Archive for the ‘History of Architecture’ Category
Posted in Architectural Photography, Architecture, architecture, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Cures for the Nothing, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, History of Architecture, Photography, photography, tagged abandoned grain elevators, Buffalo, ghosts, lost america, rugged beauty, ruin, the steel towns on April 19, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Architectural Photography, Architecture, art, Collage, Design, Digital Collage, Digital Manipulation, Experiments, F R A G M E N T S, Featured Architects, History of Architecture, Photography, Quotes, Research, School Work, Spontaneous Constructs, Theory and Criticism, Writing, tagged Architecture, collage, deconstructionist, dream, jim kazanjian, Photography, Rumi on February 4, 2013 | 1 Comment »
You have to keep breaking your heart
until it opens.
Without the use of a camera Portland-based artist Jim Kazanjian sifts through a library of some 25,000 images from which he carefully selects the perfect elements to digitally assemble mysterious buildings born from the mind of an architect gone mad. While the architectural and organic pieces seem wildly random and out of place, Kazanjian brings just enough cohesion to each structure to suggest a fictional purpose or story that begs to be told.
Reblogged from here.
Posted in ArchistDesign | Studio, Architecture, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Articles & Essays, Competitions and Collaborations, History of Architecture, Lectures, Poetry, Portfolio of Work, Research, school, School Work, Writing, tagged History of Architecture, Louise Gluck, Poetry, the undertaking, updates, visual notes for architects and designers, writing on October 27, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Another month rushed by, seemingly accelerating towards the end, as though sprinting to the finish line. The year’s end. Another year.
This past month brought also new beginnings and renewals. Just like accountants, professors measure years differently from the general public.
So this, other, new year that starts with the fall -the harvest- brought Spring in October : experimental mixed media and history courses, new energy, enthusiastic and curious students, expanded involvement, new projects and many welcome social occasions…and always, the company and camaraderie of my gentle and wise kin.
I love my job and feel so blessed. (I have just been given a Service Award for Five Years of outstanding contribution to the school, celebrate good times..)
I hosted my very first reception for my Graduate students’ work in the History of Architecture course this last week. The title of the exhibition was
‘ History of Architecture: Analysis and Synthesis through Visual Notes’.
My past students’ critical, and sometimes lyrical and poetic work –their beautifully rendered drawings, sketches and diagrams–have been gracing the halls of my school and received much acclaim. This body of work and research into this alternative method for teaching history is the topic of a forthcoming paper, which I will present in the Spring.
I am also launching a project called Builtculture, which I will be editing. This is something I have been working on for few months along with a stellar Graduate student of mine, Samar Sepehri. Builtculture is a repository for lectures and cultural events happening in San Diego and the So-Cal region, for the architecture and urban design discriminating aficionados. It exists in form of a facebook page for now, but will soon morph into a simple yet useful calendar site–as soon as I can catch my breath.
Planning to post photos of the Visual Notes Exhibit next week -need to scan few more examples and ‘teasers’- and to share Builtculture when it is ready too. I am thinking about adding an Academic section to my work site, Archistdesign, for such endeavors.
All of this to say, really, is that my full-time job and volunteering [ for community build and garden build projects , I have learned to build a deck and plaster, aka architecture for social purpose ... yes!] have taken ahold of my heart and days lately, and my art has had to wait.
I also (also!) will have my poetry published. New poems have been brewing and blooming, maybe I will share one later tonight.
I know that there are few of you who follow these ramblings of mine , who gently coax me when I have not posted for a while, and wanted to reach out and declare that I do not want this to be a ‘ travel blog’ , a dalliance…but that I also have to make peace with the fact that I am nor cannot be a a full-time writer, poet or artist, (although I would embrace these lives and crafts in a heartbeat, teaching is my calling) and that I cannot post or work on my art everyday. Life itself needs to be explored, precious work completed, books need to be read, and body, soul, and spirit nurtured daily. Perhaps, I have been given too many passions for just one life. These are heavy gifts and Chet Baker sings ‘I fall in love too easily’…
Before biding my hopefully brief adieu, here is a poem that I recently found among old correspondence.
It is nice to be old enough to have that.. Speaking of correspondence, see ‘ Young Goethe in Love’. I died.
The darkness lifts, imagine, in your lifetime .
The darkness lifts, imagine, in your lifetime .
There you are — cased in clean bark you drift through weaving rushes, fields flooded with cotton.
You are free.
The river films with lilies, shrubs appear, shoots thicken into palm.
And now all fear gives way: the light looks after you, you feel the waves’ goodwill as arms widen over the water;
Love, the key is turned.
Extend yourself —it is the Nile, the sun is shining, everywhere you turn is luck.
Posted in Architecture, art, Drawing, Film, Habana Diaries, History of Architecture, Ink, Music, Poetry, Quotes, sketchbook, sketching, Watercolor, Writing, tagged Before Sunrise, cuba, Drawing, Havana, History of Architecture, ink, La Habana, Moorish Architecture, Movie, Mudejar, Neoclassical Architecture, sketchbook, sketching on April 26, 2012 | 2 Comments »
“Music is a total constant. That’s why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment.”
Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
Posted in ArchistDesign | Studio, Architectural Photography, Architecture, Art Show, art,poetry,writing, Books, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Habana Diaries, History of Architecture, Le flâneur, Lectures, Music, Photography, photography, Quotes, Reading, Research, School Work, Traveling, tagged Alejo Carpentier, Architectural Styles, Architecture, Centro Habana, city of colums, cuba, Cuban eclecticism, El Malecon, Federico Lorca, graham greene, Habana, Habana Vieja, Havana, havana as a rose, images, La Habana, literary quotes, Lost CIty, photographs, Photography, Quotes, ruins, urban design, Vedado on April 20, 2012 | 1 Comment »
‘Habana is very much like a rose,’ said Fico Fellove in the movie The Lost City,
‘it has petals and it has thorns…so it depends on how you grab it.
But in the end it always grabs you.’
“One of the most beautiful cities in the world. You see it with your heart.”
Enrique Nunez Del Valle, Paladar Owner
Habana’s real essence is so difficult to pin down. Plenty of writers have had a try, though; Cuban intellectual Alejo Carpentier nicknamed Habana the ‘city of columns,’ Federico Llorca declared that he had spent the best days of his life there and Graham Greene concluded that Habana was a city where ‘anything was possible.’
Habana is, without doubt, one of the most attractive and architecturally diverse cities in the world. Shaped by a colorful colonial history and embellished by myriad foreign influences from as far afield as Italy and Morocco, the Cuban capital gracefully combines Mudéjar, baroque, neoclassical, art nouveau, art deco and modernist architectural styles into a visually striking whole.
But it’s not all sweeping vistas and tree-lined boulevards. Habana doesn’t have the architectural uniformity of Paris or the instant knock-out appeal of Rome. Indeed, two decades of economic austerity has meant many of the city’s finest buildings have been left to festering an advanced state of dilapidation. Furthermore, attempting to classify Habana’s houses,palaces, churches and forts as a single architectural entity is extremely difficult.
Cuban building – rather like its music – is unusually diverse. Blending Spanish colonial with French belle epoque, and Italian Renaissance with Gaudi-esque art nouveau, the over-riding picture is often one of eclecticism run wild.
Posted in Architecture, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Artuesdays, Competitions and Collaborations, Digital Manipulation, Experiments, History of Architecture, Photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged fotografia., Inverno, Photography, Venezia., venice, winter on January 3, 2012 | 3 Comments »
In the winter, Venice is like an abandoned theatre. The play is finished, but the echoes remain.
To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.
There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden.
It is the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone.
I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand.
A train-ride takes you from Milano to Venice..whose real name is Venezia, the Most Serene city and splendid, golden Republic. On the train you think about Byron, his letters written on trains, his Venetian Countess.
Through frozen fields and dormant earth, through fog and long-gone rice paddies , you deboard to the Sublime.
At dusk the lights from bars and cafes shimmer on the dark waters, and you start thinking in cliches, such as temporarily inhabiting an Impressionist painting.
Yet the feeling is fresh and true: each visit to this surrealists’ dream had its poignant moment of suspension of disbelief.
Each time the city grabs you and takes you away with her.
Here’s a taste of today’s acts of flanerie in La Serenissima.
Posted in Architecture, architecture, Articles & Essays, Collage, Cures for the Nothing, Design, Digital Collage, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Experiments, F R A G M E N T S, History of Architecture, Lectures, Photography, photography, Quotes, Reading, Research, San Diego, Spontaneous Constructs, Theory and Criticism, Writing, writing, tagged bridges, collage, context, deconstructivist approach, Deconstructivist architecture, defamiliarization., familiar, mark wigley, photomontage, reading on a bridge on November 26, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
” In recent years , the modern understanding of social responsibility as functional program has been superseded by a concern for context. But contextualism has been used as an excuse for mediocrity, for a dumb servility within the familiar. Since deconstructivist architecture seeks the unfamiliar within the familiar, it displaces the context rather than acquiesce to it. What makes it disturbing is the way deconstructivist architecture finds the unfamiliar already hidden within the familiar context. By its intervention, elements of the context become defamiliarized. In one project, towers are turned over on their sides, while in others, bridges are tilted up to become towers.”
Posted in Architecture, art, Artuesdays, Books, Cures for the Nothing, Digital Collage, Drawing, Essay, History of Architecture, Ink, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, Research, school, School Work, sketching, Theory and Criticism, Writing, tagged 'spiro kostof, ability to visualize, architect: chapters in the history of the profession, architects, architecture academia, architecture curriculum, artist, balboa park san diego, communication for architects, criticism, curricula, designers, downcast eyes: the denigration of vision in twentieth-century french thought, draw it, Drawing, drawn, essay, eth switzerland, importance of literature, inchoate, ink, intellectual dialogue, literature, mandatory poetry, marc angelil, meditating, pen, Poetry, poetry humanities in architecture curriculum, powerpoint, read in the park, read outdoors, resolutions 2011, sketching, the picture is worth a thousands words syndrome, tyranny of the visual, visual people, visualization techniques, war, writing, writing for architects on March 9, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
As designers, architects, artists, we use the ability to first visualize then communicate a desired outcome. Implementation means having the courage, discipline and perseverance to bring that vision into the physical realm. I love to write, and to write lists, but this year I am doing something different with my 2011 resolutions. I am drawing them. It sems to be working. On good days, and they are abundant here in San Diego, you can find me in the park, chasing the sun and reading. An old-school physical book. The previous specifications is now necessary due to the variety of reading options we have (what is your pleasure, or rather, your poison: smartphone, kindle, ipad, TMZ on your laptop?). These are my immediate, must-finish charges:
Sketching and meditating. Two resolutions, perhaps one and the same.
Pondering on drawing, as opposed to writing, resolutions led me to think about visual vs. written and oral communication.
While drawing-or diagramming-a goal may help provide us with clues, visual or other, that help us actualize it, I don’t buy the argument that ‘visual’ people can only best communicate their intent through images. This is also known as ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ syndrome. By the same token, I refuse to accept that ‘visual’ people only understand material if it’s accompanied by images and therefore should be excused if they are poor readers or listeners. That is plain laziness. There are notions and topics in this world that cannot be boiled down to neat Powerpoints (even though, heaven knows, we have tried to even run wars through the ubiquitous slide application), but require flight of the imagination, suspension of disbelief, and the ability to follow (picture-less) complex arguments. In trying to explain critical thinking, images run the risk of appearing like obtrusive clip-arts, obfuscating rather than enlightening.
The tyranny of the visual often lets us get away with having inferior written and oral communication skills. I don’t buy the ‘visual’ doctrine (or fallacy) with my students or my architecture colleagues. Maybe it’s because I come from a linguistic lycaeum, was an English Minor, and come from Italy, but the way a person speaks or writes is more important to me, or revealing of their character, than any imagery or composition she or he can conjure up on a board. And here I need to say that, lest I behave like a whitened sepulcher, I know I have failings when trying to communicate: typos due to late night writing, listitis (I make too many lists), lectures that tend to go on a tangent and probably what is called mild A.D.D in this country (or severe A.D.D…depending on what day you ask my students;)). Lastly the fact that, no matter how many years I live here, my soul is Italian and so is the way to express myself, and we do use lot of what here are called ‘run-ons’ in writing, and perhaps even talking. We are peripatetic, scenic-route communicators.
Ok, so I am not perfect: let the flawed still admire and aim at beauty.
I ask the person I listen to to paint a convincing, even seductive picture with their words, to evoke the sense and meaning of their process. Of course exact,clear words go well with exact, clear drawings and diagrams, but seductive images without substantive explanations or clear, logical statements leave me dry. The literary arts are for the most part lost to modern architecture students, beyond the required ‘humanities’ and enticing (but seldom frequented) advanced elective courses. The result is professionals who are literate in CAD, codes, building, or even ‘architecture’, but illiterate in the sense of the global collective written word, and therefore culture. Shouldn’t the designers of shelters for the human race understand its most lyrical expressions? Shouldn’t they design for man and woman’s highest aspiration, rather than the lowest common denominator? We ask architects to create places of Beauty, places that inspire, to design poetic aedifices. Without knowing what poetry is, without at least having been exposed to it, that is an impossible feat. If architecture is the Mother of all the Arts, should it not contain them? Literature, philosophy, liberal arts, music…Where are you Muses in our curricula? We have modified –and are moving towards transforming–the academic requirements for the make-up of the future architect based on the needs (vocational at best ) of field practice, a large number made up by corporate building farms, where architecture is just a sign on the door. Of course we aim for graduates ready to enter the profession, but hopefully we are also aiming for critical thinkers, whole individuals who can inspire, not just perform. What should lead, follows. The trend can only go downward. I am talking about cad monkeys, or people who are paid ‘to draw, not think’ –I was actually told that many years ago. Call me irrational, but I call for mandatory poetry courses (mandatory poetry! an oximoron). Call me utopian, but world literature should be as much part of an architecture curriculum as world architecture. When you know, you cannot unknow. I always say that. When you are exposed to possibilities and ‘big questions’ you cannot accept passively that things are just the way they are because they have always been. Poetry and literature are democratic expressions, highly dangerous to the status quo. And therefore highly desirable.
In my quest, I ran into this book. I am collecting a body of critical readings (for myself!) and this book will definitely be included.
Posted in Architecture, art, Artuesdays, Cures for the Nothing, Digital Collage, Digital Manipulation, Drawing, History of Architecture, Paper Goods, Photography, Poetry, sketchbook, sketching, Writing, tagged Bramante, card making, digital manipulation, Drawing, hand book sketchbook, Harry Seidler, horizontal sketchbook, Milano, penholder, recipe for sketching, sketches, sketching, sketching in cold weather, tea, The Grand Tour: Travelling the World with an Architect's Eye, travel sketches on January 18, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
In the monastery adjacent this church, just a few minutes’ stroll from my house, one can find Leonardo Da Vinci’s ’Last Supper’. The apse (widely attributed to Donato Bramante, and dated around 1490) is significant as it signals a crucial transition from the Late Gothic style of the nave to a splendid Northern Italian Renaissance in the apse, the choir and cupola.
MITI’S RECIPE FOR SKETCHING:
Day One: Look. (First Encounter)
Day Two: See. (Visual Analysis;walkaround…resist the urge to take photos. Training your eyes will not only lead to better sketches, better lessons learned from the Architecture itself, it will lead to–if you are so inclined–even better photography in the end. Notice, examine and mentally record -on the exterior- connections, details, rhythms, proportions, materials; on the interior: spaces, rituals, light, sequences, apertures, passages…)
Day Three: Sketch. (even quickly…by now you learned the lessons, you acquainted yourself with the building. You begin to understand.) Use the verb ‘to draw’ as in drawing water from a well, draw information (this last advice comes from Travelling the World with an Architect’s Eye)
Tips for cold-weather sketching: stop when your legs fall asleep. Wear half (I call them ‘homeless-style’) gloves to keep the hands free. Listen to warm music on your ipod. Bring a thermos or mug with hot, organic, unsweetened english breakfast tea.
for impromptu urban sketching, carry your pens with the very handy penholder by Muji (did I mention before that I love Muji?)
Posted in Architecture, architecture, art,poetry,writing, Books, History of Architecture, Lectures, San Diego, school, School Work, tagged A Global History of Architecture. Francis D.K. Ching, A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals. Spiro Kostof, A World History of Architecture. Michael Fazio, Altamira, and Vikramaditya Prakash, Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity, Beginnings of Architecture, Catal Huyuk, Eddie Izzard, Eddie Izzard on Stonehenge, History of Architecture, History of Architecture textbooks, Jericho, Lascaux, Lawence Wodehouse, Marian Moffett, Mark M. Jarzombek, Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman, Powerpoint Presentation, Pre-Columbian Architecture, Pre-Contact Architecture of the Americas, Stonehenge on October 28, 2010 | 1 Comment »
From my Friday’s History Class.
The Beginnings of Architecture covers Stonehenge, the caves at Lascaux and Altamira, and what we consider the beginning of the urban revolution in our hemisphere, the proto-cities of Catal Huyuk and Jericho. I will share weekly my History powerpoints, well, okay, the ones I consider complete…next I want to sharpen up the lecture on Pre-Columbian|Precontact Architecture of the Americas and will then share it here.
See/Download the Presentation:
…and don’t forget to hear Eddie Izzard’s take on Stonehenge. My students always love to hear from this ‘expert’
These are the texts I use in my History of Architecture class:
Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity. 2nd ed. Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers, 2002
A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals. Spiro Kostof. Second Edition. Revisions by Greg Castillo. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
A World History of Architecture. Michael Fazio, Marian Moffett, Lawence Wodehouse. McGraw|Hill.
A Global History of Architecture. Francis D.K. Ching, Mark M. Jarzombek, and Vikramaditya Prakash. Wiley, 2006.