Well, the Nationals aren't exactly killing it in our second season together after the concoction of the Rubric. That said, they've come exactly as billed. Strasbourg and Davey both ejected in the last week pretty much sums it up.
In non-baseball news, I've slowly but surely been installing myself at Barnard and having a delightful time doing it. Preparations for the first semester have been intense, prepping the courses and learning the undergraduate ropes of advising and the like. In all aspects, especially those that remind me how special a liberal arts environment can be, I find myself looking forward to the fall even more than usual.
Additionally, Summer 2013 has seen some exciting developments by way of defining the growing practice and our commitment to interdisciplinary and collaborative work in research, design, and consulting. I'm becoming ever more convinced that architects who want to engage the disciplines with shared interests and effects can absolutely do so, but not by talking to each other about the need for such engagement. And, again, perhaps it's the recent return of my liberal arts roots, but in an unsiloed world withunsiloed issues, the single-silo approach of architecture practiced as a singular discipline or even a singular profession will only limit effective outcomes, many of which may only sustain defective systems.
Re talking to each other and/or talking to others (part one): I spent two days at the City Resilient conference put on by PopTech in Brooklyn in June. There were plenty of appropriately big and appropriately small ideas circulated between several brilliant people from unimaginatively diverse fields. And, given the location and topic of the conference -- creating and sustaining resilient communities and cities in physical, economic, and social terms -- I admit that I expected to arrive to many familiar faces. In this, I was not disappointed but neither we're my expectations quite right. I expected more architects not instead, but in addtion (I even halfway expected a GSAPP delegation), given what's at stake in these questions: in the spatial patterns of design-facilitated resilience, in the idea of a city that lives or dies by the preparation of its systems and strength of its human ties. Two days with disparate thinkers focused on the same question is a rare and luxurious opportunity for a field of professionals seeking a spot at that table, a spot more* should be fighting for.
Re talking to each other and/or talking to others (part two): By way of announcement, I'll be briefly returning to Avery Hall next semester to participate in the Lectures in Planning Series on Tuesday, 1 October. In a somewhat interdisciplinary lecture, I hope to bring some of my work from the past couple years into a planning framework centered on changing responsibilities for advocacy planning. The talk is titled, "Beyond Big Data, Smart Phones, and Social Media: Notes in Advocacy from the other side of the Digital Divide" and will begin at 1PM.
Enjoy what is left of the summer. I, for one, will...as we near a fall season full of many exciting things. With some very serious luck, the fall may even include a chance at a National's post-season.
*This is, of course, a point that was reiterated by many in the conversations stemming from Foreclosed last year. In compiling and editing Comments, I could not ignore the frequency with which architects discussed the importance of architectural thinking applied to non-building questions of the city: of development, of community building, of policy making, and of financial structuring.