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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

BP 6: Time is of the essence

This picture to the right showcases an aerial view of the Amiens Cathedral. It dominates the surrounding areas, but it also empowers the skyline. From above, the cross top can be seen immediately. This design solidifies how important Christianity was at this time and its significance among the whole city. It really took over the city in every, morale, and government. The cross corners point to every direction of the city and the middle reaches to the sky.

The Salisbury and Amiens Cathedral address time in a significant way. The most obvious way this idea affects these cathedrals is the amount of time spent on each one. The Salisbury Cathedral took about 38 years wh
ereas the Amiens took almost 2 centuries to finish. These cathedrals were being built because of the demand to house all the new believers. Buildings back in this time weren't just constructed for the sake of constructing. They needed this church for the believers to assemble in a large enough area and a place of sacredness. Taking over 2 centuries to build the Amiens Cathedral must have been a huge inconvenience for the people waiting to see the structure finished. Even 38 years is a long time to wait for a building to be constructed.

The essence of time is so different now than it was in the 1200s. The people who began to build this cathedral might not have even survived to see the finished product. Today, when a new church building is in demand because of an increase in church attendance, it is built within a year..never longer. These people had to wait for years!! Grandeur in stature, these cathedrals which remain standing today were constructed so intricately. The immense detail speaks volumes about the message they were conveying through their design. These cathedrals, I believe, were given such meticulous attention by the architects because they were building for God's glory. His presence was going to be in that place, and they wanted to build him something beautiful inside and out. The Salisbury Cathedral is shaped into a cross, which is the basis of Christianity. The foundation of what the church stands for is incorporated even into the design.

here's the caption for amiens cathedral that patrick and i talked about.

As time passed, building practices most likely changed. New innovations and technologies evolved over that span of time to make building more intricate and easier as well. The design of these cathedrals were manipulated on numerous occasions because of the world changing around them. The generations of builders that followed these designers probably learned from the mistakes made from the Amiens Cathedral mishap. Having the same leader and following that plan makes a difference. Amiens served as an example of what not to do and critical aspects to consider when constructing.

Even though Amiens Cathedral almost collapsed due to poor construction, the beauty it showcases is astonishing. Something beautiful can always arise from a rough beginning. Amiens and Salisbury are both works of magnificent art, yet their stories are completely different. Amiens tells the story of hardships and break ups through its architecture and design, yet it still towers above in power and dominion. Time has taken a toll on both cathedrals outside and inside yet they still carry the same awe-inspiring story that can only be communicated when you walk through the doors and create your own version.

RR's sole necessity...yet a barrier to the world around us

RR 6 - ">

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Unit Summary 1

In week one of class, we learned how objects, buildings, places, and spaces have human form and characteristics. A teapot was used to symbolize how it takes on motherly attributes, from the shape of the teapot to its purpose for keeping fluids warm. Greek columns also take on this idea of objects taking human form. The historic Doric columns have been said to resemble females because of their simple characteristics that make them beautiful. Ionic columns have been said to resemble males because of their intricate design and statuesque appearance. On the other hand, the characteristics of each are interchangeable. Doric columns are simpler in design, much like a man. The shape of the Doric column is larger at the bottom, which symbolizes a man's strength. The Ionic column has what appears to be curls at the top, which could resemble a woman's hair. This week brought us to an understanding that all the objects around us have some form of human form.

In the second week, we mainly focused on the concept of circles, groups, and stacks and the principles of design. The question to focus on was do environments influence rituals or do rituals influence environments. Originally I had thought that environments influence rituals without a doubt. After reading last week's passage in Roth's book about Christianity's influence on present church forms, I now see that rituals influence environments to arise. With the move of Christianity, they needed buildings to house the large groups of believers. This is an example of a ritual influencing an environment. The move of faith caused a whole new demand for a new building to be constructed. We still use these same building principles in churches today. The concept of stacks and groups really stood out to me. When you look around you, everything really is either stacked or grouped. Layers upon layers of atoms or molecules make up each object, building, space, and place. The repetition of this stacking and grouping, in turn leads to these principles of contrast, emphasis, unity and harmony to name a few. The habitual stacking creates a complete balance of the world around us, even though we are moving. Architecture around us almost puts the world at a standstill.

In week three, we talked about 10 different elements that are used to express architecture in material form. When looking at these elements, it is almost as if you are tearing the building apart and taking out what holds it together. Each structure creates an experience for the viewer; this element stuck out to me the most. Whether this experience is your eye traveling to each design aspect or how to navigate through the site, it creates a story within you. A texture is created by all architecture too by its surface.

The last week we talked about the influence of Roman architecture on our own society's design forms. From the colosseum concept of "bread + circuses" to the extravagant bathing rooms, much of our ideas today are parallel to these concepts. The dome, according to the lecture, brings the world under one roof. Anytime you see a dome, you know it is housing a large number of people. The arch creates sentimentality or a place to remember. Most of the time, wedding vows are said under an arch of some type. Without the Romans as a predecessor to modern architecture, the world of design could be lacking in a significant way.

I think the Parthenon encompasses everything I summarized above. This ancient Greek structure
incorporates human form in the usage of the columns. The Parthenon utilizes both groups and stacks. The groups of columns are clustered together and the bottom and top layers are both stacked. This work of art definitely creates an experience for anyone viewing it. The ins and outs of the building give mystery and the eye travels horizontally and vertically. The Parthenon captures every element and principle of design. This was the beginning.

Dunn, J. "The Parthenon and the Acropolis". 2006-2011.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

RR 5

blog post 5









Sunday, February 6, 2011

BP4 Commodity, firmness and delight...all in one

~*The space I feel signifies our campus the best is in the middle of College Avenue. You have 4 different directions when standing in the middle of College Avenue: School of Education, Jackson Library, Music Building, and Stone Building. Each of these buildings has significant meaning to UNCG, which is ironic that they are all within eyesight of this certain standing spot on College Avenue.

>>UNCG is all about diversity, inspiration, and opportunity. When you first get to college, you have to step outside your comfort zone to experience all the new things life has to offer. If you don't you will miss it all. As I was standing in that circle on College Avenue, these thoughts came to my mind. That circle symbolizes a safety zone. When you are inside it, you are safe from everything that could harm you. You take a step out of it, you put yourself at risk for change to occur...good or bad. In life, there are many options to take. Just as in that circle, there are 4 different directions to take.

++In this exact spot, not much color exists. Surrounding this area though color, nature, and life exist to the fullest. In the middle of College Avenue, there are trees and animal life. The structures that flood this walk way all bring you back to this one central location....a lone circle. Words can't put into action the thoughts that come to mind when standing here. Serenity is present in this circle as well. All these intangible feelings are present in this simple geometric shape. I think that's what UNCG is all about though. When you walk away from your time here on this university, I don't think many of a student's greatest memories are of tangible things...but the things you can't put your finger on. That's why this spot represents the university and what it represents.

Roman Architecture in the 21st Century-RR 4

RR 3 02-06-11 - ">