Wednesday, April 29, 2009

[pair]ing down

[pair]ing down

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Opus Entry

synthesis: this selection of the opus entry is meant to tell the story of the modernist tradition. Modernism is, at its roots-just like every other movement that we have studied this semester. It is different, in my eyes, because for the first time- the reaction (as in ACTION VERBS) -ary measures taken by the architects and designers clearly define how they events in history influenced design.

action verbs
“…for what I believe history will judge the most remarkable outpouring of artistic creativity since the early Renaissance. Modernism was closely linked to economic and social modernization, and it can hardly be held wholly accountable for the sins of property speculators and government bureaucracies…” (Weston 4).

“…his interiors were marked by the Modernist integration of interior and exterior. At his own duplex in New York City the paving-slabs of the garden continue into the living area to provide continuity.” (Massey 150)

Bringing in the outdoors. Alvar Aalto sought to bring the outdoors in for the patients at the Paimo Sanatorium, as it was believed that the cure for tuberculosis included lots of time spent in the fresh air.

“The new architecture is anti-cubic, that is to say, it does not try to freeze the different functional space-cells in one closed cube. Rather it throws the functional space cells (as well as overhanging planes, balcony, volumes, etc.) centrifugally from the core.” (Massey 71).

“He experimented with new materials such as spun aluminum, melamine, vinyl and metals in the design of functional objects, such as chair with a concealed writing-table and magazine-rack, and oven-to-table ware.” (Massey 150)

“The simple steel framework of the building is sheathed in plate glass and metal screening to create a feeling of openness and interaction with nature…” (Massey 145)

It is hard to Imagine being anything but energized while relaxing in one of Johnson's glass houses, reclining in the most sumptuous of leather recliners

Paimo Sanitorium- Picture from flickr-

Glass House- Photos by Erik Johnson. Article from Time magazine by Richard Lacayo. Posted on blog at

Friday, April 17, 2009

Unit Summary

The reflections unit is a bit harder to describe than the previous units. “Reflection” as a concept is opinionated by nature. Reflection can also be focused on any topic on which a person wishes to ruminate- whereas; “alternative” and “foundation” are more concrete, operationally definable concepts.

For the unit summary purpose, I think that it is useful to reflect on the different ways that design and architecture was affected in different sections of the world by events and movements in the 18th and 19th centuries. Were the reactions of the people of the 19th century to ancient concepts like invention and war different than the reactions of people that lived in previous centuries? From a hindsight point of view- I think that they aren’t. The architectural moves made in the 19th century are, at their roots, very similar to previous centuries design choices and conflicts. The reason that we tend to view the 19th century as different was because of the magnitude of the inventions and communications that were taking place.

This unit included many design “conflicts.” I would suggest that the 19th century is not the first time that “conflict” in design happened- it was however the first time that there were multiple opportunities to express ones opinion and grow a movement basis. The ancient- gothic-renaissance-and baroque periods were categorized by the power of Empire and monarchy- whereas the 18th and 19th centuries have the rise of the first “open” settings for opinion and creativity. Design contests are now public- the “losers” of these contests were still viewed by the public.

Design “conflicts” also started to take place in quicker succession than in previous centuries- due largely to the fact that everything else in the world was moving more quickly as well.Information was accessible to many more people, much more quickly than ever before. Previously, theorists would have had to wait a long time to find out what was happening in the design world. With the advent of the printing press, photography and the increased availability of land and water travel- design and buildings could not only be written about in books and magazines, but also visited in person. If one didn’t have the money to travel around the world- world’s fairs became hugely popular as a competitive field for displaying the best and brightest of any given country. For any opinionated person, this added even more pressure to argue with even more people about everything.

For as many commonalities that can be found in the 18th and 19th century, there are just as many new issues. Population growth in this period was completely unprecedented. The world saw its first pandemics. The days of conquest by brute force were over – countries now teamed up and fought wars over ideas.

Reflection is present in this unit as it was happening within the period. This period is all about the increased ability of people to reflect on history and form new opinions. My reflection for this unit is about the human changes (or lack thereof) that took place.

Image from the 2008 Worlds Fair in Zaragoza, Spain. From the webstie of

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Between Silence and Light

between silence + light

I found the title “between silence and light” to be a bit puzzling for my interpretation of these word prompts. I can think of several points in the 19th century that personify the title, but those were not the examples that I linked with the word prompts for this week. I intentionally chose to not go the obvious route this week and talk about the arts and Crafts movement. If I were talking about the Craft movement the title “Between Silence and light” probably would have fit much better. In the end-I felt that the impressions I took from these prompt words better represented myself and my thinking than trying to feign interest in the arts and crafts movement- so this my Opus.

These words are linked together by the 19th century quest to find another kind of balance- the balance between form and function. Increasing awareness and availability of information to a group of highly intelligent and inquisitive architects made the hugely contrasting styles of the 19th century possible.


“In the United States, where laissez-faire capitalism controlled business and politics, no direction was given to urban growth. In Europe, however, where governmental and bureaucratic control was more customary, steps were taken to shape urban growth…” (Roth 491).
Roth spends a great deal of time giving statistics on the growth of cities in the nineteenth century. His numbers show that growth of cities was exponential in both Europe and America. I found it interesting that after the above quote-Roth immediately described the dreary state of Paris before the "steps were taken to shape growth," making his above argument seem, at least for a short period of time, contradictory.
The mid-nineteenth century was a time of transition
and of growth for cities, business and trade. The
ground floors of these residences on Water Street in
Philadelphia, Pa

If you didn't know that these two images came from two different countries- you might assume that the photo on the right came from Paris- It seems as though neither America nor Europe could adequately handle the population boom of the 19th century.


Language is the most basic unit of common understanding and communication. If two people understand a common language they should be able to understand each other on at least a word-for-word basis. Sir George Gilbert Scott, an architect and designer of High Victorian Gothic style building sought to send a message that didn’t require the use of words, but drew on the common understanding that experiences create for a people. John Ruskin, architectural critic described, “…external representation of internal function through varied building masses and in expressive use of various building materials in their natural colors…” as one of the primary goals of architecture (Roth 484).

The different ways that buildings can portray the function of their interior on the exterior is clear in this photograph. St. Pauls is very clearly a church- then just across the street- The Guaranty Building is a bit of a misnomer!

“While the students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts were taught structural design and construction techniques, design instruction at the Ecole des Beaux Arts focused strongly on plan organization, with a view to the simplest possible circulation into and through the building, as well as on expression of the character of the function being housed.” (Roth 499)

Ecole des Beaux Arts
Necessary for the development of any fine art is the availability of a good education. Variety of educational resources is as necessary, if not more, to the development of one's individual technique. Art is only heightened by the push and pull that are created by the ego.

“Nearly all these late-nineteenth-century architects had extensive academic training and ready access to huge libraries of photograph, monographs, and illustrated portfolios covering the rich panoply of past architectures. They used an eclectic approach to design, but based on academic knowledge and restraint.” (Roth 506)
It is important for the refinement of a craft that professionals have a healthy interest in historical information and documentation of generations past. While creativity is worth its weight in gold, there is only so much that an artist can do without inspiration.

Princeton’s wordnet dictionary defines the word “virtual” as “(a): existing in essence or effect though not in actual fact.” Skyscrapers are the virtual Gods of the metropolitan city. Roth quotes Louis H. Sullivan, “to his definition of the modern commercial skyscraper: ‘It must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exultation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line.” (Roth 509).

1. Photo courtesy of Free Library of Philadelphia.

2. photo not cited- found via google through wikimedia.
3. Promotional Photograph for the City of Buffalo-
4. Found on Flickr -
5.Found on Flickr -

Road Trip

compression : release
History and Theory of Design – Draft of Precedent Analysis Writing
• Introduction- The Ideal Stadium
o“Sports Stadia are essentially large theatres of entertainment which ought to be as pleasant to visit as a cinema, opera house or play theatre, whilst also being social and architectural landmarks in their towns and cities.” (Stadia John, Sheard, &Vickery 49)
o“Design excellence is achieved in stadia when structure, enclosure and finishes express at all scales…a single concept which functions well, is rich and expressive, and avoids jarring conflicts.” (49)
• Historical Setting
o The domed stadium is the building form in which the race to design horizontally and the race to design vertically are able to collide to create a venue that is large vertically-in order to recreate the feeling of open-air first idealized in Stadia and large horizontally-to maximize profit by expanding the market of people who use the stadium beyond sporting events and into convention space-musical event-hotel-suite- and office space.
•Vertical Vastness- The view of the top of the dome from the On-The Field Perspective
•Historic Horizontal- The view of the front of the dome from the Outside Perspective of the Stadium

• Sound- Effects and Comparison. All below tabs are to be supported with their own deliverables that clearly show the way each factor effects sound maintenance and production in the Lucas Oil stadium.
oDome Shape
•In designing domes soft curves and slopes of the enemy of sound. This means that irregular shapes create many fewer acoustic problems and rectangular or curved ones. Surfaces that are broken up by moldings reflect less sound that flat ones. (Stadia John, Sheard, & Vickery 224)
oDome Height
oAngle of ideal sound projection
oSeating shape
•Overhanging seating layouts have been avoided so avoid the buildup of sound intensity in the seats below the handing tier.
oCatchers within the Stadium
•Press boxes
•The Drum Corps Effect: Music in Motion and Their Stake in the Dome
oComparison of features in the Lucas Oil Dome Specific to Drum and Bugle Corps to other Domes that the Drum and Bugle Corps Competition circuit travel to.
•San Antonio, TX- The Alamodome
•Indianapolis, IN- The RCA Dome
•Atlanta, GA- The Georgia Dome

•What everyone else is talking about: The Retractable Roof Dome
oArchitectural theorists who study focus on the theory behind stadium design suggest three camps to the philosophy of how stadiums can be classified; dominant roof, dominant façade, and dominant structure (Stadia John, Sheard, &Vickery 51). The Lucas Oil Stadium could easily be classified either a dominant façade stadium or a dominant roof stadium.

oComparison to other Retractable Roof Domes (Construction)
•Skydome- Toronto, CA
•Dallas Cowboys Stadium- Dallas, Texas
•Lengthwise retraction
•Millennium Stadium- Cardiff, Wales
•(Stadia John, Sheard & Vickery 281)
•Kukuoka Dome
•Circular retraction

oLucas Oil
•First of its kind -- SuperFrame Structural System
•Unique 2 panel moving roof design -- roof supported on 5 rails
•Gabled roof with peak running north/south down center of field
•176,400 square feet opening area (300’ east/west x 588’ north/south)
•Long, narrow panels “stack” over building and do not overhang or overshadow the building facade
•Operating Mechanism -- cable drum drives mounted to (upper) transporters
•About 9 - 11 minutes opening or closing time

•Other Lucas Oil Stadium Feature Firsts
oThe Indoor Facility- Chambers surrounding the actual field. Financial stability of the stadium is dependant upon the stadiums ability to continually accrue earnings throughout the year. Even with the multiple sports seating configurations that are available in Lucas Oil Stadium, sporting events alone are not able to single handedly pay for the construction and operation of this mammoth venue. The Lucas Oil design team has smartly added many special features that do not directly relate to sporting events.
•Tradeshows can take advantage of an indoor 30,000 square foot loading dock with 11 bays, retractable seating and operable walls to utilize up to 183,000 contiguous square feet of space.
•Conventions may use the stadium for general sessions in a variety of configurations. The twelve backstage meeting rooms plus the 25,000 square foot Exhibition Hall 1 and 18,000 square foot Exhibition Hall 2 may be utilized for additional convention space.
137 luxury suites for lease, including 8 field suites that offer a unique opportunity to see the game up close and personal, as well as 12 super suites. All suites are equipped with leather armchairs, bar stools, elegant furnishings, and flat screen televisions complete with NFL Sunday Ticket and game statistics provided via video network. Inside you will also have the ability to select press, public address, radio, television and auxiliary audio feeds. Seating capacities within the various suites range from 8 -72 guests. Restrooms for suites are conveniently located on each level.
•Both the east and west club lounges lend themselves to host a multitude of events. East and West Club Lounges are each two-level with internal escalators, elevators, and stairs connecting the two levels. With nearly 30,000 square feet in each club lounge, full service bars, upscale concessions, dedicated restrooms, numerous HD flat screen TV’s and video wall, an integrated audio system, and easy access from the main parking lot, the Club Lounges offer a plethora of options!
•Lucas Oil Plaza is located on the north end of street level. It is best suited for banquet style dinners and receptions, finished with a décor to match the buildings namesake, Lucas Oil. It offers access to meeting rooms located on event level via elevator, escalator, and stairs. Lucas Oil Plaza comes outfitted with access to electricity and has a horseshoe shaped stage in the center, which can be used by entertainment or a speaker.

oThe Picture Window Wall
•Placed at the foot of the “picture window”, the Bud Light Zone is located on the north end of Terrace Level and has the best view in the house. It is 12,500 square feet of an incredible view of downtown on one side, and the field on the other.

oThe variety of seating designs for use at sporting events
•Floor plans will be attached for support of the vast changeability as part of the deliverables portion of this Precedent Analysis. Floor Plans for: End zone Mini-Dome Basketball- NCAA Full Facility Basketball- Concert- Tradeshow- Football- and of course Marching Band!

oThe Curtained Backdrop
Works Cited

Baim, Dean V. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 1994.

Hardy, Hugh. Building Type Basics for Performing Arts Facilities. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006.

Jewell, Don. Public Assembly Facilities Planning and Management. New York : Wiley-Interscience, 1978.

John, Geraint, Rod Sheard, and Ben Vickery. Stadia, a Design and Development Guide. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Limited, 2007.

Petersen, David C. Sports, Convention, and Entertainment Facilities. Washington, D.C.: ULI- the Urban Land Institute, 1996.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The prefix (re) is a complicated prefix. Each of the terms that are used as prompts this week can be easily thought of in terms of a type of (re) action.

Sources are the causes of all reactions. By labeling any stimulus a source, we suggest that there is something that will be affected or informed. Sources, in the educational sense are important for basis of knowledge; they are citable facts and figures upon which solid opinions can be speculated. Movement in my investigation is a scientific term. In this context of reactions- I think of movement as the formation of a social group with similar ideas and ideals that may (or may not move between physical locations as a consequence of their shared background). The formation (or (re) formation) of these movements is a reactionary evolution to change. Rotation- when thought of as a geometrical term, refers to the movement of an object or picture in a particular fashion around a particular axis or symmetrical line. Once this has taken place- the object can be reinterpreted by its new symmetrical placement. Many movements are mere rotations of ideas. In class (today) Patrick mentioned that to be a reformation, some change must be present- some new idea must be represented for a “formed” group to be considered “reformed.” I think rotation is a good way to represent the goal that many groups have in mind when “reforming” themselves- they are not looking to completely eradicate the ideas of their predecessors, rather they want to refocus (or rotate around) their focal point.
Illumination and reflection are grouped together in my reflection of (re)actions because they are both (re) actions that people can actively take in the interpretation of sources to form new movements or reform old movements.

Illumination has been a powerful metaphor for many movements in history. On UNC Greensboro's campus, the ceremonial lighting of candles, known as "luminaries" is an inspirational winter tradition.

As a psychology major- (I am also a music major but this particular post happens to fit better with my science-y side) I am constantly investigating the link between cause and effect. We have entire classes based on research methods of cause and effect- I have had countless professors spend hours discussing at length how the world of cause and effect are inextricably linked. I would suggest that in this sense- sources are a cause and movements are an effect. This effect is often categorized by a person reflecting on a thought that has been illuminated through any given series of events. That said- On to the artsy stuff to actually apply all of these incredibly science-y concepts. My goal for this piece is to link all of these words together and show that any reaction to one term can be effectively linked to another term.

Source and Movement
Sources- as I explained above- are important as they give factual basis for any argument. In this case of architecture- I believe that the most important sources that we can study are the original design movements that eventually inspire revival. Without these sources- we could never have theorists like Morris and Ruskin who debate over whether or not reinterpretation is legitimate!

"At first as the nouveaux riches moved into communities and became part of the landed gentry they desired to be accepted by the established families. They did not have independent aesthetic standards;this meant that when the new country houses were constructed the new owners emulated their neighbors. ...Throughout the period...there were two conflicting strains of development: one of traditionalism, the other based on the felt need for reform and innovation..." (Blakemore 392-393).

Source and Rotation says, “ Rotation is a transformation that turns a figure about a fixed point.” The above blurb mentions reinterpretation. Rotation and reinterpretation often go hand and hand in the philosophy of a movement.


Any high school aged math student will tell you that if you rotate an object enough, you will eventually end up with the exact same object you started with. While this concept works scientifically- I think the theorists have clearly shown that it
doesn’t always line up in practice. I do not think that Morris-no matter how much he rotated and reacted against revivalist styles would ever end up supporting the idea he reacted to. Thus is the beauty of stubbornness.

"The Aesthetic Movement lack the moral concerns of the Arts and Crafts Movement. its object was to create less ponderous and healthier 'artistic' interiors for the Victorian middle classes, whose tastes had now mature." (Massey 26). This quote sums up the interaction between rotation and re-evolution of an idea. The progression of movements in the reactions period of this course begins with the lavish Gothic style of decoration- which is followed by the oppositionally stark Arts and Crafts Movement- which is followed by the reinstatement of luxury in the aesthetic and revivalist movements. While the movements do eventually rotate back upon themselves, we have yet to seen a particular theorist that is humble enough to identify this particular trait within his own theory.

The closest we come to a theorist contradicting oneself is the identification of the challenges of creating a movement. "The future of modern art rests with the middle class, but they need educating. they are worth educating too...but it behoves those who cater for this class to be very careful to only produce really good things, perfect in design and workmanship. If the public is taught how to distinguish true art from the many varieties of false, it will appreciate each at its proper value. True, it costs more to produce superior articles, but the expense is only an initial one, for in this, as in other things, in the long run good articles are cheaper- and moreover, they often come to have an intrinsic worth of their own." (Massey 62). In this quote, challenge is met with healthy respect and a solution is at least suggested-however unrealistic it may be.

Reflection and Illumination Effect Movements
Reflection and Illumination effect movements in that they are often the cause (or they are the reaction that is the cause) of formation and reformation of any given movement. As history continually plays out-events transpire and refocus the attention of thoughtful, involved people. It is only natural for these curious people to reflect about how they might alternatively interpret EVERYTHING given certain illuminations.
A movement influencing not only the visual arts but also literature and music, Romanticism was responsible for the tendency to rely on naturalistic elements.” (Blakemore 390). Reflection and illumination of particular concepts in movements are essential. Movements must have core values that can be ruminated on if they are expected to take on any significance.

Given "certain illuminations" designers have chosen to make statements through their creation (or recreations as the case may be). The White House is a prime example of how a historical movement can make a statement by deliberately NOT changing the design of a building.

The Oldest known image of the White House. 2

The White House as it appeared after it was burned by the British in 1814. 3

The Shiny "White" White House as it stands today. 4

"It was against a background of such historicism that designers in Belgium and France created a style without historical precedent, that made new use of materials such as iron ,and was directed towards the middle classes and intelligentsia rather than the very wealthy...From 1893, Art Nouveau architect-designers concerned themselves with all the elements of a building, from the architectural shell down to the door handles. To create a fully integrated and contemporary environment was the pivotal aim of the movement." (Massey 32-33)

Vase by Matthias Frobose. Dieser Beitrag wurde vor am Saturday, 24. January 2009 um %R Uhr veröffentlicht und unter Formforschung gespeichert.

2.Department of the Interior, U.S. National Park Service Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

3. Picture from Cited as Library of Congress.

4.Department of the Interior, U.S. National Park Service Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.