On the Ground

1/27: It’s that time of year again— the 86th Annual Spring Co-Ed Rudolph Open returns to YSoA. Teams have been formed and a new net has been purchased. Shuttlecocks are set to fly next week

1/28: ‘Architecture happens between that which I desire and that which I get,’ informed KERSTEN GEERS during Thursday night’s ‘Architecture without Context.’ What do his clients get? In one case, an extra 500,000 euros meant that they could ‘do architecture’. We’ve crunched the numbers — 500K (€) could also buy you 12 years at YSoA.

When asked by CYNTHIA DAVIDSON to distill architecture to one essential element — the column or the wall — Geers couldn’t seem to choose.  The choice was clear for ALAN PLATTUS: ‘Yes.’ Echoed DEAN ROBERT STERN, quoting YOGI BERRA: ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it.’

1/28: FRANK GEHRY’S advanced studio has been to NYC twice already, including a trip last Thursday to chat with the Juilliard School’s dean, ARA GUZELIMIAN. Later, students enjoyed a concert at Carnegie Hall featuring the Orchestre National de France. The next day, a group went to see the Yale Philharmonia perform at Woolsey Hall. Acoustically-minded students from the Gehry studio compared being in Woolsey after Carnegie to drinking Budweiser after a glass of fine whiskey.

1/29: Equality in Design held its first meeting of the semester. Initiatives this spring include more brown-bag lunches, a salary negotiation workshop, advocating for increased diversity on design juries, and new posters and logos.

1/29: EDWARD EIGEN, an architectural historian from the GSD, captivated members of SUNIL BALD’s seminar, XS, in his guest lecture on micro-history last Friday. Eigen proposed ‘researching researchers’ research,’ and touched on everything from the power of the ‘despised detail’ to the history of punctuation.

1/29: Congratulations are in order for CATHRYN GARCIA-MENOCAL (M.Arch ‘17), RASHIDBEK MUYDINOV (M.E.M. & M.Arch ‘18), and CECILIA HUI (M.Arch ‘17), who were all awarded summer travel scholarships. Cathryn will travel to Belgrade, Berlin and Cuba with the George Nelson Scholarship to investigate post-revolutionary buildings dedicated to the arts. With the David Schwarz Good Times Internship and Travel Fellowship, Rashid will travel to Uzbekistan to study the infrastructure, urban systems, and yurts of nomadic peoples, returning for an internship at David Schwarz Architects in DC. Cecilia snagged the Takenaka Internship in Osaka, Japan, and will study flexible spatial organization through the concept of Hashi by surveying sacred, residential, and public spaces in rural and urban Japan.

1/29: It was like seeing three thousand Kehinde Wiley paintings at once. A small group of architecture students wandered outside of the normal boundaries of Rudolph Hall to see The Yale School of Drama’s amazing production of ‘Women Beware Women’. YANA BIRYUKOVA’s projection design tore us from our seats and deposited us in the middle of a delicious tangled mashup of Medici Florence and Tarantino’s Los Angeles.

1/30: Saturday’s screening of ‘Sunset Boulevard’ drew a modest but enthusiastic audience of first and second years. The 1950’s camp classic follows its aging protagonist’s descent into irrelevance and lunacy, a familiar scenario in Hastings Hall.

2/1: CARTER WISEMAN’S course Writing on Architecture welcomed guest speaker Philip Kennicott, the Art and Architecture Critic for the Washington Post. Mr. Kennicott pointed out that woeful economic conditions have made it difficult for newspapers to maintain dedicated architecture critics with powerful, expressive voices like Ada Louise Huxtable.

2/1: At the Coastal Resilience and Urban Water Systems Symposium, LAUREN ELACHI, a landscape architect at SCAPE, expanded job descriptions: ‘The designer can reinvent the structure of societal response to risk.’ DANIEL PITTMAN of OMA dodged questions about the shortcomings of Rebuild By Design. While some students questioned the broader relevance of the symposium, others left feeling confident that they’ll be able to save Bridgeport.

2/1 ‘Maybeck was actually a cosmopolitan architect,’ observed DEAN STERN in his Parallels of the Modern seminar, ‘even though he had a beard like he was from Williamsburg.’ Continued the lifelong cosmopolitan: ‘That’s why I famously tell graduates to work in New York. It’s the only city left where an architect won’t get regionalized.’

2/1: On the day of the Iowa Caucus, KERSTEN GEERS’ advanced studio probed their prospective site in Clarinda, Iowa. Geers declared, ‘If I were born here, I would run for president. Someone needs to bring an alternative.’ His position on eating local in the Corn Belt? ‘We must not be naive hippies.’

2/1: (un)disciplined, a student-run speaker series that promotes cross-disciplinary dialogue, held its first meeting of the year. The group drafted an extensive list of potential speakers from a variety of departments and schools around the university. Topics on the table: anthropology, law, mathematics, and jewels. Keep a lookout for a survey!

2/2: A delegation of foresters from the Turkish government came to consult our very own ALAN ORGANSCHI about the most environmentally-sound use of their forest resources. Alan presented his ‘Timber City’ proposal for high-density wood construction as a carbon sequestration strategy, while Turkish officials admired a set of glu-lam samples.

2/2: Dr. Melissa Gilbert from Temple University’s Department of Geography will give the first talk of the Contemporary Architecture Discourse Colloquium. Dr. Gilbert’s talk is entitled ‘Place, Space and Power: Using feminist geographical theory to understand inequalities in Philadelphia.’ All are welcome from 12-2 p.m. in Room 322.

In last week’s On the Ground, we brought attention to a rumored meeting regarding harassment concerns at the School of Architecture. We’ve since found out that administrators at the schools of Law, Medicine, Drama, Divinity, Art, and Management have already called meetings about the results of the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, for which a breakdown of school-specific data was released in early December. No plans for such a meeting have been released at YSoA.