"What I wish someone had given me 16 years ago..."

So I sat down this evening and did what I was supposed to do on Monday, namely look at my thesis and work out how to finish it in a reasonable period of time.  Very exciting.  It's been a long time since I worked on the ideas, and as I read through the work so far I can't help but think how much I wish I'd had this thing when I started Architecture 16 years ago.

There's so much to write, but I think the formulation is right.  I'm not trying to write a textbook, or an academic paper, or even a manifesto.  I'm writing a life-raft for first year architecture students who are faced with professors who can't or won't make the effort to explain how design works.  It's a way of thinking about design that lets you hang all the other thoughts about design off of its branches in such a way that you can actually think about their relationships and benefits.  It's never going to be perfect, but maybe it can be helpful.


  1. Admar

    Admar on 05/10/2009 3:23 a.m. #

    Sounds very interesting! Could you give some more information about this?

    Good luck with writing!

  2. Mike C. Fletcher

    Mike C. Fletcher on 05/11/2009 1:15 a.m. #

    Sure. When I got to architecture I was at a traditional post-modern architecture school. While people were talking all the time about design, they didn't seem to have any coherent model of how it all worked. I finally got fed up with that and switched to Independent Studies to study design with rigor. When the time came, I went looking for profs to work with me on a thesis that tried to find a way to organize and systematize knowledge in the field I was (literally) laughed out of the architecture office (I did eventually get my advisor and one supervisor from architecture, mind you). Thing is, the gent who laughed me out of the building reflects the general attitude of architects toward theory in design. It is treated as a craft that you need to just learn by being ripped apart and built back up. You learn by being corrected by masters as apprentices... sure, you're a rebel challenging the system, but do it our way :) . I'm not really good at accepting arbitrary decisions from people who don't seem to understand what they're doing... I'm guessing there's other students like me who get into architecture and actually want to *study* it, not just learn the craft of putting up buildings. That's where I want to target my writings.

    Thanks for the wishes.

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