Monday, February 28, 2011

RR 7: The new elements that marked the renaissance architecture.

One of the important ideas during the renaissance was the circle and the square, an idea initially introduced by Vitruvius, a Roman Architect. In the Ten Books of Architecture, written by Vitruvius, he discusses how the idea of the square and circle are related to the proportions of the human body. After this idea was introduced, many architects like Giuliano da Sangallo, Alberti Donato Bramante, and Andrea Palladio incorporated these elements to their buildings during the Renaissance era. According to Understanding Architecture, one of the clearest expressions of the use of the circle and the square was the Church of Santa Maria della Carceri build in 1445- 1516. The building consisted of a cube and a dome, lit by twelve bull's-eye windows, at the base in the middle of the building. Since the building of the church of Santa Maria della Carceri, other architects have the same technique and can clearly be seen today.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

BP 7: Architecture of Happiness

Is there a such thing as Architecture of Happiness? I believe there is. Architecture of happiness, for me, means buildings or places that are not necessarily beautiful, but instead, make you feel happy. Is easy to find  buildings that are beautiful, but it seems to me that not every building is design to make people happy. For example, walking into a hospital can sometimes make you feel sad, no matter how beautiful the design and architecture is. In the other hand, if you walk into my grandma's house (which is not a beautiful house), I feel happy. Happiness, in my opinion can be related to two rules of architecture and design; strive for harmony and place man at the center. When designing a building or place for happiness one of the things designers must search for is harmony.
The building must show order and balance, if not then people in it might not feel comfortable. The most important rule is to always place man at the center of all things, to know their behaviors and make buildings according to people behaviors.

During class on Friday, students took a small trip around campus in search of a place or space of happiness. After walking for a couple of minutes and not having found a place or space I decided to go to my room and on the way there I realized I have found the right place. The place I chose was the lobby at the international dorm, Phillips Hawkins. I think that this place is one of the most happiest place on campus because it is a good place to meet students from different parts of the world. In addition, students use this place to study or simply have fun.

Phillips Hawkins from the outside.We can clearly see stacks and columns coming together to for the outside porch of the building.
Lower level of the lobby. 
Top part of the lobby.
Students playing pool.

Monday, February 21, 2011

RR6 : Cathedrals

BP 6: Cathedrals

 Looking at the cathedrals discussed in class this week I believe that cathedrals represent both local and universal  concerns. Just looking at the architecture from the cathedrals discussed in our group there is a lot of information and possible explanations to why the cathedrals were build the way they are. One idea that I shared with my group was the shape of the cathedrals from the top. The cathedrals that we talked about were the Basilica Di Santa Maria in Florence, Italy and La Cathedrale Notre Dame in Amiens, France. Looking at the shape of the Basilica in Florence, I believe that the architects wanted the building to represent the cross were Jesus died.


A top view of the cathedral in Florence. In this picture you can clearly see the cross shaped building similar the the picture above.

I chose this picture in relationship to the Cathedral in Amiens, I believe the cathedral was constructed in representation of the life of Christ.

You can clearly see the shape of a body which could represent the body of Jesus itself.

During our discussion group we came with a lot of ideas about why the buildings were the way they are and i think all the ideas we came with are possible. However, what I think is most important to know is that people in the early centuries had different believes than other people in other parts of the world, so that is why their are different types of cathedrals and shapes.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

History & Theory of Design: Unit Summary 1

Unit Summary No. 1

In the first unit of history and theory of design students learned about the very first recorded elements of architecture. In their first week students learned about humans first encounter with different materials and the usage of signs and symbols for buildings. During the second week students learned about how circles, groves, and stack were used as principles of design. Students also discussed about how the buildings at  the acropolis in Athens were seen as an archetype for the western part of the world. Lastly, students finished the first unit studying different types of buildings in the west, empires, and how these empires functioned. At the end of this summary I will  provide a picture that will wrap almost everything that was cover during the first unit.
Week 1

Week one was the foundations of early humans. During this week students discussed about why the ancient  groups placed structures the way they did and how size of structures matter. One structure that students focused on during this week was Stonehenge. One of the first major things about the Stonehenge was its shape, looking at it from an aerial view it was shaped in a circle. The circle is an important shape because we can assume reasonable ideas of why Stonehenge is shaped like it is. One of the things about circles is that when something is placed in the middle of the circle it represent importance. It also talks about the number of people that could possibly fit inside the circle. A circle is also able to show unity, every piece in the circle is connected to each other, if a piece is removed then it loses its importance. Size in ancient times was also a key concept of ancient times. In Stonehenge, for example, the size of the rocks were so big that it required about thirty millions hours of labor. The size of the structure overall lets people know that the structure is important. Finally, another structures that were discussed were the Pyramids of Egypt. Students learned about how the size of the pyramids could represent the power of the Egyptians and importance of the pharaoh who was buried there. Early foundations of  humans were based on size, shape, and resources available to them like rocks and mud. 

Week 2

In week two the idea of stack, circles, and groups  in the development of buildings was introduced. One of the ideas about circles that the professor talked about was that circles were used as a representation of the sun and moon. The reason why the sun and moon are related to circle is because these were the only two circle they saw everyday. The idea of groups was introduced because it could represent humans coming together as one. Like in a building columns together can hold a ceiling in place. One of the places we see a group working together is in the Parthenon. Stack is clearly seen in the pyramids of Egypt because we see how every block is stack together to form a building. During this week of  word that show how stack, groups, and circles worked together was repetition. Repetition of this elements represents unity, balance, and emphasis and we clearly see it thorough the rest of the weeks.

Week 3

During week three student mainly focused on the acropolis. The acropolis is an important site because it introduces the idea of dividing columns by gender. The Ionic column represents men and the Doric represents women, while the Corinthian ( the most detailed) represents a combination of both. Other than columns, other elements were introduced during this week, proportion and order. An example of proportion and order was the Parthenon, the temple to Athena. This temple clearly shows proportion and order since the columns were place at a certain distance from each other and the size of the temple showed the importance of Athena. The beginning of porches and courts was also introduced during this week. 

Week 4

Week four was about mainly the Roman Empire. Students analyzed how the Roman became the largest and powerful empire of  all time. One of the reason that the Roman empire was so successful was because almost every border they had was close to water. The fact that the cities were close to water made it easy for the people to trade goods. Having a way to trade and move from city to city increase the wealth and victories of wars of the Romans.  Wealth in exchange brought many other important and valuable things, which were buildings. Almost every building in the Roman empire was designed using the early elements of design, circles, stack, groups, and columns. Having big buildings demonstrated how rich a city was. In addition of the buildings, Romans also introduced the idea of city plans. Their cities would consist of a long main street on the middle of the city and important buildings around this streets.

Next I have a picture of the Colosseum in Rome. This Structure I believe shows all the elements learned during this four weeks. 

         If we take a close look at this building we clearly see an idea of circles, groups, and stacks. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

BP 5:Frozen Music Poem

 There once was a house with no ceiling
 The structure inside had no feeling
 Inside, everything had no color
 And nothing  in order
 But it looked so appealing

Friday, February 11, 2011

Anthropology of space: An organizing Model Reaction.

     In his article, Hall, focuses on how the people react and/or behave in different spaces. He starts this chapter by defining space. He defines Space as what one sees, and also explains another factor about space, which is how mental images of different places assimilates throughout people's lifetime. Hall also talks about the level of infra-cultural of humans which is how behavior about man's biological pass. Hall explains that architects must think about the infra-cultural level to avoid problems from the past. One of the examples he gives is the Black Death, he talks about how that events tells designers and architects the effects of crowded cities and that you should think about the size of the space you are designing. In his essay, Hall, also talks about the relationship of fixed-feature space, which is a way to  organize activities of people. He talks about how different rooms serve as a fixed-feature space, because every room, especially in America, has its own purpose. Even if the space doesn't have walls you can tell that an imaginary lines divides two spaces, like the living room and kitchen. Hall also talked about the relationship of the fixed-feature space to the personality of people. In one of his interviews he is talking to a women and says the following: "If any of the men who designed this kitchen had ever worked in it, they wouldn't have done it this way" in other word she is trying to say that men (which are probably architects) did not design the space in the kitchen correctly in relationship to the women. I believe is true sometimes you look in the kitchen and women are always asking family members to hand them something like on the other side of the room or even on the top shelve. When you observe such events, I personally thing of the way designers can design the space in the kitchen better so that women can do their chores in a pleasant way. Sometimes designers do not think about the environment and spaces people would live on and that is one of the main things Hall talks about in his essay. Hall wants designers to think about the people and the relationship of buildings and people.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

3 Precedents: Public, Social, and Ritual space.

For a public space, one of the things I have as a precedent is a waterfall in the middle of the city.

The social place that I chose was the city. One of the things we can do on the cities is use the roofs of skyscrapers to build social places. As you can see on the picture there are a lot of things that can be build so that people can have a great time.                                                          

Monday, February 7, 2011

BP 4: Commodity, Firmness, and Delight

On Friday 4, 2011 we had a field trip around UNCG campus and we were looking at different buildings trying to find the three elements of architecture commodity, firmness, and delight. One of the buildings i will focus on is the Elliot University Center (EUC).


The EUC is a clear example of commodity. The EUC is used by all students, faculty, and staff and this shows that this building is well made for everyone to have a pleasant time. Students use this building to either study, eat, or just relax. One of the things students look for when they first come to college, specially freshman, is this sense of freedom and I believe the EUC is able to do this. One of the ways this building projects freedom is the size and the space inside the building. When you first walk into this building you walk in the middle of 8 massive columns and this can symbolize a structure that is big enough for everyone to enjoy and feel free. The inside of the EUC you also can see a giant circle in the middle of the floor and stairs going up and down in a circular way.

The stairs are used to create commodity since their are two different stairs on both sides of this imaginary cylinder as you can see on the picture above. Over all the building is a great place of commodity because it makes the students and teachers feel comfortable in a big space.


Looking at the building I cannot say that the building is well done because otherwise it would not be standing up. However, I can say that the thick columns and walls create make the building look strong and safe. From the outside of the building it seem that the architects and designers who built this building really thought about the amount of students and other people who will enter this building since there are two entrances and at least three set of doors on each side of the building.


I'm going to confess that when I first step into the EUC I felt really amuse when i saw the architecture of the building and the different areas of the building. I felt satisfied when I saw the bookstore on one side and the food court on the other side right when I stepped into the building. Then you keep walking and you see a Starbucks and a store on the opposite side and you become even more satisfied, at least that's what I felt like. The fact that the EUC has almost anything a student needs is very delightful to the students.

Color Week

Reading Response #3 for History of Theory and Design