Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dream : Design :: Tell : Story

Hansel and Gretel
Each thing we design should tell a story. For our first project, we were given a story, a fairy tale, to read and translate and create an artifact of. In this way, we were given the story first to create an abstraction of, instead of creating our own story. As a class, we watched a movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is many stories brought together into one.

Hansel and Gretel Artifacts
The things that we make and design are artifacts. To be specific, one of our first assignments is to create a wearable artifact abstracted from a Grimm’s Fairy Tale assigned to us. The study of Material Culture explains civilizations by their belongings, instead of written texts, like history. It is also interesting to note that the word “artifact” begins with “art.”

Multiview drawings can be essential to understanding pieces, rooms, and artifacts. They are helpful ways to get the point across to a builder or potential buyer. We had a quiz in which we had to draw views of a model building. There is a standardized way to draw the views of an object, which must always be followed for continuity and clarity.

Design Cycle
The world runs in cycles. There is a life cycle for organisms, objects, and styles. There is the design cycle of popularity and decrease in popularity, always in response to what came before and to the greater context of what is happening in the world at that time. Objects are passed from generation to generation, essentially making what was old new again.

One of our first projects is entitled “Found In Translation.” The stories we read in this assignment must be translated in order to create an artifact from them. Fairy Tales, parables, and stories like them are always subject to, and often meant to be translated to better fit the audience’s personal experience. Drawings are translations of artifacts.

Stories and artifacts are translated. A multiview drawing is a translation of an artifact. Artifacts are a part of the design cycle. Everything we learn is more closely knit than we often realize, and once a moment is taken to see the connections between each thing we learn and each thing that happens in our lives, things often will make more sense and be of greater importance to each of us. It is vital way of translating things.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Hard Times Lead To Happy Endings"

It is only Tuesday and it seems like this has already been the longest week ever. I stop so many times during the day and realize that I have way too much to do- and I have it all written on every piece of paper I can find, just in case I forget.

One of our assignments was to compact our assigned fairy tale into one sentence. I had Hansel and Gretel. I summed the whole thing up by saying, "Hard times lead to happy endings," which I think is a way many fairy tales and parables can be summed up. As I was finally taking a moment to breathe and look through some of my favorite design blogs, I glanced back over at the page where I had written that statement and thought about how that was the situation I am in right now. I am going through a hard time of sorts-- I feel that I have been left out in the woods somewhere and I have to find my way home (or rather, I have been given a massive amount of work that I have to find the end of), but I realize there is a great reward to getting it all done-- or-- the happy ending.

Part of my happy ending is getting to use my new favorite thing-- a sewing machine! I have wanted one forever, and if I may say so myself, I have picked it right up and learned how to use it quite quickly. I have already sewn a tote bag, and I carried some heavy books in it today and yes, indeed, it stayed together. I just cannot say it looks too pretty. I suppose I have the technique and maybe not the craft quite down yet.

Timeline 1400 BC/AD

1413-1387 BC

-Lion Gate at Hattushash (near modern Boghazkeui, Turkey) is made.
-Urnfield culture emerges

-Development of Horse-drawn carriage
-Myceneans develop form of writing

-Assyrians became very powerful.
-The height of the Canaanite town of Ugarit.
-Thebes, capital of Egypt becomes the largest city of the world, taking the lead from Memphis in Egypt
-Crete conquered by Mycenae (approximately 1420s BC) — start of the Mycenaean period.
-Final collapse of palace at Knossos
-Ashur dominated by Hurrian kingdom

-Myceneans expand into Crete

1375 - 1413 AD

-The University of Würzburg, Germany is founded.
-The world's first quarantine station is built in Venice to quarantine against the Black Death.
-The University of Turin is founded.
-Foundation of St Andrews University in Scotland
-Bethlehem hospital in England
-Hospital de Sant Pau
-University of Würzburg
-University of Würzburg
-Forbidden City
-University of St Andrews
-Brancacci Chapel

-The Kangnido map of the world is completed in Joseon Dynasty Korea.
-The Yongle Encyclopedia (then one of the world's earliest and largest known general encyclopedias) is commissioned by the --Chinese Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle.
-First written record of whiskey being consumed recorded in Ireland, where it was distilled by Catholic monks
-The geography of Ptolemy, an ancient Greek, is introduced in Europe

-Epiphany Rising in England
-Medici family rises to power in Italy
-Political chaos in Germany
-The Great Schism of the papacy
-Rise of Aztec Empire
-Byzantine Empire falls to Ottomans
-Joan of Arc
-Inca Empire
-Council of Constance
-Portugese Empire

-Medici bank founded in Italy
-Age of Exploration
-Zheng He, Chinese explorer, sails to Africa
-Lizard Union
-Wonderful Parliament

Saturday, January 3, 2009

As morbid as it may seem, I found this fascinating. This headstone has been there so long that the tree had grown around it!


photo taken in Charleston, SC

Grandmother's Flowers

My grandmother has quite the green thumb. This does not necessarily have anything [obvious] to do with Interior Architecture, but I do also have a love for photography, and I find inspiration in everything, especially nature's beauty.

grandmother's garden
grandmother's garden
grandmother's garden

for more, please direct here:

Peanut Book

I will not lie. When I received the assignment to draw a peanut and make a little book out of it, I was quite intimidated. I could not figure out what to do, what theme to use, and I was afraid of drawing the peanut since there are so many intricate parts to it. True, that is part of what makes it fun, but it also makes it very difficult, especially at the end of the semester when the eyes are tired. Each of us were assigned to draw the peanuts utilizing the drawings methods and styles we had learned this semester.

peanut cover

To view the entire book, please click here:

It has been a while since I completed this project that I am posting this. Looking back now, I see a lot of mistakes I made and I wish I would have taken more time and did it more neatly. I believe this is part of the reason it is so great to have photos of your work. At some point you are forced to look back at it and see your failures and triumphs. For example, I believe my drawings are better than I thought they were at the time.