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Surviving the Design Studio: Symptoms and cures of pre-design crit anxiety.

It was RUOK day in my part of the world last week and this got me thinking. I also spoke to a friend who told me how much she dreaded crits in architecture school. Anxiety is one of the most debilitating things that can beset you prior to design jury or a crit. It’s hard […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: You will never be an architect unless you make physical models.

The realisation came about a week or so a go at the mid semester crits in our Colliding Spaces studio. One of the students was presenting and the guest critics and myself were holding up a white cardboard physical model and turning it around. It was massing model and there was a previous version with less […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: Bjarke Ingels is evil because he has hair.

It never ceases to surprise me that other architects, and indeed clients, would continue to promote the cults of identity  that beleaguer the architectural profession and our discourse. It has been exacerbated I think by the celebritization of social media. Maybe the phenomena surrounding identity cults make it easier to brand architects in a global […]

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Cowboys vs. Aliens: Planners vs. Architects, the NRZ’s and the apartment apocalypse.

In a recent blog here I opined on the antipathy between planners and architects. I was surprised to get quite a few anonymous responses from both architects and planners. The very best response I received, perhaps from a statutory planner, simply said: “I am a planner and I hate you.” Another respondent proposed that the […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: Why Architecture students should read books instead of sticking their heads up Snapchat.  

I took some old books to studio the other day. The students just looked at me like WTF. I also felt a bit ashamed because I felt like I was some kinda old-timey-Appalachian-mountain-fogey bringing out his old architectty books. With all of the current enthusiasms for craft beer, artisanal coffee, cardboard  furniture that  goes soggy […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: 5 ways architecture students can avoid a mental health meltdown.

As an architecture student I was a miserable wretch and I was treated as such by my design tutors. At my part-time architecture job I slept at nights under the dyeline machine in the back of the office I worked in. Every week when I presented my studio work at the crits it was torture. […]

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The Horror of Barangaroo: Lousy bastard architecture as industrial design.

Having time away from home often helps one to see things in a new light. The grind of normal routine falls away and more reflective demeanour takes its place. For the academic such reflection helps to fuel ideas and suggest further things that can be written about in venues such as this. Hence, I am […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: 7 things to do to hit the ground running.

The first few weeks of any project or new graduate studio are critical to the success and delivery time of the project. Too often I have seen both architects and students waste valuable time by not quickly setting up the research, design research and design production process. Whilst, I am all for mulling ideas around […]

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A New Fortress for Art: Herzog and de Meuron’s Switch House at the Tate Modern

The new Switch House extension at the Tate Modern museum attests to Herzog and de Meuron’s ability to propose a public architecture that need not be a mish mash of white walls and fully glazed open vistas. As the Observer art critic Laura Cumming noted the Switch House seems to go against the “dominant piety of […]