bob ganser asked me to sit in as a critic on a grad level design studio he’s teaching at the university of mn this fall.  it’s the kind of thing i don’t think i really have the time to do but, i’ve done it before and it’s such a great experience that i’ll always make time.
i was really impressed with the conceptual premises and interesting things the students learned and revealed through their work.  i talked a lot though, about finding a point of departure from the literal, idea based end of their projects and leaping off into something else… something more visual or musical or… i mean, i think you can only learn so much from an idea.  i always like it when discipline and rigor take you to something experientially that has nothing in common with either one of those words.
one of the student installations got pretty close to great for me.  it instantly transformed the space and i know i’ll never see it quite the same again if i return, which means, on some level, it really worked.
my co-panelists were christian dean of citydeskstudio and jeff mandyck of ms&r architecture for the first part of the afternoon and then we were joined later on by martha mcquade of redlurered.  they were all absolutely amazing to listen to… intimidating, thought provoking and inspiring.  add their teacher to the mix and… i sure hope the students appreciate these great minds and, in their midst, i’d feel lucky and honored if anything i said was helpful at all.
jeff and christian weren’t quite as enthusiatic about this one as i was but i really, really liked it.  i got abstract and went off a bit about how something solid can appear fragile, how a color might be described as loud but also soft and how and why the violin and piano work together in this piece…
spiegel im spiegel by arvo pärt