Masters Dissertation – Milestone 7

Milestone 7
Die bangste bobbejaan spring die verste…
(Studio Fairy,2011)

The end draws near… With only a few weeks left to go we have handed in our documents, as they are, to our external examiners and are all now in damage control mode; fixing everything we can as much as we can with the time we have left. The term ‘Architectural Triage’ comes to mind as the best way to describe how the work ethic is currently being done.
The Final Crit
How are final presentation works is as follows, our final marks are broken into two subjects:
DIT – Technical Design and  DPD – Design (Theory, Process, Concept e.t.c )
The marks are awarded by a panel made up of 12 or so internal and external jury members chosen by the school. Each mark is made up of 25% from your study leader, 25% from your individual external, 25% from the external panel and 25% from your internal panel as whole. Our actual document, which occupies 50% of your year time, actually counts for nothing, but is used by your study leader and external examiner to understand your project.
The judging takes place over 3 days in Boukunde, and each person is given a 10 minute shared slot to present their framework with their group, a 30 minute slots to present DPD (Design) and a 30 minute slot to present DIT (Technical): 5-8 minutes to explain your project, 10 minutes to answer questions from your external, and the rest of the time to answer questions from the panel.
The entire panel receives a small booklet made of single pages such as the one below:
This is an extremely stressful time of the year, as times slots are tightly followed and the entire building, specifically the masters studio, is a fury of nerves and stress induced energy – waiting to snap.
My Half of the studio – my desk by the window
We had two stress related incidents this year, one heart attack mimicking panic attack and another a bit more serious, both taking place in the studio. Its quite an amazingly powerful how the mixture of sleepless nights, unhealthy mental and physical living conditions and one all consuming in one small environment can manifest.
Our symbol of the Studio Stress, those involved will understand
Friends will be at each other throats over music volume issues, laughter that once were not even registered will tear at your mind like nails on chalkboard, self preservation takes hold as you find yourself holding back, out of fear, information or resources that you know would benefit others, but you might need at some stage – people’s personalities will reveal their true form.
Conversely stress will also reveal the weirder side to the studio as we experienced:
Our conversion into animalism…
Our lack of clothing boundaries…
The source of my wisdomous quotes
Self explanatory
Read closely…
No explanation required

The Great Koffee Off; it may sound lame – ok it is – but we kept track of how much coffee we drank and made bets as to how much could drink in the year, it got a bit excessive…

The pièce de résistance, our own Darth Laubscher
My Work Space
If anyone has been wondering what the conditions in a masters studio are like, below is the spatial atmosphere that has enveloped me all year.
Please note: the couch/bed, touch of greeness in the dying Ficus, Shim standing watch, the supply of foods and other basic living resources by the kettle, the only view of the real world – a small window that nearly caused me hypothermia in winter.

Standard issue studio supplies: energy medicine, coffee, sugar, kettle, fridge stacked with unmentionables, emergency escape room signified by dinosaur emblem. The usual.

Its almost sad to leave this mess of a space, but it must be handed over to the next generation of near suicidal, ego-maniacal, sadistic students we have so wonderfully become.

One thought on “Masters Dissertation – Milestone 7

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