Monday, February 23, 2009


“Every rock and tree and creature has a spirit, has a name.” Disney’s Pocahontas. This idea brings me back to the concept found in the Foundations Unit where commodity, firmness and delight have a constant dialogue with one an other. Every built environment speaks a different story to its viewer.

Presence and Moments:
Is the essence of the space; the actual spiritual or physical moments that take place in a space. The words presence and moment are linked very closely together. However, presence is leaning more toward the spiritual senses where as moments is more geared toward the physical senses. Take a look at some of the very first religious buildings. Many of them are filled with natural light, this is not just because artificial lighting has not yet been invented but also because the church wanted the general public to be over taken by the grander of the building and splendor of its light.

In Roth (2007), “the Gothic church… stood for the Heavenly City of Jerusalem… [and] was a monument that seams to dwarf the man who enters it, for space, light, structure, and the plastic effects of masonry are organized to produce a visionary scale…” (p.301)

The religious theory behind light is that it is good and god like where as darkness symbolizes evil and the damned. This is where it becomes tricky: so is it presence or moments? I believe that for the religious aspect of a space which supplies a large amount of light the primary feeling is presence because most likely the viewer will become overwhelmed with delight in the intensity of the brightness in that space. Almost as if they feel the “presence” of the deity.

According to Roth (2007), “All these details, fitted together with incredible skill in midair… produce a single and most extraordinary harmony in the work , and yet do not permit the spectator to linger much over the study of any one of them, but each detail attracts the eye and draws it on irresistibly to itself.” (p.292)

If so then what is moments? Moments are little occurrences that happen throughout a composition. They could be decorative items found in the border of the fa├žade of a building or even joinery in how pieces fit together, like a key stone. While we are taking a look at churches in the early fourth century moments can be the spaces and places where mosaics come together. It is suggested by many historians that society in the early fourth century was more visually well read then today’s society were we our literacy is in the written word.

As mentioned in Roth (2007), “Even as the Roman Empire began to come apart politically, it was being reshaped from within, so that the sole emphasis was no longer on secular concerns but on religious concerns.” (p.275) A precedent is everything or moment that leads up to the final outcome; it is manly the idea behind the artifact, the reason for why it is. In the beginning the Greeks based their architectural works off of places to worship and parse their gods. Later when Christianity became more popular the Romans built buildings great in size and structure. The Roman precedent for building was “God is everything.”

Refers to size and scale of an object in comparison to another. Can also be a unit of measurement.

Earlier this week I was asked to create several different drawings of the Curry building. The one that I had chosen to represent Duality was a spot drawing. It represents duality very well because when looking at the whole composition one will see the outlines of the Curry Building but when looking closer one will notice a series of dots. While my theory does sound more like Micro:Macro, I also believe that duality means that there is more than one way to look at an object, case or scenario.

Take for example the Hagia Sophia, the building was constructed with light being one of the major elements of design. The placement of the building in accordance with the sun allows for a dramatic flow of light streams; which pear into the hearth of the church throughout different times of the day creating different moments and giving the experience the feeling of a positive prescience. The duality of the light is that it allows for visual sight as well as it creates a beautiful ecstatic value.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Foundation: Unit Summaries

Taken from by linb*'s photostreem

“A wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house: and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Mathew 7:24-25, the Gideons International New Testament.

The foundations unit of Roth’s Understanding Architecture it’s Elements, History, and Meaning has helped me further understand that it is always a good idea to build upon a foundation. Weather it be education or architecture it is of the up most importance for one to “build” a good steady base otherwise the whole project has the potential of crumbling at the base line.

In keeping with the reading, the most important inspirational idea I was able to walk away with was that all good architecture consists of three main principles: commodity, firmness, and delight. Starting with commodity, Vitruvius once suggested that functionality meant that there was an agreement between all rooms and spaces. Commodity of a building is the suggestion that all areas have a meaning, purpose, and concept: as to why they are. Roth (2007), “For example, a hospital emergency room is a place where most people experience great anxiety, the architect might determine that creating a restful, domestic atmosphere like that of a home living room, with a view out to an enclosed garden, rather than an antiseptic, clinical atmosphere, would help reduce those anxieties.” (p.19) That's why design with meaning a purpose is so important.

Firmness is the actual physical ability to stand upright by oneself; or the hardness of a material. Stonehenge is one of the Seven Wonders of the World because of its massive size and peculiar shape. Its structure is so ingenious in the way that it has been able to withstand the tests of time. After all shouldn’t that be how all structures are built, with purpose and strength to outlive its builders?

So if commodity is the idea behind the work and firmness is the physical strength then there is one more key element left, delight- or the visually pleasing esthetics’ of a design. In accordance with Roth (2007), “Beauty meant that the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, and its members are in due proportion according to correct principles of symmetry.” (p.11)

In committing to memory, the sturdiness of a foundation is key to the success of a structures whole. “A man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” Luke 6:48-49, the Gideons International New Testament. More simply put, it all comes down to how well the foundation is crafted.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unit Summiary: Kaiyukan Aquarium

The Kaiyukan or “Ring of Fire” Aquarium located in Osaka, Japan was planned and designed by Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. Building completion took place on the eight of April 1988. The building is commonly referred to the “Ring of Fire” because the aquarium’s inhabitances are all from the Pan Pacific Volcanic Zone. This explains the Exterior of the Building which is blue walls with red roofed glass forms accompanied by a glass skyline; {Delight} all in order to enhance the experience of the visitor in relation to the ring of fire. However, the direct translation of the Japanese word Kaiyukan is “Playing in the Sea’s Pavilion.” [As mentioned by…] The institutions theme is based off of Dr. James Lovelocks idea, the Gaia Hypothesis; which is [according to] the theory that living organisms and inorganic material are part of a dynamic system that shape Earth’s biosphere.

This concept radiates throughout the buildings design with interwoven rooms acting much like links to a chain. One would notice the continuous progression of movement through each exhibit and on to the next. {Commodity} In Accordance to [] “the biogeographical plan of the building, with the Aleutians to the north, Antarctica to the South, and so on, allows the building to be clearly understood by its visitors.” Osaka’s Aquarium is on of the world’s largest marine displays with the capacity of 11,000 tons of water. {Firmness}

My work cited:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Parts: Whole

Archetype/ prototype/ hybrid: (Pantheon)
Consistent with Roth (2007), “the Pantheon was the culmination of important experiments that had been pursued for over two centuries” (p. 259) This statement directly suggests that the Pantheon holds all evolutionary elements of: prototype- meaning original or first attempt; archetype- meaning an original type after a similar pattern from previous times, and hybrid- meaning something of mixed organ or a collaboration of both.

In 2680-2560 B.C.E. the Pyramid of Giza was build with an upward stepping incline; one of the first structures to do so for over all support. It was around 500 B.C.E. that columns were introduced to the building world. An example of this would be the Parthenon 447-448 B.C.E. Moreover, in Athens, Greece one can find the Temple of Athena Nike which is and example of both the columns (located on the porch) and an in-closed building. Where as the first dome toped structure was the Pantheon in 118-c and later finished in 128 C.E. The Pantheon is a perfect example of hybrid architecture because it links both old world and new world elements of design; including the above talked about step incline, columns, and in-closed building.

Source: (citing work)
In light of current events it is important that all students and individuals cite where their work or where their inspiration has come from; this way the originator has been given due credit. As Susanne had mentioned in class “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery… but only when well documented.” Ah, words to live by.

Entourage: (mosaic)
Entourage, similar to the French word “entourer” which is an –er verb meaning to surround; leads me to think of one part surrounded by many different parts, hence a mosaic. The first findings of mosaic pieces were found on the floors of important buildings or rooms in the Greek era. These mosaics usually consisted of tinny pebbles adhered with mud or clay.

It wasn’t until, according to Blakemore (2006), “the early period from c. 200 B.C. to 80 B.C. a great deal of attention was given to the use of the illusionistic emblema, a pictorial mosaic set into the decorative scheme of the floor…walls of this period were treated as solid, with little attention to any illusionism that would direct attention beyond the plane.” (p. 57)

Hierarchy: (Hagia Sophia)
According to Roth (2007), “…the thought of crowning Hagia Sophia with a dome related to the sanctity of the whole building as an earthly analogue to heaven…” (p. 275)

Everywhere and in everyday day life examples of Hierarchy can be found: let us take a day in the life of a student. Whiles walking down campus one can very quickly become aware of what buildings are more important then others simply by viewing how the building appears. It is likely that tall vertically erected buildings which are highly decorated are more likely to be buildings of importance than smaller undecorated buildings.

In accordance with size and shape one can also view the materials used as to where the buildings most important spaces are. In the Egyptian ruling area according to Blakemore (2006) “the primary surfacing material for walls was plaster applied to a base of brick or mud. Other materials and decorative techniques were contingent on the economic means of the resident.” (p. 9)

Take Haga Sophia for instance its grander is certainly larger than that of any building in its proximity and its dome shaped ceiling screams “I’m important!” One, with some knowledge of culture and/ or architectural trends could tell that this is a building for the Gods; almost as if to say heaven on earth. In addition to the dome shaped top, the Hagia Sophia comes equipped with four oblique/ wu-wu structures as well as an array of archways which are also key simplifiers that this building belongs at the top of the hierarchical order.

Order: (columns)
In keeping with the reading from Blakemore (2006), “The classical orders consist of the column with its base (generally), shaft, capital, and entablature (each with its constituent parts), and are classified by the capital as Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, or Composite.” (p. 28)

Each era has similarities with one another yet the difference in decoration can sometimes seam dramatic. The order of these columns can also be looked at as hierarchical and or hybrid. Because the Doric is the first it is then the prototype. Ionic is the archetype and Corinthian the hybrid.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Serial Envisioning

Aspects of the Curry School of Education building.

Found in Translation

Above are five 5x5 cards inspired by a creation story artifact that I hade made earlyer this week. I viewed the Artifact and tried to find some of the most interesting parts to highlight in my 5x5 cards. Below is my favorit design.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Drafting Pat's Desk

Plan Oblique

Isometric View

Elevation Oblique

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

6 Vignettes

A story of Creation, folklour by the Maori tribe of New Zeland.

The reason why the storm hates the land and the heavens long for the earth.

The seven kids from Grimms Fairy Tail "the Wolf and the Seven Kids." This is the moment when the wolf opened the door to the house tarrifing the seven young goats.

An idea for my wall inspired by "the Wolf and the Seven Kids." I originally intended on carving a place/ space, for my wearable artifact, out of the corner of the wall and placing the artifact on a sculptured mahican.

The mysterious creature...

The woman in my dreams... that woman is me. Every now and again I have this re-occurring dream about me walking thought a foreign land usually India or Tibet. But more recently Polynesia or the Amazon I have long blond curly hair and ivory white skin compared to the people I walk near. In my dream I am usually wearing a long thinly flowing white gown. I never see any faces but my own, and yet I see the people looking up towards me for help. I am unsure how I can comfort them but somehow I know that my presence there assures them that everything is ok.

Drinking and Drawing

Ah, cyber love... whether she was typing to a loved one or overly happy about homework this girl was very interesting to draw.

A hushed Monday in a sleepy lecture hall, few side conversations but plenty of Zzzz...

The previous imagen was captured in the cafe one Saturday morning. The group that I had chosen to draw just so happened to be a funny group of Australian Study Abroad students with some of the most gorgeous accents... so who really cares what they were talking about.

Scale figures

Ned the wooden figure model practicing ballet...

Kids in the dorm that I found and asked to draw...

The crowd at Jimmy John's and more kids in the dorm...

Tate St. Coffee crowd, my favorite was tied between the man with the corn rows and the man with the beard...

Pencil Draft

My first real attempt at drafting an object as well as creating an adjacent spec sheet describing all measurements of the object.

Monday, February 9, 2009

In Class on Thursday

The first practice attempts at scaled figures in an architectural building environment.


Drafting lettering pratice...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Week 3 Inspiration


When I hear the word “boundaries” I automatically feel a negative connotation but throughout this week I’ve learned that boundaries can be a good thing. For example setting limitations for oneself can be rewording. Take this thought into consideration, in yoga, yogis are reminded to honor their bodies and respect how far they can move and flex from pose to pose… not how well are deep of a stretch their neighbor is getting. And architecture can be looked upon in the same way. In Egypt Hatshepsut had a tomb made on and of the land. Being a great ruler, she had many materials that she could use but she for whatever reason limited herself to the local resources.


From past lectures and recent learning’s I still feel that the Egyptians were overcompensating for size in their design. Take a look at Khufu’s tombs, they are enormous in size and the scale of hieroglyphics found on the interior of the tomb seams disproportional to the figure scales that I have learned in class. I suppose that this just goes to show that Scale can vary from culture to culture as it does from project to project.


Over the past semester I have learned that in order to have a complete and working space, that space must exude dialogue with its surroundings and unity within itself. This semester we have furthered our learning in how unity is key to all aspects of design. What I mean to say is that there must be harmony or agreement between all objects in the place or space we have created. Diagram boards need to be structured and flow from one idea to the next all while portraying the same concept. In Greek Architecture one of the most important trinities is porch, hearth, and court. Take Akropolis for instance, all temples are united even thought there is clearly a hierarchal order. For my illustration I had chose to highlight the “porch of the maidens” as well as F.L. Wright’s “Robie House” fire place, because he strongly believed that the fire place was the hearth of every home.


Webster’s defines section as-the part separated from the whole by division. But I as a design student define section as the ability to take an object at its most interesting part and “cut” it so as to see all levels of that object. Much like an architect would do in a section view of a drafted project.


Vignette is a French derived word meaning label, seal or sticker. However, what I gathered from drawing class was that it is a drawing which incorporates color which eventually fades towards the outer edges of the composition. With further examination of color, Roth suggests that humans are greatly influenced by light and color. On page 86 of Understanding Architecture Niels Finsen suggests that humans when, "exposed to red, for example, the body experiences an increase in muscular tension, the release of adrenaline, and increase in heartbeat, and a stepping-up of gastric activity." After have reading this and other fairy tails throughout the week I chose to create a vignette of a whimsical creature where I could incorporate the color red.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

5 scale models to follow

5 cool blogs to follow shows very cool examples of ink and watercolor illustrations. They make me happy when I look at them. again the cartoonist illustrations are my favorite! very interesting transparent vignettes I don't know what I like more, the drawing itself or the presentation of the process. as fare as I can tell this blog has nothing to do with vignettes but its hysterical. Check it out.


A window seal at studio...

An Italian kitchen gone French...

A Quaint little restaurant in Brooklyn...

Katie O'Boyle and her hat...

Neal Mickey the super hero...

Danielle Waye and my hat...