Wednesday, 28 January 2009

History of Architecture

This class tied back into our weekly prompt very easily. The words this week were story, multi-view, artifact, translation, and cycle. 
We spoke of the cycles of building design. How the building are perceived from many different vantage points, many different views, the story, or meaning behind each building, and how those meanings change over time.
Each building is made at a certain point in time to have commodity, delight, and craft. But as time passes the commodity, or way the building is used, changes, therefore you need to be able to design something than is multi purposed. We also spoke of how a building is perceived at the time it is built. And how the  perception of, or meaning behind, that building may change over time. For example the world trade center was once a building that represented world unity. It was a building where people from all over come and work together for change. But after september 11, 2001 the buildings are now representational of a very important, and devastating point in american history. 
The story behind the world trade centers has changed completely. It is now an artifact that represents an attack on our country. 
We also spoke in class about the meaning, or feeling, that we try to portrey as designers and what the actual outcome is. We spoke of how our designs translate person to person, and how it changes continuously over time.

"In architecture, as in all operative arts, the end must direct the operation. The end is to build well. Well building hath three conditions: commodity, firmness and delight." - Sir Henry Wotton

"Great Nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts- The book of their deeds, The book of their words, and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the other two; but of the three, the only quite trustworthy one is the last." - John Ruskin

The definition of Stories:
"The account or recital of an event, or a series of events, either true or fictitious." -Wikipedia
The definition of Artifacts:
"In archaeology, an artifact or artefact is any object made or modified by human culture" -Wikipedia

The definition of Translation:
"Translation is the interpreting of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text, likewise called a "translation," that communicates the same message in another language." -Wikipedia

The Willow Wren

My fairytale was the willow wren. From this fairytale i would say that the main point is to be responsible for your actions. There are many aspects of this story that support this moral. For example, the owl who is asked to guard the winner of the competition for bird king fails, and the winner escapes. The owl is then shamed and hides. From then on he only comes out under the cover of night. 
In a more literal sense the story gives reason behind the actions of the birds we see today. It tells of why birds sing, and what they are singing. It explains why owls only come out at night and hunt mice. And it explains many other aspects of their everyday behavior as well. 



650 b.c.



-          The Messenians revolted against their Spartan rulers.

-          Beginning of the second Messenian war.

-          The town of Abdera was founded in Thrace by colonists from clazomena.

-           Babylonia under the rule of Shamash-shuma-ukin rises in revolt against the Assyrians

-           The first pyramid of the Teotihuacan culture was built in Cholula.

       Cypselus becomes the first tyrant of Corinth

-           Zhou Xiang Wang becomes King of the Zhou dynasty of China.

-          In Greece it was the age of the tyrants.

-          The Chinese licensed lady lovers. This is considered as the 1st example of legalized prostitution.




-          Ancient Greeks started using large diameter punches to imprint images and designs onto coins and tokens.

-          Evidence of writing systems appear is Oaxaca

-          Duns and Brochs first use in Scotland

-          Iron tools being produced



-          Greece began using the drachma for currency.

-          Jade artifacts are traded in as far as southern central America



-          Ball courts, used in ball game of central American civilizations, found in Olmec centuries

-          Peraca culture develops in south Peru

-          Ceremonial complex built in Chiripa, Lake Titicaca

-          Hillforts begin to be constructed in the southwest


650 a.d.



-          An early Mayan classic temple in Copan was closed and covered.

-          Ritual items of flint knives and stingray spines was later discovered.

-          Civil strife occurred during this time, which followed about 30 years of drought. This led to the demise of the Moche civilization.

-          The Khazars’ aggressive territorial expansion drove some Bulgars westward.

-          The Bulgars soon founded a kingdom in the southeastern Balkans that is now known as Bulgaria.    

-          In Mexico the Teotihuacan culture began declining.

-          Arabs introduced Islam to Afghanistan.

-          A Saxon monk founded St. Botolph’s Town in England.

-          Japanese emperor Kotoku unites Japan and issues Taika Reform Edicts.

-          Byzantine empire retakes alexandria



-          Construction on the Dome of the Rock begins

-          First Shinto shrines built in Japan

-          Kallikinos invents Greek fire in Constantinople



-          Traders from Arabia established Islamic settlements on the coast


-          Buddhism reaches Tibet

-          Buddhism replaced by Confucianism as a state religion in Japan.

-          Mosque built in Kerala

-          Monastery built on the isle of Lindisfame

-          Pope Martin I is arrested by the exarch and taken to Constantinople

-          Slavs establish established independent bohemian kingdom

-          Hawaii islands are colonized from the Marquesas islands

-          Kingdom of Nobatia is incorporated into Makuria

Chair Project

In this chair project we were asked to design a chair using only ninety degree angles and chip board. We had a very specific amount of material that was available to us. This was to be a space for someone to use for several different purposes, such as a desk, a counter, a shelf, many different things, so it had to be multi-purposed and functional.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Drawing (In class and out)

A Midsummer Night's Dream

This movie tells the stories of several people in love. We all, based our backgrounds and experiences can relate to a different character from this movie. The characters themselves all come from different backgrounds and therefore react to things in very different ways. Throughout the story the director decides to include certain artifacts that may seem random but serve a specific purpose. Some of the objects included are a bike, and a flower. The flower is what the nymphs use to enchant the different characters, and change their perspectives on each other. This starts out as a game, but they have all become so accustomed to each other's normal reactions, that once they change they become completely confused and upset.

The Willow Wren

For one of my classes i was assigned to read the fairytale "The Willow Wren." This story taught of why birds act the way that they do. In this story there are many different artifacts included, such as a hammer, and a barn. There is so much description that the reader knows exactly how to view this tale. 

Week 1

Each week we are given a prompt. From this prompt we are to draw things from everyday life, each class, each meal, each day, and each night. We are expected to include sketches of anything we think of when hearing something to do with our prompt. 
This week our prompt was a grouping of five words. Cycle, Translation, Story, Multi-view, and  Artifact.

"Artifact" was one of the hardest words this week. I thought about my own artifacts. Some things that tell a story about me, and my past. Objects that tell my own history. I was asked to choose five objects for one of my classes and i took into careful consideration which items i chose. I wanted them to portray who i am accurately and creatively. Each item represented a very important part of my life.
Then i began to think about other historical artifacts, from architecture, from the history of the world, and how, in fact, EVERYTHING is an artifact. Everything tells a story of the world. We become so used to certain things in our everyday lives that we ignore them. These prompts help us to stop and really take in our surroundings. To actually sit down and think about what an object, an animal, a plant, anything teaches us about the world we live in.
The word "Multi-view" also comes in to play. Each artifact can tell many different stories, and can mean many different things to different people. We all see things in many different ways. In a physical sense, we talked about in History of Architecture, each building has many different sides. There are many different ways to view one place, object, or person. Each side looks different. Each person sees each side differently.

The word "story" was one of the easiest words to write about. Keeping the word in mind i was able to think about the stories behind the items that i drew, the life behind each object. When reading the Grimm's tale "The Willow Wren" i thought more about how stories are created and for what purpose. I came up with these reasons; to teach lessons, to record history, and to entertain. 
While sitting in my history of architecture class i'm learning the story behind architecture. Why and how it started, and how it developed, and continues to develop. It taught of commodity, Firmness, and Delight, which are all very important to architecture, but in a broader scheme, anything you do in life.  
Translation was a more difficult word to comprehend. It got me thinking about how stories translate over time. Their meanings, along with the meaning behind architecture, or any other art form change over time. Human perspectives change, therefore people will see things differently at different points in time. For example, the world trade centers once represented a place where people from all over the world come and work together. But after September 11, 2001 these buildings mark a devastating point in American history. 
This word also got me thinking about literal translation of languages. How we as a planet interact in different tongues. One of my favorite languages is french. When learning this language i would say sentences in english, but i would begin to translate them to french in my head. This was not only fun, but a very good way to learn. Thinking about this in more depth i wonder if we do the same things with other things that we learn. 

The word cycle, especially at this point in my life while i build new relationships and try to hold on to old one's , made me think of my friends and family.  Any relationship is a learning process. Whether it be best friends or boyfriends, you learn from each other, and work off of each other's wants and needs. Any relationship teaches you a lot about yourself as well. What your wants are, what your expectations are, and how you react to different situations. There is a very intense cycle of emotions with any relationship.  But in the end you learn, you learn from every new experience. The cycle of life. 

What was most intriguing to me was how intertwined all of these words are. Artifacts tell stories, there are multiple views to each artifact, there are cycles of how people will react to different artifacts, or stories, and how those stories translate over time will change. 


The items in the images above and below are all very significant to me, and who i am. 
In these sketches i included a change purse that is in the form of an owl. This small leather change purse is a remnant of my last trip to Brooklyn, NY and i cherish it. I enjoy my journeys to NYC very much because i get to spend time with my older siblings. 
I've also included a backpack. This backpack has come with me to so many important places and times in my life. It was given to me by my older sister. It came with me on my trip to France, it was my backpack through all of highschool, and now it's my backpack for college. 
Below i've drawn a bowler hat that i got from a thrift store three years ago. I included this item because it represents my unique style, and general unique outlook on life.
I've also included a pair of boots. These boots were a christmas gift from last christmas. They are currently my favorite item of clothing because of both their comfortability and their cuteness. 
In the picture below i drew my cell phone as well. I have learned so many things from it. This cell phone has caused so much anguish and happiness. So much anxiety stemmed from one simple item, and yet i can't go anywhere without it. It's incredible.