12 Fails in Bolton Street

World architecture... what's happening generally....

Postby Eoghan Walsh » Tue Jul 24, 2001 7:22 pm

Dear Tim,

Nice of you to join us from beyond the grave!
I must have been really far up because I don't remember meeting you in the studio.
I hope next year goes better for you than the last.

Regards,

Eoghan.
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Postby doozer » Tue Jul 24, 2001 8:01 pm

I agree that the amount of research conducted in Bolton street is inadequate. However the level of academeic investigation during thesis' for architecture courses in Ireland seems to me to be quite low anyway. Very rarely do students veer away from the large buildings projects that present themselves so easily. It appears to be an endless stream of cultural centers, hospitals ,artists' retreats and public buildings. There's the odd flash of ingenuity (I heard of a very interesting one submitted in Bltn. St a few years ago which involved re-orientating the main street of a town in Clare) but for the most part students are encouraged to play it safe. This can't be a cultural trait but a result of a particular type of education- one that needs to be immediately and drastically reformed
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Postby BM » Tue Jul 24, 2001 8:31 pm

While I might not have worded it in quite the same way, I believe that Timothy (If that is his real name) has a point. Those who were elected to REPRESENT the year took little to no action in solving the problems that arose. Unfortunately it so happend that they were within the 'inner circle' of the Year master and had been assigned decent tutors so saw no reason to rock the boat.
Posting patronising and frankly insulting statements here adds insult to injury of those who failed. Luckily I happen not to be one of them, nor I believe was Timothy.
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Postby Eoghan Walsh » Tue Jul 24, 2001 9:29 pm

A few points.

- I really enjoy being insulted by people who are too afraid to REPRESENT themselves.
- There was no election. I was asked to be one of three rep.s.
- It was I who arranged with a few other students to have a workshop, and asked the yearhead if he would attend.From which he then organised the tutor based workshops, which for me wheedled out the primary difficulty I was having with the thesis.
- Many students, some who failed, some who passed, failed to take responsibility for their own matters, as if waiting for some divine intervention to haul them out of trouble, and are too quick to blame others before looking a bit closer to home.
- I agree that the school was inadequate, as I have said before, but it is too easy to blame others, especially when it seemed that there would be no change in our immediate circumstances.
- Hindsight blinds me as well as you.
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Postby doozer » Tue Jul 24, 2001 9:56 pm

Excuse me,its obvious that all you people know each other so could you arrange to have your little spat elsewhere please.
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Postby MK » Tue Jul 24, 2001 10:43 pm

Keep going, its a public debate, what cant be said in public, should not be said at all.
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Postby fjh » Thu Jul 26, 2001 11:42 pm

nothing will change.

next year the fifth years will go back to the same lecturers, possibly in a different building, but the process and hierarchy will remain intact.

the ASA is completely ineffective because of its refusal to take or organise any extreme action against the administration.

the standard of education in bolton street will remain unchanged until the core of spent lecturing staff has been replaced with new blood.

as it is impossible to have someone fired
- they must resign of thier own accord, the situation is unlikely to change for some time.
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Postby md » Mon Jul 30, 2001 3:54 pm

Three points:

1) Kevin O'Brien tutored me last year, and helped me go from a 'lost cause' to a nice honours degree, thank you very much. He believed in my ability and my decisions, and forced me to see it too, against the opinions of the more senior lecturers at the time, so please stop tearing at the reputation of a man who deserves better.

2) A bad workman blames his tools. I saw those theses this year, and they were not good, in general. By fourth year, a student shoud be capable of making mature and wise decisions indepently of tutors. Students should be developing a vision, and nurturing it. At the Fifth year hand up, there seemed to be an atmosphere of stagnation, passiveness (?), not giving a damn really. I don't know if this is to do with low morale due to low levels of teaching or what, but the students should be stronger than this, and not let the system beat them down. if I had let them beat me last year when I was in Fifth year, I'd have been repeating with you guys this year. Fighting the system alone works, but it does require hard work to do it, and a sympathetic tutor...

3) Repeating is not the end of the world, and I swear to you, you really do learn heaps, and become a stronger designer. You develop a sense of your own style, and aesthetic. I miss college and the opportunity to learn; the chance of higher learning goes when you walk out the door of College - you will miss it too.
Everyone knows where the library is; there is nothing stopping any of you still in DIT to get into the library and reading an architectural book every week or two, or even reading an 'El Croquis' now and again, and I don't mean just looking at the bloody pictures. In a situation like that, and it wasn't too dissimilar last year, one must take things into their own hands.
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Postby duncan » Tue Jul 31, 2001 1:08 am

good to see discussion
but this should have happened during the college year gone and those preceeding
hopefully the 12 fails will act as a push on those students still in bolton street to take control of the situation which is continuing to spiral downward

on a personal note this year i found bolton street a very depressing and dead place to be in, partly staff partly students. no real discussion on what ark is all about

thankfully the year is over, working in a good office in town is helping me see architecture in a clearer way, im loving it

i still believe that with some effort on the part of students and staff, bolton street, and all irish architecture for that matter, can become QUALITY ark

another thing, for all the talk re next year thesis year having capel street, yet again its a no no, surprised???????
---------------------------------------------

( just a note on other stuff, which helps me in my architectural education, as you learn every second of the day)

phantoms back, 91.6 fm dublin radio
listening to david kitt now saw him in galway last night, great gig, pity re stuff after

heading to lahinch this w/e,
should be great; FIELD OF LOVE 2
see more at http://communities.msn.com/ORAISTE/photoalbum1.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=8

on my website www.oraiste.com

field on family farm, friends, fun, sun? sea, messing???

so if anyones on come on down
the idea last year was, to get everybody to get everybody to come ot lahinch in county clare, ireland,
set up tents for the august bank holiday weekend and have lots of fun

and we did
a website, the campsite of love, was set up after http://communities.msn.com/CampsiteOfLove/_whatsnew.msnw

so if your on, come along this w/e, fri 3- mon 6 2001,and dont forget to bring your togs

slan

duncan o`cruadhlaoich www.oraiste.com



[This message has been edited by duncan (edited 31 July 2001).]
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Postby MK » Tue Jul 31, 2001 1:11 pm

Timothy,
Your inability to spell sugests your own naivety.(nieve)
Also, I dont think this discussion board is really the place for cryptic threatening messages.
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Postby md » Tue Jul 31, 2001 1:45 pm

Timothy-
the day you learn to spell NAIVE is the day I'll take blinkered criticism from you.
Let me explain my point.

When one leaves a place of learning and enters the workplace, the opportunities to study theory and ideas are not given 100% priority; whether one is 'Boltonised' or not, as you so quaintly put it, is irrelevant. Time to read or analyse as much as you wish to is not as much as the time you had at your disposal in college.

You fail, Timothy, to realise that working professionally takes its toll in many ways, varying from stress, money problems, staff personality clashes; philosophy and theorising takes a back seat to the different TYPE of learning which must be undertaken in order to work as an architect -learning in a professional and legal capacity, dealing with clients, contractors, it's a whole different ballgame. The only chance many ex students now in the workplace have of studying or assessing architecture is by joining the AAI and attending meetings and lectures regularly, and this is not because they don't care, or are naive, as you so flippantly think, but because they don't have the time or the energy that students, who are in college TO STUDY, have.

I did NOT, as you believe, infer that studying stops when one leaves college. Rather, I am putting forward the reality that, unless you are lucky enough to work in a reputable office of strong design ethos, you may never, (many of my colleagues, both DIT and UCD, don't) have as good a chance as college to venture into the world of Architectural theory again.

I am lucky enough to be working in such an office, but initially I worked in an office where the emphasis was on output rather than architecture, and it is, believe me, soul destroying. Morale and self esteem sinks, and I actually missed college, and wished I was back there again to read in the library.

What I am trying to put across is, and what Timothy has so wrongly focused on, is not that work is the end of learning, but rather priorities shift, and the chances to learn are less frequent than those you have in college. My main point is (and this is one of experience and not naivety, Timothy) that yas, some of the lecturers are goddam awful, and yes, there needs to be a serious shake up in DIT of subjects, subject content, numbers, and resources.

However, there are some truly excellent lecturers in DIT who cannot be overlooked, and some brilliant subjects. I feel, because things are so slow in changing in DIT, that those students still in there should help themselves by reading as much as possible. You have yourself, so help yourself and each other. (Tadao Ando was self taught.) You will never again have the oppurtunity to study with as much concentration or singularity.

(For your information, Timothy, I'm researching colleges abroad to study for a Masters, so your little notion about being 'boltonised' is perplexing, as you seem to think that being 'boltonised' requires no interest in further gain of knowledge - strange that; maybe it's you who has been 'Boltonised' by placing people into categories that you yourself set up.)
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Postby SueO'Connor » Tue Jul 31, 2001 5:42 pm

Bolton Street is introducing a masters programme this year, just in case you are interested.
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Postby doozer » Tue Jul 31, 2001 5:55 pm

Are you sure? I've been hearing that one since first year.
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Postby x » Tue Jul 31, 2001 9:24 pm

As the Originator of this discussion, and as a person who has been through the system, I was delighted to hear the views of those affected.
However, I am most dissapointed by the comments from one Eoughan Walshe.
I know Eoughan, but not like the massivly inflated over-ego he is today.
Previously liked and respected as a gentle giant, I fear you have now lost those friends who are shocked by your new-found arrogance.
I ask you, before I reveal myself.....

Who do you think you are?


[This message has been edited by x (edited 31 July 2001).]
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Postby GregF » Thu Aug 02, 2001 9:05 am

12 fails in Bolton Street.......Oh dear...........substandard students or substandard teachers.............maybe a mixture of both morelike.
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Postby MK » Thu Aug 02, 2001 1:01 pm

MC,
your spelling is almost as good as Timothy's.
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Postby henry » Thu Aug 02, 2001 8:07 pm

12 fails-I think this is ridiculous
First of all what is the standard expected of a student???Medical students do not have to perform open-heart surgery before they qualify so why should we fail our theses when we have to design a complete building all by ourselves. When we qualify we will be working in offices with teams of people to design such bulidings and I'm sure it would take a number of years before we can design buildings by ourselves.Any "grown-up" architect will tell you that you never stop learning all throughout your career so I don't understand why there has to be such a high standard.If people spend months and months working on something, surely they should be rewarded with a pass for all the stress suffered etc...It is not fair to let get someone go through five gruelling years and then fail them just when they are building their confidence. Architectural learning only begins as far as I'm concerned when you leave college.As long as you have learnd the basic tools in college to prepare you for the role of an architect surely you should be allowed to pass.If you are crap nobody is going to hire you so you can go off and become an artist or something but who has the right to decide whether or not you are good enough or not and are these people that are making this decision "the gods of the architects"-I THINK NOT.
Gaudi was never even noticed when he was in college and look at the fantastic buildings he produced.Flowers blossom in their own good time.
Encouragement and positivity is something that is severely lacking in bolton st.
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Postby James » Thu Aug 02, 2001 8:23 pm

Henry

I surprise myself - I agree with most of what you're saying!!!.

Let the ignorant little buggers pass if they make the effort and arn't actually brain damaged - they can sink or swim in the 'real' world.

Only fair to note however that by those criteria of " I want to be an Architect therefore I should be one" that unqualified enthusiasts should be allowed to 'pass' through the system if they can show sufficient commitment - not actually a bad system let em' sink or swim!!.



[This message has been edited by James (edited 02 August 2001).]
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Postby kevin » Thu Aug 02, 2001 11:17 pm

Duncan, it's good to hear from you, but come on, it wasn't really that bad.
My experience this year had its ups and downs- but i think third year this year was quite good, partly due to us being lucky with lecturers but also the opinions of the class as a majority came together on a lot of issues, enabling us to do things like pressurize administration to give us adequate computer facilities etc., without having to go through the asa, who were really just going too slow. Granted we didn't get everything we wanted, such as more room or longer opening hours, but we definitely made a start.
Also i think that although Bolton St. seems to be a shit college, over here (in the States) it has a relatively good name, my current employer immediately asked me DIT or UCD in my interview (he probably would not have hired me if I was from UCD), so maybe it's still somehow putting out good students.
Also my own education seems to be holding up quite well over here in the world of Columbia graduates: I know as much, if not more, than anyone else in the office about computers, IT, etc, and I've discovered that american colleges don't generally teach technical detailing. All in all, it seems you can't teach common sense, which I think a lot of us are blessed with in Bolton Street.

However, I am in no way suggesting that things are okay; I agree with FJH that the system of hierarchies within the college is flawed, in that it is self-perpetuating and conducive to retaining unwanted elements. Problems with the structure of the Department are:
-no full-time member of staff can be fired. This obviously results in hangers-on, and who can blame them? They're getting paid far nothing, I'd do it if i could.
-This extends into a failure for the department to self-regulate itself, which results in stagnation. Their needs to be some sort of shift in structure to allow the department as a system to interrogate its own hierarchies and members (including Jim).
-There is little or no opportunity for student feedback into the department. Because the production of the most well-educated students and graduates is (or should) be the ultimate goal of the department, working student feedback programs need to be set up- representatives on whatever board hires full-time staff, representatives on the committee that allocates lecturers to the different years, student newsletters... These things are vital to keep the college evolving.
I think that all the short term solutions ("get rid of Jim", etc.) are just that- stop-gap solutions to big problems with the way things are being done. I think that any long-term goals that anyone involved in changing things in Bolton Street should be oriented towards changing the stucture of the school into something more flexible and self-regulating, perhaps with a committee instead of a department head...?
If anyone has any comments on how easy or hard this might be, or whether i'm just talking through my arse or whatever, please post them..
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Postby duncan » Sat Aug 25, 2001 12:58 pm

hello again

hope all is well with all

i still feel bolton street is dead
i hope and believe things will change

now is the most exciting time to be an architect or architectural student and what do we do with this, nothing;

sit around and moan without taking steps to do something. get living. do stuff and the architecture will follow, thats my reckoning

i have organized a weekend of art for the 28- 30 september 2001. i organized it for the start of college and hope that everyone will come and participate, i know that wont happen but youd never know??????

anyway theres an open forum on "sciece, art and religion", following on from frank lloys wright quote and view from @1930

"if the day ever dawns when sciece, art and religion become as one, we would then have the thing which is missing today"

the focus of the weekend is a huge piece of land art, which will be videod and photographed. it is a masssive experiment
"playing with phi 1.618......... gods favourite number", see www.oraiste.com

who knows what will happen

i believe that if this comes off lots of positive stuff will come from it and people will see the strangeness of life. that for me is the starting point. with that, then doing what you love

i dont think enough people say "what do i want" and then do somethinng about it.
i feel designing something you would love is the simple way to design. its a lovely area to be involved with, enjoy it

for more info see www.oraiste.com
i am looking for people to get involved with stuff this year, if anyones interested or has ideas let me know

i believe in working toward the ideal of a just world
a just world is a fun, sustainable and peaceful one

slan

dunk



[This message has been edited by duncan (edited 25 August 2001).]
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Postby BM » Tue Aug 28, 2001 8:31 pm

What has this got to do with 12 fails in Bolton St.?
I believe people are appealing the results but i think we all know that the monster that is DIT bureaucracy will squash any hope of a successful appeal, despite the fact that there are definitely a couple of projects that deserve at best a thorough revaluation
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Postby duncan » Fri Aug 31, 2001 8:54 pm

last year we were nearly guarenteed that for this year the 5th years would have their own 24 hour access studio on bolton stree, like other things that has fallen through.
already that has messed up people.
some were planning for house/ sttudio etc. or not, i hope they have heard the news by now, who knows
what sort of reaction will there be to this, i wonder?
slan
dunk
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Postby quirkey » Sat Sep 01, 2001 12:35 pm

And then everybody wonders why there was such a huge interest by third years in Erasmus this year, and why around two thirds of the rest of them have decided to take a year out.......I wonder how many will want to come back ? There's possibly a good thing in this for they few hardy and brave individuals that are going on to fouth year this year...... they might even have a desk each, or maybe even a computer between 4 or 5 (thats assuming they dont mind having one of those ornamental ones that doesnt work)
Everybody in bolton street can see how resources are being stretched to and beyond breaking point particularly for fourth year and even more so fifth. I think if it hadnt been for the absolute workaholic nature of Noel J. this year, we might otherwise be looking towards a fifth year this coming academic year with a similar results.

In a way bolton streets ambition to raise standards is a little like the governments transport policy, they want results without any of the short term pain of putting in the infrastructure to support their goals. We have a few brave and talented individuals trying to change things for the better, but it seems their pleas are as always falling on deaf ears.
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Postby 101 » Wed Sep 05, 2001 3:25 pm

Duncan. For Gods sake. Who in their right mind was thinking of living and working in the studios? Apart from you that is. Needless to say I am not one bit surprised it was your suggestion. Get a grip. I know that sometimes it may seem like we live there but there is a difference. And its people like you who are the reason we dont get 24 hour access. You can't live in studio. Who would want to?
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Postby izz4 » Thu Sep 06, 2001 2:45 pm

See the article in today's Irish Times re. DLIADT students?

Extract:
The third-level college in Dún Laoghaire is investigating complaints from students about its radio broadcasting course.
The students' union at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (DLIADT) has asked the Minister for Education, Dr Woods, to halt the course because of the complaints.
The college has been in contact with the Department of Education, and its director, Mr Jim Devine, said an investigation was "ongoing". He said, however, he stood over the course and it would go ahead this year.
The union has sent copies of letters from outgoing students of the course to Dr Woods. Several local TDs are also involved in the issue.

Bolton Street architecture students have been complaining for years about the standard of their course. You now need to campaign actively, just as the Dun Laoghaire students have done. Although you may be worried about lessening the value of your degree, it will be worth it in the long run.
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