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December 12, 2006

Architecture as Space

Bruno Zevi states that "architecture has a 3 dimensional vocabulary which includes man. Architecture is a sculpture which man enters and apprehends by moving within it. Essentially Architecture needs man to exist and to be whole." Without man, the spirit that connects to a buildings design, architecture would be empty and soulless. This idea also has a great deal of opposition to the architectural idea of pre-fabricated housing. Opposition to the idea of using computer generated models to entirely develop a building, therefore lessening the spiritual contact with man.
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This house feels empty and souless and a majority of it's planning has been done with the contact of
man.

Zevi also states that "architecture doesn't consist in the sum of the width, length and height of the structural elements which enclose space, but in the void itself, the enclosed space in which man lives and moves." The physical dimensions of the building don't necessarily make or break the building. However, if the building doesn't properly interact with it's surrounding environment than it can never live up to it's full potential. A building needs to properly coexist with the opposition between man and nature in order to be a piece of beautiful architecture.
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These houses in Santorini are beautiful not only because of their color and size but also because of how they each fit into the cliffside differently and fill out a beautiful trail for the eyes.

Zevi states that "internal space...can only be grasped through direct experience." This is very important in the design process because it is as important as possible to simulate the inside of the building in the beginning of the process. One needs to have as much "interaction" with the inside of the building as possible before knowing that it will be effective. However, one could use a computer to simulate the inside of the building...but will this be real??
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Zevi states that "the container and the contained are mutually interdependent." The container is dependent on what is contained and the contained is shaped by the container. This is something very important in architecture because it completely reinvents the general idea about architecture. This is that the outside of the building must be beautiful in order for the building to be an architectural achievement. However much the outside shapes the contained, the outside is only there because the contained needs a home.
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Zevi also states that "time...is the fourth dimension." It is a dimension in which in infinite number of perspectives are considered from an infinite number of angles. This is not realistic because there is no way that someone could take this task on. However, it does provide insight to the fact that the important perspectives of a building are not just about the front, back, sides, and top. The view from the sidewalk looking up is important, just as important as the view from the building next door. These are things that need to be considered by the architect so that the entirety of the building is looked at.
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December 4, 2006

The Science of Life

Gershenfeld talks about personal fabrication and how personal fabricators are personalizing "our physical world of atoms" (3). Personal fabricators are computers that act like a printer, except they print out 3D objects. These machines not only make things but also create a sense of "logic, sensing, actuation, and display" (4). These machines completely revolutionize the way that people interact with the environment; through having machines create our environment. As in virtual reality these objects stimulate our brains in the way that the real world would, through electrons and brain waves. BUT, this isn't a real environment because it's not being created by man. Man understands not only the physical environment but also the emotions that an environment can instill.
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This is what I feel Kahn is trying to bring across, that computers cannot understand emotion or beauty. A computer can't anticipate or see that way that light would fall on a building and create a shadow. A computer can't realize the spirit within a building or within the architect who designed it. Man seeks to understand and learn what NATURE provides him with to help him in his designs. Design is natural, emotional and spiritual...this is something that computer can never understand!
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This is similar in my mind to Pre-Fab houses because they are designed as a whole and the thought about how they act in their environment is not given consideration. These houses are mostly designed by computers and are boxed up and sent out to their "home".
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This is not the case for Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water house. If this house was built by computers it would not invoke the amount of beauty and inspiration that it does. This house has a spirit that comes from it's human designer...Frank Lloyd Wright.
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