Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Site Plan

Assignment: Draw a rough Site Plan of the building I live in with estimated topographical lines.

Snapshot from Google Earth

Site Plan

Sunday, October 26, 2008

East Wing of the National Gallery of Art

After hearing in class that I must visit this building if ever in Washington, DC, I visited it on my fall break trip to the area. It was totally worth the horrible traffic, crazy drivers, confusing roads, and strange tunnel we went through to get there. These photos do not do it justice, especially because most of my photos are of small portions. I did not attempt to take one that showed wide angles of the building.

It was very interesting to visit this structure after having just finished a project dealing with space. On both the interior and the exterior, space seems to be played with extensively. Though collectively the entire building is a space, and the rooms in them are spaces, there seems to exist many less obvious "places" in this building.

Oh, and it has the largest elevator I have seen in my entire life. I really regret not taking a photo of the inside of it when I was riding it. I think it is so large because it is used to transport artwork to the various levels of the building. It was amazing. It was larger than my bedroom.

Just in case anyone doubts I was really there, haha...

I really loved this giant mobile that was hanging down into the middle. One great feature of this building is the great open space in the middle that transcends all of the levels of the building.

I really appreciated this little detail: the way the stone is carved out here and curves with the escalator is great. It may seem like a strange thing to choose to talk about, but I think that it shows how important it is to respond to what you have to use. It was a good idea to have an escalator there, so instead of just plopping an escalator there (not that escalators can really be plopped), the wall was made to respond to it, and therefore the escalator becomes more integral in the building.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dialog: Process and Final

This project required each of us to create two, and only two, distinct spaces from 12 4x6 pieces of Bristol Board and 12 bamboo skewers.



Questions: Dialog Critique

How is dialog created?
A dialog between two spaces can be created by putting these two spaces back to back. Adversely, it can also be created by distancing these spaces from one another, though may cause a third space due to proximity. An imaginary line may be created to cause the dialog between the two spaces. Continuation creates an interesting dialog between two spaces. This is one tactic I used in my project. The dialog may be created by the two spaces being identical, speaking in unison.

How is a sense of space/place defined?
A gateway can be created to welcome into a space, thus defining it. Proximity creates a space. This became a challenge in this project. Often one would have two spaces but find that the proximity of those two spaces created a third space. Each space can be distinctive. Some spaces are secondary while others are primary. Sometimes one space is large while the other is small, and, if one is small enough, it becomes the secondary space, and it may not be much of a space at all. Some spaces possess order while others have a sense of disorder.

How is the idea of system generated?
Systems are generated by adhering pieces of the kit of parts together then forming them into something else. A piece of the kit of parts may be transformed into something different, for example, splitting the skewers. They then become a sort of adhesive for the project.

How does the joinery support the project concept/strategies?
There must be structure to hold a shape. The shape of a project is what tells the story. The joints may create a sense of tension. A broken stick created a joint because some fibers remained attached to both sides. There is similarity in the broken skewers and the folded paper. Some joints are things piled, skewers glued to paper. The joints define the space.

How is scale utilized in the project?
Scale is one of the most important lessons to learn. Scale can be utilized by making one space larger than another. In every dialog, someone or something is dominant. Sometimes, however, the spaces may be of >u>identical size or scale. The skewers create a lot of small spaces that may be regarded as secondary or even tertiary. When the space are two different sizes, there is a more clear sense of two distinct spaces and thus a stronger dialog. Scale is always somewhat defined. In this project, the scale was defined by the size of the paper and skewers. Though they can be joined together to create larger pieces, there is still an inherent sense of scale due to the original size of the materials.

How do two-dimensional images add to the understanding of the project?
Drawings can show a lot of detail that a model may not show or make clear. This is because a drawing can be blown up and lines can be emphasized by varying line-weights. For example, the places where pieces of paper overlaps can often blend away, seeing that the paper is all the same color, especially from a distance. However, if one wished to do so, in a drawings the edges of the paper may be drawn in a heavier line-weight, and hidden lines may be utilized to show the underlapping piece of paper. Conversely, drawings can be simplified to give the viewer a more general and direct idea of the project. The actual structure and spaces can be easily defined since minute details are left out. Sometimes just the spaces may be drawn to emphasize them, while other material, though vital to the structure, is left out. Drawings are all about what one wishes to emphasize and de-emphasize.

How did the initial project idea evolve?
For some, the evolution came from the previous project. Some chose to choose a particular type of human dialog or conversation and go from there. Some used a precedent, for example, a symbol with a sense of meaning and a strong sense of dialog. For me, I began with a type of conversation, but then departed from that and attempted to make two spaces that were somewhat opposite and definitely distinct from one another. However, my end product was two spaces that were formed by one coherent piece.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Twig and Cell Phone Contour: Final 4

twig and phone final

In my final composition I stayed true to my love of smooth lines and high contrast. These were my four favorite ones. I achieved the overall cohesiveness of the four pieces by the repetition of circles.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Twig and Cell Phone Contour Thumbnails

This assignment required me to first of all create 16 zoomed in, semi-detailed contours of a twig and a cell phone.

twig 1

cell phone 1

I was particularly proud of how my twig images turned out. I found it so much easier to find interesting details in a twig than in a detail. By design, something natural tends to have much more detail and visual interest than a piece of technology, no matter how advanced it is or what it can do.

Next the process required that I create 64 quick abstracted thumbnail images of the twig and the cell phone.

64 Twigs

64 cell phone

Once again, I found the twigs much easier. I found myself having a very difficult time not drawing the same thing over and over again for the cell phone thumbnails. I think that part of this difficulty came from the fact that my drawings were on the abstract side in the first place, and also because a cell phone is so repetitious-- there are all of these buttons that look exactly the same and generally they are designed to be as sleek and slim-lined as possible, without anything extra. Many of the keys even serve multiple functions.

The next step was to merge the cell phone and twig thumbnails in an abstract and interesting way to make new images. This proved more difficult that I had imagined, but it was fun to mix modern-man-made and natural.

final <16

Some of my thumbnails are similar because for the final four, I want my images to be cohesive to create a single piece while still allowing each block to be its own piece. I hope to achieve this harmony in a very successful way without being repetitive.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Unity: Final

This assignment focused on creating a unified design out of 12 planes (4x6 cards of Bristol board) and 12 rods (10" bamboo skewers). I achieved unity by the repetition of the three planes with square in the middle, and the same number of rods at each corner, which were meant to not only hold the structure up, but to also point the viewer's eye inward toward the focus of the squares of negative space.



UNITY: elevation

UNITY: plan

UNITY: graphic

UNITY: gesture

UNITY: contour

Monday, October 6, 2008

Compare and Contrast: Unity

My Design

Other Person's Design

I am comparing my project to one I feel is quite similar to mine. I feel that both attempt to achieve unity through the rods, or skewers, being upright and the planes, or paper, being horizontal. In the other designer's project, he pierced all planes with all rods, with all planes being one on top of another with some space between them. Mine, however, created square-like forms from 4 planes pasted together, with 3 rods piercing each intersection of two planes. I did this in a diagonal fashion, in an attempt to bring the viewer's eye to the central squares of negative space. The other piece has the rods piercing the planes in a line, with one at the middle forefront for support and perhaps interest.
The other project I feel was better crafted than mine. Though I put a considerable amount of effort into my product, I could not get it to stand properly. The other, however, seemed more sturdy. It was easier for me to get my layers evenly spaced, though, partially because I only had three layers to deal with.
Both products, I feel, created something that was greater than twelve simple rods and twelve simple planes. Both achieved a feeling of overall unity and visual interest. Both had steady, staccato rhythms, which drew the eye from one rod or plane to another. Our most unifying elements were repetition. Mine I feel was more successful in this regard, since I repeated the line-up of three rods per intersection of two planes, three larger planes made up of four planes from the kit of parts, and the squares of negative space not only in the middle of the larger planes but also created at each of the four corners.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008