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Why I went into architecture
by Katy Purviance on 04/21/08 @ 11:52:13 pm
Categories: Observations, Articles | 499 words | 2531 views

Not having my computer makes me realize something.

I wonder what’s happened to me.

I’ve only had my computer for four years. Which isn’t very long. But add one apartment-breaking-into big creepy crack addict who relieves me of said computer so that he can sell it for drug money into the picture and…I don’t know. I feel a little lost.

Yes I’m on the computer all day at my job (which I was told I was not allowed to blog about, so I guess it’s a big mysterious secret), but it’s not the same. It doesn’t have my conversation-starting polsa kielbasa wallpaper or my collection of meta fiction I wrote one spring break when I accidentally drank fermented carrot juice. Sigh.

My friend Ernest from Cameroon has lent me a laptop until I can get another one. He didn’t even make me speak French first – isn’t that nice of him? It’s got this “Vista” nonsense installed on it, which has served the sole purpose of helping me to decide to get a Mac when I go buy my own.

I miss my computer. But I’m tired of complaining about the robbery , and about LAPD’s institutional apathy. So let’s move on.

WAIT! Before we move on, I have to tell you about one itsy bitsy problem with this otherwise problem-free blog experience.

I just discovered that Internet Explorer does not display the Field Trips!

It won’t show anything at all. (You might have already figured out that the free Spanish Lessons to your right display as a big jumbled mess in IE).

So I added some advice. Just download Firefox. There’s a link to your right, just above the Field Trip Box. It’s pretty much the best PC browser ever in the history of everness.

OKAY! Now I can tell you about this article I just read in the Guardian called “So you want to work in… architecture” by Liz Ford.

Liz interviewed an employer, a university, and an architect to find out what it takes. I think we all know what it takes. But if you’re new to this stuff, I’ll spell it out for you: welcome to the most incredible, life-changing addiction of your life. And maybe buy some coffee.

You’re using your brain - the left and right side. You’re having to be very rational and methodical, but also very creative. I think it’s one of the best educations you can have.

That, in a nutshell, is why I went into architecture. My undergraduate degree in microbiology was like candy for my left brain lobe, but it made my soul feel like it was dying a little bit. Trying out an art and creative writing combo did wonders for my right brain lobe, but I couldn’t help feeling a little irrelevant to the true problems of humanity.

In architecture, I found the complexity and the creative license to feel fully complete, fully alive, and fully addicted do this crazy, wonderful stuff.

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places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

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