The first thing I notice when looking at images of these two buildings is their rectilinear design. All lines are straight horizontals and verticals. Simultaneously I note how both buildings appear top-heavy in that their small bases support larger tops. Though the exteriors share similarities, there are also obvious differences. Whereas the Harvard dormitory uses materials such as wood, brick, concrete, metal and glass, the Whitney Museum has a much more limited media palette. Also dealing with the exterior, there is a huge difference with surroundings. At the dorm, there are trees, plants, grass, water and other prominent natural elements. Surrounding buildings aren't right against it. The museum is located in a more urban setting, with much less landscaping. Also, the neighboring buildings are within close proximity.
Inside, both buildings have very specific and different functions. One is a dormitory, where students live and study, and one is a museum where the public can come in to walk around and view artwork. Within the context of their environments, the Whitney Museum had more freedom to explore a look that didn't necessarily tie in with surrounding styles. The Harvard dorm, though it explores several materials and has a unique look, still ties in with surrounding buildings with its use of brick.
This last week, I decided to go to a dance rehearsal with my boyfriend. Once in the HHP building, though, we passed some of our other friends in a dance class. Being friends with the teacher, Caitlin Spencer, we asked what they were doing. [roller coaster] It sounded fun and I asked if I could go with them instead of going to the rehearsal. We ended up on College Ave. with a bucket of chalk. Within this last semester of IARC, this was the first time that it was nice and sunny outside at a time that I wasn't in studio. (usually, it is either, cold, windy, raining, or a combination of the three) Caitlin, the instructor, was developing a site specific performance, that was meant to engage the audience and the dancers [behind]in the space.
We started out writing down words or sentences describing feelings and instances about how people interact in an environment and the concept of a personal space affects proximity of people. [i feel uncomfortable] Then we took some of the strongest words and ideas and wrote them in chalk inside of the grey circle in front of Jackson Library. In the center of the circle, we colored the center stone to celebrate the point. [ahead]
For the performance, the audience gathered at the start of College Ave. across from the Music Building. One of the dancers, Dominique, was with them. [i-40] The rest of us were stationed at the opposite end of the walkway, near Spring Garden. On cue, Dominique began to draw a chalk-line down the center of College Ave. Unsure, the audience followed her. Simultaneously, we began to make our way towards the grey circle, drawing designs on the pavement on the way, all the while calling out words and quotes from our previous brainstorm. [don't make eye contact] The closer the audience got to us, still following a silent Dominique, the more aware they were of what we were saying as well as our movements.
When we all met at the center circle, we formed a ring around it, with the dancers facing the audience. [really] Dominique stepped into the circle, stepped on the center block and began circulating through the circle. The rest of us followed her example, stepping on the center block, all the while calling out words which the viewers could now see were written inside the circle. [strangers] Then we moved out of the circle and began to move throughout the audience- weaving in and out of their personal spaces. Then, we all lined up on on the chalk-line that was drawn by Dominique. [hold hands] As we moved down the line, we focused on repeating the words as we tried to erase the line with our feet and hands. The audience was left to follow us, watching as we erased the very path that they had originally followed to meet us. [erase]
This performance was very fun, interesting and informative. With it, we investigated how people are willing to follow someone simply because the assert some presence of authority, as did Dominique. People also will follow by example, such as the audience did when we created a ring around the circle. It was exhilarating focusing on how we perceive our personal spaces and how we behave in groups, especially when we have little or no instruction. [idk]
When we started the process, I was immediately reminded of the pathways, edges and boundaries project. We were supposed to study people in the parking lot environment and how they interacted with the space. The performance I did, though, was equally as informative, but instead of relying on the subject having to choose their own pathway, we actually applied our own visual cues for the subject to base their actions on.
It was a great experience for me and I took a lot of good inspiration from it that I can definitely apply to my designs. (and it was through the dance department, not iarc!) Experiences like this are often the best learning opportunities, especially when you don't know what exactly you're getting into.
[this is a pic of my boyfriend in a dance he did recently. he was portraying the life of his choreographer and the girl is portraying the man's mother.]
Most people will say that it is important pay homage to your roots. Things from your past affect things in your present and future, and it is common to say that you should let your past shine through. However, I think that most arguments along this line are stupid. I feel that, yes, everyone has a past, but it is more important to live in the present and think about the future. Not to say that pulling inspiration from the past is wrong or dumb, but sometimes dwelling on past events can hinder and more contemporary event. With design, there are obvious patterns, styles and techniques. These were set in the past and are still implemented today.
[these are two ideas that i've had for the window installment project. my idea started out with simple, vertical lines and then developed into a combination of verticals and horizontals. . . i am still developing the idea even further.]
Congruence deals with how two or more items are related. In our design classes, our professors stress the development of our ideas into something beyond our initial inspirations. Every project we've worked on has been a distant extraction of the stories that we read at the beginning of the semester. In my French class I constantly try to relate things back to Spanish and Latin, which I have also studied, in hopes of being ale to better understand my teacher. These languages are all Romance languages and have many similarities. In this way, congruence relates directly with the idea of roots. Even when you have many differences with something, it is still possible to trace similarities back to something else.
[this is a drawing i did while eating lunch at uva. the concept of the restaurant was to showcase artwork. the walls were a bright periwinkle color and made it a very light, inviting area.]
The concept of a project can always change, even if in the final stages of development. But, it is nonetheless important to have a concept to a design in order to make sure the design is unified and makes sense. Working with the concept of manipulating light, I’ve had to think about different ways to do this. There is the option to let in as much light as possible, to filter it or to block it out entirely. With our most recent assignment, I have decided on the concept of private light. At this point, I plan to arrange slats across the window at my desk that, to anyone away from my desk, would appear to limit the amount of light that passes through them. However, once seated at my desk, if I were to look at the window treatment, the slats seem to disappear due to the angles at which I have set them. The overall concept of the project is to have unified window designs throughout the class. Therefore, my own concept might change to better match the flow of ideas through the studio.
[this is a view of the kitchen space that i designed recently. theoretically, i am using wood floors, stone work on the wall, granite counters, stainless steel and glass. the column is meant to be a light fixture.]
Material choice is a hugely important decision in design. It determines cost of the project, the aesthetic ‘temperature’, textures, colors, et al. Materials such as wood, ceramics and plush fabric often create a warm and cozy environment. Warm colors, like reds, oranges, etc., also help. Metals, slick fabrics, plastics and glasses can induce a cool, active mood. They are more reflective and bounce light through a space.
Another decision to make is whether or not to use local materials, or materials that would easily blend with the environment or immediate surroundings. Choosing a material that comes from the site makes it seem a part of the area and usually doesn’t stand out as a impediment to the eye. You can also use materials that compliment the surroundings with texture, color, scale, etc., which will make a design look fitting to the environment.
[this is a drawing i did on site at fallingwater. naturally speaking, there was an overwhelming amount of rhododendrons in the area that had a great presence in front of the house.]
compression : release
When we visited Monticello, the uses of compression and release were apparent in interior spaces versus the landscaping. Outside the structure are large lawns, wide paths and gardens and an amazing view of the horizon due to being on top of a hill. Inside the house, though, many rooms are small and tight. There are very narrow doorways and stairwells that can seem to make being in the space feel crowded. More so, compression and release are the focus of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwaters. The mountain on which the house was built hugs the structure with its rocks, trees and other natural elements. The house has very strong horizontals that seem to bring the structure closer to the earth. Then, inside the house, visitors find themselves in a wide, open great room, flooded with natural light. Interestingly, Wright’s choice in uncommonly low ceilings create a cozy feeling, while keeping your focus at eyelevel and looking outward. The compression of the ceilings is reminiscent of a cave. The deeper you get into the house, the less natural light is incorporated, and therefore the spaces become more intimate. The overall celebration in Wright’s impeccable design is clearly the natural surroundings. Aided by the severe compression of the house, a grand sense of release is apparent when one goes from inside to out.
On the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a lack of housing was creating an issue for graduate students. Harvard has the goal to house 50 percent of its graduate, professional and doctoral students. The school approached architect-designer Kyu Sung Woo to help to alleviate this problem by creating a dormitory specifically targeting graduates. Just recently built at 10 Akron Street, Kyu Sung Woo's building was designed to meet LEED Gold standards in an aesthetically pleasing and fully functional way. With around fourteen thousand graduate students attending the school, it is obvious that not all of them would be living on campus. The dormitory of Kyu Sung Woo accommodates up to two hundred fifteen students. Included are thirty different suite types for the students, a faculty director's suite, a fitness room, study lounges, a multipurpose room, a garage, and a courtyard. The building is located beside the Charles River, offering a peaceful and beautiful view from many of the rooms inside. For his design, Woo built a large, brick block that sits precariously on a smaller, wood-veneered base. The windows of the building are arranged in an irregular pattern, with many of them protruding from the surface. The 115,000 square foot building contains regionally-sourced siding with recycled content, bamboo flooring and wall paneling, and low-VOC finishes. Also, through its design and engineering, the building's systems use a minimum of energy. Public spaces, like two-story study lounges, are filled with warm tones that make a comfortable learning environment and promote sociability. Outside the building is a garden designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates which utilizes plants native to New England. This garden connects a courtyard to the riverfront terrace. Though the L-shaped building is very unique in its presence, it still maintains an appropriate scale for Cambridge's other riverside houses as well as carries on the use of traditional brick on the exterior that blends in with older structures on campus.
On the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a lack of housing was creating an issue for graduate students. Harvard has the goal to house 50 percent of its graduate, professional and doctoral students. The school approached architect-designer Kyu Sung Woo to help to alleviate this problem by creating a dormitory specifically targeting graduates. Just recently built at 10 Akron Street, Kyu Sung Woo's building was designed to meet LEED Gold standards in an aesthetically pleasing and fully functional way. With around fourteen thousand graduate students attending the school, it is obvious that not all of them would be living on campus. The dormitory of Kyu Sung Woo accommodates up to two hundred fifteen students. Included are thirty different suite types for the students, a faculty director's suite, a fitness room, study lounges, a multipurpose room, a garage, and a courtyard. The building is located beside the Charles River, offering a peaceful and beautiful view from many of the rooms inside. For his design, Woo built a large, brick block that sits precariously on a smaller, wood-veneered base. The windows of the building are arranged in an irregular pattern, with many of them protruding from the surface. The 115,000 square foot building contains regionally-sourced siding with recycled content, bamboo flooring and wall paneling, and low-VOC finishes. Also, through its design and engineering, the building's systems use a minimum of energy. Public spaces, like two-story study lounges, are filled with warm tones that make a comfortable learning environment and promote sociability. Outside the building is a garden designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates which utilizes plants native to New England. This garden connects a courtyard to the riverfront terrace. Though the L-shaped building is very unique in its presence, it still maintains an appropriate scale for Cambridge's other riverside houses.
The Alternatives unit is all about taking the rules established in the foundations unit and bending them into new forms. These alterations take a very religious turn as a reflection of crusades and mixing of cultures. A great source of inspiration for Christian cathedral design came from the Hagia Sophia, a mosque in Istanbul. The Hagia Sophia is known for its massive dome and the great, highly decorated interior spaces. Gothic architecture flourished in the high and late medieval times, after the Romanesque period. It is largely recognized for its pointed arches, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses. There was a great competition to build the tallest cathedrals with the most interior space and light. This was thought to bring the cathedrals closer to heaven, the ultimate goal. The Renaissance was a revival of ancient Greek and Roman ideals. Emphasis was put on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of parts as they were used by the ancient designers.French Gothic Cathedral- Notre-Dame Renaissance architecture Villa and Palazzo Villa-country home, escape for wealthy Palladio incorporates temple forms onto residential structures Palazzo-mixed business, entertainment and housing Baroque- feeling of movement through curved lines-pushing and pulling
My driving motivation has always been to make things how I want them to be. I plan to specialize in as many areas of design as possible, thereby ensuring satisfaction with the things I create. Ambitious, yes. Impossible, no.