Columbia GSAPP M. Arch I (Jesús Mariel Maldonado)

3 years of GSAPP



Aug '13 - Jan '14

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    Wahoo! New school year.

    By jesusmaldonado
    Aug 27, '13 7:43 PM EST

    Avery Hall, the gorgeous building that houses Columbia's architecture department.

    I am just about to begin my first year at Columbia pursuing my Master of Architecture. I actually came from a biochemistry background and have less preparation in architecture than others. From the bench-top science to CAD monkey, I chose to study architecture after enjoying GSD Career Discovery 2012. I enjoy the iterative process of design and the technical detailing of a project. I grew up in Mexico for a bit and then largely lived and went to college in Texas. Needless to say, I have been shocked by the density of New York City. I get lost at least twice a day. It's terrific and so stimulating.

    I registered for classes today and found out my studio professor will be Pep Avilés. He is an architect/historian hybrid who was trained at Princeton and in Barcelona. My three other classes (History, Visualization, and Building Tech.) are all predetermined, but I hope at some point I can begin to explore some technical issues of architecture and bring them into the design process. I am still hoping to hear back from a professor in the Dept. of Civil Engineering about letting me take one of their classes, but it's pretty much all set!

    The GSAPP tends to have a sense of humor. Corbu glasses on (what I presume to be?) Vitruvius

    As far as I can tell, there are about 90 students in my GSAPP class. The median age seems to be a little older than me (I'm 22), and they come from architecture and non-architecture backgrounds. GSAPP embraces diversity in their student classes and it's nice to have such a large class to work with. Everyone has different interests, and it seems interesting to be around so many different viewpoints. Good for the brain, I hear. My mind is open to learning from those around me, and I appreciate being accepted for my curiosity of science and math.

    GSAPP seems to be known as the digital school. Apparently under former Dean Bernard Tschumi's tenure, the school became known as a proponent of "digital design" and blobitecture. Now, the school seems to have many different focuses--from social, political, and technical standpoints.

    School starts September 3rd. I am trying to setup a part-time job, as I would like to have some money to eat out casually without guilt, and right now I am going out and exploring NYC. Here's a picture of me in my shiny, new ID!

    Outside of school, I enjoy all sorts of music, FOOD, and weightlifting. I read about science (esp. dinosaurs) in my spare time. I am also a Candy Crush addict.

    Hopefully in the future I can take a picture of the amazing fried plantains near my house and of Little Italy, and tell you guys a little more about school! Best of luck to all those starting a new school year!


    • 1 Comment

    • Congrats on your start of architecture grad school. My only comment is that you may find it more difficult than you think to hold even a part time job. Architecture school is a total time suck and it was not uncommon for me to given assignments for studio which were impossible to complete even if I gave up sleep.

      That said, talk to your classmates and I'm sure you'll figure everything out as you go along.

      Aug 29, 13 10:23 am  · 

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About this Blog

A blog that attempts to record the overload of people, perspectives and projects that run through the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. 3 years of M.Arch studies from 2013-2016. Lectures. Tours. Crits, reviews, juries. Studio transgressions. Contentious viewpoints. Facts and fiction, with a side of parti(e)s.

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