Archinect - Columbia Graduate School of Architecture (Greg) 2017-09-19T07:53:48-04:00 first flurries gbugel 2010-12-06T12:05:33-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>We recently registered for next semester's classes and it sort of hit me that this is coming to an end soon. As this was the last chance to take the classes I wanted, it's been the hardest registration period, and my decisions ultimately were made by what I was ok with not learning, at least in a structured class setting. I am sure I will change up my schedule a few times before January when the semester actually starts.<br><br> This is final review week but as a third year my studio presents near the end. Next monday, to be precise, so it seems we still have a long, long time to finish. No matter how they structure the fall semester it always seems to fly by. Though I really enjoyed my studio and other classes this semester it will be nice to catch up on some things I have neglected since October.<br><br><img src="" alt="studiodesk_fa10"><br></p> So... gbugel 2010-10-28T03:21:27-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:20-04:00 <p>So much for my last post about leaving frequent, harried sentences more often...<br><br> Anyways I've been meaning (for almost a month now) to <a href="" target="_blank">reblog this</a> because it is exactly what my <a href="" target="_blank">Professional Practice professor </a> has been telling the whole class, including the chance meeting of a future client in a bar and the need for the whole architecture profession to organize and stop doing competitions en masse.<br><br> I see the valid points, I do, but I still have issues with the idea.<br><br> Of the handful of competitions I've done, it was more so about being furnished with an outside framework to test an existing idea or interest of my own. I was genuinely interested in the work from a personal standpoint- to see what I could do with a technique that intrigued me- not concerned with winning. In this way I think competitions present opportunities for designers.<br><br> Some of the responses to the ArchDaily link above echo that sentiment.<br><br> My professor and Charles Holland only seem to see the competitions as a...</p> Late, early, on-time? gbugel 2010-09-08T09:57:09-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>When I started this blog (two years ago now) I as enthusiastic about my level of blogging activity. I've had blogs before (on all sorts of things- hiking, biking, train trips, motorcycling, canoeing) but sooner or later they all died off. On one hand blogging is amazing in that it provides a direct connection to someone with first-hand experience, but on the other hand, they can devolve into petty, melodramatic frivolities that I often see as narcissistic.<br><br> My plan with this blog was to stay focused on topic and actually look forward to writing in it. This would then be something regularly updated and accessed and would become a little more legit than some of my other blogs. Of course, looking at the archives, you can see that it hasn't really happened that way.<br><br> This is a shame, because last semester there were actually good things to write about- designing, fabricating and building an aquaponics system that went to the Science Barge in Yonkers, NY; my experience in the new C-B...</p> 2nd half gbugel 2010-01-24T23:56:50-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>The halfway mark of my M.Arch program has snuck up on me. I am not going to reminisce and tell you it went by too fast or too slow or that it was tough but I pulled through- I am just saying that when I started I thought I had three comfy years for the economy to turn around, but now that period is cut in half.<br><br> In more pressing matters, I am facing my busiest semester yet. I have four new programs to learn for three classes, a small exhibition from my summer trip to China to prepare and I have to turn in a portfolio for academic review in May. However, this is also the most exciting start to any semester yet and I am looking forward to all of it.<br><br> I am taking a class called <a href="" target="_blank">Life/Support</a> about aquaponics. I was interested in this because my studio project last semester involved using an aquaponic system to produce food for 5000 people. While it was all on paper (and thus, too ideological to be realistic), in this class we are designing and building real systems with real-world...</p> Mid-term farm fest gbugel 2009-10-29T15:37:54-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src=""><br><br> We just had our midterm reviews this week, but in my studio the sense of accomplishment and respite that comes right after a major pinup has been hampered by how the review actually went.<br><br> &ldquo;Worst review I&rsquo;ve ever been in.&rdquo;<br><br> &ldquo;I never thought I would hear comments like that at this school.&rdquo;<br><br> &ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t offered a single constructive suggestion.&rdquo;<br><br> &ldquo;The critics were out of their comfort zone and didn&rsquo;t know what to say&rdquo;<br><br> These are more or less some of the things my studio mates are saying after the event.<br><br> The comments and critics were not especially vitriolic (though at one point, Charles Renfro did say to one group that to do what they were proposing, &ldquo;you fuck the cows, fuck the housing and fuck the city&rdquo;), but instead were mostly unhelpful and in a general state of disbelief about the projects and aims of the studio as a whole.<br><br> Keep in mind that besides just housing for 5000 people/1700 units on a dense site, we are also charged with producing a type of food for roughly that number... foodio gbugel 2009-10-06T16:31:33-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>School has been back in session for a month but it feels like we&rsquo;ve been here for a whole semester already. Working with partners, this semester we are in the housing studio, a long-running institution within the school best known among students for its demanding pace.<br><br> I ended up getting my first choice in the studio lottery, <a href="" target="_blank">LOT-EK</a>. It was difficult to order the top of my lottery list because there were so many critics that interested me, but in the end I went with LOT-EK because of their focus on the intersection of food production and housing.<br><br> A new strategy for them, the production and consumption of food is a complicated but important study of many topics- economics, environmentalism, industrialization, politics, biotechnology and culture. I've been interesting in these topics for years so I immediately placed them at the top of my list.<br><br> The studio is made of 6 pairs of students, each pair assigned a food group to work with: meat, grain, dairy, fat, vegetable and fruit. ...</p> Summer/China-Lab '09 gbugel 2009-09-07T14:19:03-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>This summer I participated in the 2009 <a href="" target="_blank">China-Lab</a> Summer Workshop in Beijing, China.<br><br> The project started as a continuation of ongoing megablock research, a concept that China-Lab has been researching for some time, but the work soon turned towards the study of informal spaces and material recycling in Beijing.<br><br> The recycling (or re-using, in most cases) system in Beijing is amazing. Like everything else in China, the work proceeds around the clock and is done mostly all by hand, with little automation.<br><br> There are laws for recycling in China, but there are no official recycling collections or collectors, as the money made from finding and returning bottles is so good that everyone does it. Recyclable material, including plastic bottles, televisions, scrap paper, lumber and cloth, pass through many hands on their way through the system- including individuals on bicycles, whole families that run collection services, kids trying to scrape up a few yuan and elderly citizens that always...</p> EoYE gbugel 2009-05-15T13:54:18-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:14-04:00 <img src=""><br><br> This saturday starting at 5PM is the End of Year Exhibition, held in Avery and Buell Halls.<br><br> Every studio and many other classes are designing specific exhibition spaces to show their work from the past semester. The studio designs often overshadow the work of the individual students.<br><br> All are invited.<br><br><img src=""><br><br><img src=""> Yes it's the end gbugel 2009-05-12T19:55:20-04:00 >2011-11-11T05:13:51-05:00 <img src=""><br><br> Today was the last class of the year for the first-year M.Arches at Columbia with the Architectural Drawing and Representation 2 final review. I was reminded of what I was supposed to learn last semester- that I need to stop looking for answers behind every pencil stroke and let the process lead me into new areas of exploration.<br><br> ...<br><br> The actual final moment of the semester is always a little anti-climactic- you are up for days, turning things out left and right, not eating, not sleeping, questioning everything you do, but the actual final event, whether a review or a paper or a test, always passes in an instant.<br><br> The studio reviews happened two weeks ago, but after they finished, the other classes still needed to wrap up. This period is a little odd because the huge pressure of studio is lifted even though there are three more grades to worry about.<br><br> Despite the confusion, I always end every project full of excitement and anticipation for the next. I am eager to start the next... Kindergarten words gbugel 2009-03-07T15:39:43-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Several weeks ago a class of adorable 5 year olds marched through the studio while it was in session. This isn't out of the ordinary, as potential students and (sometimes) their families visit fairly regularly, as do classes from other schools or programs. <br><br> When it became obvious that the class of kindergarteners weren't just passing through briefly (much to the delight of many students, who immediately dropped what they were doing to gawk and smile at the timid visitors) we realized that there was a definite purpose to their visit. Why were they remaining way in the back?<br><br> They were invited critics for Mark Rakatansky's studio.<br><br><br><img src=""><br><br> The logic was that, if you cannot adequately convey your project and ideas to a five year old, you need to rework something, or everything.<br><br> This idea resurfaced again recently in my own studio (more later on that), but at the time I started thinking about the language we all speak as architects and students. Archibabble is term that receives much deri...</p> Catching up, ramming gbugel 2009-02-01T16:06:44-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Over the past two months I have sort of hated blogs. Stopped looking at them, stopped logging into this, stopped caring about the pseudo-gossipy nature of it all. I think it was a post-election downer, or something, since I was checking political blogs every 3 minutes right up until election night.<br><br> So I never got around to an end of semester wrap up, winter break post or even a welcome-back-to-the-spring-semester hello.<br><br> Since I should be doing work right now, for the first time in many weeks I have decided to update this.<br><br> The last semester was good. Hectic of course. Once studio ended, almost two weeks before all the other classes, I was thrown into a weird state of feeling like the pressure was off even though it wasn't. It took a lot of energy to get back into the pace of things and finish papers, projects and other details.<br><br> The highlight of this was the concrete-and-glass-bottle wall that my group made for our technologies class. I have a lot of pictures from last semes...</p> Context gbugel 2008-11-20T23:25:12-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>The studio is packed tonight- our final review is 10 days away.<br><br> The markets are lower than they were before the dot-com boom.<br><br> Detroit is begging Congress for money.<br><br> A studio mate said that his family told him they aren't exchanging presents this year.<br><br> Wasn't there some talk of a bailout? Oh yeah that was last month.<br><br> But,<br><br> It's Thursday night, and the business school is outside drinking and howling and dancing as I type this.<br><br><img src=""><br><br><br><br><br><br><br> I am not bitter.<br><br> I mean it.<br><br><br><br><br><br> Maybe just a little jealous...?</p> Forward gbugel 2008-11-17T21:18:26-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Still plugging away on this latest project. It is a science lab, with a public component. I am trying to make mine use car exhaust.<br><br> Just two more weeks before the final review. It snuck up on us.<br><br> So far I have the ugliest model of my career:<br><br><img src=""><br><br> But, my career has just started, so I plenty of time to make an uglier one.</p> Election gbugel 2008-11-05T02:46:06-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I wasn't the only one having a hard time concentrating in studio today because of the election. From a little after 6pm EST on justabout every computer was intermittently checking election coverage.<br><br><img src=""><br><br> When Obama had about 200 electoral votes a few of us decided to leave and see what was happening on TV and in the streets. Just a little later we watched as Obama was declared the 44th President of the United States.<br><br> Almost immediately after the announcement (they're awful quick to declare it aren't they?!) the yells and honks and firecrackers from the outside world came in through the window.<br><br> We walked down to 125th street, but long before we arrived we heard the dull roar of the crowd.<br><br><img src=""><br><br> Thousands of people took over the intersections all along 125th, singing, yelling, cheering, playing instruments, kissing, laughing, drinking and hugging.<br><br><img src=""><br><br><img src=""><br><br> Instead of getting right into the subway station there to go home, I decided to walk down the line for a few stations (about 20 blocks, it turn...</p> October in pictures gbugel 2008-11-01T12:51:25-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Engineering lab field trip:<br><img src=""><br><br><img src=""><br><br><img src=""><br><br><br> i </p> I need answers, gbugel 2008-10-28T19:13:32-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Who? What? When? How?<br><br> But not why.<br><br> Consider:<br><br> Last week was the <a href="" target="_blank">Ecogram</a> conference here at Columbia. I saw several good and not-so good presentations and ideas.<br><br> Our latest studio project has a big environmental component, and a lot of students are seizing that and pushing it.<br><br> Flip through a newspaper, pick out environmental goods to buy, in any color. Redo your whole kitchen sans-guilt!<br><br> A Green Builders Club is getting going here at Columbia, and in fact, part of the whole curriculum change was to introduce some more sustainable ideas into the education.<br><br> At a recent Toshiko Mori <a href="" target="_blank">lecture</a>, almost all of the audience questions were related to her implementation of environmentally conscious designs.<br><br> Open a magazine, get bamboozled by Mobil and BP about how green they are.<br><br><br> Obviously, these themes are inescapable and popular, as they should be.<br><br> I am just wondering who is going to convince everyone else on earth to pay attention.<br><br> In one of the Ecogram lectures, <a href="" target="_blank">WorkAC</a> mentioned ...</p> Midterm gbugel 2008-10-19T22:52:28-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:15-04:00 <p>Halfway over already!?^<br><br> Our task was to design a small pod for a climatologist to spend 12 hours observing, resting, eating, and recording. A bathroom had to be included as well.<br><br> We were to base our designs on the dimensions of our own bodies, and discover the "volumetric differential between claustrophobic and efficient."<br><br> We wrote a script for our climatologists, which yielded our bodies' spatial needs. With a size limit 2.5 times the size of our individual bodies, we then set to designing our pods.<br><br> Right from the start I got all hung up in hard information- Not just my own dimensions, but dimensions of meteorological equipment and what activities a climatologist would do over 12 hours. For a while I couldn't think of anything visual or spatial- just numbers, letters, spreadsheets.<br><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><i>What does this all mean?!</i><br><br> Given the choice of rooftop, park or plaza, I opted for the rooftop site, believing that it is the most uniquely urban. City roofs are inhabited much differently than th...</p> Precursor gbugel 2008-10-17T20:31:16-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:05-04:00 <p>Everyone is done with midterms reviews now and able to catch up on other stuff, so half the class showed up for studio today with <a href="" target="_blank">new haircuts</a>.<br><br> More tomorrow.</p> Rite of Passage? gbugel 2008-10-13T04:05:20-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>I did it. I sliced the tip of my finger off.<br><br><img src=""><br><br> A few times in the past weeks I nicked a finger, or got a decently deep cut, but last night was gold. When I realized what was happening it was already too late, and there on my cutting mat was a clump of cells that used to be part of me.<br><br> This probably happened because of the crunch that we are all in. Mid-term reviews are this week, and everyone is scrambling, as you might imagine.<br><br> After my review on wednesday I promise pictures and descriptions in better detail.<br><br> But only after I do all my laundry, clean my house and go grocery shopping.</p> Specificity and ambiguity gbugel 2008-09-28T16:45:04-04:00 >2011-11-28T21:01:02-05:00 <p>Between these parameters, however wide, is where I am.<br><br> My latest studio project is all about trying to personally resolve this issue.<br><br> A week ago, someone wanted to clarify the difference between drawing and mapping. This was distilled into data vs. perception, then how to connect the two.<br><br> Eventually, this turned into the notion of specificity and ambiguity.<br><br> To fill you in, the project is to design a space for a climatologist to spend 12 hours observing weather conditions. It must be comfortable, efficient, urban, and based on my own personal dimensions.<br><br> Yes, specificity and ambiguity can exist in the same time and place.<br><br> The problem is, I cannot seem to get past the fact that I have been given almost no concrete detail (not saying that&rsquo;s a bad thing). Or maybe that&rsquo;s not even it. There is some unexplainable barrier I cannot seem to pass, or even adequately describe.<br><br> It&rsquo;s like I am right there, right on the edge of figuring it out, but just can&rsquo;t get everything together wo...</p> Violations, grids, sugar cubes gbugel 2008-09-20T19:56:02-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>On wednesday Brad Cloepfil of <a href="" target="_blank">Allied Works Architecture</a> lectured about a number of his works and notions of occupation.<br><br> If you're keeping score, AWA controversially redesigned the Museum of Arts and Design here in New York City, at 2 Columbus Circle in Manhattan.<br><br> To make a long story short, the building before the redesign, designed by Edward Durrell Stone, was long considered ugly in its blocky, massive concrete form, from the day it was unveiled in 1964.<br><br><img src=""><br><br> Over time the city and critics became (understandably) fond of the little building, but ultimately failed at keeping the Museum of Arts and Design from having it redesigned inside and out.<br><br> The new design is considered equally ugly by most viewers- just as blocky, cold and crude as the previous. However, I'm not here to discuss that issue.<br><br> The very first question asked of Cloepfil concerned the latest and most controversial change to the facade. After the design was finalized, and after almost all of the construction complet...</p> Detournement gbugel 2008-09-16T17:49:00-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:14-04:00 <p>I&rsquo;ve come to relish the unforeseen turns projects take in school. Not knowing what the finished product will look like, or what ideas will come, is at the same time both exciting and dangerous.<br><br> In the latter sense, a perfect example is my latest (and first, actually) short paper for my history class. I read the assignments, I thought about them, I read the texts and answered the question. Or so I thought- inevitably, I always lead myself to get sidetracked in tangential thoughts. Sooner or later these extra thoughts all add up and make me lose touch with the original matter, in this case the homework assignments.<br><br> But there are positives.<br><br> Our first class-wide studio assignment is basically to watch ice melt and draw what we observe. Of course, everyone melts the ice in a different way. Some freeze it into unique shapes, others color it, some hang it, and so on. I think someone even fried the ice (yes, as in a pan).<br><br> My original idea was the watch how cavities I froze into t...</p> Be suspicious of your teachers gbugel 2008-09-08T03:28:00-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:14-04:00 <p>Though I can't wait to settle into a routine, the first week was a good one, full of activity.<br><br> I like lists:<br><br> -The school-wide orientation packed the auditorium from wall to wall. People were standing three deep in the back, sitting in the aisles and even around the speakers in the front. This is the infamous "density" the school speaks of all the time, I see.<br> -At that same orientation the Dean was his usual self, instructing all of the students to learn from each other and not our teachers, as they must be crazy to remain at Columbia.<br> -The stream of orientations is still not over- I have some scheduled for the print shop and wood shop this week.<br> -I did the obligatory first year student walk-into-the-wrong-class-and-have-everyone-turn-and-look-at-you-all-at-once. It was funny, I mean it.<br> -This blog was discovered by several people, who all curiously approached me about it on the same day.<br> -I inquired about some on-campus jobs and go interview for them this week.<br> -Familiarizi...</p> Speed Dating, sorta gbugel 2008-09-01T00:28:04-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>We had the new-student orientation on Friday, and thanks to a <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a> for all incoming Fall 2008 Columbia architecture students I met lots of the new class all on day one.<br><br> As orientation and classes approached, members planned dinners, drinks and lunches with open invites for all. When the time eventually came for orientation, many students already knew the names and faces of lots of others.<br><br> Meeting everyone then became a hurried routine of fleshing out the details- past education, studio placement, where home used to be, how we arrived at architecture... Every few minutes, you would meet someone else and start the routine over.<br><br> I guess this is how social networking sites are supposed to work.<br><br><img src=""><br><br> I finally got to go see <a href="" target="_blank">Public Farm 1</a> at PS1 this weekend. I had heard it was a little bit of a letdown, and though I loved the idea and the overall design of the barrels, there were indeed some shortcomings.<br><br> A large part of the whole space just seemed vacant, for one. What bothe...</p> Registration gbugel 2008-08-26T20:59:13-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:14-04:00 <p>Just registered for all my classes, which were of course pre-determined for me. That's not a complaint, though.<br><br> My schedule looks like this:<br> Core Studio 1- MWF 2-6pm<br> Arch. Tech. 1- T 4-6pm, Th 1-3pm<br> Arch. Hist. 1- Th 11-1pm<br> Arch. Drawing &amp; Representation 1- T 6-8pm<br><br> 4 classes, 18 credits, half from Studio alone. There are other hidden scheduled periods as well, for example the History syllabus mentions small study groups that will be set up to meet ever two weeks.<br><br> I noticed on the Degree Requirements website that the 2nd and 3rd year students follow a slightly different set of classes than the 1st years. Over the past two years of looking at the school I became somewhat familiar with what the first semester entails, so I wonder why they changed up the classes and how things will be different.<br><br> It seems that there are many similarities between the structure of law school and architecture school. When a student enters, they take basically the same classes as every other 1st ...</p> *tap tap tap* Check Check... gbugel 2008-08-25T22:12:47-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p>Hi everyone. All the basics have been posted <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>, but I just want to say that I am excited to use this blog as a record of my upcoming schooling.<br><br> Tomorrow I can register for classes and Friday is Orientation, but that does little to alleviate my anticipation to start school.<br><br> Despite what I imagined, I am genuinely excited and eager to get into class and get to work. I figured I would be a nervous wreck, and perhaps as I walk up the steps to the first class I will be, but as of now I just wish that moment would come and I can start the semester.<br><br> It seems that for everyone that offers encouragement and well-wishes I meet one person that gives warning- from relatives of architects, one-time students that changed majors, practicing architects and even school faculty.<br><br> Maybe I am young, maybe I am naive, maybe I think I am different and don't know yet that I am human like everyone else, but I am actually welcoming the challenges of long hours, competition, overwhelming expenses and ...</p>