According to Google (i.e. the answer for everything), the phrase “everyone’s a critic” was quoined on the award winning show Frasier (one of my favorites) and it’s an awesome phrase because we are all critics. We all offer our own two cents (or buck fifty, if you’re me) on any number of subjects that we probably shouldn’t. This is no different in architecture and studio critiques.
Recently I was at the U of A (University of Arkansas – Go Razorbacks!) taking photos and verifying some field measurements at what is currently the Architecture building. When I was done, and this being my first time to the campus, I decided to be a Nosey Parker and peek inside to see what was what.
And, as luck would have it, there happened to be a midterm critique getting ready to start for a number of the studios (SCORE!). I quietly mozied around the peg boards for a bit, raising a queer eyebrow at some and giving the patented archi-nod to others as I waited for the first reviews to start. The projects, I could tell, were in the early stages of development. There seems to be a growing theme in archi-academia to focus on and create a building shell before fully investigating the building program. I find this incredibly annoying, but hey, it’s not my class, so whatever. :-\
I happened upon one set of projects just as the jurors were sitting down and decided to start here. The students were in Studio 6, which I assume is somewhere around 3rd or 4th year. As they began their presentations, first giving the broad strokes and trying to build up to something, I remember thinking back to my own studio years and commenting personally on how far I’ve come since those first awkward presentations to today. That confidence in our work that is key to any successful presentation really can only come from experience.
This sentiment was evident when I snuck over to the 5th year students who were giving their presentations at the middle of their final year. Presentation styles were much different. Much more relaxed, confident and composed.
All in all, I was impressed with the work (if a little annoyed at the over-use of the laser cutter for model making – CHEATERS!!). I really wanted to just pull up a chair and see if I could make someone cry, but I resisted. Maybe next time.
I shot a few photos of some of the works. Enjoy.