Wow its been a busy semester, but things are more exciting than ever.

I will go through a few topics that have become more apparent  during my past month here.

My experiences have led me to realize the growing interdisciplinary nature of education and the hype both academy and the profession is placing behind it.  Not only has it been a topic around the office where I am an office assistant, but it also has been brought up in my classes, including Construction Contracting, and the Future of Technology Conference, which just finished this past weekend.  All these experiences have pointed to the growing nature of interdisciplinary work.  This is being driven by many different forces, including economic demands, owner expectations, increasing complexity in design/coordination  among other technologies that allow interdisciplinary work to flourish.

Topic:  Data

Another recurring theme in our discussion has been the “data deluge,” the overwhelming amount of information us humans are being bombarded with on a day-to-day basis, like those green numbers that sift across the screen in the matrix.  There are many approaches to dealing with this change in information, including a heightened personal awareness and an acknowledgment that information does not equal knowledge.  In the design profession, a number of architecture firms have taken advantage of this ability to quantify those previously unquantifiable. dimensions  MVRDV, a dutch housing design firm, uses this knowledge, naming it a “datascape.”  Under this approach, building codes, social influences, and context all are quantified and addressed in turn, allowing this form of “problem seeking” to result in the final design solution.

A great benefit of the University of Michigan is all of the extra learning opportunities that present themselves almost everyday.  There are GIS workshops, welding series, detail lectures, and all kinds of other educational experiences open to any willing – or energy able – student.  I am racing to keep up, but its exciting!

Topic: Strange Details

In the “Strange Details” lecture today by Michael Caldwell, Dean McMurrough and Professor Kennedy, the topic came up about the “fantasy” aspect that has manifested itself in studio culture.  The discussion turned to the manner by which we can further align both the profession and academia to provide a better balance of theoretical and pragmatic education.  Another point I found fascinating by Michael Caldwell is that he said some architects become “more fluent with buildings than with words,” in that they their work will speaker better for them than they could ever describe it themselves.

The week is coming fast tomorrow! Keep everyone posted!

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