As a graduate student, it is my duty to curate my own education, which for me involves seeking a wide range of experiences and taking advantage of the variety of opportunities provided by the institution. Getting the most out of my education is of upmost importance to me, in addition to maintaining an idea of my future while having the willingness to go off course and take risks. Beginning with a first year required course with Peter Eisenman, called Formal Analysis, I was excited about the way we were learning to analyze buildings. The class proved to be a wonderful challenge for me. Like my peers, it was hard to wrap my head around many of the philosophical concepts and ways of expressing an idea through one single drawing a week.
I continued to take the seminar Eisenman offered the following year called Diagrammatic Analysis, which happened to coincide with an exhibition he eventually held at the Central Pavilion of the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. And, I was lucky enough to be heavily involved in the research, design and installation of that exhibition. (See previous post here)
Above: At Eisenman Architects’ City of Culture of Galicia in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. (See previous post about that trip here)
So, the decision to take his studio would be obvious to some, yet I was concerned I was narrowing my exposure to one professor. But, as a former graduate/friend said, “If you are truly interested in the topic, and he consistently challenges you, then why would you prevent yourself from pursuing what you are interested in?” It was a great way of looking at it for me. Instead of worrying about what I was missing, focus on what I will be gaining. What Eisenman teaches, is how to think, reinvent a project, challenge “truths,” explore every option, and turn a project inside out when least desired. While his teaching method can be circuitous, it is done through a philosophical framework based on theoretical texts as a reference for developing an idea. Developing an idea is of fundamental importance and I am finding more and more, that the underlying idea, and the path to this discovery is crucial to finding your own Project, your own goal, your driving force of the design - and, as one of my favorite authors puts it - your “personal legend.” Eisenman is known for leading the most demanding and rigorous advanced studio, and in choosing his studio I really look forward to this challenge.