Question for former/current GSAPP students (facilities, space)


I attended the GSAPP open house earlier this week.  I am applying to their M.Arch 1 program this year.  Everything went well, but I wanted to get some more feedback from students and/or alum, since I know that students speaking on behalf of a school at an event like this sort of have a duty to "sell" the school to the audience.

This may sound petty, but one of the first things that struck me was how cramped and dismal the workspace was, and the arch buildings in general.  There didn't seem to be a lot of natural lighting, and it seemed like people were tripping over each other in the hallways.  Granted, it probably seemed a lot more cramped with a hundred visitors just idling around, but even during the question answer session, the student representatives kept referring to how dismal and cluttered the work space was.  It just felt like a dungeon, and as someone who is hypersensitive to lighting and space, I have to seriously consider whether I'd be able to flourish in a place with little natural light or space (seriously, I was probably a plant in my previous life!).

NYC in general is gasping for air because there's so many of us, but by contrast, Parsons studio spaces were wide open and flooded with natural light, and had more space per student (so it seemed).  

So my question to GSAPP students- is it an issue to you, or is it not as cramped as it may have seemed during the open house?

Nov 10, 12 6:18 pm

It's cramped. and it stays cramped. If the facilities are that important for you I would look elsewhere.

Dec 10, 12 8:51 pm

Thanks.  Yeah, for some odd reason I get pretty bad anxiety in dark or cluttered spaces.  I'm still applying, and I'll see if I can go back to see the school in its normal state to make a fair assessment.  As much as I love everything about the school, it kinda is a big deal to me.


But what am I talking about, putting the cart before the horse here... :p

Dec 11, 12 12:46 am

^ get a doctor's note about the anxiety or so... perhaps the school could try and accommodate for your disability by providing an extra large and well lit space :)

Dec 11, 12 5:03 am
Kamu Kakizaki

well you know new york closet bedrooms right? consider you're studio space one of those, without much privacy. i remember chairs were butt to butt and studio mates would have to move every time you wanted to pass.  but then you're also in one of the most exciting cities in the world. 

Dec 11, 12 12:59 pm

I completely understand the aversion to dark, cramped work space.  But I don't quite get your question, given that you've actually been to the school and seen the space yourself.

Surely you don't think that the school steered visitors away from some secret airy, spacious, daylit studio space on precisely the day it is doing its darnedest to attract high-quality applicants.

Trust your own eyeballs.  Asking for others to talk you out of what you know to be true (just because you wish it were different) is looking for trouble.  Because you'll always find someone who will.

Dec 11, 12 7:09 pm

Typical Archinect response.

A: I need more opinions on this matter, what do you think about this? / Can you tell me more about this? / How do I do this?

B: Be smart like me, figure it out on your own.

This is a damn discussion forum. Stop stifling discussions. If you can't respond to the poster's question or discussion without sounding like a know-it-all, don't respond at all.

Off topic meta-rant over.

Dec 11, 12 10:07 pm

damn... I guess I was a spoilt kid during undergrad... Our studio was huge.  I always occupied two large drafting tables, one for working and other to hold my models etc.  I could've easily occupied more desks if I chose to move away from the crowd and into the periphery of studio desks. :/

Dec 11, 12 10:27 pm

Well to be honest the space is small as in each student gets one desk for everything, but it's not really dark or gloomy. It's cluttered, chaotic, and busy, but for me I feed off that atmosphere. If you need a clean, organized space, you will NOT like what you find at Columbia.

Dec 11, 12 10:37 pm

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