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First Week at Harvard: A Recap
by Katy Purviance on 09/21/08 @ 09:56:43 pm
Categories: Grad School | 215 words | 2169 views

A bunch of people have asked me, “What’s up with the blog? Why haven’t you written anything in like, a whole week?”

Harvard is what’s up.

Last week was Week One at the Graduate School of Design. It was, oh how shall I say this? AbsoIncrediLicious.

In studio, we’re struggling with the “intellectually implausable” task of placing an elevator in the 1884 Romanesque Old Fellows Hall in Cambridge with it’s double S-shaped four-storied stairwells. (It’s at 536 Massachusetts Avenue if you want to go get initiated with its awe-inspiring ways.)

Old Fellows Hall

In Buildings, Text, and Context, I wrote a paper on “Classicism, Universality, Modernism,” a review of two readings about the interconnectedness of language, literature, architecture, and man’s relationship to every other thing in the world.

In Visual Studies, we took the T into Boston to draw a plan of this circle of townhouses, using nothing more than our powers of observation:

Hill Place

In Materials + Construction, we had a workshop on paper manipulations, sans adhesives. Here’s what I did:

Paper Manipulation

(I feel like I have more classes than that but I can’t think of them right now!)

I think I’ve learned more this past week than I have during any given semester at my beloved University of Idaho, or any given year at my chummy Franklin Pierce College. Go fig.

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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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