Jettisoned into Architecture

View eastward on the Liffey, looking toward the Ha’penny Bridge. Taken walking to my 10 am meeting….

Everything started peacefully enough.  I arrived to my research meeting with a few minutes to spare and stopped in to see the church ruins located beside my office in the electrical engineering department.  Up until now, I’ve been working almost exclusively with engineers here at the DIT.  During this morning’s meeting with an engineer and a physicist, Sima called and asked me to lunch….

And then, quite suddenly, everything sprang forward into warped speed. The day melted into a slew of events and activity — lunch with Sima at the Hungarian place, rapid discussion of construction and philosophy with newfound colleagues, a new place to work (a second office, located in the architecture building).  I got slurped into the excitement of it all.
I wound up, midday, at the opening meeting of the whole School of Architecture at the Dublin Institute of Technology.  I was formally introduced at the very first all-school meeting they have ever held!  I asked them to wave “hi” to you, which caught them completely off guard.

This School is part of the College of Engineering and the Built Environment. It offers degrees in architecture, architecture technology, and construction.  It has, in Architecture alone, 457 students.  That’s huge.  And there are another 200+ architecture students at the nearby University College Dublin.

View towards Four Courts (the round dome to the right), which is Ireland’s version of the US Supreme Court.

This School just got its own newly renovated building (mostly complete), called Linenhall. They are using all of this as an opportunity to redefine themselves.

My office in the electrical engineering department is just north of the church. The building is referred to as “Church Street” and now I know why! The desk man at Ireland’s Higher Education Administration (HEA) office, where the Fulbright staff work, told me to look for the church in the park….

As such, they are discussing issues of social relevance, identity of the building professions, and the purpose of education. So, I ended up attending a lecture tonight that was part of their “Schools of Thought” lecture series on “critical practices.”
The speaker, from the arts program at DIT, shared a global perspective on trends in education and knowledge-making world-wide. It’s so interesting to look at the events of the world from a perspective where Ireland is at the center, and we’re looking over at the US, observing what is going on there, and comparing that to other places in the world.  I’m so used to looking “out” at the world from a point of view centered in the USA.  It was fascinating and I’ll definitely be back for next week’s lecture.
I came home, finally spun up the juicer, and reflected on the day’s events.
It feels great to be alive!  And, my mom arrives in the morning!

The DIT School of Architecture says “Hi!”


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