Future Landscapes
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Copenhagen

Snnnoooowww.... ?

It snowed!

I love snow. I love it so much! It's white and fluffy and... oh wait. It's turning into icy pellets of mingled watery doom.... what the hell?! Denmark! Why do you have to take a GOOD THING and void it of joy?

Yes, I was so excited this morning when I realized the rooftop across the street was covered in beautiful, pristine cottonpuff snow. And then I got on my bike and rode to my critique. By the time I crossed the bridge, the snow had turned evil and was stabbing me directly in the cornea, over and over and over....

The critique itself, for me, was alright. But my instructors seem to be having a hard time understanding the unique conundrum of the international class.

You see, each and every semester we get a new batch of students, and each and every semester we have the majority of students struggling to produce work of quality. The pattern is repeating this year, and now we have an instructor who has seen 2 completely different groups of students in the same situation.

I have my own guesses as to why this is happening.

You can't, as a respectable instructor, assume that we've just gotten 3 'bad batches' of students in a row. No, the school carefully chooses its internationals from a long list of possibilities, and narrows the field based on academics and portfolio. So, given the right set of conditions, all the students here can operate tolerably well and produce high quality design work.

So the problem must lie...... in the school's approach to 'instructing'...??? Wait, that can't possibly be right. 3 seperate, independant groups of 20 students each... having the exact same difficulty getting a foothold on the projects here... that couldn't possibly implicate a flaw in the wonderful Danish style of teaching, could it?

*faints from shock*

I'm just saying... that it's not very likely that 60+ students over the course of 1.5 years are all complete and utter failures at what they do. I mean, they made it to the master's level. How could they possibly all have gotten this far without at least some indication of talent, creativity, and effort? They couldn't. Unless each and every one of them are masochists and enjoy getting publicly shamed on a consistent basis.

So anyways. The instructors had a little 'sit down' with us after the critique, to attempt to figure out what is going on. And they asked if we have any ideas. Of course, at the moment my mind was too obliterated by painfully overbright powerpoint presentations and scratchy architectural sketches to come up with a proper answer. But the long and dark bike ride home gave me ample opportunity to reflect on this question, and the fact that the instructors seem geniunely interested in figuring out the answer makes me hope that, just this once, I won't simply be dismissed with a 'but that is how it is DONE in Denmark' type comment.

Maybe. Just maybe.