Coming to Taliesin was scary for the fact that I felt a bit intimidated by the rest of the students. I knew for a fact that they had more work experience than I in the technical aspects of design, where I was doing a wretched job at figuring it out. But In the end it is nothing like what I expected it to be. I feel very free and comfortable to express my ideas. The comments I get from my peers and instructors here is critical but forgiving, their comments help my thoughts and ideas be molded into something more amazing. What I like the most so far about being here is that I get this harsh criticism that is forgiving and helpful, as the people around you explain their thoughts and opinions. I have come to learn that it is okay to take what a person tells you and make it your own by adding my perspective. I have learned a series of new things that are very helpful in developing my building skills, abstract thinking and paying attention to details. I am truly very lucky and fortunate to have been given this great opportunity.
I start my day here at Taliesin by thinking about something that I want to accomplish, as well as thinking about what I did yesterday or just a way that I wish to improve myself. But every morning I think about the two goals that I have for myself, the first being to start thinking of ways to change the culture in my school of how architecture students view the program. I think that this is important because there are people both in the class and like me who want that opportunity to explore building and sketching, and to learn what type of things you can do in the very broad field of architecture. Secondly I just wanted to put myself to a test to see if I could really build, and most importantly I wanted to find out how passionate I was about it. But it turns out I can do it because I have already learned to be more confident about my ideas by taking ownership. And I’ve learned how important it is to keep building and making things.
Letting go of something you have worked so hard for hours under the hot sun and destroying it in seconds, in the end you do it for the same reason that you don’t go for the first thing you see when you buy something like a dress or car. You need to experiment, figure out what works and what doesn’t, in this case we have to build a cellphone booth type of shelter, which requires us to take numerous needs into consideration. When building you need to always stop and pause to look at what you have created and observe if it is working. It’s better to catch your mistakes early on and prevent hours of unnecessary work.
For today’s challenge we had to play a game of capture the flag and later make a map of Taliesin from the print out map that we were given. I was amazed to discover that a map doesn’t tell you the full truth of how an area really looks like. After the game we got the opportunity come into two groups and come up with how the area of the school really looks like after exploring it over the past couple days and getting to know it in a very intimate way. A physical map of an area from a printed sheet of paper or like Google earth is nothing compared to what the place is really like. I think it may be safe to infer that it’s practically meaningless if you want to look at a map like this to find a good place that has a nice view and good grass to have a picnic or something. You will not get that from a boring flat surface. There is more in that map that you cannot see and you are missing the beauty and physical characteristics that make that place unique and special. It’s truly not something that can be captured in a photo from the sky; you’d be missing the entire picture. The area of a place has a life, mood or attitude; it is something physical that cannot be expressed in a flat surface of a picture. Having to make our own map of the school was a good way of getting to know the area in which we are going to build something. I came to realize that understanding our building space is something that is extremely important and helps us understand what makes the place unique.
I will always remember that there is more to a map than just a flat surface.
Story by Diana Rodriguez