January 25, 2012
1:15pm - 2:45pm
Tower Room 405
- Upcoming conferences (ACSA 100th at MIT, and NESEA)
- Open conversation on recent faculty meetings on curriculum
- Website updates/requests
- Open questions/comments
- NAAB follow up
- Patti sent in the response to the initial team report, our final outcome will be available in February
- Areas that were critiqued
- they believe that our approach suggests that structure is the only ordering system in architecture – our response, not the case
- Design/Build needs to be changed to Design and Build
- How is grad different from undergrad – conversations had during the visit
- Students should look into attending the ACSA 100th meeting, hosted by MIT.
- NESEA conference coming to Boston, as well. Look into attendance.
- Department Faculty meeting minutes will be kept on the website for us to reference
- GHOST conference in Nova Scotia, attended by Sam Batchelor – many attendees and presenters are of similar schools of thought as our professors and our program
- We need to make more connections to them and better understand how to present ourselves and our intentions for the program
- Design and Build is grounded in theories that other people are interested in and are currently practicing
- The goal for Thesis is to select a topic of interest and become an expert in it – the writing will develop out of your research and will allow you to develop a product that reflects and applies your ideas
- Research and share thoughts in thesis prep with fellow classmates
- Do not work in a vacuum
- Write while designing, build book and make product – adjust schedule
- Patti + Jenny will be reviewing books – so someone outside of the dept can comprehend the concepts presented
- Working on changing the mission statement, adjusting the lecture schedule and reaching out to people who we can connect with who share our ideas
- Website has been updated
- Students should submit their studio work to post on the site, allow applicants to see who we are and what we do
- Option/interest for alumni grad/undergrad section for work
- Blog/news feed and video links – Record Tuesday Talks and post to site
- Interest in posting studio group research for following classes to reference
- Interest in location for portfolios to be posted online
- Interest in faculty updates (papers, conferences, etc.)
- Interest in graduate thesis’s available online.
- Studios – are encouraged to change location and program every few years
- Suggestion to change locations of studio sites to outside of the city or the state
- Opportunity to properly document site with limited time in alternate location
- Providence, NYC, Fall River – different materials, culture, massing, density, inhabitants – site with varying context relative to intentions of differing studios
- Development of studios – what is being worked on – has been discussed in faculty meetings and writings explanations will go on the web for reference
- More discussion is occurring in studios that outlines the intentions of the class, the purpose is becoming more apparent
- Need to show more variations in scale of buildings and multicultural context
- Different locations will give students more options to explore this
- Sustainability class has been adjusted and is now doing this:
- Sketch problems that allow for application of a variety of tools
- Integrated Systems will be adjusted as well
- Student feedback is helpful and important, and appreciated
- Applicants to our program are interested in making, supporting the interest in our program
- Connections to other grad programs and classes outside of our department
+ Graduate Student Comments – meetings with Faculty, Dean and President on NAAB and the accreditation process, and work to be completed over the next year
Students see this period in Candidacy as one that represents an opportunity to make changes that they see this as a positive aspect of being here on campus now. They recognize that the administration and the faculty also embrace this and wish to be held to a higher standard, be participants in a deeper look into the program and through a process of reviewing each course - discuss outcomes and program evolution. They would like to be part of the process ASAP, and have student representatives at the faculty and other meetings. (We discussed that faculty needed time to clarify our ideas and intended to include students starting in about two weeks (mid-April). This will start with a student meeting on 4/18 (WED), from 1-3 in T405 discussing faculty review of the curriculum.
Studios/ Graduate level courses
- Students recognize that the FT faculty at MassArt are from MIT mostly representing a specific era – they would like to see a broader range of faculty that move outside of that realm and have other perspectives on the profession to similarly diversify the student’s perspective and discussion in coursework.
- They would envision as positive having a PT or FT temporary rotating position every 2 years to keep the perspective fresh and different and outside of the MassArt current faculty group. MFA does this apparently as reported by George to them
- Students suggested that having a review of faculty through the review process as a way to see the strategies of a particular faculty member – they believe this might be useful in evaluation of course/studio outcomes and faculty who teach in the graduate program
- Having more outside jury members at interim as well as final reviews (they enjoyed the participation of Mike Pyatok at the midterm for AD320 for example.) Visiting lecturers could be scheduled to overlap with critiques/pin-ups to gain more knowledge of these visiting professionals.
Getting Outside Help
- The students described an UG and GRAD level student gap in passion about the field and the work in courses that is required. They seek greater integration mostly with other grads, not only the undergrads in the architecture program.
- They seek to have a calendar of reviews of other graduate program work that is accessible to all graduate students and easily visible, that they would be invited to attend (DMI review list has been posted on grad student website and M Arch students are invited).
- They recognize the asset of being an architecture program within a school of art and design – and look to take advantage of that in coursework that may provide opportunity in meeting their fellow students – they look to the Dean of the Graduate Programs to create venues for collaboration, interaction and viewing the work of the other students at the graduate level
- A cross- disciplinary graduate level course with MFA/ MArch students would be a welcome addition and serve to help create relationships across disciplines
- Students have some concern that some of the faculty would be better placed at UG level and others at the GRAD level and seek to have faculty teach them who are willing to push GRAD students to meet tough professional standards and achieve the highest level of work possible. They see a big difference in graduate education and UG education even at the Pre-Professional level, and are asking to have this recognized by the faculty and administration in their hiring of graduate faculty in the program. They noted that the studios should always require a very high standard from the graduate students, regardless of what is occurring with any particular UG group. Faculty should recognize this as both an obligation and a necessity.
- Students wish to have a research class that has discussions of the overall profession with topics about research in the profession as part of its mission and curricular goal. Faculty member would be an active researcher in a particular topic as mentor. (We discussed DMI program, which has a research class where students do a lot of writing, and I am following up with their program and faculty and reviews – which students are also invited to)
- They seek to have more opportunity to mingle/discourse with the other graduate program students – could a class be shared with this group in some way?
- What about a “buddy system” teaming up grad students from different programs (MArch student with MFA student) who may share interests– this they envision as meeting 1x/week (month?) to see each other’s design and artwork, discuss ongoing research and writing….
- They also noted that it would be useful to pair students with outside professionals before thesis so that they had more contact with the profession, and have a better sense of who might be a strong advisor for them in thesis work
Advising, Orientation, Mentorship
- The students see it as valuable that the program and admin are seeking to establish Advisory and Honorary professional groups to provide advice and insight to program evolution
- Requires a 4th floor tour at beginning of summer
- Architecture program can be identified (visual identity is needed)
- Organized orientation for prospects and accepted students
- Graduate program has someone accessible and able to speak with prospective students at all times – dedicated to them
- Seek someone to speak with for job opportunities off-campus in placement office
- Need way to network for events, and how to find:
- Job resources
- Competition resources
- Note that email (marchtalks@lists) is a mess and not all students are on it
- Could use a place on 4th floor to post competitions, student boards, etc. – this is informal now – could be formalized, signed, obvious
Presentation Boards and Critiques
- Fourth floor is a series of closets – the majority of studio areas for the MFA are used that way – as periodic presentation and storage of work, not as active workspaces.
- As architecture students they want their space more open to provide visibility across all the desks to create more collaboration and hope that someday the graduate students in the other programs will use their studio spaces more intensively and participate in a studio culture there
- M Arch students asked to take down ALL the half walls in their space so that they can get more students in the space allotted and build a stronger – visually connected community among themselves to foster more collaborative activity. They would like to do this NOW
- Their goal is to encourage more collaboration among themselves as well as the other MFA students
- They would seek to have a larger flex space that can be used for pin-ups, meetings, and lots more desks and surfaces – they will draw a plan to show the faculty/admin what they mean by this
- Final boards must be professional and faculty should hold this standard – this should be work they would be able to show a client and mirror the industry standards
- Need prescriptive layout guidelines, good examples pinned up around studios and in hallways. Resources – need conceptual “umph” in their boards, magic on how to sell it….examples of THAT.
- They note the other local schools have various classes in a range of media for architectural presentation and want the same
- One-on-one critiques good for midterms/desk critiques, want juries for final reviews