January 14, 2010

A Note About Studio Culture

A strange occurrence in studio culture I've come to terms with is the loss of members. Best way I could show this is to make a comparison to national culture. or perhaps local culture. In all cultures we have traditions and ceremonies to celebrate or signify important events or times. The same is true in studio, when one can find the passing of years as new beginnings or "coming of age" type rituals that signify wisdom or experience. For the focus of studio and the context within which it lies, we find a disconnect with that of the overarching local culture. In our local culture, instances where an individual leaves, or must exit the group, or perhaps when individuals die, there is a period of loss and mourning. A celebration of the time that was shared with that individual in order to recognize their past presence and their new beginning elsewhere (or nowhere). The same is NOT true about the studio culture. When one leaves it's because it was intentional. There is no celebration or base ritual to signify closure. The member simply packs their things up and leaves.

I've had the opportunity to experience this seemingly harsh principle from the static perspective (i.e. I've had close friends leave studio). It's strange how this organism, this production machine moves along as a whole. There were no pauses, no constraints for the mourning, there simply was none of that. Once the decision is made, the user simply packs his belongings and leaves. I've 'lost' two friends who started with me in architecture, and we still converse on a regular basis, as we have stronger ties than the one subject the brought us together initially. Architecture as a sub-culture is a strange phenomena as an extension of the "college culture" that's been diagnosed throughout the years. It behaves differently simply because it's called to perform differently than that of other curricula.

There is no stringent point to be made here, only that of the conscious-raiser I'd like to point out about the crude necessity of moving on within the business world and on a more refined note, that of the studio culture world. How bizarre it is for a student to have such strong ties and passion integrated within something they 'think' they love and to have that passion get flushed down the toilet of lost dreams soon thereafter. May the lost find their way to relaxation and familiarity. And may those that continue on find comfort in what they do with those that do it with them.

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