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DAY 003 Everything at Our Fingertips

Our architecture studio class is designing a middle school and at the beginning of the semester we brainstormed about ways in which to finish this sentence: “A school is/has…” Each student read thirty responses on camera and those nine voices now live together in a virtual drive, even as we have dispersed to Canada, New…

DAY 002 On Tidiness and Messiness

I started cleaning my hard drive the way I tidy up when guests are coming for dinner. I’m planning to share my computer screen during video conferencing meetings and I’m pretty certain than in a three or three and a half hour class I will at some point feel compelled to go digging through my…

DAY 001 5 and 10 Easy Lessons

I’m taking a page from Pietro Franceschini who started a visual diary of his Italian COVID-19 shutdown and starting my own teaching online diary. This is day one of making the impossible happen. A studio and a seminar, 9 + 1 and 10 + 2 people respectively that were reliant on my physical presence to…

About Thom’s Question for Dominic

The question was why do you do a proper architecture section and then go back to more conceptual exercises and the answer has to do a little bit with the history of architecture and a lot with how I cook octopus. There are times in the history of architecture when we are very concerned with…

School as a Magic Box

I’ve been feeling sad and angry and afraid and finally I wrote this for my first year architecture students who are designing a school for a fictional site in Manhattan. This is the studio course in which they learn about the integration of program and form—they are dealing with a complex program for the first…

Soderbergh’s Unsane

Part I: An office job It just so happened that I was reading about beauty pageants on the way to the movie theater, so I was already primed to think about what I might call “the expectation of charm.” It’s the sort of expectation that compels people to tell young women to smile. I always…

Vito Acconci 1940-2017

I was honored to be part of his memorial yesterday at Pratt School of Architecture, in collaboration with Acconci Studio. I first encountered Vito’s work as a student in architecture school. There was a postcard in my mailbox announcing his upcoming lecture with a photograph of his “Adjustable Wall Bra.” I thought, a wall needs…

What’s With the Egg Crate Roof

Fly over New Haven, CT and on Chapel Street you will find a roof like no other. There are the pitched roofs of the nineteenth century and the flat asphalt roofs of the twentieth, and then there’s the roof of the Yale Center for British Art that looks like the bottom of an egg crate.…