Wednesday, April 29, 2009

[Paring] down

Meditation/Celebration- Meditation and celebration are terms that we talk about a lot in interior architecture. Recently in my environmental design class we are designing a public/private area for the graduate students. It has been a challenge to distinguish between the two spaces and to make them seem like two separate spaces but still be unified into one space. This space that we are designing is all about meditation and celebration. The private part is focused on meditation and the public part is focused on celebration.

Light/Shadow- Light and shadow is something that is very important to design you always have to consider the way the light is going to be playing with your design and the way that shadows are going to be cast throughout the space that you are designing. The graduate lounge that we are currently designing is focused on light and shadow it is we are taking inspiration from our previous light habitat projects that we did. My design was 3-D triangles with cutouts this directs light and causes shadows in my graduate space I try to include more light in the public space and more shadow in the private.

Literal/Abstract- In my opinion all design has some form of literal and abstract parts to it. In a design you usually have an idea behind it or a story and then you abstract it into an idea for a design. In history and theory of design we talk about how modern design is often times abstract and clean lines. In designing my graduate lounge I have had to take and abstract my light habitat project and turn it into a design idea for my space.

Monologue/Dialogue – Monologue and dialogue is something that is really important in design it is about how the different aspects speak to each other and how you communicate with the design. In history and theory of design we talk about how buildings speak to you about how the idea and shapes relate to the past for example we talked about how the insurance company goes back to the pyramids. When communicating with a client you have to have good monologue/dialogue the monologue is your description of your ideas and the dialogue is the speaking back and forth.

Transpose/Juxtapose- Juxtapose is when something is put side by side for comparison transpose means to rearrange something or to change it around. In my history and theory of design class we have been talking a lot about modern buildings. In doing this we talk about transpose and juxtapose in the since that we compare a lot of different buildings and designers to each other. We have been comparing a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs from his bungalow inspired designs to his later designs such as falling water.

Synopsis-This week’s opus focuses on the ides of words the complement each other and words that oppose each other. Often times in the design world you have to think about certain pieces and how they relate or how they dint relate. For example you have to make sure that light and shadow complement each other you cannot look at shadow without looking at light.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Action Verbs

Speculate- Speculate means coming up with an idea of what you think the end result of something will be. In my design studio class we have been working at designing a window installment that works to manipulate light. In order to be able to design something you have to be able use models and drawings to speculate about what the final object will be. The image below is of my window design. Massey talks about how the Modern Movement is looking toward the future or speculating the future of design “The exhibition put Modern Movement design on the map, presenting an international front for designers who shared the same aesthetic.” (Massey 79)

Compose- To compose something is to create or to come up with an idea. Composition is something that is extremely important to design. When you are designing a room or a product you have to be careful about your overall composition you cannot just put pieces together you have to make sure that they relate well together and that the end result will be a pleasing cohesive design. The following image is a design composition of Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright. In this image it was really important for me to focus on the composition because the board needed to read as one overall piece not a board with many different images. Massey talks about how a composition in the Modern Movement was different than that in the past it was simple. “Inspired by a new machine aesthetic, Modern Movement stripped away unnecessary ornament from the interior.” (Massey 63) I do not currently have the image for this word my teachers still ahve it but I will add it as soon as I get it.

Energize- Energizing something means to bring back to life or to give it that pop of color or a grabbing feature. In my history and theory of design class we talked about the question what is modern. We discussed the idea that there are two different types of modern. The first type of modern is modern in the since of industry or new inventions. The second type of modern is modern design. The modern design movement gave new energy to design because it was something new it was something that people were not used to seeing. The following drawing is of the energizer bunny. I think that this bunny represent modern in the sense of industry and inventions. Massey talks about the Modern Movement and about how it energized or brought on new political thinking “As the Modern Movement became accepted by the international avant-garde it acquired new political connotations.” (Massey 87)

Shape- To shape something means to create or to form an idea. In my history and theory of design class we have been talking about Art Nouveau and how it shaped design for France, Italy, Germany, and Australia. All of these design styles have shaped the way that we look at design today and the ideas behind the modern day design movements. In my studio art and drafting classes we have been working to shape our brains to think in a different manner so that we can learn to design in a different light than what we have been used to. The following image from my precedent analysis is of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I am using this drawing as a basis to shape the rest of my precedent analysis. Roth talks about shaping design “Turning away from symbolic allusions and national building traditions, the purely pragmatic and utilitarian approach to design was to let functional requirements and structural solutions determine the results.” (Roth 521)

Stretch- When talking about the word stretch in relation to my history and theory of design class we have been talking about our precedent analysis and how we need to stretch our brains to a new level and to look at our buildings in a different manner we need to make sure that we are being more analytical. The image here is of a detail drawing from my precedent analysis. Roth talks about stretching our ideas about design “There were, however, other architects in the 1910s and 1920s who believed, conversely, that architecture is much more than a utilitarian appliance-that it can and should be primarily a vehicle for evoking emotional, even mystical states of experience achievable in no other way.” (Roth 535)

Summary- In review of all of these words it is important to remember the actions. All of these words are about moving forward to new design and to new ideas in thinking. These words are words to think about when designing you need to ask if the design can be built upon or improved for the future.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The reflections unit has been a huge turn in the type of architecture that we have talked about. In this unit we moved from past architecture types to buildings that are more commonly seen today such as skyscrapers. We started out the reflections unit in a country that we had not talked about until this point and this country is the United States of America. We started talking about how architecture in America was a lot like in England however the materials used in America was more often likely to be wood because it was readily available and fairly easy to use. We also talked about the design of buildings in Washington DC and the fact that a lot of the buildings took inspiration from Grecian and Roman design. The biggest invention as far as materials go during the industrial revolution is iron and glass. When talking about iron and glass we talked especially about the Crystal Palace in London which was built for the World’s Fair. This building was extremely impressive because of its massive size and the innovations of large spaces without structural supports such as columns, iron, and glass enabled this to happen. Also in this unit we talked about how because of money and materials were more abundant people began to build and design rooms for a specific reason and with specific design ideas. An example of this that we learned about was the peacock room. Moving on from this point in time we began to talk about form vs. reform in which people were debating whether or not it was better for things such as furniture and a variety of other things to be built by machine or by hand at the time it seemed to a lot of people that machines were a bad thing because it took away jobs and things built by machines were a lower quality than those things built by hand. A large topic of discussion this unit was Chicago: the second city. When talking about Chicago we really began to talk about the beginnings of skyscrapers. The original skyscrapers were not very large just a few stories but they eventually grew up to being hundreds of stories high. We talked about design of skyscrapers and how they are divided into three sections the entrance level or bottom of the building the middle of the building and the top of the building oftentimes the bottom and the top of the buildings would be the most designed parts of the buildings. Overall the reflections unit was a good unit I personally really enjoyed it because the material covered is closer to our time period and therefore seems to be more applicable to my life and my design. The picture below that I chose to use that well represents this unit is the crystal palace. The reason that I believe this building represents this time period is because of its materials which lead to the ability to build things such as skyscrapers and so forth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Road Trip
Roots : When talking about roots in relation to my studies of interior architecture I would define roots as being something that everything evolves from it is the beginning or the inspiration for today’s design ideas. This past week in my history and theory of design class we talked a lot about the city of Chicago and about the origins of sky scrapers. We looked at how glass metal and concrete were used to build these buildings these buildings are major roots for the many skyscrapers that are so common today. In reading Roth I found that Sullivan played a large part in the modern architectural movement. “Sullivan’s rational analysis of the moderns office tower, applying the essence of his Ecole training, laid the basis for the modern architectural movement, as early historians of modernism recognized.” (Roth 503)
Congruence: The definition of congruence is the agreement or the relation of things to one another. In my history and theory of design class this past week we have been looking at Frank Lloyd Wright it is interesting since we went to Falling Water to see all of the similarities from Wrights Falling Water and his other designs. Roth talked about how Wright used the idea of horizontal lines in the majority of his designs this cause the congruence of his work. “As Wright built suburban residences in the flat prairie land around Chicago, he began to stretch them out into the landscape and to emphasize their horizontal lines in his designs.” (Roth 496)
Concept: Concept can be defined as the original idea behind something or the inspiration for something. In my history and theory of design class we have been talking about the concepts behind buildings. I am currently working on a precedent analysis on the Disney concert hall in which eh concept had to do with the flowing movement of music. Roth talked about concept “This associationalism became an underlying concept in the stylistic eclectism that pervaded the nineteenth century and the later rise of historicist Postmodernism.”(Roth 469)

Materiality: Materiality defined is the act of being material or the relevance of something. The materials that we have been focusing on in history and theory of design class is glass concrete and steel. Roth talks about these materials “Another result of this factory building system was the de facto standardization of prefabricated parts in the cast-iron columns and wrought iron beams.” (Roth 486) “The rapidly developing technology in building in iron provided the answer, allowing extremely light trusses to be made of wrought-iron bars and rods.” (Roth 489) In my studio class we also talk about materials we have to use a variety of different ones such as MDF or wood or paper.
Compression: Release: Compression is the idea of putting things together usually with the intention of storing or making something new. In design compression is pulling ideas together and making something of your own. The act of using the compressed ideas would be the release. In relation to my classes an example would be my precedent analysis or my drawing board for Suzanne because we are compressing a lot of information together and coming up with a final overall result/ display of the information.
Synopsis: IN review of these words I see a relation between the words especially to my precedent analysis. When making a precedent analysis I have to compress information have an overall concept have congruence of ideas all tied to roots or in this case the building being analyzed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

between silence + light

Craft- Craft is a word that is talking about building something or putting things together. In my design class craft is something that is important to consider you always need to make sure that you are making clean cuts and that you are building or making things that are well crafted. Over the weekend we went on a class trip to Monticello and Falling water. The craft of Monticello and Falling Water was very advanced for the time when they were built. We talked about craft when reading Massey especially in relation to the arts and crafts movement “The most important design reform movement to affect the interior in the nineteenth century was that of the Arts and Crafts.” (Massey 7)
Public/Private-This past week with Interior architecture we went to Monticello. This house designed by Thomas Jefferson is a great example of public and private space. The house was specifically divided up into parts Thomas had a whole half of the house just for himself and then he had public areas for guest and other family to use. At falling water Wright put in small and dark halls to the private areas of the home to discourage people from going into them. Massey talks about how Gaudi worked in public and private design “Antoni Gaudi expressed his religious beliefs and fervent nationalism through his design for apartment blocks and churches.” (Massey 46)
Technique- this word can be used in reference to the way that something is made or the way that something is done. While at falling water this weekend we saw the different techniques that were used to build this house the same is true for Monticello. Falling water used glass and concrete and utilized space by putting in built-ins. At Monticello beds were placed in niches to utilize space.Massey talks about techniques that are used “This was a conservative style, inspired by French classical architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and in interior decoration was marked by lavish use of carving, gilding, rich marble and extravagant lighting, well suited to provide an atmosphere of grandeur for large hotels, department stores, opera houses and the ostentatious houses of the wealthy.” (Massey 31) Massey says that lightign was a new technique that was used "Tithe auditorium is noteworthy in the history of interior design because it is here that the electrical was used for the first time as a design-feature.” (Massey 49)
Language- Language in architecture is something that is shown through materials and styles. While we were at Monticello we saw the vocabulary of the time wood glass and stone. The same is true for Falling Water except Massey talks about how certain designs speak hear she talks about how the artistic spoke to having money “The ‘artistic’ interior became a mark of wealth, status and good taste in the 1880’s” (Massey 28)
Virtual-While we were at falling water and at Monticello we experienced virtuality by the windows they were used specifically to bring the outside in. Thomas Jefferson while designing Monticello wanted to bring the outside in and to make the outside spaces more important than the inside the same is true with falling water.
Synopsis- Overall this weeks opus was influenced greatly by our trip to Falling Water and Monticello. Moving on in our new unit in History we are talking more about buildings that are more relevant to our modern day life.

Precedent analysis

The Disney concert hall is a place of daring design and modern innovation. The Disney concert hall was built for Disney Corporation in Los Angles to hold special events and concerts. The concert hall was designed by Frank Gehry a famous architect from Canada. Gehry attended college at Los Angeles City College, then USC, in the school of architecture, he also attended Harvard graduate school of design, studying city planning for a year. Frank Gehry has been a very influential architect in the 20th century some of his other famous projects/designs that he designed were the Guggenheim museum in Spain, the dancing house, the Gerhy tower and a lot of other buildings in the fields of residential and commercial design. The concert hall itself is famous for its wavy and flowing design its exterior is made from a matte finished stainless steel. The original design of the building was going to be made from stone but in an effort to reduce cost they decided to use metal. Frank Gehry the architect took inspiration from a sail boat and the way it sways with the wind and the way that the ocean moves it. This is supposed to represent the flow of music all tying the wavy element of the building to the movement of music. The building was started being built in 1999 and was completed in 2003. The plans were originally for the building to be built in 1993 however the plans were delayed due to financial problems. The Disney concert hall has become a famous landmark in Los Angles it has been used in many shows and movies most notably recently part of the movie Get Smart was filmed at the auditorium. The Concert hall is constantly being used for concerts or special events. The Disney corporation is huge some of their other projects include theme parks, hotels, cruise ships, and restaurants all over the world. Disney also has studios where they film movies and they make tons of money from paraphernalia from the movies and attractions. Because of all of these things the Disney Corporation wanted to build something that would demonstrate their power and successes and keep with the whimsical idea behind the Disney industry and this was very well accomplished in my opinion. The pricing for this building was very high and for this reason some original design ideas had to be changed and production delayed. In the end donation of 50 million by Disney’s widow the garage itself cost 110 million dollars and the actual concert hall cost 164 million dollars. This famous 20th century building will continue to stand as a symbol of modern design and risk taking.

Thursday, April 2, 2009