The second years. A perfectly banal and objective statement, charged and aggravated by class warfare. There exists within the College of Architecture a fundamental disjoint between the second years and the third and fourth years. Perhaps the parametrically driven computational design to the extreme the second years have been learning has given them the scripter’s ego. A notion of superiority and the end all of architecture. Perhaps it is the critical pessimism of fourth years, disillusioned by years of work, downtrodden by the industry, facing a grim reality that makes them fundamentally critical of all things lower class.
I contrast this against the artist studios of SCAD. Within the confines of two rooms there exist graduate students and undergraduates, professors and intro course takers. All working in what is both a luxuriously big print studio, and a crammed artist studio. What particularly baffles me is music. Regardless of what the second years are playing it will undoubtedly be terrible, any remnants of the song will immediately have to be deleted from any playlist. Their constant whistling and playing of music is an irritating distraction.
However, in the high pressure artist studio the constant presence of music is a given. Participants are discouraged from listening to their own music, from alienating themselves from the collective process, the notion of optimistic progress. While often the music is not something i would have chosen to listen to myself, it provides an ambient background that only in silence do i ever miss.
Perhaps this is an unfair comparison. Perhaps artist studios could never be compared to architecture studios. The work of architecture is far too serious and legitimized by industry to be relegated to such a crass form of art as printmaking. Or perhaps, this is the fundamental flaw of the architecture studio as it is set up today. By the time students graduate, they are imbued with the notion that the way they learned how to design is fundamentally superior to any other form. Parametricists are seen as diametrically opposed to anything analogue. Those who design in analog are view labeled as luddites by the computer generation.
I would posit that the reason for a much less pronounced class warfare of the artist studio is that there is a common struggle to realize the next work of art. A good work of art can come from anyone. The first years have just as much potential to create something provocative and intriguing as the dedicated master students. The most the education hopes to give is a higher consistency of both technically proficient work and work the artist can be proud to have made. The constant confrontation of the open studio is a constant reality check. Peers are far more interested in providing critical feedback, whether solicited or not, and in a highly technical field, transmission of trade secrets is a much more fluid process.
In a post-Cruzian world, I wonder what a synthesis of the best parts of both studios could provide? Do there exist such places of creative community, and how do I become a part of it or transmute the current condition to studio the process of utopia?
[in the photo from left to right: the second year studio | the third / fourth year studio | SCAD Atlanta]
[ class warfare, marcos cruz, parametric, printmaking, savannah college of art and design, SCAD, second years, third years ]