2.21.2009

A Big Party, Some Old Classmates, and Couture!

So, the other day i joined Facebook (find me there by email address: trotsky64@yahoo.com ), so that i could join the Georgia Tech College of Architecture Alumni Association. Seems this year marks the 100th anniversary of the CoA's founding (Georgia Tech itself was founded 23 years earlier in 1886). Anyhow, on April 25, a HUGE PARTY is in the works to celebrate the past 100 years, and to toast the next 100 years of the Architecture program, and the entire art school that is the CoA at Georgia Tech. It encompasses Architecture, City Planning, Industrial Design, Building Construction, and, after I was gone, sometime in the 90s Music was added to the College. I can't believe i'm actually excited about an alumni event. Well, it's YOUR fault Dawn!! hehehe.

I really had such an incredibly great time at Georgia Tech. Physics, Calculus, Statics and Mechanics, and all the other horrible flotsam and jetsam required by the core curriculum aside, the experience of the studios and the process of being juried constantly was something so relevant, vital, and nurturing to me. Even endearing. I had the great benefit of being surrounded by alot of talent in my peers, and in the professors, many of whom are still there today, more than 20 years after i left the program. So many wonderful friends i made then, and it's hard seeing so little of them. I can't wait to spend a few days with them all.

In my work today, pin-ups are totally a part of the process, clients can and do question my process and decisions just as George Johnston or Alan Balfour did (however the clients do it in much less fabulous ways), and i still find that i gleefully grope my way through each design process in an intuitive--and yes, totally ADHD--way, hungrily and mercilessly looking for inspiration in the wierdest, wackiest, and most silent of places. And though no one i work with ever pulls a Jennifer Bloomer "why don't you just get a job in a department store?" the back and forth can often be, shall we say, lively. I love that. And i love coming up with wacky visitor experience ideas that just blows clients away. That is the real difference for me, between working in the museum world vs. the world of everyday architecture. The clients, generally, are not focused on function, cost, and blunt everyday exigencies. They more care about meaning, communication, and subtlety. Mostly they are curators and scholars, who have their entire lives--or at least very large chunks of it--invested in the subject matter that I am tasked with bringing to life in a one hour immersive environment or museum visit.

So, i've been reflecting on it all in the past few days. I pulled an Alan Balfour book (that Dawn gave to me years ago) off the shelf this morning to show to Steven and try to give him some sense of the wonderful thinker and communicator Balfour is, and out fell some essay i wrote on the Italian architect of the Fascist period, Guiseppe Terragni... which i proceeded to read aloud to him... poor guy! I have to say that i am so glad i moved out of architecture and into exhibit and interpretive design. I now feel like i am a thinker and a communicator first, and a designer second, and that is completely one hundred and eighty degrees away from my experience working in architecture. But it is parallel to my experience at Georgia Tech.

Steven will join me of course, and we have to figure out what the heck we will wear. These Beaux Arts Balls come with alot of pressure to be waaaaaaay over the top, out there, completely crazy and creative, and, of course, fabulous. Suggestions? Here is some precedent to ponder:




























































































Maybe i should just go for the Pats look?









I am really looking forward to going back to Atlanta for this. I've been in touch with sooooo many classmates on Facebook, and today, i scanned some photos from one of the Beaux Arts Balls I went to waaaaaay back in the day, 1987. Check it out:







And don't ask me what that costume was about... something about Thomas Jefferson, but i had on shorts too. Who the heck knows what i was thinking.

2 comments:

Robert said...

Did you ever see that documentary with that Chinese guy [pictured]? Lord I forgot his name. Quite intriguing. I love him and his wife... They're so traditional. Say, maybe you and Steven can make a Great Wall costume? ahaha! hmm...

Love those old photographs. You look great with that mustache and... owait, that's not you! :-)

Sam said...

Hey Robert, the Asian guy is I.M. Pei, known for--among other things--his pyramid addition to the Louvre. Many have been critical of the pyramid, but i have been there, and i think it is brilliant. It is a jewel letting light into the virtual city below that was constructed to handle the huge numbers of visitors the Louvre sees every day.

now how would we do a great wall costume? like a dancing dragon at chinese new year? with our legs hanging out the bottom?

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