Entry Points

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

Entry Points

Postby Architeckt » Thu Aug 30, 2001 11:53 am

I see that the points to get into bolton street have fallen for the degree and diploma course.

I wonder if all the plethora of verbal missles thrown at the colleges educational standard have scared away aspiring students?

Meanwhile UCD architecture has risen in points.

I certainly hope that the trend does not continue, I would hate to see the reputation of bolton street graduates and undergraduates damaged by a few careless remarks.

The college has a lot to offer on so many levels, but students only seem to be able to see its negative aspects (mainly lack of space and equipment).

What about its ability to offer such a practical grounding in the rules of architecture and building, with interaction not only between the architecure and architectural technician student but with students from a wide spectrum of related fields such as engineers, surveyors, trades men and design students.

It also has many gifted staff (they are quite a few) who are willing to nurture a desire for the more artistic end of the profession, the history and art of architecture and the appreciation of contemporary projects.

So stop worrying about a lack of commputers and concentrate and getting the most from the staff and fellow students.

I would hope that this felling of self worth would harbour a renewed desire to go to bolton street amongst future architectural applicants.
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Postby fjh » Thu Aug 30, 2001 3:56 pm

what interaction?

any interaction that does occur is usually an organizational sham with niether party really motivated to accomplish anthing.

in my experience of this "interaction" the relevant parties arrive, take copies of the drawings and thats it. the easiest way out is sought and there is no staff encouragement to try and investigate innovative and elegant solutions to the multitudes of problems which arise.

as for the many gifted staff, there once was quite a few staff members of outstanding quality in bolton street. sadly for the students there was a recent exodus of these people, some leaving to teach in ucd others concentrating on thier practice.
these individuals were given no incentive to remain and were treated with contempt by the admistration.

there now remains only a very small core of enthusiastic staff.


bolton street students are as a result coming out a lot worse off with many becoming dissolusioned by the first few months of first year where they are pummeled by over bearing and negative staff members.

computers are not the main gripe of the students in bolton street. students now have some access to computers and while it is still inadequate - five computers between first and second year, it IS better than nothing. its a start at least.

the students of bolton street should not be worried about the "reputation" of the college.
bolton street students no longer have anything to lose and as the schools reputation falls so does the admistrations.

you get a job based on your portfolio, experience and attitude - not on your college.

this is a good thing, and i hope the application numbers fall lower.

the admistration will be forced to make changes and the students will have more power.

as for bolton street graduates being worried - any graduates relying solely on the fact that they came out of bolton street to get by should rethink thier approach or do anything you can to help the students change the college for the better.

years of negelect and self serving laziness by the people who run the course have brought the college to this point.

everybody needs to pull together and change it for the better.


[This message has been edited by fjh (edited 30 August 2001).]
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Postby Architeckt » Thu Aug 30, 2001 5:10 pm

I could not agree more, a concentrated effort by the students to create a learning enviroment in the college is definitely the way forward.

The best time to do it would be early in the year when enthusiasm is high. The question is what exactly should be done?

Architectural dissucsions, in house competitions, demonstraions etc....?

Have you any ideas yourself?

As for your belief that a lack of interest in the courses would be good.... well I cant agree with that I would not like to see Boltons streets name sink before it could be rescued.
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Postby nono » Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:49 pm

well isnt it wonderful to see everybody winge about bolton street again. i agree there is problems within the school of architecture, possibly more than one, but constant criticism of the college, its tutors and its students does little for the morale of the people involved on all levels. listening to people on this website and even the ordinary mortals and students complain and rant on about what should be done to improve the course/standard of architecture etc. with little or no affirmative action does greater damage than even the lowest standard of education could ever do by itself.

the real standards of architecture are in our minds and not in the schools or adminastration, and blame cannot be placed on dit et al, and a cure all response expected . the students cannot revolt against dit or dear ould jimmy horan, or the inneffective studio staff, this process has proved ( and no doubt will again ) completely useless .

they must revolt against, and amongst themselves and their own limitations to truly learn. never before has there been an oppurtunity to genuinly throw a pencil in with the pens.

could somebody please give some real advice?
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Postby fjh » Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:51 pm

encouraging the current heads to resign - by making thier positions undesirable
telling everyone about bolton street - media (aai, riai-they already know well)
petitions for removal of staff
online surveys on staff/facilties/lectures
constant poster campaigns
high profile distruptions of college organized events - dinners, lectures, exhibitions etc.

an anoymous think thank to inspire the iniatives -with the suggestions voted on by the student body
student exhbitions continuosly in the arch depertment
a student magazine and website
school (not class) trips to encourage unity and thought
student discussion forums
student crit sessions
the winterschool
lunchtime lectures by students and guests
the return of flash fridays

disbanding of the asa - what good is it anyway?
rotating representatives so that nobody can be targeted
refusal to cooperate with the admistration

syllabus restructuring
more collaborative liasing with school of trades
with more direct emphasis on the architectural
process rather than constuction techniques.
eg. modelmaking - metalworking,casting,milling

the courses have to be gutted and rebuilt by new staff.

a new head of school is required, possibly even a commitiee instead of one leader comprised of enthusiastic and inspired indivuals who are dedicated to making the college one of the best in europe.


forget about bolton streets "name". its not fooling anyone anymore, and before all it was was a hype regurgetated by the department at open days. it is perpetuation of something that never really existed.


please tell me what you think - disagree - but say how you would do it differently.
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Postby doozer » Thu Aug 30, 2001 8:40 pm

Most of that sounds doable or at least attemptable. I'm looking forward to getting back.
Architeckt-the students who write in to this page may not articulate themselves in the most productive of manners but the comments are not flippant. Its just frustrating to be in such a ridiculous system which is run by ridicuous people. After a while patience and reason run out and we tend to sound hysterical. I've said this before but whether or not we should educate ourselves and whether where we go to college affects our future careers the rapidly slipping standards of education in Bolton ST should not be excused and should never be tolerated.

For any one who is interested Jim Horan has just let it be known that the studio that was meant to be set up for the fifth years ( because last year half of them didn't have desks,literally) will now not be going ahead.
Lets just say I am hardly surprised

[This message has been edited by doozer (edited 30 August 2001).]
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Postby mark » Thu Aug 30, 2001 8:41 pm

i certainly agree fjh, but is this discussion going to generate into the annual bolton street winge yet again, speaking for the students of bolton st. this is one charade we do not need to see championed yet again.
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Postby doozer » Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:01 pm

here here. Sooooooooo bord with that
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Postby Brian Smyth » Fri Aug 31, 2001 12:55 am

Would it not be better to campaign for an independent Facilitator, agreed between the students and staff to facilitate a workshop for reform. This could be over say three days/weekend.
Facilitators are independent professional people who will run the forum and steer it to positive ideas and solutions.
Before the forum, the Facilitator will get both parties to agree on an agenda, attendees, and also agree to set into motion the results/outcome of the forum by an agreed timeline. A committee could be elected to steer the agreements through.
The results are published for everyone to see and can be assessed/ticked off as they happen. Lack of performance by either party can be a matter for future protest but at least a peacefull method was tried first as a benchmark.
This would save an awful lot of disruption to both sides and hopefully by the end of the forum there would be a clearer understanding and respect for each others point of view.
The cost of the forum could be sponsored or the college might foot the bill as a PR excercise. Both parties should consider representatives from out side sources to add dynamics to the forum such as students/lecturers from UCD, Government or private sector business. They would also be a witness to the process.
Students could lobby for such a forum if the college are reluctant to such an idea. I believe the public would see it as a very positive and worthwhile approach by the students and college.
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Postby shadow » Fri Aug 31, 2001 8:36 am

The decline in points is a purely technical issue, caused by the suspension of the annual interview brought about by Foot and Mouth
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Postby Architeckt » Fri Aug 31, 2001 10:50 am

"they (the students) must revolt against, and amongst themselves and their own limitations to truly learn. never before has there been an oppurtunity to genuinly throw a pencil in with the pens." quote from nono

This is exactly what I am trying to say, the real challenges facing the students is the obstacle of vision.

The lecturers, the crit pit, the commputers, the studios, all tools. What is needed is student inspiration. I hear alot of graduates talk of great things organised by their past tutors, but nothing that the students created and ran remains strong with them if indeed they did anything.

fjh had a few ideas

"an anoymous think thank to inspire the iniatives -with the suggestions voted on by the student body
student exhbitions continuosly in the arch depertment
a student magazine and website
school (not class) trips to encourage unity and thought
student discussion forums
student crit sessions
the winterschool
lunchtime lectures by students and guests
the return of flash fridays"

these are good, some more than others, I particularly like the idea of a student web site and magazine/newsletter.

Dont disband the ASA just restructure it prehaps have a member from each year, eight all together. It should be an organisational body for the students ideas.

Above all the students need to do their own things without the staff. To be free to explore their own abilitys with their peers
without worrying what mark out of ten...sorry nine that they will get.
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Postby fjh » Fri Aug 31, 2001 3:01 pm

a "forum" and peaceful methods have already been pursued with little effect.

as for an independant facilitator the idea is a good one but the college will never admit that there is a problem.

forums are no longer the way to proceed.

jim horan had the chance at the forums between staff and students last year to try and resolve this through dialogue but instead he chose to weasel his way out of doing anything through lies and empty promises which the ASA were so easily won over by.

and he will do the same agian if we let him.

the students have not been extreme enough in thier measures thus far.

extreme methods are the only way to begin a process of change in bolton street.

we must draw attention to ourselves and make it known to all what a sham the couse is.

and for people still worried about our "name" -

if it is our generation of students who manage to reform bolton street and make it great, we will be remembered as the ones who stood up against the established mediocrity and fought with a passion for what we beleive in.

the students who revolted years ago in UCD architecture are still remembered.


the other factor preventing the students progressing is the childish attitudes of many who refuse to attend events purely because they dont like the person who thought them up. (you might learn something even if you dont like them)

the students have to come together and support each other.

trips like the one duncan proposed are definitely a good way to get everybody thinking and working together.


student inpsiration is important to make the course a good one but having inspiring, dedicated lecturers who nurture this is just as important.

we cant teach ourselves everything.

[This message has been edited by fjh (edited 31 August 2001).]
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Postby doozer » Fri Aug 31, 2001 4:30 pm

Blah,blah,blah
lets just wait and see what happens
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Postby Brian Smyth » Mon Sep 03, 2001 6:30 am

Clearly there is strong (and passionate) difference in opinion coming from correspondents here and the Forum ‘12 Fails in Bolton Street’. This is a healthy thing for generating ideas but not a healthy thing when trying to negotiate in unison with another party.
May I suggest students workshop with an independent Facilitator would be an appropriate first? This would help sort out the diverse opinions of the students (and sympathisers) before taking the issue further – whether it is street protests or across the table discussions or my preferred choice of workshopping with an independent facilitator?
Workshopping is used when putting together a brief for community type projects, so it would be a great learning experience for everyone involved.
An agreed (by consensus) clear list of issues must be a first starting point.
So who would like to start the list on behalf of a) The Students and b) The College Staff?
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Postby James » Mon Sep 03, 2001 8:41 pm

God, this subject is soooo boring!!!, so Bolton Street's a miserable Kip - it always was!!!.

Why don't you all just get on with figuring out how to qualify and clear up some web space!.
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Postby Brian Smyth » Fri Sep 07, 2001 1:12 am

Soooo boring for you James – but not sooooo boring for the students who failed or have to struggle with a course, or lecturers who may not be up to scratch. Nothing appears to have changed since I graduated from there over 20 years ago, and nothing will unless the students take a stance. The atmosphere then was terrible as it appears now. The lecturers were distant and aloof but somehow you struggled on and got through because of the enjoyment of Architecture itself - not the course. The course was a stepping stone, which should have been more enjoyable as well as intuitive. I guess I did most of my learning working in architects’ offices in the summer like Scott Tallon and Walker than I did at Bolton St. Talking and learning from practicing architects gives you greater focus as a student. If you miss this as a student you could easily become vulnerable to apathy and failure in a place like Bolton St.
It is good to read about the students' union at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and their former students protesting about the standard of the radio broadcasting course. Maybe there is a lesson here for Bolton St.
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