Lian (Harvard GSD M.Arch.I)

I graduated in 2013, but still blog here once in a while.

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    On Making and Learning Architecture: a conversation with Danielle Etzler (video)

    By Lian Chikako Chang
    Oct 7, '11 4:56 PM EST

    Hi Archinect!

    My first semester studio critic and assistant professor of architecture, Danielle Etzler, has been building buildings for fifteen years, teaching architecture for a few, and thinking throughout about connections between these.

    Over the summer, I sat down with her to talk about the role of architects in the contemporary project of building. The result is this video, On Making and Learning Architecture, and you can watch it here, along with the GSD's other videos.

    Thanks for watching!



    • rza

      I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation! 

      Oct 10, 11 12:27 am  · 
      Lian Chikako Chang

      Thanks, rza!

      Oct 10, 11 7:36 am  · 

      Thanks for the interview Lian.  Anyone interested in the contents of this chat should look at a book review Etzler wrote for the most recent issue of Harvard Design Magazine (number 34.)  The book is Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice by Eric J. Cesal.  Given this video interview it seems that the HDM book review was a rather convenient means for Danielle to state some of her own, very salient, opinions.  In the review she visits the topics of authorship, agency and anarchy.  She underscores that the built environment is largely the result of economic forces that lie largely outside the immediate reach of architects; that developers, institutions and governments are the purveyors of buildings and consequently architectural discourse is limited in its' opportunity to be seen (by those constituents) as essential.   The central thread of the book review, as I sense is the thread of the Lian's interview, is that of influence.  Whether wanting to be supreme beings in a capitalistic society (some kind of Don Draper persona) or wanting to address social inequalities in the near and far reaches of the earth, Architects want to exert influence.  We are not always good at this... getting in our own way all too often.

      Oct 10, 11 8:53 pm  · 
      Lian Chikako Chang

      Yes! I totally forgot to mention that Danielle's review of Down Detour Road was something that we were thinking about. Thank you, Jeffry. There's also Danielle's entry for the GSD075 exhibition--and maybe I'll see if I can post something about this, which takes another bite out of this apple. 

      Oct 11, 11 8:46 am  · 

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About this Blog

This blog was most active from 2009-2013. Writing about my experiences and life at Harvard GSD started out as a way for me to process my experiences as an M.Arch.I student, and evolved into a record of the intellectual and cultural life of the Cambridge architecture (and to a lesser extent, design/technology) community, through live-blogs. These days, I work as a data storyteller (and blogger at in San Francisco, and still post here once in a while.

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