Monday, February 21, 2011

Reading Response 6: Theory and History of Design

Blog Post 6: Theory and History of Design

Structural Differences between the cathedrals in Amiens, France, and Cologne, Germany.  After looking at both cathedrals our group found that they were similar in alot of ways.  There were actually very little difference in the structure.  In Amiens, we found that the building was completed many years before the cathedral in Cologne was completed.  Although the cathedral in France was very focused it seemed on showing off its talents with the inside of the building as opposed to Germany, where the outside was more decorative than the inside.  These differences  could be because of many reasons.  It can be assumed by what was going on with the government and area at the time.  The church played a large part in their societies as being constructed as the largest building in the towns surrounding them.  These cathedrals were probably seen as a refuge from the craziness surrounding the outside as a place to gather and escape from the outside world.  Some of the differences I could see right away were the differences in ornamentation on the exterior, for example the flying buttresses.  The German cathedral had much more filigree and ornamentation on the outside compared to the inside.  The French cathedral was the exact opposite with much more ornamentation on the inside compared to the inside.  Some of the statues on the outside of the German cathedral appeared to have older male figures with beards.  The French cathedral had much younger men without beards with angelic faces on the outside. The difference inside the cathedrals were easily spotted on the view of the ceiling at the crossing.  The German cathedrals ceiling was very basic with its lines, and the French cathedral had a few more lines in its main square at the crossing.  I imagine those were there for extra support of the building.  Both buildings contain the cruciform style.  By German design their cathedrals were all designed with one main tower.  French cathedrals were mostly designed with 2 towers.  After viewing the photos for both cathedrals, you can see that the German cathedral is more pointy and darker in appearance, whereas the French cathedral is more box-like and the stone has a lighter hue to it. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Theory Reading 2 Discussion: IAR 102

For this discussion the class was shown the film Babette's Feast.  A Danish film about elderly sisters, one who wins a lottery of 10,000 francs.  Instead of spending the money on herself, she decides to give back and use the money to create a delicious dinner for her sister and their congregation for the pastors hundredth birthday. The cuisine was supposed to be a very authentic french dinner.  Since such an exotic dinner is full of precious and rich ingredients, the sisters and the congregation feel guilty about indulging in such a feast.  So as an agreement they decide to eat the meal, but not take any pleasure in it, or speak of the meal during the dinner.  The only guest that wasn't there for the agreement and was present for the dinner was the general.  So he became the only one who could comment on the dinner.  He described how great the food was and how it reminded him of Cafe Anglaise in Paris.  Turns out Babette was the old chef of Cafe Anglaise. One quote that stayed in my mind from the film would have to be by the general who commented that the food "was a love affair that made no distinction between bodily appetite and spiritual appetite."  Which makes sense to me because food can be very pleasing not just nutritionally and taste-wise.  It also can be spiritually uplifting and make us feel good, bring back memories of good times, etc.  Relationship to design and culture can definitely be important.  Different cultures have different cuisines, different ways of eating, etc.  All of these factors have to go into thought when planning a dinner, the guests have to be taken into consideration as well as the meal and what utensils will be used with the type of food chosen.  All of these things I have thought about so far for this project, it has proven to be challenging, but also a fun process that has expanded my imagination further in understand the dining experience. 

Theory Reading 1 Discussion : IAR 102

I believe that design is very important in the dining process.  Everything has to be well thought out and planned.  Everything from the dining ware, the setting, table, chairs all the way down to the lighting and music.  All of these things help influence the experience for someone.  Everything that will grab their senses and be delightful.  Design itself can alter a persons mood, conversation, and their overall being.  After writing the paper describing my setting for the dining table and dinner that would take place at it.  All of these things came into play with the story.  Things a normal person who hasn't thought about design would have overlooked in the process.  Through this semester I have learned that design has to appeal to the senses to be incredible and memorable.

Unit Summary 1 : Theory and History of Design

Reading Response 5: Theory and History of Design

Blog Post 4 : History and Theory of Design

Reading Response 4: Theory and History of Design

Haiku Poem: Blog Post 5 Theory and History of Design

After learning how architecture is frozen music. I didn't realize how buildings, structures and spaces have characteristics of a song until we looked at a few examples in class like the police and their song titled synchronicity.  The image was their album cover of a Rubik's cube.  The song symbolized the different colors of the cube and sort of shared the cubes characteristics.  Another example was the groovy image that went along with the Beatles' Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band song. To test some of this our assignment as a group was to choose a picture and describe it in a poem and include some design vocabular. Throughout searching on the site Flickr, we found this photo.

Here is my Haiku:

Volumes of forms
amongst the sky of colors
to infinity

Dinner Party Space Paper

Joshua Boone
Environmental Design II

For my dinner party I like open spaces.  I picture the setting in an open airy environment like an atrium or a conservatory.  Inside I picture Turkish or Moroccan tiles for the flooring.  Within the space I imagine it being an oasis, a kind of escape from the metropolis surrounding it.  I want it to have an arched glass ceiling with touches of painted glass here and there.  Some curved glass curtain walls as well as some stone or tiled walls.  To keep the sunlight at bay I want lots of trees, plants, shrubs flowers, vines and herbs growing within this peaceful space.  The vegetation will be kept very green friendly and organic.  I picture a tall ceiling that has the ability to open and close so that birds can come and go freely and their chirping can be heard faintly throughout the space.  For my space, I love color, but my plants and flowers will construct a canvas for the background of color arrangements.  The fact that the space will be made of glass will help protect and support t the plant life during the changes of the seasons.  I imagine all sorts of pleasant fragrant smells entering the air like lavender, lilies and orange blossom.  I picture a peaceful fountain within the space that hold golden koi fish in the basin.  There will be walkways with benches and nooks throughout.  The main feature will be an open space where I will hold dinner parties.  The space will be perfect for these parties because nature is something everyone can appreciate and relate to on some level.  For the dinner party it will start around evening dusk so that the natural sunlight will be soft colorful and warm.  Candles and softly lit solar lamp posts will supply more light as it gets dark.  The social gathering can be people from different cultural backgrounds.  As an activity I can hold a gathering of flowers and herbs before the dinner.  Giving everyone a chance to pick a flower for the centerpiece or an herb they would like to be prepared in one of their courses of dinner.  The dinner will be prepared by a chef.  The sideboard near the dining space will have multipurpose.  For this dinner it will serve as a place to gather the flowers to be arranged and a place for the herbs to be collected for the chef.  During the time of the meal to be prepared there will be a cocktail hour where a variety of wine and beverages will be passed for the guests.  They will have a chance to stroll through the space and chat throughout the gardens.  I love music and I feel music helps set a mood for an atmosphere.  For this social gathering I picture some classical soft music for the background faintly being heard so it doesn’t overwhelm.  Or even a light performance of some instrumentalists and pianist.  When dinner time comes the food will be served at a round table set for around 10 people.  The centerpiece will be carefully orchestrated and chairs will be lightly cushioned and be rather upright so that everyone will be seen clearly for conversation.  The place settings will be carefully chosen to appeal to the guests.  There will be a water glass as well as both a red and white wine glass.  Throughout the courses wine will be offered to pair with the meal.  Each unused item will be properly removed or replaced by a server.  Each course will be something small with worldly influences that will be geared to please each guest that RSVP’d.  With dessert coffee or hot teas will be offered. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Reading Response 3

With this reading I learned the importance of commodity, firmness and delight.  These are three important factors brought to our attention by the roman architect Vitruvius.  The element of function, something that on the surface, would appear most straightforward, but that, since the mid-twentieth century, has proved extremely troublesome. Function, or the pragmatic utility of an object- its being fitted to a particular use- was a criterion analyzed by such Greek philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, and Xenophon.  Until reading this passage in the Roth book, I didn't realize that the english language only has one word for function.  Even though like the Inuits who have many words for snow as opposed to just our one word for it.  We need variations to describe different kinds of function.  The alternative so far is to make compound words such as circulatory function or acoustical function.  After reading about function and its importance and taking all the factors of commodity, firmness and delight into the designing and building of a space I realized what all goes into the thought process of a building.  I now view buildings differently and try to understand where the designer was coming from and trying to understand their thought processes and reasons for things within the interior and on the exterior.  When we took the tour around campus to look at buildings and find circles I never realized how many circles there really are around campus, whether they are "crazy" circles or your traditional circle and what they represent.  Most places where you find a circle are gathering places for people.  Where they meet and greet and hold important functions.  The circle represents many things such as wholeness, and the universal symbol of unity.  Circles can be found everywhere in todays architecture as well as ancient architecture, such as stonehenge.  The same thing can be said for arches and domes.  These qualities can be found even in modern buildings.  The arch which was created by the romans remains to be easy on the eyes as well as provides support for structures.  Construction of ancient arches are held together by a keystone.  A stone carefully constructed and placed in the top center of the arch.  When removed the arch can crumble.  All of these things I will now take into account when building or designing things in the future.  Arches and circles still hold my attention when looking at modern buildings and spaces.

Photo Citations:,r:8,s:0&tx=65&ty=107

Blog Post 3 Theory and History of Design

Circles play an important role in the way buildings, sites, and spaces are designed.  An ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, female power, and the sun.  To earth-centered religions throughout history as well as to many contemporary pagans, it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos or a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space.  Gnostic traditions linked the unbroken circle to the "world serpent" forming a circle as it eats its own tail. Examples on campus of where we use and see circles being used in the design and layout would be:  the Elliot University Center.  When you first walk in the front entrance from the walker parking deck, you enter into a circular foyer, which has four points of the circle one to the east(the food area), one to the west(bookstore), one to the north( the information desk) and of course the south(back to the parking deck).  If you proceed towards the north in the EUC, you will come across another circle, which is more of a crazy circle, but in all, it is still a circle.  In everyday life we use circles as places to meet and gather.  These are points that are easy to recognize and aren't as heavy in traffic flow as say a  hallway or stairwell. The place where I believe commodity, firmness, and delight are executed well on campus would be the MHRA building.  The position of the circle with the building is very attractive.  The light that pours in through its glass paneling keeps the room filled with light in the lobby when you walk in.  As you walk in it is very open and airy, giving you a sense of breathable space.  Within this circle are some setting areas for students who are either waiting on someone, or just passing the time reading and waiting for class.  There is also a winding staircase that reaches 4 floors high.  The delight factor is pretty good when you walk in, the elements in the design are very clean, and give aspects of high tech and progress, something that helps represent UNCG as a progressing university.

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