Friday, May 15, 2009

Precedent Analysis


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Unit Summary.Explorations.

Number 3. Jeep Liberty.

I always wanted a Jeep, specifically a Jeep Wrangler. Last year 2008 I got a Jeep Liberty instead of the wrangler. I was not upset or anything but instead really happy of having a car that I could use and no longer have to rely on my parents cars availability. The car was from a friend of mine that he was leaving the country and he offer me the car for a very good price with just 20,000 miles on it. Despite the fact of the price, is the meaning that the car has towards me. It reminds me of my friend.

Number 2. Soccer Ball.

Soccer has been rolling around my life all the time. I played different conferences and tournaments in different countries. During my first year in UNCG I decided to make a small team and play in the outdoor soccer inter-murals. We eventually got to the finals and won the inter-murals championship by penalties. 

Number 3. St Peters Square.

The first time I was in Rome one of the first thing I wanted to see was the Basilica of St Peter. Personally it means a lot for me because I am catholic and the St Peter is  the heart of the Roman Catholic church, basically it does not get any bigger and significant than the Basilica of St Peter. There is a personal spiritual attachment.

Number 4. Plants + Gardens.

I personally love the outdoors and the nature. I enjoy planting plants and designing gardens. I personally take care of the garden of my house. I enjoy seeing them grow and seeing them blossoming on spring. 

Number 5. Cooking + Food + Chef

I like cooking and it makes me distracted of my everyday life. It is a moment of enjoyment and a pleasure of taste where you can manipulate according to your personal taste. The chef hat is always been very attractive to me, it has a very unique design and anywhere one goes, it means the same concept.

Number 6. The School of Athens by Raphael

The drawings of the renaissance are the ones I like the most and personally connect with. I was recently in the Vatican Museum and The School of Athens has always been a incredible masterpiece  for me and for many others for sure. 

Number 7. Technology + Mp3 + Music

Music is a very important factor in my life. I can listen to music for weeks and not get tired. I like every kind of music, I enjoy almost everything and I have anything you can imagine in my Ipod. Right now I have around 3500 song in my ipod.

Number 8. Iron Gym.

The Iron Gym is a very interesting design tool to exercise your muscles every day and night before waking up or going to sleep or just even during the day. It works as one design that works different parts of your body muscles depending of how your are using it. It hangs in my room all the time.

Number 9. Blackberry.

Right now I own a blackberry and it has facilitated my connectivity with people. The blackberry has a program that is called "Blackberry Messenger", everyone that has a blackberry can talk through the messenger for free. It dose not matter where you are in the world you can still connect with people out of the country for free.

Number 10. 



opus Project/ 14th Week Prompts

Coming Full Circle



What makes a community a community is an existing common share of a cultural, historical, locality, and government among a social group. Is because of people that things can mean more than what they are meant to mean. For example, the Spanish Steps in Italy is a plaza where the community gathers and enjoys a good time. What makes this plaza amazing is the people. The smoothness and connection that the people have with the plaza produces enormous amounts of life and meaning. Communities produce a specific locality that makes any structure subject to that particular place.  It becomes more about celebrating the local rather than anything else. Roth explains that locality is about “creating environments for groups of people, living and working together in ancestral traditional ways”(Roth 607). Therefore anything that is build it has to satisfy the integrity of the community.


Community as a service has been always been something that I enjoy. I have gone to do Community service over at New Orleans to help the people affected by the hurricanes. These people live in trailers and tents because their houses have been ripped off the ground by hurricanes. Our job as a community service group is to help them to rebuild their houses and make them feel that they are not alone. The feeling of being part of this community is so great because since one comes to help, these people are in “wide open arms” to give you the best hospitality they can afford. Therefore, community does take a big place in my life, and I enjoy it as much as I enjoy anything else.




Today’s reality is about taking responsibility for our dependence of the environment. Architects, designers, artist, engineers have shifted their attention in creating a sustainable desing that requires less materials that could affect the environment. The safety and continuance of the human family is a “parallel concern for sustainability of the biological environment, the sustenance of the encompassing community of flora and fauna on which humans are utterly reliant”(Roth608). The concern for a “green” sustainability has shifted architects and people to create, with limited resources, an artfully skilled style and forms of buildings depending less on nonrenewable energy. Therefore, the environment becomes a stewardship for architecture, desing and people because we ought to adapt to what the environment can support, and nothing less.






Personally I believe that the Deconstructivism Movement is a great innovation in terms of original desing and style. Basically is to create a new thing over the supposed way to create buildings, to be original. The reality is that many people loosed focused in trying to be original, but I believe that Deconstructivism was a great and solid movement of originality. Deconstructivism “composed an interior which looks as it may fall apart, a loose collection of different technological and structural elements”(Massey 216). This movement is a big innovation because people starts to use desing with things that would have been never considered to be used as a desing component. Becoming original and innovative is what Deconstructivism has made, and has added new styles of desing.


I always thought that technology is an innovation that mutates all the time. I have been so impressed in my photography class because is a perfect example of a constant mutating technology. Back in the days, photography was made only by a reaction of a set of chemicals but today is different. Today we can enjoy in taking millions of pictures without having to change a film or worrying about how expensive would it be to develop the pictures. Because of the digital camera, photography has become a key component for advertisement, desing, etc because of its easy way to manipulate the image. In my class we can work with Photoshop and manage to place people in pictures in which they never existed. Therefore photography as a technological innovation is a fact.





In contrast to community and locality there is the Post Modernism. An authenticity of a demonstration of combined set of rules (classical+modern) and the idea to build everywhere and anywhere. It is a very anti local movement because there is not about where is located but about what does it represent. Does not matter where it is, as long as the structure has something to say, to project. Buildings and such, have to do more about providing shelter for humans. We ought to feel in harmony with the structure otherwise the building is a failure. An authentic use of new colors and shapes with a very playful style is one of many things that conforms a Post Modern structure. Massey describes Post Modernism as a “decoration used to create a striking mix of the antique and the contemporary”(Massey 208). Is about striking and mixing places, styles, images, and materials, to the unique idea of making something that is “seen to be seen”.


In my Desing Perspective class we have argued about enormous amounts of topics regarding life and the nature of order. The authenticity of this class is very interesting because the class is essentially personal. That is, there is no right or wrong answer in that class because everyone has a different perspective of the particular topic of nature and its order. Therefore, is a very authentic class because is unpredictable of what every person is going to say, or to think and argue about, so it remains as a personal perspective.


During this last week of class I have come to understand that, architecture, design and life has to do a lot with authenticity, community, stewardship, innovation and much more. We are constantly creating new things through technology, and becoming bigger as a community. We are challenged, as students and professionals, to be original and authentic in every aspect of our job or as our student carrier. Because of an idea of creating something new and original the Post Modern Movement and the Decontructivism was invented. Great styles and ways to live are taken out from being authentic and innovative. I believe that every designer, architect, engineer, has to involve him/herself into being a authentic original innovator integrating the community.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Opus Project/ 13th Week Prompts

[pair]ing down


During and after the World War II, Modernism was developing and growing in America. New ideas were being interpreted and new options were being considered. This period of Modernism could be classified as a period of meditation/reevaluation for the future and base of many upcoming features in architecture. At the same time, meditation created some sort of celebration within the buildings. For example, for Van der Rohe the Barcelona Pavilion, like Patrick Lucas said in class, “is itself the content of view. Rather than what is in it”. Celebrating only how the building looks like becomes true throughout the time and becomes more and more notorious not only for Rohe but for many other architects. The building is celebrated by its material, style and designs and the rest is taken as a secondary “celebration”.

In the Catholic religion the so-called “holy week” is meant to meditate the passion of Christ. This is celebrated normally when schools are in spring brake, but not every school coincides with this event. Normally private/Catholics schools tend have spring brake in that week so that people can focus on the holy week. It is a very important week for the Catholic religion because is when the people kill the son of God but then he rises and proves himself once again Jesus, the son of God. That is the day then called Easter. It has been interpreted in so many ways nowadays, but for Catholics is the celebration of the faith and a remembrance of the past.


Because of the concept of meditation and celebration, one has to consider the integration of the building as a whole, that is, light and shadow as an important component for the integration and celebration of any building. But not only light and shadow but also the inside/outside, the public/private, the materials, etc. Many things can change the role of light and shadow when building a particular building. That is why for light and shadow is important to determine what type of materials, style, service is going to be used for the particular building. Massey describes a natural element where “the use of natural light [should be used] wherever possible”(Massey 120).

In my photography class we had an assignment called “lights and shadows” which consisted in taking pictures with the idea of playing with the light and shadows. Basically, before having to take the picture one should had the idea of how much light and shadows one wants in the picture. If one is thinking in a dark setting, one should then go to a darker place where light is vague. Although, if you get into a very dark setting or very luminous setting, one can over expose the picture and then not be able to develop the pictures. One must find the balance between light and shadows.


The idea of transpose and juxtapose is found everywhere all the time in the theory and history of desing and architecture. The transposing of styles, ideas, materials are constantly found in architecture. From wood and mud to glass and steel. There has been a transformation since the classical to where we are now. Modernism and later on Post Modernism are a great example of creating something already with the idea of transposing it. Also building are always juxtapose to each other. You find several of different buildings stacked together or close by and they are completely different form each other. Is the idea of placing buildings side by side as close as possible and when is not possible, and then create something in the middle that looks like they are together.

In my English class we are challenged to transpose others peoples arguments to agree with ones own. To do this one has to have good rhetoric skills. To be a good at rhetoric, before talking to an audience one has to consider the ethos, the pathos, and the logos. Ethos means the credibility of the speaker. Pathos is the use of emotional characters to alter the audience’s judgments. For last, logos mean the use of reasoning to construct an argument. When one considers these aspects, most probably one will be considered a good rhetorical person. For Aristotle, rhetoric was the a important thing a citizen should be good at, and indeed the only people that participated in the ancient Greek senate were people with power and those without power in the senate were people with good rhetorical skills.


The ways of interpreting things can be taken literally and also abstractly. We can find architects that literally write down a rule and live up to it. IN the case of Corbusier, he invented the five rules of architecture. He thought that the best desing was the simplest. A building that was above level supported by pilotis, with no need of supporting walls, a flat roof, large flat windows and a smooth façade would be considered literally a work followed by the rules of Corbusier. Instead other architects were more abstract, trying to set aside the general rules and create their own. This way of thinking was one factor that led Modernism have a competitor, that it, post modernism.

In my Desing Perspective class we have argued and discussed about the authenticity of structures and their role in one persons self. In order to understand the idea that one can see oneself in a building or a thing one has to forget about anything literal and think abstractly. The idea is that if one does not break the literal understanding of things one cannot find the supernatural meanings of things. One has to go beyond literal proves and expose oneself to something that has not been written down, or proved to be as it is. To see oneself in a building requires being abstract and becoming free of thought.


I believe that the Sydney can be a perfect example of a monologue and a dialogue. The Sydney Opera House has been an iconic piece for the people of Australia. The Opera house has created a dialogue with the people in such a way that it has become a hot point for tourists to visit. But the Opera house has one particular problem, that is, the inefficiency of the theater design. The Opera House has the particular problem the sound is not projected, as it should be, creating a monologue between the singer/presenter in regards of the real use of the building. Therefore, once again, the theory of the content rather than what is in the building is confirmed. Phillip Johnson says, “Purpose is not necessary to make a building beautiful…” in other words, why care about of the purpose if we just want to make it beautiful.

In my Family and Relationship class we find that communication is essential for any relationship, that is, married, dating, and friends. One has to be sure to create conversations throughout the relation in order to create a full dialogue between the relationships. The worse thing one can do in a relation is to be the promoter of a monologue. A monologue will not take you anywhere when there is a need of conversation. It creates conflict, uncertainty, doubts, in a relationship and one does not one to be in a situation where one is unhappy because of lack of communication. Communicate is simple as long as the person is able to be open and create a converse, a dialogue, otherwise the relation will not work and will got to an end.


This week prompts really emphasizes in how is the Modern Movement taking place in our everyday lives. In a very distinct way it has been taking over every other movement and created things peculiar. But even today we are defining Modern, everyday we learn new things, everyday we meditate and celebrate. In general, we like to transpose to the future the best things we can so that other generations can create dialogues and continue experimenting like we are doing now.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Opus Project/ 12th Week Prompts

Action Verbs


The Modern Movement was about being simple and functional. Many architects had many interpretations of what exactly being “simple” and “functional” meant. In the general view the main concern was the “development of an industrialized architecture, and social responsiveness to housing needs” (Roth 525). History changes and parallel to history, architecture changes with it. Heinrich Wolfflin said, “Architecture expresses the attitude to life of an epoch”. Architects speculated many things about this idea of the new Modern Movement in where machines, technology, art, and desing were all starting to play a distinct role in this new movement. Many architects had their own ideas and speculated over many different theories. Some architects decided to go for the industrialized architecture and some other decided to take over the social needs. Mies van der Rohe, for example, had chosen the industrialized architecture; he said, “I see in industrialization the central problem of building in our time. If we succeed in carrying out this industrialization, the social, economic, technical, and also artistic problems will be readily solved”. Furthermore, one must understand that the speculation of an architect does not mean that that was the right choice for the Modern Movement.

Speculation can be a sensitive when its taken to human behavior. When someone studies human behavior it requires a lot of meditation and understanding from the action of that particular person in order to understand the personality or a particular behavior. There are hundreds of research programs  that do this kind of studies. One of them is called PREPARE which consists in the study of a couple measuring very detail, that is, heart rate, pressure, and more. This kind of programs have a almost 100% accuracy to tell you if one is subject to divorce or not. These programs not only give you information of how is your marriage going to work out but also provides the best ways to prevent that your relation falls apart. 



Having in mind what the architects and people had to speculate, one must understand the stretch that the Modern Movement faced. I see the Modern Movement as a rubber band that is being stretched and stretched to its maximum physical ability. What I mean with this is that, from the Modern Movement so many other movement and styles emerged, such as, the Purist Movement, Constructivism Movement, Expressionist Movement, International Style, etc. And by doing so we have a mix of many different movement but still pertaining to the same essence that the “authentic” Modern Architecture provides, that is, to be functional and simple. After all, the theorists of the Modern Movement were inspired by the concepts of rationalization and standardization.



From the same idea of stretching architecture to its maximum level, we can take as an example the Bauhaus which is probably the main responsible factor of many of the changes in the Modern Movement. The Bauhaus was a school that combined arts and crafts and it was well known for doing so. But the school itself had a constant change of venues and leadership that resulted a constant change in focus, technique, instructors, and politics. This was not to be necessarily bad, but it was certainly an interesting way to do things. The idea of the Bauhaus was, Massey describes, “The school aimed to teach the arts and crafts in tandem and to bridge the veer-widening gulf between art and industry”. Therefore the idea of the school was to compose in particular for the arts and crafts but later evolves into many things and it becomes an international meeting place for the development of the Modern Movement.

In photography class the way pictures are developed is with a series of chemicals that enables the paper to show the image. One of the chemicals is composed by miniature pieces of silver. This chemical cannot be thrown down the sink because it contaminates the water and people could be subject to drink from this contaminated water which contains silver. This chemical is reused several times but there is a point where the chemical has to go to waste. The process is taken care of in Alaska. When the chemical is expired some special company comes to UNCG and picks the container and then is taken up to Alaska and is treated. The process mainly is to separate the silver form the chemical. 




The idea of energizing the buildings and houses was an important factor for the Modern Movement. Le Corbusier said that the best designs were the simplest. But one wonders how can one energize a place while the best way to desing something is to have it simple. The idea was to create practical spaces where one could have flexible internal space and avoiding applied decorations. Something very interesting is the celebration of technology included as parts of desing within the structure. The idea of celebrating the air conditioning systems, or the water pipes, and other technology system as a desing component was also considered as simple but energizing.

In my weight lifting class, throughout the week, we have to keep ourselves energized so that when we lift the heavy wights our muscles are ready to lift one hundred and twenty five pounds at most. After class the trick to keep our muscles in shape is to eat an energy bar just after doing exercises. The reason for that is because when one finishes lifting weights, the muscles are asking for all the protein available in their bodies, but if your are able to provide more with an energy bar, they will have more protein to suck and as a result your muscles become stronger and stay bigger.



            Le Corbusier had came up with “Five Points of Architecture”. First, that every building must be supported above the ground level by columns (pilotis). Second, the interior must have a free plan, without the need for supporting the walls. Third, the windows should be large forming a continuous exterior wall. Fourth, the roof must be flat, some kind of terrace. Fifth, the façade should consist in a smooth surface. Basically the shape looks like a big glass box. This shape was taken as an interesting idea for large-scale buildings. These kinds of glass-box buildings had a great shape for the incoming light and are able to illuminate the inside very successfully. This buildings became very much useful for companies and such, but not very popular for houses.

In my Design Perspective class we have learned that depending of the sizes and shape of objects, buildings, mountains, etc. one can determine how much life has each object. Normally when a building has different levels of scales with different shapes it is more likely that it will have more life that a building that has no levels of scale and it has a monotonous shape. The idea is that every living structure must have a particular shape in proportions, looks, repetitions, positive space, symmetry, ambiguity, contrast, etc. These aspects mentioned, Christopher Alexander calls it "the fifteen fundamental properties".


The Modern Movement is a clear example of the exploration of the new ways architecture, art, craft, technology should be approached. Most people have different ideas and theories but almost everyone focuses in the same idea of functionality and practicality. I believe that all this Modern Movement is about the exploration of discovering new things. The creation of the new diverse architecture and the free ability to seek new ideas and styles to its maximum potential . 


Monday, April 20, 2009

A small detour to Rome

The role of Water 

During my trip to Rome I had the chance to understand the importance of water in the sculptures. While I was in Rome I could not believe how different everything looked compared to my books of class. The Fontana Di Trevi, the Fountains in the St Peter Basilica and the fountain in front of the Spanish Steps were some of the many fountains out there in Rome. Is incredible to see how water is so important in all these sculptures. The movement of the water has such a connection to the sculpture that one can feel a strong sense of life and attachment to the sculpture.  In the case of the Fontana Di Trevi one can observe that there is a related simultaneity throughout all the sculpture, a connection that only water can provide. Also just by looking to the fountains in the St Peters square one feels refreshed and relieved of the surroundings. The temperature can get so high and also so crowded that whenever you see the fountains and the water running through the structure one feels magnificent. People also use the fountains as a great source to drink water. The water that runs in Italy, Rome is as clean as a bottle of water bought in a store. In the Piazza de Espana or Spanish Steps people just enjoyed being around the fountain and drinking from it. It gives such a refreshing feeling that is so enjoyable. The fact that these fountains are still running is because of an ancient aqueduct made by the Romans. This makes the experience much more incredible. It is incredible to see something as ancient as those fountains still working today. The Romans clearly used these aqueducts for a way to reorganize the city.

The trip to Rome gave me a whole different view of how good water is integrated with sculpture. Water reaches a level that no other thing can. The movement, the feeling, the technology expresses so many things that it makes a structure so alive, so real. I believe that the importance of water integrated into sculpture is as important as anything else. After seeing this I believe that man is capable of doing everything. Roth says, “after a millennium, man was once more the measure and measurer of all things. Everything was possible for humankind”(Roth 356). 

Unit Summary.Reflections.

Unit Summary : Reflections

The past unit we talked about the alternatives that architectures were shifting towards. This idea of alternating ideas and theories gave the art of architecture a whole new horizon to look at. Roth says, “ The modern epoch is characterized by several encompassing trends”(Roth 439). I believe Roth refers to “encompassing trends” as the “alternative world”.  We can say that Modernism was born from different interpretations/reflections of the classical, gothic, baroque, and many other architecture styles.


Modernism, also known as Age of Enlightenment, was basically promoted by a precipitated change in the social structure in society. A growth rate of population, industrial production, and transportation made an enormous influence in architecture. Roth says, “Taking together, these changes in population growth, industrial production, and transportation produced a growing middle class, the likes of which had never existed before. This social class would become significant patrons of architecture in the next century”(Roth440).  I believe that Roth is completely right in saying that the middle social class will begin itself a new form of architecture. The fact that a middle class had emerged a completely new type of buildings and houses was true. Not everybody could afford the big palaces the king had, and not everyone had the time to wait for a beautiful decorated enormous house. Then new practical, fast and simple houses and buildings were created. Architecture became simply to its purest, that is, a simple structure that could provide the fundamental human needs was more than enough.


All this change in social class was because of the Industrial Revolution. The economy became the biggest factor for people to move into cities, create families, couple with early marriages. All these people wanted to live in the city and be part of this revolution. From this reality several of people interpreted architecture in their own ways in order to fit in society. For Atienne-Louis Boullee, architecture as just a symbolic structure could evoke a sense of funtion. For some others, Roth says, “The atifice of Rococo and architecture came viewed as symptomatic of the artificiality and corruption of what was called the ancien regime” (Roth 441). Even philosophers advocated radical change in society and therefore in architecture as well. What I am trying to get to say is that many people tried to approach architecture the best way possible for the new adaptation of Modern Era. By doing so, many interesting ideas came up and also strong opposing groups emerged against these ideas. For example the Aesthetic Movement vs. Arts and Crafts Movement. The Aesthetic Movement was an alternative solution, in the middle class, for a mass production of arts and crafts made in a cheap and fast way. Arts and Crafts movement was completely against this way of doings things. They believed that anything that is good made it had to be man-made. Massey says,” He [Morris] believed strongly that good design could only be produced by men and women working creatively with their hands (Massey 12). Therefore we can see a set of arguments made by people who agreed and not agreed with this type of movements.


In short, we can see that this unit demonstrates a re-enforcement of classical ideas and also a review of the way things are viewed and made. The introduction of cast and iron, of the machine, the growth of population made everything change. Many people admired the change and many people opposed it. The reality is that we can see how dependent everything is to one another. Architecturally and artistically things changed because of the social class and the need of practicality and speed in production. We can also see even today that the quality of cars, clothes, and food changes according to how much the costumer can pay. Therefore we see that this unit is all about reflection and making sure what is right and wrong. Modernism is the basic step to resettle the rules by creating new ones and reinforcing the old ones so that later we can explore them.