Monday, December 31, 2007

for Marc and Dan

notes ?

did anyone take notes for me during my final presentation? If any of you recall, Marc explicitly told me not to take notes, and had asked someone from the class to take them for me. I would like my notes posted on blogger before the start of the new year so that I can have enough time before the start of the semi to continue my research.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


For those of you that received a failing (incomplete) grade:
Please check your email (the one you registered with the blog) for further instruction.
Marc and Dan


can someone post the notes of my final crit. thank you

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

notes from the final critique

site is already mazelike
maybe too dense?
Open space vs. dense space or open vs closed
the drama of the open space to the tight closed space fo the maze
ex. Brooklyn whole foods

question of site location?
NJ subdivision? acts like it landed from outerspace (Red Hook IKEA)
openess as seen in Aycock's project
a connection of the program to different elements (restaurants, bars, pastry shops, etc.)

codification of maze techniques

what is the blurred edge?
so far it is only graphic quality. what is the materiality? play with transparencies
Bejing Library wall example, filling in the wall changes the space
Glass Blocks
Japanese shades
light vs. dark

Patterns of Arrangement - Foucault
Borges - how things are grouped
Benjamin - department store and arcades

critique of the market, look more critically
diagram how the maze works, different techniques and how they work in the supermarket. diagram different layouts (ex. gondolas, aisles)

Path and Deadend
Pepe LaMoco (movie) of Morrocan bazaar (John Gabanza actor in it)

purpose of maze


grows from inside out

project goes in two directions
1. history
2. idea of maze / supermarket

maze looks at light, texture, and the time (it takes to walk through)

should do a hedge maze

site film

sorry for the late post. I will post my notes also, soon as i receive them.

what day is our final critique?

i was trying to figure out the schedule, but i need to know the ending. i think want to start with the smaller pieces of furniture/joint and work my way up. a maze is a complex and a complex is a group thats composed of smaller similar elements. ill post more on my thoughts, notes, and schedule later tonight.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

on seminar and own position after crit

i would like to take the time to write what i have to say about my own work and a kind of suggestion for next year's thesis seminar by the end so please read on.

as for the booklet, i have not received any comments from anyone though Dan B. did mention to me that i should include my thoughts on Plato's Allegory of the Cave in my precis.

i'm actually very worried to a certain degree now that i really think of it. not because of handing in a final booklet based on what i think is missing in the thesis, but quite honestly, i agree very much so with the critics from yesterday: what i say and what i've written in my booklet are all a given. as aspiring architects, it is simply the vision to become responsible in all of what i find a concern - even sustainable or green design. at this rate, i don't have a thesis - it isn't one to be maintained against any objection and it certainly doesn't bring in a new dimension of meaning. what i have done are all essays. at this point, i don't even see my work passing by the thesis assessment committee for approval.

having said that, i find myself caught in what i think personally, is a good situation for my learning and really narrowing down into a thesis for good research that can carry to what i think i can have a good project by the end of next semester with enough investment of time into my work, upon hearing someone really tell me at face-value, that this is all a given which is why i was quite upset at midterm knowing what i got out of it was something more like, that i have a good film.

sure i may have a statement in my midterm film. the power of light and darkness over our unconscious and the shadow to reveal our position in space to allow us to ponder about ourselves for self-awareness.
now i find myself really looking into what it means to live in the absence of light - even more specific, considering what it really is to be living in manhattan with all those skyscrapers and tall buildings and how they affect people's lives - looking into day light studies in nyc and zoning laws - urban issues.
this can come from ideas of looking at what it is about shadows that are perceived differently in many cultures around the world as an example that marc had mentioned - in reading Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows - considering i have lived in japan all my life before coming here for college, i understand exactly what he is talking about and it makes me think of the regulations that are set in the city of kyoto on heights of buildings in the small towns with old temples so that the emphasis of these older shelters and their richness are not to be lost in the shadows of the taller and newer buildings as an example.

i had chosen the mixing of programs to allow me the flexibility for exploration of shadow techniques and areas where i can learn to understand the positions of light and form in space or light as form by being sensitive to shadows. the mixing of programs is also my critique on our cultural values in our social living conditions where the elders are always left behind and shoved out of society even by our own families because there are others who will do the job to take care of them. but who am i to be saying what is right or wrong in this kind of context? like one of the critics mentioned, that i am targetting at our sympathy for these values, these are all decisions i should make in my design and not to be brought to attention as thesis. i had a gut feeling about this from the beginning of the semester. my ambitious drive for what i find will be a long long future into the practice of architecture for the long run is to constantly critique my own ability to find if space can be moral than to take the given that it is not, and obviously no matter how hard i work in this one year to explore shapes and materials and their qualities of the senses and how we live and inhabit in them to create what i find to be good values, it doesn't give me a thesis because in the end, all of this is subjective.

at this point i find that perhaps i should have brought some provocative ideas to both of you prior to taking thesis or at the beginning where i could have interjected what i wanted to do from exploring what would be considered a performative technique in one that i have a good understanding of and can perform. i had this very idea of taking the turntable device and through the new art of music and technique employed in music of deejaying by scratching the needle onto the record, i could explore the notations of scratching onto an already notated and designed layering of digitized and natural sounds as music. these drawings would be generative because for one, there are no notes of a musical scale to scratching meaning all is done to rhythm and what intuitively sounds good like poetry which is interesting because what is being produced then is constantly something new and can't be traced into notes but mere pitches, volumes, etc and secondly, i have been practicing this art of music since i was 13 years old and am pretty competent in it knowing i have been in competitions of this type of music. it is further more interesting, because i would be exploring the relationship between sound, music, space, and the turntable as an instrument much like (Matt finds the piano) and really using the instrument to be generative of my ideas. now having said this, i find it a missed opportunity on my part to have not brought this to attention.

but this is my one critique to the seminar and having thesis as a class guided with a performative technique coming out of our research and sketch problem. but i stuck to it, and made a film and even have gained a broader knowledge to an area i have never explored and most certainly, the film is a great technique but i find the area of researching into a film and the installation was way too dominate in playing the role as thesis when really, some students don't even find much interest in. i found what a lot of students including myself to be drawn to this seminar specifically was the idea of synaesthesia and looking at installations because it employs the real experience of being in space. this is probably why many of the projects lean towards memory than anything else because designing from inside out requires that kind of understanding and being aware to the memory rather than building great facades or things from the outside to inside by techniques that students especially in first and second year are much better at. i won't go into what my colleagues and i find on a critique of our education here at Pratt or any of that kind, but i am saying that there are reasons why we had chosen the two of you professors as our guides knowing we find the two of you to be very knowledgeable and both demanding and understanding. but mainly we had taken it thinking we would be building and making and the first part of watching film and installation and making a film as a kind of first exercise to be apple to employ the film as another way to show an intention as gaining another ability for performing. but this kind of undermines the creativeness and skills that students already have and have been practicing whether in college or prior to it. what i am saying is we should play to our strengths and apply the film as the technique to further demonstrate the strength of skills to become generative for a thesis. for example, i for one cannot draw well but with enough practice or investing time into it, i can definitely make something well. therefore, i liked the idea of the film because it leaned more towards cutting and editing much like i have always been doing with my own music in deejaying through scratching.

having said this, i find it to be an appropriate time to be bringing this up to the both of you since guiding a class is always experimental in the first place but perhaps my suggestion can be of use from a student's point of view. thus, i found some students who wanted to raise a voice during our class time through the semester about desk critiques and so on to be very important. there are always those that have had ideas prior to coming to thesis as a seminar and haven't said anything about their ideas. for one, i hadn't mentioned it because at some point during the beginning of the thesis, i began to think that what i was exploring into was something way too big of a scale which i was worried about, but then now that i am able to look back, i find that i really would have had more research than anything else which was the main critique that was coming out of every presentation - where is the STUFF? the one line during mike toste's critique said it best, “where is the bucket of water? and cracked pipes in frozen water. “

the class needs to be about material and having taken Prof.Bucsescu for summer design, i have to say i thought it was maybe this investigation into the joint with materials i did in his class that may be carried into a building of an installation but found that what we had done was make film. obviously it was further emphasized that we must make drawings constantly, but even that needs to be considered because seriously, how would we draw anything to experience if we don't even know where to bring about our sources from besides our memory and reading of experience. what i am saying is that, if we had just explored hands-on, we could really have put something back into the film where we can really intervene into the sites.

i will end here by saying that at this point, my vision of anything i have covered is something i will carry onto next semester so that in the end, i will have a film to show which will be about an experience. but in terms of the research, i just had to tell you from a first experience of being in this seminar as i find it appropriate now on what i hope the seminar can address next year. the synaesthesia is great. but it is only a statement. And lastly, I write on this blog the very thing students find it difficult or sometimes timid to express their ideas.

At any rate, I’m quite sure we will start next semester with a big bang and high rate of production.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Really good description of synaesthesia

Dan and Marc, I just found this video last night: It is a TED lecture by Vilayanur Ramachandran that was recently posted on their website, and I thought that what he was talking about was exactly related to our studio. Vilayanur is the author of "Phantoms in the Brain," which I have been reading at the recommendation of Dan Silver. The last section of the lecture is about synaesthesia, and how it relates to metaphor and creativity. If you get a chance to watch it before tomorrow morning (I know this is short notice), I thought maybe it could be played as a forward to the class. It is short and succinct and very interesting. Here is the link:

In any event, I'll see you guys tomorrow.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Dec 9, 2007

Dear All:

This is in response to the question about PP in your final review. We have a little more time than we had at midterm review because the review will take the whole day. That does not mean that we have too much time. Each of you should figure that you have about +/- 15 minutes (rehearse your verbal presentation). Half of it should be dedicated to the new work since the midterm. That is your Program and Site as well as any “original drawings and /or analytical diagrams” related to your project done the entire semester. These should be on the wall in the room.

The new work done since the midterm should be 50% of your presentation. That means that the bulk of the discussion should be about your definition of the degree project which you will be doing next semester. Your presentation should trigger such a discussion and be helpful to your ability to focus and define your goals for the degree project. This is the point of Marc’s dissertation entry to the blog.

On the other hand the other 50% of your presentation should give the sources of your particular ideas about architectural experience (synaestesia) and strategies (preformative techniques= method) of architectural design as informed by the whole semester research into art installations and film preformative techniques.

So, the (1)PP presentation(the early precedent research)the first (2) 2 min film you did and your (3) 2 min site film) sould take about 6 o 8 minutes. The other 8 minutes should be dedicated to presenting your project, program and site and end with questions you might have.

Allow me to say the same thing again, repeating the dissertation definition in other words: each degree project student must organize their work in such a way that it combines (1)the general theoretical frame of the studio (you know it), as delivered through the particular readings and lectures given by the studio faculty, (2) with your own research and (art installation and film techniques) and your (3) selection of a program and site.
It is your task to weave these three lines of thought into an architectural design that represents these theoretical and methodological strategies.


dissertation: a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

for kwang mi, but others should have a look too

quote from...

"In his Notebooks of'Malte Laurids Brigge', Rainer Maria Rilke gives a powerful description of the marks of intimacy, the lives in a house that had already been demolished but which could still he seen in traces left on the wall of its neighbouring building. These traces of life enabled Brigge to recreate his own past. Rilke describes with staggering force how life penetrates dead matter; the history of life can he traced in the minutest fragment of the dwelling.
"But the walls themselves were the most unforgettable. The stubborn life of these rooms had not allowed itself to be trampled out. It was still there; it clung to the nails that had been left in the walls; it found a resting-place on the remaining handbreadth of flooring; it squatted beneath the corner beams where a little bit of space remained. One could see it in the colours which it had slowly changed, year by year: blue into a mouldy green, green into grey, and yellow into a stale, drab, weary white. But it was also in the places that had kept fresher, behind the mirrors, the pictures, and the wardrobes; for it bad outlined their contours over and over again, and had been with cobwebs and dust even in these hidden retreats that now lay uncovered. It was in every bare, flayed streak of surface, it was in the blisters the dampness had raised at the edges of the wallpapers; it floated in the torn-off shreds, and sweated out of the long-standing spots of filth. And from these walls once blue, and green and yellow, framed by the tracks of the disturbed partitions, the breath of these lives came forth - the clammy, stuggish, fusty breath, which no wind had yet scattered. There were the midday meals and the sicknesses and the exhalations and the smoke of years, and the stale breath of mouths, and the oily odour of perspiring feet. There were the pungent tang of urine and the stench of burning soot and the grey reek on potatoes, and the heavy, sickly fumes of rancid grease. The sweetish, lingering smell of neglected infants was there, and the smell of frightened children who go to school, and the stuffiness of the beds of nubile youths. 13"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

final presenation

for the final, are we pinning up the 18x18 sheets or are we doing powerpoint?

What was the name of the library that you spoke of last class? The Breuter Library?

Saturday, December 01, 2007