VSW: Corbusier in Ronchamp, France

Had to do one Corbusier, and what a history this architect has with me.
This is the Catholic Chapel in Ronchamp, France.

Drawing this brought up so many negative memories…
maybe I can begin to clear them out by getting this all down in my sketchbook.

USC School of Architecture had a few amazing instructors,
among them Ed Niles, Pierre Koenig and Stefanos Polyzoides.

But it was the first time I encountered male prejudice toward women,
as I’d been raised in a home with women who had careers,
and men who were not challenged by women with brains.

Unfortunately I had one horrid crappy teacher named Roger Sherwood.
the only good thing I can say is that I didn’t have him first year for design, or I’d have quit.
I did have him in some form every year for the first three years, because he taught theory.

Roger was rude, nasty toward me, and had only one thing that made him happy —
anything having to do with his idol, Corbusier.  Hence I hated Corb.
We called him the Corb Jock… he was a one note Charlie.

When I had him for design if I had a question he would be condescending and
ask me if I was too busy doing my nails to do my work…
And as I was one of 13 women in a man’s field I did not wear make-up,
pulled my hair back in a tight bun, and as a beach girl, had never “done my nails”.

I was a good student, and did my work… but architecture is not like other disciplines,
where there are right answers and wrong answers…  and it is not a linear process,
so I might be behind (technically), not showing a lot one day in a form he liked
because I had learned to do a lot of sketching from Niles and Keonig,
both award wining architects and excellent supportive instructors.

I was floored by the way he spoke to me — floored.
Public shitty humiliation was how he “inspired” and it did not work with me.
I was inspired, I loved architecture.

The year I had him for design he gave failing grades to over
half the students at the end of the first semester.  I was one.
We petitioned USC and they said that they could not change his grade.
Many students (I was not one) went to his home and
tossed Molotov cocktails on his lawn…
Finally grades were changed (I got a B), by him, and
USC began to understand there was a problem with his methods.

It took me years away from him and USC for me to come to love Corbusier,
to see Corb’s brilliance, grace, and as I’d found my own artistic interests,
the lovely sculptural aspects of his work.

Oddly, I’ve had Roger on my mind the last few weeks (I do not know why),
and just found out he died, literally in the last few weeks.
I am sure there are those that will feel badly,
but this is one man I will not grieve for in any way.

I didn’t post this on his Legacy page out of respect for his family…

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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