27 June 2006

Zuidas - Final Review

Today finally I finished with my presentation on the Amsterdam Zuidas Train station proposal, a studio that I supposedly did with Ben Van Berkel. Extremely disappointed with my project and the whole studio especially the complete lack of professionalism from Ben himself. In the course of the 4 month studio he made only 4 appearances and was more of an outsider to the project than most external jurors. But nonetheless happy that it’s over and I can move on to my next year at the Berlage and to better projects.

However, I have to say that Olaf Gipser who was supposedly only an assistant tutor tried very hard in making sense of most of our projects and was extremely helpful and inspiring. At the very least I would like to wish him and his office in Amsterdam the very best of luck in whatever they do.

And to that spirit we decided to make the studio group portrait with him alone. Thanks Olaf!

18 June 2006

Party in the Vault

We (Juan, Melisa and I) threw an amazing party in the vault in the school yesterday. Since the school here in Rotterdam is housed in a building that used to be a bank there are some amazing spaces and huge vault (all with fancy super heavy metal doors) down in the labyrinth on basements below our studio and school offices.

We threw the party because we just found out that the three of us were awarded the Nuffic Scholarship for the coming academic year. I have to admit that my jaw is hurting from all the smiling since this news has really sunk in.

15 June 2006

Showing today – REM KOOLHASS @ the Luxor Theatre

As part of the China Contemporary exhibition and lecture series by the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) early today the legendary Rem Koolhaas lectured to a large crowd at the Luxor theatre here in Rotterdam. The lecture was largely a repeat of what he had spoken in February at a public lecture at the Berlage Institute with a bit more focus on China.

In his lecture he showed images of rapid new developments in China and in the middle east especially in cities like Dubai and asked the question – “What can we learn from these absurdities” * – However, Koolhaas didn’t have any answers to that question and a few others that he posed (at least not yet). He argued for the curtailment of architects and designers in designing everything in the city, he feared that the city was losing its most charming character - Uncertainty.

I can’t stop wondering if his worry needs to be a genuine concern for me and though I feel this phenomenon strongly in certain cities here in Europe I calm myself thinking of the situation back home in our cities of India and wonder boy I have a long time before that can even start sounding like a real problem where I come from.

* – (Silently I smiled to myself at his usage of the word 'Absurdity' remembering my post on Dubai in February on this blog titled ‘Pockets of Absurdity Vs. Pockets of Reality’ - click HERE to see that posting)

A Google map tracing my travels across the globe

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  • In Red cities where I have lived (more than one month);
  • In Blue cities with entries on this blog;and
  • In Yellow cities with no entries yet.