Architect encourages students to learn outside class


Theory of everything—Tom Marble talks to the audience about the unfolding universe in relation to architecture at the Vincent Price Art Museum on Friday.

By Samantha Iniguez

The East Los Angeles College Architecture Department welcomed Tom Marble from Tom Marble Architecture to talk about his experience in the Architectural field. 

Marble said he was going to give a more theoretical approach with his presentation because it is what he draws most of his inspiration from. 

He said architecture was like the relationship between electrons in science. 

He said in physics an electron does not exist until it interacts with another electron the same way a house does not exist if the architect and the client don’t work together. 

Marble said the first time he noticed one of his neighborhood stores called “The Pantry,” it got sold and turned into something unfamiliar. He felt it was unfair that a piece of his neighborhood was taken away from him. 

He said it wasn’t until he got into architecture that he changed the way he viewed the city. 

A chapter he calls “the anxiety of the changing city” when he realized that the city is constantly changing depending on who inhabits it and the way that they are interacting with the area around them. 

Marble showed the room a couple pictures comparing an old downtown to a modern-day downtown. 

He showed popular spots where Victorian style homes once stood, and now modern buildings and tall parking structures stand. 

He said it was then he realized having his own style was not important, so he never invested in it. 

Marble said “My buildings are not important. It is about the uses of different concepts. 

Not having certain style but instead the connection between the client and the rest of the team.” 

Marble said cities, like time, don’t exist. Instead they are both just reality unfolding. 

The cities change depending on who’s interacting with it.

“Your view of the city is relative to your position in the city,” Marble said.

He encouraged people looking to join the field when walking through the city to think of it not as a finished product but as a work in progress, and what they have to offer a constantly evolving world.

Marble said, “Even the houses and the projects that I have finished aren’t done because buildings don’t have a final form.” 

ELAC Professor Orhan Ayyüce said his goal when inviting architects that are well known in the area is to get students involved in the field.

Instead of only being in the classroom with rulers and pencils Ayyüce said taking students out and allowing them to see the field through so many different lenses helps the students in their overall learning and professional career. 

He said it also allows students the opportunity to speak one-on-one with professionals and ask whatever questions they want answered. 

Students also get the advantage of networking with the presenters, occasionally landing them jobs. 

The Architecture Department plans on having three more guest speakers including Michael Fox and Juintow Lin of Foxlin Architects on Friday and Geoffrey Von Oeyen of Geoffrey Von Oeyen Design on May 17. 

Lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. Vincent Price Museum Lecture Hall. 

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