professor
Yumi Kori

Jan 2005

For some reason, while in this studio, I felt like I was in the special ed architecture program. Other studios' work was interesting and creative, while our work was inconsistant and disorganized. Yumi's lack of articulation caused most problems, as assignments were incoherent and lacked any kind of instruction. Critiques were horrible. During one critique, Yumi told everyone individiually that their project wasn't exactly what she was looking for, and then at the end said, "Good job everyone." Lacking structure, this studio was one of the worst possible experiences for undergrads. If Yumi is teaching another studio course, stay away and take someone else's studio at all cost. The money spent on materials would have been better used as toilet paper.

Jan 2005

This class was enough to convince me that architecture as an undergrad at Columbia is a colossal waste of time. Yumi is a very nice person, and her own professional work is great. But the class was horrible. Her English is, as other people said, dreadfully difficult to understand. Your projects will either be "interesting" or "somehow successful." The projects have no ascertainable goals or direction, they are just weird and unreasonable. I didn't start out my college career looking to be a weird and unreasonable artist, but to help me learn professional architecture skills. THIS IS NOT IT! I think this is partly an issue of what Barnard's conception of what architecture is and how it should be taught. You won't learn a single practical tool in studios here, like say drafting or 3D modeling (you know, the stuff that architects actually have to do) but how to "abstract" architectural concepts into bizarre and time-wasting projects like UFO hats that belong in some starving artists' gallery in the Meatpacking district. If this is your idea of a good time, and you like spending all night designing ridiculous things like that, more power to you. Just don't expect to learn anything actually useful.

Jan 2005

Yumi's class was a joke. While other classes were experiencing their first real studio course, and working really hard on projects that turned out beautifully, and actually learning something about architecture, those of us condemned to yumi's section made countless photocollages. Most of our projects had nothing to do with architecture, and we really didn't learn any drafting skills. The course was a waste of a semester. Not only were Yumi's projects poor choices, she lacks the necessary english language skills to be a critic. The extent of the feedback she gave us were phrases such as "interesting," "not working so well", "not successful." The TA tried to compensate for Yumi's extreme lack of guidance, constantly having to act as a sort of interpreter ("i think what yumi is trying to say by "interesting" is...."). Though Yumi may be a kind person, and may excel at creating art installations such as "green balloons in envelopes", in my opinion she should not be teaching architecture studios at columbia. The experience of her class makes me want a refund for the semester. Everything I learned was through my own independent explorations. Also, instead of supplementing her lack of english skills and critical expertise with articulate guest critics who were architects, all of the guest critics seemed to be friends from her international studio, and were blocked by the same language barrier. Another problem with the class was the lack of formality in the pin-ups. Instead of having at least one formal review, all of our reviews for the class took place on a table in the front of the classroom, or in the hallway. Yumi seemed incapable of coordinating these in an effective way, often changing her mind about the setup several times the day of the pin up, forcing everyone to rearrange while the guest critics sat there. She also seemed incapable of switching up the order in which students presented. Overall, the class was a complete waste of my time at Columbia, and I feel that I have missed out on an important part of the experience of the architecture major at Columbia by not getting the intended experience of the Perception Studio. Most students' work in the class was terrible, mainly due to the lack of guidance from Yumi, as well as the low standards she set, and I can't see most of them including any of it in a portfolio.

Jan 2005

Yumi is the most absurd professor I have had at Columbia. She is straight from Japan so she speaks broken English and a lot of the assignments are incoherent and vague because of her lack of verbs, nouns, and any sort of conjugation. If you ask her to explain the assigment, she often does not understand the question and instead of asking you to reword it so that she can understand, she just smiles and tells you to interpret the project in your own way. However, even though her assignments are unintelligible and non-specific, her expectations are very high and when it comes around to critiques and presentations, she never hesitates to completely slam your work in front of the class for not fitting her requirements. Her comments at desk crits are not constructive whatsoever, and she never has anything planned for class. Most of the projects that we did end up doing were photo collages, so we couldn't even work on those in class because we would have to go take the pictures and develop them first. Thus, the 2 hour class time was wasted just sitting around doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING while waiting for her to come and give you incomprehensible advice on your non-existant project. Plus, the course materials and projects are extremely expensive and Yumi does not even think twice about money and time constraints when assigning them. During our last project, which was to build a model that one or two people could fit into, I asked her for suggestions on what material to build it out of, and she said that I should definitly use large pieces of steel welded together. I asked her where I could go about finding large pieces of steel and she told me that there must be somewhere in Manhattan that sells it - completely disregarding the fact that the project was due in a WEEK and I didn't have time to look for steel, and the fact that most students dont know how to WELD. Anyway, if you are looking to waste huge amounts of time and spend exorbitant amounts of money on projects that are stupid and that you will not be proud of, then take this course. You'll learn how to use some of the equipment, you'll be proficient at photoshop, and Janoff's will own your soul.

Dec 2004

She is nice but yes she is not a very good teacher. She critcism is consisted of "very successful" "interesting" "not working so well" and "hm... I don't know" so mainly her criticism is not very helpful on how to improve your work. She doesn't push you to work work work, so the class is less intense than other studio classes. Not so good in timing either. Spend forever on the first project (photo collage) and squeezed the last project (some kind of live-size device that creates "windows" that change and frame reality. Dont' ask me what it means. I am not sure. )into a short time allowing no time for development. The key, always say something interesting in the presentation showing that you are "thinking".

Dec 2004

This person simply doesn't know how to teach. Most of the classes were reduced to mediocre student presentations to compensate for the instructor's lack of competence in both her expertise in the field and her English language ability. When she did lecture a bit, she would resort to cliched notions of Zen, tea ceremony, and the misty pagodas that represented Japanese architecture to the orientalists of the prewar period. I think we're way beyond that circa 2003.

Nov 2004

Yumi is very nice, but she is a horrible teacher. She definitely does not know how to teach a studio class. While the other classes were making beautiful models and learning the fundamentals of architecture (floor plans etc), my class had no instruction. Our final project was the biggest joke ever, basically, to make a hat. Yumi's english is not very good either, which makes things difficult.