Thesis year in architecture school carries a lot of weight in my mind. It is the culmination of the five previous years of architecture education, and the spring board to what everyone hopes is a successful career. I think it is important to state here that one of the main reasons for Studio Ambiguous is so that these thesis ideas do not just make us ask hard questions for the next year, but that those ideas and questions can continue to permeate and impact our ideas about architecture and the city throughout our careers. I have started initial research and documentation, but the real fun will begin on the first day of fall semester in August. As I look at the proposal I wrote back in April to claim my intention to do thesis, I feel like I should document how I got to that point in April and what I am thinking now in the middle of June. I think it is important to be explicitly clear on what I am thing about now because things will change and evolve throughout this process and in order to make sense of the result, I must understand its inception.
This is my chance to be proactive. I have a clear mind right now and the long nights of a school year are not weighing on me yet. Over the next few days I am going to write, in four parts, how I got to my proposal and some of the inspiration behind my initial ideas. In this series of four blogs, it will mainly focus on three different writings from Rem Koolhaas. Koolhaas was not the only thing that has influenced my thoughts about architecture and the city, but his writings really made sense to me as a place to start when building a foundation for this thesis. My plan is to continue to document the readings and research that I have done and will do on this blog, but understand that once I really started to dive deeper in to the writings of Koolhaas, a light bulb seemed to go off. I went from spinning my wheels trying to come up with basic thesis idea, to an initial level of clarity. He seemed to be viewing the city and trying to understand it in ways that I was beginning to, especially with his tongue-and-cheek approach at times. I think it is also important to know that these writings are 20 and 40 years old. I believe they have transcended time in some ways, but I also believe that throughout this process I can begin to reapply what they mean to the present and the future as that changes more rapidly by the minute.
This idea of “city” is my blank canvas now. I will now freely take the liberty to interrupt the past, experience it in the present, and speculate on its future. “City” is a place of inspiration, interaction, and diversity, and in my opinion, the single greatest human invention. Currently, I am not really comfortable with the idea of architecture and the city, but this is my starting line, not just for this project but for a career of questions...call it a proactive manifesto.