Yesterday, I had the great fortune of being able to see a lecture by the great contemporary architect Santiago Calatrava at my school, Pratt Institute. There was a real excitement in the air leading up to this event, which had been moved to a larger auditorium than the one usually used for these events. For a bunch of architecture students, this was like seeing a rock star.
The lecture itself perhaps was not as in-depth or as theory-based as some that we often hear, yet there was something memorable about it. The microphone was not working very well, and Mr. Calatrava's heavy accent made it difficult to hear what he was saying. Nevertheless, we all got the gist of what he was saying-- which was to let the architecture speak for itself. Highly different from most lectures on architecture, it was nearly meditative. The room-- packed solid-- was dead quiet, and his calm Spanish accent spoke softly over incredible images of his ephemeral work. It was an incredible evening to be inspired by the work; just the work speaking for itself.
The rock star mentality really surfaced afterwards, catching up with friends of mine who had Mr. Calatrava visit their studio, talk about their work, give them autographs, and take a few photos with them. One girl got a pat on the shoulder... that shirt is getting framed. Others got sketchbooks signed. ...And the rest of us got crazy jealous.
Its funny what rock stars are at architecture school.