October 2003 Archives

modelmaking skills

i should have thought of looking at a modelmaking manual a little earlier

professional modelmaking

norman trudeaus's 'professional modelmaking' is a concise little book that i must show to noe. it contains five pages on using foam board which would have been a very useful handout for many in the 2003 intake. it does however contain the error that wood is best stuck together after scratching up the surfaces

designing with models

'designing with models' by criss mills on the other hand, although adequately informative about the materials and techniques of construction suddenly morphs halfway through into a manual of arbitrary and lunatic 'manipulations' that have no doubt contributed to the spread of the modernist psychosis

the marvels of movable type

having originally downloaded a version over a year ago and not touched it, i am now certain that i don't want to learn perl. consequently i've paid $40 for an install of movable type a few months before they come out with mt pro but i think its going to be extremely useful and i'm hoping this is the last old style post

the few people i've spoken to were enthusiastic about using it for a collaborative portal on the kiad server which will enable us to keep journals and portfolios online and much much more. it is a very powerful tool and this is going to be great fun

i wish i lived in cyberspace so i could watch it flower

'architectural graphics'

architectural graphics

i stopped reading at page 91 a few pages into the perspective section. i'll get to it later

ching makes a lovely distinction when he writes "Paraline drawings represent either an ariel view looking down on an object or scene or a worm's eye view looking upward. They lack the eye-level view and picturesque quality of linear perspectives. They represent what we know rather than how we see, depicting an objective reality that corresponds more closely to the picture in the mind's eye than to the retinal image of linear perspective".

design and form

'design and form - the basic course at the bauhaus' is a very gentle introduction to "the plastic arts" led by an eastern influenced guru figure sincerely engaged in inventing a new jargon

the whackiest picture of johannes itten that i've come across

the bauhaus archiv museum of design contains a description of the preliminary course taught by ittens from 1919 - 22. it must have been extremely seductive, particularly when combined with walter gropius declaring that "The ultimate aim of any creative activity is building ... architects, sculptors, painters, we must all become craftsmen again ... no essential difference exists between the artist and the craftsman, the artist is a craftsman of heightened awareness ... But the basis of craftsmanship is indispensible to all artists. It is the prime source of all creative work."

libeskind's design for the v&a  wurfel komposition 1919

it is an interesting journey from that to 'Death, Life and Libeskind' in which salingaros and hanson can refer to the "insipid, industrial bauhaus style" of concentration camps and point out that daniel libeskind's design for the V&A "is actually composed of lopsided, intersecting cubes, and bears an uncanny resemblance to the 1919 "Wurfel [Dice] Komposition" by johannes itten

i walk the line

exterior elevation interior elevation
exterior interior

the first year studio is overheated and has all the personality of a retrofitted cardboard box factory but with more little tables. i have decided to knock a whole in the wall and build a small alcove as a meeting and studio space

'the lost meaning of classical architecture'

the lost meaning of classical architecture

george hersey acknowledges his debt to r b onians's book 'the origins of european thought about the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time and Fate'. what a fantastic title, i think i'll ask the library for it

stylography is teaching or demonstrating using columns and explains their erection all over the world

teratology is the study of monsters and deformed beings and its popularity during certain periods perhaps explains the love of grotesque ornamentation

ivan illich has referred to the greater number of people with visible diseases whom one would have encountered in the middle ages and he himself refused to seek medical intervention for a cancer of his face that grew to the size of an orange but then he did write a critique of the profession entitled 'medical nemesis - the expropriation of health'

hersey traces the evolution of the language of early classical architecture by means of verbal and design tropes. the structure of the earliest temples was based on the needs for sacrifice, justice and punishment. hence the bloody vocabulary. for example the tryglyph represents a thigh bone broken into three and wrapped in layers of fat whilst the guttae are drops of blood

vitruvius, a roman writing in greek produced 'de architectura' dedicated to the emporer augustus, in 10 volumes during the 1st century ad. this introduced the proportions and founding myths of the tuscan, doric, ionic and corinthian orders. the earliest known copy is from the 8th century and he is the only author on architecture to have survived to be copied repeatedly during the middle ages

from then on his work has been translated, interpreted and embellished by various authorities culminating in a number of renaissance treatises. cesare cesariano produced the first fully illustrated and annotated italian version in 1521 and in 1549 the vitruvius teutsch included atalantes, caryatids, terms and herms, all forms of columns. other important editions are those of alberti (florence 1452) the italian edition of which appeared in 1550 and fra giocondo (florence 1522)

the language of classical architecture has become almost meaningless to 21st century humanity. its contemporary condition has been reduced to the level of young and old fogeys championing the incoherent babble of formalism and postmodern pastiche whilst ignoring the far off voices of pedants debating philology, herms and terms as they toil inter silvas Academi

'anarchy and order'

anarchy and order

the herbert read collection is housed in a seminar room of the kiad library and on entering it i found a first edition copy of 'anarchy and order'. the head librarian kathleen godfrey simply opened the bookcase and handed it over. i am choosing to take this as an omen

i remember starting something of his on buddhism but was put off by the style. this is much more readable and contains considerable wisdom

"It is possible that out of the ruins of our civilization a new religion will emerge, just as the Christian religion emerged from the ruins of the Roman civilization"

"Faith in the fundamental goodness of man; humility in the presence of natural law; reason and mutual aid - these are the qualities that can save us. But they must be unified and vitalized by an insurrectionary passion, a flame in which all virtues are tempered and clarified, and brought to their most effective strength."

and he refers to lord acton's dictum "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely"

'experiencing architecture'

experiencing architecture

rasmussen (1959) is a gentle introduction to buildings which contains the information that the fundamental unit length of corbusier's 'le modulor' is arbitrary guesswork with post hoc adjustments being made to building dimensions when the system failed to match reality. i do not believe this is general knowledge and that's a shame.

"The Germans speak of Raum-Gefuhl, meaning the sense or conception of the defined space. In English there is no equivalent".

this interested me as it raises the possibility of examining the changes in this sense that may have occured as a result of the rise of both individualism and of industrial commodification

at one point he states "But the man has not yet been found who can pass judgement, logically substantiated, on a building's architectural value". this is simply wrong but he can be forgiven as he was writing before the work of christopher alexander. there are now ways to look at the structural order of a building and to objectively decide if it is good or bad. this is not a comfortable idea for those who support the blind and willfull abstractions of modern architecture having given up on the idea of universal truths for want of a coherent cosmology

welcome to kiad

kent institute of art and design

freshers week was simply a blur.

i recall being amongst the last few to present their memory box from behind the piano in the foyer. i felt nervous and was very tired but i think it went ok. this is a great exercise as some people spoke of deep things. my only regret is that due to the sheer numbers and the general confusion i saw only a few of the 2003 ba arch cohort's presentations. the canterbury campus still seems to be under construction along with the faculty and the course. perhaps this is the way of things at cutting edge institutions. i am disappointed at the level of computing

am i being too harsh

criticism: the cheapest and easiest thing to do in the world

meanwhile the library and the librarians are wonderful and i keep smiling about the fact that there are people here devoted to facilitating my learning

inshallah i will repay some of this good fortune

memory box

memory box

my memory box concerns my first awareness of the anarchist symbol, my subsequent understanding of that philosophy and its connections to older religious patterns of thought and my attempts to understand and articulate its consequences for the future practice of architecture

my entry at the fivebooksblog concerns the most important sources made out of dead trees that inform my current understanding of how to repair both the world and myself

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