Friday, April 29, 2011

BB 14: Influences of Design

The following are pictures of places, objects, buildings, and spaces that have influence me as a designer.


Mexico City

Los Angeles

Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico


Turner Field Stadium, Atlanta Georgia.

Rose Bowl, Pasadena , California

The Parthenon



Grandma's house

The Woods

The Gym


Soccer Ball



Video games

The buildings that had an influence on me as a designer were mostly big buildings for large capacities such as stadiums. One of the first stadiums I visited to watch a professional match was the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I was really amazed by the size and number of people at the stadium. The thing that I like about stadiums is the architecture around them. The main thing that a stadium must do is to make people have a clear view of the game or show. I think that sometimes stadiums require a lot of creativity so thats why I like them. There is two places that have influence me as a design and both are in Mexico. The first one is Mexico City, the reason I chose this city is because I'm a really big fan of cities. I like long roads, tall buildings and the noise of cars on the roads. The other place is Cuernavaca, which is located in Morelos, Mexico. I grew close to this place and I like the fact that is almost hot all year round, in fact this city is called "the city of the summer". The architecture is a combination of old and new buildings and that makes this place unique for me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Unit Summary 3: Explorations

The third unit of the semester was about discovering and exploring new types of architecture around the world. One way in which this was accomplish was through world fairs, which were exhibitions of works from different nations. The first world fair began in 1851 and one of the main architectural structures presented where pavilions which were used for exhibitions. The most famous pavilion discussed in class was the Barcelona pavilion by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe. This pavilion was important because instead of being used for exhibitions the pavilion itself was used as exhibition simply for the fact that its structure was amazing. During this era of explorations we came across the Scandinavian architecture, a design movement between the countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, in which the main idea of design was minimalism, functionality, and mass production. Since the Scandinavian took part during WWII, designers took advantage of mass production and made or at least tried to make buildings affordable to most people and that is significant because nice buildings were no longer only available to rich people only. Scandinavian designers did not only provided great efficient buildings but they also made dreams possible to those who didn’t have the resources. The designer that was most influential during this time was Le’Corbusier, he was responsible for designing Villa Savoye in France. The Villa Savoye house was one of the most influential building because it was clear example of modern architecture. The idea of minimalism was clearly seen from the outside and inside. The garage was placed under the house so the house was actually elevated from the ground leaving space for the car. The following picture would give you a view of the building from outside and how part of the house was influence by the introduction of the car:

The arts and crafts movement was also influential during the unit of explorations. During this movement we begin to see more focus on the interior design and the beginning of women as interior designers. Women first appearances in the design field suggest that ideas of design were no longer coming from men, which enable us to see the way women think about design. One way in which you know that a structure was made during the arts and crafts movement was if the interiors were highly decorated and everything inside followed a specific idea. The arts and craft movement was mainly introduced mainly because of the implications of war, as we know during this era mass production and women labor were at the highest because man had to go to war. This gave women the opportunity to do things like design because before man were predominant over women.

The end of the third unit was spent looking at the architects in our community and how they influenced some of the buildings still standing today. The architect that the class mainly focused on was Edward Loewenstein for the fact that he founded the NC Architectural Foundation and was the first architect to hire black architects. The building that made Loewenstein recognizable was his house constructed in 1954. This house was unique because the architecture was different then the houses around the area. In other words he was responsible for bringing modernism. At the same time he was responsible for beginning collaborative projects, he believed that “two minds were better than one and a team was better than two minds”. the 20th century for Loewenstein meant change, this meant that the beliefs and systems of the old century were no longer right for him. With this in mind he brought more opportunities to both minorities and women and a change in the way buildings were constructed.

To wrap up this third unit I am going to use a quote from Loewenstein in which he says the following: “dedicated architects die unhappy. They never get to unleash creative juices because of pressure to please clients." Clearly Mr. Loewenstein is right, in this unit of explorations we have seen that no architect is never satisfied with his/her piece of work. There is always people who agree and disagree that a building, structure, or object is well designed, so there is always new buildings introduced to the community. That is why “dedicated architects die unhappy” there is never going to be 100 percent of people satisfied and in a way that’s the beauty of architecture. Designer have the power to do anything, break rules, start you’re their own style, follow the rules, but after all people might not agree with them, and that’s basically it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Extra Credit Discussion: Interior Design

After discussing the questions given to us today in class I believe that education plays a small role in the life of a designer. One member of our class was saying that in order to be a designer, education was necessary and that it was impossible for a person to open a design company without background education and I believe that’s not true. I believe that education is just an option you have, you can go to college to be more prepare and make money quickly, but if someone feels that they have the skills to succeed than I guess college is not necessary. Yes, both credentials and experience are important in the design field but those are not hard to achieve without a college education. During this discussion I though about ancient Greek designer and how they didn’t have an actual education but still built buildings like the Parthenon that actually still influence designers today . However I do believe that education is important today for designers because education makes it easier for designers to become recognize and find a job quickly. With an education you are also ahead of the people without it because you learn about fundamental ideas needed to become a good designer. Experiences and life skills are also important because they influence designers in many ways. Sometimes designers are influence by something during their childhood that makes them want to become designers like living in a big city and they eventually become interested in skyscrapers or the idea of lots of buildings together in one space. Life skill are also influential, for example, one of the reason I became interested in becoming a designer is that I was able to draw better than the average kids my age so I would always be drawing anything that I liked. When I was in high school I realized that drawing was a talent I could in college so I decided that interior architecture was a good choice.

Monday, April 11, 2011

RR 12: Catalan Modernism

Antonio Gaudi was a Catalan designer from 1852-1926. Some of his important works are Casa Batllo, Casa Calvet, andCasa Mila In Barcelona, Spain. Gaudi main ideas were focus on nature especially on rushes, reeds, and bones. For this reason he mainly focused on trees and the human skeleton.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

BP 12: Good Design for All

The building I chose that I believe is good design for all is the Estadio Azteca (Aztec Stadium) in Mexico City, Mexico.

This stadium is an example of good design for two reasons; size and commodity, but before I start talking about the design I'm going to talk about the history of this amazing stadium. The stadium was built in 1966 by architects Pedro Ramirez Vasquez and Rafael Mijares. Before the construction of the Etadio Azteca the architects made trips to other countries like Argentina, Spain, Italy,France, and England to get ideas of stadiums different stadiums. As we learn in History and Theory of design not all the architects just began designing buildings, first they went to different countries and gathered ideas.The Azteca is also the only stadium were two world cup finals have been played.
Now that we know some history the next thing to talk about is why the estadio azteca is a good design for all. The size of the stadium is what makes it a good design. the stadium used approximately 8000 tons of steel rods plus 1200 of plain steel. The stadium is also know as el "coloso de santa ursula" ( the colossus of Saint Ursula) because of its size. The maximum capacity of people it can hold is approximately 106,000 people which places this stadium as the third largest stadium in the world. The size of this stadium is important specially for this stadium because is located among one of the biggest cities of the world.

Commodity is also another factor that makes this building a good design. As I mentioned before the stadium can sit about 106,000 people with a clear view of the stadium. One of the things i like to see when I go to soccer stadiums is a clear view of the soccer field and the Estadio Azteca does a good job on accomplishing this.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Unit Summary 2: Reverberations

Unit 1 in history and theory of design class was about learning and analyzing the foundations of early architecture. Unit 2 was about taking different buildings and analyzing its architecture as a whole. The main word that we tied in class with architecture was the idea of reverberations. Reverberations, in music, is the persistence of sound in a particular room after the original sound is removed causing echoes that slowly fade away. Like sound, architecture also had its moments during the second unit, were an idea was persistent for a period of time and then slowly it would fade away.

Basilica of Constantine

Ancient Indian Temple

The second unit began with the idea of frozen music within buildings and the places where people began to worship. The idea of frozen music was introduced when we began to look at buildings that had more detail and color than the usual. For instance we look at buildings especially temples from ancient India and we recognized that the building was like music for the eye because your eye constantly kept moving around looking at the building. There was never a point where your eyes would stop and stare at a particular point in the building so like someone dancing to music. Moving away from the ancient Indian temples we began looking at early places of worship. The basilica of Constantine was one of the first basilicas, but initially this place was used as a place to have speeches nothing was said about religion or god. One of the thing that was discussed in class also was the basic plan of early churches which you can see below:
Finally the first millennium ends and people began to make places that were more enlightened and mainly I’m talking about cathedrals and basilicas. These places would focus mainly in stability, balance, the idea of man to heaven, and geometry. Verticality was an important element of almost every cathedral and basilica, in fact, the reason why many of the cathedrals were so tall is because the designers wanted to show this connection of man with heaven, the taller the better. Continuing with the idea of verticality, cathedrals were often or if not all the times a major part of a civilization and if the cathedrals were bigger than it would so more importance. Cathedrals also had different structures and central points so they were not the same structurally. The cathedral of Amiens in France and the Duomo cathedral in Florence, Italy are a clear example of two different types of cathedrals.

During the third week we analyzed the differences of the west and east architecture and their own design rule. The main thing you need to know about this week is that the west was based on harmony, meaning that all of the elements belong together in a building. In the other hand, east architecture was made out of temples. While designers in the east maintained their architectural approach the same, in the west architects would often be breaking and remaking rules on architecture. Most architects would make new buildings based on previous architectural styles such as Roman and Greek.
Colonial expansion was important during this unit because we began to see the influence of ancient styles around the world. The principal countries involved in the colonial expansion were Portugal, Spain, Holland, France, and England, this countries were responsible for bringing new architecture to the new world. Even though new architecture was being built, the idea of taking ancient architecture was still present. Again we continue to see the idea of reverberations throughout history, styles continue for a period of time then disappear and then come back again in another form.
Finally the unit concluded with architecture as a symbol for revolution. We studied how buildings could represent revolution especially in the united states. One building in particular was the US State Capitol building in Washington DC. This building is important because the building shows elements from ancient Greece to emphasize the connection between Greek laws and American laws. We didn't not only analyzed buildings, we also talked about the dollar bill and how it represents revolution.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

RR 11: The gilded age and the development of skyscrapers as a result.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trip to Monticello and Fallingwater

Monticello and Fallingwater were both great buildings but the building I like the most is Fallingwater. I believe that what made Fallingwater the best was the idea of a house in top of a waterfall. Also, I was amaze on how the building was composed of large horizontal walls and windows. The thing that I liked the most about Fallingwater was how tall the ceiling was. Since the ceiling was about 7ft tall I felt like the building was made for me since I'm short. Every part of the house was well planned, even the small hallways. The room that I liked the most at Fallingwater was Mr. Kaufmann's room,(the second picture. One of the things that the tour guide mentioned about Mr. Kaufmann's room was the idea of feeling that you are sleeping in a cave and I believe Frank Lloyd Wright achieved it. However one of the things that I didn't understand was the height of the toilets. The Building from the outside seemed to be really small compared to the inside, but once you step inside you notice that the main living room is huge as well as the rest of the rooms which is unique.