Fontainebleau :: Information Session & Interview with Arlen Stawasz

Photo by Richard Griswold
A. Anthony Tappé Fontainebleau Prize Information Session
Friday, February 22, 2013 at 6pm
Room 507, 320 Newbury St.
Arlen Stawasz, A. Anthony Tappé Fontainebleau Prize Recipient 2012, will speak about his experiences with the program and answer questions.

Each year, the BAC and Anthony Tappé provide one $3,000 scholarship for an exciting study abroad program outside Paris, France at The Fontainebleau Schools from July 3, 2013 - August 7, 2013. For additional information, click here.

Application Deadline
Monday, March 25, 2013 by 7pm. Submission requirements and eligibility criteria can be found here.

Interview with Arlen Stawasz, A. Anthony Tappé Fontainebleau Prize Recipient 2012 (by Angeline Focht, BArch Candidate)

What inspired you to apply for the program?
My inspiration to apply for the A. Anthony Tappe Fontainebleau Prize stemmed from my passion for cross cultural design exchange. Music has been apart of my life since early childhood, and I have researched it's relationship with architecture since the beginning of my design education. 

What was a typical day like for you?
The typical day was well balanced, and at a good pace. There was just enough time to enjoy the day and work hard.

What was your favorite event?
My favorite event was at the end of week four, when we were required to collaborate with the musicians in order to design a theater/performance exhibition. Each concept must integrate architecture and music both spatially and composition-ally. Check out the videos -the one I participated in was Sylvan Escape.

Sylvan Escape
Harmonic Commotion
Infinite Perspectives
Time Machine

What was the most surprising thing you realized during your stay?

In a classroom where the English language is not necessarily the strongest form of communication, it was the pen that flourished and served as the universal linguistic design tool.
What inspired you the most?
I was inspired by my peers, and how everyone thought of design so differently, yet brought unique ideas to the table. My most important revelation was the relationships I established with my colleagues, instructors, and admin. These are relationships I will have and foster for the rest of my life. 

What did you have the most difficulty with? How did you overcome it?
The most difficult challenge was the process of developing a comprehensive presentation in less than a week. Although we were constrained for time, it seemed as though the smaller concepts always proved to have a greater impact. These concepts, coupled with the design freedom encouraged in the classroom, and endless use of materials to represent our ideas is what allowed us to overcome these obstacles.

How did your expectations measure up against your experience there?
This is a program I can say I belonged to and still belong to in my heart. Sometimes when I close my eyes I can still imagine myself in the daily routines. This program challenged my design thinking, and taught me so many lessons that I reflect often daily. My American workaholic self will never be the same.