Monday, December 10, 2012

the eager young minds of [yesterday]

one of my best friends, who i met in college, is now a professor at the very college we attended. last week he invited me to critique his third year architecture class on their final project.  it has yet to be determined whether he invited me up for my novice experience in the field of architecture, or as an excuse for me to visit, either way it worked and i traveled up.  the weekend was a mix of feeling like i was in college again and feeling like an old man.

i have been out of college long enough now to see several changes in the students of today.  i did not however think i was out long enough to sound like a architectural dinosaur when talking about their drawings.  i'm not sure what it is, but students today rely too heavily on the computer.  digitally seven years seems like decades, and these students have access to amazing technology unimaginable when i was in school, yet their drawings were lackluster.  using new software, they have the ability to take section cuts anywhere and create amazing perspective shots, which they did, however there was no "art" behind it.  just lines on a page.  where was the poche?  where was the shading? where were the line weights?  where were those tricks and secrets architects know that can turn simple lines on a page into a beautiful communication of space?

well there i go again, sounding like a bitter old man.  the truth is, there were some very nice projects, i just wish they would have communicated their ideas better, but, truth be told, i could have probably done that better in school as well.

the biggest change however in the student attitude was found outside studio.  apparently, and to my disbelief, "bellies' is no longer the "architecture" bar.  actually, there is no "architecture" bar.  this makes absolutely no sense to me.  bellies was practically another class for my friends and i.  after spending 48 hours drawing and building models under loads of stress, there was no better way to cut loose then heading to bellies.  it wasn't just my class either, this had been a tradition for architecture students for years!

to remedy this problem we invited all the students out to rock-a-bellies, disappointingly only one showed up.  upon entering he said, "wow, this place is really cool".  to which my friend and i said, "we know".  that night, we showed him every place he and his classmates should be hanging out.  in a way i'd like to think we taught him a little bit about architecture as well as architecture life.  it's more than just lines on a page or knowing how to bs your way through a crit.  you have to get out a bit.  we design spaces for people to live in. places to work, learn, relax, meditate, play, and socialize in.  it's important to know how to do all those things well, outside of what any book may tell you.

i also received a bit of an education last weekend.  i learned aggieville now has a gourmet donut shop.  the delight i had eating my red velvet donut made me thankful it wasn't around seven years ago, or my freshman 15 would have been closer to an 30.

i also learned, we aren't kids anymore.  waking up the day after our architectural bar tour of aggieville, my friend offered me a bottle of water and a multi vitamin. unthinkable a decade ago, oddly enough though, it did help.

older, but wiser?


1 comment:

Nicole said...

Kids these days! Amazing post, Eric. And you shouldn't be surprised how great Varsity is - co-owned by the best bosses I've ever had (Acme, Dusty Bookshelf, and Thread owners)!