Concepts: why do we even have them?

Posted on Oct 18, 2018 in design, teaching | No Comments

In the year since I last wrote here (I know—I have been very bad) I have continued to think about why we even teach concepts in the first place. I have also authored a new course on architectural history and philosophy (hopelessly ambitious in its cross-cultural and temporal reach) which was the equivalent of writing […]

3 More Darlings

Posted on Jun 6, 2017 in design, philosophy, teaching | No Comments

Another semester has gone into the books, and I am pleased to say by dint of great struggle, most of my students managed to avoid the temptations and cliches (and OK, maybe I encouraged them very strongly) that were driving me a little crazy the previous semesters. However, they were not completely immune to jumping […]

You Get One Question

Posted on Jan 31, 2017 in philosophy, teaching | No Comments

In response to my common in-class refrain about the goals of ancient philosophy, which tried often to define “the good life” and tell us how to get there, one of my students recently asked me what the core question of modern philosophy is. My first hunch was that it’s something like “How can we say […]

Scientific Fiction

Posted on Jan 25, 2017 in design, reading | No Comments

This past week I have been helping friends pack to move, and the task I have been working on in particular is boxing a lot of old science fiction magazines and monthly anthologies, the earliest of which is from 1939. Through great effort, I have managed for the most part to avoid perusing things as […]

3 Darlings I’d Like to Kill

Posted on Nov 19, 2016 in design, teaching | No Comments

Last week was a disaster on the political front, so I am going to tackle some itty bitty evils just to get in practice for the larger ones we will be struggling with for years. Specifically, there are 3 things I am really tired of seeing in student projects, and I can basically guarantee that […]

No They’re There

Posted on Oct 10, 2016 in design, teaching | No Comments

One of my personal privileges is that I meet a lot of young adults who are still very much in the process of forming their opinions about things, usually without the benefit of relevant experience. My undergrads take a binary approach to gender as pretty much given, for example, even the ones who push the […]

Showdown: Beauty vs Presence

Posted on Jun 18, 2016 in philosophy | No Comments

“Architecture is not about beauty; it is about presence.” These words, pinned to the wall as inspiration by local architecture students, along with a citation suggesting that this is something they’ve heard from their studio teacher, make me uneasy.