Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Communicating through Photos and Slides

The Pantheon was rebuilt in 126 AD by Emperor Hadrian. The term Pantheon means "to all gods".

The Pantheon was a place to worship the gods, which is why it was located in the center of ancient Rome on the site map.

A space of worship was created through the use of the structure of the building as well as the interior details such as the Oculus.

The overall structure of the building is equivalent to a sphere, making one feel as if they were encompassed by the gods when they entered this space for worship. A basic parti of this building would be a circle within a square because the Pantheon seemed to be the only round domed building among all of the rectangular buildings i the city.

The Oculus was not only a cooling and ventilation method for the dome but it was also one of the only sources of natural lighting. At one point during the day the light that floods in from the oculus would illuminate one of the statues of the seven gods along the interior walls.

I think that this quote is a good example of what people understood the building as during this time period. While some may have felt it was a place to worship due to the interior details such as the statues of the gods. Others felt that its massive dome structure was what made it stand out as a place of worship. However even though there were debates on why it was built the way it was, it was a universal understanding that this was a place where one would come to experience worship.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reading Comprehension 6

1 During the Arts and Crafts time period we see that one of the most important things during this movement is craftsmanship and the idea of rejecting the machine. While this holds true for supports of this movement in certain areas, we also see it spread throughout the world. The arts and Crafts movement, which originated in England was seen through the works of buildings like the Red House, designed by William Morris.
This house was built through the use of red brick without stucco emphasizing on Morris idea of focusing on every aspect of craftsmanship, even down to the smallest detail.,_Bexleyheath.JPG

Moving westward we see in America the Arts and crafts movement growing in a nation that has attempted to sever its ties with Europe. This was dominant in the architecture styles of designers like Frank Lloyd Wright. The Robie house which was apart of the “Prairie Style” is an example of the craftsmanship that this movement was all about. This building includes several details that focus on the overall craft such as the cantilevering roofs and even down to the Roman brick on the exterior.

2 “The nature of an object is determined by what is does. Before a container, a chair, or a house can function properly its nature must first be studied, for it must perfectly serve its purpose; in other words, it must fulfill its function practically, must be cheap, durable, and beautiful”. (Roth, pg 524).

This can be seen in the Villa Savoye. This building is based off of the idea of an automobile and is raised off of the ground in order to allow for the automobile to be part of the house. However the ground was then replaced in the roof so that it would appear that this “machine” is being elevated from beneath the ground. The dictum “less is more” is also addressed through out the space with the use of an open floor plan and a lack of ornamentation on the exterior. By doing this Le Corbusier maximized the space that could be used in the building and on top where the garden was. It is evident that Le Corbusier designed this house in a practical manor so that it could be functional and represent the idea of a machine. The Villa Savoye is intended to create an as one would travel throughout the space. This can be compared to the idea of a machine and how it would work through a progression of steps. For example an automobile, first you must get in the car, then you must place the key in the ignition, then you must crank the car up in order to began the journey to your destination. The Villa Savoye is similar because as you travel through the space you must go through a progression in order to get to the top of the machine that is raised off the ground.

Massy pg72
I think that this Office in the Dessau Bauhaus building gives an example of exploding the notion of black and white, with its use of bright colors. This includes the bright yellow stripe on the wall and the use of brightly colored flooring and furniture to help bring the room to life through the Bauhaus principles of color and materiality.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reflections Summary

In Nathan’s reflection point he gave an explanation of how the transition from renaissance to the modern stages of design were taking place. There was a clear understanding of how this affected design during this time as well. There was a great press on designers to keep up with the constant changes in history. This caused several of them to look east for design concepts and ideas to merge with their own ideas. He was also able to reference how this idea of design assimilation was in fact the total opposite of what the Americans were trying to do, seeing as they wanted to break away from their traditional European roots. Lastly I think that Nathan linked this to the industrial revolution and how new machines were able to help the growth of new buildings like the Crystal Palace. Anna was able to elaborate on what we learned in class about the different stages of a revolution, which, were reform, renaissance, revival, rotation, and cycle. I also find it awesome that she was able to use a Lion king quote to reference to the idea of a cycle. “Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.
Young Simba: But, Dad, don't we eat the antelope?
Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.” The cycle that we see in design during this period is in the materials. Anna was able to tie the new uses we see for materials during the industrial revolution to those that were seen with concrete during the classical Roman era as a cycle. In the reflections point Justin also discussed the transition of the different design styles. Justin explains how the idea of assimilation comes to fruition at this time through the influences of eastern design that we see in things like surface decoration. During this time it becomes evident that design is no longer simply for the high class, but is now common debate among those of the middle class society. The design of this time period gives us an understanding that things were mainly a revival of classical styles. An example of this is the Red house, which clearly displays evidence of gothic influence.Justin ends his essay by discussing the idea of assimilating different design ideas.
This image that he used is a good representation of how design today is fogged and blurred by this mix and mashing of assimilated ideas.

Alternatives Summary

Nathan’s alternative point was a clear description of how the architecture during this time period had a shift from being secularly motivated to being oriented more around spiritual design. I also appreciate how he was able to connect this to how the baroque period following this became more of a theatrical focus on man and drama. I think that because of the fall of the roman empire, which is where most of the designs of this era came from, that this was the cause of such wide spread design ideas. This could also be why people seek religion and designers capitalized by creating massive structures that people could come to feel safe. Anna seemed to speak the same language when it came to the gothic cathedrals during this time period. It was all about enticing the people during this time and getting them to see the beauty of the church and its dominance over the city. In her essay Anna explains how the church was a beacon of hope for the people in the city. This was done not only through what was taught in the churches but also through the upward building and design of the cathedrals. In Justin’s alternative point he explains the idea of cathedrals and how they began to create a more spiritual sense of design, in a similar way to Nathan and Anna’s. However I think that Justin gave detail on how the revolution that was taking place during this time was solely based on the culture being in an unstable situation and faced uncertain threats. This helps the reader to understand that the building of these cathedrals was not just one person’s idea but also, a community effort. He is also able to clearly describe how the baroque period was able to revive the architecture through the use of dramatic design.

These two statues of David were a good comparison by Nathan of how the baroque period was all about capturing the dramatics of man. While one seems to be standing as if waiting on the battle to begin, the other which is from the baroque period, is a display of the emotion and action that one would sense during the battle. This essentially was what baroque was all about.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Project book: Built

For this project our class was split up into groups of five. Our task was to design a printed book that combined the different styles of each of our group members. My section included a documentation of the Pantheon in Rome.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Point Reflections

During this time period we see several ideas that deal with reflection. This ranges from architecture styles to reflections of self and nature as well as reflections upon economic times in this country. For example we see in the Red house a return to the reviving of traditional style houses. When designing this house Kent drew upon elements of design from past styles and reflected them through his work. Even in the Marquand Residence in New York there is a sense of reflection on past styles because this place of residence somewhat “smashes” different styles together. Even in the Richardsonian style of architecture we see a Gothic revival in buildings such as the Trinity Church, which is similar to churches that have been created before over in Europe like the Salisbury Cathedral. We see that the idea of creating something totally new during this time period is invalid. Most of the ideas that are seen are those that reflect on ones that have come before, and either add to or combine ideas in order to design something that has a new view to it.,_Boston,_Massachusetts_-_front_oblique_view.JPG

Furthermore we began to see a reflection of man and nature through out this time period. In fact during this time craftsmanship became an important factor when it came down to design. There were some people that felt that the machine was the way to go and lead to the future of design, however some people felt that man made items and hand crafting were important and these were the believers in the Arts and Crafts movement. One of the pioneers of this movement named Charles Ashbee gave same clarification on what the idea behind this movement was when he stated “ We do not reject the machine, we welcome it. But we desire to see it mastered.” With this in mind it makes it evident that those who were firm believers in the idea of hand crafting, were only reflecting on and celebrating the craft and intimacy of and work.
During the major growth of the second city Chicago, the World’s Colombian Exposition was a large reflection of both the architectural and economical growth of this country. While the city of Chicago was all about cutting edge and exciting new designs. The Worlds Fair was a time to celebrate and honor the discovery of this country by Christopher Columbus. With this idea the architects who did the buildings wanted to stick with a more classical design that was closer to the Beaus art style. This was very symmetrical, balanced, and done on a grand scale. However the irony in this situation is the fact that the ones who designed and built the buildings were from New York. Even though Chicago had the opportunity to host the World’s Colombian Exposition it was in fact New York who was able to establish its dominance as the countries first city, by designing the white city. " Wealthy American aristocrats seek to establish an identity of social prominence based on European opulence, as reflected in their elaborate mansions and furnishings."(Harwood 346) This is exactly what New York did, they took advantage of this opportunity in order to subtly incorporate the fact that while Chicago may be the new economic hot spot; New York was the original and still remained the trail blazer for Chicago.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reading Comprehension 5

1. One artifact that stood out to me was the stove during the industrial revolution. This was because unlike stoves from previous time periods, this stove can take coals to use in order to heat food. During the industrial revolution the use of coal was taken to the next level by being able to produce enough steam to power things. I feel that the stove is the best representation of how that new particular use of coal would best be described.

Harwood P.23

2. buildings, spaces, artifacts, and places. One building that clearly gives an example of eastern influence is the Royal Pavilion in Brighton England. The reason that this building is an example of this is because it was built in the Indo-Saracenic style, which was a movement, started by British architects, originated from Indian architecture, and was a heavy design concept during the 19th century. While originally intended to be a place of residence for royalty, the incorporation of eastern influences in this building only added to the grand scale, use of rich materials, and bright colors on the interior. The exterior of this building was mainly one of Indian influence; however once inside there is evidence of both Chinese and Indian influences.

One space in particular that has clear evidence of eastern design is the Peacock room design by James Whistler. This room is a mural form of art that uses blues and greens and is ornamented by gold leaf metallic paint. These are styles that were often used in eastern Asian art like China and Japan. The original purpose of this space was intended to show off the owner’s china in the room. The decorations on the wall resemble strong eastern influence as well as the use of Peacocks and gold framing on the walls, which are similar to the decorations on the china.

One artifact that holds a sense of eastern influence as well is the clothing during this time period. Clothes like the corset dresses that women wore had eastern influence in them from how a person would fit the clothing down to the floral decorations and patterns that would decorate the clothing. Colors also hinted that eastern influences were used in particular Chinese influence.

On place that we studied that also has clear evidence of eastern design is the Kew Gardens in London England. The gardens were crated to be an aesthetically pleasing work of art as well as a place to study biological matters. However in the lower southeastern region of the gardens is the Pagoda, which is a tower, based off of the Chinese Ta. This tower was constructed to be a public figure that was open to the public. The Pagoda also creates a sense of harmony throughout the south section of the garden in comparison with the surrounding trees.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Clock Project

Scale: Place
My main goal with this project was to create a timeline connecting the use and transportation to final products in buildings over time in London. I did this by showing how a simple piece of iron would be converted and transported through the use of railways, canals, and navigable rivers in order to be used in buildings such as the Crystal Palace.