Friday, April 27, 2012

Creating a Harmonious Edge (Final Project)

This assignment began much different than any other project we have encountered during our first year, because we were placed in a group with the task of deciphering a sheet of written music as well as it's sound.  The restrictions were the materials were were allowed to use, skewers and 12 planes of paper.  The piece we were given was chaotic with a melancholy back tone.  The end result of our interpretation was a large water bottle representing the back tone of the somber sound, the vertical skewers were representative of the chaos of the main sound, and the ragged to soft descending of the paper combined the two together.  From our understanding of the music we branched off and created our own design principle on how we would face the task of creating an edge between the music building on campus, Lake Daniel, and Market Street while visually and physically engaging them all.  After a constant battle of iterations I decided to create my edge by reshaping the ground with natural hills it would create an organic form.  Much like the water bottle I wanted to stay true to contrasting an organic shape with an abrupt vertical one.  The final result of the project combined all of the principles I valued in the very beginning of the project.  My color selection was created to stand out from the trees and the red brick of the music building.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Funky Test

Perspective Sketch for "Another Funky Test"
(Located on the 2nd floor of the Gatewood Studio Building beside elevator two.)

Persective Sketches of the Music Building

One Point Perspective Sketch of the Music Building

Two Point Perspective Sketch of the Music Building

Face Drawings

Face Drawings (Self)

Grid Perspectives

(Grid) Plan View

(Grid) Elevation

(Grid) One Point Perspective

(Grid) Two Point Perspective

Kitchen Plan and Elevations

Kitchen Plan and Elevation I

Kitchen Elevation II

Bedroom Perspective

Block Perspective of Bedroom

Final Bedroom Perspective

US 3: Explorations; from within

(In this unit we pushed to create a name/style for ourselves and that is what the photo represents)

      The final unit embraced the idea of exploring the world, but through the trade and other movements we as Americans realized that we lacked a defining style.  We began our unit with the extravagant world's fair that was the first industrial showcase for entrepreneurs and innovators.  The first fair was in Paris and it showcased everything from food to trees.  An exhibition building is built each time the fair is coming, but it is not a permanent building, it will later be knocked down within a few years.  Since the world was now in an industrial state one of the main attractions was the new materials that were being manufactured.  As the fair informed the public of the new materials many people became consumed in the idea of the industrial world except one group of pure craft lovers.  The arts and crafts movement was full of craftsmen who felt like manufactured products were not as carefully crafted.  As time passed many of the anti-industrialists movements had passed, but their belief in substance over surface is still a contributing factor in design today.  As many movements began to flourish the realization that America still lacked an original architectectural style began to weigh heavily on the minds of the people.  
      We were still a very undefined country and the hunt for our style had all types of designers and architects in a frenzy to establish a portion of it.  The big cities of Chicago and New York were some of the focal areas and with there not being much room in these cities and with the cost of land; we decided the best solution would be to build up.  This great idea began the race for skyscrapers and through the world's fair a new object had been created, the elevator.  We now had the ability to build as high as physics would allow us to.  We had created a signature style for the big cities, but one man wanted to establish a style for the people.  Frank Lloyd Wright began to create neighborhoods in Chicago and later branched off to different states and did smaller projects there.  His homes still stand all over the country capturing the homes of the everyday Americans and later he began to show America what the world had to offer in the home market.  However, we still felt as if America had not caught up with the European’s glorious architecture and a new rebellious genre of architecture was formed.  If the belief is that the Renaissance is thinking in the box and Baroque is thinking outside the box then modernism would be like lighting the entire box on fire and creating something with the ashes.  
      Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe dominated the different types of modernism, but a key concept that will always encompass this genre is commodity, firmness, and delight.  People were designing in such an abstract manner that they no longer cared about the functionality of the building, beauty was the main priority.  We were being selfish and with that it made us come back to grounds with what our style really was.  However, even at the end of this unit we have realized that the modernism movement is still in full gear and we still face the same issue of functionality that the designers did at that time as well.  Today we take commodity, firmness, and delight in mind as a priority, because we realized all the harm we were causing to the world so since then we have just become more cautious.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

BP 14: Influential Design

As the semester comes to an end I have had the privilege of understanding where my design eye originated and how over the known span of time it has evolved.  My object, space, building, and place are a pure reflection of the design principles I value and have evolved in my own designs. My firs object is a wooden door that has echoed the appearance of a shattering glass.  The simple change in materials, from glass to wood, has created a very dramatic effect on this door.  The abrupt spacing creates a dramatic shadow and also creates an uneven protrusion of the different blocks.  It's setting is in a white room with hardwood floors the same color as the door.  A reflective quality is created by mimicking the floor to the door and is extremely appealing to me.  The doorknob is slightly high, but I appreciate subtle misplacement of objects, because it trains observers eyes to being open to off beat objects.  My appreciation for sculptural art co-existing and balancing architecture has led me to the abstract overlapping of the wooden planks as my chosen space.
The disorderly and chaotic nature of the planks seem to be effortless and unthoughtful, but the form suggests    otherwise.  As we discussed in our lectures form fives off an emotional response.  Circles are inviting and pointy vertical structures are threatening.  The formation of the planks as the come down to the floor are creating arches and it makes the serious nature of a business room more inviting and comforting.  Also we know materials suggest certain emotional responses and the wooden planks which are not man made seem warming and nurturing. As I continued to search for this blog post I decided to choose a building that took nature and incorporated it into the building as it's focal point.  We had many lists of rules and beliefs throughout the semester, but I remember the belief of taking the land that you use and incorporating that design onto the rooftops.  The School of Art, Design, and Media in Singapore followed the rule and placed a blanket of grass overlapping the other in a harmonious design.  The abstract form is visually appealing from every angle as layers of glass windows are masked under the building.  As your eye level changes so does the view of the building.  The abstract circular form created is also appealing and inviting to the inhabitants of the building.  The building as a whole would be classified as modern from it's sleek shape and abstract form with simplistic qualities.  Also the building has a greater purpose for functionality, because the two overlapping panels create a vast amount of shade to cool the building easier. 
My final choice was the temple of Ramses II in Thebes for my place.  Though it is in ruins like the majority of the ancient Egypt artifacts I chose this place for the historic qualities that were repeated all throughout history.  The first columns(Doric) are shown in the picture as an archetype and as time has evolved we have added on to the very simple design in Roman times.  The unified centrality created by the four Pharaoh sculptures spacing is a design principle that is still with us today; even posts give off odd spaces and vice verse.  We also learned to embrace the circle and square, because most architecture branched off of either one or the other or a combination of the two.  During this ancient time, the Egyptians glorified the square/rectangle by using vertical and horizontals planes to achieve the glory of the city.  Though my previous selections for this blog post seem to fall on the line of modern and art deco, I wanted to choose one that showed how simple structures progressed and transformed throughout time.  However, my design methods originate for my adoration of the arts.  I appreciate simple structures that use repetition or simple forms that create a dramatic statement with a slight offset to the design.  Architecture and design that seems to stumble is what appeals to me, because I find distaste for settling, I'm almost never satisfied with becoming comfortable and conforming to what is around me.  The rebellious nature of blending in will both accelerate my designs and in some cases hinder them, but I'm a risk taker and I find the uncertainty appealing to my personality as do the object, space, building, and places I chose.  There was something offset about each of the designs I chose and that made this blog all the more personal than the others.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Chair Extra Credit: Arne Jacobsen

 In the narrow line of all around designers one man stands out for his influence in Scandinavian Modernism.  Arne Jacobsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and later began his studies in architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of the Fine Arts.  After college Jacobsen was lucky to have the influence of  Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, which were two of the leading designers at the time and still are today.  In 1950 he collaborated with the Danish manufacturer, Fritz Hansen and worked on numerous designs in furniture, lighting, ceramics and many more projects.  In the world of furniture Arne Jacobsen began to flourish with his organic forms that in some peoples eyes thought he immolated the famous work of Charles and Ray Eames.  In contrast to the numerous chairs Jacobsen has designed one appealed to my style of design the most, the Swan chair.  Forty years of production and counting, this suave and functional chair has both visual appeal and achieves comfort in such a different form. The Swan Chair along with the Egg Chair was designed for the Royal SAS Hotel and he had the opportunity to design every furnishing in the hotel.  Through Jacobsen’s design with the swan chair he has appealed to me as a sculptor.  I fell into the design world through my love of art and his ability to capture an abstract rounded form and transform that into a comfortable and modern chair.  The materials used to make the swan chair are; molded fiberglass seat shells, cast aluminum, foam coated with fabric or leather. 

The choices of materials are very obvious and necessary to achieve the tightly covered chair. The decisions and innovations Arne Jacobsen achieved during his lifetime set the bar for perfection in simplicity.

1. Living With Modern Classics "The Light" by Elizabeth Wihlde (pg 37)
2. "The Chiar" by Elizabeth Wihlde (pgs 42-45)

BP 13: Modern Functionality, a portal of your personality

In the "Modern" era functionality has become a key principle in architects and designers.  The branch, designed by Wok-media, is an organic form that plays on the idea of function with it's endless possibilities.  The usage of white on white has created a subtle shadow using negative spacing.  The simplicity and use of horizontals adds to the overall "modern" quality of the branch. The branch is a beauty and well designed, but it's main purpose is the thoughtful way it gives it's owner the opportunity to virtually use it for any purpose.  The most unique function the branch has is it's ability to blend with ones personality as visible in the photograph.

RR 13: "Mies van der JOHNSON"

As modernism began to grow, we see later that there are numerous differences in the way/style of designers that began to group together.  Sculpted modernism during the late twentieth century became unique and strayed away from the geometric quo. One of the most famous shape men of modernism was Phillip Johnson, considered the closest subject of MieS.  Johnson was Mies's associate architect in the designing of a building in New York, the Seagram Building.  As stated, Johnson was a sculptor and molder of architecture to create new symbols and he began with a form for the Blaffer Trust in Indiana.  "Roofless Church" was created in 1960 from a rose that use to be symbolic for the community in New Harmony, Indiana in the early nineteenth century. About a decade after the "Roofless Church" Johnson and his con rad were hired by J. Hugh Liedtke to tackle a new project in Houston.  The Penzoil Place was the end result for the project creating a signature for his associates and himself.  The issue with building the Penzoil Place was literally stepping outside the box which was so popular and ordinary at the time.  His solution was to create a point by slicing the tops of the office buildings two towers at different angles with a prism at the base of them.  Form is key in today's society, because in most cases it creates a statement and in my design that is a strong goal derived from my background in the arts.  I never want my designs to be overlooked, I want them to be the first thing that catches your eye.


Monday, April 9, 2012

BP 12: Tweezers; "A Good Design for All"

Tweezers are mostly associated with the grooming unwanted facial hair, but it has an overall greater purposes that other tools lack.  The sleek and small form of the tweezers are form fitting to your index finger and thumb.  The abrupt edges on the tongs of the tweezers are perfect for grabbing a single hair or even for getting out a small compacted structure like a splinter.  In many cases if I have something that is too small to get then I turn to my tweezers. 


RR 12 Alternative Architecture; Architecture of the Arts

Created by ant farm, a group of artists and architects that were influential in the 70's.
House by Art Beal, Cambria, California
The fascination with geometric domes created the project Drop City by designers Gene and JoAnn Bernofsky 

In the early 1960's many young artists, architects, filmmakers, and builders came together to find another way to express their ideas in a way that is professional in the architecture field.  These alternative thinkers wanted to portray architecture as something that can be built from waste or elements that are considered unfit while still capturing an interesting form.  They also studied alternative architecture around the world opening their minds to what architecture could be.  They used what was considered the oddest of materials, like hubcaps and junk from wast sites, to create a visually and emotionally stimulating form.  The common interest in creating an emotional response is a trait carried by all the arts and in design.  Still today, we break out of the norm with simple or extravagant gestures in hopes of creating an appealing response from the public. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

US 2: Reverberations

(Single Ideas= foundations for architecture)

In the new unit we have seen how objects, places, buildings, and spaces have evolved into a more rebellious way of life by echoing principles and transforming them in a way that had never been done before.  We began the unit with the understanding of frozen music in architecture and how the repetition of shapes and levels give off an emotional response.  For example, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water would echo a calm and serene sound.  Furthermore, the repetitive or slight changes to a concept or idea makes music in architecture successful. 
The same success can be given to the evolution of early Christian churches where a simple idea can be transformed into something original.  The early Christian churches saw “fancy” architecture as unnecessary, but when Constantine moved the capital to Byzantium many “fancy” buildings and churches were built.  The access to water made the new capitol flourish and many people came to see the new buildings.  However, the new buildings were a more unified echo of the previously designed ideas.  For example a circle and a square created the bold domes on top and inside the Church of San Marco.
 As the Roman Empire’s government dwindled, so did the officials responsibility for the buildings.  The dark ages followed the collapse of the Roman Empire for three hundred years and when things became stable the creation of the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages began which is where medieval architecture originated.  The architecture of the Early Middle Ages consisted of numerous vaults and domes in a predominately square setting; The High Middle Ages introduced the Gothic style of architecture with filtered sunlight, diagonal ribbed ceilings, and vertical cryptic roofs over vaults; and the Late Middle Ages combined the Early and High Middle ages while adding even more extravagant ceilings and structures with points on the outward surface. 
Gothic architecture was crated to be neutral in any environment, but it lacked the original glory that Greek building possessed.  The solution to bring people out of the dark was the idea of possibilities to honor their ancestors in what was known as Renaissance Architecture.  They achieved this by ordaining philosophers, mathematicians, painters as the new craftsmen and innovators.  Names like Leonardo da Vinci stepped into the history books for architecture of a place, and not just keeping one building in mind.  Staying focused on creating the beautiful details that they believed Gothic architecture lacked was only the inspiration for Renaissance architecture, but designing the buildings with the surrounding buildings and people was the hidden success.  The difference in the rules of the east and west were also factors that made Renaissance architecture a success.  The western rules created architects who thought about only individual gain in architecture, while the eastern rules created an organized community.   The west painted only on a canvas, but the east painted on the canvas, walls, floors, ceilings and windows. 
The Baroque period was so significant, because it unified the arts with architecture and gave the rules created by the east and west the middle finger. Distortion, theatrics, and dramatic lighting created a calm and serene atmosphere.  The east took a group of buildings into consideration while the Baroque period designed whole cities keeping the belief of unity in art and architecture.  Unfortunately the development of modernism threatened the Baroque period.  During this time having a name or logo of design for buildings became very important and still is today. 

Picture Source:,r:11,s:88,i:29

Monday, April 2, 2012

BP 11: The Yearning for Modernism

Ikea is known for carrying a variety of products that can spruce up an empty room for a great price.  The featured lighting is a simple uptake in trying to create a modern look.  As designers we have the responsibility to understand the relationship of the difference in architecture/design and the reason's for such a change. The form of the lighting is a relationship between circles and stacks and the simple gestures of the paper and the simplicity of the white create a modernistic quality.  As discussed in class we are entering a new atmosphere, modernism, but the question many of us are pondering is why we try so hard to appeal to modernism.  Modernism, having many different labels, is not very well established and I feel like we try to take advantage of the abstraction set in modernism.   


RR 11: Einstein's Tower; Hope for the New Century

Einstein, the innovator of relativity and science
 Einstein's Tower Rear View (built in 1919-1921)
 Section of Einstein's Tower (designed in 1917-1919)

During a time where architecture was just crated for it's beauty and function there were a group of German Expressionists who felt a home should give off an emotional response achieved only in a home.  Einstein's Tower was designed by the architect Erich Mendelsohn in Berlin.  Mendelsohn studied architecture in the the heart of Expressionism by Wassily Kandinsky and learned to keep the function of architecture in direct line with inner human emotions that are given off in it's visual form.  With WWI putting his career on hold, he still had time to sketch small thumbnails focusing of simple gestures that created an interesting form.  When his time serving was over he was given the opportunity to exhibit his sketches and caught the attention of an affiliate of Albert Einstein who was overlooking the production of a relativity observatory.  Mendelsohn designed Einstein's Tower to hold the necessary equipment, keeping function strongly in mind.  His inspiration for the beauty of the crafted dips in the building came from the trenches he fought in during his time in WWI.  It's outward appearance was a molding with vertical components and a dome on the top, his hope was to show what potential the new century could hold.   With time there is always a hope in most architects and designers to change the face of the game and Mendelsohn's beauty and functionality of Einstein's Tower was successful.