This book is our search for and attempt to capture the rhythm of this school—its beat. It’s a rhythm that shapes our movement during our time here, but which most of the time goes unnoticed. It’s built on both improvisation and the carefully wrought work. Analog and digital, rough and crafted. These categories don’t stick, and neither do specific ways of working. Projects develop through sketches in cardboard and on trace; they are pushed further through exactingly CNC-milled objects and detailed renderings. But students are as likely to work through complex details by hand and to look to the computer as a means to produce quick analytical sketches. Students here find ways to build.
Yale is a broad field of influences against which a sequence of design studios is set. Support classes, lectures and exhibitions, interactions with classmates, the presence of Yale’s undergraduate architecture majors—all of these things provide waves of images and information. Each student picks up pieces of this rhythmic stream and defines him or herself in this place and as a designer. It is this communication, sometimes subtle and sometimes explicit, that we looked for as we collaborated with the book’s designers. The field is diverse, but individual voices are distinct. In presenting what can only be a small selection of student work, mixed with the words of faculty and guests, we have tried hard to preserve the clarity of the individual vision while placing it in a field whose boundaries are less defined. The result we hope is a sense of that final field: what this school, its atmosphere, and its people create. —Aurelie Paradiso, Edward Baxter, Michael Baumberger