Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Voices: Opus Week 5

“The keep at Dover Castle came to be surrounded by two such fortified concentric walls, resulting in an inner bailey and an outer bailey.” (Roth 307) Roth gives the detail of a structure with a “strong presence.” While drawing for Perception and Communication I felt that the plants in the Mossman building gave a very welcoming and home like presence. A presence of a structure or space makes the view feel a certain way. Like with the Dover Castle the view feels safe because of the strength of the fortified walls and in the Mossman building the plants give the space a more earthly and welcoming feel instead of a cold lifeless feel that can push the viewer away.

A precedent is something one looks at and experiences to compile ideas for their own design. In Perception and Communication we took inspiration from other artists and applied their styles to our own techniques and images. Also, with every design we create in Studio we refer back to the design preceding it to take inspiration and mix it with a new concept to create a new design. The current portal project is taking the precedent of each of our models, words and assigned structure to create a portal around a door on the first floor of the Gatewood.

Elizabeth Perry

In design moments are meaningful spaces or areas that represent something or emphasize a specific detail. This semester we have focused on moments on many occasions. We focused on moments in a space as well as moments in a design. In the Mossman building there were many moments where people were interacting with the building. There were people on the public computers, doing paperwork behind desks, talking with friends amongst the array of pants, and people drawing the moments that they observe. Moments can be emphasized in drawing by using color, brining attention to the negative space, and having places with no detail and others with high detail.

An artifact can be seen in different ways by each person. Having more than one side or purpose to a design paves the way for the viewers to have varying opinions, interpretation, and uses for the design. “Utility and to denote hierarchal positions” (Blakemore 84) is Blakemore’s interpretation of duality. There have been a few instances where duality really has stood out this semester even though all of our projects should have more than one view. First, there was Pat’s Chair which we designed a multifunctional single piece of furniture that served the purpose of a table, chair, workstation, and server. Another more recent project was the scale models created to represent a design word. My focus was on the word “boundaries” but there was duality where one can interpret it as “boundaries” and another can view it as “balance.”

Medic is a most commonly associated with a universal measurement used in all countries except the United States. But, metric is more than simply a measurement. The Baths of Diocletian is metric in the way it is divided amongst the 32 acres of which it stands. Where each area resides, the time of day, and the different classes of people who use the Baths during the differing times of day all relate to the metric system of this specific structure.

Baths of Diocletian

All throughout design and history precedents can be found that lead to the next generation of design. With these designs comes duality as well as everything moments depending on the interpretations. These interpretations can give different presences to the space and design depending on the metric system of it all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Door Sketch

I liked Nicole's first sketch and I feel that we could really work with it. It was hard for my mind to get away from that idea but here is a sketch of something that I just threw out. It needs some more work to tie into our words better but I feel it does connect with each of our designs in one way or another.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Building Selection & Justification: Robie House


I have chosen Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House as my Precedent Project. Built in 1908, this house is an expression of the transformation from the Victorian style of the houses around it into the Modern style of architecture that it represents. Wright incorporated a balance between covered and open spaces through the use of overlapping horizontal planes to give a since of openness to the outside while still enclosing the owner in privacy. The house was designed for the bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer Frederick C. Robie who requesting the unique idea of openness with privacy. I feel that this will be a fascinating structure to work with due to it’s out of the ordinary design and the experience I will receive from studying the work of such a talented designer.

"Space is defined not by walls, in the conventional sense, but by a series of horizontal planes intercepted by vertical wall fragments and rectangular piers. These horizontals extend far beyond the enclosures, defining exterior space as well and echoing the flat midwestern landscape that so inspired the architect." - Paul Kruty


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Parts:Whole Opus Week 4

“What was your source of inspiration?” This is a question asked of many design students. The source of the Roman style of architecture was from the Greek but instead of using the designs to do the identical they improved upon and created their own style with the architecture. “Greek prototypes of the Hellenistic period for their inspiration.” (Blakemore 61) The Greek used the classical orders as structural supports while the Romans used them for some support but mostly decoration. They thought that it was only necessary to have the “porch” of buildings to be attractive while the rest of the building is there to simply serve its purpose. The Coliseum in Rome shows how the orders were used as decoration. Each level of the Coliseum has a different style of column; Doric on the first levels, Ionic on the second, and Corinthian on the third and forth levels. I have personally used source in my own design process though the beginning assignment of reading a fairytale and using that inspirational source to create artifacts, thumbnails, and scale models that are all intertwined and all build off of one another. All together they create archetype, prototype, and hybrids.

Archetype, Prototype, and Hybrid
Archetype, prototype, and hybrid refer so to the evolution of design involving the original design, the final product, and the designs in between. The classical orders and basilicas are examples that show the transition between the beginning of the design process to the end product. The archetype of the orders is the Tuscan followed by Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian as the hybrids and Composite as the prototype. The progression is obvious when looking at the columns and is very apparent in the Composite (made of separate parts) which looks like a combination of the Ionic and Corinthian columns. Basilicas are also examples of this by looking at the Basilica at Pompeii as the archetype and St. Peter’s Basilica as the hybrid or prototype. Over time the designs have allowed for the evolution of structural integrity and the commodity of the building. This Is also apparent when we create sketch models and redo iterations to come out with the prototype.

Theology and Spacial Arts

Entourage in architecture is the landscape and other nearby features around a building. This definition brings to mind the Greek and Roman cities but most noticeably the Acropolis. All of the buildings were places strategically to give the most visually appealing and civil structure. When first entering the city you enter though the porch and come out into the court where you see the Maidens and follow their gaze to look at the Temple which represents the hearth. The portion of the city inside the gates is built on the land while the part that is outside of the gates is built into the sides of the hill that the city stands on.

A strong example of hierarchy is the main pyramid surrounded by the smaller pyramids at Giza. All of the pyramids together show hierarchy by pointing up to the sky showing the importance of the heavens and gods to the people. “A range of social and economic classes were inhabitants of Pompeii; its houses represented largely middle to upper-class residents.” (Blakemore 47) Hierarchy is apparent in many more places than just architecture and the two can go hand in hand. The grander the building can show the higher social class of a person. The upper and middle class citizens of a city would have larger buildings and the furnishing would be more lavish while the lower class would have smaller home and fewer things.

"...columnar types, or orders were adapted by the Romans, who added more ornate variations of their own, and the orders became part of the basic architectural language..." (Roth30) Order is the deposition of things following one another. Again, the Classical Orders are an obvious example of this and is probably why they are called the “Orders.” The repetition of the columns thought a structure show order as well as how they came along chronologically.

This week has been filled with archetypes, prototypes, and hybrids. We have created many different designs and used the design and thumbnails beforehand to use as sources for our next designs. We incorporated hierarchy with these models and considered hot these models would be the entourage around the people using it. Order can be seen though the progression of these models.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Drinking and Drawing

I actually did my drawing during a Habitat for Humanity I was at. It was interesting to try and draw what was going on while everyone was constantly moving but I was able to capture a few moments.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Opus Week 3

Scale is an essential part of architecture and design. In all of my classes we are talking about scale in one way or another. In Studio we have build walls that are scaled down to one inch to a foot. In perception and communication we have drawn people to scale. We have also built and drafted scale models of Pat's chair in Design Graphics. And finally we have spoken about scale of the columns in History. Throughout history scale has followed alongside of social hierarchy and religion. In ancient Egypt the Gods were generally represented by a large scale sculpture of the human form. The figures are larger in scale to show how much of importance religion should be to the people and how the should be respected due to how much greater in scale they are to the people. “On the highest ground the principal palace was built…” (Roth 219) This quote relates to how scale is related to hierarchy. The Parthenon is one of the largest buildings in Acropolis and can be seen form almost anywhere in the city. This is because of the importance of the building to religion and the people.

Is the combination of several parts into one unit. In perception and communication we are learning to use different materials to combine into one piece of work. We want to create unity among the materials so that we can create the beast drawings and vignettes possible. Also, we are looking at our surroundings and connecting the environment to the people that are residing within it. The city of Acropolis shows unity by being a city with a government and law. Physically the city is tied into a unit my the buildings and how each one has been strategically placed so that the people are lead in a certain way.

In Acropolis boundaries were set to show other regions that this was their land and belonged to no one else. They did this to protect their wealth, government, and people form the outside. They were weary of allowing in outsiders and did with great caution. The Chinese had the same thoughts when constructing the Great Wall. Its primary use was as a defense from outsiders as well as a communication system. In vignettes the boundaries of which we draw are burred. We do not know where or when to stop but we do when we see fit or that there is enough information in the image.

"If the corners of these nested rectangles are then connected by a curved line, the result is a logarithmic spiral or volute, very much like that found in the pattern of seeds in a sunflower or in the section of a chambered nautilus. (Roth 74) Sections are areas that cannot be seen without dissection of the item being looked at. We have been learning about sections the past two semesters and use it most often in drafting. When looking at a section you are looking at the interior of an object or building and seeing what is going on thought the interior.

A vignette is "a picture (as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paper." (Webster Dictionary) We have been focusing on vignettes for the past couple of weeks and they are extremely useful for illuminating certain aspects of a scene or space. While focusing on people you notice things that you may not have noticed before if you were simply people watching. You notice how they interact with their environment as well as little movements or positions they most commonly use. Drawing vignettes are enlightening and show the drawer a different side of the world around them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Opus Week 2

Webster's online dictionary defines illuminate as being intellectually or spiritually enlightened. This is apparent in our opus and in our drawing class. We are learning to illuminate objects and spaces by using vignettes to show them in their natural environments. But, by using color, texture, material, as well as, fading out we are able to put emphasis on the main focus. The Egyptians also used the idea of illumination t put emphasis on the points of the pyramids. “ In other words, the pyramid was the King’s launching place, the mountain whose gilded summit would catch the first rays of the sun, from which the soul of the pharaoh would rise to greet Ra in his eternal endeavor to ensure ma’at, the never-ending rightness of all things for his living subjects below.” (Roth 201) They accomplished this by placing limestone on the summits so that the sun would shine on them and bring attention to the importance of the afterlife.

Viking Tours

When searching the Internet for "idiom" the first results that come up are common English sayings that we understand but when translated into other languages and cultures would make little since. For example, in English "apple of my eye" is a saying that steamed from Eve being tempted to eat the apple. thus, this saying is interpreted to mean that something or someone is fancied by another and is wanted. But this may not be interpreted the same in another culture or religion because they do not understand the meaning behind the saying. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics are another example of idioms but we are on the other end of the interpretation and do not understand. The hieroglyphic below illustrates a headless bird and it would be easy to assume that the image is literal in its meaning. This assumption would be wrong and thanks to the Rosetta Stone we know that it actually means "knife." Without the Rosetta Stone would would be close to clueless about the true meaning of most hieroglyphics.

Hieroglyphics Dictionary

Commodity Firmness Delight
Commodity is when an object or space accomplishes the task it was designed for. In drafting we were given the assignment of creaking a workspace/table/chair/server. We were asked to incorporate as many uses for the object as possible. In my model I was able to give commodity to three of the four aspects.

From what we have learned from History of Design we know the Stonehenge is an example of firmness. Although the structures have been altered in past history it is apparent that firmness has existed within the structure for the past 4,500 years.


Today many designers see delight as being aesthetically pleasing along with the utility and durability. But earlier designers thought "delight in architecture had no independent existence, that beauty resulted automatically through maximizing functionality and the expression of structure" (Roth 67)

The pyramids relate to commodity, firmness and delight together. They have commodity through their use as tombs which hold mummified remains and the riches of the pharaoh that built them. They have firmness because they have lasted for over 4,000 years without too much structural damage or damage to the artifacts on the interior. Finally, they are delightful in their appearance and in their utility and durability.

Material's roll in design began in the isolated communities that had limited amounts of resources at hand. Depending on the materials, the people of the community adapted and evolved their tools to accomplish their design goals. We practiced with this when we had to design Pat's Chair. Being limited to only one sheet of MDF and only the basic of tools forced us to make the design simple but function in more than one way as well as studty. This sdhowed us furst hand what it was like working with limited resorses and still creating something that had utility and firmess.