My final vertical studio at UBC SALA was an interesting one. There were obvious deficiencies as any initial offering of a course would unfold, the best part about it though, it was all done together.
I was quite upset the day of the final crit, up until right after my presentation. Our professor did not let us know the order until right before, which she had a reason for as she explained quickly to all of us; I remember something about not worrying about who goes where or something like that, either way I didn’t really buy it. But even in the few prior days before pens down, I was not happy with the amount of work I produced. The only explanation I have is there were a lot of other things other than studio which I was committed to do, T.A.ing, being a tech, blah, blah, I hate to make excuses but time just seem to get away from me, and some of my peers really turned it on and produced some great things I did not think they were capable of. Kudos to them, needless to say my wall was a bit scarce (I focused intently on a few drawings, but lacked a scope of drawings) c’est la vie.
I was scheduled to go last in the morning which I was happy about since we decisively had much better and well known crits in the morning session. However because some of my fellow students went long and the professor did not keep to her duty as time keeper, (sounds trite, but it is an important aspect of a design prof in a final crit. Am I wrong?) I was pushed to the afternoon, where my crits were our resident structural engineer and a recent grad of the school from 2ish years, and someone who was late who didn’t even see my presentation. What made it worse was after I was told we needed to break for lunch, and I would be going in the afternoon, we had a 45-minute talk with the morning crits, more than enough time for one more presentation in the morning (maybe it was 1/2 hour whatever I was pissed).
Anyway, all of this led to me being a bid of a princess that day, but whatever I worked my ass of this semester, so I presented, and it went well, they had points about things that I could have done, but I took it a different way, honestly I didn’t get anything from the crits I would have not gotten from my fellow students, which either speaks well for them or disparagingly of the crits. After the presentation the next student started to present and Avery handed me the notes he was taking for me. This is something the school does (assign students to take notes for others) which really helps as you cannot always process the entire conversation during a crit.
Needless to say all the bullshit of time and which crits for who melted away instantly, realising this was my last vertical studio with the same group of students I came in with and just a year ago suffered through Culture of Making with. Thanks for the perspective Avery.
I have probably written this many times but nothing bonds friends like the studio, the small group working on the same issues, there is a great safety in it, one that fades as I take on thesis and probably will not re emerge until I find a practice I feel a kin to, but one step at a time. It kind of feels like you’re faced with a lone battle, one large project you have to face alone, after having the benefit of fellow soldiers to watch your back.
Don’t get me wrong I am excited for thesis, it is just a bit sad to think that part of that shared acedmic studio experience is over.