Wednesday, September 1, 2010

History & Theory of Design, Reading Comprehension

[1] Select an object or a building from any time period that you believe meets Wotton’s definition (as cribbed from Vitruvius) of commodity, firmness, and delight. With an annotated image, take care to EXPLAIN the ways in which you see the definition realized through the object or building. Use design language and concepts discussed in class for dealing with precedents.

I believe that a structure that fits the definition of commodity, firmness, and delight is EPCOT's Spaceship Earth. The geodesic sphere was designed to be a part of a futuristic theme park in which creates an atmosphere that is intriguing yet at the same time, intellectual. Spaceship Earth, specifically, fits commodity in the way that it takes you through a ride, showing you the stages of life and how life has changed and continues to change. It's structure also fulfills a purpose. The triangular pieces are gapped, so that rainwater can come through. They then recycle the water into the channel below. Spaceship Earth, therefore, fulfills the purpose, in it's entirety, that it was designed for. As for firmness, the sphere is supported by steel and aluminum posts that are scattered throughout the field to tie everything together. This adds to the delight aspect. I think that as a whole, it is very aesthetically pleasing in the way that everything ties together, it's simplistic and futuristic and nothing seems too off to seem unreal.

[2] Working from Harwood et al’s concept of cultural precedents, select one of the contemporary textiles illustrated above and PINPOINT the influences you see from the eastern world on the production of fabric in the west. Concentrate on motifs and patterns provided in Harwood’s text.

Many motifs are relayed into this fabric. The Oriental cultures emphasis on the unity and harmony of nature is present here. The flowers and the wistful nature of the whole swatch is something that would represent nature and feng shui. And to quote Harwood, "Feng Shui (wind and water), a system of orientation.". It represents the beauty and fluidity of nature, and even the elements of nature. Chrysanthemums are a prominent part of the oriental cultures. It's a symbol of the sun (an element of nature), a symbol of perfection when the petals are unfolded, and it's also an object of meditation.

[3] When considering perceptions of personal and social space, Hall and others suggest that different cultures have different space needs and attitudes. Most consider that citizens of the U.S. generally feel a need for more space. How does this play out in the classroom in which we gather for iar222?

Time plays a significant role in the change of the attitudes and personal discrepancies of the people of the world. Like space needs, in 2010 we have a greed for more personal space. Our homes are larger, airplane seats are bigger, cars are wider, etc. But back when Ferguson was built, back in the early 1970s, things were more compact. People weren't as gluttonous, or didn't have such a desire for an over abundance of personal space. Us, being United States citizens plays a huge role in that as well, because culture also defines how much space a person needs. Our backgrounds define who we are and the reason for our ways.

[4] SPECULATE about whether or not there can be an architecture of happiness, as de Botton writes in the work by the same title. Provide a juicy quote that helps give evidence to your views from the passage that you read. Include an annotated image of a happy object, space, building, or place and specify WHY and HOW your example exudes happiness.

Happiness is possible in any place. There can definitely be an architecture of happiness. As De Button writes, "Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are, for better or for worse, different people in different places -- and on that conviction that it is architecture's task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be." This quote really spoke to me and brought me to Amelie's Bakery in NoDa. For those who may not know, NoDa is North Davidson [the art district of Charlotte] and is really filled with tons of cool places to be and surround yourself by. I went there at least once a week this summer and it was a place where I could happy. I could dive into my artistic side and be a different person, for lack of a better word. I could let go without any worries or fears. This is why I truly think architecture can be happy. There are many many MANY places out there, to each his own, that one can go to and just go to their core. Be themselves. Be happy. And each structure, object, space, etc. has it's own aura about it. Just as the quote states, it's the belief in significance that brings you to the state of who we really are. And architecture has the power to do that.

1 comment:

  1. [1] epcot is a great choice, well done response. [2] good. [3] nice, longer view of the prompt...nicely worded. [4] i think the plurality of your answer quite useful