Building Reality: Sundance Channel's Architecture School

Building Reality: Sundance Channel's Architecture School

Over the last couple years, through the slew of reality dwelling shows, we've said one thing: wouldn't it be interesting to see an architecture reality show? But of course we discounted the idea due to the simple fact that architecture takes time—a lot of time—and we weren't talking about another Extreme Home McMansion show where an army erects a canned design in 7 days, flat; that show is not about architecture. We were talking about real, conceptual design/build. Enter the Sundance Channel...

The show centers around a fourth-year studio class of twelve students at Tulane University School of Architecture who's sole assignment is to partner with Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans to design and build a low-cost, single family home in Katrina-battered New Orleans.

The class begins with each student developing a complete schematic design. Critique and conceptual development comes from the professor, guest critics and also Neighborhood Housing who will have to sell the house to a local resident. The final design is selected by student vote and then built by the students, themselves. One of the design constraints was that the final design must be constructed from cost-effective SIP panels, assembled by a small team of non-professional builders.

Our only real critique of the show thus far is that they spent far too little time (in our opinion) on the design phase of the class. Overall we thought those first few episodes where very enjoyable and, for those unfamiliar with the process of designing modern architecture, enlightening. The students are now into the construction phase as the show continues into October. Check out the Sundance Channel website for showtimes.

Has anyone else been watching Architecture School? What do you think?

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