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    Midterm Reviews. Good opinion once lost...

    By Stephanie
    Oct 28, '09 4:54 PM EST

    We had our midterm review today at Department 11, for our bridge project, and I left it feeling a bit puzzled.

    I really enjoyed the critics who were there, and I liked how the time was managed... I was able to find myself understanding what the tutors thought about the various projects, and agreeing with their advice, which was very useful and practical. Most of the time.

    I tend to get frustrated, though, when I know how much 'mental' effort some people have put into their projects, all to be compared at the same level to those who have put in 5 minutes of work in Rhino. We have been working on this project for just over one month, and there are people who don't have site plans! who don't have any models! who have no actual drawings! no actual work!

    It is an intellectual affront to those who have worked hard to make it easy to understand their projects by providing those tools of interpretation that are so necessary to understanding concepts, when a few students, through fright, laziness, or other, can't bring themselves to produce something with even a modicum of thoughtfulness behind it...

    It's very simple. To be reviewed, you need a certain 'minimal' amount of information to put forward your idea. If that information is missing, you do not deserve the privilege of the critic's time, nor should you waste your fellow students' time.

    Coincidentally, (or not) those same people were the ones who never showed up for desk-crits... and to be fair, as international students, we all have different ways of working. Perhaps it is normal in some schools to get an assignment, and to work on it your own way throughout the whole semester with no other input until the final review.

    But somehow I think not.

    In any case, I'm still soaking in the comments and suggestions for my own project, one of which was to transfer my working method to computer modelling. It's going to be hard, but I think it will be worth it... you see, I am very much used to being told to work by hand in all things, so to be encouraged to use the computer is just... strange, and a little intimidating. But what are we hear for if not to push outside of our comfort zones!

    In other architecture-related news, there is an exhibition at the Danish Architecture Centre called 'New Public Space' which examines in depth the way people use designed public spaces in Copenhagen and area. What I liked was the very realistic and critical approach to the exhibition. There were no architectural drawings, no idealized renderings, just loads of photos showing the spaces (whether beautiful or ugly) and videos showing how they are used.

    There is a tendancy in architecture for urban blight to be made beautiful through a sort of 'falsification' of visual information. Coloring water blue, for example, or making surrounding buildings pristine and white. Why should the sky not be cloudy, the water brown and murky, and why should there not be graffiti on the walls? Let's deal honestly with an honest situation, I've always thought.

    In any case, I have plenty of fresh motivation for the continuance of my project, but tonight there is lots of relaxation to be had.

    Bon nuit!



     
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