Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Architecture School

Architecture is the field of creativity where art literally intersects with where and how people live. This reality series followed a group of idealistic Tulane students building a modernist house in a poor New Orleans neighborhood devastated by Katrina. The laying out of the creative process — from conception and design to driving nails — was interesting enough. What made the show special, and sometimes devastating, was how it also chronicled the residents of the neighborhood — some of whom would love to buy the house but could not qualify for even "affordable" loan terms, others of whom saw it as an unwanted avant-garde experiment imposed on a poor black neighborhood. More than any cable competition or makeover show this year, Architecture School was a blueprint of how theory collides with practice.