Harvard University - GSD (Quilian)



Sep '06 - Dec '09

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    Quilian Riano
    Sep 11, '07 5:23 PM EST

    I have come to the point in my GSD experience that I will be afforded some freedom, in the form of options, both in classes and studio. As a bonus the studios I get to chose from often require sponsored travel, and we are all happy to get to see the world outside Jamaica Plain and Allston.

    Tomorrow at 8:30 I have to come to listen to the professors sell (or dissuade you from taking) their studio. This year the locations range from Costa Rica, India, Japan, Turkey, and Spain to Pittsburgh.

    So far I am most interested in the following (in order):

    #1- 1402: Mumbai Margins: Rethinking the Island City
    Department of Landscape Architecture
    Instructors: Niall Kirkwood and Nazneen Cooper
    Why: It includes environmental and social re-thinking of the edges of Mumbai.

    #2- 1504: The Architecture of Geography: Istanbul, Mixed-Use Development, and the Panoramic Condition
    Department of Urban Planning and Design
    Instructor: A. Hashim Sarkis
    Why: Rethinking of a piece of a growing Istanbul.

    #3- 1501: A Lo Que Vinimos: Revitalization of Central San Jose, Costa Rica
    Department of Urban Planning and Design
    Instructors: Mark Mulligan and Peter G. Rowe
    Why: I am very interested in the question on how Latin American cities can grow and be prosperous without completely following the commercially driven models of the north (no strip malls and suburbs please).

    #4- 1308: El Rejoneo Bull Fighting On Horseback
    Department of Architecture
    Instructor: Francisco Mangado
    Why: How can we judge local practices in a world of growing homogeneity and globalization?

    #5- 1305: Kanchogai Street
    Department of Architecture
    Instructors: Ryue Nishizawa, Florian Idenburg
    Why: Thinking of new ways to create more sustainable cities with new social living modes as municipalities merger due to population decline in Japan.

    There are other excellent choices it is almost a shame you can't just take them all. There is one studio focused on sustainable material studies, one on the reforestation of cities, one on a digital rethinking of skyscrapers, and many other interesting options.

    As you can see, I really want to use these two semesters to explore the fields outside of architecture. This stems from a belief that the object can do only do so much and that in order to have an impact on some of the issues we are facing today (environmentally and socially) we need to think at much larger scales. I am looking forward to exploring these other disciplines, and I will blog whenever I find out where I end up.


    • amazing options to choose from. totally envious.

      let me know if you make it to japan (though iagree with you, it is not the most exciting place to visit compared to the other options)

      Sep 11, 07 7:06 pm  · 
      liberty bell

      #4 sounds great to me. The topic of local vs. global, that is, not the specific practice of, um, bullfighting. That actually creeps me out quite a bit.

      Sep 11, 07 9:11 pm  · 
      MArch n' unemployed

      while japan may seem old hat, compared to the other studios locales, i vote for #5. learning about city re-building from the japanese [nishizawa] seems awfully exciting. that culture is socially rich, throw in florian, whom i saw lecture a few months ago [excellent] and it sounds like a nice mix. and it seems to be about what you're interested in.

      then again you could flip a coin and be challenged.

      Sep 12, 07 12:27 am  · 

      The GSD lottery system ensures that there will be some coin-flipping chance inserted into the process. Good luck Q, and let me know what you end up taking for Option Studio. They all sound great.

      Sep 12, 07 9:14 am  · 

      cool q, pretty cool options. i specially like #3, because i'm teaching a studio on a very similar topic.

      good luck, hope you get your top choice.

      Sep 12, 07 12:32 pm  · 

      Thanks everyone,

      After much listening and a lot of liberation I changed my list to:

      Choice 1: 1402 - - Mumbai Margins: Rethinking the Island City - (Nazneen Cooper, Niall Kirkwood)

      Choice 2: 1501 - - A Lo Que Vinimos: Revitalizatio... - (Mark Mulligan, Peter G. Rowe) Costa Rica

      Choice 3: 1401 - - Contested Waters: The Tajo Rive... - (Carl Steinitz, Christian Werthmann) Madrid, Spain
      In the context of existing water scarcity in Spain and the prospect that with global warming it will only get worse, this is a project to turn what is basically a sewer now into a living river and an asset for the region.

      Choice 4: 1504 - - The Architecture of Geography: Istanbul, Mixed-Use Development, and the Panoramic Condition - (A. Hashim Sarkis)

      Choice 5: 1308 - - El Rejoneo Bull Fighting On - (Francisco Mangado)

      Choice 6: 1309 & 1505 - - Tokyo's Book City - (Andrea Leers)
      instead of Nishizawa's. His class just would have been better as an urban design project. Leers' should be strong for architecture and urban issues with hints of preservation (social and physical).

      I will find out later.

      LB, I grew up with bullfighting but I am also all for animal rights, so this is an interesting project for me. Very loaded and has the potential to be good. Plus I have done a similar project before and I enjoyed it a lot.

      Sep 12, 07 2:51 pm  · 
      vado retro

      i dont like bull fighting but i love talk to her.

      Sep 12, 07 5:10 pm  · 

      Amazing subjects. I would want to take them all! As it stands I have entirely too much on my plate though, so I am going to pretend like I never read those descriptions or else I will get distracted.....

      Sep 12, 07 6:03 pm  · 

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