Galway, City Architect?

Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 2:54 pm

Quote "Result: Duchas, pissed down too many peoples' backs and self-destructed in no time."

You mean they asked for money for something other than a motorway to nowhere or a PR consultant.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:10 pm

I mean, that in very fine-grained complex issues to do with how they environment is made up - they simply assumed to know a lot more than they actually did - and the scary thing was - they actually seemed to have the power to affect things.

A bit like putting Goebbels in charge of the Luftwafa in WWII, despite the fact, he hadn't got a clue about airplanes. Or Hitler deciding which tank, bomber or assault plan to use in Barbaroza - it can happen, and it was happening with Duchas. I take on board, what you say totally in favour of Duchas - but get the whole story, the real reasons about why they self-destructed, before jumping to conclusions, based on stuff that you might have heard etc.

Your organisation, An Taisce seems to have a very wide interest in all matters environmental - but doesn't claim totally competency in any of them - An Taisce has persisted much longer than an duchas - and An Taisce will only become better and more crucial to the modernisation of the this country in thinking and execution of things.

An Duchas should have been wearing swastikas - Hitler wanted to be an architect too. It is easy to get drunk on power, and that I think, is why architects have never been attracted by the civil service - their lust for power above and beyond their stations is unstoppable, as seen in an duchas.

Still the message the are carrying is true and good, but it would be better they educated their market, instead of trying to force it to change in one almighty blitzkreig attempt. Check out a Malaysian architect called Ken Yeang - holds joint qualifications in marketing and architecture - shrewd business man, big corporate clients and a good architect to boot.
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:13 pm

Quote "An Duchas should have been wearing swastikas."

Nah that was Sile Develera

You are right however about multi-disciplinary environments and the need for greater specialties. Also that these specialists need to consult with each other and develop consensus prior to major decisions being taken.

The only reason I defend Duchas is because I know the only realistic alternative is ministerial dictat. Mullaghmore faced quite a bit of internal opposition in Duchas but was pushed through as part of a government policy.

Which given the current administrations desire to placate all and sundry in the run up to Junes local election scares me quite frankly.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:14 pm

I don't follow politics and am reluctant therefore to get into this directly, but my sources on this are shock-proof Diaspora - do more research please and come back to me.

Like I say, educate your market first to accept the product you are selling - this is the goal of an taisce really, if you think about it.

It is more subtle than the iron-fist approach of an duchas, but eventually could swing more people. See what the Italians did to El Duce. And El Duce probably had some good messages for Italy, in terms of its prosperity - but people reacted, perhaps mistakenly and rashly too, against what they saw, as someone with too much power.
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:28 pm

Quote "Like I say, educate your market first to accept the product you are selling - this is the goal of an taisce really, if you think about it."

Accepted entirely.

Quote "Your organisation, An Taisce seems to have a very wide interest in all matters environmental - but doesn't claim totally competency in any of them"

The wide range is accepted entirely, I don't understand a lot of the finer scientific theories behind a lot of the Natural environment policies. Not because I don't see the rational, simply because I am not a scientist. It can get extremely technical at times.

It is that range of mandate that makes An Taisce different from probably every other comparible organisation internationally.

But that says more about the NGO sector in Ireland than it does about An Taisce.

In terms of size the natural environment sector in the US is three times that of all cultural organisations including museums, orchestras etc (National Trusts are classified as Arts. Culture and Heritage)

I am not defending duchas or anyone else but simply saying that it is not a bad thing to have city architects. Not all services need to be farmed out to the private sector on ideological grounds.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:15 pm

Originally posted by Diaspora

I am not defending duchas or anyone else but simply saying that it is not a bad thing to have city architects. Not all services need to be farmed out to the private sector on ideological grounds.


Like LUAS thing-ies commissioned by Mrs O' Rourke etc?

Am, just take a look at Ken Yeang and marketing - investments in marketing dollars, and subsequent ROI, are something which BMW, INtel etc have understood now for years. Intel inside ad campaign, Levis add in laundrette boosted sales 800%. BMW recent online ads by famous directors.

In architecture we have lots of small charismatic men, who are excellent at public speaking - that is great, but what about a more subtle approach?

I have this vision stuck in my head of architects, being like Hitler in that footage, where he walks up the steps of the Reichstag in 193x, without any opposition whatsoever, and simply accepted command of the nation on behalf of his brownshirts.

Architects, in their own crazed imaginations, expect things to be just like that for themselves, because they are architects, having spent 10 years qualifying.
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Postby phil » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:15 pm

Originally posted by FIN
:D

it's not too hard to remember where places are on the atlas!!!!
i know very simplified but yeah! i wonder how many. not as much points needed and definetly not the same amount of years. although i know some of the better ones did do a course in town planning.
the question is of course... would you be happy!!!! :D


Fin, I really hope you are joking!? As a geography student I feel I must defend my discipline. Firstly to presume that most planners are geographers is to genaralise. Secondly to criticise planners because you think they are from a geography background is insulting. I find it particularly suprising as in another thread you were discussing how you would advocate the use of social scientists in designing buildings. I personally think that engagement of architects with the likes of geographers would more than likely be a positive. I think the study of geography gives a good understanding of the use and interpretation of space. It is also helpful in understanding peoples attachment to place.

http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?threadid=2670&perpage=15&pagenumber=3
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:19 pm

Typical example of where geographers and architects could/should cooperate. I hope Reddy etc, might bring this issue to the fore - one of the areas I think he is particularly strong in - I still don't like his pro-traditional isolationist stance on architects and qualification etc, though.

I can't calculate FAR etc, not my area of expertise, but I can understand it visually.

A typical one of wilderness development, driven by having cars, and lots of home entertainment, web access etc, in the USA.

If I get any more extreme rural developments, I will post them. I think some of these may work as retreat type places, like the ancient Cistercian monastery etc, but as new residential developments.... ?

Outer Suburbia?

Some things like this, have integrated well into places like Rathgar Road etc,I think.

Perhaps not pretty in some peoples' eyes, but definitely sustainable as development I think, on smaller available plots.

another one;

I dunno, how to calculate densities on FARs for this but, I think you get the idea.

And another attempt at density.

I think that Wright was very good at doing this sort of thing here.

Perhaps suitable for a number of smaller apartments nowadays on suitable site, circa Rathmines or similar? Certainly would be contextual anyhow.

Another kind of place,

sunnier,

Or here.

Or this.

Goind even further denser in FAR;

Similar idea.

We certainly haven't built like this in Ireland since the times of the Eucharistic congress! I.e. The Catholic Church building private mansions on huge swats of land in urban areas.

This type of development, is attractive, as it actually manages to create a strong definition of a street I think.

As this one does;

Docklands? Notice how elements like that bridge in the background, are important perceptual landmarks in such a place.

Handsome looking attempt at very high density.

Another one.
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:28 pm

Qoute "Like LUAS thing-ies commissioned by Mrs O' Rourke"

As time goes on I begining to think that O'Rourke might have been a convenient person to blame when everything disintegrated.

Denied the cash by McCreevy and Breannans get out of jail free card he was after all chief whip and meant to keep her under control.

There were two main problems with the LUAS, the first being the idea to revisit what format it was to take.

The second which is much more indemic is the inability of this administration to get their contracts honoured at the prices signed.

I just can't imaging Intel or BMW caving in like our government departments do on a daily basis.

I am not so sure about architects being autocratic, although it is a little understandable if peoples reactions are vocal when six months of their work goes down the tubes for whatever reason.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:38 pm

Autocratic, dunno...

isolationist yes definitely.

Like the Bush America was.

Remember Hitler eventually ended up in a bunker.

Architects need to adopt a more reaching-out approach I think:

The Bush management style embodies the pre-creative corporate era--formal, hierarchal, with decision-making concentrated in the hands of only the most senior executives. Clinton was happy in Hollywood and vacationed in Martha's Vineyard. Bush can't wait to get back to Crawford. Clinton reveled in the company of writers, artists, scientists, and members of the intellectual elite. Bush has little tolerance for them. Clinton, in his rhetoric and policies, wanted to bring the gifts of the creative class--high technology, a tolerant culture--to the hinterlands. Bush aimed to bring the values and economic priorities of the hinterlands to that ultimate creative center, Washington, D.C.


In fairness though, I guess Frank McDonald and Duncan Stewart together have done much to publicise architecture in a sympathetic fashion. But apart from that, the attempts have been typically ham-fisted - our architectural education setup being the most prime example of BUSH-style politics I have ever seen in my life.
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Postby alan d » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:41 pm

....... I seem to be losing the thread here Lads, sorry.

Thought we were talking about the benefits or otherwise of the "City Architect" In my view they seem to be a waste of time.

Phil, I assumed you were an architect, your design assessment of Carlisle Pier seemed right on the button. Maybe Geographers and architects do have a future
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:43 pm

Originally posted by alan d
....... I seem to be losing the thread here Lads, sorry.

Thought we were talking about the benefits or otherwise of the "City Architect" In my view they seem to be a waste of time.


What makes Archiseek useful at all, is different opinions.

Phil, I assumed you were an architect, your design assessment of Carlisle Pier seemed right on the button. Maybe Geographers and architects do have a future


Both can give a bit to the other I think.
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Postby alan d » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:47 pm

.........the deficiency lies with me Brian, as usual
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:48 pm

A freind of mine graduated from DIT this year he said there were only 7 graduates in Architecture this year. Is there any reason for that or does the course incline people to drop out?
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:54 pm

The whole wider notion of having a course called architecture in the first place - that is the big question you have to look at really. I have attempted to articulate some pluses, and some minuses. I have attempted to point out areas where geographers and architects talents might overlap and be used in concert with each other. Not, just allowing it all deteriorate into another boozy, late-night, pub DIT bashing contest, which usually is all that happens and solves very, very little.

LIke I say, there are so many more advantages and incentives to go and do anything else except a long siege-like battle against the system of architectural qualification. Getting any work as an undergraduate architect here in Dublin, is like selling the big issue sometimes. Or worse. :(

Sub-refugee status, something like that!
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:05 pm

Quote "Not, just allowing it all deteriorate into another boozy, late-night, pub DIT bashing contest"

Far from it I really enjoyed my five years at DIT as college is about much more than acedemic learning. It is more about learning to teamwork with other people at 4am the morning before the group project is due up.

I was simply asking was there some procedural reason why 60 or so started studying architecture in 1998 and only 7 graduated in 2003?

If I was bashing any uni Trinity would get it, sorry phil but I am a fan of industry focused courses taught by experienced practicioners.
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Postby alan d » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:20 pm

.........would you say Diaspora, that in order to teach architecture and design you should have built something?

It's not a trick question, I'm interested in your view
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:20 pm

That said,

What deferentiates good from bad planning is the interaction between the different disciplines.

I really took to Geography at second level getting an A1 and I am an avid traveller. I have imported many of my ideas on planning from things I have seen travelling.

I would respectfully suggest that DIT drop classical music from its architectural curriculum and put a module of urban geography in its place. ;)
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:26 pm

Quote "that in order to teach architecture and design you should have built something"

To be a senior architectural lecturer you need not necessarily have built something, but have worked in the relevant discipline for a decent period. It is the same in all professions with the exception of possibly theoretical physiscs or pure computer or earth sciences.

Practical experience for lecturers is in my humble opinion worth a lot more than acedemic learning in teaching the core subject of any professional qualification.

It is very noticable the number of architects who do architectural technician first, work for a few years and return to complete their degree.

The lecturers I have the greatest respect for were those that explained the industry to you. Those that went beyond what books or the web could tell you.

Many of the DIT lecturers were also working part time in private practice or writing reports on a private basis.
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Postby phil » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:33 pm

Originally posted by Diaspora



If I was bashing any uni Trinity would get it, sorry phil but I am a fan of industry focused courses taught by experienced practicioners.


That is fair enough Diaspora, but sometimes I think you should maybe just take peoples experience of space and place into account.

Garethace, I liked those examples, thanks


Quote
"Maybe Geographers and architects do have a future"
Cheers Alan, maybe we might collaborate some day!:D

Anyhow, to get back to the original thread: what about a City Geographer instead of a city architect?:D ;)
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Postby alan d » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:43 pm

City Geographer, eh? oh we got one of those Phil............. only he's called Director of Planning.

Diaspora, Jack Coia a very important Scottish Architect of the mid twentieth century and recipient of the RIBA Gold medal once remarked that " any c*** can build using nine materials but it takes a master to use only three"

It's not technical expertise that I think is important but an understanding of how things go together that's needed. That can only come with time and having built.

The exception would be Lou Kahn, the greatest architect of the twentieth century in my view. Who taught for most of his life and built only at the later stages of his career some of the greatest buildings in the world.

Strange, eh?
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:44 pm

Quote "That is fair enough Diaspora, but sometimes I think you should maybe just take peoples experience of space and place into account."

If you go to UCD or Queens and do the planning masters, you will see what I am talking about.

I wasn't trying to have a go at TCD geography but I am of the opinion that the DIT built environment programme delivers the best format for entry into what is an industry with pretty defined roles.

I am of the opinion that those who know what they want to do at a young age choose courses such as Law, Architecture or accountancy.

If it were your intention to do planning all along fair play. Four years studying in Trinity and then your two year masters is a good way to spend six years.

Many others take a couple more years and do something open such as Arts. Therebye leaving their options open.
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Postby phil » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:59 pm

Diaspora, while I was doing an MA in UCD I took one of my unit courses in the Planning Department so I know, to a small extent, what you mean. I got a huge amount out of it and it opened me up to many other disciplines. I might do Planning yet, but no plans to at the moment.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:01 pm

Originally posted by Diaspora

Far from it I really enjoyed my five years at DIT as college is about much more than acedemic learning. It is more about learning to teamwork with other people at 4am the morning before the group project is due up.

I was simply asking was there some procedural reason why 60 or so started studying architecture in 1998 and only 7 graduated in 2003?
[/B]


No it is just to establish this point very clear and precisely from the outset - otherwise, any discussion is merely dismissed as DIT bashing by the very people would should be listening to this - i.e. Reddy and his crew.

We have to find some way to navigate 'politically' so to speak right around the DIT bashers, in order to achieve any sucessful debate about this subject to begin with. This is easier said than done - as most people who have made a career virtually out of DIT bashing, are fully qualified DIT members of the general population themselves.

Furthermore I think, the sucesses of the DIT system are more than evident in the breath and understanding about urban issues brought to this message board, by the both of us.

Give yourself a slap on the back and a thumbs up DIT. Anyhow, what I find educational about this message board, is how different people from a variety of courses and disiplines all seem to converge on similar issues here at something called 'Archiseek'.

It is possible to drift through years of architecture in Bolton Street, without ever imagining that anyone else in the world except architects worry/think or have opinions about these issues.

A very sore mistake made by countless architects I think, is to only see their own little world. I enjoyed my day yesterday out at the Carlisle pier exhibition mingling and chatting with a very broad cross section of concerned and vested interests. A very fulfilling esperience I must say.

And my open-mindedness in listening/discussing things with ordinary folk out there, was in no small measure thanks to archiseek experience of doing likewise.
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:06 pm

Originally posted by phil


Fin, I really hope you are joking!? As a geography student I feel I must defend my discipline. Firstly to presume that most planners are geographers is to genaralise. Secondly to criticise planners because you think they are from a geography background is insulting. I find it particularly suprising as in another thread you were discussing how you would advocate the use of social scientists in designing buildings. I personally think that engagement of architects with the likes of geographers would more than likely be a positive. I think the study of geography gives a good understanding of the use and interpretation of space. It is also helpful in understanding peoples attachment to place.

[/url]



i was phil...
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