University of Illinois Chicago (Matthew)

The Shape of Cool

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    Studio Zago

    Matthew Messner
    Jan 16, '13 2:28 AM EST

    And we are back, and this is our last semester of Architecture school, ever.

    After a long semester of research into the form and techniques of Incusion, we start our journey into the application of those  technique to achieve "Novel Effects."

    What exactly those Effects are... I will let you know in a few months.  I can venture to say that they will aspire to be political/economical/polemical to some degree.

    Our project will be designed on the site of the, now closed, Fisk Power Plant in the Pilson neighborhood of Chicago.  We are in the initial research phase of site analysis and program discussion, but the project aims to have larger urban implications, to possibly include city policy.

    One of the main focuses of the class is that we are not hoping to bring the level of Abstraction down to the standards of build-able  Reality, but rather, promote Reality to the intellectual  level of Abstraction.  Essentially, to not dismiss Abstraction for the "truth" of Reality.  The end goal being a well thought out, realizable design, that can stand up conceptually, as well as literally. (maybe that is the goal of all Architecture)

    Incused Formal Study from ARCH566 Research Seminar




    • drums please, Fab?

      so you want to make cool stuff

      i'm looking forward to your work!

      Jan 16, 13 4:43 pm  · 

      Hi Matt,

       We went to school together at UWM. Great to read you are still at it.

      -To respond to the first comment. All this work really boils down to being a more liberated designer. Yes its cool but more so its a demonstration of architectural thinking but not architectural practice. Perhaps its the architectural thinking that is critical to learn in school because its tough to get in the profession. Working in the field will teach you the technical, practicle side of design.  

      Jan 16, 13 6:01 pm  · 
      drums please, Fab?

      and school will (hopefully) teach you the cool side

      Jan 16, 13 9:58 pm  · 

      Cool is important at UIC. ( read title of blog).  Our Director , or more correctly interim Dean, Robert Somol lays it out in this lecture.

       In some versions of the lecture, I don't believe the one on film, he also discusses the schools relation to the Profession.  

      In essence the school is not particularly interested in the Profession as a discipline to be taught in an academic setting, because it can be taught so much better in the Professional world.  We learn everything that is part of NAAB accreditation and our technical and Professional course professors are amazing.  I would dare to say they are much more in tune to the professional world than some of the faculty at UWM. (at least when we were there).  Nearly all of our faculty either have their own office or work in offices that are building work.  Even our wildest faculty.  Andrew Zago is no exception with a large portfolio of built work, to go with his conceptual work, which are often one in the same.  

      I believe that there are some other factors as well.  One being that a great deal of the Professional world deals with Building.  (This point can be argued, and I would love to here more thoughts on it.)   Building is part of the realization, or constructing, of Architecture, or the making real of abstract ideas.  Building is an important part of making Architecture and is closely linked with it, but it is not Architecture, it is Building.  It is similar to many other fields that are important to Architecture that are not Architecture, like Finance, Material Technology, Energy Technology, Real Estate, Governmental Politics, Accounting, and a long list of trades.  Each have their affect on the built world, and that often means Architecture.  In the end though, Architecture can include all or none of these (I know not everyone is going to agree with that).  

      Architecture that includes none of these is often where we start.  We do not take the word of disciplines outside of Architecture as unalienable "truths."  Because one thing that Architecture is, is the invention of new worlds.  There is no truth in a world that does not exist, except that which you give it.  The manifestation of a building is our attempt to realize that world.  It is in that process that those other disciplines exert their force.

      Sorry, long answer that no one asked for.  

      But, isn't it all so splendidly exciting.  I am quite anxious to start to learn the professional side of things.  If there is one thing I love as much as Architecture it is buildings.

      Jan 17, 13 1:21 am  · 

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