AM: You get so many different views of architecture there and no one is afraid to really tell you about them. And I think that's the sort of the fun part of it. And you'll get all of these different views and you sort of have to weigh through them.


TS: I would say demographically it's very small and very international in terms of the enrollment component - students, a small, international body.


That in itself, regardless of the faculty, regardless of the course work, regardless of the actual discipline of architecture, I mean, that alone creates a certain kind of environment for learning that is fantastic. The fact that the faculty has conviction is very, very important and it means that they have a desire to teach you something as opposed to simply the desire to teach you.


TH: Obviously, the sort of, you know, the classical and traditional urbanism - the focus on that, I think, is something that is not common, you know, across a lot of architecture schools. That's putting it lightly. But that, I think, is a very different culture, the idea that you study the past to come up with new ways of solving the problems of the future.


JC: A culture of collaboration or culture of...what do we call it? culture of...


LF: I don't know.


JC: ...of working together, of working around other people. And, I guess, part of what we were talking about, this idea of originality, that part of that mythology comes from the idea of the heroic architect and one of the things that we were doing and one of the ways we were operating in at least the last year or so at Sci Arc, and I started doing it long before that, was that you work with other people and that there is no one person working on it but there are, you know, three or four and a critic becomes as much a part of that design team...


LF: Yeah.


JC: ...and has as much say as the other people - maybe not as much but they...the way in which the project becomes more valuable than the individuals' efforts.


So there's an implicit agreement that you're there to be part of the experiment...


LF: ...or that you're part of something larger than yourself.


JC: Yeah, and that you're going to contribute to it.


LF: Yeah.


JC: That if you're not willing to give up that then...


LF: ...then you shouldn't be there.


But I think at Sci Arc there's a real flattening out of hierarchies between instructors, students, you know, staff members which is problematic sometimes but things really...it's a place where things really do come from the bottom up and the top down. But, you know, if you want to do something at Sci Arc, you just do it.


JC: Yeah, you don't ask for permission.


LF: You don't really ask for permission. Yeah, you just do it and if somebody yells at you, you suck it up.


JC: You yell back.


LF: You yell back.


CR: Ever since first year or second year you'd be in studio. We, you know, always pushed each other and we'd, you know, be there in studio, and you're looking over and Pete's still here. He's building a sectional model now. Now I'm going to have to build a sectional model and I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight.


DM: And I think that's something that's been encouraged by our professors is not in the...I think the term, I guess, has a different connotation...


CR: Right.


DM: ...because we compete with each other as a way of, of sort of, maintaining a level of work.


CR: But it's also, like, but it maintains a level of excitement about the work and stuff like that, too. There's a healthy component to that, really healthy.


JC: Find those people around you that really take you to the limits or that you can talk about your work, that are as disinterested in your work as you are interested in it and can inform you and be critical and help when you need it and tell you to work harder or tell you to work smarter when you need it.


LF: Although our school has moved, we're recreating this in the new school and it's called the thesis pit. So, it's actually a mezzanine...yea, there you go.


JC: There's the thesis pit.


LF: It's a big space that has a mezzanine all the way around it. So, it's the one time in school when you're incredibly exposed. Everyone can see what you're doing and you are in the thick of it working with everyone else. So just the environment cultivates that type of collaboration.

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