Category Archives: ARCH 121

Design 2×2

Our adventure starts with the basic observation of a handcraft work. Mine was the production process of a small accessory which you can attach to your bags, jackets and so forth. What we have to pay attention is the steps which are important, take long time or repeated several times. There we put the process down on paper: flowchart. Then, what we do next is have a model consist of stick elements. It has a close loop so that it means the process is endless; repeated over and over by the craftsman all day long. My approach to that kind of model is like express my process in a way that it makes a whole by its small units. With other words, produce a harmony in the model by its fragmented parts which conserve a rhythm. These little fragmented elements have much defined strong relationship. Also there is a second part; the part which has longer stick forms which express more of the quality of linear elements. Briefly, my design is composed of 2 parts: one is fragmented and emphasized and other is less dominant and rather small. Additionally, we have a controlling system: grid. It helps us have an order, a way of meaning rhythm.

Secondly, we were asked to produce a variation of that model. What is needed to be thought first here is the word “variation” itself. This word means not to produce completely a new think. We still have to consider our design principles and operational flowcharts. The material given is cardboard which has a more planar quality than linear quality. Therefore, we are able to explore the new potentials of operations and produce the model in a different way. My design idea stays the same in this model, too. Having smaller parts define a relationship and they also has a relation with longer elements. However, I define an area which made of longer planar elements which is a “transition area”. A specific are which clearly relates longer parts and small parts. The structure of my model now become more organized which create an overall unity. (Compositional whole)

Another variation which is expected from us has a total specific goal; merge the two previous models. Since that these two models are made of the same operations we have different possibilities about how to merge. We can carefully merge these models in a way that the same operations juxtapose on top of each other or we can just merge two models and after that relate the same parts using other meaning of express it. My attitude is more of like the second one. That way, I had to find other tools to combine and define the parts. This is more of a developed design idea. The variation of similar parts, size of parts and the volume they define are my tools to relate parts. We observe more of enclosed volumes (spaces) that have a proportional relation.

Later we have to produce two conceptual models according to themes. Mines are infiltration and transparency. Well, the main idea here is to understand the nature of these words. The tricky part is that we have to apply these themes to a new variation. What I do is select my theme as “Infiltrated transparency”. So, the whole characteristics of model will chanced according to a design idea. Before starting I pay specific attention to examine the characteristics of the materials we have: the acetate, cardboard and the stick elements. These all have different qualities due to transparency. From opaque to transparent it goes like; cardboard, acetate, stick elements… These explorations are going to be helpful while making adjustments in my model.  I choose a different path to follow. There will be the transparency which is going to infiltrate to a certain precision. I determined 3 layers in my previous model and also 3 other which are orthogonal to them. Therefore I obtain 9 squares. Then, I classified these sub-volumes according to their level of transparency. On one corner of the model there is rather opaque area. I make it a total enclosed mass in order to emphasize the 100% opacity level. Then on the following layers there is more like planar elements which have overlaps and positioned in a way that they reflect different depth quality which can be relatable to transparency. The planes are arranged in a way that from different angles we observe different levels of transparency. I use acetate paper which help to define less emphasized volumes in following layers. Then some layers which has reflective quality of being more transparent owing to the volumetric effects. The depth quality here is less dominant than the previous layers. Therefore, we can observe different levels. The last area is the most transparent area in the whole model consisting of stick elements which are positioned in a way that they defined much bigger volumes which are also in relation with the planar elements in the previous layers.

As you can see we had worked a lot. 😀 We are still working because we are going to have jury in a few weeks so we still have things to do. Catch up!

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Basic Observations

What appeals me the most in the whole text is the way it is expressed: the tone of the writer, his comparisons and his metaphores. Those qualities make the text achieve its aim to identify architecture with its resemblences and differences of other fine arts.
“Art should not be explained; it must be experienced.” This idea dominates the text and it is what tried to be proven due to explanations and exemples. The part where the children from monastery school who play football mentioned is one of the parts which shows how a piece of art can be experienced. “They experienced architecture, they learned to plan on these elements.”
The writer counts architecture as an art but also he claimed that it differs from other types of art because the piece, structure of an architect must convey utility. Therefore, architecture is “functional art”.
“The architect is a sort of theatrical producer, the man who plans the setting for our lives”. Also, arcitecture can be considered as art of organization. The reason why it can be assumed that way is that “he composes music which others will play”. “Architecure is not produced by the artist himself”. This production requires a creative process. QHe organises his drawings, ideas and instructions in order to have another person interpret it; therefore his work must be clear and unequivocal.
The vision of an architect also should be enlarged with consideration of keeping the sturucture standable for decades; so it shoud be ahead of its time. It can be understand that the writer is strongly against the idea to take over beautiful architecture of past times.
There is also an interesting fact which say that architecture lacks emotional sensitivity. It is not mentioned to point out a negative concept; on the contrary, it leads architects to seek special quality of its own with clearity.
The story of a children growing and exploring the world there used as a simple way to express how things emerged and developped. He finds about weight, solidity, texture and heat conducting ability. These same manners also a part of architecture so that it can be considered that this is also the historical transition of architecture.
“Just as we do not notice the individual letters in a word but receive a total impression of the idea of the word conveys, we genereally are not aware of what it is that we perceive but only of the conception created in our minds when we perceive it.”

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THREE REMINDERS TO ARCHITECTS

This is also a text of Le Corbusier in which he talks about the importance of the mass and the surface. He underlines that the pure geonetric shapes such as spheres, squares, cylinders and so forth are the most beautiful forms. He strongly defends the idea that architecture should be made of those forms. Geometric forms also satisfy our eyes that is also some kind of an art. He prefers simple forms rather than complex geometry which seems to me quite logical.

“Architrcture has nothing to do with the various styles.” This sentence means more than it is supposed to be. It shows the principles of arhitecture according to him. The base of the architecture comes from geometrical shapes it is not relevant with the trends.

“Mass and surface are the elements by which arcitecture manifests itself.”

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Regulating Lines

Le Corbusier started his article by mentioning the necessity for order: The purpose of utilize regulating lines. “The regulating line is a satisfaction of a spiritual order which leads to the pursuit of ingenious and harmonious relations. It confers on the work the quality of rhythm.”  It is understandable that an order applied by an architect brings balance to the building; to achieve that goal regulating lines helps the architect to create unity and harmony.

Primitive man and how he built his very first hut was told in the beginning of the text. First he had to choose a suitable area and construct it there. There we can distinguish geometrical shapes, elementary mathematical calculations which appear from this age. Actually, I think what he wants to emphasize there is that even though we are in the primitive age, the concept of architecture is not primitive. Everything is well-organized and well-thought according to some preferences. “There is no such thing as primitive man; there are primitive resources.”  The part which explains the way of measure things seems to me the most clever and interesting part. Although he has a limited source of perception, he manages to find a proportion which will easily guide him. “It is in harmony with him: that is the main point.” There is also a manner about how he relates distances of the various objects. There we can talk about rhythm. Long story short, as we can clearly see there is a way more complex objectives even in the first ages and observable principles of architecture.

Additionally, there is a big important part of the text which criticizes the kind of architects, who have been removed from human nature, accuses them being inhuman since they have forgotten the root of a great architecture. He reviles them for misdirecting the true aim of architecture.

“Architecture is the first manifestation of man creating his own universe, creating it in image of nature, submitting to the laws of nature, the laws of which govern our own nature, our universe.” We can understand that with the helps of the regulating lines and other principles it is possible to create a whole different world.

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ARCHITECTURE: Pure Creation of Mind

The text emphasizes the perfection of human mind and its ability to create an harmonious work of art. It focuses on the mind of men just in the topic of architecture. However, at the beginning of the text, it refers to the human face and its proportions to show variation of elements which form a whole. We can understand from there that it will analyze the architecture in the same manner. What really greets us here is the idea that the origin of architecture doesn’t rely on the nature. The text states clearly that the math rules and the law of physics are also required in order to create a masterpiece but the emotions (the harmony) are also mandatory.
The strange thing is that there are some important parts of the text which are so obvious. It is easy for a reader to gather that information: He says “I repeat”. He makes his own rules about an art work and its requirements. There must be unity, an aim in the work of art and its own character which are supposed to be clearly stated: That’s the pure creation of mind.
We observe some crucial parts which mention the crucial qualities of an architect. That person must be someone who can mix different things. He has to know about the construction but also the grammar of the work. The word “imagination” seems quite important here since the architect is supposed to be someone who organizes his artwork in his mind before the construction step. He also needs to keep in his mind the primary references of the work in a sensational way.

Le Corbusier, “Pure Creation of Mind”, Towards a New Architecture, Dover Publication, 1986 (originally 1927). pp. 199-224

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The Design Studio

Since this year is my freshman year in architecture, everything I’m learning about architecture is very strange to me. I had the habit of going classes; sit on a desk, take notes about the lesson and leave that classroom. I didn’t need to be productive in classroom because I was there to learn what was required. On the other hand, recently, I come across with “the design studio” which doesn’t seem like a normal classroom atmosphere. There we can learn not just by listening but also by participating, by discussing. It provides brain storms between the participants of the design studio in a good way.  Everybody has a right to express their work and judge other’s work, either. It is like a new dimension where students can be taught in different ways; they can collaborate to understand the problem given and to take necessary action on assignments, they can observe other student’s work to pattern their own work or maybe they can benefit from the ideas of their teacher to enrich their knowledge.

 The presence of more than one professor in the studio helps students to gain different visions, which is also an ultimate aim of the design studio. It hasn’t been too long I’ve been at studio but that doesn’t keep me from noticing the unique value of architecture. It is similar to a path which is only showed to us. How we should move along on the path isn’t the important thing; because everyone has a different method to do it; because there isn’t “should” in that matter. Architecture is like art according to James Elkins “Art cannot be taught, but it can be fostered or helped along.”

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