Friday, December 10, 2010


For Machine I did this simple stacking effect of the Fransworth House interior, with a scale figure cut out of chipboard.


For perspective I did a rendering of the Trevi Fountain, an artifact, and of course it was a 2d. I gave it more of a cartoon effect because of it's theatrical nature. 


For clock I decided to do place, which was London, and paragraph.

Point: Explorations

The ripples of water is how I see design, everything done is connected to one another.  This in design is the basis of how we embrace the design world. How everything influences one another in some way. Throughout the exploration unit and the course of the semester we explored the notion of the design process and how it is  constantly changing through the course of time in order to find a voice. 
During this unit  most of the buildings and spaces were criticized for not being meant for humans to function in. An example of an interior not being suitable for a human is the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe. This glass rectangle does have a certain glamor to it visually and the idea behind it must have been a good one, but once a person walks in one a summer day, its like they are baking in the oven. Another example is the Guggenheim museum by Frank Lloyd Wright, a modern building that breaks the rules by forcing the person to walk in a spiral ramp to view the different exhibits found inside. The idea of it sounds too good to be true and it is, the shape of it being circular is difficult for large scaled paintings to be hung up on the wall. Modernism has lost its roots of designing for the human being that will inhabiting it.
One question that was asked in my first year of IARC was “who are you designing for?” at first I was thinking that it was a rhetorical question  because there is only one reason for why we as designers would be designing for and that is the person who would be using it. This question again started haunting me as the end of this semester came to a near. Reviewing everything we have learned in this course and how the design cycle has changed throughout time, I feel that the design at first in earlier times, was to help people live comfortable and was more about substance. Now looking at different Modern buildings, design became about the aesthetics and no longer followed function.
The foundation of it all has changed from being focused on humans to just being focused on the aesthetics. There is no substance in design anymore, there is only surface.  It is as if the origins of it all has not been able to be traced back on current design. The classical language of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns are now long gone from our new modern designs. The old buildings with classical language still have a lot of contrast with new ones being built. The modernistic movement is the alternative of this classical foundation. Like the ripples of water, design now a days is hard to pinpoint its origin. Even though we may not see many classical buildings, they were the start of this modern designs. Without this foundation there would not be anything to go against. But one thing that still remains unanswered is “Who are we designing for?”, this question should be the first thing that every designer should ask themselves before they decided to go for surface over substance. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reading Comp. 7

The diagram above is of the Roof Carpenter by John Sloan shows the emphasis of labor in that time. The drawing of it emphasis’ the actual carpenter. The contrast between the line weights is what makes the carpenter stand out from the paper. The drawing of the man working is overall centered on the paper, however the carpenter is off centered on an axis to depict movement. The line weights also provide a balance throughout the whole composition of the work, between the lightweight lines to show the context and detail, the bold lines of the man, and the dark small shadow that is underneath the man. The ever-going lines of the context create this unity between the drawing the paper.  The graphite also relates to the type of work that this man was doing.
Focusing on the work and commerce theme in the Greensboro Collects Art gallery exhibition at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, all of the pieces have people in their work setting describing the ambience of what their work consists of. “The dawning century was to be the era of the machine, of greater speed, and of unprecedented mobility, and the architecture of the new epoch would surely proclaim this mechanization.” (Roth pg. 519-520) Roth explains that this is a time were the machine was to take over the work area to create these structures.  However, John Sloan’s Roof Carpenter contrasts everything that Roth explains, his art depicts the carpenter being the “machine” for lack of a better word, working his way to construct this roof. Another art piece that portrays man as the machine is Willie Cole’s Knapp Monarch, this sculpture of this “iron man” sitting on top of this wooden base clearly shows that even before the common definition of what machine is, the human body was and is the machine. “The ‘Hi-Tech’ movement celebrated the aesthetic of industrial production,”.(Massey pg.195) Massey also describes this industrial definition of what was current during that time, but Sloan’s artwork seems to still celebrate the old ways before that of industrial production in contrast to the sculpture which celebrates man as the machine, literally.  Both art works display different views on consumerism. “Consumerism and the emerging global economy become more important.” (Harwood pg. 805) Sloan shows that in order to survive in this commerce world one must work, the facial expression on the man clearly defines hard labor. Cole gives us this iron man made out of irons that show what is available for people to purchase at their own will and become what they consume, a machine.  In all I believe that the overall theme for work and commerce is the human body becoming the machine in order to work and survive this commerce world.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reading Comprehension 6

1. Art Nouveau was a conscious attempt to reject historic styles. However, it was greatly influenced by fine art, non-western cultures, and not to mention past styles. The building and interiors became works of art, sculptures that captured the essence of movement in design. They strive for unity in design to create complete expressions, or what they call total works of art, (Harwood pg. 485). They created more than just a visual connection but also the emotional connection with the beholder just like the artists in that time period.

Antonio Gaudi’s Casa Batllo is an example of Art Nouveau’s organic sculptural piece. Gaudi was influenced by Moorish ceramic tiles and this shows in the façade of the building its glass pieces embedded in the concrete. Its surrealistic form resembles something that Salvador Dali would have painted. I guess Spain is responsible for giving the world surrealists. Another possible influence is the baroque style, because of its dynamic mass.
Victor Horta’s Stair Hall at Hotel Tassel gives a different artistic view of what was done. The whiplash lines that become the decoration moves your eyes in the direction in which you should try to navigate the space. This interior seems like it has traces back to the rococo style, its tendrils overtaken over the interior.
Both also have the influence and inspiration of nature embraced in the interior as well as the exterior.
"I disgard the flower and the leaf but I keep the stalk."-Victor Horta

Casa Batllo, Antonio Gaudi (Harwood pg.497)

Hotel Tassel, Victor Horta (Harwood pg.500)

2. Simplistic does not come easily, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeannert ‘s Hall in the Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau choose function over aesthetics. This example of the modern movement demonstrates how the home should be like a machine; having a specific function, in this case a place where people live. Space became important; therefore anything that was unnecessary was removed. Volume also became of importance by having high ceilings and different ceiling level changes. Decoration became minimal, there were no ornamentations on the walls only white walls with maybe an adjacent color of either warm or cool hue, therefore letting the light illuminate the interior. In this case the walls are white and the painting hung became this simple decoration on the walls. They clearly designed on the concept of less is more, but is that true for this time period? With the media advertising different nick-knacks and novelties we tend to revert back to the Victorian age where our interiors are filled with useless clutter. We become hoarders that seek, more like desire, more space. It is clear that even with the this example of a modern interior, it is hard to relate to it because it seems to be cold and “too clean” for use to picture this to be inhabitable.
Hall, Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau, Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels (Harwood pg.629)

lecture hall, Viipuri Library, Alvar Aalto (Massey pg.86)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reflections Summary

All three uniformly discuss this concept of revolution. Nathan talks about the industrial revolution which made many designs in that time possible. Alyssa writes about the revolution of time and how designers revive the past to work out the kinks and improve the designs. Caitlyn questions what starts a revolution, what pushes the envelope that starts this change in design. Overall all three focus on the most important revolution, the design revolution. It is the concept of taking the old ( ornamentation, furniture, exotic influences) and recreating them into something new.
Caitlyn's blog post image

Caitlyn's image is of the rubix cube that symbolizes this notion of mixing and getting different design voices in one "cube".
Nathan's blog post image

Nathan's image is of the Eiffel tower which was not made possible if it were not through the industrial revolution.

Alternatives Summary

All three of my peers took alternate routes in describing this unit, but had somewhat of the same concept, rules were broken during the Baroque period. Jenni  mentions  that most of the explorations were just fads that did not last long, and reverted back to the classical language. Katherine incorporated geometry to tie in both the classical world and the baroque style, both having contrast by the shapes being used in each period. Nicole describes this as time when people broke the rules and made a mark in time. It is interesting to see how each person came to the conclusion that in order to break the rules you must understand them, and that in the end it only lasts for a little while.
Katherine's blog post image

Monday, November 8, 2010

point: Reflection

In the reflections unit we have covered the Victorian time period. During this time many styles have overcrowded its interiors. Machines and new materials are now being introduced to the design world creating new building structures with new purposes.
The crystal palace is constructed from the new materials that were introduced in this time, iron and glass. It is the setting for the exhibition of the world’s fair of 1851 where many designs are shown in this place. It becomes a container for what the design world has to offer. It is containing the past designs in this modern design.  The great exhibition demistrated the world’s influence on design, it was providing the world inside a glass bottle. The exhibition itself represented the eclecticism of the Victorian time period.  Many people were now able to see what the world has to offer through this exhibition, and now wanted to have different things in their home. Now the interiors were now being cluttered with all these artifacts to represent the owner’s understanding of world.
            The crystal palace itself did not correspond to what was inside, like many buildings during its time the interiors did not match what the exteriors had on its façade. Many people had different opinions about what should be the dominate influence in design. Everything in this time period reflected what was being questioned, what style should be used. Mostly because no one knew the right answer, therefore many interiors were crammed with different patterns and textures that made everything look busy and difficult to pinpoint one style. “Everything Goes” became the concept of these hodge podge interiors. During this time as well the trade routes opened up to Japan and China, adding more influences to the design world. It was a time period of testing new things and exhibiting different cultural influences.  Everything that was being created was its own riff of what other cultures and previous stylistic period had done before. They were trying to connect with the past and other worlds, which changed the connotation of the whole things they were trying to revive.  
            In a way homes and the crystal palace became like modern museums of the time, especially the crystal palace.  You can compare the crystal palace to the Guggenheim museum in New York. Both showcasing different styles under one roof that does not seem to be housing these styles. Like the crystal palace the Guggenheim was very modern for its time and open to allow its artifacts to be the main focus. The Crystal Palace like the Guggenheim was a very interesting container that became its own artifact of modernism in its own time period. Leading the way to innovative use of materials, and space. As you walk in a spiral to see the revolution art in the Guggenheim, the Crystal Palace used its exhibitions to showcase the revolution of design and what the world had to offer.  Just like art, people had their own interpretation of what should have been revived, designed and also shown in their interiors at the time.  

Guggenheim Museum
Crystal Palace 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reading Comp. 5

1.) The image above is my rendering of the papier-mache chair found on page 26 of the 19th Century Harwood book, image 1-41. This chair symbolizes the revolution of a new material for a chair. Using papier-mache to add delicate detailing to the face of the chair. In that time period people supported the  idea of new materials being used and this is an example of what people supported. This material was molded on top of a metal frame, in this case the chair, then it was lacquered in black. 

2.) The eastern world has influenced the western world at many scales in which people interact with. 

The Royal Pavilion 
The Royal Pavilion is an example of how the middle eastern world, has influenced the exterior of this building. The exotic appearance can be connected back to Islamic roots.  The center dome being Ogival and having Minaret at its side resembles a mosque. It is interesting to see how before the "mosque" building form was a important gathering place, and the Royal Pavilion became this important gathering space that at first was intended as a retreat.
The artifact above shows the Japanese influence in the western world, in this case Paris, France.  The french word Japonisme, describes the influence of the japanese art had on the artifacts. They took the concepts of combining the art with their storage unit.  Using the same technique known as lacquerwork, a black background with flower motifs in gold, and covering the storage unit.
Long Gallery, Brighton Pavilion
The Long Gallery space in the Royal Pavilion shows signs of Chinese influence, known as chinoiserie. The flower motifs that where once used in porcelain ceramics are now being used to cover the wall. The imitation of these motifs are made differently then those used in china. The ornamentation is more vivid in color and a light palette.

Chinese House (Potsdam)

The Chinese House symbolizes the place in time when all these exotic influences started appearing in the setting.  This one for example is a chinoiserie influenced.  Usually the setting of the building if they where private in china would be surrounded by gardens, this house not entirely private is still surrounded by nature. In this time period many ideas have blossomed on how artifacts, spaces and building are designed and reflect the cultural knowledge of people that own/create them.  They take the concepts and transform them into their own interpretation and language they want it to speak. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


For the word I chose the House of Vetti in Pompeii, Italy. The word "experience" is at a gradation from light to dark, which is what the house of vetti is known for its passage of having a humble entrence to this light which is filled from the atrium.  Descrabing light as nature, and the experience which people have in the house.
   For the paragraph I did the Redwood Library.
For 2-D I went with the Rhode Island State House, just alligned in four parts mimicking the staircase.

 For 3-D I did a simple pop-up of the Haus Am Horn in Germany.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Point Alternatives

   Bending the rules or breaking them to work for their own advantage? This question comes to mind when I ponder about what the alternative unit was about. The two stylistic periods that are bending and breaking the rules are those of the renaissance and baroque.
   The renaissance is known for the revival of the classic, making man the measurer of all things again. The only difference was that no building looked the same as any other. All the buildings have the same things in common, the unity or harmony with the architectural details through repetition, the geometric patterning and the separation of spaces that are found by boundaries, edges, and borders. The main goal was to cram everything they knew, into one building and it was mostly in the facade. It created a contradiction of the importance of the classical language that once had significance, into just something ordinary. For example Palladio’s Villa Capra, the once public sphere that was commonly visited in the Pantheon, now becomes a private sphere inside this villa. The importance of the dome has changed its meaning to fit Palladio’s design. The renaissance took the rules and pasted them like a collage.
   Baroque is basically known as a pretentious style period. It took the boundaries that were once used in the renaissance and expanded it until it broke out into the world. It was about intensifying everything they knew and creating a theatrical setting to provide some sort of experience for the viewer. Geometric shapes are now being used in a different way, changing the circle to an ellipse and a square into a diamond to create the sense of movement and making that the emphasis. The classical detailing is used to create movement and proportions and scale are forgotten to emphasis what the designer thought would be important. For example the Laurentian Library Vestibule by Michaelangelo, the steps are used to create the emphasis of the library. The detail becomes this rhythmic movement that surrounds the interior. The steps and detail become fluid throughout the space. Baroque took the classical rules and turned them into a paper ball and throwing them away.


   In class we were shown a picture of two different sculptures of the same person, David. Michaelangelo and Bernini took this person and portrayed him in different ways. They both had the concept and rule about what he was about to do to goliath. In both sculptures David has a slingshot in his hand, but both differ in how and what David is doing. Michaelangelo depicts him as this innocent boy that seems to have no care in the world, while Bernini interprets David as this warrior that is ready for victory. These two have different methods about how this person should be portrayed as, and that’s what I think the alternative unit was about, finding different ways in which a space, building and interiors can be designed. It was about taking the rules and either breaking them or bending them to best fit whatever the design was.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reading Comp. 4

[1] Just as we learned with Gothic cathedrals, in the context of each PLACE, the other scales of analysis(ARTIFACT, SPACE, and BUILDING) each demonstrate difference. For each scale on the readings rubric above, EXPLAIN at least one common design language that links them all. Use the principles and elements of design as defined for this class in your response. Explicitly tie the Roth reading to your analysis, using at least one cited quote. [10 points possible]

The new architecture was to be rationally comprehensible, formed of planes and spaces organized according to clear, numerical proportional systems, its edges and intervals delineated by the crisp elements of the ancient architectural orders. It was to be a celebration of human intellectual powers, but it was also an architecture that invited pleasurable human response, and once that door to sensory delight had been opened, there was no holding it shut. (Roth pgs. 391-393).
Classical orders remain throughout the course of time and place that have traveled along with the new settlements of the new world. It is shown through the artifacts, spaces, buildings and the places. Through out the course of time the style periods of Rococo and Early Neo-Classical have changed the styles of interiors and some exteriors, but the classical influences have been present throughout each piece of work that we have seen.
Each artifact found in different stylistic periods has the same concept of intricate design. The artifacts express a more personal position that expresses the owner’s lifestyle. They are symmetrical and balanced with repetitive ornamentation. These artifacts display the owner’s wealth and taste. The importance of these artifacts is that they are functional while being aesthetically pleasing. For example the Desk/Bookcase with Chinoiserie gives this functional yet visually pleasing piece of furniture. The Rococo influenced artifact, has the use of repetition of the flower motif that is symmetrical along both sides of the inside of the cabinet, even though it has a chaotic uncontrolled since of nature, it is still balanced within it. Another example would be the Sheraton Chair; the delicate ornamentation on the back of the chair shows the classical language of swags. Their geometric shapes are contrasted with the back’s ornamentation.

The spaces have the same intricate detail, some heavily ornamented and others simple. But there is still a classical influence in each of them; with geometric patterns, proportions and ornamentation. Each space provides its own contrast within the space; wither it be the contrast of light and dark, or delicate and mass, or even the contrast of the palette of the room with the contrast of the furniture within it. For example in Holkham hall saloon, the rosettes within the octagons create a dynamic texture that borders the top of the room through repetition. One could say that it took inspiration from the coffered ceiling from the pantheon and used the same technique of texture within its cieling. This texture adds to the contrast between the walls and ceiling.

The building themselves reflect past times. They mimic the classics by having classical ornamentation on the porticos. For example, Monticello and Chiswick have gotten inspiration from the villa rotunda, both having a dome on top of a square. The only difference is that both take risks into adding more geometric shapes. The buildings become more focused on geometric symmetry rather than decorating the exteriors. Drayton Hall is another example of the classics expressed in the exterior. The use of the Doric and Ionic orders to emphasized the entrance by the contrast of the materials.The classical orders and language were present in each place and stylistic time period.

[2] Linked to Europe, the ARTIFACTS, SPACES, BUILDINGS, and PLACES of the American colonies echo closely their design forebears. Selecting evidence from all four scales for both the American Georgian periods, TRACE the common design ancestry across the Atlantic Ocean in the Neo-Palladian and Late Georgian periods of England and the Louis XVI/French Provincial period in France. ARTICULATE the implications of copying from Europe for the American colonies. Use the principles and elements of design as defined for this class in your response. Explicitly tie the Roth reading to your analysis, using at least one cited quote. [10 points possible]

To a new world, a new set of rules? When the colonist left their homeland of England, Spain, France, Germany and Holland they brought with them what they knew, architecture, design and craft from the time in which they had left. They brought the influence in which they already grown to understand and the one that they only precedents they had. They only designed for the need of function and from that the beauty of them attached to them.
The artifacts in general were handcrafted out of wood; they used local materials that were available to them. They were very functional and the detail had the sense of boundaries. The artifacts are very symmetrical, and the ornamentation was repetitive, to create balance.
The spaces in general seemed to serve as a multifunctional room, some being more public than others. The color palette in each space had contrast and some central focus. The space was to show the wealth of the person.
The buildings themselves were influenced by the ancestry origin. This also had to deal with the local materials that were available to them. For example, adobe, which was used in Santa Fe, would not have been used in New York City, just because the material itself was not commonly found there.The colonist had trouble putting what they knew to their new environment. They had to change and modify certain things to fit their needs.
[3] From the Hersey/Freedman reading, DESIGN and POST a labeled floor plan of a possible Palladian villa inspired by Girolamo Frescobaldi’s Balletto Terzo found online at this site: select the link on the left side of the page with Frescobaldi’s name under multimedias [5 points possible]

As I was listening to the music, I noticed that there was repetition throughout it. Then in the reading it was listed that Palladio liked using ratio's in his floor plans. So I decided to use the perfect square with the ratio of 1:1 and place them side by side, them from there I Placed a rectangle with a ratio of 2:3, then to finish it the repetition of the the three 1:1 ratio square. From this concept of placing squares side by side the floor plan emerged.

[4] Using the resources at the weblink below, SPECULATE about whether you believe that the architecture and design in the Baroque period stands as a form of social performance in the theatre of the world. Support your response with examples from class and the assigned readings. [5 points possible]

“The world is a stage” a metaphor in which the baroque period embraced. The baroque interiors were filled of dramatic theatrical illusions that transported you from the world that you inhabit into the world in which is created. This world was created through the contrast of light, shade and shadow that were represented by painting, and statues and lighting in the interiors.
An example of a baroque interior with dramatic lighting is The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. The mirrors reflect the lighting of the interior across the windows, where the natural light penetrates the space. The gold gilded statues also allow the light to shimmer throughout the space. The light illuminates the vaulted ceiling bringing the paintings to life. Creating this never-ending source of light and depth in nature through the paintings.

An example of theatricality is the Trevi Fountain; this fountain provides a sense of movement in which the viewer is engaged into the stillness of the statues in contrast to the moving water. The water also provides this hearing aid along with the visual aid of movement. The statues themselves are life like almost seeming as if they were to breathe and move at any moment along with the water.

Baroque itself became the greater theatre stage that people would have to take a second glance. Its soul purpose was to engage the viewer and create this moment of awe, inspiration, and transport the mindset to a different place. Just like theatre baroque was the drama queen of the stylistic periods.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Point 2: Foundation

The foundation unit was based on the establishment of everything. Everything had its start from somewhere. From the first settlements, in Mesopotamia, China, Ohio valley, and Teotihuacán, had one common theme and that is the form of stacking. They built using natural material that surrounded them and used them to their advantage, in this case stacking; from there, walls and cities were created. They built upon what they understood, from prototypes; in this case life and death, which helped form the look of the city. One example of this was the Teotihuacan society where they had the sun and moon temple that could be described as the life and death temple. These temples are an example of how through the use of stacking monuments were formed.

Egypt took this concept of stacking and formed the pyramids on the west and the city in the east. They took their religion and theory of what they knew of life and developed a city to reflect their beliefs. Using the natural material around them they stacked up each block to form the pyramids. But before they were pyramids it was the mestaba an underground burial place for the dead. Then taking that form and stacking one on top of the other created the step pyramid; leading up to what the pyramids that we familiarize with are created. In the hypostyle hall they had stylized lotus columns that would become the prototype of future societies to view them. Their way of narrating their society’s life became the ornamentation of their time, and a history marked literally in time. Within their own society there was a since of prototype, and archetype.

Greece borrowing from Egypt took the stylized column and used it to their advantage, becoming what we know as the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. Having a different view of life changed the concept and set of architecture. They believed in living for the day and making everything perfect and aesthetically pleasing. They had the method of keeping everything proportional and symmetrical basing it off of the diameter of the columns used in the structure. Different from how Egypt had set up their city, Greece was very harmonious in having an a-symmetrical balance in their arrangement. The columns were used as a structural support and a method of keeping everything proportional, because it had its own equation to keep everything in order. Even within their first attempts to find the perfect balance of diameter and height of column was the prototypes of the Grecian temples. Compared to the previous temple columns the improved version is much slimmer and proportional. Becoming the archetype in which different methods would be tested and refined to its full potential.

Rome had the precedents of both Egypt and Greece to construct their empire. They stacked and reused what was available to them. They combined, mixed and matched the styles to add decoration to their architecture. With what they had they built upon it and came up with new structures due to what the people needed. It was the need for innovation in which they created new forms. They revisited Egypt’s use of story telling in trajan’s column. The columns themselves changed from not only being structural support but ornamentation as well. Rome was now being the hybrid because they incorporated different elements. A good example of stacking from Rome is the Roman Coliseum. This structure used the columns that were once seen in the Grecian society as architectural support, as a decorative system stacking the orders on top of one another.

It is not uncommon that stacking remained throughout the centuries and that is also being used currently. We are constantly looking back at previous societies to see what they had to offer in design. We only use what is important just like they did and morphed it to whatever our needs are in society. Each society has a major influence to one another and the same is true for modern cultures. Whether we are actually stacking the columns on top of each other or stacking and building upon the ideas and concepts once used ancient societies.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Compass: Foundation Unit

For the compass assignment I decided to to go with a word to describe the unit. The scale that I used was building, in this case the Roman Colosseum. The word that I choose was "Foundation". I personally felt that this word is the best word to describe this unit. I saw the Roman society as the foundation of this modern world in which we inhabit today. They lived with precedents and incorporated them in their structures. The columns stacked one on top of the other is a detail found in the Roman Colosseum, but I saw this as an innovative way in which the Roman's saw their society moving, just like the columns progressing in detail, so was the structure. I put the map of the Italy in the background to show that the Colosseum is a symbol of it. Then the Corinthian capital shows the natural aspect in which it was based on.

Reading Comp.3


Salisbury vs. Cologne Cathedral

Light in cathedrals have a lot to do with how the mood is set in the building. The light in both cathedrals is filtered by the stained glass, creating this mystery setting to represent the mystery of faith. When the light shines through the stained glass it illuminates the religious stories. The materials used inside the building help glisten the whole interior, helping the viewer lead their eyes towards the heavens, giving the sense of verticality. The nave in both of these buildings is where the light emphasizes the verticality of the structure. However, the way the light illuminates each nave is different. The Salisbury Cathedral has paintings on the vaulted ceiling; a person might notice this as their eyes are looking toward to the “heavens”. On the other hand, the Cologne Cathedral has no other narrative other than the stain glass windows illuminated by light. Light is such an important factor in these structures because it represents their faith, and their search for a higher being.

Salisbury vs. Amiens Cathedral

The Salisbury and Amiens Cathedral were both started in the same year 1220. The Salisbury Cathedral finished in 1266 while the Amiens finished in 1269.Both of them have about the same length as well the only difference is the width and height, Amiens being vertically taller and Salisbury spreading out horizontally. The Salisbury Cathedral was built on the outskirts of the old city of Sarum, therefore giving it more free area around it, and then a city was built around it later on. The main purpose of this Cathedral was simply for worship. Whereas the Amiens Cathedral was built within the city and had several other functions other than worship. The Amiens is a French Cathedral, which has a lot of vertical lines throughout the place creating the optical illusion that it is higher than what it really is. Salisbury being an English Cathedral, the horizontal line kept the vertical dimensions lower on the Continent. Therefore one is much wider than the other. Since the Amiens’ nave was much larger it needed to have more support, therefore creating the flying buttresses. Each Cathedral had their differences but both expressed the vertical notion in different ways.

Salisbury vs. Florence (Duomo)

Surely when you take a glimpse of both the Salisbury and Duomo Cathedral they leave quite an impression. The Salisbury Cathedral is more vertical and gothic, where as the Duomo has domes. Clearly when the Salisbury is compared to the Duomo, it has a darker palette, and gothic feel, the flying buttresses on the outside and the stained glass windows, it took religion seriously by just focusing on the structure as a place to worship. The Duomo on the other hand embraced a different architectural form and used it as a different way to express the religion; it was more playful in a way because of its light palette. The exterior as well shows no gothic influence, there are no flying buttresses on the outside but the domes replace it. The dome itself was made of brick, which has a playful tone in contrast with the stone that was mostly used in Salisbury. Both have crucifix plans, but one is more geometrical than the other.

2. In medieval ages the kitchen was a separate building until stone and brick constructions were developed because they were originally constructed out of wood. As you can tell in the picture, behind her are small rectangular slits, these were the windows used in the earlier time period. As the need for protection decreased the window form opened up and began to form bays. This kitchen could have been a part of a castle that was enclosed for protection. Since the medieval ages was also known as the dark ages, because of its violent history.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Egypt, Greece, and Rome summary

The Egyptians believed in having a permanent structure for their afterlife. The cities themselves were located around the Nile river, on the east are cities of the living in which they normally reside and on the west were the tombs of the dead, just like the sun raises on the east and rests at the west which clearly set the locations of these structures. The importance of their society is how their beliefs influenced how they placed and designed their structures. They believed that the bigger the pyramid the more power that pharaoh had, and since it was made out of limestone it would last for eternity. To the Egyptians everything was to remain static.

The Greeks believed in logic. They strive for perfection, and constantly looked for balance and proportion. To them seeking and having everything in harmony was ideal in their society. They borrowed elements from Egyptian architecture and transformed them to fit into their architecture. One main example is the over sized, over decorated, stylized columns used in the Hypostyle hall taken from the Egyptians and changed into balanced, symmetrical columns in Greek architecture. The Egyptians became the prototype for the Greeks leaving the Greeks to be the archetype.

The Romans, like the Greeks, strive for perfection. However what was different about them is that they were like the hybrid. They took ideas from both the Egyptians and Greeks. They took the concept of having balance, symmetry, and columns from the Greeks and added decorative ornamentation just like what the Egyptians did in their structures. The Romans did not settle for just designing what past societies designed but they pursued for something more and thus the technological breakthrough of the arch. The Romans combined both societies architectural forms and making them their own.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reading Comp. 2

1. I agree with Hersey and his theory of how the sacrifice ritual is shown in Greek architecture. Hersey starts off by explaining how the Greeks used to sacrifice animals to their Gods and how each God had there own specific, or in this case, holy tree where they would place the sacrifice. He states that the trees would have later become the columns that in time led to hold up the roof, then as a whole would become the temple. Each part of the temple deals with a certain part of the ritual. For example, the head of the animal are shown in some of the Greek motifs which represent the animal sacrificed in this ritual. The column flutes represent the blood vessels in which the blood was properly drained from the animal. The whole temple itself stood for an engraved sacrifice ritual for others to see and somehow mimic in later time. The ritual itself has a precise way of execution, and is strived to be done right the first time. In a way it is how the Greeks believed their architecture should be, balanced and proportional. If the structure it self was not proportional then it would not be correct.

2. The lesson I extracted from Macauley was that anyone could and can lie about anything. In this case the lies where of an archeological discovery of a burial ground. The archeologist miss-interpreted everything that he saw, he made up a whole story of what the bodies could have been like and about how they could have possibly lived. This is true about what we sometimes read on the internet. The person Macauley could have been describing as an archeologist could be that one person setting behind there keyboard and typing anything they want and publishing on the web, mainly Wikipedia. A way in which I can personally avoid reading false evidence is by first looking at scholar websites, and researching the websites that I may look at, and checking if they are up to date. Another way is to cross-reference, if the same information is seen in about four or more different websites and different publishers, the information may most likely be correct. All it takes is a little time to do a bit more research to get the facts.

3. The temple of Hatshepsut has a different form, scale and location than of the pyramids. The temple is first horizontal and rectangular on the plain, while the pyramids are stacked to reach the heavens. Another difference is the clear entrance of the temple while the pyramids hide its own. The functionality of the two has a commonality; they were both designed in honor of a great pharaoh and are forever immortalized by its structure. A reason why the temple of Hatshepsut is a different form of funerary is the gender difference. When one just looks at the differences between a male and a female, they notice that a male seems to be shut off from others socially, they tend to hide their emotions, and therefore the pyramids hid its entrance form the world. A female on the other hand is more sociable and opening to others, therefore the temple has a clear entrance for all to see. The locations of these monuments are different as well. The pyramids are placed in the dessert for all who pass it to see and remember the great pharaohs who once ruled the empire. The pyramids themselves symbolized power in society. Queen Hatshepsut was greatly known for uniting the kingdoms; this could explain the horizontal form of the structure, when one thinks of unifying two things you think of being in one common ground. The temple compared to the pyramids is smaller in scale, however due to its location it stands out, even though it is hidden between the mountains terrain. Even though she was a powerful ruler she did not express it the way the previous pharaohs did, and because of that some can say that even if the scale is not vertically big, it is still a great impact in this society. In this case gender does play a big part on design.

Temple of Athena Nike: Greek
Temple of Hatshepsut: Egyptian

4. The Temple of Hatshepsut: Egyptian and the Temple of Athena Nike: Greek
Both temples are at a smaller scale compared to there surroundings. Hatshepsut is located near mountains that hide the monument. The temple of Athena Nike is smaller in scale than the other structures. Both structures are emphasized in there locations. Hatshepsut is placed horizontally in the front creating a contrast with its surroundings; Athena Nike is placed at the front of Acropolis making it the first structure that people see as they enter the city. Egyptian architecture in general could be considered the prototype to Greek architecture. Both structures have balance and symmetry when seen. The difference is the concept of the societies and how they used the buildings. Both Egyptian and Greek civilizations have a polytheistic religion. The temple of Hatshepsut has the Egyptian concept of eternal life and was also used a burial for the Queen. The temple of Athena Nike was a just a temple for Nike, the Greeks believed in creating immortality in their structures and not for them because they thought of life of someday ending. Both honor these females from their civilizations.
4.I believe that the reason for Egyptian furniture being so lightweight compared to the pyramids is that it is a temporary component in a person’s lifetime, while the pyramids where to be permanent. The furniture took on the human’s characteristic of having two lives; it was used while they were alive and taken with them in their afterlife. The furniture had to be lightweight if they were planning to place it in the pyramids, it had to be portable. The furniture itself represented communality, as the pyramids was more ritualistic. This also brings up the message of furniture being just ordinary and the pyramids being extraordinary.

5.I believe that the reason for Egyptian furniture being so lightweight compared to the pyramids is that it is a temporary component in a person’s lifetime, while the pyramids where to be permanent. The furniture took on the human’s characteristic of having two lives; it was used while they were alive and taken with them in their afterlife. The furniture had to be lightweight if they were planning to place it in the pyramids, it had to be portable. The furniture itself represented communality, as the pyramids was more ritualistic. This also brings up the message of furniture being just ordinary and the pyramids being extraordinary.

6. The urns seem to tell a story of everyday, or even a myth of Greek life. The role between male and female seems to be uneven, although Greek gods and goddesses were equal; the society seems to have the woman depicted as the servant to the man. It is as if the urns themselves become a chapter in the Greek life, forever holding a piece of history.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Point: Theories

In class we have been viewing and forming our own opinions about everyday architecture. The first question that got me thinking about architecture was: what is the difference between a building and a shed? Then once that question was brought up another one replaced it: Is it not both considered architecture? The overall question is: what separates a structure from being vernacular rather than a High-style? Vernacular being very important in society and High-style being taken for granted. In class we have discussed on how Hall’s book, The Hidden Dimension, defines how space is used due to different cultures. Which in fact is very true; once you begin to think about how one uses a space. In his theory we begin to think about how architecture begins to reflect our own thoughts. For example roman architecture began to become the basis of all architecture. Palladio was greatly influenced by the symmetry and how the structures itself were in harmony and that was greatly shown within his own work.
This then brings up the question, what makes a great building? Sir Henry Wotton gave three criteria’s in which a perfect building would have commodity, firmness and delight. However each person would have their own opinions about which building would fit these criteria’s. This relates back to how each culture perceives a space. For example, what I may think of a building to meet all three, another person might think that it will only fit one or two of the specifications.
Being apart of a mixed cultural society, America, we have no set culture and each architectural structure might have a different significance to different people. Tradition has disappeared; therefore each building has a loss of common shared value. Because culture has a lot to do with how we see a space or an object, it tends to have a double meaning in our own society. An example that was given to use was tea pot. The speculation came about when one starts to wonder why all teapots, many in different parts of the world, looked alike. It is speculated that it takes the form of a mother’s breast in which holds warm milk. An example used in class was the difference in which a slave and a master and their view on a teapot. This simple teapot brought double meaning, once thought of just a container to place warm water, meant oppression to others. So each subculture has a different view on how they connect mentally, emotionally to an object or space. Even if the designer had none of this in mind to begin with, it did affect how people reacted because of how society used them. The first point of this class I guess is to get us to think about how we look at a space, an object and or building and try to generate our own opinions and theories about it. However they have to be completely thought out and well supported with evidence to form a good theory.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reading Comp.

1.) I believe that a toilet is an object that fits Wotton’s definition of commodity, firmness, and delight. It fits the definition of commodity because it has one function throughout its lifespan, and that is to provide a place to sit-and-or-stand to be able to dispose of unmentionables. It also is made of clay then covered in gloss to make it waterproof, which falls into the definition of firmness. But another way to see it as firmness is that a toilet’s design is one that has not changed much over the years. It may very of what materials it is made of, but the function and the use of one maintains the same. Delight is quite difficult to explain, this being because many people take it for granted, having been in a country in which sometimes there might be no toilet, and it is a delight to just have one. It is mostly because we are used to using one, that without one, it can be a bit unbearable. This is way I believe the toilet meets Wotton’s definition.

2.) 20design 2000079.jpg From the textile above I see unity, balance and symmetry all of which could have been influenced by Chinese concepts. By having six wheels it gives a since of balance and unity because of circles and also the lines in the background that blend in with each other. When one thinks about a circle you get the sense of compilation. Symmetry is found by the repetitive shapes throughout the background. The five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water could be explained by the abstract shapes and the colors used in the textile. Wood being the brown that is slightly seen in the circles and is the color of the line used to enclose the circle. Fire being abstracted into the multiple little colorful balls of flame in the background. Earth being the green color used in each circle and also represented in the abstracted flower shape. Metal being the lines that bend in the background, showing that in order to bend them they must go through fire. Water being the gray-blue used throughout the whole textile. This whole piece is similar to the Chrysanthemum motif.

3.) Being a part of two cultures I am able to look at both sides of a coin. It is generally said that a citizen of the U.S. might feel the need to have more space. If one actually takes the time to think about it, it is mostly perceived as a social class, where the richer one is the bigger the house, therefore the more space one has. Due to that concept, one tries to strive for a bigger and personal space. Now this is a little different in the Hispanic culture. It is very uncommon for a Hispanic to be wanting space, mostly because it is not viewed as just your space because you share the space that you are in. The classroom in which class is held is large enough for all of the students to be in. However, since we are placed in the first four rows it is a bit uncomfortable because we are not used to being crammed all together. We seem to have gotten accustomed to having at least one seat in between one another. But each of us has its own view on how comfortable we feel within a space.

The Meditation Room inside the Elliot University Center (EUC), UNC-Greensboro

3.) “If one room can alter how we feel, if our happiness can hang on the colour of the walls or the shape of the door, what will happen to us in most of the places we are forced to inhabit?” – Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

The Mediation Room inside the Elliot University Center, I feel has what makes a person feel “happy”. The space seems to change the mood, in which you are in before you enter. The interior itself is lit in a way that the walls become like frozen water that divide up the space. When one thinks of serenity, it is this room. Colour, material, and lighting has a lot to do with how we perceive a space. However, each person will have its own opinions on what they feel is delightful, and what makes them happy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


After being at the critiques, and presenting my own work, I can honestly say that overall I have learned that talking to the board is not acceptable. As I was presenting my board, I was nervous and trying not to just have a conversation with my board. As I was up there I could have taken more time explaining the materials and the floor plan. Another thing is that board layout is important. If a client is not able to understand it from a distance then something is wrong. There were some boards that I did consider to have a great layout, and maybe I could improve my layout organization for future presentations. I also saw presentations that did a good job presenting their work and ideas and were very organized, something that I personally have to work on. From my own presentation, I have to work on how I present my materials and how they will be used.

Proposed Space for Loading Dock

The designer I had in mind for this space is Phillip K. Smith III. However this space could be inhabited by any other designer/artist. I wanted the design to be flexible for any person who visits.

Both are sketchup renderings of the bedroom and the entrance to the studio space.

For the Studio space I wanted to have the public entrance and a sliding door so that the artist can bring in taller supplies. For the studio space I wanted to give them a place to assemble their designs, I wanted it to be very versatile and open.

For the kitchen I wanted to keep it very simple. The bar can be used as a table, I figured since it is to be a temporary space, the artist would not need to have a full dinning table.

The bedroom is beside the bathroom and kitchen, it is enclosed with transparent panels, I wanted the bedroom to be enclosed without having walls to completely shut it out.

South Elevation

West Elevation

The floor plan is very open can be changed according to the needs of the artist visiting.

East Elevation

North Elevation
The elevations show the ceiling changes, from being lower in the kitchen, then increases by the bedroom then the studio space. This way each space is divided by the ceiling changes.

The materials thought to be used is white oak wood for the furnishings, and wooden beams in the ceiling. Stainless steel would be used for the counter tops. The green color would be used for the bedroom and kitchen area, while the blue would be used for the bathroom. The studio area would have an off-white color.