Ohio State University (Emma)



Nov '10 - May '11

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    Hello There Archinect

    Nov 18, '10 9:49 PM EST

    As recently as 3 years ago, I knew basically nothing about architecture except that I was going to apply to graduate programs to study it. As a senior at Northwestern University, I had studied math and art for four years and had figured out that I wanted to do something else. In retrospect, it was probably indecision combined with the naïve delusion that math + art = architecture that led to this very important decision. Luckily, even though I decided on a whim it has worked out wonderfully and with the help of coffee and a stubbornness to figure things out I’ve come to really love architecture.

    I was born in Romania and moved to the US when I was 5 years old where I grew up first on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology and then in the suburbs in upstate New York. Then I went to Northwestern for undergrad, where my older sister went as well, and ended up at Ohio State for graduate school. Now I’m in my last year of grad school and excited/terrified/optimistic with regards to the prospect of going out into the “real world.”

    At Ohio State, I’ve been pretty involved in the goings-on of the KSA. I was a graduate assistant for a sophomore level graphics course last year and am currently the assistant to architecture section head Michael Cadwell. The summer after my first year, I got the chance to go on Jackie Gargus’ famous Europe Trip. Just thinking about how much architecture we saw in just four weeks in western/central Europe makes my head spin. It was a great experience that I would highly recommend.

    Currently, one of the major projects I’m involved in is being a part of the architecture team for the design and construction of OSU's entry into the 2011 Solar Decathlon. If I take a second and think about it, it’s really amazing to think that three years ago I knew little about architecture and now I get to help design and build a house. Now that I’m through giving you your daily dose of idealism, I’ll get to the events that have been going on at Knowlton this quarter.

    The lecture series, which I guess is almost done for the quarter, has been exploring the theme of Information. I’ll give a brief taste of the topics of each of the lectures so far and you can go watch them here, not all the lectures are posted just yet, but they will be very soon.

    September 29: KSA’s own Beth Blostein and Bart Overly kicked the lecture series off with the discussion of their work that seeks to extract idiosyncrasies in program, politics, site, and banal necessity to formulate unexpected narratives for projects.

    October 6: Katerina Ruedi Ray, from Bowling Green, lectured about Marina City and the research that had culminated in her most recent book, "Marina City: Bertrand Goldberg’s Urban Vision."

    October 13: Douglas Reed, a landscape architect and principal of Reed Hilderbrand, and Victor “Trey” Trahan, architect and President and Principal-in-Charge of Trahan Architects conducted a joint discussion of “Site and Structure.”

    October 20: Catherine Seavitt, principal of Catherine Seavitt Studio, an interdisciplinary practice premised on the collaborative integration of architecture, landscape, and public infrastructure, discussed current research collaborations. She specifically talked about “Rising Currents,” the MOMA exhibition that explored the effects of sea level rise in the Upper Bay of New York and New Jersey.

    October 27: This week was the 2010 AIA Columbus Design Awards Presentation and it was wonderful to see a lot of great work being done by local architects, including but not limited to NBBJ, Moody-Nolan, Karlsberger, DesignGroup, and Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design.

    October 28: The Design/ Poverty Symposium brought together several faculty members and professionals in a discussion of their work in areas with implications for design and social justice. The idea was to probe the question “what does design have to do with poverty?” (As a side note, this is the topic of a seminar this quarter and the studio I am currently in. We are developing community housing solutions for the Weinland Park neighborhood in Columbus.)


    November 5 – 6: This weekend was another symposium; this time organized by Karen Lewis, and entitled Envisioning Organization. The keynote speaker was Adam Bly of Seed Media Group who spoke on Friday evening. The symposium on Saturday divided the discussion into four subject areas, augmentation, clarification, simulation, and revelation. Fellow graduate student Greg has some very thorough commentary on the weekend in his most recent blog entry. The symposium was accompanied by a gallery exhibition that included work from all of the speakers as well as artist Ben Van Dyke who works with typography and graphic design.


    November 10: The lecture hall was completely packed for Paul Lewis, of Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis, who students in the KSA study constantly for inspiration for their own studio work. The dozen projects he presented explore the opportunistic overlaps between form, program, and materiality.

    Needless to say, there has been a lot of great activity at Knowlton this quarter and I promise to give it to you in smaller doses in the future, but I couldn’t resist including it all at once this time.


    • Lian Chikako Chang

      Welcome! I enjoyed reading about what brought you to Ohio State and to architecture. Looking forward to following your news.

      Nov 19, 10 9:30 am

      I was studying Applied Mathematics before switching to Architecture and I found that the problem solving logic skills I used solving math problems and writing computer algorithms also worked quite well in solving spatial geometries and assembling the pieces in the design puzzle that is architecture. So bravo in your transition from mathie to archie!

      Also, I was on the 2009 UW-Milwaukee Solar Decathlon team and I did learn quite a bit from it. Hopefully you'll get to be on the actual construction team in Washington DC in 2011, since building a house on the National Mall is very exciting. Not only did I get to see first hand how our own house went together piece by piece, but I got to see 19 other houses go up (including Ohio State's), and see all the different concepts and technologies in each. That, and DC is a fun city, especially with the subway access. Mmmm subway... My recommendation, hop on the Blue/Orange Line, transfer to the Red Line to the Dupont Circle area and have a few drinks with your teammates after a long day of giving tours!

      Good luck and have fun!

      Nov 21, 10 10:23 am

      Oh, PS, I need to thank you Buckeyes for winning your football game yesterday and helping my Badgers out as they try to get to the Rose Bowl. Assuming Wisconsin wins again next Saturday, I'll probably be rooting again for Ohio State again. Unless Michigan State loses, then you guys can feel free to lose all you want. =) Cheers!

      Nov 21, 10 10:32 am

      "Oh, PS, I need to thank you Buckeyes for winning your football game yesterday and helping my Badgers out as they try to get to the Rose Bowl. Assuming Wisconsin wins again next Saturday, I'll probably be rooting again for Ohio State again. Unless Michigan State loses, then you guys can feel free to lose all you want. =) Cheers! "

      The tenacity of football fandom is my favorite thing about the midwest.


      And good bloggin' Emma. I look forward to your reading your thoughts on what's up on the academic side of things in this town.

      And Go Bucks.

      Nov 22, 10 7:38 pm

      Thanks for all the comments! I'm glad you guys are excited to hear more. Just FYI I feel obligated to let you all know that I'm not so invested in the athletics here, mostly I just keep track of it to know if I can park in my usual lot on Saturdays, but on behalf of those who are interested thanks for the support!

      In terms of the Solar Decathlon, we're starting to build this month which is exciting and it seems as though we'll all be on the construction team so that'll be quite the experience. I helped with building the deck on the previous house when we were setting it up at the Columbus Zoo and that was pretty difficult on its own so I'm curious to see how doing the whole house goes. We've gone to DC once already for a conference and a I have some friends who used to live there and who currently live there who showed us around and it was pretty great. I'm looking forward to more!

      Dec 5, 10 10:46 pm

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