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Way to Go, University of Idaho
by Katy Purviance on 08/09/09 @ 06:47:42 pm
Categories: News, Grad School | 273 words | 2593 views

I just got my alumni magazine from the University of Idaho.

When I was there, there was a lot of hopeful talk about getting a new architecture building.

(Honestly, I thought it would be quite a while before that happened. Besides, I liked the building we had. Brick, covered in ivy, with intuitive navigation and daylighting. But I digress.)

So what do I see in the alumni magazine?

The School of Architecture is indeed getting a new building.

And the students are going to help build it.

I don’t mean that they’re going to make 3D models of it in rhino, or do some stuff in AutoCAD. I mean they’re literally going to build it with their own hands.

And I am so so so jealous.

I can imagine the students on the job site, pouring the foundation, setting up the trusses, learning through experience what all the parts are, how they all fit together, what they do.

Unlike last semester’s Building Construction class I took here at the GSD where we copied line drawings out of books in order to fulfill the requirements of our assignments. I didn’t know what all those little black and white lines were, or what they meant. What they were for. Why they’re important. All I knew is that I only had a couple of hours to whip it out so that I could go back to trying to please my insatiable studio critic. In other words, I learned squat about building construction (except what I remember from my Materials & Methods class at the U of I.)

I miss you, Idaho. My heart is always there.

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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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