Tuesday, September 14, 2010



Although in many different ways, the Eastern portion kicked off architecture and design for the rest of world. Yes, this section does include many countries and civilizations which at times seem completely different from one another, their individual styles and reasons behind which, are very similar. Below is a picture of the Parthenon from Athens, and the Pyramids at Giza, both of which looking completely different in terms of scale, proportion, and form. The Pyramids are stark, obvious geometrical temple in means of form to celebrate those whom once lived and played major roles in society. The Parthenon, however, is made up of many minute geometrical forms which come together as a temple to worship a Goddess, Athena, which lives within their souls and also plays a major role in their day-to-day lives. There are many more differences I could recollect on, but there are also many similarities to be mentioned. The Grecian people believed in the concept of the center. The center was an ideal place for any given object as it encompasses the idea of all attention being paid to it, which furthermore brings us to the idea that it is the most important place within all things. Although the Egyptians never bluntly gave us this idea, we find today in many aspects of the works they left behind for us. The pyramids all come together to a point at the top of the form, where we also find the most important objects possessed by the worthy ones hidden. The point is closest to the sky, and is the attention-grabber we appreciate. The Parthenon, in a different way, also portrays this idea of the center. Athena stands in the center of the structure width-wise and is definitely seen as the centerpiece of the building. Greece and Egypt are two very dissimilar places, but within, when searched hard enough, we find likeness.


The Egyptian culture puts much emphasis on possessive items and materiality. What they own not only shows their stance within the society, but is a symbol of their wealth. We find this in many readings as we research back into history, and find the structures and valuables they have left behind. Decorated furnishings most often told stories with symbolic pictures which projected a theory towards ones previous life, and we most often find this sort of furnishing in the burial sites of royalty. They were not only found in tombs of the deceased, as it was common for an individual of royal power to have this sort of piece in their home. Their entire lives were spent collecting material things in which they would take on with them to afterlife. Although some of their furnishings were extravagant, they also owned other plain ones, which I hypothesize were simple so that they would show off the objects which are sat upon them, ultimately being used as a showcasing agent. We relate extravagance with the Egyptian culture as we see that all components of their lives are materialistic.

PHOTOGRAPH SOURCES (in order of appearance)

1 comment:

  1. [4] i appreciate the distinction between a building reserved as a special place for burial and one that encounters more an everyday expression. i wonder if the parthenon might be the best example for the latter, given that it was reserved for special visits. [5] so it's easier to be extravagant with furniture? not sure i totally follow this line of argument.