University of Illinois Chicago (Matthew)

The Shape of Cool

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    Plastic Politics

    Matthew Messner
    Jan 23, '12 1:04 AM EST

    From the begining of this blog my goal has been to highlight the work or my class and document the Graduate school experience at UIC.  I am going to take a quick brake from showing last semesters projects (there will be a handful more coming soon) to talk about the school a little bit.

    Last Wednesday our Director Robert (Bob) Somol gave a "State of the Union" address to the school.  The lecture was a look back as Bob crosses the five year mark as the schools head.    The talk discussed his views, and the trajectory of the school historically and "projectively".  

    In the last five year the school's faculty has been almost completely turned over and the curriculum refined.  Minds have been brought in from around the world to bolster an environment of debate and conjecture.  These include Sarah Whiting, Neil Denari, Andrew Zago, Ron Witte, Jeffrey Kipnis, Sam Jacob, and Branden Hookway just to name a few you may be familiar with.  This is not even mentioning the many other young Architects that make up the rest of the faculty.  With this gathering of intellect, a line has also been drawn in the sand.  

    Luckily for me, I can let Bob show you where that line is in the below lecture.  Recorded at U of Michigan last semester, this lecture is very similar to the one we heard last Wednesday.  (Our's was a bit more extensive and had a few more inside jokes)

    I will not summarize the lecture, but I encourage everyone and anyone interested in pedagogy, polemics, and the discipline to watch.  The discussion of the Cool, "ism", entropy, custom massification, and speech act are also covered through the lecture.  Bob does not mince words with what he believes are the problems of the contemporary institution of architectural education and  the discipline as a whole.

    The intro by John McMorrough is right on in setting up the lecture.  Remember his "Three Characteristics of Bob"  as you watch.

    Try to keep up.  And maybe think about which side you are on.

    Dir.Somol at Taubman College

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An in-depth look at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago. The People, The Happenings, The Projects, and the Discussion.

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