Response03: De-sign

A sign is a representation of something or stand for something. For example, if I show you a photo of a dog and ask what it is? Everyone will answer that it is a dog, but actually it is not. It is a picture of dog, it just the representation of dog. It is a sign of dog that we read, so it’s made us think that it is a dog. But the sign also depends on human perception and translation, for example if I show you a picture of “chair” each people will answer differently. It can be a sofa, it can be a stool, it can be a bench, It can be anything that people can sit on. This is also a kind of sign too. Sign helps us understand what this object is for?

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What’s about design (DE-SIGN) we, designers are also a part of sign too. We use sign to communicate with people, we use it in our designs. For example in construction lesson we have to study many of sign and symbol, then we use it to design and communicate with others. Even if the sign is not look like the actual object but we create them to everyone will understand in the same meaning without any different translation.

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For me, I think design and translation is linked. Before we design anything, we must translate and designers can change that translation into our design. For example the “pentagon” can represent of a pentagon and a house, but if we add the thickness and extruded the pentagon, add some windows and doors. Is it still a sign of a house? Yes it still a sign, but it is a de-sign, the translation that can transformed a representation of something into new perspective.

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Response01 : Interpretation Weizman’s theory

Since we were young we have been taught about what is right and what is wrong, what is should what is shouldn’t. we eat on the table and we sleep on the bed, this is what ordinary people interpret without knowing the reason why we have to do that, maybe it is because our belief and society. Some family doesn’t mind about having meal in your bed but some do really care, this is what society also be one of the factor that make us interpret things.

In the article Lethal Theory by Weizman, the IDF blew the wall and use it as an entrance so they will be safe inside. the meaning of ‘wall’ that people (also me) thinks it safe, static, strong and we can’t walk through has changed. It reminds me of movie called ‘World War Z’, it is the story about Zombie disease spread into the world and Brad Pitt need to find the vaccine to prevent it. In the movie one of the country in middle east built a big wall to protect them from the Zombies, Inside the wall people is happy and celebrating that they’re the only country that survived but it is not because soon the Zombies can find the way to climb and destroy the wall. This made me realize that what we believes is not always true, and what we have been told is not always right. 

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Maybe we can stand on a chair instead of sitting, we can sleep on table and eat on bed. meaning everything is depends on what we interpret and believe. In the future somehow people will use each thing differently from each other, someone will sleep under the table or taking bath in the sink (that must be very funny hahaha). Lastly for me I think
“All meanings, we know,  depend on the key of interpretation.”- George Eliot

3rd year

 
The blog content has now been modified from 
History and Theory of Architecture to Contemporary Theory and Ideology.
 
enjoy! 😀

Response09: 19th Century

19th century is the age of combination between the old and new style together by prefabrication.
It is like the age of invention of technologies and discoveries.
Not only changes to the new materials and technology of buildings but also present new type of buildings which mainly emphasize around the idea of mass production.  In this era the commercial and public space gets more embrace with architecture, the form and function of buildings will be new and different and it answer to the society needs.

 Cause of discoveries the new materials, steel and glass one of the examples that led to our nowadays skyscrapers buildings is
“Crystal Palace” by Joseph Paxton. It is the exhibition building located in Hyde Park, London.
Using as the first world great exhibition. The interior has no solid walls,
every ceilings and walls are clear and light so and that it did not require the artificial lights inside.

 At this time we also can see some of the beginning of free form architecture, where the shapes isn’t geometric or symmetry anymore. It has no rule, it can be curved, flowing and natural. One of the example is La Sagrada Familla by  Antoni Gaudi,
its an old style building but mix with new elements and various kind of elements, hiding a lot of details.
It is one of the very spectacular building in the future since right now is still working on.
I hope that I will able to see this building in finish version one day.

 The 19th century was very important period of development and discoveries in new techniques, material and combination.
It allows more freedom to people to design and think out of the frame of geometric and simple.
Its time to move on to the time of innovation.

Response08 : Baroque&Erotic architecture – What do you feel about Baroque?

It has been a while now that we’re talking and analyzing about what is ‘Erotic architecture’. But I think there’s no one can define what is it yet, since its very particular, individual and different up to people. For me erotic is similar with romantic but more of passion and desire feeling. In terms of architecture I think it must gives people feeling of seduction or fascination to come closer and get lost in your imagination that created from what you senses, not just seduce or imagine but also something mysterious and curious.

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Baroque begun in late 16th century in Italy, Its express the wealth, emotions and power of the Catholic church. The style is about complicated shapes, large curved forms, opulent use of color and ornaments. Facades were acting as the mediation between internal and external spaces. For example Sant’Andrea al Quirinale church in Rome (1658-1671) where the interior- exterior are linked by the colonnade and projecting porch. As well as dramatic architectural elements on the facade that seducing people to come inside, like San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1638-1641) façade. It is curved, concaved surfaces and full of ornaments. For the interior Baroque made people curious and fancy by using illusory effects like Trompe l’oeil to blending the paintings and architecture. The dramatic use of light also gives romantic and mysterious feeling.

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By all of these features I think Baroque is a good way to express the erotic feeling through architecture since everything in the building can made people lost and be infatuated. Every details of the Baroque church made us stop and slowly looking through the sculptures, think and imagine through the paintings and unconsciously we experiencing and absorbing it. This became the interaction of architecture and human, spaces become alive, people start to understand and touch the true meaning of the building, without knowing …two things are connected.

Response07 : Early Renaissance – the greatest historical period

Renaissance was one of the greatest historical periods. It’s the golden age for the Italians after the dark ages. The word Renaissance derived from the term ‘la rinascita’ which means rebirth. Renaissance was a time of flourish and new innovations started in 14th – 16th centuries in different regions of Europe; there were advances in art, architecture, philosophy, religion, government, and many other fields.  This time of period was euphoric at the idea of new theories and a wide variety of achievements.

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In architecture, Renaissance style was emphasis on geometry, symmetry and proportion since the architects seem to have truly believed that “ Man is the measure of all things.” They believed that man was made in the image of god, so it was believed the proportions exemplified in the human form would reflect a divine and cosmic order like the Vitruvius man. From this belief, in the time of Quattrocento or early Renaissance architectures focus on the simple geometries such as circles and squares – which are the shape derived from the Vitruvius man. They organized the space by proportional logic, its form and rhythm subject to geometry, rather than being created by intuition. The most important example of this is The Basilica di san Lorenzo by Fillippo Brunelleschi, Santa Maria Novella and Basilica di San Andrea by Leon Alberti.

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Personally Renaissance is my all time favorite era since it’s the golden age of everything. It is like the rebirth time of old beliefs, thoughts and inspiration for new discoveries. The majority of things that were invented are now the basis of our modern day beliefs and systems in almost every field such mathematics, medical, art, science, astronomy, politics and architecture. So for me I think to study the Renaissance architecture is like we go back and look how amazing system and though that the masters used to create a great buildings to the world, and also is to remind that we, human should always explore and use our creativity and imagination to create something new not for ourselves but for the world.

Response06 : Postmodernism – Venturi’s theory

Architects can bemoan or try to ignore them (referring to the ornamental and decorative elements in buildings) or even try to abolish them, but they will not go away. Or they will not go away for a long time, because architects do not have the power to replace them (nor do they know what to replace them with).  ; Robert Venturi in Complecity and contradiction in architecture book

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As we know Modernism is using the concept of “Less is more”, “ form follow function” and “start from zero”, they believed that ornaments are surplus and non functional. The new trends became evident in the last of the 20th century. When people begin to get bored with the glass box thing and seem to think that its unwelcoming and unpleasant, this is how the postmodernism begun. Postmodern is the style that turned towards the past, quoting past aspects of various buildings and mixing them together to create a new means of designing buildings. The postmodern architects tried to rediscovered the expressive and symbolic value of architectural elements and forms that had been abandoned by the modern style.

Living in black and white world of modernism is way too boring and benumb, human also needs some color and new things in their lives. Robert Venturi, he is the one who add colors into the dull modern world; he tried to shows that the ornament can be functional and not a surplus with the theory of “ decorated shed”. For example the Duck house, the duck house is obviously show of its purposes, which is selling duck eggs by the form of the house that a duck shape.

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I agree with the Venturi’s idea that ornament can be part of the architecture, ornament can be more than just a decoration, its can show the identity, story and change the banal feeling of modernism buildings. I think architecture is a space that has to be attractive and also functional in the same time, so why we can’t put some attractiveness on to our buildings? Nowadays, buildings are less to give an identity because they still believed in less is more concept of modernism. They use their products or sign to show and represent what this building about behind the big plain glass instead of find a smart way of showing it with the architecture or a façade, it would be more pleasant than a glass box with the sign.

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Lastly, I think Venturi’s idea can give an erotic feeling because it attracted people with the exterior and made them wondering what is inside? This curiosity teases people to go in and explore new experiences, for me its erotic architecture.

 

 

Response05 : Modernism & Expressionism

Modernism is a style that focusing on pure form, simplicity, minimal and functional. It can be described with the quote “ Less is more “. Many architects are inspired from this style, for example Le Corbusier, Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyed Wright. They buildings can clearly see the structure, simple form, mass production material and pure function with no any background or history behind it, follow the quote by Gropius “ starting from zero ”.  One of the great examples for modernism is Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier. The villa is contain of simple form and pure function, following the five points of Le Corbusier which is the pillar must elevating the ground, free floor plan, horizontal windows, free design façade and roof garden. This villa later became the most famous building of Le Corbusier also the inspiration for international modernism nowadays. Everything in modernism is functional no ornamental or decoration.

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Expressionism is a style that is more than just a structure or function. But it got more stories and feeling of the architect behind, unlike the modernism which is just look hygienic and simply. One of the examples is the TWA terminal, by Eero Saanrinen. The building represent the movement of a huge bird in mid-air with its wings spread ready for landing, for me it gives more just a glass box. It has more curve line and shape that attractive and can expressing out the feeling inside the building. Another example is the Einstein Tower, by Erich Mendelsohn. Its very amazing that only a small sketch can create a functional tower.

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Personally I like modernism when it comes to appearance, it nice clean and simple. But expressionism is more than just these, it have stories, feelings and emotion that can create the building be more interesting, movement and attractive but still functional. For me if you’re creates thing with feeling, its profound.

 

 

Response04 : Le Corbusier – Playtime Movie

 Modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for the house and the city.- Le Corbusier

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Charles-Édouard Jeanneret or Le Corbusier was widely considered as one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, He is acknowledged with changing the face of urban architecture, bringing it into the technological age. Le Corbusier believed in the perfection of pure geometrics and proportions, his style was minimal, simple, functional and hygienic.

Le Corbusier felt that “ all men have the same needs,” and that a house should be “ a machine for living. ” which he expressed in one of his urban planning work, Plan Voisin in Paris (1925). The city would be no more overcrowded streets and sidewalks, no more untidy neighborhoods; people would live in clean and organized high-rise buildings with their own roof garden.

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 At first when I read Le Corbusier descriptions about his ideal city, it seems like I’m living in a peaceful city without any annoying crowded, unorganized circulation and brutal buildings. It would be nice if the city nowadays would be like this, but after I watched the movie called ‘Playtime’ by Jacques Tati that show us of what would it be like if this ideal city become real. I’ve changed my mind.

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 In the movie the city was full of glass and steel building which is look all the same, humans dressed in grey or beige color walking in predictable straight lines. Everything everyone and everywhere seem to look the same, no excitement, no more what represents the city of Paris except the old French lady selling flowers. The atmosphere was cold and depressed, people are lacking of imagination and motivation.

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Honestly I fell asleep after 20 minutes of the movie since it was very boring and less conversation, it reflected that even in the movie is this bored and how would it be if in the real city? For me I think we, human is a creature that full of desire. We need an excitement, experiences and colorfulness. We cannot live in the giant glass box with black/white things; it limits our imagination.

Last but not least, I think Le Corbusier is dictatorial a little about his belief that human is all the same need and try to organize the city in his own way. But however I still admired his creative mind that try to provide a better living condition to people and his unique raven look.

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Response03 : Mies van der Rohe – Pioneer of Modern Architecture

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            Ludwig Mies van de Rohe, a German architect, was widely acknowledged as one of the 20th century’s greatest architects. He believed that the more the building was shown to its essential structural and functional elements, the less unnecessary ornamented elements would be used. Mies was one of the few architects who got inspired by modernism, also known as those who avoid using ornaments and prefer the use of simplest, pure, functional form, and the use of honest materials for working class people.

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            One of his early projects, the Friedrichstrasse Office Building designed for the Friedrichstrasse Architecture Competition in 1921,was one of the most important structures in 20th century architecture. At that time, the design was the first modern structure of its kind. The building was designed to construct entirely from steel and glass. Unfortunately, his design did not win the competition so it was not contructed. One of Mies’s famous buildings was the Seagram Building in New York City. It is generally recognized as the finest example of skyscrapers in the International Style. The external design on the building’s faces were built by the quality of the materials used – the tinted glass and the bronze ‘ I – beams ’ was applied all the way up the building. This building was a headquarters of the Seagram & Sons Liquor Company, located in the heart of New York City. The bronze colored I – beams that is seen in the façade is nonstructural, but it was used to express the idea of the structural frame underneath the external skin.

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           I entirely understand what Mies van der Rohe was trying to express through his designs. Eventhough, the I – beams on the façade of the building do not act as a support. It barely even touches the ground. By that term, some may call it as an ornament, but I only see it as a part of the whole building’s structure. My definitions of ornaments are handcrafted façade or multi colors window. An I – beam that is consider being construction elements are not ornaments. Mies intention was only to show the construction that cannot be seen from outside. Mies way of design is to reduce the distraction out from the building, so people would only focus only on the essential elements. The less there is to distract, the more beauty there is to see. Less is more ? 🙂