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Posts tagged ‘san luis obispo’

Julia Morgan’s legacy lives on in Cal Poly architecture students

A tiny city sprung up almost overnight this January in Kennedy Library’s 1st Floor Gallery, thanks to the work of 2nd year architecture students.

The city, or rather, models of buildings all inspired by architect Julia Morgan, was the result of the architecture students’ work last quarter studying the history of the iconic Morgan. Architecture professors and students worked with Kennedy Library’s Special Collections to access Morgan’s own documentation of her work, and then designed projects in response to Morgan’s style of design.

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California music is an audible photograph

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How do you understand history? Do you look at photos, read books? Watch the History Channel? For Craig Russell, Cal Poly music professor, a community’s songs are enduring records of their era, providing in-depth and textured insight into their ways of life. Read more

Journey into library land: Get it into gear

Victoria Billings is the communications and public programs intern at Kennedy Library. ‘Journey into library land’ is a series about what she’s learned creating media for Cal Poly’s university library.

New quarters are always a funny time at the library. Students come back from break and suddenly, every chair and couch is taken, the stairs become more difficult to navigate and there’s a line in front of Julian’s.

For the communications and public programs department (that’s me and my boss, Karen) it’s when we kick event preparation into high gear.

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Journey into library land: Before we get started

If you’ve spent much time in Kennedy Library recently, you’ve probably seen me. I’m running around, often with a camera or notepad, ducking back and forth between offices on the second floor and sometimes in the elevator going up and down and back up again on errands. Occasionally, I also use the library’s space for studying, too.

I’m a journalism senior at Cal Poly, but I’m also communications and public programs student assistant at Kennedy Library. It’s a mouthful, but as you’ve probably guessed, that title is the easiest way to describe the multitude of duties I perform.

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This Veterans Day, Kennedy Library thanks you

At the top of the stairs, on the busy second floor landing, are posters covered in notes like: “Thank you for your service,” and “YOU ROCK!” The library intends to give the posters to the Cal Poly Veterans Club next week.

Students, faculty and staff have covered the posters in messages of gratitude for Veterans Day. The display is part of outreach by Kennedy Library’s new committee on supporting diversity, Kennedy Inclusive Culture Committee (KICC).

Along with seeing the board covered in thank you notes, veterans can also receive a free cup of coffee from Julian’s Patisserie.

“This is Kennedy Library’s opportunity to thank veterans for their service,” said Peter Runge, the Head of Special Collections and University Archives and a member of KICC. “It’s a small token of appreciation for a huge sacrifice.”

The committee developed the idea after Peter overheard several people thanking a pair of servicemembers in uniform while having lunch. After many people stopped to say, “Thank you for your service,” one servicemember turned to the other and said, “I never get tired of hearing that.”

The encounter inspired KICC to offer their own thanks. KICC also hopes that the actions will welcome student veterans to the library.

In addition, the library is decorating memorial plaques on the first floor with ribbon. “We want to acknowledge, celebrate and support our veterans,” Peter said.

Victoria Billings

Architecture time machine!

Second year architecture students are stepping into the past with the help of Kennedy Library’s Special Collections. The upcoming exhibit, Atelier Morgan, features an inspiring collection of Julia Morgan’s sketches and drawings. As part of the exhibit, every second year architecture student at Cal Poly participated in the Julia Morgan Symposium, where they had a chance to look through the Morgan Papers to draw inspiration.

Architecture instructors rarely choose the same projects for their students, so this is an opportunity for the students to work on the same subject and explore Cal Poly’s Special Collections, architecture professor Robert Arens said.

“Students will take this opportunity to see the Special Collections and also see this great exhibit,” Arens said. The exhibit opens at Kennedy Library on November 9, 2012.

Faculty selected one of three Morgan projects to focus on for the quarter, having students design structures or create drawings that are inspired by, but not necessarily derivative of, Morgan’s iconic work.

Photo of Cal Poly architecure students review Julia Morgan papers“Everyone’s taking kind of a different approach to it,” Arens said. He described the challenge for students: “How do you fit into an existing context and kind of a revered one? How do you respond to that without imitation?”

And the students’ experience with these revered works has inspired them too.

For architecture student Karin Bjorkman, who is working on a sketch inspired by Morgan’s work at Hearst Castle, access to the Morgan Papers is a special privilege, she said. “It was really touching that they brought it down to us,” Bjorkman said.

For architecture student Eli Beckman, that privilege is also an incredible way to study something first-hand. “It’s a great sort of primary source as to what Julia Morgan’s work looked like,” Beckman said.

The Atelier Morgan exhibit is November 9, 2012 – January 11, 2013, with an opening on November 9 from 3-4pm in the second floor Gallery at the Commons. The opening is followed by The College of Architecture and Environmental Design’s 2012 Hearst Lecture Series featuring Victoria Kastner, historian for Hearst Castle and author of two books: “Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House” and “Hearst’s San Simeon: The Gardens and the Land.” The lecture will be from 4-5pm in the Business Rotunda at Cal Poly.

The architecture students’ Morgan-inspired projects will go on display in the Gallery at the Commons on the second floor of Kennedy Library, January 14 – February 1, 2013.

UPDATE: See photos from the exhibit opening on our Flickr.

Learn more about Kennedy Library’s Special Collections.

More information about the Julia Morgan exhibit is available at Atelier Morgan.

– Victoria Billings

On Foot! Adventures in city planning

The found objects included scraps of paper, foam hair curlers and plastic dinosaurs. The task? To build an ideal city using these disparate objects. With minimal instruction to encourage creative thinking, 140 people began building. They stood around tables in the second floor cafe area, working together to make cities unlike the ones we know, limited only by their imagination and plastic dinosaurs.

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