Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I used to dream about the life I'm living now

Last Friday I was given the July issue of Charleston, which happens to be the first issue I worked on, putting my name at the forefront of the magazine. Squealing with joy and excitement, I immediately took a picture and sent it to my friends and family. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing your name on something hundreds of people will come into contact with. Whether people really look at the names of each person who contributes to Charleston I honestly don't care, but the mere fact that my lowly name is there is amazing in itself.

I can't believe I've been here for almost 2 months already. Time flies when you are working all the time and investing every bit of energy into different projects. I feel like I am learning and growing multitudes at my internship though. My boss asked me the other day what my anticipations were going into this job. I can honestly say I didn't foresee half of the things that I do on a regular basis. It's funny how your expectations about people and situations drastically change once you are exposed to them. Our perceptions are always so off, yet sometimes they are right on (which is rare) Until you really get to know someone or have a certain experience, your eyes are pretty clouded. Just one thing I am learning recently.

Last week, I got to record my boss's interview with bridal designer Heidi Elnora (project runway contestant season 2). Maddison Row, bridal boutique in Charleston, will begin to carry her line so she came in to help host their trunk show and promote her line. While Ayoka interviewed her, I got the opportunity to film their interview and listen to her story. Heidi is probably one of the most down to earth individuals that I have met in this industry. Her story is no different than anyone else's. Just a simple southern girl with a dream and she made it happen. The thing I loved most about listening to her: she has stayed true to her roots and remains the same person she was before she became famous. I even got to record each of her spring 2o11 bridal gowns in detail as she explained each design, print, and inspiration source. Just another check in my once in a lifetime opportunity boxes.

Film Meets Fashion: This event was made up of 6 hosts, 6 independent film showings, and 6 fashion shows. Created to benefit Charleston's Make-A-Wish Foundation, this social gathering was nothing short of creativity and ingenuity. The 6 films were created by directors here in
Charleston with local actors, screenwriters, and costume designers. My boss's son was actually in one as well. Each segment began with a host, followed by a film and a fashion show..6 times. Fashion shows were given by local retailers/designers. Of course I thoroughly enjoyed these, but mostly for the music/fashion videos they played on the screen while the models walked out. The music was perfect for each line featured and the scenes picked for each movie correlated with the theme of the collection. Greatest thing about this event: ticket: FREE..thank you Charleston magazine. Picture: Andy Warhol Howdy Doody being auctioned off at Film Meets Fashion

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thoughts of the day...

Every Wednesday for the month of June, I will and have been attending Martin's church cookouts after their VBS. Although I don't go to this church, nor really know anyone there, I go to support Martin and Elaine (Martin's friend and my now older friend/mother). Anyway, since going the past 2 weeks I get to interact with all the older people at his congregation. I always go away from there with a light heart and a smile across my face. Here are my thoughts...

Everyone knows the stereotype given to older people: crabby, rude, selfish, old, fill in the blank. BUT every once in a while you meet some that just change your life for that moment that you are talking with them. There are those that greet you with gentle hugs or soft touches by their aged, but comforting hands, those who talk about their spouse like they are seeing them for the first time (older people kisses are the sweetest), those who talk to you about their hardships as a stepping stone in their life, those who think everything you do and say is the greatest thing in the world, those who make you laugh at their sarcastic, shameless humor (they are elderly they can get away with it;), and those who just find it necessary to cuss about EVERYTHING. I am proud to admit I LOVE talking with them. You can learn so much from those wiser than you.

Tonight I was told that love is like a butterfly. If you chase it, you won't catch it. BUT if you wait on it, love will find you unexpectedly and land on your shoulder. Of course, she didn't pen this quote, she kind of borrowed from numerous ones. Not that I'm looking for love, but this was just reassurance that everything in life normally happens when you least expect it. It's how you handle these hurdles that come your way. That's why I love talking with this group of people. The ones living their life like they are still young are just shining examples of using your life to share with others and remaining true to yourself no matter your age. Being older doesn't mean you lose yourself, you just become the leader instead of the follower.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fifth week in Charleston...and $14.00 poorer

It's been awhile since I have posted. Been so busy! Three weeks ago I started a job at the Piggly Wiggly down here, or to be locally correct THE PIG. I work there on my days off from Charleston Magazine. It's a nice change of pace, and it helps me keep my head on straight. Although my internship is a glimpse of what I will be doing in the next year after graduation, it is good to be reminded of real life and hard work.

I am slowly but surely meeting people. Moving to a new place and not really knowing anyone your own age makes you miss home that much more. This is just one step in growing up I realize, but it definitely does not make it any easier. I reflect a lot these days, and I understand the importance of having a strong support system. I am so thankful that I have one, and that I can feel their love no matter where I am.

My job at Charleston is teaching me SO much nonetheless. I can't believe how much I DON'T know. Not to be conceited, but I just didn't think my knowledge was so limited. My job consists of doing A LOT of research of up and coming trends. Through this research, I am getting to know about the "history" of the trend and how to wear each style. My personal style is definitely improving as well as I learn about all these fads. What's really cool is to see a magazine on the newsstands and already know half of the features/articles in it. The phrase "knowledge is power" comes to mind....The first issue that I worked on will be on the newsstands in Charleston and online the first week of July. Will post link ASAP!

The city streets are extremely narrow here. Thanks to city parking my first $14.00 parking ticket last week...meter EXPIRED! I was like ten minutes late..but they don't mess around down here with meters. I walk EVERYWHERE and it is so hot here! Lessons learned: quarters are an essential and don't fill meters after's free.

The highlight of the week would probably be doing Street Styling on King and Market St. This is where we stop stylish people in Charleston to ask them what they are wearing head to toe, where they are going, what they are feeling, and how they describe their personal style. Although this can be rather awkward at first, once people get past you stopping them on the street they warm up to you and are ready to just boast what they are wearing. It is so crazy how complementing an individual on their personal style makes them so happy. Everyone I stopped was so flattered and "you made my day" came from them. Even though they won't all be featured in the magazine...they are just happy they were stopped. This is what it is all about...making people's days one moment better!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hyde Park Polo Match

Charleston Spring Social Event
presented by Charleston Magazine

As interns, our job at this event was to interview guests using our flip cam about their outfits head to toe. It's amazing how just talking to people about their clothing can lead to so many other conversations. I got to interact with owners of local retailers in Charleston and the socialites of the city. The writers and editors of Charleston Magazine are great people as well. They are all so sweet to us interns. One particular woman made my experience so very special. She was sitting on the stage that the band was performing on, and I commented on her unique dress. It was patches of fabric and resembled a quilt, but not in a frumpy way. We began talking and she instantly invited me to her and her husband's house in West Ashley. She was so warm and intrigued by my job at the Magazine. She told me she wishes she had gone into Interior Design instead of her chose career path. Talking with her made me realize, I am where I am supposed to be. I have been given an incredible opportunity, and I'm ALL IN. Although I did not get her address, her last name, nor will I probably see her again, it's meeting people like this who change your life for just that moment of time. Everything seemed where it should be at that point. I only hope to see Barbara again, but if not I will take my meeting with her as just another note in my musically filled summer.....

The first annual spring polo match hosted by none other than the Charleston Magazine launched with flying colors on Sunday, May 15. The day could not have been more perfect for the inception of this premiere social event. The sun was hot, but underneath the shade of the tents coolness and shelter resided. The atmosphere could not set a more enjoyable aura...children eating popsicles from the local vendors, dogs running around, and conversations and smiles galore. A local country band serenaded the event entertaining guests as they anticipated the start of the match. Men and women were adorned in sun hats of all fashions, sundresses, and seersucker. Dressed to impressed (and for comfort), most of our attendees promoted local boutiques and retailers right here in Charleston. Eager to share where they purchased their garments, our street style choices boasted of their findings. The tents for each sponsor and contributor were not dressed any less either. We can only expect next year’s 2nd Annual Spring Polo Match to be a notch greater as this new tradition moves into the social event of the season not to be missed in Charleston.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Studio Charleston opening

On Thursday I attended the ribbon cutting of Studio Charleston. Charleston produces many movies in the Southeast belt, but many get rejected because there is no official production facility to make the movies. Now, Charleston has a real place to produce movies thanks to Studio Manager Harald Galinski. He worked on Dear John in 2008 along with many others that I met on Thursday. Hopefully this facility will bring in jobs for locals, business for hotels/restaurants, notoriety for Charleston and other Southern cities with the end result in more movie productions down here.
The feeling was very surreal, because although most of these producers are not in Hollywood, they are getting there and have already worked on some successful projects which . It was amazing to be a part of something that will most likely grow exponentially in the upcoming years. It's the feeling of knowing someone or some place before it becomes famous. I'm a part of history, something that could change lives! Thanks to Martin for inviting me. (He's an emergency medic for movies and worked on Dear John and Leatherheads to name a few)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First day in Charleston

My first day as the Style Intern at the Charleston Magazine was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I was trained by the past intern; then left to my own! I began the day with 2 assignments from my boss/style editor. I had to compile 10 men's and women's fall 2011 looks for the fashion to furnishings feature in the Charleston Home magazine. Second assignment consisted of scouting Charleston retailers for the July issue feature on children's swimwear. When I'm not in the office I will be on the streets of Charleston snapping photos of fashion forward individuals to feature in our Street Style section of the magazine or picking up samples that Charleston retailers are allowing us to borrow for the photo shoots. I will also be assisting our Style Editor on all photo shoots and attending events with her occasionally.

On Thursday, I will be attending the ribbon cutting of Studio Charleston. Many movies are produced and filmed in Charleston, but Studio Charleston will now officially be the production warehouse for all movies and I get to GO. Thanks to my cousin/uncle/summer-dad, Martin who I am staying with. He is my mom's cousin and he has graciously invited me into his home for the summer, but he is more like the definition of the typical "cool, complete Southern-gentleman" uncle I would have.

Charleston is impeccably beautiful, and I can't believe that I am here to not only work but spend my summer as well. I am very grateful for everything, and I have already met some wonderful and hospitable people. If you are in Charleston, definitely come and visit with me. More updates to come...:)

Monday, April 25, 2011


As described in the unit's heading, this section did indeed deal with explorations but more than that it was about discovering the meaning and purpose of architecture. Should its purpose be solely utilitarian, stylistic, or can it be both? The design forms of this unit had never been seen before nor explored. As the "rules" from the east and west fizzle out, stylistic approaches quickly change to a free, limitless world of design.

We open up the unit into the first World's Fairs. These expositions showcased art and design from around the world in one central location. It was more than just an exhibition of the best of the was a collaboration of separate worlds into one. The fair was also a celebratory event that recognized world evenths, interests, and changes. The city that was selected to host the world's fair automatically put a footnote into history for that country. Similar to the Olympics, this was a monumental event that was not to be taken lightly. The celebration of nations began here. The arts and craft movement began to form around this time. This was about whether architecture should be essentially "mass produced" or stay true to its roots of handcrafting. William Morris penned the quote: " Good design for all" He was communicating that design should benefit everyone with both a stylistic and utilitarian purpose. His belief was that all designers and architects have a social responsibility to create something that can be appreciated by each person designer or not. This brings us to the movement after modernism. Artists such as Seurat, Cezanne, and van Gogh began to play with the idea of light and material. This created art with a true feeling of emotion and feeling. Forms were harder to decipher and instead of lines finishing the picture, it was left to the viewer to complete the artists' thoughts and visions.

Enter Art Nouveau: a movement of natural, curvilinear lines and natural materials. This design form allowed your eyes to travel instead of just focusing on one aspect of the painting or architecture. This began in France and traveled over to America in the form of art deco. Exteriors and interiors began to look like skins. This trend was apparent in such skyscrapers and centers as the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center.

Modernism came back into popularity with architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. This time modernism concepts were accompanied with problems. Buildings were criticized to all look alike and lack uniqueness. Classrooms on campuses all looked the same and lacked character. Glass box forms became popular by Mies van der Rohe and he took it to another level through the Chicago Lakeshore apartment buildings. Philip Johnson combined both modernism and art deco. He said: "Purpose is not necessary to make a building beautiful." He designed solely for the purpose of aesthetic value. Design was changing and rules were no longer in existence. This is apparent in Bruce Goff's Bavinger Houde in Norman, Oklahoma. Its appearance resembles a nautical theme but its location is no where near water. Modernism was beginning to not take its surroundings into consideration as it had in the past. Fast forward a couple years to the U.S. Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado Springs and it clearly resembles plane wings with Gothic influence. By this time, anything was fair game. Designers began to get creative and make their creations parallel to the purpose of the building. The College Life Insurance Building in Indianapolis resembles pyramids from Egypt. Preservation of life is
what the pyramids stood for so the design of this building is appropriate and almost comical.

Louis Barragan: "How can one forget joy? I believe a work of art reaches perfection when it conveys silent joy and serenity." This quote stuck out to me because I think it communicates the very essence of the purpose of architecture. It not only wraps up the unit well but also the theme of this class. Architecture has never spoken to me on an emotional level, and now I can see it through different eyes. It may even take me to the place of joy and serenity. The unit was about explorations, and this time of trial and error for architecture from arts and crafts all the way to modernism was about discovery. I chose Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye to illustrate this unit because I think it incorporates modernism and art nouveau aspects. The eye travels across the whole house whether you are looking at it from above, below, or ground level. It's modern because of roof garden and free plan. It is untraditional with its base on stilts instead of concrete.
It is open to nature on all sides. It also forms around a car's turning radius as discussed in class, which is ingenious design. This was built in 1929, which was before modernism began its second phase. He was ahead of design time to me, and this house
is timeless...a form and design to be followed by many.

BP 14-My inspirations

It's crazy how inanimate objects, places, buildings, and spaces can influence us in so many aspects of our lives and decisions. The memories we hold dear from childhood to present day most likely revolve around one of these inanimate things. As a result, our design approach and personality are revealed through these events/life changing moments.

My favorite space to draw inspiration from is the Barnes and Noble cafe. I myself don't really understand why I feel so at peace when I go here. I could go to the cafe and feel comp
letely uninspired, but then after sitting there for awhile and maybe a little too much people watching I suddenly know what to write about. It's silly, but when I am there I feel like I'm among the most elite. I can literally sit there for hours and in a completely different world.

The place that inspires me most is Chicago. Since I use to live there, I am probably part bias to how amazing of a city it truly is. In the midst of the bustle of Chicago, I feel peace and wonder. When you are in the middle of that city, it's like the world is at my fingertips. I can accomplish, dream, and be anything I want. Chicago, to me, is a beacon of light of things to come. Picture taken by me: the city at night..complete with wind and snow during Christmas of 2008.

An object that inspires me would be my ipod. Music is such a big part of my life that it instantly changes my mood and mind. A song could come on and the stress in my life doesn't seem so big anymore. Or a song could take me back years from the present moment to a memory or event that occurred. This little instrument has the capabilities to make me think differently and that is inspirational in itself.

The building that gives me the most inspiration of all things in life is my home church here in Greensboro, Cornerstone Baptist Church. The building itself is not the source of where inspiration is stemmed, but it houses it. All the answers and questions to life are revealed to me here through the words of our pastor. He is an instrument being used by God. I don't feel anymore complete than when I am at church worshiping God. He is the reason I live, breathe, and accomplish anything in my life; therefore my inspiration is at its fullest when I am here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

extra credit-Two Views of Design

Education vs. Natural Talent
Does an Education really matter in interior design?

Education in interior design weighs pretty heavily in the grand scheme of things. An education opens your eyes and your brain to a completely different world. You get exposure to people from all walks of life and professors/educators with experience you can only get at a university. The projects and assignments you are given will burst open creativity outlets you didn't know existed or would have never used otherwise. Interacting with other people of similar interests will broaden your design ideas and give you an open mind to other avenues. BUT does that mean that you cannot be a successful interior designer without an education? Unfortunately some people are going to only hire those with an education because it serves as a credential. You could present your client with an immaculate plan, but he may choose to go with someone else simply because of a degree. If we look at design as a whole though does the degree really matter if the person is just as talented possibly better than someone WITH a degree? I would say no it shouldn't matter. The degree doesn't define the person's ability and ingenuity; it just communicates that you can finish something. The designer's experience and life skills definitely shape what they bring to their profession. Whether they have an education or are a design star life experiences shape that person to who they are today, how they view situations, and their design style. The media definitely plays a huge role in marketing interior design. Media creates automatic credibility. When someone has seen that you have been recognized by media or other famous people, it immediately boosts that person's quality points. This doesn't mean those who haven't been recognized by media are not good, it just means that it definitely doesn't hurt them either.
Honestly, education to me in interior design doesn't matter because if you have the talent then you have it. An education DOES help but it also is really important to be confident in yourself and know that you are good at what you or not. The degree doesn't make make you!

BP 13-Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch to Westward Expansion

Eero Saarinen designed the famous Gateway Arch in St.Louis, MS that currently blankets the sky with its enormity. To this day, it still remains the tallest man-made monument in the United States after almost 50 years. As a marker for the growth of westward expansion in the U.S., the Gateway Arch serves as a symbol AND architectural phenomenon for all to see. It flocks over the city of St.Louis, specifically over the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. With Saarinen being the initiator of this project, America was exposed immediately to his work and talent. Such a large feat this monument was that the U.S. could only be inspired by his immaculate work on the Gateway Arch. At this time, skyscrapers were still being mastered through trial and error. Watching Saarinen use techniques and design from Finland and Switzerland exposed America to a different style of architecture. Since he was the son of Eliel Saarinen, he also got to incorporate his father's acclaimed designs as well into the Gateway Arch.

Scandinavian culture is much different than American culture, which automatically means their architecture will be dissimilar as well. Learning from other countries is essential when creating new ideas and concepts. We can learn from them what has worked and what has not. The arch in St.Louis is such an icon now not just for St. Louis, but for all of America. It symbolizes growth and expansion throughout North America. It weighs symbolically on America as a nation. To me it is almost welcoming everyone in the most uncanny way. I feel that America would be missing out on a symbol if it weren't for Saarinen's inspiration to communicate the U.S.'s expansion at that time.

RR 13-l'architecture parlent

Speaking Architecture
Roth: 537-561

Lewis Mumford spoke volumes when he stated in his essay that it was "not enough for a contemporary building simply to be something and do something; it must also say something." As Roth communicates to us in his book...this quote from Mumford reverts directly back to the concept of commodity, firmness, and delight. As Modernism continues to rise, we see parallels in past, present, and future ideas. Was and is architecture more than just necessary for functional purposes or is there something more meaningful underneath all the bricks and mortar?

Scandinavian artist Alvar Aalto stated that architecture is "still the same great synthetic process of combining thousands of definite human functions and remains architecture. Its purpose is still to bring the material world into harmony with human life." Prior to taking this class, I never once looked at architecture as encompassing human aspects and characteristics. Since being in this class, I now see the architectural world around me through different eyes. Aalto knew he could create something funtional and beautiful at the same time. He found the balance that many couldn't. He designed in a way that everything is, light, people, and the structure itself. Aalto only built 2 buildings in America..the rest reside in Finland where he is
originally from. The Mount Angel Abbey Library in Oregon demonstrates Aalto's command of architecture. The skylights bring in the daylight and at night showcase the starry nights. It contains only furniture and original designs by him. The functionality is appropriate as well for its use as a habitat for books.

Another Swiss architect, Le Corbusier created something only a true designer could have completed. He recreated the French Catholic Church, Notre-Dame-du-Haut since it was destroyed after World War II. The ingenious thing is not that he reconstructed it, but that he was not even Catholic yet the building was so sacred and inspired. Le Corbusier said: " the feeling of the sacred inspired our efforts.
"It didn't matter if he didn't believe or agree with what the building was going to be used for; he still put all his efforts forward to make it exactly what the members of that church needed it to mean to them. He almost took on their role, in order to know how they envisioned their church. I think a true designer learns what the client wants, but molds his vision around theirs as well. The picture to the left showcases the Notre-Dame-du-Haut by Le Corbusier. The construction of the building is so unique and one-of-a-kind for a church (I would have never guessed it was a church). The upward reaching peak is almost like a typical church's steeple pointing towards heaven, which is ironic.

After two Swiss architects, an American finally rose to the trend of humanism and modernism. That American was Louis Kahn, who attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He "viewed the purpose of architecture as elevating human institutions and human activity to an almost metaphysical plane. As the others, he utilized both form and function to create the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies. This institute (pictured to the right) encompasses human activity conducive to its purpose. It is a place for discovering and exploring new things, and this building is communicating that with its different levels and intrigue. The Jonas Salk Institute speaks its purpose to its inhabitants and those outside of its circle.

In the beginning, the question addressed was is there more meaning to architecture than just surface? These architects clearly demonstrated that there is a whole other aspect to architecture than just function. You basically can't have meaning without function. It has to speak something for it to even matter in the end. If it is just a building without meaning it truly has no purpose. It is weird to be saying this since I have never thought in terms like this. True architects have to have the inspiration along with the design and uniformity with the world around it or it won't make sense. Only few have been able to truly grasp those ideas.

Monday, April 11, 2011

BP 12-"Good Design for All"

William Morris conceptualized the idea of having "good design for all". The vagueness of this statement leaves the door open for it to be applied to anything and everything. I believe he meant that design of any building, space, place, or object has accomplished its purpose IF and only IF it can be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone from all walks of life.

One object in particular that I believe represents the essence of this statement would be the design and invention of the telephone. This is definitely one of the most ingenious and useful objects ever created in my opinion. It is crazy to think that a simple device with no cords/strings attached alllows us as humans to communicate in such a simple way within seconds. The phone connects people that are millions of miles away. Not only does it call people, but now it has over 50+ options to perform other tasks. When you are separated from someone, a phone call can immediately change your mood. The telephone allows every emotion you have to be touched. No matter what part of the world one is from, they will use the phone as a part of their everyday life. It is very hard to imagine what life would be like without this connection. For me personally, I am on my phone constantly because it is the only way to know how my family and friends are doing. Of course you can adapt to not having the extras in life, but it would be very difficult. It would actually pain me if I didn't have a phone to call people I don't see on a regular basis.
When I see someone calling that I love, I get so excited. How many times a day do we wait for our phone to ring or to receive a text? All because of this invention/ has us connected but it also makes us crazy because we are on it so much! When Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone, he wanted to connect the world around us. He accomplished that, and he designed for all in mind. Everyone can appreciate the telephone, and everyone can use it in good times or bad times.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

RR 12-Modernism: TAKE 1

The Inception of Utilitarianism and Expressionism
Roth: 518-537

As the movement of Modernism escalated into the 20th century, the meaning of architecture was changing as well. The newest debate was whether architecture conveyed meaning beyond just accommodating human beings or whether it was so
mething more than that, something to stir a feeling or emotion in the core of your being. Could architecture actually change the way you see and look at things? This small segment o
f reading contained some thought provoking quotes that are worth expounding on in this response.

"Since the dawn of human symbolic thinking, architecture not only has provided utilitarian shelter but also has silently expressed how humans view themselves in relation to the cosmos, to their gods, and to each other." We see this statement come to life at the very beginning of time with the Tower of Babel, which was built at such a large height to seemingly "reach God." The pyramids, early cathedrals, and temples were all built around religious reasoning. Architecture then moved to building structures around housing needs and population increases. Herein lays one complaint regarding the movement of
modernism. Towards the middle of the 20th century, architecture was losing its meaning of symbolism and moving towards solely utilitarian purposes. This meant a loss of personality and vitality to the world of architecture. Was the invention of the machine a curse or a blessing to design?

Some forerunners of keeping traditional architecture alive yet still utilizing the machine were Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. Mies van der Rohe was influenced by a fellow artist, Peter Behrens who idealized the that artists are "the agent of the taste of the age, and of architecture being an expression
of technical power." Le Corbusier, a true designer was fully aware that architecture was indeed more than just a structure to house people in. An entry from his book compared the Parthenon with that of modern day machine constructed buildings and noted that both were "elegant in form and function." He derived that as the new technique got perfected, modern architecture would find its place. His Villa Savoye (inset of 2 images) incorporates the use of 5 non-traditional building techniques and reflective of the Modernism age of the 20th century.

Meanwhile, over in Germany a similar movement was progressing.
To a larger extent, they believed that "architecture is much more than a
utilitarian appliance--- that it can and should be primarily a vehicle for evoking emotional, even mystical states of experience achievable in no other way." Architect Erich Mendelsohn believed architecture's purpose was to symbolize humans' inner feelings in a
tangible form. Another advocate of this idea was Paul Scheerbart who wrote that all architecture should be open to the outside world through glass. This is illustrated through (pictured right) Hans Scharoun's Schminke house with its glass construction and angular features. Expressionism is seen in this striking piece of architecture.

Modernism has a face similar to the movement of architecture today. The all glass house looks very much like sustainable housing we see today. The use of natural light and non-traditional structure resemble the mod design of the 21st century. Le Corbusier's use of a garden roof is representative of the sustainable movement today too. These designers were almost ahead of their time. Yes, their designs weren't always feasible and usually had to be altered later. I think that these designs were major players to follow though for design into the later 20th century to present day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Unit Summary 2-Reverberations

This unit was filled with linking emotions, feelings, music, and religion to architecture. It was a time of exploration through different elements of design and whether to follow or break these "rules" of the East and West. This was a trial and error period of time that would prep them for the 19th century of modernism.

From the moment we opened the unit, we see the building form of churches going through an alteration. These forms progressed from pantheon, to basilica, to hagia sophia. The shapes were circle in front and rectangle in latter half, circle in the middle of a rectangle, then circle in front inscribed in rectangle. The shape then turned to a square with a circle in the middle and lastly a square with a circle and 2 domes on each end. The design of these churches was dependent on their needs of the time. As church attendance and membership grew, the size and shape of the churches formed around that. The interior of these churches was reflective of their love and adoration for their Heavenly Father. Light from the sun played a big part in the beauty of these churches through the use of skylights and glass. Ceilings were works of art to capture each viewer's attention.

These picturesque scenes served as cognitive maps for the time period and as direction and solutions for those who were left behind. Because of these pictures, we can derive much about the century . The ceiling and interior art were like modern day cameras and captured what was going on at the time and what was being taught in the church. This nonverbal communication avenue speaks volumes and serves as a guide to the past.

The East and West began to differ in their stylistic approaches to architecture. Amidst the differences, they both still had a strong presence to religion influencing their design. They both seemed to be following set rules, but that was about to change. Exploration was beginning and rules were about to be broken. Architecture was going to start breaking away from the norm and moving towards nontraditional techniques that had never been seen.

This movement towards "rebellion of the rules" began with Andrea Palladio and his designs. His Villa Barbaro spread across the entire landscape and incorporated 2 side pavillions. Another beatuiful structure of his is the Villa Rotunda which is constructed with 4 porches and 4 facades. What was different about this building was the uncertainty of where to enter the structure. This left it up to the viewer to figure it out and also just an exception to the rules. The sun entered the building in different ways depending on where you were. The architect was focused on the aesthetics instead of its functionality. This break away from tradition influenced many artists that would soon become the face of timeless architecture. The changes resulted in alterations with the materials being used as well such as wood vs. stone and light vs. dark. Design aspects became the focus as you can see if Micaelangelo's Capella Sistina where the celing seemingly meets the wall. There is no separation or boundaries. In his Laurentian library vestibule, we see 3 separate staircases even though only 1 is needed. The symbolism represented here is that of knowledge pouring out from the library's book contents and flowing down the staircase for the world to experience.

During this time, two different style movements are born...Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The Renaissance offered individualism, calm and sarene spaces; whereas, the Baroque style represented engaging with the world around us, unity, and dramatization. This began a revolution (a drastic and far reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving) through Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace. Through the use of glass, iron, and classical architecture, he revolutionized what one can do with these utilities. The enormity of the building itself was revolutionary. America soon followed suit in this architectural change.

I have chosen the Crystal Palace to represent this entire unit. From the first paragraph, I addressed the changing styles of church buildings and the constant use of domes. The Crystal Palace is shaped in the form of a dome throughout, but mainly the front facade of the structure. If it hadn't burned down, it would serve as a cognitive map for us today. BUT during that time since it served as an exhibition it was very much a map and peephole of the dress, architecture, and culture of the 19th century. Religion had influence in the Crystal Palace with the presence of a huge cross in the interior. Paxton definitely broke rules with the use of glass and iron as the main mediums in this structure. The scale is impressive and represents revolution and revival of past and new forms. He paved the way for new structures and design techniques to be followed by many at the time and for the start of the 20th century.Sources:

*notes from class and TA Jasmine Collins

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BP 11-Style with a purpose

The rise of Modernism changed the course of design in the appearance of objects, spaces, buildings, and places. It may not be directly linked to each, but modernism definitely had an influence on many things we encounter everyday.

The object I chose to analyze is the lamp. In present day, you find all forms and shapes of lamps. Walk into IKEA and you'll soon know what I am talking about. Lamps take the form of circles, squares, rectangles,
liquid lava, and the list goes on. Edison's first lamp was invented in 1879. The picture to the left showcases that first lamp.
As you can see it's very different from the lamps we decorate our homes and rooms with today. No lamp shade or cord are attached to this lamp. As the 19th century turned, interior design of the houses became important. Tiffany style lamps of stained glass shades over the light bulb became a popular decoration as well as functional light source. Modernism was taking over in even the most subtle ways and continues in today's designs as well (picture right of a mod style lamp).

The building I chose is the Sears Tower in Chicago. Not only is this building close to my heart because I lived so close to Chicago, but it is a picture of pure majesty. It takes over the city's skyline like a brewing storm. For the longest time, it was the tallest building in the world. The modern aspects of this building are present in its ejecting squares off of the structure adding
dimension and movement to the eye. The Sears Tower offers a skydeck on the 103rd floor out of the 110 floors this structure comprises. Being on that 103rd floor is the most exhilarating feeling to me. Everything below you is so minuscule and peaceful. I know that this wasn't built just so people could view Chicago from above, but the skydeck is such a gift to people. It brings you to a completely different place when you are standing over the entire city. The feeling is almost as if you are not even in the world anymore; it's just you and the city at your feet (literally). Such a vast modification to the very first skyscrapers that ironically started in Chicago. To the right...a view from the skydeck....

The space and place I chose is simply any blank room. Your favorite place or as discussed in class our "architecture of happiness" is dependent upon the person's perogative. The place you have in mind is inspiration for this space. A space is an empty room that is waiting be filled to create a place. BUT before this place is created it is a space that can be altered and decorated in any way with the sky being the limit. This concept holds true and definitely was
present during the 19th century. Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture was built and then filled with all his handcrafted furniture. He took a space and created a special place, just as we do today. We fill it with our memories, objects, and pictures that make us who we are. That is why each space is different; no one person has the same path of life. Modernism broke all the rules of structure and guidelines. Design and architecture do have standards that can be chosen to follow or you can break the status quo and create what you envision. I chose an empty room to signify that it can turn into anything the "architect" desires.

I think people of the 19th century needed to work hard towards modernism because of the changing world around them. New inventions were being created quickly, dress for men and women was changing drastically, war was ending and only made sense for architecture and design to change as well. Although inevitable that it would be altered, people's needs were changing which meant their housing needed to upgrade as well. Morals and culture were being influenced as well, which transferred over to their thoughts on architecture. Throwing out the traditional housing layouts reflected this movement. They were moving towards a newer richer lifestyle and their homes would be nothing short of mirroring that image.

Friday, April 1, 2011

RR 11: A Key to Our Future of Design

Using original architectural concepts as a key to the future

The middle of the 19th century began a movement in architecture that we still follow today. Buildings skyrocketed to new heights in the form of modern day skyscrapers. Architects we still revere today rose to fame during this time. Many events and people were about to change the course of architecture through ingenuity and the use of past architect's ideas.

The first change occurred through the invention of machines that mass produced objects . On one hand this was great because it made all these amenities readily available, but to other "true" designers this meant a loss of designs being created by hands which meant a loss of heart and creativity. One such designer, William Morris, took upon himself to change this new age of mechanization and revert back to handcrafted designs...a movement known as the the Arts and Crafts movement. Along with others who followed suit, he altered medieval architecture by incorporating it into the modern designs of the 19th century. The picture to the left is known as the Red House which was designed and constructed by Morris along with his friend Philip Webb. This house showcases the Gothic architecture of old time incorporated into modern design. Everything was hand designed and constructed inside and out by Morris, foregoing the machinery being used in the 19th century.

Because of Morris' action to step out of the box, Frank Lloyd Wright followed in his footsteps but decided to put his own twist on the Arts and Crafts Movement. New forms were created into modern, non-traditional houses that had never been seen before. Roth tells us that "European architects...were inspired by his opening up of space and his rejection of traditional forms and building methods." Using Morris' ideas, Wright began to refashion the face of architecture that would be appreciated
by many decades later. The pictures to the right and left showcase the Ward Willits House. This was the first prairie style house of the 19th century. It has some Japanese influence, but is shaped almost like a Gothic style cathedral (cross design). It just shows how much past architectural concepts influenced even famed designers like Frank Lloyd Wright. He originated his own designs, yet he incorporated classic design styles as well into the modern forms.

The growing trend in modernism sparked the need to have a school with comprehensive teaching and instruction on architecture. Universities opened and they quickly produced immaculate students. One such famous student to come out of Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School o fFine Arts) was Louis Sullivan. He looked at the new trend of tall buildings as having 3 fundamental and purposeful zones. Through this process of thinking, he constructed the
Guaranty Building. Sullivan incorporated his own version of patterns on the outside of the building to emphasize each of his zones. Constructed in 1895, Sullivan said "it must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exultation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line." Even though this quote was stated over 100 years ago, it still has much truth to it. Modern day architects of skyscrapers build their buildings with character that give it a sense of pride power. That is what Sullivan was communicating with his view on skyscrapers. The Guranty Building is featured to the right and shows off his attention to detail in design along with his designated zones from street to building top.

**From this summary, I derive the question...Is there really an original idea or do we just keep altering existing concepts? These architects used past designs but changed them around a bit to create interest and uniqueness. They can't take ALL the credit because some of their thoughts for modern architecture already existed in other forms. Looking at the past gives us inspiration and creativity to put towards a new venture. It expands our thinking beyond our own bias thoughts. In essence, I am leaning towards the fact that we just keep altering existing concepts with the door open freely to change it in any way we want!

Monday, March 28, 2011

BP 10-The Camera

Cameras...the inanimate object that communicates the words and feelings we cannot express

A revolution, as discussed in class, incorporates reform, revival, and a cycle. Cameras have revolutionized in design and features since its inception in the early 1800s. The camera was an on-going invention that took many years to master, but the first photo was taken in 1814. The very first camera was a large box with a hole in the middle to capture the image, and it was constructed from wood! After taking the image, it was incapable of saving the picture so it was rather useless. The image to the left showcases the very first rendition of the invention we use on a daily basis. This invention was the predecessor of technologies to come.

Later in the 1900s, a new design approached the camera industry. The folding montauk was a camera that could be folded up in
to a suitcase. Its lenses were made of glass and all the hardware was made of the highest quality wood and plating. These cameras were extravagant in design and construction. At this time, they were still made from wood, but were a little easier to carry.

By the 1950s, cameras were no longer made from wood, but metal. They could now be held in your hand and transported easily. It also had the capability to snap photos, zoom, and incorporate a flash without holding the light. The revival of the camera was a completely new object in the 1950s.

In 2011, cameras can be as large as the 1950s camera above such as professional Canon cameras, or they can be as small as your palm. This teeny tiny camera is 2.5x2.3x2.5 cm all with recording and picture taking abilities. The camera has done a complete 360 turn from its beginning. Its reformation has caused a change for the better. We can capture so many moments in history because of the revolution of the camera. Who would have ever tho
ught that the original large box called a camera could be reduced to such a small size and TRIPLE its capabilities in a little less than 200 years?!?! Time can only tell what it will be in 50 more years.

Monday, March 21, 2011

RR 9-Gardens...the icing of architecture

Gardens...the icing of architecture
Roth: 452-458; Ching: 584-585; 588

"All gardening is landscape painting," a quote by Alexander Pope that influenced the English people to transform their gardens into works of art. A movement that would soon be followed by many then and even in present day.

*One of the most well-known and viewable landscapes today is that of Stourhead, England. This was designed by Sir Henry Hoare, who used Claude's Coast View of Delos with Aenas. Using this painting, along with others Hoare simply recreated what he saw on the canvas. He brought it to life..imaginary to reality. These enormous gardens were almost synonymously complicated and elaborated as the actual structure it framed. Taking almost 40 years to complete, Hoare made this his occupation and contribution to future landscape builders.

The picture to the left captures the modern day gardens of Stourhead. Still so picturesque as it was back in the mid 1700s.

Meanwhile in Buckinghamshire, England, the Stowe Gardens were being built and taking a different approach to appreciating its beauty. Touring the gardens by people other than the owners was growing in popularity. The elaborate gardens signified high class and social gatherings. Influenced as well by Alexander Pope, the Stowe Gardens incorporated aTemple of Ancient Virtue and a Temple of Modern Virtue. These structures honored those who had influenced them or had a significant impact on their architecture. The Stowe Gardens also created a bridge for the English to understand the Native Americans. Their gardens allowed them to brand out in their thinking about civilization. The inception of Eurocentrism is believed to have its origins around this time.

The picture showcases the Temple of British Worthies in the Stowe Gardens. This structure is a monument dedicated to significant people of that time including William Shakespeare, John Milton, Alexander Pope, and many more.

Gardens gained popularity in China as well. Influences from Ji Cheng's Yuan Zhi

("Gardening") helped the Chinese design such a beautiful garden. The Chinese believed gardens should be in accord with every angle that each person views when walking on pathways. They put their focus on three different elements of the Qingyi garden: an island in the center of the lake, a Buddhist monument at the northern corner, and a tall pagoda on the hills in the west. No matter where you are when walking along the path, all three of these structures can be seen. The gardens in England were first and foremost made for the owner and his household, then bystanders could take in the scenery. The gardens in China differed from England because the Chinese created them for everyone's pleasure and enjoyment.

The picture to the right showcases the Summer Palace in Beijing as it is now called. Very different from England gardens, but still undeniably PICTURESQUE!

*~These artists brought paintings of landscapes to life through physical forms. Once again architecture prevails by recreating the imaginations pictures into real life structures.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

BP 9- Coffee and Skyscrapers

European Influence

Many of our everyday rituals/everyday activities can be attributed to sources we haven't even considered responsible for its inception. Even though countries are separated by millions of miles, they have still managed to impact each other significantly in architecture.

As mentioned in my previous blog, coffeehouses can be considered my "happy place". The concept of a coffeehouse had to start off somewhere and that place wasn't America....its birthplace was in Aleppo, Syria. (Ching, pg. 559) Drinking coffee had a huge social impact on the male population. It initiated conversations about important topics and brought them together. Through coffeehouses, sugar was becoming a staple in Europe's food consumption. As chocolate grew in importance, it turned into a "filler" before lunch/dinner
. What we now call breakfast began with tea and chocolate.
The action of using a coffeehouse as a place to meet up with friends and chat about life has roots all the way back to the mid 1600s. This simple establishment or environment ( as discussed earlier in the semester) has created a ritual across America and continues to flourish where it began. The ideology of men getting together making business deals and socializing in this common space became a normal tendency of everyday life, just as it is today. We don't even really think about drinking coffee in the morning; it's second nature to us.

The picture above shows a 1700s London coffeehouse. From its scale you can derive that it was a large meeting area designed for comfort and conversation...much different from our coffeehouses today that are designed for convenience and necessity.

The picture to the right captures a modern
day coffeehouse, better known as Starbucks.

American Influence

As the Europeans have had influence on American culture, the United States has inspired other countries as well. The city of Chicago is known for having the first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building. Skyscrapers are a world phenomena that m
any countries have copied and built as a result of American cities building bigger and taller structures. It has become almost a competition to see who can be labeled as having the world' s tallest skyscraper.

This picture captures The Home Insurance Building, what is considered the world's first skyscraper.
As discussed in class: "there exist a normally hidden set of rules, codes, and convent
ions through which meanings particular to specific social groups are made universal." This statement is so true in regards to skyscrapers. The only reason, with the exception of aesthetic value and possibly saving space, skyscrapers are continually built is because of the notion to be the best and most-innovative in structures. Simple things such as this signify power. This will always be the case among countries. We can learn something from everyone though. That is how greatness is born.

Burj Dubai in India is currently the tallest building in the world at 2, 716 feet. Obviously, we have come a long way from where we started in Chicago, but it just shows that our influence was significant on the world of architecture.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

RR 8-Ceilings- the physical limits of a building yet the openings of the structure

Ceilings-the physical limits of a building yet the openings of the structure
Roth: 404-406; Ching: 538-542

*Roth says: "Reason has been overpowered by mystical experience". When art captures the viewer it encompasses all aspects of the appreciator and takes them into a new experience. Reasoning goes out the window, and you are brought into a new realm. For that split second, you are somewhere else with a different perspective. Ceilings are just one aspect of architecture, but they have the power to as the quote says overpower your reason.

Padre Andrea Pozzo painted the vaults in the Church of San Ignazio in Rome. This artist completely took away any evidence of curvatures in the ceiling. The viewer's eyes are captured by th
e story-telling picture of clouds, angelic figures, and the inviting sky. The painting erases any barriers or columns built into the church. These wall to ceiling paintings were the predecessor to ceilings being one of the main focal points in architecture.

>>Featured to the left is Pozzo's fresco vault in Rome showcasing his immense detail a
nd ability to erase barriers on a ceiling and invite the viewer into a "whole new world".

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane has a ceiling that captures this concept as well. It features crosses and ovals circling an inner oculus. The columns draw the eye to the ceiling into what almost seems like an oasis. The sunlight radiates the pattern that is so well constructed. Featured to the right is Borromini's San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. You can see the columns leading up to the oval ceiling design. The crosses and ovals in the design cr
eate a liquid movement for the viewer.

Architect, Guarino Guarini designed an impeccable ceiling in San Lorenzo located in Turin, Italy. Composed of piers, diagonal arches, and circular windows, San Lorenzo commands attention upwards. The arches create a pushing effect, as if they are holding the octagon oculus in place. The base of the circle creates what looks like a balcony even though there isn't one.


These are just a few artists that took their art to even the utmost level of the structure. The ceiling serves 2 purposes: to keep out the rain and bring in the sun. I think it is amazing to see ceilings like this. Architecture is just not made like this anymore. During this time, every aspect of the churches had a story to tell. Even necessary parts of a building can be the most striking.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

RR 7-Be the change you wish to create in the world

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World
Roth: pgs. 353-362

"The Italians..began to view history in a new way. They perceived human history not as a divinely ordained continuum but as a series of successive periods, some characterized by great human accomplishment." They combined their intellect with design to change the way architecture was developed. Mathematics and human dimensions were now being incorporated into building dimensions. The Italians took a step out of the box to bring about something new and innovative. It proved successful. A lesson to be learned in all areas of life!

  • The first thing they revolutionized in architecture was the direction that one’s eye

    travels. The Romans caused the eye to move up and down; the Italians decided to build their designs around horizontal and vertical components, which resembled human proportions. Traditional architecture was being thrown out the window, thus begins the RENAISSANCE.

    >>>The Egeskov Castle in Denmark is an example of Renaissance architecture, but also it is a representation of how the eye travels across instead of up and down. Just one of many examples of stacking and layering in design.

  • The second innovation to architecture began with Brunelleschi's Dome of Florence Cathedral. This structure was built using design elements that had never been utilized before. The Dome of Florence marked a huge stepping stone for Italy. A quote made by Leon Alberti, humanist scholar and theorist: "We discover unheard-of and never-before-seen art and sciences without teachers or without any model whatsoever." Brunelleschi was willing to think differently about architecture having no guide or blue print to follow. His design was pure inspiration, his interpretation of the outside world.....BUT isn't that what design is intended to be?
>>>>Overtaking the skyline in Florence, Brunelleschi's Dome showcases its uniqueness and separation from all the other buildings. It commands attention and it is granted. There is nothing else that comes close to this innovation. The Dome also uses its fellow architectural neighbors to remain unified with them by using the same roof color and materials.
  • The third advancement made during the Renaissance was Vitruvius's Ideal Form. His ideas were formulated through the guidance of Plato's book Philebus. This book discussed how forms can be made simply by lines and circles, and in turn how these shapes are then viewed as three dimensional. Once again, Vitruvius conceptualized that "ideal systems of proportion...can be found in the perfect proportions of the human body." He formulated how the human body is essentially made up of shapes as well. This began a movement of architects using the human body proportions as a basis for design. Circles were highly utilized because the Romans believed the eternity of a circle represented the Deity of God. These architects used already existing forms to design completely new architectural concepts.
>>>Leonardo da Vinci's capture of the Vitruvian Man...just a photo to reemphasize the idea that the ideal system of proportion is manifested through the human body proportions. Square inscribed in a circle showcases the equality to the man's arm length and height.

What these architects accomplished was almost an entrepreneurial venture in the world of architecture. They reached a whole new level of design concepts that we still use today. They broke the status quo. This idea can be transferred to anything in life, not just architecture. If you want something different, DO IT!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

BP 7-Conductor of Happiness

Conductor of Happiness

"Architecture may well possess moral messages. It simply has no power to enforce them. It offers suggestions instead of making laws. It invites rather than orders us to emulate its spirit": a quote from Alain de Botton. It is weird, yet comforting to know that a structure made of brick and mortar can elicit such immense feelings and emotions out of you. An architecture of happiness can only be truly defined by the appreciator. The concept of having an architecture of happiness is like having that one person that can instantly change your mood from blah to amazing. When you enter your architecture of happiness, life immediately makes sense and you feel that you can conquer anything that comes your way. You actually have a "relationship" with this specific place. It understands you when no one else. It seemingly rescues you from every stress in life at that moment. Entering in this place brings clarity and inspiration. It elicits every good feeling about life: intelligence, music, and the smell of coffee.This place described above can be none other than Starbucks in Barnes and Noble. I'm not a big coffee drinker, but whenever I go into any Starbucks that is connected to a Barnes and Noble, I instantly feel inspired. I can walk into this cafe feeling uninspired, yet once I sit down with my laptop my thoughts fall into place. The atmosphere makes me feel as if I'm among elitists who are also busily collecting their thoughts into something awe-inspiring. At that moment, all of us are different people, but all with the same purpose. Another thought provoking quote form de Botton: "Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are for better or worse, different people in different places and on conviction it is architecture's task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be". To me this quote just solidifies my thinking process that something as insignificant as a cafe can make a person think differently about something or think more clearly on a subject matter.
Strive for harmony and order in all East and West rule to follow. This concept of harmony and order is present in my architecture of happiness. The walls are covered with literature, which parallels to its function (a bookstore). The music is usually classical which coincides with the atmosphere conducive to reading and thinking. All these elements make the space match its environment, which in turn bring about a feeling of happiness and contentment. Order and cohesiveness make me feel safe; therefore, it only makes sense that this space would make me feel happy.

**The picture to the left showcases the borders around the window panes. I believe the borders in this design are merely to show order. Some borders show significance or emphasize a certain spot, but here they simply bring order among the design. The middle picture features some literature as art pieces. As stated before the literature on the wall coincides with the theme of the bookstore and reverts it back to the environment of learning and reading. Once again this shows order as well because the art is parallel with the windows opposite from them ( right photo).

Everyone has a place that they can go to and immediately feel at ease. The Starbucks cafe is such a space for me. It's hard to explain how it can possess these qualities, but this architecture makes me think differently when I'm inside. Just for that moment I am somewhere else, reaching my full potential.