ON THE GROUND
April 14, 2016
Contributors: LUKE ANDERSON (M.Arch ’16), ELAINA BERKOWITZ (MArch ‘17), MICHELLE GONZALEZ (MArch ‘16), NICOLAS KEMPER (M.Arch ‘16), BENJI RUBENSTEIN (M.Arch ‘15), MAGGIE TSANG (M.Arch ‘16), EDWARD WANG (BA ‘16)
4/7: Students react strongly after the Open House lecture, titled “In honor of Zaha Hadid, A Conversation with Frank Gehry, Peter Eisenman and Deborah Berke moderated by Mark Foster Gage.” As the conversation quickly veers away from its intended subject, students become exasperated, leaving the overflow rooms in droves. One prospective student shared their opinion afterwards that the only person who could have done a worse job moderating that discussion would have been DONALD TRUMP. Read a more in-depth reaction in an article inside this week’s issue.
4/7: Across Chapel Street, the MFA program holds thesis reviews for the second half of its sculptors. On display are pieces that could have had origin in Rudolph Hall, but perhaps spiked with LSD — ALEX STEVENS’ (M.F.A.’16) suspended stud frame and refrigerator, TAMMY LOGAN’s (M.F.A.’16) wall cut with chair, table, and ceiling fan, or TIMOTHY SINT TILLO’s (M.F.A.’16) enclosures constructed with moving human bodies.
4/7: “Swag, swag, swag, on you,” sings Justin Bieber, and the members of YSoA’s student organizations as they handed out goodies to prospective students during lunch. This was the first time that student groups have been featured at Open House in recent memory. Equality in Design, Outlines, and Paprika! made their presence known with their wares displayed on a table in the 7th floor back pit. While the incoming students were lured by the attractive buttons/totes/flyers/free issues, they stayed for the conversation on student involvement and organizations.
4/8: Not yet ready to leave our adolescence, YSoA students attend our very own Prom, complete with live music and unlimited PBR. ISAAC SOUTHARD (M.Arch ‘16) went rogue with a camera, capturing all the fun in over 750 photographs that we poured over the next day.
4/9: All the dancing at Prom didn’t sap any energy from MIKE LOYA (M.Arch ‘15), who won the Badminton Singles Tournament the very next day. You don’t want to know what he’s doing with the $50 prize. Organized by himself and BENJI RUBENSTEIN (M.Arch ‘15), Mike is on his way to win the triple crown (fall doubles, royale, and still in for the spring doubles).
4/9: “God is in the details,” claims PIER VITTORIO AURELI at the beginning of a Saturday-long image workshop for his studio. He elaborated on the value of details, a convincing reason why people rarely show up in his own work (“People in images have the problem of becoming the main focus and provide a false sense of completeness”) and the role images play in representing a project. Want that signature Aureli look? Check out some of his favorite examples of good images: Flagellation of Christ by Peiro della Francesca, Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David, the work of photographer Lewis Baltz, photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, and painter Morris Louis.
4/11: PIER VITTORIO AURELI delivers a lecture entitled “Do You Remember Counterrevolution?” on the subject of Filippo Brunelleschi (M.Arch 1392), the first freelance architect, and his syntactic architecture for Florence. Brunelleschi’s solution for a disgruntled craft guild? Let them strike, find some cheap Lombard labor to continue construction, and re-hire each worker individually at the lower wage. According to Aureli, if Brunelleschi represents the birth of our profession, we now are living through its twilight. The key to our salvation is to reject formalist tricks and to treat an understanding of architectural history not as a shopping mall but rather, as a way to problematize the present. For what not to do, take a look at ROBERT VENTURI, cautions Aureli.
4/11: “The debate is much more interesting than the answer,” says ROBERT A.M. STERN (M.Arch ’65) at Monday’s Phd forum, a debate in its own right, hosted by SURRY SCHLABS (PhD) about the nature of pluralism at Yale – “It’s in the blood here, that you always go after thing that is opposite. If you do not, you die” said STERN, unlike Harvard, where “They have been telling people what to do, forever.” KYLE DUGDALE (Phd ’15) pushes back – does pluralism not reduce architects to so many brands, so many options at the supermarket, distinguished not by the merit of their work, but the size of their success? Noting whereas we used to choose between styles, now we choose between personalities, the Dean still took little issue with the metaphor, “you can walk up and down the aisles and choose what is good for you – someday someone will even choose a PVA, if they can find a big enough site and put curtains in the window.” PIER VITTORIO AURELI demurred, “I cannot tell my students what I teach is merely a matter of style.”
Pluralism does not however, in STERN’s view, equate with multi-disciplinarity – should a non architect ever be Dean? “Why would you want those people running an architecture school? Interdisciplinary is not the same as the loss of your own discipline – the center must hold.” With the last question, BIMAL MENDIS pushed back, “”You think we feed the profession, but don’t we also have an obligation to lead it?”
4/12: “THE WALL WAS A MASTERPIECE!” exclaims Anthony Vidler, quoting Koolhaas’ “Exodus, Or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture” during Theory II lecture in Hastings on Tuesday morning. “That’s the best Trump impression I can do,” he added. Koolhaas’ radical proposal for a divided London is shockingly relevant to the 2016 Election.
4/15: Join Equality in Design and Outlines for this week’s installment of the Brown Bag Lunch Series. A talk titled “The Political Use of Homophobia” will be given by Graeme Reid, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program for Human Rights Watch and Lecturer in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale College.
4/15: The J. Irwin Miller symposium “Learning/Doing/Thinking: Educating Architects in the 21st Century” will begin this Thursday and run until Saturday in Hastings Hall. The symposium, convened by Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, brings together scholars, educators, architects, and administrators to evaluate inherited models, discuss current trends, and speculate about future challenges of architectural education.
Paprika! welcomes DIMITRI BRAND and ETHAN FISCHER as the coordinating editors for 2016-17!