Friday, December 10, 2010

Point: Explorations

During this semester I learned several new things one of which was how designers explored different ideas through their buildings. However I have come to realize that over time the more explorations that are done the problems that are encountered. For example the first style that stood out to me as a way to explore new designs and ideas was from the school of Bauhaus. Things began to be more cubed and geometric. This was an extreme change from the glitz of the Art Deco movement and a way to explore new colors with a more primary color palate like reds, blues, yellows along with hues of blacks and whites. While there were very interesting buildings that were created during this time, some of them often had major problems. For example the Farnsworth house which was designed by Ludwig mies van de rhoe, was a very interesting building in concept with its immaculate exterior windows, but it had several problems like over heating in the summer time, and it often flooded throughout the year.

The main idea behind this movement was to eliminate all ornamentation and historical references, thus determining the form of a building based off of its function. While this style did not have a precedent to draw its ideas from, it was however a leader making way for future movements to reflect on and explore ways to redefine these ideas. One of the styles that we began to see later on down the road that draws inspiration from the Bauhaus movement is the Deconstructionalist movement or the “high- tech” period of modernism. The Centre Georges Pompidou is one of the main buildings that shows evidence of influence from the Bauhaus movement. In this building we begin to see the return to geometric and cubical shapes as well as the primary color palette of blue, yellow, and red. However like most other designs there is a new aspect to the technological form of design. While the Bauhaus focused more on shaping the form of the building around its function, the buildings during this movement exposed the structural integrity of the building on the exterior. Roth states, "The exterior, therefore, is a maze of color-coded air ducts, electrical conduits, and Plexiglas-enclosed escalators. It is an exoskeletal building, with the skeleton made up of exposed steel members … It is architecture-as-machine elevated to the most prestigious cultural level" (Roth, 577).

While some may view this particular building as a piece of art, I personally fell that it was not a very successful movement. However there are the few buildings that I believe helped to define this movement one of which was the IBM tower in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I felt like this building was a true exploration in the form of technological modernism. The idea of this building was to expose the technological structure of this building, and what better way to do it than by new technological advances to do so. This is one of the first buildings that we have studied during this semester that used rotating panels on the exterior making it a machine that’s ahead of its time.

The Explorations unit has given a clear understanding of how designers overtime have used precedents from time periods before in order to explore new ways of design. Whether its from a small scale house like the Farnsworth house or a large tower like in Kuala Lumpur designers have began to explore new concepts and ideas with the technology and machines we have today. However this still leaves us with the question of what the heck happened in the suburbs?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Spiritual Essence: Rendering

Spiritual Essence: Site Plan


Scale Artifact
Form 3-D

For this Counter point I chose a radio from the 1930's as my artifact. The reason that the Union terminal was in the background is because it symbolized the idea of technology during this time. An image of Mae West is included as well because this symbolized the idea of everyone wanting a piece of Hollywood in their home which is why they would buy a radio like this one. The Radio is also elevated off of the board because it is the focal point of the project, breaking the 2 dimensional plane.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reading Comprehension 7

The Female Indian was a sculptural piece of art done in 2006 by Sam Durant. This sculpture is an example of some of the ideas that we have covered in this unit of exploration. Durant who is a mixed media artist often uses his different resources and media to help him tie his work into social, cultural, and political aspects of current subjects in a sculptural expression. This can be compared to the movements in design during the explorations unit, because buildings that were built during this time began to use the resources that were already available in order to create new concepts. In Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye he took materials that had been used for years and incorporated them into an idea of dematerialize a building. Just as Durant left the hands and area below the torso unfinished Le Corbusier created a void beneath the Villa as if it were floating above the ground. Durant's work often deals with the conflicts between differing classes, cultures and value systems. This is similar to Le Corbusier’s thoughts and challenges that he issued to designers, challenging them to change their way of social thinking, which could be summed up by saying “Architecture or Revolution.” (Roth 530)
Another image that seemed to correspond to the explorations unit was the Philip Pearlstein painting two female nudes on green sofa. This is reflective of the sculpted modernism movement in the twentieth century. “ Glass heated office boxes became sculpted into singular and unique forms” (Roth 572) This movement was intended to shift the idea of modernism from cube like structures to more open and fluid like shapes. I felt that these two were similar because like the designers who began to experiment with change in this movement, Pearlstein began to experiment and with his paintings in the twentieth century emphasizing on the curves and exploring the mass of the human body.