The idea for the studio came out of my sense of the insular nature of studio work. We all need to get out more - to see iconic buildings and to understand the power of the city to shape imagination. This studio is a small attempt to address this issue. --Michael Hoffman
We started the semester by drawing very large maps of 5 cities: NYC, Boston, Chicago, Montreal and Savannah and doing some level of analysis on each one. As we geared up for the traveling portion of the semester, we dropped Savannah from the itinerary as we could not get there and Chicago in one semester--too far. So far, we've spent a weekend in New York City and another in Boston. Spring Break was in Chicago and this weekend we will head up to Montreal.
While we are in each city, along with visiting and drawing the historically important buildings/squares, the students come up with an idea for an intervention - an architectural act that challenges, completes, disrupts or heals the fabric of the city. The program of the intervention should come from the same understanding of the nature of the place that generates the choice of site. Due to the travel schedule, these interventions are really sketch problems lasting about a week.
After our return from Montreal, each student will pin up all 4 projects and will choose one to develop for the rest of the semester.
Director of Graduate Studies. Associate Professor. B.A. in Government, St. Lawrence, 1976; M.Arch., Virginia, 1986. Registered Architect in Virginia and Vermont. Executive Board Member of AIA VT. Michael teaches design, design/build, as well as seminars that focus on emerging digital technologies.