M.Arch 1 (2013)
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
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First year graduate student H Clark made a last-minute decision to enroll into the M.Arch 1 program at SCI-Arc this fall. Here’s what he shared with us in a recent interview:
Why did you choose architecture?
Formerly, I was an actor. I would argue that my way of seeing the world was (and continues to be) very diagrammatic. In pursuing acting, this mode of thinking worked fine—but I always knew there were other professions that would complement my creative processes better. I took a couple years to investigate architecture and found it to be a solid fit.
Why did you choose to come to SCI-Arc?
I had considered a handful of schools at different ends of the spectrum: UCLA, Columbia, Michigan to name a few. I ultimately chose SCI-Arc because it most resembled my undergraduate theater training in that it works and moves somewhat backwards. I appreciate working through problems from different vantage points. Traditional school programs work from A to Z, whereas a program like SCI-Arc may work from Z to A, or A to M to K to Y. This way of thinking, I find, breaks habits and allows you to see your work with fresh eyes.
What attracted you in the SCI-Arc curriculum?
SCI-Arc excels in design and computer application training. Granted there are other factors that weigh into the equation (ie: research, analysis, communication, etc), but for me, these attributes are of utmost importance in considering which school to attend.
What are the defining or unique characteristics of SCI-Arc students?
The students here are amazing. There's a great sense of collaboration and support. Everyone brings something unique to the table and because of this, there remains great diversity and inspiration throughout the design work at school. Every student at SCI-Arc deserves to be here and I'm proud to be among them.
Describe your favorite studio experience at SCI-Arc.
Ironically, one of my favorite studio experiences involved a seemingly shaky review this summer during Making + Meaning, SCI-Arc's 5-week summer foundation program which is required for entering first-year graduate students. Despite a rough beginning, the conversation that ensued was overwhelmingly enlightening. Anyone can attend a school where they are told what architecture "is" (and to be fair, that doesn't disappear at SCI-Arc entirely). The fundamental difference with SCI-Arc is that we're all, teachers and students alike, figuring out what architecture is together.
Have you been involved in projects outside of the required coursework?
I've participated in several mid-semester workshops. Early into the fall term, I assisted with the graduation tent and various thesis projects. I also assisted faculty on a Sukkot tent for a competition in New York, NY.
What are your plans upon graduation from SCI-Arc?
It's hard to say. I would certainly love to pursue architecture in a formal sense; however, one of the draws in pursuing this degree is that I can let it diverge into different and perhaps simultaneous careers... The training one receives in this track will prepare you for most anything design related.
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"To my surprise, the enchanting work that SCI-Arc has been producing over the past years has an enriching theoretical context to it."
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"I chose SCI-Arc because I felt the school could give me an educational experience unique to this institution alone, and the ability to think and create architecture in a more engaging and less traditional way."
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"SCI-Arc inspires us to think in a different way, to look at architecture from a different angle, and because of that, I believe the end result will be very unique."
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"Because at SCI-Arc we learn from practitioners, we get an idea about how things function in the real world..."
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