Kent State University (Micah)



Sep '09 - Feb '12

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    This is rapid fire.

    Micah McKelvey
    Sep 18, '10 9:34 PM EST

    I hate school. I'm stressed to the max.

    I don't know if anyone else gets to their fourth grueling year of school and feels as "over it" as I do (senioritis I suppose), but watching the deadline for dropping all my classes consequence-free come and go during the first all nighter of the semester tested my will power and sanity. Now that it's passed, I guess I'm stuck for another semester. May couldn't come soon enough.


    | We started the semester with a fast-paced two week project attempting to design a net zero sustainable live/work space for a watercolor artist. Each student received one of four climatically diverse cities and was instructed to design a space that responded passively to those environmental conditions. It's been made clear to us that our projects this semester are going to focus heavily on real-life models of constructing and planning in preparation for the big (and somewhat CAED specific) Integrated Design Competition project we've all been EAGERLY waiting to do for years now. Please note the sarcasm; this project is a bitch. A small portion of the semester is spent designing, but the VAST majority is spent creating construction documents (in groups of two) and from what I hear it's both good and bad. I'd like to call it CAED's last "F**K YOU!" before handing us our arduously earned diplomas.

    || We have a new dean for the college this year, Douglas Steidl, who said some inspiring things at the annual First Friday college-wide meeting last week. We seem to be going in a positive direction...our programs are expanding and excelling, there are plans to create more courses of study including a minor and a doctorate degree, and things are now in motion to (finally!) unify our college under one roof through the construction of a new building. Steidl proposed a new organization of the different degree programs that would group all interior design, architecture studies, and architecture students into one massive class for the first year that would branch off into more specific courses of study thereafter. This is, in my opinion, a great idea, and something that I know works well at other schools. Also mentioned was a planned effort to increase the awareness and presence of The CAED within the architecture community through publications, research, and collaborative projects and hopefully garner some of the respect outwardly that this school deserves. All good things, and I'm optimistic that the college will remain committed to these goals.

    ||| The annual Toguchi Lecture saw Larry Scarpa of Pugh + Scarpa Architects lecture (oh so commonly) manifesto-style on past and recent works. Although the work presented was very good, and Pugh + Scarpa deserve all the attention and awards they've managed to accumulate recently, I can't help but be disappointed in what has become so pointless to me. That is, bringing in lecturers and paying them loads of money for them to say exactly what has already been said on their websites, in their youtube videos, and on every blog or architecture-related website. In this info-saturated age, lecturers should be required to do something that can only be achieved in person-to-person encounters...panel discussions, studio critiques....possibly eliminating the standard lecture all together. Thoughts?

    |||| It's a somewhat exciting time to be a student or a resident of the town of Kent, Ohio itself. A lot of development is in the works to bring more activity and life to a largely abandoned downtown and to reconnect the university to the city. Also, KSU has announced plans for a campus-wide renovation project in addition to the projects already underway. These projects have so much potential to do good for the students and Kent residents here, but if KSU and the city's track record on renovations and new building is upheld, the results will be largely and most unfortunately a disappointment. However, the university has selected 3 proposed renovation projects within the larger campus-wide scheme and sent the university architect to the fourth year studios yesterday to pitch these endeavors as our next design project. In the end, KSU hopes to use some of the results to gather support for these projects and although it may not be worth much, this is one of a few instances when the university has actually utilized the college in the design of its facilities. More details on what those projects are soon.

    ||||| To wrap up this rather informational but boring entry, check out this link for more information on the aforementioned IDC project, and if you happen to be in or near Baltimore, check out the projects and let me know what you think! For those of you in the western hemisphere peacefully slipping into your beds or possibly partying the night away, have a great night....I'll say hi to the sunrise for you.

    • 1 Comment

    • jacob

      KSU Alum Chime in, GO!

      1) IDC can suck, but it's important to push back just as hard as you get pushed. It's a good experience (from a formerly successful subverter), It's going in your portfolio in the end so make it your project first and foremost.

      2) Cool

      3) I agree! When I was a 4th year, we brought in some pretty unconventional and undiscovered people (The Living, Brian Dettmer...). I think this is where Kent can really take a stance and take chances on young architects (and non architects) who have to make a lecture instead of use the ol' standby.

      4) Not as cool. I wish Kent would rediscover it's activist roots instead of letting the good ol' boys run the show.

      5) You'll make it.

      Sep 20, 10 10:29 pm  · 

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