Friday, March 27, 2009

Alternatives Unit Summery

The Alternatives unit covers the eras of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque. As each of these eras came about new styles of design were created to go along with the times. Throughout these periods we can see how the boundaries were being pushed and the rules were being broken through the evolution of design and architecture.

The Gothic period began with the spread of Christianity. As the spread of the religion moved further out, the cathedrals began to grow in size and elegance to accommodate the worshipers. “The Gothic cathedrals were covered virtually from top to bottom with sculptural representation of biblical stories.” (Roth) This showed the great detail and dedication the artists and the worshipers had to Christianity and how the cathedrals seemed to be reaching up into the heavens. The highly decorative windows, and lights gave the cathedrals heavenly feel.

Nita Travelling

The time of the Renaissance gave leeway to architecture that was less strict and allowed for designs to incorporate more curves and fewer straight lines. This entailed more fluidity and freedom of movement that was not seen in earlier styles of design. Also, more private residences were being sought out by the wealthy to escape the city. They wished for a place in the countryside that was secluded but close enough that they could be under the protection of the city and obtain goods from the market. The Villa emerged from this desire.

The Baroque period was a time where art and architecture showed a great amount of emotion and where the work showed rationality instead of religion. This time was all about movement of detail in art and in architecture. One of the works that most stands out in showing the difference between the Baroque style and earlier styles is Bernini’s David compared to Michelangelo’s David. Michelangelo’s version of Davis is more religious in how he seems to be contemplating the battle he had just won. Bernini’s Davis is frozen in action showing a more rational view of David. Also, the first David simply stood with nothing extra while the Baroque David allows the eye to move and not stay put on one specific spot. Another example of movement is the Alter that is in the Vatican, also designed by Bernini.


Ned Hettinger

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grammar : Syntax Opus Week 8

In interior architecture it is necessary to use revision in order to create the best design possible. Revision is broken into two pars. Vision means looking at something and visualizing it. Re is to do something again. Thus, revision is the relooking or reevaluation of, in this case, a design or drawing. Without revisions designs would be very plain or over complicated. Ideas would need to be added or subtracted to acquire the best design possible. “After a millennium, man was once more the measure of all things. Everything was possible for humankind, believed Pico, for to man ‘it is granted to have whatever he chooses, to be whatever he wills’” (Roth 2007). The Baroque style was a revision to the styles used in the Renaissance. As artists and architects began to break the rules and work more with rationality instead of strictly religious thoughts, designs began to evolve and become much more interesting.

First sketch of desk lamp

Refined and polished version of desk lamp

The audience of a design are the viewers who will be interacting with the said design. Others may view the design as “something” where at the target audience sees it as something so much more and will appreciate it in ways that others may not. A uniquely designed playground would be viewed much more appreciatively by the children and parents playing than by the businesswoman going on her afternoon jog in the park. A design for a single person as the audience could be more narrow and personalized than a design that is to sit in a large public space for all to view.

To give something character is to give it personality and a way for it to speak for itself. Giving a design character allows it to show the observer what it is about and what it is used for without being prompted. The designs that I view as having the most character are the ones that end up making me smile. Not because they are funny but because they intrigue me too look at longer and begin to understand what their points are. They are the designs that are the most successful in canting my attention and keeping ii there long enough to analyze and know its purpose.

A table that I feel has a large amount of character in its connection to nature and what it once was

In design, transition can be the movement or evolution between one style to another. This is apparent when observing the sculptures of David by Michelangelo and Bernini. Michelangelo’s David is showing the physical perfection of man and is contemplative and thinking about what he has just accomplished. This followed the rules of the time but Bernini broke the rule of contemplative sculpture in the Baroque era. Bernini’s David is in action and shows a different and new view on a figure in movement. I feel that Bernini’s David has much more movement and rhythm which is the ideal principal of the Baroque style.

In drafting and in perception and communication we have been working with perspective drawings and how to accommodate everything within a space to follow the horizon line and vanishing point. The horizon line is essentially a datum although is it not physically seen in an actual space. The horizon line and the vanishing point upon the horizon line act as a reference that allows one to measure the height and length of surfaces in certain perspectives. We have been using these references to locate the position in which we are to place the furniture and other amenities in our spaces.

This week had been all about transitions, evolutions, and revisions. Allowing transition and creating revisions allows a design to transform into a work that has character and appeal greatly to the target audience as well as the audience that it is not directly aimed towards.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Precedent Analysis : Deliverables

Teatre Nacional de Catalunya


I. Entrance/front face of the building : Pen
II. Exterior two point perspective : Pen and color
III. Floor Plan with vellum overlay of surroundings : Pen and Marker
IV. Interior one point perspective of the Sala Petita : Watercolor or Marker with Pen
V. Detail of the exterior columns : Pen and Watercolor
VI & VII. 1 to 2 side by side comparisons of the Theatre with ancient Greek temple ( Front face and corner views) : Pen
VIII. Side by side comparison of amphitheater like interior and ancient Greek amphitheatre : Pen and Color
IX. Detail of ceiling panels : Pen with Watercolor and Color pencil
X. Interior perspective of building front showing light and shadows : Pen with Watercolor
XI. Detail of decorative doors surrounding the amphitheatre : Pen and Marker

I. Introduction
  A. Why is this building special?
  B. Thesis
II. The Architect : Ricardo Bofill
  A. Who is this guy?
  B. When and why did he become an architect?
  C. Influences?
  D. Why this particular style of design?
  E. Touch on other works
III. History of the structure
  A. Why was it built?
  B. Who sponsored it’s construction?
    1. Costs
  C. Future plans?
  D. What does the designer have to say?
IV. Function
  A. What is this structure used for?
  B. Who are the predominant users/visitors?
V. Exterior
  A. What’s it made of?
  B. Why this unique style?
    1. Classical order
    2. Glass/Curtain walls
  C. Sticking to the ancient rules while breaking the new ones - Regression leading evolution
  D. On a hill : Acropolis
VI. Interior
  A Flow of the interior spaces
  B. Furnishings
  C. Acoustics
VII. In depth comparison with ancient Greek structures
  A. Tie it to the history
  B. Similar Details
    1. Amphitheatre
    2. Exterior structure/d├ęcor
IX. Conclusion
  A. Restating of the these
  B. Why this structure should be important to society
  C. Final words

Are my various side by side comparisons okay to use?
Writing isn’t one of my strong points. Where can I fit commodity, firmness, and delight into this essay?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Precedent Analysis Teatre Nacional de Catalunya

National Theatre of Catalonia / Teatre Nacional de Catalunya

Coiro Mas

Since I have been having trouble finding a structure to focus on I decided to move from housing to public architecture.

The National Theatre of Catalonia really stood out to me because it has an exterior that resembles a Greek temple. The construction of this structure began in 1991 by Catalan postmodern architect Ricardo Bofill in Barcelona, Spain. I feel that the mix of modern architecture and the Greek columns give the structure an interesting presence that I would like to work with more.

P Week: Opus Week 7

As designers we are trained to notice the details that most would ignore. In Perception and Communication we focused on the details of the assigned building. Many would not pay attention to the detail of the lettering over the departments or the patters that the bricks create on the floor and sidewalks. This is the peripheries that others see but ignore while designer focus on everything and can appreciate these small details.

The design process is a complex process that generally begins with a precedent and as designers we take that idea and we abstract it. We wrote about the design process being like stories and in my article I conveyed how commodity, firmness, delight, translation, revisions, and good craft are all prevalent in design and writing. The design process is obvious in the Found in Translation series of assignments in Studio. Beginning with my fairy tale I was able to create a storyboard that helped to inspire me to create my artifact. Every design we do stands as the precedent to the design after. In the end, our portal design could not be connected to my artifact by simply looking at the two but the evolution from one to another can be seen thought all of the designs in between.

A portfolio is a compilation of one’s work. The purpose of a portfolio is to showcase the cumulative or the best work done by the artist. In drafting we compiled a portfolio of all of the work we had done in the first half of the semester. Within this portfolio we included thumbnails of our images, bond “sketches” that are used as the first renderings of the image and can be changed, and the final vellum that is the final polished product. We will also be creating a portfolio for our Precedent analysis. This portfolio will show the analytical research we do for our building and allow us as students, as well as, instructors to see the inner workings of the building and its history.

The works of designers and architects “showed intense interest in employing principles of exact perspective to create optical illusions of three-dimensional spaces”. (Blakemore 96) In design perspectives are important in visualizing how a space or exterior is seen from different angles. It can be used as a drawing or as the view of a person. In a perspective drawing we can look at an object and look at it as we actually see it with all of the correct angles that come together on one or more points on the horizon line. When looking at a wall as the picture plane one is seeing a one point perspective because all of the lines that are not parallel to the picture plane are leading to one point on the horizon. In a two point perspective one can be looking at the corner of a building and all of the lines except for the verticals lead to two points on the horizon line.

Professionalism is one of the most important attributes to a person in any field. Even as design students we must show professionalism in our work and in our selves when we present out work. Although we have already touched on professionalism this year we are now working on creating a presentation that is professional without the use of a PowerPoint. We created a board to show perspectives and details of out building in a well laid out and visually appealing way.

Designers use a process that evolves precedents to create designs. This process can be viewed as a portfolio that shows compilations of the designers work. This portfolio should be professional in the work and how it is presented.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Villa Savoye : Precedent Analysis



Made of reinforced concert Villa Savoye was designed by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. This structure was designed to be a weekend home in Poissy, France which is just outside of Paris. I feel that Villa Savoye would be an excellent precedent analysis subject because of the unique style and how it uses the industrialness of concrete while allowing the nature around to still grow freely.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Macro : Micro Opus Week Six

In my first art class in high school I had been thrown into Art III with little knowledge of the terms or art. One of the bits first I learned and easily comprehended was Composition. Then, composition meant the arrangement of the subject matter on a page that allows the eye to follow though without major distractions. I now know that composition is more than the arrangement of “things”. In design and architecture composition is so much more and is taken to a large and more personal level in that it can be interacted with and changed. Composition is now the arrangements of parts to become a whole and in design it goes hand in hand with circulation and how one moves smoothly throughout the space.

Porch – Court – Hearth
“…tripartite arrangement that begins with the reception spaces and is followed by the great hall and a private section.” (Blakemore 6) Structures all throughout history and the modern times all have a porch, court, and hearth in a way. In Greek temples the porch was the entrance into the structure, the court was the gathering area that is first seen after walking into the building, and the hearth was an alter where a statue of a Greek god or goddess would stand for praise. In modern day homes there is also a porch, court, hearth system. Most if not all homes now have front or side porches in which someone enters into the structure from. This porch generally leads to the court are which contains the living room, kitchen, and dining room area. And finally the hearth is considered the hearth because it is special to the own and only a select few may enter into the area.

In design diagrams help with the organization of information that can help to show the circulation of a space is or should be. In Perception and Communication we are creating diagrams of the building we were assigned to study. In my bubble diagram I showed the importance of the placement of each department in relation to each other. I found that the round desk in the middle of the room has an important connection to all locations in the building. With the desk being in the center it is the first thing people flow to in order to acquire information about which department they need to go to next. Thus, all of the departments have a strong relationship to the front desk but they do not have as much importance to each other.


Design is about the impression that the designer leave with the viewer. It is something that has been pressed into the person’s mind and they will remember as time goes on. Much like the ruins of Pompeii which had been imprinted into history and preserved under volcanic ash. The Egyptians, Greek, and Romans also left their impressions on architecture because the ideas they discovered, invented, and evolved lead to and can still be observed in the architecture of today.


When one is asked for details they are being asked for more specific, refined and up-close ideas. In history we learned that the Roman and Greeks paid close attention to the details of their statues and columns making them exquisite and lifelike. Stone masons focused greatly on detail when designing the classical orders and, especially in the Corinthian and Composite columns, paid close detail to the extravagance that they placed on and of their structures. In Perception and Communication we focused on the specific details of out assigned buildings. In the Mossman Building, above each department, there are labels of the departments and I focused on the style of the letters.