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School Design 2

Aug 24 2011

RE- “I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” -Mark Twain

Now, read this: A Youth Fightback in the Making

Thanks Brian, I appreciate the counterpoint.

Though the article is shorter then the previous one, it points out some great examples of protest and active youth participation. I think the article also raises the question: how does one encourage this sort of active participation as a social norm?
-What are the underlying mechanisms that support these modern protests and revolutions (ie active socio-political participation)?

-Is it possible to design an architectural language for an institution (such as a school) that expresses the importance of independent thought, social networking, and democratic values?

-Or, is it possible to design satirically? To intentionally design a place that embodies oppression, such that it calls upon it’s occupants’ humanity in such a way that they redesign it themselves? Like some sort of cultivated practice revolution?

And many more questions! The only thing I know so far is that I want this project to be about exploring normative elements. I’ve been told that I use strange elements too often in my projects, to the exclusion of normative elements. So this project will not focus on the creation of a new language. Instead, it will be an exploration of the normal, used in an original way (hopefully).

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Ciao, Siena!

Aug 19 2011



This picture is from our final group outing, when we crawled through some bushes (see the video in another post) and discovered an incredible lookout, which later became a part of our final project.

This has been absolutely *the* best team I’ve ever been a part of. We worked well together and played off eachother’s strengths. Everyone was very committed to the project, and I think our hard work paid off. Everyone contributed something to the project’s development, and everyone carried their own weight when it came time to prepare for a presentation.

This entire studio has been a great experience, I feel like I learned so much. I don’t think I will ever forget any of the names or dates of the places I’ve visited; being inside of a place is so much different then just reading about it in a textbook.

In terms of skills, I accomplished two things I set out to do:
I’ve seen my sketching ability improve drastically.
I learned watercolor, also drastically improved from the summer’s start.

Also worth mentioning: I learned a language!

And I feel as though I’ve also gained something else, something that is a little harder to describe in concise terms. Simply put, I’ve had a really broadening experience, and I can’t wait to see how all of the things I’ve done begin to fold into the way I think and design.

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Random Piece of Art

Aug 17 2011

Most of the pieces in the Pinocateca Nazionale (probably 96%) dealt with either Christ’s birth or crucifiction. A majority of these feature people looking very unhappy, if not outright dour, which is strange, though I suppose happiness (or any approximation of it) probably wasn’t in fashion until the counter-reformation (when the Catholic church started to have viable competition).
I digress.
This was my favorite piece. Technically it was in the Spanish gallery, but I like how the artist represented of Christ’s divinity as light emanating from him, instead of using a traditional two dimensional halo.

 

Artist: Lorenzo Lotto
Title: Christi Geburt (Birth of Jesus)
Date: 1527-1528

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Mid-Review: Don’t Mind the Wall

Aug 14 2011











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School Design

Aug 14 2011

“I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” -Mark Twain

Read this: 8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back

Its an interesting article that touches on the role of institution in shaping identity and behavior. Since I’m planning to redesign my school project next semester, I think it’s worth starting to talk about. One of my favorite quotes:

“The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions.”

I often feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle to educate myself the way that I want, without missing out on the traditional college… experience. Trying to skirt the line between both camps sometimes makes me look like I’m lazy or stupid or antisocial. Thankfully I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring others’ opinions (some might call me ‘stubborn’ or ‘naive’) and I’m getting better at what I do.

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Pop Up Piazza: Santa Maria de Selva

Aug 14 2011



















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Assignment #… Something

Aug 14 2011

The assignment was to analyze Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s famous ‘Allegories of Good and Bad Government’ and then to use collage to create our own. This was probably my favorite review so far, the discussion went way beyond the work and the entire class ended up discussing philosophy.

– In my collage, I tried to use allegorical figures similar to Lorenzetti’s to represent the characteristics that make for good government or bad government.
– I creatively interpreted the rule about only using one sheet of A3 per collage by cutting the sheet in half and making each twice as long. This was in responce to Lorenzetti’s compositional strategy; which relied on a linear + horizontal reading to portray so many figures and scenes without them becoming incoherent.
– There is a lot of symbolism, some of which manifested sub-consciously.. Check them out.



In Good government, the clearly defined city and country are both held in check by the allegorical figures of design, education, liberty, and security. Within the space these figures carve out, children are playing, representing a positive future. The overall aesthetic is selectively minimalist adhering to approximate symmetry.



In Bad Government, the opposite is true. The composition takes cues from Good Government, but reads more chaotically. The sprawl of the city creates a texture which spans the entire sheet. Imposed onto this sprawl are the figures of waste, drunkenness, censorship, and anti-liberty; looking quite seductive.

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Typology Study 2: Venice

Aug 14 2011

Last weekend, we went to Venice to see the Biennale. The city is beautiful, and it *might* be my new favorite.. These are the sketches I did out on the streets.



And these are sectional sketches, Venice has some really unique sections, because it’s streets and canals come in literally EVERY shape and size.







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Trick of the Sun

Aug 05 2011

Who says you can’t get nice photos with an iPod touch? I captured this near Fontebranda while fountain hunting.



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Il Campo!

Aug 05 2011





It felt sort of Architecturally Sacreligious to be in Siena and not spend any time sketching the Campo, so I decided to try my hand at watercolor. I’m not terribly pleased with the result, but I did learn 3 things:

First, decide on masses and stick with them. Watercolor relies on a slow build-up of color, and if you try to expand something halfway through, you’ll never match the tone correctly.

Second is that you should never use pen on a watercolor painting. It completely destroys the subtlety of the watercolor tones. Pencil is ok though, especially if you use multiple lead weights, or have a lot of very light lines, they look great underneath the layers of color.

Third is that people get really interested when you work in public. I had a group of three little kids “secretly” watching over my shoulder as soon as I took out my watercolors. Which was cool, because I’m always happy to be a part of the urban spectacle.

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Typology Study

Aug 05 2011

I was curious about what makes a Piazza a Piazza, and not a Largo or some other classification of space. I’ll spoil the answer by telling you that it seems* that a church is required. One Piazza has a government building (though I think it used to be a church).









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Siena Section Diagram- Out into the countryside

Aug 05 2011



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The Siena Duomo

Aug 05 2011



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Chisea de Autostrada: My Favorite Church

Aug 05 2011











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Nightly Drawings

Aug 01 2011

I have been doing them, I just haven’t been *posting* them. Unfortunately, the scanner is hard to get to, and my computer doesn’t have a card-reader, so I pretty much rely on Josemar, who is gracious enough to help me out. But he and I have been keeping different hours this weekend, so I haven’t gotten a chance to digitize my work. Expect several posts all at once though… eventually.By the end of this trip I might actually have something that looks something like a portfolio :]

Side note: by the end of the trip there is a good chance that I’ll be fluent in Italian, the trip 3/7 over and I’m already pretty facile, I’m gonna work hard to make it happen.

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