Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Road Trip

Jefferson's private bedroom is rooted in French design. (Above)

Roots. The basic cause, source, or origin of something. When visiting Monticello, we learned that the roots of Jefferson's home came from his travels and experiences from all over the world. Jefferson spent a great deal of time in France as the U.S. Ambassador. He studied the architecture of that country and brought it back to help build his home. "Gothic architecture, with its roots in northern European sources, evoked an uncivilized brutish period that they began to call the dark age that separated the glories of ancient Greece and Rome from their own time" (Roth 317). The following quotation further explains the idea one having roots, or borrowing, basic ideas from one source and branching off of that to create their own ideas.

My released explosion of drawings for Suzanne 
(not finished yet but is turning out to be one of my favorite project). 
It's refreshing to get assigned something thats just really fun 
when you're stressed out off your mind yo !! (Above)

Compression / Release. To flatten by pressure and then to allow to escape from confinement. With our latest assignment in Suzanne's class, we were told to draw at least five pictures all on one sheet of paper. Many of our other projects have been to only draw one picture on a piece of paper, which makes the assignment feel very compressed. Our new project is releasing and allows us to have an explosion of drawings. "In fact, if it were possible to freeze that form and invert it, the result would be a catenary curve or parabolic arch virtually entirely in compression" (Roth 38). This quote further explains the idea of compression holding something in. "Exposed to red, for example, the body experiences an increase in muscular tension, the release of adrenalin, increase of the heartbeat, and a stepping-up of gastric activity" (Roth 76). This quote explains the idea of releasing tension, much like I did for Suzanne's assignment.

Plan view of Jefferson's Monticello. Though, not completely 
identical, Monticello is extremely congruent and balanced. (Above)

Congruence. In agreement or harmony. At Monticello, Jefferson created a very congruent plan for his foundation. When viewing the home it appears to be a symmetric space. Each side of the house is almost identical to the other, which gives the house it's congruent appearance. "The technique of fan vaulting was used here at its grandest scale; the walls are completely dissolved in glass, and the vaults, windows, and detailing are a complete harmony" (Roth 310). Congruency is another form of harmony, which gives a space a sense of meaning and consistency.

Jefferson's spherical sundial. Get it young J !! (Above)

Materiality. The quality or character of being material or composed of matter. In Monticello, Jefferson used all local materials to build his home. He used lumber, brick, and other various materials from the surrounding towns. Jefferson also created a lot of material objects for his home, including a spherical sun dial that he designed himself.

Monticello set a top a hill, my inspiration and concept 
for my composition board. (Above)

Concept. An abstract idea; a general notion. In Suzanne's drawing class, I was assigned a project were I had to draw a series of picture on Monticello. My concept for the graphic was "The Hill." At Monticello, the house was surrounded by hundreds of hills and Jefferson actually had the top of a hill removed so that he could build his home there. "It was from Behrens that Mies derived the concept of the artist as agent of the taste of the age, and of architecture as being an expression of technical power" (Roth 469). Roth explains the idea of concept, by discussing the general notion of what an artist and architect is in an abstract way.

While I was working on Suzanne's assignment and looking at these opus words I easily found that Monticello applied to every word. The roots of Monticello originate from France. The house is extremely congruent and symmetrical. Jefferson also used only local materials to build his home. Monticello allowed me to create a released drawing rather than one that was compressed and made an easy concept for my overall composition.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Between Light and Space

A light fixture that Frank Lloyd Wright crafted.
It allows for back and direct lighting. (Above) 

Craft. An activity involving skill in making things by hand. Craft can be represented in a good way through clean lines, which can be achieved through a datum. Craft can also be represented through a negative way when lines don't line up or come to an end in a clean and polished way. "If one takes pride in one's craft, you won't let a good thing die. Risking it by not pushing hard enough is not a humility" (Paul Keating). Keating explains that one must always take pride in their craft, because when you don't you let your hard work die. One must always stand behind their own work and love it completely. Problems with Falling Water include having to fix the supporting structure every year. However, though the craft may be seem negative when it comes to the support system, it can also be seen as a positive in the fact that it was the first building to every be built using metal rods forced into the ground. YOU GO FRANKIE!

A room I designed for Suzanne's class. It is a virtual, that 
is something that is so good a fake, it looks real, 
drawing of a space. (ABOVE)

Virtual. Almost or nearly as described, but not according to strict definition. Virtual also means viewing without being there. In Jefferson's Monticello He placed mirrors on opposite sides of the windows to reflect and give the illusion of more light. As Tommy says, "It's so bad it looks good!" Virtual is also something that is so good a fake that it looks real. "The pyramids are virtual mountains, hauled block by block up to the plateau from the Nile" (Roth 169). This quote further proves the idea of virtual meaning so good a fake it appears real. Th pyramids are not mountain, however, because of there mass and form they appear to be geometric versions of mountains.

The fireplace Jefferson manufactured in Monticello. 
His technique involved adding acorns in between the molding. (Above)

Technique. A way of carrying out a particular task, esp. the execution of performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure. In Monticello, Jefferson used all local materials to build the structure. Also, in Monticello Jefferson placed acorns in between the spaces of the molding on his fireplace. Jefferson also borrowed technique from the french when designing his home. "Eventually these become just as commonplace as metal framing, which was itself a highly novel technique when used for building ..." (Roth 41). This quotation explains how good technique can be used to create beauty. 

Jefferson invented a dumbwaiter, which is a rolling cart. 
It was constructed for one person to roll out and serve
 guests instead of many servants doing the job. (Above)

Public / Private. Open and closed. Jefferson had one third of Monticello designed for his own personal space. He was also embarrassed about having slaves work for him, so he built the kitchen and staff areas under his house so no one could see the slaves. The food was brought up from the kitchen and placed onto a revolving service station, this also prevented his guests from seeing his servants. In Monticello, Frankie W. designed dark hallways to prevent people from walking to the other end (where the private bedrooms where) and stay in the guest area. "Saying that beauty and elegance in public construction are worth having" (Roth 137). "The nobles moved to Paris, where they erected spacious private houses, hotels, in what were then outskirts of the city" (Roth 389) These quotes allow you to understand the importance of public buildings being delightful for the people and private spaces being secluded for personal use.

Falling Water was constructed in an extremely modern 
way for Wright's time. It's language expresses how 
advanced he was. (Above)
Language. A method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way. In Monticello, one gets the essence of being sent back in time. Through language the design remains old but timeless. Falling water was constructed of local stone in an extremely modern way. Wright's design seems like it was built just a few years ago but in reality it was erected over seventy years ago. He was completely ahead of his time. YOU GO FRANKIE, YOU GO AGAIN! 

In my fantastical visit to Monticello and Falling Water I was able to experience and view many different elements of architecture. Craft is always one of the most important components to design. If you're going to do something, do it fit and proper. Technique applies in the same way. It's all in the details lovey. Overall, one's craft and technique creates a language that explains your untold thoughts. Also, with virtual imaging one can create images that illustrates the public and private spaces of a home. YOU GO FRANKIE, YOU GO AGAIN AND AGAIN.