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    Playing a Little Catch Up

    Matthew Messner
    Oct 16, '11 2:14 AM EST



    So I have not been as active on here as last semester.  As professed by former students, this semester has been one of the most demanding of my collage career.  

    Here is what has been happening...


    The classes...

    ARCH573 Structures

    ARCH563 Tech III w/ Andrew Moddrell and Grant Gibson

    ARCH585 Theory III w/ Alex Lehnerer

    ARCH553 Studio-Interior Urbanism w/Alexander Eisenschmidt (as well as Jimenez Lai and Coordinated by Sarah Dunn)


    Structures is, well, structures.

    Tech, though extremely dry has been an insightful experience with weekly reviews of a building that we have been construction system by system.  Moddrell and Gibson keep it interesting despite the curriculum of roof drainage, standpipe placement, and emergency egress. (I know "you are going to need to know that stuff, architecture isn't just crazy studio stuff.")

    Theory has been a joy.  Anyone that has encountered Lehnerer I am sure can understand why.  The basis of the class are what have been termed Six Dubious Desires.  These include, (dis)Order, (in)Difference, Freedom, Cohesion, Contradiction and Opposition.  I will have another post just on this class.  The format is discussion with sporadic "supporting act" presentations.  Groups of two look at theorist and figures that support these "Desires".  Some of those we have seen include Madelon Vriesendorp, Gelitin, Bernard Rudofsky and Ed Ruscha, to name a few.  We are also given by weekly assignments that involve a series of images, a short write up, and a presentation to the class.  The image below is from my project that referenced the Ruscha's Royal Road Test.  Our task was to concoct a test.  Mine involved wrapping every piece of seating in the gallery side of my loft with a twine that what the length of the whole space.  This was used as a tool to show that a test and its results could be framed in a way that made them seem telling, even though the actual measurement is nearly completely arbitrary.   

    And then there is studio.

    Lead by UrbanLab's Sarah Dunn, this semesters project looks at a 1.000.000sqft "building" that houses a Museum, art school, housing, and a slough of other programmatic elements.  The first phase was to look at iconic buildings of Chicago that pushed some urban boundary in their time.  In groups we looked at the likes of Union Station, the Monodnock, the Santa Fe, the Rookery and others.  After that investigation we imagined a city where the unique qualities of these buildings were the driving parti behind city development.  (This is very much like our project for last year's Theory class, which i really need to write a little about as it produced a pretty cool book)

    Now many weeks later, approaching our mid-term on Wednesday, FIVE REVIEWS in, we have deformed and perverted those original ideas into projects the scarcely recall their genesis.

    My project looked at the Interior, as a space and as a shape.  Early in the process I cataloged over 50 of the most (in)famous interior from history and imagined how they could be misunderstood and twisted to perform in unintended, yet interesting ways.  (ei my blogs background)  Here is one of the two gigantic boards.

    I most admit that this line of action has often been nothing less then unsettling for me, as I fear it boarders on a post-modern/formal driven project that I would tend to steer from.  I am only in school once and am looking at this as a chance to get a little uncomfortable, and see if I can make something great from a direction I would never have attempted.

    So now I have a building that is comprised of a series of fantastic interiors floating in a medium of normative Typical Plans.  I will have some images of this after the midterm this week.


    There has been so much else happening this semester, including a string of amazing lectures around the city, and of coarse planning, scheming, and speculating with DeptUS and the start of the planning of the next issue of Fresh Meat. (which was just added to     



    • 1 Comment

    • Lian Chikako Chang

      I like the chair bondage pics!

      Oct 16, 11 10:38 pm  · 

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