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.

1 comment:

  1. parthenon is a good choice. what are the ideas and characteristics that connect up more themes of your essay?