Reading #3 â€“ Genius Loci, â€œPlaceâ€?
â€œPlaceâ€? is the title of the chapter, but I also found it interesting how there were three different characteristics of the word place discussed throughout. I guess I have always thought of place as being no more than a physical location, a destination, a home, a country, etc. It was really interesting to see it defined as having a phenomenon (discussing the concrete and intangible sides to the phenomena of place), a structure (discussing place â€œin terms of â€˜landscapeâ€™ and â€˜settlementâ€™, and analyzed by means of the categories â€˜spaceâ€™ and â€˜characterâ€™â€?), and a spirit (discussing the genius loci of place) (11).
Language is discussed a few times in this chapter, first in the poem â€œA Winter Eveningâ€?, and later on when describing place, space, and character. When I first read â€œA Winter Evening,â€? I was wondering why in the world a poem was being put in a chapter about place. What was the relevance here? Well, I then found out that it was through the language of the poem, the describing words being used, that he was able to communicate a sense of place. Later on in the chapter, the terms place, space, and character are described in depth. What I found interesting is that it is through language that these terms are actually brought to life. â€œPlaces are hence designated by nouns.â€? â€œSpaceâ€¦is denoted by prepositions.â€? â€œCharacterâ€¦is denoted by adjectives.â€? It is â€œthe very structure of everyday language [that] confirms our analysis of placeâ€? (17).
1. Why is important that we, as future architects, develop a better understanding for place and all its meanings?
2. How can man relate to the environment/land, when the land is not a being?
Reading #4 â€“ Is Design Political?
â€œAt base, politics is about values, and design is nothing if not a means of embodying valuesâ€? (1). I really thought this word was important because it is the connection between politics and design, just as this quote shows. This article is trying to get the point across that design is political, whether we like it or not. I donâ€™t think it would be truthful for anybody to say they have no values. And, as this article states, politics are all about values and trying to protect them. So it is wrong to think that politics and design have nothing to do with each other, even though both disciplines are very different, they both find values (either expressing or protecting them) important.
This is also another connection between politics and design. Both hold a certain level of power. I always new political power existed in the government. But I guess I never realized how much power design has, especially in my daily decisions. When I am looking around for a book to buy, I want to pick one with the best looking graphics or pictures on the cover. When I choose a snack, or a treat at the grocery store, I want to buy one that actually looks tasty. As Spidermanâ€™s father said, â€œwith power comes great responsibilityâ€?. With this power that design holds, it has a great responsibility. If you go into design, you probably donâ€™t want to help get people fat. Rather, you might want to consider designing labels (or whatever) to promote healthy food choices.
1. This article mentions that design can be political. In fact, it states â€œThe decision to concentrate oneâ€™s efforts as a designer on corporate projects, or advertising, or any other kind of design, is a political choiceâ€? (6). Is this stating that all design is political? even decorations of the interior of a home or the design on a t-shirt? If so, how? If not, why?
2. How can you relate design and its role in politics to the field of architecture? How is architecture political?
Reading #5 â€“ Design in a World of Flows
â€œProfessions are defined by the setting up of boundariesâ€? (3). However, â€œA world of flows respects no boundariesâ€?, and we live within a world of flows (2). Thus, in order to keep up with our world today, we must learn to break these boundaries. This chapter describes how popular it has become for disciplines to go outside their own boundaries and interconnect with others to become more successful. However, it seems as though architects have been slow in responding to this movement of other disciplines and has kept to itself. In todayâ€™s world, it is becoming more and more important for architecture to stretch out and either cooperate with other disciplines or develop the skills of other disciplines to provide more services for their clients. Even in colleges it has become popular to break the boundaries between majors and create interdisciplinary studies.
â€œThe design professions not only need to assume some of this responsibility [for the life cycle of buildings], â€¦ but these management activities need to be welcomed into the design professionsâ€? (6). With respect to breaking boundaries, architects will need to take up more responsibilities, but this is crucial these days. The responsibilities may even include becoming â€œlong-term counselors to their clientsâ€? (6). This interested me because I always thought you just built a building and moved on. (I guess this is probably what has been the norm up until now). However, people are finding that architects, if they take up more responsibilities, such as this, can attract more clients and keep more clients for longer. However, the quote I put at the beginning states that they can even welcome in other management activities, suggesting that the architects themselves donâ€™t necessarily have to provide all these things for their clients. But they do have to take the initial responsibility of communicating with other professions to get them to coordinate with them.
1. In order to survive in a world of flows, one must â€œhave learned to see similar patterns among disparate things and underlying relationships among apparently unrelated functionsâ€? (12) How is this even possible? It seems to be contradicting itself.
2. In our world of flows, if you want to â€œreflect the shifts occurring in our world on the one hand, and on the other to search for some sense of stabilityâ€? (7), how do you know when youâ€™ve taken away too many boundaries and gone too far with the whole flowing idea?
Reading #6 â€“ The Redesign of Practice & Bridging Education and Practice
Both articles are, in a way, talking about the necessity of change for architecture today. The first article states that there is a need for change in the design of the practice of architecture, stating, â€œthe changing context of architecture in many ways defines the needs that any redesign of practice must addressâ€?(95). Because our world is different today and architecture is becoming a step later on in the process of building, it has become crucial that we redevelop the goals and duties of architecture firms. This may mean to develop a partnership with other professions. The article gives multiple other ways in which to accomplish this change.
The second article describes the need for change in our intern-development program. It gives the example of how the medical field went through a huge change when it began a teaching hospital where they could work in the hospital while going to college. There is a need for this sort of change in architecture in that we need to develop a program where students in college can get experience in the work place before they graduate. (I donâ€™t know if the word is actually used in this article, but the concept is there)
The second chapter, â€œBridging Education and Practiceâ€?, describes how necessary it is that students receive experience working in a firm before they graduate. Many firms are not giving recent graduates jobs because they havenâ€™t had experience working. Well, how then are they going to ever get a job if they arenâ€™t even allowed the experience of working? This is what many colleges are trying to work on. They want to come up with programs that give the students work experience in a real office while they are in college so they can come out of college with that basic (or more than basic) experience.
1. Do you think that it is fair to look at architecture and treat it the same as the medical field?
2. What about these articles forms a relationship between the two?