Sunday, October 3, 2010

POINT ESSAY. foundations unit. IAR 222

As we travel through Mesopotamia, America, China, and Egypt we find the first signs of architecture the world has to offer us. Humanities first efforts tend to be much the same, no matter where we look upon earths surface. We find that circles, lines, and stacks are all introduced in different forms and ways. All civilizations are putting forth an effort to convey their story, not only within their culture but to all present and future cultures of the world. We find a notion of longevity and stories within the society over many generations. In order to tell these stories visually, mass efforts were put forth through architecture by means of scale. Massive installments were made upon earths surface, with an established vertical axis which was inscribed between humanity and the heavens.
Making our way to Greece, we are able to add an element to our list. Not only do we find balance, although asymmetrical upon the acropolis, we now compile circles, lines, stacks, and form. In Greece, everything seems to lead to, or be a sign to something else. No lines are parallel to one another, and we discover that artfully crafting a building is much more complicated than it may seem. We also find that the center is very important. It is real and ideal. Egypt becomes the prototype for Greece's architecture, as we discover the scheme of porch, court, and hearth. Lines of symmetry are formed through buildings designed for places of worship. The temple form is suggested after a system of trial and error. The Agora is the place of gathering for conversation and gossip, as it is an everyday alternative to the acropolis. The “tympanum” is introduced on the pediment and is usually decorated with some sort of hand crafted sculpture, and so is the idea of patterned mosaics and tile work. All of these things relay to us a story of some sort, whether we interpret it correctly or incorrectly.
Lastly we travel to the Roman Empire which was known as the Melting pot for revival. Rome is beautiful and refreshing to us as we find extravagant pleasure of a modern city, a looking forward civilization, horizontal expression over vertical, assimilation and adaption of the locality, and a powerful empire. The interiors are filled with a wide spread use of columns and vaulting as we discover a technological breakthrough with masonry. There are surfaces, not systems, paired with decorative, ostentatious furnishings. As we weave through diverse building types, our world becomes enlightened with architecture and designs order of space.

Although it is not a defined subject that we cover in class, we do use the ideas daily in conversations and otherwise, so I have decided to incorporate it in my essay. During the course of the semester we took a mini pop quiz which required us to write down all of the principles and elements of design that we possibly could. It was quite embarrassing to find out that I could only identify one or two of them, out of the overall ten. Since the quiz I have been working on my memorization of them and trying to relate them to everyday life, and figure out what exactly they mean. I realize that my entire life, I will be working towards figuring these things out, by adding and taking away from this list, but so far, from our compiled list, this is what I have come up with...

Line: a single mark of progression.
Space: the parts between two or more planes.
Form: the shape or flow of a plane.

Repetition: the repeat of two or more parts.
Contrast: two or more opposing factors.
Emphasis: the importance placed on a certain subject.
Harmony: the perfect balance of a collection.
Balance: equality in weight between parts.
Proportion: relationship of the parts.
Unity: prominent factor; idea of a whole.



  1. You have met the word count, and although it is nicely composed, I got a little lost along the way. This was due to the brief comment on Egypt. I wasn't sure if you were speaking about Egypt or Greece.
    The ultimate foundation of architecture is the construction of Egyptian Architecture.. it would have been more effective if you spent more time on Egypt.
    On a positive note, I loved the fact that you incorporated class activities + showed that you're learning and understanding as we move forward in this specific unit.

  2. Your essay is well-written and meets the word count. I found that it was easy to read and flowed well. I'm glad to see you are memorizing the principles and elements of design- they come in very handy. Great job!

  3. i appreciate your honesty about the elements and principles of design... i think that's something we all need to work on! one thing i would work on is making sure the writing flows from one subject to the next. it seemed a bit choppy and hard to follow at some points. it would also help to talk about how the ideas you learned in the foundation unit affect your own design thinking. finally, i am unsure how the pictures you chose relate to the post. a few sentences explaining that would make it more explicit.

  4. the length is good. i think there could have been some tweaking done in your writing to make it flow a bit smoother. i find your images to be very interesting, i just don't know how they relate to the unit or your summary, so i wish you would have explained your feelings and thoughts on those. i noticed while speaking on rome, you mentioned there was a technological breakthrough with masonry; just to clarify, "masonry" actually goes all the way back to egypt, and the use of concrete was the technological breakthrough in rome. overall, nicely done!

  5. Your essay read very well and had a really great fluidity to it. You touched on a lot on the elements of design and that helped bring all your points together... over all, I think your essay was excellent.