MIT Architecture / Course 4 Undergraduate Program


I
think lot of people maybe go through life
without really noticing all of the things around them and as Course 4’s, we are very
aware of the world around us, and I think we learn from it, and think of how we can
make the world a better place. The magical thing about Course 4 is it really
teaches you how to take your creativity and design ideas and then translate them into
physical realities that are spatial, occupiable, inhabitable and have kind of powerful cultural
resonance. I think that all of these different interests
come together in the studio environment; that’s really where all of our different ideas get
to take form. Just about all of our studios have a lot of
freedom in our ability to design our own projects and take our own ideas as far as we can. You see other people’s projects and you’re
like ‘how did they come up with that?’; ‘how did that mind come up with something
that cool.’ It is a costume for the Galactic Olympics
and it is basically supposed to connect every part of your body. The goal is develop new structural systems
using small diameter round timber. We’re currently on the site of the Collier
Memorial, a structure that is being built in Sean Collier’s honor. The basic concept of the project is that it
stands as a long-lasting monument that speaks to the strength of our community and we designed
it to work in compression, as a series of stones to be held in place only by gravity. As an undergrad we’re only used to seeing
small models, but actually blowing it up to real scale where people can actually pass
by and inhabit the space, is unbelievable. I specifically really liked the experience
of design reviews, going in front of a group of people and having to present your work,
and understanding that that is just part of the process and it can better and you can
build. Course 4 gave me the opportunity to work in
a professional environment and work alongside extremely talented and motivated people. You work so closely with faculty; you talk
so much with professors. You learn something you can never learn from just taking a class.
The professors learn from you, you learn from professors. There are civil engineers, and there are mechanical
engineers, materials scientists and architecture majors and everyone plays a role. It makes
a lot of sense because architecture is a lot more interdisciplinary than a lot of people expect. It’s so cool to get to work with designers
and engineers at the same time; I think that really validates the work. One of the things that I really liked about
MIT was that I was exposed to all different types of fields; really a great cross-pollination
of disciplines that I think led to what I do now. Course 4 brings together architects, designers,
artists, historians, and engineers around ideas and concepts to transform how we imagine
and construct our environments. I’ve always thought that the architecture
department teaches you how to solve problems and its a way of thinking that lets you approach
the unknown. Theres an incredible amount of support. It’s
almost an expectation that you can immediately try to make an impact. I think that’s the
really exciting part; it’s not just about working abstractly, its really about immediately
applying what you’re learning to try to make the world a better place.

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