HERE AND NOW: TEACHING

TAUGHT THIS LAST SPRING SEMESTER AS AN INSTRUCTOR AT THE ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE,  SAN FRANCISCO.  ALBERTO BERTOLI,  ARCHITECT AND DIRECTOR, A FORMER PROFESSOR AND FRIEND AT SCI-ARC. WE SHARE THE SAME AGE AND DESIGN INTERESTS.  HE DESIGNED THE CONVENTION CENTER IN SAN DIEGO AMONG A HOST OF OTHER BUILDINGS.  WORKED WITH CESAR PELLI AND ARTHUR ERIKSON.  AN EXCELLENT DESIGNER THAT APPRECIATES MY TALENT. I GAVE A ONE WEEK CHARETTE AT THE COLLEGE IN 2006,  THEY HAD 40 GRADUATE STUDENTS THEN, NOW THERE ARE 200 STUDENTS AND GROWING. THERE IS AN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM ONE YEAR OLD AND EXPANDING . THE ACADEMY HAS 34 BUILDINGS IN DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO AND AN ENROLLMENT OF 10,000 IN CLASS ROOMS AND 5,000 ON THE INTERNET.  A BOOMING ENTERPRISE.  THE ARCHITECTURAL COLLEGE IS THE ONLY PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL.   THE INSTRUCTORS ARE TALENTED.  THE STUDENTS ARE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD AND USA,  EAGER TO LEARN.  BUT WANT TO GET THROUGH AS FAST AS THEY CAN . WHAT’S NEW. THAT WAS MY OBJECTIVE WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL AS WELL.  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SLOW THEM DOWN TO TAKE EDUCATION SERIOUSLY AND MAYBE TAKE EXTRA CLASSES TO LEARN MORE.

GETTING BACK TO TEACHING  ON A FULL TIME BASIS AFTER 20 YEARS WAS A CHALLENGE.  THERE WAS A MINOR STUDENT REVOLT HALF WAY THROUGH MY DESIGN STUDIO, A WAKE UP CALL FOR ME AND THE STUDENTS. I THREATENED THEM I WOULD HOLD THEM BACK IF THEY DID NOT SHAPE UP. THE END RESULTS WERE REWARDING.  THE COMPUTER IS THEIR LOVE THESE DAYS.  I HAD TO DRAG THEM OUT OF THE COMPUTER LAB TO BUILD PHYSICAL MODELS.  I TAUGHT A FUTURISTS WORKSHOP AS WELL ABOUT  PAST AND PRESENT ARCHITECTS PROJECTING RADICAL IDEAS.  I ENDED WITH MY OWN WORK.   THE PERSONAL STORIES OF BEING A VISIONARY.   A QUIZ REVEALED MANY DID NOT  RETAIN MUCH.  BUT IT IS HARD TO TEST THE  INFLUENCE  ON THEIR LIVES.  BEING A PRIVATE SCHOOL IT TAKES A LOT OF MONEY TO GET THROUGH, SO MANY OF THE STUDENTS ARE SUBSTANTIALLY WELL OFF.  I QUESTIONED ONE OF MY STUDENT ABOUT HIS PART TIME JOB AS A WAITER. HE WAS MAKING MORE MONEY THAN I.  ANOTHER TURNED DOWN A $15,000 SCHOLARSHIP SAYING MONEY WAS OF NO CONSEQUENCE.  ONE STUDENTS FATHER WAS BUILDING A 80 STORY BUILDING IN SAUDI ARABIA. A STUDENT FROM IRAN HAD THE MOST NATURAL  TALENT OF  PATTERN  DESIGN THAN ANY STUDENT I HAVE EVER TAUGHT.

TEACHING IS A GOOD SPACE.  THERE IS ROOM FOR IDEAS, AND TODAY WITH THE INTERNET THE STUDENTS ROAM THE WORLD FOR IDEAS AND KEEPING ABREAST OF WHAT IS HAPPENING. BEFORE I CAME TO THE ACADEMY I NOTICED AN INTENSE INTEREST IN FORMS AND PATTERNS.  I QUESTIONED IF THIS WAS THE INFLUENCE OF THE PROFESSORS?  PARTIALLY SO, BUT REALLY THE STUDENTS DID IT THEMSELVES FROM WHAT THEY SAW ON THE INTERNET AND IN PUBLICATIONS.  WHAT FACULTY DO IS BRING SUBSTANCE TO THE FORMS AND INTERESTS OF THE STUDENTS.  GREEN IS HUGE NOW AND I PLAN TO BRING IT BIG TIME TO THE ACADEMY. (A DISCUSSION AT ANOTHER TIME).

Mary Telling's Project
MARY TELLING: ECOLOGICAL RESOURCE CENTER
619 ACADEMY OF ART UNI. SPRING 2010
TIM BARNES: PERFORMING ARTS COMPLEX
619 ACADEMY OF ART UNI.SPRING 2010

JUSTIN ACKERMAN: HOMELESS HOUSING CENTER
619 ACADEMY OF ART UNI. SPRING 2010

JACOB GREEN: CINEMA COMPLEX
619 ACADEMY OF ART UNI. SPRING 2010

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  • http://archinect.com Orhan Ayyuce, architect

    Great blog Glen. You are a great teacher and Alberto has a great mind to pull you back to academy. I expect your blog to get explosive, wise, thoughtful and LARGE… Great student projects!

    • GLEN HOWARD SMALL

      ORHAN,

      THANKS FOR THE KIND WORDS AND ENCOURAGMENT, YOU MOTIVATE ME.

      GLEN

  • Bruce Baumrucker

    Glen, What a great project, your Blog! I’m so happy you are teaching again, and from the above designs you have some talented students to work with. From your writings, it appears the advancing intelligence of our species is taking advantage of the internet and our many communication and technological advances to expand their awareness and understandings. The culturally creative ones are and will continue to shape our environment, our thinking and our engagement in positive futures. An encouraging aspect in these times. Where your influence can be a real boon to them. Again, thanks for including me in your Blob email list, and keep up your own creative work, even though it is much under-appreciated in our society and world with its disconnectedness from nature’s sensual and comprehensive forms and it’s disconnect from our own souls. Bruce

    • GLEN HOWARD SMALL

      DEAR BRUCE,

      THANKS FOR THE KIND AND WISE WORDS. I AM DOING WHAT I LOVE, SPREADING THE WORDS BACKED BY DESIGN TO IMPROVE. KEEP YOUR ADVENTURSOME SPIRIT ALIVE.

      GLEN

  • eric chavkin

    Glen, there are thousands of blogs out there but very few worth reading. Nothing to say. Your blog will be ones of the few worth the time. Keep it up.

    eric

    • GLEN HOWARD SMALL

      ERIC,

      THANKS FOR BEING ALIVE, YOU ARE SUCH AN EXCITING AND TALENTED SOUL.

      GLEN

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