Beauty Walks a Razor’s Edge

24 January 2007

First Post

Filed under: Uncategorized — evansaskin @ 4:01 am

_

_So this is how it begins.

I’m committing to keeping a blog for the next twelve months.

In twelve months I will (if all goes to plan) complete my thesis and graduate with a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto.

As a prelude to thesis, the entire class takes a course in preparation for thesis.  I’m not one for wanton cynicism and unrestrained bitterness so I hesitate to begin on such a note, but it bears mentioning that thesis-prep is beyond a shadow of doubt the most useless course in my degree.  It panders to the most clueless and inarticulate of students by spoonfeeding them methodologies for self-directed research.  The whole question of whether or not self-directed research (id est THE THESIS) even ought to be a part of an architectural education is called into question.  Why should these people (and I reserve the right to count myself amongst them at some later date) be subjected to a year long fiction of running their own project.  The argument goes that many would learn more from taking another professor-directed studio rather than directing their own.  At the end of the day though, this strikes me as fundamentally misguided.  If the overwhelming majority of thesis projects are normative, uninspired and underdeveloped then this is an indictment of the faculty and pedagogy more than the student body.  There’s something much more necessary – intuitively – about taking on a thesis though and (worryingly) I can’t articulate that just yet.  Suffice to say, I’ll need to dig into this topic again in the coming weeks.

(and lest I paint too bleak a picture, there are a few transcendant, inspirational and simply impressive projects every year)

(and lest I seem overly harsh, there were a number of abysmally thoughtless, ugly, ill-conceived and simply embarassing projects presented this year as is the case every year)
Part and parcel with this pre-thesis pap is the requirement to present a project of mine to the class.  I’m off to settle out a few images to represent my love for data curation, modular assemblies, things that move and fit together, and the relentless questioning of domesticity.  Where’s home in the post-hearth era? Is there architecture without diagrams anymore?

[listening to the looping acoustic guitars and baritone humming of David Thomas Broughton on the ever-reliable dublab podcast.  I curse the ‘x meets y’ school of music journalism for it’s facile oversimplifications, but this does sound something like Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks filtered through Robert Fripp’s collaborations with Brian Eno.]

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