Interest in architecture tournament?

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Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:18 pm

After I finish work on the St. Anselm's housewrite, I was thinking of writing an all-architecture tournament. I would primarily be doing it for my own edification, because I think architecture is really cool, and I want to learn more about it. However, I was wondering if there might be some interest in actually playing it. If there were significant interest and the organizers were supportive, this could even be run at one of the summer opens or something. Even if not many people wanted to play it, I would probably write it anyway and whoever wanted it could use it for practice or whatever.

This tournament would be tossups-only, and, in typical side event fashion, it would probably range in difficulty from "basic high school stuff" to "really hard." I'm not quite sure how big the architecture canon is (as far as I know, no one has ever written this sort of event before), but I'm thinking I could come up with 5-7 packets if I include questions on buildings, dudes, styles, cities, movements, and other stuff. We'll see.

So, would anyone want to play this if I wrote it, or would I just be doing it for myself?
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kwang the Ninja » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:31 pm

Please, please, please do this.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:43 pm

I'm all for this.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:50 pm

This would be great.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:12 pm

This would be fantastic.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:39 pm

I don't know if this would be all that entertaining to play in practice. From my experience writing questions in this area, it's pretty hard to describe things from architecture in meaningful ways. Additionally, writing tossups on individual works can often be difficult--you could probably do it but I have a hard time believing you'll get a buzz on most of the stuff.

Anyway, I'd play this if it happened, but I encourage you to think about how you're going to be writing these questions before starting in earnest.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Auroni » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:43 pm

I'll echo some of Mike's concerns; I've always had a bunch of trouble coming up with buzzable descriptions for any given building. However, it seems that you're not like me and that you have an actual academic interest in architecture, in which case I have full faith that you'll find a creative way to work around that. In any case, I would play this tournament.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Edward Elric » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:40 am

Yeah I'd be all for playing this
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by itsthatoneguy » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:28 am

I'm game, although I'm having trouble imagining more than 5 packets without a significant amount of "oh hey, here's another Frank Lloyd Wright building," or very hard / outside-of-the-canon stuff. If you make it work, more power to you.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kwang the Ninja » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:30 pm

itsthatoneguy wrote:outside-of-the-canon stuff
Not speaking for Aidan, but I think this is implied. If this was just a quizbowl architecture tournament, we'd have a bunch of tossups on Wright, Sullivan, Cass Gilbert, Frank Gehry, etc., etc. There are a lot of important architects (modern architects, especially) that, for whatever reason, are either slighted or ignored altogether by quizbowl (people like Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, Luis Barragan, and Richard Neutra come to mind). Obviously this is a problem in every field (how can we honestly expect everything in every field to be perfectly represented?), but this is one of the reasons that Aidan's idea for this tournament is so exciting: this is a chance for some of the under-represented important figures in the field to stake their respective claims and to begin their slow climb into the canon.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Gautam » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:08 pm

You, sir, have a funny notion of "slighted or ignored altogether" by quizbowl. Liebeskind, Hadid, etc. have been coming up for ages.


Anyway, an architecture tournament is too much, IMO. Maybe you can follow Bentley's footsteps and have a visual architecture tournament?
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:18 pm

gkandlikar wrote:Anyway, an architecture tournament is too much, IMO. Maybe you can follow Bentley's footsteps and have a visual architecture tournament?
This also is hard, and in my experience hasn't produced too many interesting visual questions.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:18 pm

Side events should never introduce things into the "canon."

I like side events as much as the next person and have written a number of them. However, any attempt to apply "QUIZBOWL CANON LOGIC" to side events seems to me somewhat flawed--I don't think side events have any obligation to follow the "canon" or introduce things into the "canon." I think the ideal side event is a whimsical piece of entertainment.

I will also point out that writing building tossups are hard. I tried to write one for MO, but the clues ended up either vague or they sounded exciting but were actually not specific.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:33 pm

Cheynem wrote:Side events should never introduce things into the "canon."

I like side events as much as the next person and have written a number of them. However, any attempt to apply "QUIZBOWL CANON LOGIC" to side events seems to me somewhat flawed--I don't think side events have any obligation to follow the "canon" or introduce things into the "canon." I think the ideal side event is a whimsical piece of entertainment.

I will also point out that writing building tossups are hard. I tried to write one for MO, but the clues ended up either vague or they sounded exciting but were actually not specific.
I see what you're saying here, but I honestly don't think there's much of a practical difference between the events you and Aidan are proposing. Aidan's saying that if he writes this event, he'll probably be going into stuff that hasn't come up before, or has only come up rarely. You're saying that he should ignore what's come up before and just write what he wants to write. That's a nice distinction, but either way, he's going to be writing on things that interest him, but may or may not have come up. You seem to be reflexively objecting to his use of the word "canon" when the practical consequences aren't really that meaningful. If you're saying that this event shouldn't be restricted at all by what's come up before, sure...but I don't think it was ever going to be.

As for whether this event can be practically completed: I'd advise writing the first packet to see how it goes, then deciding whether to proceed to a full event. If by that time, you've got the hang of writing good architecture questions, and you think you can fill a whole tournament with gettable answers, go for it.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:32 pm

Matt and Mike are both basically right. If I do this, I will write on plenty of stuff that has come up before. I will also write on plenty that hasn't. Make no mistake, Bryan: this tournament is going to be hard. I'm going to write on plenty of things just because I feel like it. There will be a great deal of whimsy and me just saying, "oh, that's cool, let's figure out how to ask about it." Hopefully, it will end up being entertaining.

I'm just as curious as everyone else at to whether or not I can do this. It should be fun to find out.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:37 pm

If you write this I'll play in it, but I'll probably be pretty bad considering most of my architecture knowledge is quizbowl-canonical. Though Calatrava is not tossed-up nearly as much as he should be.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by pray for elves » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:14 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:If you write this I'll play in it, but I'll probably be pretty bad considering most of my architecture knowledge is quizbowl-canonical. Though Calatrava is not tossed-up nearly as much as he should be.
You must have missed that time when Rob Carson got a hard-on for him two years ago and he came up at every tournament for awhile.

EDIT: I should point out that it wasn't just Rob.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:29 pm

Matt, my comment was directed more towards Dallin, who said that such a side event would help introduce figures to make their "slow march into the canon." This is a potentially upsetting way of looking at how answer lines are drawn for quizbowl events and I would encourage people not to assume the presence of questions on _____ makes it okay to write on _______ for future events.

In terms of what Aidan chooses to write, he should write on whatever he wants. I have no problem with him sticking to things that have come up before, as it may or may not make it easier, but he can do whatever.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:38 pm

Cheynem wrote:Matt, my comment was directed more towards Dallin, who said that such a side event would help introduce figures to make their "slow march into the canon." This is a potentially upsetting way of looking at how answer lines are drawn for quizbowl events and I would encourage people not to assume the presence of questions on _____ makes it okay to write on _______ for future events.

In terms of what Aidan chooses to write, he should write on whatever he wants. I have no problem with him sticking to things that have come up before, as it may or may not make it easier, but he can do whatever.
In that case, I completely agree.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kwang the Ninja » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:41 pm

Cheynem wrote:Matt, my comment was directed more towards Dallin, who said that such a side event would help introduce figures to make their "slow march into the canon." This is a potentially upsetting way of looking at how answer lines are drawn for quizbowl events and I would encourage people not to assume the presence of questions on _____ makes it okay to write on _______ for future events.

In terms of what Aidan chooses to write, he should write on whatever he wants. I have no problem with him sticking to things that have come up before, as it may or may not make it easier, but he can do whatever.
I guess I don't mean, "I hope you write a tossup on Steven Holl so that three years from now he can be tossed up at HFT". I just think there are some important contemporary figures in architecture that I would love to see asked. If, as Gautam asserts, people like Barragan and Hadid are already firmly entrenched in the canon, then my point above is highly moot.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Gautam » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:17 pm

http://bit.ly/g4Czz5 -- Barragan
http://bit.ly/g2Ueuy -- Hadid
http://bit.ly/eWSUSs -- Libeskind

Note: these do not include zipped packets, etc. which aren't indexed by google searches and stuff. I'd tossup some of these folks at hard tournaments, but definitely not Penn Bowls and Regionals.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:31 pm

I'd be happy to play this event, and I'm sure it could find a space of 1-2 hours at some open tourney.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by magin » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:21 pm

I think side events can instructively introduce new answers to quizbowl awareness, as long as those answers are important to their fields and answerable to people with knowledge of those fields, and as long as those answers are chosen sparingly. (As an aside, I don't think of new answers as answers that have never appeared in any tournament, but answers that generally aren't part of the set of answers asked about at tournaments with some frequency; Daniel Liebeskind was a new answer once, and still is at lesser-difficulty tournaments, but probably isn't a new answer at nationals-level tournaments anymore.)

I'd like to emphasize sparingly, though. Lots of dead tossups a round aren't going to result in players thinking "what are these cool things I don't know? I should learn more about them," but instead feeling massively frustrated. If you write 19 well-written tossups on accessible topics to your audience, that 1 harder well-written tossup will be much more likely to cause people to say "hey, this is cool; let me learn about this and write about it." (Another aside: that doesn't excuse a really ridiculously difficult tossup that no one will never ever answer, even if it's your most favorite thing ever. We all make mistakes about what players know, but that doesn't mean I can write 19 accessible lit tossups and then a crazy lit tossup on the protagonist of Charles Chesnutt's unfinished play). As an example, for CO Lit 08 I wrote a bunch of tossups on answers like Mark Twain and Percy Shelley, as well as a more difficult one on The Marrow of Tradition, which while a new answer for that level is still, I feel, answerable by players with some literary knowledge. Side tournaments tend to be a good place to use these harder answers (in moderation) compared to regular tournaments, since regular tournaments are about full teams competing on every tossup on all forms of quizbowl knowledge, instead of being about teams of one or two players competing on tossups in one or two subjects.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Great Bustard » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:05 pm

I'm game if I'm at the tournament. On a side note, have any summer open dates and sites been set for 2011?
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:08 pm

I have completed preliminary answer selection for this event. I believe I have enough answers for around seven 20-tossup packets. I anticipate that I will discover that some of my chosen answers will be unwriteable - however, I know that more ideas should pop into my head during the writing of this event, so I expect that seven packets will be the final product. I may be able to squeeze out one more, but we shall see.

In the interest of full disclosure, I think I should mention that this tournament has turned out not to consist of only architecture questions. There will be some questions that focus on building history (i.e. more on the history of the building and less on its actual physical characteristics) and building circumstances (i.e. one artwork found in this building..., This building was home to the (year) (event)...., etc). I don't think this is much of a cop out; I intend to stay firmly focused on buildings and their architectural, historical, and artistic characteristics. I think I will still be able to write an interesting event, even if it isn't super pure. There will also be several "architectural trash" questions, concerning some things that aren't entirely architecture but sort of are (i.e. famous literary buildings, mythological structures, etc). I hope these new developments won't be disagreeable to potential players.

I've been rolling one idea around about how to expand the answer selection for this event: Would people be opposed to tossups on multiple famous works of the same architect? There are a good number of architects (obviously, I don't want to give away any answers, but I think we all know what kind of people I'm talking about) who have two or more structures to their credit that are askable at this level. Whether all of those askable answers are writable remains to be seen, but I think this would be an interesting way to help a small category like architecture provide a few more answers. I see this as akin to, for example, tossing up both "The Old Man and the Sea" and "The Sun Also Rises" at a lit event.

Would people prefer a slightly shorter event with no repeated architects or a slightly longer one along these lines? Please let me know; I aim to please.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by at your pleasure » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:18 am

I for one don't mind repeated architect questions.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:15 pm

How about a 1/1 trash category on fictional architecture? You know you want to write a tossup on the Water Temple.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Auroni » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:35 pm

Prof.Whoopie wrote: In the interest of full disclosure, I think I should mention that this tournament has turned out not to consist of only architecture questions. There will be some questions that focus on building history (i.e. more on the history of the building and less on its actual physical characteristics) and building circumstances (i.e. one artwork found in this building..., This building was home to the (year) (event)...., etc). I don't think this is much of a cop out; I intend to stay firmly focused on buildings and their architectural, historical, and artistic characteristics. I think I will still be able to write an interesting event, even if it isn't super pure. There will also be several "architectural trash" questions, concerning some things that aren't entirely architecture but sort of are (i.e. famous literary buildings, mythological structures, etc). I hope these new developments won't be disagreeable to potential players.
That's all perfectly fine and probably necessary for your undertaking. I'm still fully interested.
I've been rolling one idea around about how to expand the answer selection for this event: Would people be opposed to tossups on multiple famous works of the same architect? There are a good number of architects (obviously, I don't want to give away any answers, but I think we all know what kind of people I'm talking about) who have two or more structures to their credit that are askable at this level. Whether all of those askable answers are writable remains to be seen, but I think this would be an interesting way to help a small category like architecture provide a few more answers. I see this as akin to, for example, tossing up both "The Old Man and the Sea" and "The Sun Also Rises" at a lit event.
This is more than fine; it's probably necessary under your tournament's constraints and it's pretty standard practice even at non-subject tournaments.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:10 pm

Prof.Whoopie wrote:I've been rolling one idea around about how to expand the answer selection for this event: Would people be opposed to tossups on multiple famous works of the same architect? There are a good number of architects (obviously, I don't want to give away any answers, but I think we all know what kind of people I'm talking about) who have two or more structures to their credit that are askable at this level. Whether all of those askable answers are writable remains to be seen, but I think this would be an interesting way to help a small category like architecture provide a few more answers. I see this as akin to, for example, tossing up both "The Old Man and the Sea" and "The Sun Also Rises" at a lit event.
Modern quizbowl theory defines a repeat as using the same clue, not using the same answer, and certainly not using two answers that are somehow closely connected (e.g., same creator). As long as you don't use the same clues twice, you'll be fine. Heck, I once wrote five tossups on "Portugal" in the same side tournament.

If you decide to go that route, it's considered polite to announce beforehand that the same answer might come up more than once, so people don't think "well, this sounds like x, but x already came up so I'll just buzz and say y".
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Auroni » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Morraine Man wrote: Heck, I once wrote five tossups on "Portugal" in the same side tournament.
Yeah, uh, don't actually do this. A tossup on Tender is the Night, for example, would invalidate a tossup on F. Scott Fitzergald only if the tossup has Tender is the Night clues, but a tossup on Tender is the Night will always invalidate another tossup on Tender is the Night no matter how many layers of parallel Tender is the Night clues you manage to find. It's not a good idea to actually repeat answer lines if they are in the same category.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Cheynem » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:08 pm

"Portugal" and "Tender is the Night" don't seem to be equivalent. For instance, you could theoretically do three tossups on Frank Lloyd Wright that are very different, each focusing on different aspects of his career/buildings. However, three tossups on the Imperial Hotel would be crazy.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Auroni » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:24 pm

Cheynem wrote: For instance, you could theoretically do three tossups on Frank Lloyd Wright that are very different, each focusing on different aspects of his career/buildings.
If you are going to do this, you are going to have to make some of those tossups harder than others and would probably lose nothing by just making the harder ones tossups on other FLW buildings. That way, people aren't confused when they hear another tossup on an answerline that they've mentally eliminated already.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:40 pm

I think Auroni's view is the minority view. In any event, my point wasn't to encourage him to write 5 tossups on FLW, my point was "here is this seemingly crazy thing that many people think is actually OK, so surely your seemingly less crazy thing is also OK".
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:27 pm

If this gets held somewhere in the Northeast Corridor (i.e. not Richmond) then I'd seriously consider emerging from semi-retirement to play it.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kouign Amann » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:37 am

So, a lot of people are talking about scheduling for CO. Some people don't want side events, some people do. I'll just say that, if there's demand, I could definitely finish Angels in the Archtecture 2011: This Tournament is About Building by then. I won't be at CO, but if people want to play this there, I'd be happy to send it to whomever.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:55 am

I humbly request that your tournament be subtitled "More Tossups about Buildings and Food."

More seriously, this seems like a nice, compact set that's different from what we do every year, so I'm all for it.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Mewto55555 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:58 pm

Will this event be fairly accessible for people who don't know much architecture?
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kouign Amann » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:07 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:Will this event be fairly accessible for people who don't know much architecture?
I hope so. Some of the tossups are going to require pretty good knowledge, but I'm making an effort to include plenty of stuff that the casual building observer should be able to get. If you know absolutely nothing, then obviously you won't have much fun, but I don't think this event will be too scary.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by itsthatoneguy » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:55 pm

I would be interested in playing this.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon May 23, 2011 3:22 pm

I was talking to Chris Ray the other day, and he seemed to want to run this after one of the VCUO events. Are others amenable to this plan?
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:00 pm

Unfortunately, this tournament is at something of a crossroads. I've had great fun writing what exists of this event, but I don't think I can finish it. Between my summer job, Fall Novice editing, and my parents wanting me to apply to college right now, I've had much less time than I would have liked to work on this tournament - I've only been able to knock out a handful of questions in the past month or so. I just don't have quite the same energy for it. I see a number of options available for the questions I've managed to finish (slightly more than 40).

1. Pull a bunch of all-nighters in the next two weeks to finish the 100 or so answers that remain to be written. [NOT REALLY AN OPTION - I won't be doing this, sorry guys.]

2. Enlist several assistants, split up the remaining work, and make a push in the next two weeks to get this done.

3. Finish whatever I can by myself, and run this as a much smaller event than intended (maybe three packets instead of seven). Maybe a quick post-VCUO architecture shootout would appeal to some people?

4. Shelve this event for the time being, until I can get back into writing on a regular basis. Cede VCUO time to people who want to play more History Doubles/Law Bowl/anything else. Maybe run this event later in the year, next summer, or over IRC at some point.


Any feedback is welcome, including suggestions of other options. I'm partial to (3) or (4) myself, as I'm not really sure who's available to write a large amount of wacky/fun/hard (pick a few) architecture questions over the next two weeks.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:07 pm

I wouldn't do two--that seems like a lot of work for a vaguely niche event. I think this is more deciding what you want this event to be. Do you have some questions you're dying to write and you really want to produce--then, by all means, hold off and run it somewhere else? Are you basically satisfied and don't have the desire to do more? Then run it as a small event, no one will complain.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:59 pm

This should come as no surprise, given my well-documented love for casual, convivial, shootout-type side events, but I'd be all for (3). I don't think anyone's playing interest hinges on the size (or formality) of the event, so if you're satisfied with what you've written, go ahead and run it as-is. As Mike said, though, if you personally still want to write more, go ahead; you have every right to postpone it until it's completed to your satisfaction.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by DumbJaques » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:30 am

I'd really love to play an actual architecture tournament, and suspect this will be the only chance any of us will ever have to do so. Consequently, I vote for taking the time to write the event you were envisioning (which, I maintain, sounds awesome) and one that you won't feel like you had to cut any corners on. I mean, VCU Open was kind of just randomly chosen as a home for this event anyway, so it's not like people were arranging their schedules based on this tournament running. And, of course, there are no end of open events/qb weekends throughout the year that would make loving parents for this tournament - for instance, I'd be happy to package the set with my tournament in December at the Maryland site and all other mirrors.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:43 am

I remain opposed to side tournaments at regular season events; if this is postponed, I would vote for postponing it all the way until next summer.

Completely separate from that, I think a smaller version of this event will be a good idea, because I just don't know what the 194th most answerable architecture tossup looks like, but I'm pretty sure it's either "eldritch" or "stygian."
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by theMoMA » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:15 am

Matt Weiner wrote:I remain opposed to side tournaments at regular season events; if this is postponed, I would vote for postponing it all the way until next summer.

Completely separate from that, I think a smaller version of this event will be a good idea, because I just don't know what the 194th most answerable architecture tossup looks like, but I'm pretty sure it's either "eldritch" or "stygian."
I agree with this and with Rob. A smaller shootout event would be fun.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:01 am

I'll play whatever exists.
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Re: Interest in architecture tournament?

Post by Kouign Amann » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:31 pm

I have decided to postpone this event. The large chunk that remains to be written is mostly stuff I'd really like to write once I find the time, and the responses here indicate that at least a few people will play this at whatever size. As Chris said, the quizbowl world might only get one shot at an event like this, so I'd like to do it right, or at least as right as I can.

My apologies to anyone who is disappointed. I hope that this decision will give me more time to make this set the best it can be.
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