Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Vignette is Worth a Thousand Words

Vignettes tell their own stories. Therefore, rather than explaining why I chose to draw what I did, I will let you make your own decisions. The thing with vignettes is that there could be multiple stories within one vignette. Use your imagination.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Timeline: 725 BC and AD


725 BC

1. Bakenranef succeeds his father Tefnakhte as king of the 24th dynasty of Egypt
2. Sparta conquered the neighboring region of Messenia and took over the land.
3. Seige of Samaria began.
4. Spartans turn the Messenians into Helots.
5. Naxos in Sicily founded as a colony of Chalcis in Euboea.
6. Hoshea becomes the last king of Israel.
7. Babylonia makes itself independent of Assyria, upon the death of Tiglath-Pileser III.
8. Israel is conquered by Assyrian king Sargon II.
9. 722 BC — Spring and Autumn Period of China's history begins as King Zhou ping wang of the Zhou Dynasty reigns in name only.
10. Assyrian king Sargon conquers the Hittites stronghold of Carchemish.

1. Kings of Cyprus thrived under a market economy.

1.Temple at Samos was built in Greece
2.Temple of Athena built between 725 and 700.
3.Theogony, wrotten by Hesiod on the myths of the gods, the origins of things and the order of the universe.
4.Temple of Apollo Archegetes give the city of Naxos prominence in religious affairs.
5.Olmecs built pyramids in 800s BC
6.Homer and the Illiad and the Odyssey.

1. Adobe, wood and stone are popular materials for architecture
2. Pottery becomes a popular form of art
3. Houses are of irregular plan and plant churches are long and sometimes narrow or square with a central row of columns.
4. “Daedelic” style- Ancient Crete
5. The diaulos footrace introduced at the Olympics.
6. Chinese record solar eclipse.
7. Demotic writing appears in Ancient Egypt

725 AD

1. The Umayyad caliph Yazid ii dies after a 4 year reign and is succeeded by his brother who will reign until 743 as Hisham.
2. The Japanese empress Gensho abdicates in favor of her 23 year old nephe; a son of the late Momu by Fuhito Fujiwara’s daughter Miyako, he will reign until 749 as the emporer Shomu.
3. Greece revolts from the Byzantine rule of Leo III
4. Iconoclasm phase starts.
4. Greek fleet sets out for Constantinople with an anti-emperor but is destroyed by the Byzantine imperial fleet with an incendiary mixture called Greek Fire.
5. The Lombard king Liutprand takes advantage of the rebellion caused by the Iconoclasm controversy in Byzantine, Italy to extend his realm.
6. Siege of Constantinople. The Bulgarians and Byzantines defeated the Arabs. The Bulgarian army slaughtered between 20,000 and 32,00 Arabs.
7. The Battle of Tours ends the menace o a 90,000-man Moorish army that has invaded southern France.
8. Muslim invaders caqpture the walled city of Carcassonne, France.
9. The Anglo-Saxon prince Ethelbald (Aethelbald) ascends the throne of Mercia and gains hegemony over London, Essex, and all of the English Midlands
10. A Syrian army of 80,000 men and a fleet of 1,800 ships lay siege to Constantinople. The Byzantine emperor Theodosius III is deposed after a brief reign and succeeded by a 37-year-old military leader who soundly defeats the Syrians, killing the Umayyad caliph Suleiman.

1.Sugar is planted in Egypt.
2.Moors invading the Iberian Peninsula introduce rice, saffron, and sugar cane.

1.Palenque (Mayan civilizations of palaces and temples) was sacked by the realm of ToninĂ¡,
2.Leshan Giant Buddha of Sichuan province, China.
3.Qizu Pagoda built in honor of a Buddhist monk
4.Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) by Yasumaro Ono is the first work of Japanese literature (history).
5.Bede completed his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. He was the author responsible for the popularity of the A.D. system of dates
6.House of Wisdom built under Abbasid dynasty.
7.University of Ez-Zitouna established (oldest teaching establishment in the Arab World)

1.The Tang dynasty Buddhist monk, astronomer and mechanical engineer Yi Xing applies the world’s earliest known clockwork escapement mechanism to provide rotating motion to his astronomical armillary sphere.
2.De ratione temporum By the Northumbrian monk-historian Bede, 53, at the monastery of Jarrow uses BC for calendar dates prior to the year in which Jesus was supposedly born.
3.The new emporer Shomu orders that houses of the Japanese nobility be roofed with green tiles, as in china, and have white walls with red roof poles.
4.Greek Fire is used in battle.
5.Bede completed his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. He was the author responsible for the popularity of the A.D. system of dates
6.Chinese eating sticks are introduced.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Build : Design :: Tell : Story

Build: v. to form or have formed by ordering and uniting materials; to produce or create gradually (Merriam Webster's Dictionary). 

Story: n. A narrative or account; a report or statement; anecdote; short story (Webster).

The word "story" is found in the word "history". 
In a way, history shapes design, because like history, architecture involves the interaction of humanity and nature. Though humans tell stories to distinguish themselves from nature, their stories most oft
en involve nature. Architecture also involves nature, especially now with sustainability on the rise. John Ruskin writes, "Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts- the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. But the only quite trustworthy is the last." Deeds and words are blown us, but art tells a true story by its physicality. In our studio class, we were asked to read fairytales, make a psychoanalysis, and dig deep for design elements such as pattern, texture, color, light, etc. This project alone displays the relationship between something as simple as a story and something as complex as a design. We also watched Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Nights Dream". This play, which was turned into a movie, involves 5 or 6 smaller stories within the main story. The intertwining of these "mini-stories" correlate with the intertwining of design elements in architecture.

Artifact: n. Something made or modified by humans, usually for a purpose; an object remaining from another time (Webster).

Artifacts are also involved with history. Usually, when one hears the word artifact, they think about a dug-up piece of pottery from ancient Egypt, or a bone from the dinosaur age. These artifacts, by themselves, tell a story, or rather, give an account of things that might have been. In architecture, artifacts are used to report history. For example, the ornamentations on the columns of the classical orders are artifacts. By seeing these artifacts, one can distinguish a Corinthian order from an Ionic order (Roth, 31). Surely the words "ornament" and "artifact" are not synonymous. However, artifacts from a native tribe could hint at which tribe it belonged to, just like how ornamentation in architecture hints at the time period of that building. In our studio class, we have been asked to create an artifact that abstractly applies to our fairytale. This artifact must symbolize the most important aspect of our fairytale without giving the literal cycle away. In our drawing class, we were asked to draw five artifacts of our own (above picture). These artifacts should have significant meaning, and perhaps give some interpretation of our values?

Multiview: Multiple & View
Multiple: adj. many; multiple.
View: n. a way of looking at or regarding something; a judgement. (Webster)

Multiple views tell multiple stories. The word "multiview" could have many different meanings in architecture. First, there are literally multiple views. For example, in orthographic drawings, you are able to view the front, the top and the side. When looking at delight, though, in our history class, we came across the manipulation of space. There is physical space, perceptual space, conceptual space, and behavioral space. All these different manipulations are multiple ways that an architect needs to view a space in order to accommodate to the multiple needs of a work. When talking about delight, Leland Roth mentions the aspect "ugliness". The word "ugliness", though, is quite general. What some people see as ugly, others may see as genius. It all depends on who and how a person is viewing something. In "A Midsummer Nights Dream" there were multiple views, or perceptions. The views in the movie differed from those in the play, and the perception of characters like Dimitrius and Lysander changed due to the enchantment. In our drafting class, we are creating a model of a seat, from which we will have to draw multiple orthographic views.

Cycle: n. A period of time occupied by a series of events that repeat themselves regularly & in the same order; a recurring round of operations or events; a long period of time. (Webster)

History is it's own cycle. History is multigenerational, and therefore changes with each generation. The partial-transfer of style from generation to generation creates a constant style, which eventually ends where it started,  because history has a tendency to repeat itself. Sir Henry Wolton said "In architecture, as in all operative arts, the end must direct the operation. The end is to build well". In this cycle, the end product defines the process to get there. In other words, a designer must have some idea of what they want the product to look like before he or she can find the steps it takes to get there (necessary materials, required time, building steps, etc.). This cycle causes the trend found in the bell curve, with multiple styles overlapping. Also, though styles overlap, function is constantly changing in the same cycle. Right now, in our history class, we are working as a team to mark history in intervals of five years, in order to find a pattern or cycle within the history of architecture. For my inspiration board (the above picture), I decided to portray my story in a cycle, because the cycle influences the design elements incorporated in my fairytale. For example, color goes from cool to warm, in coherence with the mood (ominous to happy). Scale also changes in that the least important character in the beginning of the fairytale ends up being the most important at the end. In a Midsummer Nights Dream, the multiple love cycles are in accordance to the multiple stories ( Dimitrius and Lysander over Hermia, Nick Bottom and the fairy princess, etc.). 

Translation--> Translate: v. To change from one place, state, or form, to another (Webster)

History is a translation in that it changes with generation. Translation and cycle go hand in hand in this case. As an architect, it is crucial to "design a building so that any possible future activity can be accomodated" (Roth, 14). This concept is called "universal design". As history passes, so do societal needs, calling for different uses of buildings. In Roth's opinion, buildings should be designed to serve any function necessary. In chapter 5, Roth discusses architectural acoustics, and explains that some composers, like Bach, actually translated their compositions to accommodate the piece of architecture that they wanted to perform in. In our drafting class, we created a piece of furniture intended to serve the purpose of a server, seat, table AND workstation. The design in the picture, serves all four purposes, and therefore translates from one form to another when necessary. 

As I have tried to explain above, all five of these words play a huge role in history, just as they do in design. I was taken by the amount of connection I found in these five words. Build is to design, as tell is to story. I chose the word build because when one is creating a design, there are multiple processes that he or she must go through, like a cycle. In the definition, the dictionary speaks about uniting materials. In the first semester, we learned the importance of unity in a design. A design is not just one elements, but it is a unit of elements. Design tells a story, incorporating multiple views and using artifacts to translate the cycle of history.

Illuminated Objects ; 5 Meaningful Artifacts That Represent Me

 These five artifacts play important parts in my life. 
In the bottom left corner, I chose to draw a necklace that I received as a gift from my grandfather for my confirmation. This necklace is not only gorgeous, but it represents the feeling of love that he showed for me, though my grandfather never said I love you.

Above the necklace, I chose to draw a pencil. A pencil could be representational of anything, but for me, it represents creativity. Not only do I enjoy drawing, but I also love to write; short stories, poems, songs, anything. This pencil has taken part in my past, and will continue to play a role in my life to my graduation, and even afterward in my career.

I chose to draw a CD because I love music. Before I wanted to be an interior architect, my life aspiration was to be a singer. I've learned how to play four instruments (piano, flute, clarinet, and guitar) as well as read music. Though I love to sing, I also love to listen. My range of music interests vary from country, to showtunes, to rap, to any type of music out there. The only music I can't stand is bluegrass (and I go to school in the south...). 

On the right page, a teddy bear infests the page. I've been attached to this teddy bear since birth. It was my first gift ever from my parents, and it doesn't leave my bed. Sure, it's tattered and ripped and has no eyes, but it's a safety thing for me. I feel comfortable anywhere with it.

Last but not least, I drew my pearl earrings. The only time I ever take these earrings out is to sleep (the ends try to punch holes in my neck while I sleep). Pearls are my trademark. Now these earrings are not real, but it's the style of them that does it for me. I've always been kind of preppy (I learned that from boarding school), so they have come with me. I also refuse to wear "dangly" earrings because they make me look like I'm trying too hard. So studs are my thing, an they're usually pearl studs, not to mention, they're huge.