Monday, October 02, 2006

ROM Exhibits For Nuit Blanche

A few friends came over after Taraweeh on Friday night and we headed over to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) for the Nuit Blanche event. The literal English translation of Nuit Blanche is White Night, which also means 'sleepless night' or a 'night without darkness'. All night long, art exhibits at various places throughout the downtown core were open, for free, and throngs of people clogged the museums and galleries and bars. Reminded me of Ramadan in the Middle East, where the festivities used to start at 10 pm (right after Taraweeh) and continue till 5 am (Suhur) when people had to be 'good' again.

One interesting exhibit at ROM was the conceptual Babel of Knowledge University.

The caveat of the university was that students would be forbidden to socialize until their final year - rather they would spend time isolated from each other so they could devote themselves to the pursuit of knowledge.

Each citadel-like structure in the model is a dorm, and paths led away from the dorms to the classrooms and laboratories. Each class/lab was scheduled in a way so that students going to and fro in the paths would encounter as few fellow students as possible. Each dorm itself further isolated the students, ensuring no disturbances, so students could devote time to studies alone.

Another interesting concept was the following miniature city.

Students were asked to design buildings that imitated either a historic structure or a incorporated a futuristic look, which then city planners fused to create the ultimate mix of old and new.



Anonymous said...

WOW! the university idea is good and bad in a wud suk to not socialize...THATS THE WHOLE POINT OF GOING asides from studying....but its good in that it allows us time to actually concentrate in lectures :)

Ek Umeed said...

As far as your current post goes, I can only say, "Interesting." Oh, and I just have to add from present personal experience, "No matter the design of the building, students will find themselves devoting their time to almost anything besides academics to escape the 'pursuit of knowledge!'" ;) Ah, the naivete of the planners! Noble intent, yet high aspirations! (Sighs.)

And Mezba, you will find my response to your remarks in the comments' section of the recent posting on my blog. :) I just couldn't resist a bit of an innocuous jest at your expense. :p Ah, how evil of me! (Grins devilishly.)

mezba said...

anon: I agree - socializing was the best part of uni.

Ek umeed: I think the designers were just putting a provoking concept out - but with these artsy types u can never be sure - the whole thing looked like something out of a hollywood sci-fi movie like Aeon Flux.

'liya said...

I wanted to go to it :( I hope they do something like this again soon.

mezba said...

liya: They are planning to do it again next year [cbc], but city council will need to vote on it soon - planning such an event takes closer to a year.