Monday, January 23, 2012

BP 2: Putting History Into Practice

Finding ancient ideas in modern architecture turned out to be a much easier task then I had first anticipated. Around campus, I found numerous examples of circles, groups, and stacks. 


Circles were the most prominent design element I found around campus.  Circles were used to represent the sun and the moon as well as sacred spots.

This circle is located on College Ave.  Before the campus became as built up as it is now, it was the main pathway through campus.  All the circles located in the bricks on College Ave are at crossways, with the directions leading to important locations on campus.

This circle is located at the clock tower.  Not only is the clock tower sitting on a circle, but it is a circle itself which you can see from the shadow.  I found this symbolic because people look to the tower for direction, even if it is just how quickly to walk to class.  The clock tower is easily spotted and grabs one's attention.

These two circles are located in the EUC.  This is symbolic because the circle in this case represents the heart of campus. People come and gather in the EUC daily.  The circle is a focal point and represents going around while gathering.  The top circle is in the ceiling while the bottom one is in the floor.  You can find these same circles at the front and back entrance of the EUC.


Groups are seen like groves of trees, always reaching vertical, and represent groups of people.

This photograph is of the Alumni House.  This was the best example to me because there are many examples of groups all within this one photograph. The columns are the most prominent example, which are found in great numbers over campus.  You can also see groups in the railing.


Stacks are seen like mountains and expressed as gathering resources.
This example of stacks is the library.  You can see stacks in the windows as well as in the siding.  Each level represents another floor.  I found this to be a great example because the library is a primary place for gathering resources.

This example of stacks is a residence hall.  The windows are stacked all evenly apart.  

The environment impacts rituals in a different way now then it did thousands of years ago, however it still plays a vital role.  Architects build for the current needs expressed in their communities.  I've realized that people generally just do as they've been taught instead of straying.  For example, if an architect built you a church, you wouldn't continue to worship outside.  You relate the structure to its purpose.  Just because you were built a church doesn't mean you would sleep in the church, you have a house for that.  I feel that environments influence rituals far greater then rituals influence environments.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reading Response One

Four Elements of Gonur
The city of Gonur, Margiana was completely revolved around earths natural elements in the time period of 2200 B.C.  These elements consisted of earth, wind, fire, and water.  Gonur was the capital and it was located on the Murghab River.  

This leads into the first element, water.  Because the city was directly along the Murghab River, it shows they're dependence on the river.  They used the river for daily activities but more importantly, they found the river very significant.  The residents of Gonur dug glacier fed canals into their gardens in order to water their crops.  Archeologists have found rooms filled with clean river sand.  The rooms were unaccessible; we know this because there were no doors or entry ways in.  In order to keep the sand, they had to find great value in the river.

The next element that I found of vital importance to the people of Gonur is fire.  We can conclude that fire was important to them because of what they left behind.  They had low altars that suggested fire rituals.  They also burned the dead's bodies before burying them in order to purify the bodies with fire.

There isn't much written when it comes to the element of wind.  However, we know that the altars they built were left exposed to the elements.  Therefore, wind must play a role because they could have easily enclosed the altar.

The final element essential to the lives of the residents of Gonur is earth.  This element could be tied back into the element of water due to the fact that they had stored clean river sand in inaccessible rooms.  They used the cardinal directions in the placement of the civilization.  We also find that they had a large burial site to the west.  They used to earth to grow crops preform ceremonial activities.  

Blog Post One

This object represents me as a designer because of the contemporary design.  I feel like it is contemporary while playing off a bit of a modern feel.  I enjoy modern design but I find contemporary to be more home like.  I also appreciate the asymmetry of the similar shapes.

Culturally the lamp represents the convenience of electricity and advances in architectural design.  We have moved from simply covering the bulb of a lamp to using it as a design feature.

Sub-culturally it breaks what we would typically think about mass production of US products.  This lamp was actually completely manufactured in the United States which is becoming more and more uncommon.  I learned after a conversation with a customer at work that the products made in China aren't able to be sold in China.  The prices of items over there is ridiculous compared to here.  Although the Chinese are making our products, they can't buy them without traveling to the USA.  That bothered me and made me begin to think more about local manufacturing.