“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” or so wrote William Shakespeare. Though not mutually exclusive, the same seems to hold true for our discipline, or at least how it is argued and advanced within Princeton University’s School of Architecture. Nowhere is that more blatant than this year’s post-professional thesis exhibition: the extraordinary presentation of nine emerging architectural talents, diverse in approach and thinking, collectively embodying the rivalries and allyships that will no doubt propel their work forward, taking us all along for the ride.
The show is a thrilling glimpse into the future of architecture – exposed seams and all – and above all a testament to the strength of this year’s graduating post-professionals. It is also unique to Princeton, where dissensus and difference are cultured in all aspects of student and faculty life. Contrary to other architectural graduate programs, Princeton’s School of Architecture harbors no overarching ideology, only a drive to produce the most forward-looking graduates as evidenced through their work and thinking. This is wrought through self-determination, like those in most original democracies, where individual shouts and passions belie an overarching communal spirit. Accompanying cries are but a relieving sign of good health, and are to be celebrated in all their annoyance and vivacity. As goes with all births, so goes this year’s graduating post-professionals.
The thrill is that these passions take on material form through extravagant formal investigations, novel technological applications, and reinterpretations of traditions and vernaculars. More an introduction than a culmination, the projects thus hover compellingly between academia and professional practice, opening up new directions for architecture and offering collective and disparate positions on the future of our built world.
The 2021 Post-Professional M.Arch Thesis class is coordinated by Professor Jesse Reiser.