My friend once asked me why I loved architecture. The answer was “I don’t know.” Really, I didn’t, and still don’t know. Or for precise, I can’t describe it. I do love architecture though, that’s I admit, and not to be ashamed of whatsoever. Just can’t explain why. Seeing back to my childhood, I can never forget how my answer was always “to be an architect” when adults asked me “what would you want to be when you grow up?”, despite other kids usually said “to be a doctor.” But as I attended architecture school and then got into the professional world, I changed my opinion and always told people, “I’m an architecture school graduate, but I don’t want to be an architect.”
Even so, still..here I am now. Running a life as an architecture school student, once again. Far away from home, in this foreign country called Korea.
The past 2.5 months of my second semester here in Dongguk Univ, I’ve been more struggling with books in architecture history class (officially the class titled is Modernity and Modern Architecture). My supervisor professor runs this class. And he really tortures us with books and books and books, thick and difficult ones. The starter was Sigfried Giedion the what-so-called the “bible of architecture history” >> Space, Time and Architecture: The growth of a new tradition. This 960-pages book was uughh (T-T). And our professor did threw us questions related to the content…the 3 hours monday evening nightmare.
There are more to read, from Risebero’s “Modern Architecture and Design – An alternative history”, Karl Marx “Das Kapital” (I hate this book! All about economy thingy and still we need to get a grip of the idea of this book), Francastel’s “Art and Technology in the 19th and 20th century” to an old book of “New Artlantis.” Don’t ask me what’s the relation of these whole books…because somehow (at least my professor thought) they all have things in common. And he has more books for reference,but we tend to ignore the rest. These compulsory ones are enough.
And the past two days I’ve been catching a cold. In this freezing days, catching a cold is so hard. It’s the after effect of the crazy week. The peak was sleepless night on Tuesday. Our architecture studio required us to prepare our design for our department exhibition. And no matter how hard I tried to finish it without any sleepless night, I knew that’s just a false hope. No architecture student can avoid the hectic sleepless night before the dead-line.
And it’s harder for me here because I still had to spend my Friday to Sunday afternoons for part time job. I couldn’t skip the job because, of course I needed the money. Especially making model really costly here. Even though our professor subsidized us for materials, but still spending our own money was unavoidable. So my life the past week was mostly: morning to lab, before noon to after in the restaurant, evening till midnight in the lab…and this cycle went on for the whole weekend. Vitamin booster did help.
Of course I experience the old-frustration again. The frustration that all design-based people know the feeling. The moments when you know you’re running out of time, still so much to do, but all you have is only one head and two hands which are barely enough, wanted to cry yourself out like crazy to let go of the heavy heart and mind but your pressured head keep reminding you “keep the cry for later, keep your energy to finish it all, don’t waste time for crying”, and all you could do was nothing but keep working like a machine with a silent prayer for God’s miracle.
And these familiarly frustrated questions popped up in my head again after all these years…”What the hell am I doing? why am I trapped in this black hole again? why I fall in love with this tiring architecture school? I don’t even want to be an architect..do I?”
But when my works are set on the exhibition table, was all paid off? Well, I’m not fully content though especially with the lousy presentation panel, but I’m proud of myself. I could get through this, as always.
~~notice a familiar Toyo Ito’s-Sendai-Mediatheque-structure like? yeah, I got it from there, again (i took the same structure idea for my final studio in undergrad). But I use hybrid structure here, combining the conventional grid structure with that hollow tube one.
Our school exhibition took place at a gallery in Hapjeong area in Mapo District, Seoul, called Hapjeong XI Gallery at this “uniquely-designed” building. (I don’t really like this building though).
Then if someone asked me would I want to get through this ever again? Like, for example, taking another design studio next semester, would I do it? Well….that’d probably okay for me. You know, some people say love is absurd. I hate all this.This is so damn tiring. I want a normal life. But yet, I cannot resist it somehow.