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  • [Narrator] It captures people's imagination I think.

  • [Narrator] First and foremost architecture does affect people

  • in ways that maybe architects understand

  • only after a building is built.

  • People perceive architecture

  • by simply being an object or a vessel.

  • Within which people are housed.

  • And that's clearly not what our sense of

  • architecture is.

  • What the hell is an architect

  • What does an architect do, you know?

  • What is the difference between an architect

  • and a builder?

  • We concretize the world.

  • We take human activities and make

  • manifest the physical structures

  • that accommodate all manner of human activity.

  • The design studio is a place where individual action

  • and individual creativity is measured very directly

  • but the people around them.

  • The students are doing their job

  • with shifting the focus of how we're talking and thinking.

  • About architecture.

  • [Student] Before you come to architecture school

  • you sort of have this idea about objects and things like that.

  • And then once you get here it becomes all about space.

  • Now all that occupation, people sort of see architecture

  • like children, sort of sculpturely.

  • And there's a point at which you stop dealing with objects.

  • You know, sort of things to stare at and start dealing

  • with occupation.

  • [Student] I have a lot of friends

  • who find it hard to understand

  • my schedule here and how we function here and

  • being here on strange hours of the day.

  • And working environment. And what studio space is like.

  • [Student] And a way of working, too. [Student] Yeah.

  • [Student] That's really important. [Student] Yeah.

  • [Student] But also the idea of being

  • critiqued. I know what critique is.

  • [Student] A foreign concept to a business student.

  • [Student] Yeah.

  • [Tom] The design studio is a place where

  • students have to perform on their own. They have to

  • create something from their own imagination. They have to

  • create something in response to a set of problems that

  • are either given to them or they have to even invent the problem.

  • [Student] There's not a place where

  • you can get this kind of culture.

  • And we've been together for 5 years.

  • The whole group, right? So, we know everybody.

  • Everybody knows everything.

  • It's like a second home. It's like a second community

  • of people who are all struggling with the same questions.

  • [Student] Now when I worked at home, it was so much

  • lacking in the projects.

  • There's nobody to bounce things off of.

  • The inspiration is at a minimum when you're on your own.

  • [Shigeru] Architectural education

  • in the U.S. is one of the best

  • because of the studio system. All the students hanging around

  • with their own studio. Talking and learning from others.

  • That is the most important space

  • for the education of architecture.

  • [Student] It's like having it.

  • They were hitting on Robert Moses.

  • Because he's so insensitive and he tore down neighborhoods.

  • This, that, and the other. It's, you know what?

  • Get in the car, drive on the Westside Highway.

  • Take the Triborough into Manhattan.

  • [Student] Ok. [Student] And then you will understand

  • what he was trying to do. That visual perception in

  • the automobile. Spectacular!

  • [Student] No, no. [Student] It is spectacular

  • [Student} You're thinking about it now because

  • of the atom. Now, we sit in traffic and look at it.

  • But back then, the city had to make that transformation.

  • [Tom] The great thing about architecture schools

  • is it's still takes place...

  • in a kind of space where people discuss the work, together.

  • In both a personal way and a on-on-one way.

  • And in a very public way.

  • Ultimately there's a kind of arena.

  • There's a public arena where the work is discussed.

  • Where students can present themselves to personally to

  • other people. And show that they have a stake in the work,

  • and what they really think about the work and that's

  • extremely important, I think, to the

  • development of an architectural

  • project because that's ultimately how...

  • architecture at certain points has really developed

  • in the real world. And it's both an important lesson

  • But it's also a way in which

  • you know, through that kind of intensely personal

  • and human contact that... That the work gets better.

  • [Student] I do a lot of the culture of studio trappings

  • at the most random times. So, like the most random hours.

  • [laughing] [Student] I have to go through this.

  • [Student] Think the humor adds another level of energy.

  • [Student] So, you got moments where we're all joking around.

  • We're doing the work, and we're joking and we're vibing

  • [Student] and whatever. Some guys can be like

  • "Well, that's why you guys never get any work done"

  • [Student] "because you're always doing this shit."

  • [Student] [Beep] you!

  • [Student] Go do your project. Live in your little world

  • [Student] by yourself because the

  • human brings the interaction.

  • [Student] And then the interaction

  • brings the energy and the energy

  • [Student] creates an output between everybody.

  • [Student] that we can all feed off of.

  • [Student] Tomorrow morning. Don't forget, please?

  • [Students laughing and joking]

  • [Student] Now bounce.

  • [Student] Everyone's hanging out. Smoking cigarettes and

  • [Student] drinking a lot of

  • coffee and not really necessarily

  • [Student] at your desk drawing, or whatever.

  • [Student] Our teacher school is a really strange, specific

  • [Student] environment.

  • [Student] work into something. Like hours and hours on

  • [Student] you know, 1 drawing, whatever and make it productive.

  • [Student] You know, you could tell an architect that it's

  • [Student] due tomorrow and they'll put in the 12 hours

  • [Student] It might actually look the same, as if they spent

  • [Student] a whole week on it. You know?

  • [Student] I should have gone home earlier than I did.

  • [Student] because I just like, every 5 minutes I'd take a

  • [Student] bit of glue and put it somewhere.

  • [Student] Becoming un-stopped. And figuring out what

  • [Student] the hell it is that I just did.

  • [Student] And start clear thinking.

  • [Student] I have this terrible thing that happens to me.

  • [Student] What I call the Design High.

  • [Student] Where I can't fall asleep because I can't stop

  • [Student] thinking about my project.

  • [Student] But it's like, I get home...

  • [Student] the whole time I'm exhausted.

  • [Student] This ease I like, brush my teeth, wash my face.

  • [Student] I'm gonna do bad. I need to get back to Studio.

  • [Student] Your health is kind of put on hold

  • [Student] to make room for your ideas.

  • [Matthew] Architects are masochists in some ways.

  • [Matthew] You're in there 'till all hours of the night.,

  • [Matthew] You're cutting yourself

  • at 3 o'clock in the morning.

  • [Matthew] Rush you to the hospital and get stitches

  • [Matthew] Putting these models together

  • that you're tearing apart and then

  • [Matthew] putting them together again. And you're

  • [Matthew] going for this iterative process of evaluation

  • [Matthew] that is incredibly personal

  • [Matthew] but yet also very public. And you're constantly

  • [Matthew] putting yourself on display. Opening yourself

  • [Matthew] to attack and criticism. It's intense.

  • [Matthew] Why would you subject yourself to that and

  • [Matthew] put yourself in that position if you didn't love it.

  • [Student] [BEEP] Ahh!!! God [Beep]

  • [Instructor] That's the conceptual

  • mistake. The structured system

  • [Instructor] does not simply fit with each unit.

  • [Instructor] Usually the style of structure encompasses

  • [Instructor] 3 or 4 units. [talking at the same time]

  • [Student] I understand but I don't see what that has to

  • [Student] necessarily be the case. [Instructor] It doesn't.

  • [talking at the same time]

  • [Student] I understand that I don't have to but I think

  • [Student] it's important for the resolution.

  • [Instructor] It's wrong, that's why. [Student] Why is it wrong?

  • [Student] Tell us why it's wrong.

  • [Instructor] Economically.

  • [Student] Not the wrong way. [Instructor] Systems.

  • [Student] You can take his whole project in terms of

  • [Student] the economy of it.

  • [Instructor] But you do it? [Student] Basically there's

  • [Student] these walls, like this. In terms of his diagram.

  • [Instructor] Yeah, it's supposed to have the other third

  • [Instructor] with wall structure.

  • [Student] They're not completely

  • [Student] ruined, so that the area's in between...

  • [Instructor] It does not make anything.

  • [Student] It wasn't necessary to have that conversation.

  • [Student] The point was made. And then that's it.

  • [Student] I understood the point. They understood my...

  • [Student] I thought he understood my point.

  • [Student] I thought that should be the end of it

  • [Student] and there were more important things to talk

  • [Student] about and other people that had to talk to him.

  • [Student] You know? And still talking about it for 20 minutes

  • [Student] Well, one thing that I always have an issue with

  • [Student] is like, students get so frustrated if they don't

  • [Student] have a good critique. I think they misinterpret

  • [Student] what a good critique is. I mean, by definition

  • [Student] it's a critique. It's a criticism.

  • [Student] So, if you go into a critique and all the critics,

  • [Student] all they can do is blow

  • hot air up your ass and tell

  • [Student] you how great the project looks.

  • [Student] To me, that's not a good critique.

  • [Student] They didn't criticize anything.

  • [Student] To me a good criticism is if you can inspire

  • [Student] enough thought based on what they see

  • [Student] and what they hear. If it inspires enough thought

  • [Student] then they will criticize. Not criticize

  • [Student] in the sense of attacking. Criticize because

  • [Student] whatever you showed them inspired

  • [Student] enough thought that they had their own opinion

  • [Student] about the thing now. That's a criticism.

  • [Instructor] I'm not gonna argue with you because I have a

  • [Instructor] feeling it wouldn't be productive.

  • [Instructor] We can go on all night.

  • [Student] We could. I know that's

  • [Student] not the point. [talking at the same time]

  • [Instructor] We dare to find some resting spot, here.

  • [Student] Where we're not talking about the same thing.

  • [Instructor] Allow us to help you.

  • [Instructor] The other thing I think is sometimes negative

  • [Kenneth] is the idea that the student should be trained

  • [Kenneth] to do a sales pitch in this jury presence.

  • [Kenneth] I think that first the student should be silent.

  • [Kenneth] And the jurors should start asking questions about

  • [Kenneth] the drawings and try to understand the

  • [Kenneth] project in a more Socratic way, you know?

  • [Kenneth] Other than this sales pitch followed by criticism.

  • [Instructor] If you're a smart architecture student, you're

  • [Instructor] listening very closely because you're not only

  • [Instructor] interested in how that work is coming out of you

  • [Instructor] but also how other people are seeing it.

  • [Phil] The best architects, in my view, are the ones

  • [Phil] who bring a coherent view of the world

  • [Phil] to design. Those are the folks that become

  • [Phil] the best architects in the sense that they're the

  • [Phil] ones that progress the profession, innovate,

  • [Phil] create new ideas. The most important thing about

  • [Phil] being an architect is learning how to think clearly.

  • [Phil] You have to be able to think clearly to

  • [Phil] practice architecture.

  • [Thom] You can, kind of see the same people as singular.

  • [Thom] If your artistic, you're not practical. You're practical

  • [Thom] and not artistic that's

  • totally preposterous. Architecture

  • [Thom] is embedded in both worlds and if anything

  • [Thom] architecture is the connect-a-tissue between

  • [Thom] these two kind of spheres. And it would be

  • [Thom] impossible without one or the other.

  • [Phil] One, we'd be practical and never produce a piece of

  • [Phil] work of any interest. Yeah, you'd be producing

  • [Phil] work that has no meaning. And no connectivity.

  • [Joe] I think design require a certain kind of smartness.

  • [Joe] It holds those schizophrenic

  • views simultaneously.

  • [Joe] In one's thinking, even as a young person

  • [Joe] you know whether you