M.Arch in a strange land

Musings on the successes and failures of a graduate architecture student.



Jun '12 - Sep '12

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    Week 66

    Ryan Panos
    Aug 20, '12 1:08 AM EST

    In an effort to streamline the thesis process starting in Sept, I wanted to take all of my remaining elective courses this summer. I was supposed to do a design build but it unfortunately fell through, so I decided to take a class I had heard good things about from some other architecture students, a class on modern Chinese history, not architecture or art history, a full history course. It was nice to take a class and not have the pressure of other architecture students, critiques, or any of that performance anxiety that comes with design school; I could just take a class and try to enjoy it.

    Taking this class outside of architecture made me think of the relationship design students have to architecture school. Some love it to bits, some hate it to its core, many are indifferent to it and simply “want to finish” at any one time you can feel all three of these or any kind of mixture. There are such highs and lows but I have always wondered, is it the architecture or the education that drives students so mad? You can take the architecture student out of school, but can you take the school out of the architecture student?

    During the class, I would continually compare lessons and ideas learned in the class to contemporary architecture, my mind would just drift into that direction, and think about how I can apply this knowledge, or just the architectural side of it. I guess that means that architecture students do love education, beyond simply just architecture. We are always thinking about the applications of what we have learned, it is never enough to simply research or discover something; how it will be perceived and integrated are far more important questions we ask. In that regard I did really enjoy the class because it gave me a new breadth of learning in an unfamiliar topic. I really want to visit China as I learned to have a respect of its history and for what the Chinese people have done and what they have had done to them.

    image reference

    • 1 Comment

    • LITS4FormZ

      Best of luck! Looking forward to seeing your itinerary if you decide to make the trip.

      I spent the first month of my final semester on a research trip across China for my thesis this year. There's nothing quite like being there and talking to the actual people you hope your project would benefit. 

      Aug 20, 12 12:42 pm

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A week by week journal of the ups and downs of getting through a master of architecture program in Vancouver Canada.

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