On The Ground


Volume 3, Issue 08
November 30, 2017



The 50th Anniversary MED Symposium, “Environment, Reconsidered,” offered a unique opportunity for current students to interact with alumni through interviews, panel discussions, and social dinners. For JONATHAN HOPKINS (MED ‘19), the series of events helped place the MED program, which at times can feel peripheral to the life at YSoA, in a larger context of academia, professional practice, and the overall field of architecture based on the various career paths of alumni.

At the Dean’s dinner after ALBENA YANEVA’s Thursday lecture, mushroom-picker KARSTEN HARRIES lamented a poor harvest? of wild mushrooms this summer—declaring this dearth of the super ingredient the surest sign that climate change has arrived in earnest.

Dozens of YSoA alumni descended on the School of Management for the Third Annual Yale Alumni Real Estate Conference, bringing together graduates from across Yale’s disciplines for a day of lectures and panels on current issues in real estate, according to attendants MICHAEL LOYA (M.Arch I and MBA ‘18) and MELINDA AGRON (M.Arch I and MBA ‘19). Business cards flew back and forth as designers and investors discussed projects past and future. The chatter was only occasionally interrupted by bites of mini-muffins.


BLAIR KAMIN (MED ‘84), Pulitzer-winning architecture critic at the Chicago Tribune, delivered the second keynote lecture of the “Environment, Reconsidered” symposium. In addition to reflecting on his career and YSoA education, he lectured on criticism as an agent of social and political change. Notably, he shared the campaign he waged against the TRUMP letters plastered along the Chicago River, leading to his branding as a “third rate architecture critic” by our Tweeter-in-chief. Go Blair!


At a post-reception Happy Hour event, OUTLINES made good on its promise of boxed wine and Franzia served in tumbler glasses.

The Architecture and Design Film Festival took place in New York, showcasing films about Maggie’s Centres in the UK, Australian Pritzker Prize winner Glenn Murcutt, and including Koolhaas’s self-promotional ‘documentary,’ and Columbus, with its many references to New Haven and DEAN BERKE. Meanwhile, second years were Rudolph-bound, thanks to the annual daylighting model extravaganza.

MARTIN MAN (M.Arch I, ‘19) attended the event “Re-Building the Built Environment: Grassroots Activism & Lessons” at Yale’s FES. Up for re-evaluation: food apartheid, not food deserts. Inequalities in access to nutritious and culturally relevant foods are created—they don’t just ‘happen’ like a desert just ‘happens.’ Plus, deserts are functioning ecosystems! What’s wrong with a desert?


The EISENMAN studio finally got to experience Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. After discussing the piece for months, the students, their plus-ones, plus ELISA ITURBE, rendezvoused at Lincoln Center for an afternoon reprieve from the concrete dungeon. The performance, after the customary “no texting please”/“silenzio per favore,” was not late. It started right on time.

EQUALITY IN DESIGN met with its co-founder ELISA ITURBE to discuss the group’s history and future. MICHELLE BADR (M.Arch I, ‘20) reflected on her first semester as a student in EID: particularly noting the ease of getting self-absorbed in architecture school, and forgetting there’s a world greater outside of Rudolph’s walls. How to combat this? How about teaching architecture to local eighth graders/tomorrow’s potential architects, developers and city planners?


The YALE ARCHITECTURE FORUM kicked off Wednesday with Aaron Levy of The Slought Foundation and YSoA’s NINA RAPPAPORT. The presentation, “The Worker’s Lunch Box,” presented an ethnographic view into the factories of present-day Philadelphia, seeking to give a voice to working-class Americans whose image has been co-opted and misused by many contemporary politicians. The next Forum event, “Process Architectures,” will be December 5th.

YSoA EAST, a new student group fostering discourse and knowledge of Eastern architecture, held its inaugural meeting. Its founders, DANIEL FETCHO, KEVIN HUANG, ZIYUE LIU, IVEN PEH, and PIERRE THATCH, will be sending further announcements on events and lectures. Email them to sign up for the mailing list.


PETER EISENMAN gave his BROWN BAG LUNCH lecture on Donato Bramante and James Stirling, relating them through a progression from columnar architecture, to wall architecture, and finally to poché architecture. As an aside, Eisenman noted Léon Krier’s role in Stirling’s oeuvre as being “The Great Corruptor”. Asked KYLE DUGDALE: “Were you ever tempted?”


THE GAME took place in New Haven this year and, for the second year in a row, Yale took home the big win. Despite the team’s improving performance, winning its first Ivy title in 37 years, the real rivalry of the game still needs some work. Both the Yale Precision Marching Band and the Harvard University Band put on a rather questionable, albeit entertaining, halftime show.


The custom cocktail following JENNY SABIN’s Monday night lecture? “She Blinded Me With Science”: a ginger beer concoction with lemon and “gelatinous gin.” Otherwise known as a Jello shot.


MABEL O. WILSON spoke at the school for EQUALITY IN DESIGN’S Brown Bag Lunch Series. Wilson spoke about her research on space, political and cultural memory in black America and emphasised that history has never been universal; its very foundation was built upon inconsistencies.

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Volume 3, Issue 08
November 30, 2017

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