(james benedict brown) on the road

Drink with your tutors

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 18 October, 2006

Here’s a little life tip that has served me well: always always always make time to go for a pint with your colleagues, tutors or superiors. Whether you are student or an office worker, there are some conversations that can only be had in a noisy pub on a weekday evening, preferably with a pint of something that eases the conversation along. I’m extremely happy with the direction our six week ‘live project’ is going in, not least because over the last few weeks we have been able to observe a solid and satisfying strengthening in our working and social relationships. Having started with only a vague understanding of each other’s work and backgrounds, it’s quite the most enjoyable thing when you start to work with people who you know and appreciate more about.

This week the organisers of the UK pavilon at the Venice Architecture Biennale came toogether in Sheffield to talk about their show. It’s been universally torn apart by the London based architectural media, but seems to have been getting reasonable reviews and credit from foreign and northern critics. The talk was badly mismanaged, held in a venue that was too small and open only to those who knew about the event in advance. I missed the talk, but caught some of the questions at the end in an adjoining room that was equipped with a live ‘feed’. I say that I caught some of the questions – in fact the audience microphones were too weak to broadcast the actual questions, so I was left guessing what had been asked from the answers that were given.

Afterwards we (a small group in which tutors outnumbered students) had the opporunity to talk over a few beers, first in the über-trendy Showroom bar (£4 a pint), and then in a slightly more authentic city centre pub (£1.31 a pint). The conversation didn’t change the world, but it did fill in some blanks, and re-assured me over some things that hadn’t settled in my mind from the presentation that we had made earlier in the day. We have two weeks left to bring this project together, with a small conference meeting in Sheffield around our workshops at the beginning of the penultimate week. Lots is to be done, but suddenly it seems so much more achievable when you know your group has more in common than you first thought.

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