The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 38
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January16, 2014 - 3B
From Page 1B
Harris, who has been teach-
ing at Taubman since 1990, also
coordinates the first-year studio
classes. Studio classes take place
in Taubman'sopen studio space on
the third floor of the Art & Archi-
tecture Building, the largest of its
kind in the world. At one time, as
many as 500 students could be at
work in the vast space. It's a flurry
of activity and discussion, and its
white walls are covered in stu-
Lasting four hours, yet allot-
ted six credits, studio classes are
staple of a Taubman education.
The classes always consist of
12 students and their professor,
ensuring intimacy and individual
attention, and are project-based
rather than test-oriented.
"Studios were my favorite
classes,"said Gerry Kleiner, a 2010
alumnus of Taubman who also
works in the college's admissions.
"You learn as much from your
peers as from your teacher and
get to know all of them very well.
It's asupportgroup - almost like a
For each project, students must
give a presentation as a part of a
review of their work, and receive
feedback from both classmates
and a panel of professors in the
studio. The collaborative nature
reflects Taubman's studio culture
as a whole: The studio is never
empty, and students can be found
working in its cavernous interior
any hour of the day or night. It
becomes a home away from home,
where students eat, sleep, watch
Netflix, and even work. Every stu-
dent has a personal desk.
"Architecture should be fun,
and even if you're spending anight
in the studio working, the com-
munity atmosphere in the studio
embraces you," Hazle said. "You
can always engage classmates in
discussion and ask, 'Hey, this is
my idea. Does it make sense?"'
Studio classes extend beyond
design, with assignments often
emphasizing the personal vision
of the student. The works pinned
up on the studio walls are often
abstract sketches, not just pristine
drawings of buildings. Kleiner
studied the muscles of the human
body for three weeks to incorpo-
rate the research into a project on
"By the end of the first stu-
dio, students are really looking
at how an idea takes shane in a
Looking to live a
'Year of Nio Fear'
built world," Kleiner said. "They
realize that they can take a point
of view. They ask, 'Can architec-
ture move people in a particular
Outside the classroom
"My favorite experience at
Taubman was a studio trip to New
York City during my senior year. I
learned an incredible amount in
3 days," Kleiner said. The profes-
sor toured her students at 3 firms,
introduced them to colleagues
and explored a hidden side of
"We found out, for example,
that New York City actually sits
on many fault lines."
Studio trips are not atypi-
cal at Taubman. Professors have
taken classes to Alaska, Kentucky
and even Iceland. The location
is dependent upon the instruc-
tor, whom students choose after
viewing their presentations.
Ranking their top choices, stu-
dents match themselves with
professors whose fields of study
interest them the most.
"Taubman really fosters acom-
munity. To build a building is the
epitome of a team effort, after all,"
"Architecture is intrinsically
collaborative," Kleiner added.
The opportunities extend to
study abroad and research pro-
grams, which allow even first-
year students to accompany
professors on an off-campus proj-
ect, whether to Chicago or over-
seas. For the more career-focused
student, Taubman provides
externships over spring break at
firms in major cities. Qualified
students who apply are guaran-
On campus, networking events
and lecture series heln further
career opportunities. Taubman
has over 8000 total alumni, many
of whom visit their alma mater for
lunchtime meet-and-greets with
current students, discussing their
career paths or the nontraditional
ways in which they are usingtheir
architecture degree. Taubman's
weekly lecture series invites
guestspeakers to discuss a variety
of topics, such as their research or
a book they've recently published.
Because of Taubman's small
size, it can provide students with
opportunities to meet profession-
"I usually go to all of the lec-
tures," Hazle said. "Each one is
Aside from the academic offer-
ings Taubman also boasts some of
the country's best digital technol-
ogy and laboratory equipment.
Any student has access to Taub-
man's Digital Fabrication Lab
(FABLab), which uses robots and
other advanced manufacturing
processes to test materials and
concepts for commercial use.
However, Taubman's resources
aren't limited to its tools.
"People may say what sets
Taubman apart is our FABLab,
but for me that's a very flat
answer, because that's just equip-
ment," Harris said. "It's the minds
that run the equipment that are
our true resources."
Each year, Taubman provides
three fellowships to the country's
top young talentin architecture to
help them their teaching careers.
Studentsabenefit from their proac-
tive professors, who strive to find
new and better ways to teach. For
these fellows, their interest isn't
only architecture. It's figuring out
the bestwayto bring architecture
alive for students.
Aside from fellowships, the col-
lege also offers substantial grants
to faculty, including a $20,000
internal grant that professors
can utilize for research projects,
often engaging several students
to assist them. The Taubman pro-
gram is research-intensive over-
all, even down to the structure of
studio classes, and students may
not design anything until weeks
of research have been completed.
"What really sets Taubman
apart are the individual passions
of our faculty and their dedica-
tion to having conversation with
students," Harris continued. "We
teach how to diagram thought.
The emphasis at Taubman isn't
so much to simply have students
ready to produce drawings in an
office, but rather to create stu-
dents who ask questions. Why
are we making these decisions?
Why is this building organized
the way it is? Students emerge as
Jts going to be a great year
for me, and it's not because
I have some superstitious
reason - though I did wear No. 14
for almost my entire soccer career
- and it's
going to prove
it to you by
list that I was
to compose KEYES
to be a great year because I'm
attempting to live a "Year of No
Fear." Well, the fear will always be
there, but I'm just choosing to say
"No" to it this year.
Being the all-or-nothing think-
er that I am, I have an awful ten-
dency to either entirely ignore my
emotions or allow them to take
full control of my mind and body.
I think that when we discuss
health, we focus so deeply on the
physical that we seldom consider
the emotional and mental states
that accompany physical short-
For me, the toughest of all emo-
tions to understand is fear. As a
after three years, two months and
11 days of sobriety, fear can actu-
ally be a helpful motivator. I'll
always maintain a level of healthy
fear of relapsing and returning to
a life of active alcoholism - which
in my mind, at least, always leads
to jail, institutionalization and
death. I wholeheartedly fear these
consequences - two of which I've
already experienced - as I should.
But fear, itself, can foster terri-
ble consequences, too. A crippling
fear - of judgment, of rejection,
of failure - is like a monster that
will prevent me from achiev-
ing my dreams if I let it ... or I
can smash it to pieces each time
it rears it's ugly head in my face.
I've endured a lifelong struggle
as a slave to my fear, which until
recently has prevented me from
living the life I want.
Now, every fear conquered is
another step closer to becoming
the person I'm meant toube.
When I was in 1st grade, our
teacher asked us to draw a picture
of what we wanted to be when
we grew up. I drew a picture of
an artist (obviously, I thoroughly
enjoyed this assignment). Prior
to the natural disillusionment as
we inch closer and closer to "real
world" status, this is what I want-
ed; this is who I wanted to be.
over the recent holiday break,
I dove into old boxes of my pen-
cil drawings of everything from
Darth Vader and Boba Fett to
NHL hockey players to animals,
animals and more animals. There
were also original stories I'd
written and illustrated as class
assignments throughout elemen-
tary school. Myuntainted sense of
wonder and affinity for visual sto-
rytelling was vivid and palpable
on those pages. At that age, I had
zero reservations - no fear - over
I was s
to the I
I was c
my vision and expressing I was 14 and am no stranger to the
hrough art. process from a patient's perspec-
s I got older, I let the art- tive.
the storyteller in me lay But when I started the psych-
t. Instead, I threw myself track, I found that I had enough
rts and studying real sub- lingering problems of my own to
nd apart from a photogra- take care of on a daily basis, and I
s in my freshman year, my certainly didn't need to add some-
hool experience was large- one else's to that load - even if it
id of any sort of artistic meant a pretty paycheck.
. Why? I was afraid. When And, again, it was safe. It was
d of our school's film club, a safe move, one that didn't pro-
nse of impending doom vide me with joy. I realized that if
telmed me every time I I wanted to be happy, I was going
nsidered attending one of to have to face my fears instead of
information meetings. avoiding them. And it was at this
sn't scared of trying some- point that I took steps towards liv-
ew; I played a half-dozen ing the life I've always wanted - to
competitively, and I never revive that dormant artist with-
d to take on a new subject. in me; that 8-year old girl who
cared because I knew in wanted nothing more than to tell
rt on a visceral level that stories and draw, draw and draw
king - visual storytelling some more.
what I wanted to do more I decided to keep the psycholo-
ything else ... and that ter- gy degree for the moment, but also
;e. elected the minor in Screen Arts &
at if I try and people reject Cultures (SAC).
hat if I try and fail?" I A fear conquered; a step closer.
t to myself. Or the even Then, I applied for the new
question: "What if I try minor in writing program, and I
cceed, but I never attain was accepted.
success to be happy?" Another fear conquered; anoth-
notions ran through my er step closer.
ny time I thought ofjoining Then, I applied to write for
club, and it was too much the film section of The Michigan
Daily, and I was accepted.
Another fear conquered.
Another step closer.
As I continued to face my fear
of judgment and rejection and
1 e , n failure, I was metwith acceptance
iqLeet, one and success with validation that
;tep closer. I am, indeed, headed down the
right path, and during the fall of
2013, I made my greatest stride yet
when I decided to declare the SAC
at the height of the life- major.
ionment process at age 18, Another fear conquered.
d the chances of realisti- Another step closer.
aking a living as a film- Soon after, I submitted a script
were slim (Go ahead, and I'd written for a short film to the
ar of financial insecurity" M-Agination board of producers
ist...), so I went to a busi- student filmmakers atthe Uni-
hool in Pengsyjvnia. It _viy - and it was accepted. I
mart" move; it was a "safe" now have directed my first short
and it was the worst move film, and I'll be directing another
ould've made. concept I've written for a music
r a delightful fall term of video this term with their orga-
ig up pre-requisites, the nization. *Both projects will be
semester capsized me shown on the big-screen at the
wave of number-crunching Michigan Theater in April - and
: statistics, accounting and it almost didn't happen ... because
. Though I've always liked of fear.
s well-enough, it quickly But I also have to look at it as
that "well-enough" wasn't my fear almost prevented me
o make me happy. I didn't from dozens of crucial learning
make my life about liking experiences I never would have
yexistence "well-enough." had, cherished memories I never
tgh there were many fac- would have made and incredibly
ontributing to my deep talented artists and generous peo-
ion during this time in ple I never would have met.
- I quit the varsity soccer And I understand that just
fter playing for 15 years, I because I conquer my fear of judg-
blacking-out every time I ment and rejection and failure, it
and I was bearing a frigid doesn't necessarily mean that I
lphia winter - I couldn't won't still be judged or rejected or
te fact that I just did not fail. But the greatest failure in life
vhat I was paying tens of is not trying in the first place, and
nds of dollars to learn, what for me, I know that which keeps
reating for a future. me from trying is ... my fear.
fter I transferred to the So this year, I will fear less, try
sity and got sober (a very more, and focus on taking anoth-
tatement to denote a very, er step closer to that person I'm
tgstory), I decided to major meant to be.
hology, go on to graduate
and become a therapist.
11, I'd been seeing one since
Archtedteiunior Mar? Mford draftasp an assignment insa Taubman stadis.
Keyes is beinglfearless. To help
out, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
this was a tratter for a new is bound to nappen. uovi-
Christopher Nolan movie or ously, details are being kept
a Public Service Announce- secret, in true Nolan style,
ment encouraging the but that should only build
American public to support anticipation for what seems
more funding for NASA. But to be a new and exciting
either way, it looks really space odyssey for the modern
cool ... I mean really cool. era.
This movie is undoubt- -JAMIE BIRCOLL