My students just had their final design exam for the Thinking by Design class and I think a good time was had by all. Everyone was told to bring a variety of materials and tools to manipulate the items they brought to the exam. They knew they had to create something but did not find out what until they sat down. The only rule was no internet, students were encouraged to talk and were allowed to make noise and trade an discuss, the class writing a biology exam beside us got really angry, sometimes the dremel motors and hammers were a bit too loud, but it was amazing to watch.
It was quite something to see 150 students confronted with a problem and try to solve it in three hours. This reminded me of Ryerson and the “sketches” I did in first year. Quite similar except were quite limited in which materials we could bring. I remember as we were all working away, I could over hear professors “now we’ll the real work” and other talking points, I didn’t really understand until much later on.
What I got from these sketches is that really anyone can produce anything with enough time (notwithstanding concept), and that great designers and thinkers think quickly, make a decision and go for it. Architecture and design is not simply ideation concept or analysis and synthesis.
If you have been following major architectural essays throughout the last year, you have read the architecture meltdown, architecture for the 99%, and other offspring articles that have been generated as a result. I enjoyed this latest article and a quote that accompanied it.
“If you focus on design, you can call yourself a designer, if you focus on the implementation of your design, you can call yourself an architect”
- Cameron Sinclair
Whether you have 3 hours or 3 years to produce something, it seems that focusing on the design of a thing is not enough anymore, but how something comes to fruition is the new architecture.