Tim Brown Architecture

WS09 day 9

Added on by Timothy Brown.

Approaching the end of the second week of the workshop which leaves us a bit less than a week to finish the projects and mount the exhibition. The larger frame of our workshop is very interesting. IUAV has marshalled serious resources to mount these 30 some individual workshops and to orchestrate a whole slew of events around them. Conferences, debates, and talks organized by IUAV have been complemented by equally interesting programming by many separate workshops. My sense is that the energy level all around us is high and remarkably enthusiastic.

Word is that the final exhibitions are all-out efforts of exuberant excess with each workshop vying to print the biggest drawings and build the biggest site models. I've also understood that the competition (and back-biting) is vicious. No doubt that we have the biggect project here, so we're presenting at XXXS scale. It'll make for a nice inversion.

The projects have continued to develop and also expand into a scale that's commensurate with Mo.S.E. Trying to coax the group into making a radical scale jump, from the very fine grain of Venezia proper to the immense scales of MOSE, consumed the better part of critiques up until now. Having assumed all the students were more or less calibrated to the sweep of the lagoon was probably (not probably, obviously) a mistake. They're mostly conditioned to think and work in very close confines - micro-interventions in an impossibly rich context managed within the framework of a very narrow and conservative pedagogy. A double curse of Venice's suffocating preciousness and an educational environment that's behind the power curve. However, with a clearer sense of the project's potential scope the schemes have begun to come around.

Yesterday we hired a boat for a tour of the two northern MOSE sites, bocca di Lido where a new island is being constructed, and bocca di Malamocco which will be the point of entry for heavy traffic. The apparent size of the work sites were fairly modest, so much so that one might wonder where all the money has gone (and will continue to go and go and go). Oddly enough, the earth-moving equipment I observed seemed better suited to excavating a surburban basement - I wondered where the real excavators were. Nonetheless, the span of each of the gates is impressive and starting to understand the cubic meters of sand that will eventually be moved around was startling.

This afternoon we'll have a pin-up and a number of the projects will likely have made some substantial strides. Based on what we see, we will likely reorganize some of the efforts. Some similar projects may be joined up, and some weaker schemes will likely be pared. Students with weak schemes will be assigned to projects that would benefit from more hands.

And the weekend will allow the IIT contingent a small break which we'll use to visit Genova and Vicenza. Be back on Monday...