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Finally, my TEDx Surrey University talk has been uploaded onto Youtube!

The talk revolved around the dilemma of whether, in the modern world, one needs – or is almost forced – to be constantly fast and curious, or whether being slow is the right way to go. Take a look:

I would like to thank the TEDx team at Surrey University (UK) for the honor, and the opportunity to do my very first TEDx talk. It was an amazing experience. Thank you, guys!

Cheers!

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“…and now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the “well-rounded man.” This isn’t just an epigram — life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.” – The Great Gatsby (Chapter I). F. Scott Fitzgerald

I like how he’s saying “more successfully”, not “better”..

Alright, it’s official: I will be speaking at TEDx SurreyUniversity on March 14th.

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The theme of the event is “Fast and Curious”. Tickets are available here, and more information about the event itself can be found here. Check back in for more details later, and hope to see you there!

I.

Hello everyone,

When a year and a half ago I published a blog post on my experience at OMA on my blog, I wrote a personal reflection on my experience which I thought might be interesting for people “out there” to read. Later, as I submitted the post for publication with Arch2O.com, I could have never imagined the backlash it would have resulted in. With this post, I want to publicly apologize for the hurt feelings it has generated. I did not intend for this to happen.

I agree, my post has featured strong (offensive) language, and I apologize for using it – especially in the context of a “joke”. I will rework the article in order to respect the hurt feelings of so many people who reacted to it. My use of the word “rape” was metaphorical and only there to effectively bring across my point: that working at one of the leading offices for architecture is not easy, and certain things (absence of time for oneself outside work, specifically) need to be accepted without much control on one’s behalf. It was not intended as support of male supremacy or anything of sort. Now, though, I understand that the use of such “metaphors” is inappropriate. I apologize for that.

In addition, I do have to clarify two things.

First: my blog post was meant as a reflection. It can not be taken for fact, and is a personal interpretation of my experience.

Second: the original title of my blog post was “What I’ve learned at OMA”. The “20 Tips for Being a Successful Architect” was later added to the article by Arch2O without my consent, and has thus skewed the intent of the post. As I said above, the post was written as a reflection – not advice, warning, etc.

Again, I apologize the post generated such a backlash. Apart from what I said wrong, I hope that readers will be able to see and appreciate what I said right. I am grateful to the blogs like The Funambulist for looking beyond point nr. 8 and using my post for trying to analyze the broader condition of the profession of architecture as a whole.

Sincerely,

I am sorry.

Ivan Sergejev

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“Son of a b*tch..!”

You know that feeling when you know that what you just witnessed was an act of genius? That feeling you get when seeing how simple yet powerful something is that you wonder how come you haven’t come up with it yourself, but yet you haven’t? The feeling of awe mixed with disappointment?

During my recent visit to the Netherlands, I went to Rotterdam – my architectural birth place, as I call it – to see how and if the city has changed since the last time I’ve been there (internship with Erick van Egeraat back in 2008). One of the things – or buildings, to be precise – I wanted to see was, obviously, OMA’s De Rottedam. And I have to say – I was quite impressed.

Honestly, looking at it from across the river Maas, it didn’t seem all that special. The parti – shifted blocks – was clear to the point it was bland. However, as I started crossing the Erasmus bridge, getting closer to the structure, it started to speak. For all the talk of “Manhattan on Maas”, I have to say – this building actually did it: it is a true piece of Manhattan, but a surreal one – which makes it that much cooler.

All of us probably remember the cover for the later edition of “Delirious New York” – the picture of the facades of the Rockefeller Center extension on 6th avenue. Well, De Rotterdam is the clone of those buildings, only made 3-dimensional. The facade’s and parti’s blandness start working magic when you are at mid-range: from far it’s nothing but a stupid vertical pattern and a few blocks, from close the detailing isn’t great (as is almost common with OMA’s buildings). But mid-range – that’s when it makes you dizzy as the building starts seemingly mirroring, multiplying and overlaying itself. The building is almost fractal being big, but small, but big still (definitely huge for R’dam’s scape). The sequence of interior spaces in the public part of the building is classical Koolhaas: a meeting room suspended over a parking garage which looks “honestly” right into the atrium – not a “filthy” pragmatic “support” space, tucked away somewhere no one can see it, but a space in its own right, totally worthy of being shown off as a luxury. It is all a little too grey, and a little too stark, and a little too Rotterdam, but damn, does it work!

Now, I do have to say that I only visited the “public” part of the building. I did not visit any offices or apartments. I am sure critics will find there’s plenty wrong with them. I do not know that, and can’t judge or tell you anything about them. However, what I did see – I loved.

Good job, Mr. K. and Co. Loved it.

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This is awesome!

Info We Trust

“We all have the same 24 hours that Beyoncé has” and its various iterations took the web by storm in late 2013 as the megastar became the figurehead of not only having it all, but being able to somehow do it all too.

How do creatives – composers, painters, writers, scientists, philosophers – find the time to produce their opus? Mason Currey investigated the rigid Daily Rituals that hundreds of creatives practiced in order to carve out time, every day, to work their craft. Some kept to the same disciplined regimen for decades while others locked in patterns only while working on specific works.

Creative Routines Poster

There are enough data to visualize a portion of the hundreds of creative lifestyles. Click the poster to discover:
Gustave Flaubert
Ludwig Van Beethoven
W.A. Mozart
Thomas Mann
Sigmund Freud
Immanuel Kant
Maya Angelou
John Milton
Honore de Balzac
Victor Hugo
Charles Dickens
W.H. Auden
Charles Darwin

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted talks or lectures, but here comes: an absolutely awesome TED Talk on architecture, biomimetics, and scripting. Enjoy!

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