Dec 3, 2006

Final Review

Our final review was structured over two days, with five groups presenting each day. This was probably the most interesting, best review I've ever participated in. The panel of jurors over the two days were made up of influential Argentine architects including Oscar Fuentes and Nicolas Bares, a visiting professor of History from Harvard, the lead archeologist from the Club Atletico site, our architecture theory critic, and of course CV and SF.

What was really facinating was the fact that almost all of the reviews became part of a deeper arguement and debate about contemporary diagram theory, upon which this project was built. The main questions centered on the translation of the diagram to the artefact, the purity of the process as far as how much the designer removed him or herself from the design, and even so far as call into question the architecture of the diagram. Most of this debate was implicit and directed towards the students and the project, but occatioanlly, it would flare out in the open and the reviewers would begin discussing and arguing amongst themselves.

As any architecture student knows, when reviewers fight, students win. Not only does one faction of reviewers come to the support the project and even bolster it with arguements the student's never considered, the real advantage is listening to a heartfelt intellectual debate. We weren't reviewing on the Bridge with a few junior CAD monkeys from some small valley firms. These are the big players discussing things that should have taken place in a national architecture roundtable. I really wish I'd taken a tape recorder.

The three most memorable quotes: One reviewer repeatedly calling a project "criminal" and comparing it to a concentration camp for kids. CV commented that he doesn't use diagrams, and SF comment that what we had never reached the level of true diagrams.

Anyway, we presented our project first and the reviewers were a little quiet at first getting warmed up. They liked where we were coming from, they liked our ideas, they liked our initial steps, and then they thought we'd derailed about halfway. The translation of our ideas to the final project was not as sucessful. In general, I agreed with them.
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Medium is the message

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