July 26, 2012

You've Been Accepted to Architecture School and Amped Up!

You responded to your acceptance letter and in September you will begin a new chapter in your educational career. Now, for those of you who are eager to find out about architecture school or start getting your hands dirty with what architecture is. I recommend you check out these books and videos if you have time. They don't fully dig deep into what you'll get in 4-5 years of undergrad, as it is just the scratching of the surface, but sure is a great stepping stone this summer.

July 25, 2012

Post-grad life...and where is this blog going?

It's my first summer after graduating last June. Since the move back home and not seeing my friends and classmates and professors as regularly as I did, I have been running into what I'd like to call the "Post-Grad Phase" that many of my friends have warned me about.  It's harder to be productive as I want to....I have to work on my portfolio and sometimes I'm crushed with feeling like my work is not up to par which further sets be behind, or I'm being distracted easily at home (at least when I was in downtown, I would just head to the CAD Lab). The feeling of being jobless is unsettling and depressing, and I guess that is what's forcing me to get my butt on my feet again and at the same time I'm battling my anxieties, perfectionism and lack of rendering capabilities to bring a portfolio together. I'm starting my prayers at church and asking for guidance to get on my feet to work. (I think I hit stagnant after returning home from travelling) I dunno how long this wait we'll be and how much work I need to do with my portfolio (believe me, it has quite a ways to go).

July 09, 2012

Architectural Empire State of Mind (Part II)

Stayed around the Lower East Side!

 It was a bit intimidating at first arriving in New York City...after all, as soon as I arrived at Port Authority, an old man was pretty forward in helping me get a pass and eventually asked me to give him some change, some other guy was trying to sell me his MTA pass, and people were just using the subway station emergency exits and sounding the emergency alarm very nonchalant. On my first subway train to where I would be staying, a homeless person just stands up and gave a speech asking for any donations. Along with feeling socially retarded being the only one yielding to the pedestrian light signals, I realized I am not in a city like Toronto.

July 07, 2012

Architectural Empire State of Mind (Part I)

I’m back in Toronto after a week-long Grad/Birthday Trip to New York City!

At Times Square, looking at the TKTS Booth by Perkins Eastman

I can’t afford Europe or Asia or anything that includes air time for now. However, with a little American Currency on hand, I was able to take the bus and travel to one of the best capital-A Architecture cities in North America. Throughout my undergrad, most of my inspiration and precedent studies in studio came from a lot of recent buildings in New York City. My architecture heroes made their mark and home New York City – Firms from Sharples Holden Pasquerelli (SHoP), Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), Steven Holl, The Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), REX, Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG NYC), Todd Williams + Billie Tsien have made an impact at one point in my educational career in which I studied and looked to them as a source of inspiration. I saw their buildings online and in lectures, and I just had to see these buildings up close and in person to really experience their work. The last time I visited NYC was when I was 13, in August 2001, just a few weeks before the 9/11 attacks. No longer architecturally retarded, a visit to the Big Apple was long overdue. It was time to see the city which has endured so much this past decade and has been able to resurrect itself like a phoenix from the ashes. Even though I plan to go to graduate school in 2 years time, I felt like it was time for me to begin the grad school hunt and tour the schools outside Canada that I am interested in 
At Lincoln Center

I contacted my friends who were in NYC on Facebook and informed them that I was coming, and that whoever had time to spare can chill with me. I was able to hang out at a friends party, on other days I was able to meet up with friends who were willing to accompany me in checking out the city. I set up my little bucket list of spots I wanted to see during the week. I also decided to begin my search for prospective grad schools in the city and scheduled tours and appointments with their admissions office. I bought a guidebook on contemporary architecture (by John Hill, founder of Archidose) in New York City and tagged the spots I wanted to see. I was prepared...perhaps a bit too obsessive like Monica Gellar from the TV sitcom Friends.

Visiting NYC, I was equipped with a subway map with a deceitful scale, a contemporary architecture city guide to NYC, and my printed bucketlist. Definitely buy this book if you are architecture nerd like me - it has maps and subway directions to the buildings discussed.

...this didn’t turn out so well trying to hit all the spots on the list. However it is okay, because whatever I missed on the list, whatever museum was closed – It gives me more reason to visit this city again and again...better yet aim to work or study there.

From my trip, I must say you have to enjoy the chaos of New York City of going here and there. Along the lines of advice from friends – it’s good to plan what you want to see but allow that flexibility – to experience and explore. Be open to getting lost and seeing where it leads you. Be prepared to walk alot...and I MEAN ALOT! There is so much to see, and the deceiving subway map scales can make you think that a walk from 5th Avenue to 7th Avenue would be a cake walk. I really enjoyed the city, not really used to the intense hustle and bustle of the city, but one thing is for certain, I’m willing to go back again.

My next entry will be about some of the highlights of my trip to the city, and some of the favourite places I visited.