Page 17

FROM THE ARCHIVES The Architectural hardline: Concerns, Comments, Considerations from the Studio “.... there is an inevitable optimism that persists in education, it persists because students will not let it die. Today’s students are not naive. They know the challenges that lay ahead for them. They know how difficult it will be to change the world to the ideal world they know it could be. They are pragmatic. Yet, each one is a poet.”

Jon A. Maass Fourth-year student, University of Michigan A version of this article was published in Crit 27, Fall 1991

– Robert M. Beckley1 For the past two years I have lived the greater part of my life in a state of extension. I have not only extended my physical and mental capabilities but have also stretched the limits of my professors’ patience by continually asking them to tack on “just one more day” to their already cast-in-stone deadline. Although I do not claim to be the only architecture student to walk the deadline tightwire, my peers would agree that I have presented my fair share of wet-glue models to juries.

But longevity should not imply total satisfaction with the studio-jury system on the part of the students and faculty who employ it. Many feel that, since the studio instructor assigns grades, his or her style of design must be adopted by the students. This became very evident to me as I paid close attention to Peter Eisenman’s graduate studio at Ohio State University. It seemed peculiar to me that all of Eisenman’s students produced very similar designs, “Peter-patterns,” sidelining their individuality in As a senior I often find myself reflecting on where I have favor of Eisenman’s style of design. “I found that if you been and where I am going: How have I grown intellectually want an ‘A’ in the design studio, you have to play to the and how has my schooling guided me, helped me, or professor’s theory of design,” agreed architect David hindered me in pursuit of my goals? If I allowed my letter Kiraly, a graduate of Kent State University’s architecture grades to be the sole indicator of my performance, I would program. “By the end of the term you have a group of think myself well on my way to becoming an architect that professor clones with good report cards.” 3 could possibly make a difference in this world. However if I relied on some of the comments from juries to which I have Obviously the professor can play many roles within the presented my work to foretell my future, I think I would have studio. Peter Osler, instructor at the University of Michigan, feels a professor should not impose his or her views long since transferred schools. upon a student outside of the student’s original idea, I would be hard-pressed to find a student of architecture but rather work with the student’s original parti and allow who has not questioned the method or approach with learning to come from collaboration among the students. which he or she has been taught and evaluated as a Throughout the term he conducts in-class review sessions pupil. Architecture has been taught in the studio format in which students present to the studio as a whole. Most and judged by juries since the conception of the school of importantly, this allows for a multi-faceted dialogue between architecture. Every ‘pro’ of this system can be countered all members of the class that replaces the otherwise by a ‘con,’ which is the probable reason for its longevity. monologue-like lecture a professor may deliver about each Robert Beckley, Dean of the University of Michigan project. By formulating their own criticisms students must College of Architecture and Urban Planning, captures also defend these beliefs. They begin to establish their own this: “I defended [the studio format] on the basis that it set of values and mutual learning results. Osler terms this is part of the professional culture – it’s the way we work as a “synergizing energy that develops among the group within the profession. It’s not perfect, but it does support and stimulates the studio as a whole.” 4 two phenomena – it deals with problem-solving and form making, and it uses the one-on-one tutorial approach The Europeans have positively addressed this problem of professor overkill in their academic community by which has long been a model for liberal education.” 2

15

Crit: Journal of the AIAS Fall 2011  

Crit, a celebration of student work in the field of architecture (ISSN 0277 6863), is published by the American Institute of Architecture St...

Crit: Journal of the AIAS Fall 2011  

Crit, a celebration of student work in the field of architecture (ISSN 0277 6863), is published by the American Institute of Architecture St...

Advertisement