Archinect - University of Arizona CALA 2017-09-20T12:40:30-04:00 Door Knobs and Ugly Duck Shaped Blocks Joe DeBenny 2012-06-04T03:32:00-04:00 >2014-04-18T20:21:07-04:00 <p>She stood at least 4 feet shorter, but there was no mistake as to who was dominant in this encounter as she took my hand.</p><p>She looked up and smiled, &ldquo;Hi I'm Erica! I'm from earth, where are you from?&rdquo;</p><p>I hesitated. &ldquo;Just down the street. It's not too far from there.&rdquo;</p><p>It was a lie. Nothing about her classroom resembled the world I was accustomed to as a public school student. The air was alive with energy. Children sprinted from classroom to playground without any evident permission and stacked door knobs on assorted amorphous wooden blocks shaped like ugly ducks in a truly spontaneous structures lesson of gravity and materials. All discovered through a rudimentary, yet telling, process. All I could do was watch in reserved awe and contemplate the punishments I would have received if I had conducted myself in the same manner during preschool. But I was there to observe the school for a studio project, not reminisce. I turned my attention back to the act of diligent note-taking. I had to s...</p> The Naked Architect Joe DeBenny 2012-02-20T01:28:56-05:00 >2012-02-21T00:11:58-05:00 <p> No, still not dead. Not yet at least. I have been working on a few entries, but they all didn't seem fitting to post. They were either too personal or too frivolous. Neither has a place here really.</p> <p> However, a good friend, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jake Seliger</a>, recently shared with me an article that I think I would be remiss in not sharing with more people-- especially architects. Titled <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>The Architect Has No Clothes</em></a>, Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros have composed a brilliant and scathing critique of modernism and the myopia that plagues many current architects.</p> <p> The authors are relentless. They propose that the profession has rooted itself in an industrial esotericism far removed from the programmatically functional and culturally sensitive design that architecture should aspire to be. Instead, the idiosyncratic "starchitect" is lauded over the quiet, thoughtful architects who strive to provide comfortable and responsible projects for their inhabitants.</p> <p> In many ways, the article embodies the tho...</p> Postmodern Sympathy Joe DeBenny 2012-01-10T00:46:00-05:00 >2012-01-12T23:26:28-05:00 <p> Making the brazen assertion that representation is crime comes with some doubts. When I start to think I know something, I check myself. Fanatic allegiance to any idea is a stiff refusal to consider alternative interpretation and the first sign of a stagnant mind.</p> <p> A recent lecture by the Architect Will Bruder was the perfect opportunity to jar my mind from itself. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he is a rather influential architect here in the southwest-- especially around the Phoenix metropolitan area and somewhat in Tucson as well. I had the pleasure of taking part of a tour he personally guided through his firm in Phoenix so I couldn't possibly miss his lecture. He told myself and a few of the other students that in return we had to be prepared with good questions.</p> <p> I could remember specifically the manner in which he talked bore the mark of a brilliant man. His mouth had the burden of keeping up with his mind and we as the listeners had the even harder task of...</p> Representation and Crime Joe DeBenny 2011-11-09T01:43:01-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p> No, I'm not dead. Busy, but no different from any other architecture student I suppose. What has delayed me was a bit of a crisis of confidence in what I was doing. 'Disillusionment' is a bit of a strong word. Maybe 'questioning' is more accurate. Regardless, I have been somewhat of a lost architectural soul these last two weeks. But perhaps every believer occasionally has these periods. I've already begun by rambling-- let me take a step back and try to articulate what I hope is not as ineffable as it once felt.</p> <p> Averaging 4 hours of sleep with a deadline hot on your heels is fertile ground for angst. At 2 a.m. I sat staring at a model that frustrated me to no end. I had fiddled and compromised with the thing for 5 hours at this point and the urge to crush it under my heel grew with every curse I gave it.</p> <p> It gets to be so frustrating that I begin to question the whole value in even doing it. I can start to feel a self perpetuating loop of anxiety forming as I fight to justify ...</p> Introductions and setting ground rules Joe DeBenny 2011-10-22T16:31:04-04:00 >2012-02-20T16:27:35-05:00 <p> Introductions are inherently difficult. I've often been told that I need a hook-- that something that grabs the reader by the collar and sucks them in. I'd prefer not to be that aggressive with my first post so instead I'll just stick with an introduction as to who I am and why I'm doing this.</p> <p> <img alt="" src=""></p> <p> <em><strong>CALA, Tucson, Arizona</strong></em></p> <p> My name is Joe DeBenny and I am a second year student at the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA) in Tucson, Arizona. Architecture and design are my passions. I eat, sleep, and breathe Louis Kahn. I pray to Dieter Rams and look to Le Corbusier for guidance. The Salk Institute is my Mecca and Scarpa's Brion family tomb my Medina.</p> <p> Sure, I have other hobbies. I play the guitar, read, write, and even DJ and produce music those rare instances when time allows. But architecture dominates my life. I spend around 70-80 hours a week at the studio and catch myself referring to it as home every once in awhile. When I'm at that ot...</p>