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.

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