Friday, July 24, 2009

I.M. Pei's JFK Library ... and then some

An unexpected sight in Boston for me was I.M. Pei's JFK Library. I had no idea that it even existed. What I found was a gracious building that unfolded like poetry, leaving you wandering around, continuing like line breaks spilling from one to the next. A very graceful homage to the late JFK (tacky museum aside). Enjoy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On Being Impromptu

Last weekend I was set, I had made plans for Saturday and Sunday, here I was ready for an action-packed weekend. Then Saturday rolled around and I had trouble rolling out of bed and before I knew it the plans I had for the day were all canceled. Saturday lunch became Sunday lunch and beach plans hopped from Saturday to Sunday to Monday. Sunday I was 30 minutes late for yoga and missed the class.

But with cancellation of plans came new opportunities. Friends whom I didn't know were in town, out of the blue, popped out of the woodworks and within instants, plans formed.

At one moment or another I think most of us have wished that we could lead lives impromptu, ready for the moment, ready for that lunch rendezvous on the fly. But the thing really is to be so loose and ready, you kinda have to not have plans, a juggling dance, ready to adapt morph reschedule, replan and maintain balance.

I guess this all goes to say that you've got to remain open to new opportunities popping up and old plans falling apart... going forward with grace. Just as God laughs when man plans, you should start laughing too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beacon Hill and then some

More photos of Boston wanderings... below is Beacon Hill and some others... I'd write something but I'm tired. Ask questions, you'll get answers. :P

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Spreading the Words of Stefan

Just a quick post to say that I've begun writing for The Art Blog. I am just starting up and have completed a review of the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. (Fairey is the dude who did the Obama Poster... and so much more -- see below)

Check out my review here: Shepard Fairey's Iconoclasm at the ICA Boston

Monday, July 13, 2009

Come Look With Me

How often do you look at buildings? I mean REALLY look at buildings. Last Thursday I exited the subway into Copley Square and started my independent architectural tour of Boston. By the end of the afternoon I was amazed at how little I had actually engaged with buildings, looked at their materials, their details, looking at the built landscape. You don't often look at a building since you are often sidled up right next to it on the sidewalk. To really look, you have to cross the street and look back... it is a whole other way of seeing.

Now that I have much more free time since quitting the architecture program at the GSD, I decided to buy an AIA (American Institute of Architects) guide to Boston and pick out a smattering of buildings to go observe. With architecture, so much cannot be observed: floorplans, cross-sections, preparatory sketches, uninterrupted facades and the interior spaces. The architecture observed to the common man, is the facade and it leaves much of the complexities and beauties of architecture undiscovered.

So below are a few images from Back Bay, and in the days to follow there will be more images from other parts of Boston...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Week 3: The End

This week I reached my breaking point. After two and a half weeks of enduring the rigours of the Harvard Design School, working up to 17 hour days, and working on weekends. Whenever I walked towards or into the GSD I would feel heavy, anxious and on-edge. In the past three weeks I have broken down in tears three times. Obviously I was having quite an intense visceral reaction to the design process.

I very much appreciate and embrace that process, but I think the pace was just too quick for me. I am a slow, reflective person, I need time to reflect, to process and reapply concepts, I can't be thrown one task after another. Others can, but it just isn't me. Others a really passionate about the process and can sleep 4 hours a night. I've grown to value my downtime and value the fact that a human cannot be on most of the hours in a day.

I can carry an idea through from abstract inception and exploration through to final model making (or at least I am cognizant of the fact that it should be carried through). I appreciate that idea of integrity. I enjoy the process of extracting the idea from a nebulous initial exploratory sketch.

But I had a very strong resistance to the continuous deadlines, the always growing list of new projects... I believe in accomplishing tasks well, but here you have to decide what stays and you usually don't have enough time to finish. I don't want to live in a pressure cooker.

From what I have heard from others, architecture school is very much like the process I am going through -- long hours, a pileup of projects. I am still trying to see whether there is hope in other countries, perhaps a more relaxed process, a more lengthy exploration of ideas before putting them all together into a house (after only three weeks of 'training').

So I quit.

Now I am planning to tour the architectural gems of Boston (which has more architects and architecture students per capita than any other American city), meditate, do a bit more yoga, attend GSD lectures, cook and connect with friends and figure out where life is heading next. New job? New city? Grad school?

A lot of reflection awaits...