This Thursday afternoon, the doors of Building N10 were open not only to its frequent occupants, the students of SUPRABLOCK studio and professor Anton Garcia-Abril, but also to other students and professors at MIT. Along with coffee and snacks, students presented their work and opened up a series of conversations to all visitors. It was the first Open Studio at the MIT School of Architecture this semester, and this new studio format can be seen as a reaction to the intimate studio environment that has been separating students from communicating with each other.
After the great event, I had the opportunity to have an interview with Kun Qian, one of the students from the POPLab group.
Jinhui: Kun, it is very nice to have you comment on this new form of studio happening in the School of Architecture. What was your general impression of the experience today?
Kun: I really enjoyed it. It was a great chance for both students in our group and the visitors to have a better understanding of our studio. It was very nice to have the opportunity to communicate with outsiders about our work as they were still in process, and the feedback from the visitors were really helpful for us.
Jinhui: Did this event make you reconsider the studio environment? What is your vision of the future organization of our studios?
Kun: It did influence my perception towards studio. I think the studio environment should be more transparent and more interactive. It needs more space for sharing ideas and our works. By saying this, I meant that we really need an open platform for communication.
Jinhui: What do you think are the differences between a review and an open studio?
Kun: In my opinion, a review is so much about criticism, and you are often put in a position where you need to be ready to defend yourself. In comparison, the open studio is like an open table for sharing ideas. It may be less of a focus on specific aspects of the project, but rather provides me a wider angle to look at what we have been working on. It was definitely a challenge for me to communicate my project with people from so many diverse backgrounds, but I was really inspired.
Jinhui: Would you present your work differently in an open studio in compared to a studio pin-up?
Kun: The open studio is more about a presentation of a group rather individuals. I think the focus shifts from the concentration of individual work to the collaboration of a whole studio.