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easa PR

Somone told me on friday: "ah, i know easa, but i will never ever EVER go there! it's only people who want to get drunk all the time and meet other architects and f#ck them" .. i tried explaining how it's quite a bit more than that, how most workshops are amazing and how the idea exchange that happens there can hardly take place in other environments, and what an amazing effort it has been to keep it running for 31 years now..

But none the less, dear EASA friends, let this be a constant reminder that EASA means more than that, and while we are not going to allow getting slut-shamed for participating, keep in mind that it's at least us that should see more than that and not join easa solely for the hookups and the beer, and that we are indeed responsible for the image we give easa and the info we share with the world!

This is not an appeal to morality and decency, because we are free to do what we please, but i would like to remind the NCs at least, that the way we describe EASA has an impact on the people who join and on the future of the network itself. It should not be promoted as an insane debaucherous fuckfest for architects, but as what it really is - the platform that allowed so many of us to evolve beyond the indoctrination of our home universities and meet the people who will certainly be on future El Croquis ; )

Future participants should see that and not let the event degenerate into the dreaded big party, since it's them that decide and shape EASA's future.

I don't want to be a party-pooper, because i have myself experienced the debauchery and i enjoyed it, dammit! But it hurt me to hear that someone had told this girl that EASA is nothing beyond orgies and alcohol, that that was the best thing about it, while the rest was irrelevant fluff.

We need some decent PR. And just another question, which platform are we using now? the blog or easanetwork? they are both pretty silent..

Lots of love and hugs and nostalgia ..

leyla_az, May 17, 2011 4:32:04 PM CEST

Thank u, Monica!

paradeiser, May 17, 2011 4:41:44 PM CEST

monicator, May 19, 2011 10:33:53 PM CEST

thanks for replying! i was hoping it would reach more people, or that more people would have an opinion on this, like the one you posted. i guess a lot of us can just agree, and you take what you want from EASA anyway, so why would it touch me if someone is slutting it up and getting drunk. But again, the fragility of this EASA thing is something we should be aware of.

And i have to approve again of keeping EASA alive and kicking while we aren’t flirting and smartassing over workshops and booze. I feel guilty myself for not participating more on the blogs and so on, but i guess we need a vague enough framework to make it happen. Some generic topics (just like the yearly themes etc.)

Facebook is a blessing and a curse (ah, aren’t i a poet?) since every time i needed some input, i wrote a little message to a selected few and hoped for the best. Nothing beats discussing the future of our trade in real life, with possibly the prospect of getting laid by the end, if we are really really witty, but i think cyber-easa would be worth another shot.

I shall take it upon me to troll the EASA forums as long as i have my evenings and my internet connection, and see what comes out of it..

Though if calling 1000+ people sluts on one single instance didn’t help, i don’t know what will…

danchoice, May 20, 2011 1:59:02 PM CEST

Hi all,

I couldn’t agree more with the direction this discussion is pointing to. I myself have to take some shady credit for more than one numbed-out co-participant in EASA due to musical involvement. But I was trying to give this back in a serious/networking kind of level at all times.

But why is EASA seen in this light? I think it boils down to two main issues:

  1. mediocre level of workshops
  2. lack of communication to outsiders

To 1.: While there is a lot of ambition among workshop tutors (which are mostly alumni-easaians) only few of the workshops manage to surpass a certain level of playfulness and simplyness. This is of course due to some restrictions in resources but still tutors fear seriousness for some reason (.. not to spoil this “fun-summer-event”, maybe.). Workshops standards can mostly be regarded to be on an academic junior level. Almost none of the workshops is continued after the assembley.

To 2.: Therefore the results are often nothing to talk about or even brag about by the participants, and only few will mention them in their portfolios. After coming back from the summer assembly there is still a humming noise in the FB or elsewhere amidst easaians but rarely to outsiders, publications or in the Universities everyone is returning to.
Why do we have mediocre level of Workshops?: Because there is not enough competition among tutors, because there are not enough workshop applications. It is simply too easy to offer a workshop.
In the many years that I have been to or followed EASA the Theme and the Tutorpack are mostly published on the EASA event site of the corresponding year, but seldom have I seen that outsiders where specifically invited to do tutoring.

While it is of course very nice to have a lot of befriended EASA Dinos tutor the workshops, the communication carroussel and the competition among workshops would be spurred by input from other academic or commercial sources.

And on another note: to be honest, it is not very alluring to offer a workshop in EASA. The conditions for tutors are just plain bad. If EASA wants to gain more workshop applications and thus gets to select the “better” and more qualified stuff it has to be more interesting to offer a workshop.
And I’m not talking about a reduced fee for tutors. I’m talking about NO fee for tutors plus paying for expenditures such as flights/travel. Why is this possible for lecturers but not for tutors?
Among the past EASAs we have seen organizing teams bragging high on their lecture schedule, but neglecting the workshop part, and in my humble opinion it should be the other way around.

To wrap it up, I’m not condemning the party side of EASA but the serious part has do catch up with that. And as a free advice I’d like to shout out to future organizing teams:

  1. Make it more interesting for tutors to offer workshops in EASA and get outsiders interested to do so. Cover their expenditures and organize documentation and publishing of EASA workshop in renowned Architectural Magazines.

  2. Do not invite big name architects to do lectures. That is not the spirit of EASA and you can borrow books and magazines about their work in every library. Let starting local practices talk about how they solve their everyday lives problems and put the saved money into supporting the tutors for the Workshops.

  3. Cut the cost on unnecessary trips during EASA, they eat away your budget and the time for the workshops. Put all the saved Money into the workshops and materials.

This rant could go on and on… but not to make it lengthy these are my 2dime.

All the best, Daniel

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