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Practice : Winter 2009
951 boylston is a New platform for growing Studio culture Students recognize the possibilities of collaborative work and can do it by plan or spontaneously in this space. This fall, we beg an our Foundation studios in temporary classrooms at the Hynes. Student and faculty anticipation grew through- out September and early October. A s I shared update s on the construction wrap-up, they all got it. At the BAC, faculty and students are in practice and understand the time that it takes to work through the complexity of project delivery. I am told that what makes a succ es sf ul BAC student is “g ameness ,” a nd during the move our students showed considerable ability to roll with changes and keep them selves focu sed on st udio. 951 Boylston is a new platform for a growing studio culture. Each of the top two floors is partitioned off into studios to hold nine desk s, ea ch with pin-up spa ce around it. The most significant and beneficial result of the ne w move is the enhanc ed interaction provided by the visibility of the studio work. Each week, c reative energy builds as students unpack si x day s of design work. Foundation students now have greater opportunity to see work from other st udios as they settle into their own studio group. The spac es ser ve students bet ween cla s ses when they a re looking for a place to spread out work before cla s s. They recognize the possibilities of c oll aborative work, a nd can do it by plan or spontaneously in this spac e. The building als o brings the f ull-time staff closer to the learning process that occurs during each full day of classes. There was a time when students didn’t know where my office was, and now I couldn’t be easier to find as I stroll through the studio just to get to a me eting. Many students see me working away through all the new gla zing. My favorite spac e at 951 Boylston is the new faculty room that functions as a home-ba se for a group of instructors who, by day, a re dispersed throughout the design firms of Boston. The room wa s intended to be a computer work space, but I am happy to report that work at the BAC is collaborative in nature; c onversation around design and teaching and learning predominate s. During the occa sion al quiet moment, I like to reflect on the larger meaning of place at 951 Boylston. We have experienced new con ne ctions among faculty, students and staff. We are also connecting with history and place at this new location. The primary building materia l is brown stone, which wa s integral to building the Back Bay in the 19th century. The BAC experience in the building is special because of its connections to this built la ndscape through materiality and tectonics. The chisel marks pounded using the hammer held by the human hand are right there on our exterior wa ll. There is a physical mark left to remind us of where design comes from: the human being. Lee Peters, Director of Foundation Studies NEWSWORThy ] 951 bOylSTON bac Students in Evening Design Studios pRacTIcE 6