[The URBANbuild house designed and built during Architecture School]
In today’s reality-TV obsessed culture, any architecture student who has spent an all-nighter (i.e. every architecture student) working in studio has had the 4 am amphetamine-induced epiphany, “hey, someone should make this into a reality show.” Well now someone has, and according to early reviews, The Sundance Channel’s Architecture School is every bit as good as someone with X-acto scars could hope for. Architecture School follows students enrolled in the Tulane University School of Architecture’s URBANbuild program as they take a project —previously featured here on Life Without Buildings— from design competition through to the realities of client interactions and construction.
The New Orleans Times Picayune critic thankfully calls it “must much smarter than MTV’s long-running reality-TV pioneer (The Real World).”
“Surrounded by traditional shotguns and cottages in one of the city’s most economically challenged neighborhoods, the URBANbuild houses, including the new corner-lot home on Seventh Street built during the course of “Architecture School,” seemingly leap the 20th century. As one neighbor puts it during Wednesday’s premiere: “I think they’re ugly. Put it back like it was.”
URBANbuild founder and director Byron Mouton, who looks like he hasn’t tempered his loved/feared no-bullshit critiques for television, thinks the show does a great job in presenting both the realities of an Architecture School education and the realities of the New Orleans’ current, in many places still dismal, condition.
“These guys have done a great job of describing the city in great contrast — what’s good about the city, what’s bad about the city…what needs help and what’s working. And they also did a great job in describing what we do as educators, and how students struggle with their response to our requests.”
Architecture School airs Wednesday Night on the Sundance Channel but a few sneak previews and student bios can be seen now on the official Architecture School Website. And I’ll be sure to have a review up by the end of the week on Life Without Buildings.
UPDATE: Archinect has a great review of Architecture School, along with an interview with the show’s creators.
· Tulane University architecture students part of yearlong documentary [Nola.com]
· 3rd URBANbuild House Almost Complete [Life Without Buildings]
· Architecture School: as seen on TV [Life Without Buildings]