer is fear coated in luck.

    The fear comes from the fact that this school, and particularly the DRL program represent an experience that is completely foreign to me. It appears to be an extremely informal world that is dedicated to an experimental view of reality. I think Brett Steele put it very aptly in his welcome remarks when he said that the AA is committed to teaching and learning architecture not as it is currently is, but in new ways that that we don’t fully understand yet. There is a very exciting comfort level with the undefined and intriguingly ambiguous here that seems very unique to me. I say it is foreign for me because my background is so practical. I grew up farming in the States, working with very large machines and very dangerous animals to solve very real problems. Professionally, my experience as a designer has been shaped by adapting, transforming and modifying the traditional materials and diagrams of architecture to create built work at the end of the process. Both experiences, as Brette Steele might say, deal primarily with architecture as it is already understood. There has been a real satisfaction for me in this practical world of building and working land that solves immediate needs for people I know. I can’t help but to take a portion of this feeling with me to the DRL in the form of questions about the relevance of these academic experiments and their beautifully exotic forms. It’s a valid question and one I have seen discussed on many blogs involving digitally advanced programs, but it is not one I wish to detail with you here.

    What I hope instead, is to focus on the thought process and intentions behind the experiments regardless of what the final results end up being. The interesting thing here I believe is how the DRL teaches one to think; to pursue concepts to incredibly unpredictable conclusions. This process is what the school truly has to offer because the ever changing agendas are simply vehicles for the DRL’s way of thinking to be expressed and evolve.

    So now you have it, my perspective and my bloging agenda. In many ways I think I am as curious to explore and understand this program as you are so please post your questions and thoughts and let the discussions envelope what you are interest in knowing.


    • z.g.a.

      How much do the projects go into how they are going to be built? Is it a set of probablys or is it more like, 'it would work once new materials are invented that we can't conceive of yet'

      Sep 22, 09 12:54 pm

      My take is that the investigations are completely theoretical so far as to say that they are not really even buildings. This is a program where ideas are what one develops without necessarily adhering to the rules of gravity, enclosure or even inhabitability. Typically, the projects are so specific that they only attempt to solve one particular problem and leave the other issues that confine reality bound structures out of it. The anology that made me begin to understand the program was that of play. These projects are like big play experiments conducted not necessarily to achieve a goal (ie make a functional building on a specific site) but more to see what happens when one uses new tools or thought processes. This being said, I have yet to begin the formal coursework of the program but this is what I have seen in the projects presented over the last few years.

      Sep 22, 09 2:20 pm

      Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

Other blogs affiliated with Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA):

Recent Entries