4.023, FALL 2019

Please note: I wrote this while concussed. Its tone is consequently a little bit sad.

I need to learn how to fail. How to drop, roll, and get back up again unhurt.

These last few weeks I have deeply enjoyed studio. I’ve enjoyed the pseudo-collaboration, the translation from one form of representation to another, and the union of different creative practices (drawing, writing, modelling). I’ve enjoyed working with my friends and seeing the radical diversity with which the same stimulus was interpreted. Most of all, however, I’ve enjoyed spinning an architecture out of a narrative, and watching the two develop side-by-side.


I think that my own projects turned out quite all right. As is mostly the case, rather than having a particular outcome I am proud of, I am satisfied with the narrative of the project’s creation and its evolution. I consider the outcomes themselves to be less of a capstone and more a stepping stones to the next time I do something like this: how can I take my experience making a physical collage and translate it into a digital medium? How could I encode more layers of information into a drawing without overwhelming it? Do I have a preferred style, and how can I push myself to go beyond it?


One of the primary things I need to work on is being able to let go of an idea. When conceiving of the section, it took me a couple of days to realise that I could divorce myself entirely from the radial plan of my own model and base my work off an abstracted version of Erica’s. This released me from any preconceived notion of constraint and allowed me to explore new forms of underground infrastructure. To be frank, it surprised me how strong the mental block hindering me from thinking beyond my initial concept was. Abstracting Erica’s model in section, so that our combined ideas would be easier to work with, was a really productive exercise for me, and is a learning I will try to apply more rigorously in the future.


I also need to be more inclusive of other people’s ideas. My personal view is that architecture distinguishes itself from art through the rules it sets itself. I like designing on top of an underlying logic or system, and choices based on aesthetic alone jar with me. There were times during this project where I was unsure how to work with the subject matter my collaborators provided me with because I felt that there was a lack of such a system. This is not to say that their work was flawed, on the contrary, it was beautiful and evocative. Rather, I personally was unable to be sufficiently open to other peoples’ interpretation of what architecture is and how it is designed. I hope that, over the course of this project, I was able to demonstrate some moderately successful attempt at self-improvement, by reaching out and trying to fundamentally understand what concepts underlay my collaborators’ work.


As for my own work, I was generally happy with it. A goal I have set myself is to find out how to communicate as many things to the audience as possible, elegantly, and without overwhelming the page. I am hopeful that I am slowly making my way towards achieving it, at least in a drawn medium (my models still need a lot of work!) After one of the interim crits, a guest critic told me to “keep drawing with care and depth of information”, and I aspire to do just that. Looking at references and precedents has been a huge inspiration, and I’m excited to see where the next set of projects will take us.