Archinect - Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole (Stephanie) 2021-03-03T13:53:47-05:00 Hired - and thus ends the student era. Stephanie 2011-12-06T16:30:05-05:00 >2015-07-21T09:59:37-04:00 <p>I can't say much except I started a job on Sunday (yep... Sunday) and have two more offers to think about over the holidays. I'm stoked! I was starting to think that I was overly optimistic for attempting to start my career in Berlin, where I don't speak the language. But things have come through super fast this past week.&nbsp;</p><p>Maybe I'll start a job blog one day. For now you can check out my work at my website below.&nbsp;</p><p>Wishing everyone the best in the future,</p><p>Stephanie</p><p>Arkitekt MAA / cand.arch</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a></p> Architecture - Feeling Good About Doing Nothing. Stephanie 2011-11-04T08:47:45-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> I found my architecture mentor.</p> <p> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a></p> <p> I was sitting here this morning, contemplating yet another application, poring over the exact phrasing of my carefully composed, customized cover letters. Words that no one will read or pay attention to.</p> <p> [**hint** In my interviews thus far, no one has shown a sign of having actually read my resume, cover letter, or portfolio.]</p> <p> To take a mental break, I went over to the archinect forums and updated myself on WHO'S WHO in the most favored schools for M.Arch II applicants... reviewed portfolios.... and generally wallowed in my unemployment.</p> <p> One of the posts on the forums caught my eye a few days ago, and stirred me sufficiently to respond. The post was:</p> <p> <em>Hi there,</em></p> <p> <em>I'm currently a high school senior in Canada and hoping to pursue a career in architecture. I was wondering if any of you know programs in or outside Canada (excluding the US) for a Bachelor's Degree, specifically one that is professional and well known.</em></p> <p> <em>Thank y...</em></p> Thesis Wrap Stephanie 2011-10-31T10:48:54-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> Because I didn't get around to it before, here's a summary of my final thesis semester at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (and not much else).</p> <p> 1. Visiting Critic Daniel Serafimovsky from the London Met was invited to do a week of workshops with the year 4's and offered a short critique for the Department 11 thesis students. Daniel was very positive about my work and was impressed with the amount of knowledge and context analysis I had.</p> <p> He gave very good suggestions about drawing bigger and being more precise with my ideas. I was able to move away from generalized strategies and start looking at actual atmospheric details, examples of how I wanted the experience of being at the city lakes to feel. I started working seriously on a physical proposal - context specific public spaces. I also started working on a lighting vision and some physical plaster-castings of public platforms.</p> <p> 2. Midterm 2: I presented something like the outline of my final thesis poster. It included ...</p> Words vs. Visuals? Not really. Stephanie 2011-04-05T03:19:39-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I wanted to make a reply to a comment I received regarding my previous post, but apparently I went over the word limit for a comment, so I'm just posting it as a new thread here.<br><br>Mantaray said:<br><br><strong>"What is an idea without the representation, illustration, communication of it?<br><br>Without communicating your ideas, you are essentially asking your tutors to read your mind, and then calling them "unimaginative" when what they visualize in their own mind in response to your words is different than what you expected."</strong></p><p><br>I think it is very important for students to be able to communicate in a variety of ways. I'm not sure why so many people think I am arguing against visual representation altogether--If you look at my program and midterm presentation in an earlier post, they both rely heavily on visuals to make my ideas clear. This is a give-in in architecture.<br><br>I am not asking anyone to read my <strong>mind.</strong> I am asking them to read my <strong>writing.</strong> Or at least listen to me explain it, if English isn't their stronge...</p> What they want to hear Stephanie 2011-03-25T04:54:27-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I learned an important lesson last semester, which ended so badly.<br><br> I realised that my ideas were perfectly fine, and so was my execution of the project.<br><br> What wasn't fine was the presentation of these ideas. I thought, mistakenly, that my instructors (who had seen the process and progress of my project from start to finish) would be able to 'read' the drawings/ideas I had in my posters, and interpret the project as a coherent whole.<br><br> It never occured to me that design professionals could so easily lose track of a complex idea.<br><br> My lesson for thesis is, then, that each idea must be broken down into digestible, visualized chunks.<br><br> The other day, my thesis supervisor came by my desk. I was knee deep in the delicious 'Design, Evolution &amp; Cities' by Stephen Marshall.<br><br> She said...<br><br><i>"I see you're writing again, when you should be drawing."</i><br><br> That statement was extremely revealing in what design tutors expect of design students, namely,<br><br><b>"If you aren't drawing, you aren't working."</b><br><br> Contrary to...</p> Thesis Semester - Program and Mid-Crit Presentation Stephanie 2011-03-18T04:36:22-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I haven't posted since the end of last semester, and that's because I've been focused on my thesis. <br><br> From mid-January I prepared preliminary research and analysis for my thesis, and handed in a written program for approval in February. My program was approved with no changes :)<br><br> So, for the past 5 weeks or so, I've been getting on with it. Today is our first mid-term critique. We'll have one more at the end of April, and then we hand in on May 24. It's a short time to do a thesis, but we have no other classes at all so we can focus solely on our projects. It is a really nice way to work.<br><br> Program:<br><br><a href=";;showFlipBtn=true" target="_blank">Open publication</a> - Free <a href="" target="_blank">publishing</a> - <a href="" target="_blank">More architecture</a><br><br> Presentation for today:<br><br><a href=";viewMode=presentation&amp;;showFlipBtn=true" target="_blank">Open publication</a> - Free <a href="" target="_blank">publishing</a> - <a href="" target="_blank">More city lakes</a><br><br> I'll post again before the next critique, with an update on my work. <br><br> Hope all is well on everyone's projects :)</p> Final 'Review'.... just... Wow. Stephanie 2010-12-15T05:56:42-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>"The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts - School of Architecture"<br><br> What a presumptuous name for this po-dunk school!<br><br> You wouldn't believe the last week.<br><br> Because there was no coordination of the schedule, we had a final presentation in our construction tech class on Monday, and our final review for Design on Tuesday.<br><br> Since there are no copy shops open on Sundays or anytime past 5 in Copenhagen, the only day we had to print our stuff was Monday. And... we had to be in the final presentation for construction tech. For 6 hours.<br><br> Because of this, most of the class plan to print on A3 from the printers in the studio and tape them together, which would have been fine except... the school network went down for 6 hours on Monday night and we couldn't print anything.<br><br> While the network is down, the instructor sends a last minute email with an alteration in the presentation schedule, which none of us can see until about midnight when the network gets back up and running.<br><br> Nicely done, school...</p> KA delusions! Stephanie 2010-12-05T04:11:47-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>It's hard to imagine what kind of onions you'd need as an 'instructor' here, to compare this school with Harvard GSD. It appears that they want the students to emulate the dedication and work ethic of the GSD students, without putting in anything themselves.<br><br> Tell what you think this is worth:<br><br> 1. No project outline, vague expectations<br> 2. Three weeks at the beginning of term without seeing any instructors. No full-time instructors.<br> 3. approximately 1.5 hours of desk crit per student in the entire period prior to the midterm review (Sept. 1 - Nov. 19)<br> 4. No lectures, not even a school organized lecture series.<br> 5. No workshops, seminars, assigned readings, or other relevant/helpful material.<br> 6. No guest critics<br> 7. No understanding or recognition of the schedule of our other classes<br> 8. Constant scheduling conflicts, especially for thesis students<br> 9. No study trips or field trips or studio trips to see buildings, public spaces, architects, offices... nothing.<br><br> 10. No instructors...</p> Belated weekly post. Stephanie 2010-09-30T12:19:25-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>So I'm behind on posting my goal of 1 submission per week... no big deal. <br><br> NEWS: My boyfriend Jed, also an architecture student at the KA (dept. 2) entered an international contest for housing/urban design hosted by COARQ and... got honorable mention! Woot woot! And there was much rejoicing. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank">See his submission here (first entry on the page)</a><br><br> What did we do last week? A lot, actually. We have a new instructor in the department this year and he gave an introductory lecture on writing your own program. Then set us up with some exercises to help us write down and figure out our semester project goals and our own personal learning goals. <br><br> The exercise dealt with the questions: WHAT, WHY, and HOW. <br><br> Starting with WHAT as a base point, we identified what we were interested in, what the problems were, what we wanted to learn about, what our vision for the site was, etc. Then we moved up and wrote WHY we were interested in that, why the problems were relevant, why we wanted to learn.... yo...</p> Another week, another site model Stephanie 2010-09-17T10:45:25-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>This week we had another site model assignment. Since our plaster pour turned into a disaster... (still not dry, now some interesting shades of mould have taken over), we decided to cut the damn thing outta foam. So much for learning about casting. *sigh*<br><br> Still, once you've put in a lot of effort to something (site model) and you return the next week, the last thing you want to hear is 'do ANOTHER site model.' Especially when no one is around to explain exactly what sort of information this new site model is supposed to bring to the table.<br><br> All grumbling aside, we had a really great lecture from Ulrik Neilsen from Jan Gehl Architects. What I like about the Jan Gehl approach is its straightforward, pragmatic realism when it comes to urban situations. But it is in a way pretty sad that the obvious things need to be pointed out. I asked at the end of the lecture why he thought that there needed to be a practice dedicated to consulting about things which are so obvious, and he said it'...</p> First week of Final Year of School! Stephanie 2010-09-11T03:50:18-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Yesterday marked the last day of my first week back to school after some nice months off to travel and relax... And I am very excited about both the project assignment and the new group of people here.<br><br> Most of the people who were in my original class have left. At first I was worried about the kind of atmosphere that would create, as we had only 3 people left in our master's group (the international master's group). But the school decided to join some of the Danish students in, as well as the new first year international master's students and the exchange students so we're all doing the same project together. Now we're about 25 people.<br><br> We seem to have a much better mix of people now--equal numbers guys and girls, which is a vast improvement over our almost all female class last year. I never got the feeling that anyone had motivation to do things on their own last year, it was a lot of talking things to death and worrying about getting things perfect before actually trying it out....</p> Final Year/School Zen Stephanie 2010-08-15T07:03:53-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>2 weeks until university begins again, and it will be my last year. That's a really strange thought--I've been so used to having school in my life the last 6 years, there is so much I take for granted. I guess it's like that in any routine. <br><br> I have to admit that last semester was a bit disastrous. The semesters are long here, and no one is out there forcing you to be at school. It was easy for me to 'work from home', which I did happily for a while. But I've decided that while it's great to have freedom, it's also important to have scheduled time and weekly goals so that the days don't end up running into each other with not much to show for it.<br><br> In the end I was pretty satisfied with my work, but not the way I got there. So I've decided that this year, my final year, it's going to be the best year ever. Actually I've decided this in partnership with one of my classmates. I've never run my school year on my own--in my bachelor life was largely dictated by a very tightly scheduled y...</p> Some things you should know about Denmark... Stephanie 2010-06-07T04:49:59-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Well we just finished our semester on Friday, and dang it feels good to be done! Summer recently deigned to touch upon Copenhagen for a few days, and those days brought out an issue which I think is necessary to discuss.<br><br> Copenhagen. The greenest city on earth? So they say--or at least, so they brand. Are there windmills? Yes. Do people bike en masse? Definitely. Do they do these things because they sincerely believe that they should work to make a difference in the world, and view the earth as a precious network of biodiversity and delicate relationships?<br><br> No.<br><br> The Danes are simply following instructions. Ultimately there may be a few very environmentally aware people, especially in previous governments (like, over a decade ago when many of the green measures Denmark is known for were implemented). <br><br> For the most part, however, there is a disturbing attitude towards product usage and personal responsibility regarding picking up after oneself. <br><br> Myth #1: The harbor water in Copenhag...</p> European semesters are too long. Stephanie 2010-04-07T12:25:45-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:19-04:00 <p>While everyone I know back in Canada is getting ready for final presentations and exams, we're entering 'mid-term' time here in Copenhagen. <br><br> When I first applied at the KA, I was like 'yeah! longer semesters = more time to do fun school work.' What the crap was I thinking? Longer semesters actually equal dragging projects out for ages and not being able to work for a decent amount of time in the summer. <br><br> Ah well. C'est la vie.<br><br> Since the user-centred design workshop I mentioned, we've done several more workshops with the goal of helping us get into our chair project. The official title of the project is 'Body and Object' and while there are some brave people who've interpreted that a little more broadly, the majority of us are designing a chair. <br><br> For me it's been a real challenge to switch scales from a bridge to a chair. I've always designed spaces or buildings--never furniture or products. I am so familiar with doing site analysis and working within an urban context that it was...</p> User-Centered Design Stephanie 2010-01-18T13:56:57-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>So we started a new workshop today, and it's really exciting. It's a 2 week preparation for our new semester project, and I find the premise to be really useful. I think it will challenge me a lot.<br><br> We are learning how to use particular methods to focus our designs on the needs of the user. Seems obvious, I know, but very often designers just start drawing and sketching 'from scratch' with invented problems they have made, or based on only their own experiences. This is a way of problem finding and problem solving, something Richard Sennett would definitely see as a manifestation of 'craftsmanship' in design. <br><br> The role of the designer takes a completely different turn; we are no longer the 'experts' giving our own version of aesthetics and form. We have to get a profound insight into the users, and then integrate that insight into the design process. The designer is more an empathetic listener than a unique 'artist.'<br><br> Why use this method?<br><br> Today, it's not enough just to make a beau...</p> Tangram + Crazy Danes Stephanie 2010-01-16T06:51:05-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>After re-reading my previous entry, I felt like I misrepresented Copenhagen. I should be more specific: Copenhagen is a great city and it has some pretty sound environmental policies. But it is overhyped to a high degree, and that can lead to disappointment. It's also hard, when you're a student, not to look at things with a critical view, since we're constantly studying the city we live in and comparing it with others.<br><br> This past week we worked on developing roof-type structures with the proportions of a tangram. From all the models we made at half-scale, we are to choose one to build full-scale (that being, within the confines of a 42x42x42cm cube). <br><br> Some photographs:<br><br><img src=""><br><br><img src=""><br><br><img src=""><br><br><img src=""><br><br><img src=""><br><br> I can't say a whole lot about the workshop, since we mainly worked on our own and I'm still not exactly sure why we did this... but hey, I'm getting credit for it. <br><br> Everyone's talking about the sub-arctic weather in Europe. To which I say: -5C is not subarctic, people, put away your fur coats. <br><br> But I guess it can...</p> The "Hopenhagen' Myth Stephanie 2010-01-11T13:02:42-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Prior to the winter break was of course the COP15 climate summit here, which has turned out to be disappointing in many ways...<br><br> We were into our last week before final reviews when the summit began, but I tried to make time to visit some of the displays they had in the public squares. What was presented vs. what was achieved are two very different stories of course.<br><br> The 'hopenhagen' branding made it seem as if Denmark and Copenhagen are overachievers of sustainable technology and green energy. Copenhagen was announced the greenest European city in December. Around this time it was uncovered that millions of dollars of emissions credit fraud had taken place in Denmark (that was quickly hushed up). And, Denmark doesn't like people to know it, but it's an oil and coal economy here with windmills scattered around for show.<br><br> In fact the government hasn't pursued sustainable energy for some time, and the only real 'move' they can be said to have made is to make it extremely difficult to...</p> Urban Lighting Workshop Stephanie 2009-11-23T08:08:29-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:17-04:00 <p>As part of our bridge project, we are taking a short workshop in urban lighting conditions to study the impact of designed lighting, function lighting, artificial light, private light, and special lighting. It's a pretty important subject for both night transportation and creating an urban space that can be viably used even in the night. <br><br> You don't really realise how important urban lighting is until you live in Copenhagen in this season. The sun angle is very low in the winter, (~10 degrees above the horizon on Dec. 21), and the sun sets between 3:30 and 4pm. That is, if you can see the sun. Most of the time it is cloudy and raining, so the atmosphere of an average day is a constant twilight darkness. <br><br> All of a sudden, you become aware of what buildings are lit up, which streets have good lighting, how some lights can blind you and others are too dim. Because my main mode of transport is bicycle, you can feel very small and insignificant with just a tiny blinking LED on the front...</p> Midterm Reviews. Good opinion once lost... Stephanie 2009-10-28T16:54:36-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:18-04:00 <p>We had our midterm review today at Department 11, for our bridge project, and I left it feeling a bit puzzled.<br><br> I really enjoyed the critics who were there, and I liked how the time was managed... I was able to find myself understanding what the tutors thought about the various projects, and agreeing with their advice, which was very useful and practical. Most of the time.<br><br> I tend to get frustrated, though, when I know how much 'mental' effort some people have put into their projects, all to be compared at the same level to those who have put in 5 minutes of work in Rhino. We have been working on this project for just over one month, and there are people who don't have site plans! who don't have any models! who have no actual drawings! no actual work! <br><br> It is an intellectual affront to those who have worked hard to make it easy to understand their projects by providing those tools of interpretation that are so necessary to understanding concepts, when a few students, through fright,...</p> Danish Hygge Stephanie 2009-10-07T18:11:16-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Last Thursday the head of our department, Karina Mose, invited the foreign students for dinner. Her house is near the Lyngby/Sorgenfri stations, on the edge of Copenhagen. Each student was to make a 'cultural' dish. Being Canadian, I had limited options (poutine would have been great, but I can't find cheese curds or thick cut fries for the life of me...) I settled for roast beef since it's kind of my tradition to make roast beef near Thanksgiving. Yeah.<br><br> The landscape was so beautiful! It was really as if you were going into a whole different country... <br><br><img src=""><br><br> When we arrived there, Karina took us down to the Lyngy S&Oslash;, the deepest lake in Denmark. Reportedly, people are still going down for their morning 'bath' in the lake, though the temperatures have been hovering around 5 degrees in the morning! All I can say is they must have amazing circulation around here.<br><br><img src=""><br><br> We ended up walking through a lovely path that took us by canals, horses, and leaf-strewn forests. It was really nice to get ...</p> Mapping, Structure, and Rhino. Stephanie 2009-09-27T06:47:16-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Hello from Copenhagen!<br><br> I thought I would split my first post into two sections to give an idea of what things are like both inside and outside of school. <br><br> 1. The City and Culture<br><br><img src=""><br><br> Copenhagen is a small, dense, exhilarating, EXPENSIVE place to be. (When I say small, I don't mean that it's a grassy outpost in Outer Kookamunga but more that it is condensed city, which I think is a good thing.)<br><br> I remember once someone telling me that there was nothing to Copenhagen but rows and rows of apartment blocks, making it sound a rather drab and boring place to be. I'm happy to report that this is not the case! While there are lots of apartment blocks (some of which, as can be expected, are rather ugly), the city is a pleasant mixture of old and new, and it seems like it's finding a new life for itself through its status as a 'green' city. The harbor is undergoing a transformation--as most waterfronts are right now--from industrial corridor to cultural hotspot, leading to some interesting arc...</p>