Beer, Pizza & a New Perspective: Observations from Arch 300
There is nothing more daunting than the task of creating architecture. To create we must first be able to define, and defining architecture is a task in and of itself. Is it merely the images we see on the pages of Dwell and Architectural record, or a simple and practical solution to a problem? Is it the capturing of light and sound, the framing of a view, or is it spacing your windows based on the stride of a horse? Should the form grow simply from the plan responding to the needs of the program and surrounding environment, or should it mimic the pattern of a particle in an accelerator. In reality, it’s all of these things…when executed thoughtfully, and none of these things…when executed poorly.
Architecture has the potential to be discovered in all of our ideas, and lost just as quickly when we try to do too much or too little. You can see this on our faces as we struggle to wrestle our ideas into something manageable in a world that requires simplicity in complexity. This experience of discovery and loss leads to a rollercoaster ride of emotions in which life’s ups and downs seem to be acting at a highly accelerated rate. The truth is, the professors are aware of this, and only ask that we go through this process of discovery thoughtfully; thinking about every move we make ensuring it has purpose and validity. Yet, it’s hard not to look at them as if they have the formula to architecture, laughing at us as we flounder in our frothy mixture of failed attempts.
Our reality is that we are looking for concrete answers in a world of subjectivity, which is why we can get two conflicting views from our instructors that are somehow both right. Coming to terms with the paradoxical nature of our critiques may be the first hurdle we all have to navigate in school.
So what’s the point? I think it’s that WE are all in this TOGETHER. Architecture is successful when it responds to an entire community, and it takes a community to create successful architecture. It took a bit, but you can feel the veil beginning to lift. We are warming up to each other and engaging each other, learning about each other by overhearing conversations with parents and significant others, and realizing we are getting comfortable enough to have those conversations openly. Not to mention at 2 am, sleep deprived, it’s pretty hard to be anything other than who you really are.
So as the four of us sat there sharing a pizza and beer, openly offering and receiving advice on our current projects, I think we all got our first glimpse through the fog…there is no way we can do this alone, but luckily we don’t have to…Oh yeah, and don’t forget to use the word dynamic!
Written by Jason Duckowitz, BA in Architectural Studies Candidate 2013.