19 September 2016

Mappings and Recovering Landscape

Hello all, here are the questions I have formulated and would like to discuss on the two readings assigned

Corner praises the landschaft as more complete while condemning the landskip as only picturesque and having no relationship to those who move through it, but is there a place in the world for the landskip?

How do the concepts of the eidetic, Mitchell’s five families of image (161), and imaging relate to each other?

Corner repeatedly references the milieu and how mapping as an exercise can find order in it, but to what end should milieu influence the making of a map?

Corner asserts that “Extracts are the things that are then observed within a given milieu and drawn onto the graphic field. We call them extracts because they are always selected, isolated and pulled out from their original seamlessness with other things; they are effectively ‘deterritorialized’”(230).   

Corner repeatedly uses deterritorialized and similar terms in the negative connotation. But is there greater value in separating objects from the milieu to gain clarity or should clarity come from the milieu always in context?

How does Buckminster Fuller’s map and subsequent rearrangements of that map of the world help us better understand the geography of the world?

In what instances are Corner’s four mapping techniques unsuited?

In his conclusion Corner suggests new ways of mapping would be a “means of emancipation and enablement, liberating pheonmena and potential from the encasements of convention and habit”. Are Corner’s mapping techniques at this point already?

How could they go further as tools to democratize?

How do we as architects or designers begin to incorporate any of Corner’s four mapping techniques into a legible site plan?

Many of the maps Corner creates and uses as examples are abstract (in a different way than we’re used to) and would be difficult to explain to the general public Corner so wishes to empower with these better maps. Where then, does the responsibility lie in educating these very people in how to read these differently abstract maps?

15 September 2016

Exercise 01 Films

1. DeVares
2. Huberty
3. Teresi
4. Robb
5. Menolascino
6. Leeder
7. Nash

The Royal Tenenbaums
1. Amin
2. Barac
3. Bogenschuetz
4. Krueger
5. Valdivia
6. Rohlinger

The Grand Budapest Hotel
1. Zupancic
2. Boughton
3. Crates
4. Dudley
5. Servantez
6. Newton
7. Davenport

12 September 2016

Week 2: What abstraction is and is not

 1. Can an object be concrete and abstract in nature?

 2. "Abstract objects of thought, such as numbers, laws, or perfectly straight lines are real parts of nature." (156) How does the sense of nature play a role in something to be abstract?

3. Laporte stated "that abstractions are drawn from perceptual material by means of imitative gestures." How does our own gestures shape our own abstractions?

4. Bergson claimed that "in order to generalize one must first abstract, but in order to abstract usefully one must already know how to generalize." (160) How do you determine that you are generalizing something in the sense that it is intended to be perceived as?

Week 2 : Concrete or Abstrahere

1. What is "Abstraction"? What makes an object qualify as abstract?

2. Rene Pellet defines abstraction as an "organization of the mind that passes beyond the concrete and has freed itself from it" (154), providing the conflict that abstraction in its purest state does not hold any bounds to reality. However, can it be argued that abstraction only exists from the concrete, not pure imagination? 
  • "The abstract objects of thought, such as numbers, law, or perfectly straight lines, are real parts of nature..." (156)
3. Henry Bergson stated that "In order to generalize one must first abstract, but in order to abstract use-fully one must already know how to generalize" (160). Can abstraction only be achieved through the association of objects by individual cases? (i.e a table being a flat surface to place items upon) Or does human perception/ creative thinking produce the same generalization/use of objects? 
  • Induction : The process of discovering principles by the observation and combination of particular instances (162)
4. Arnheim advocates that "dynamic concepts do not require an actual physical continuity of the phenomena for which they stand..." (184). Do you agree or disagree? Explain your reasoning. In order for the human mind to grasp a concept or abstraction, do we need rational or built evidence? 

5. The generalization vs abstraction argument seems to have roots buried within understanding and protecting what we consider as the truth (reality). Thus, abstraction exists as an outlet to a new realm of understanding the unattainable or unbuilt reality. If we as humans did not generalize objects or figurative concepts, then would abstract thought be nonexistent?

By : Jafar Amin

Fall 2016 Discussion Leaders

Week 02      Amin, Dudley
Week 03      Huberty, Newton
Week 05      Crates
Week 06      Boughton, Nash
Week 07      Menolascino, Leeder
Week 09      De Vares, Valdivia
Week 10      Teresi, Zupancic
Week 11      Davenport, Robb
Week 13      Rohlinger, Servantez
Week 14      Crates, Bogenschuetz
Week 15      Krueger, Barac

10 December 2015

Kinghi Thao

1) Regarding reconstruction, Woods says that you must build upon the existing past in order to link the past to the future. Can or does this thinking apply to all buildings not just reconstruction? Are new buildings free of the past?

2) While architects speak of designing spaces to satisfy human needs, are the social norms associated with spaces shaping our human needs to abide to the designed spaces?

3) Is there a way as architects, to fight designing for “program”? Must a space need a functionary label in order for it to have meaning and the need to be inhabited?

4) Part of Wood’s reconstruction process for war torn countries heavily focuses on building upon the past. But even he says that this process takes place during a period of uncertainty for the city (Sarajevo).

“Something entirely new is struggling to emerge.” –Woods pg. 27

Does this make his reconstruction process just a transition phase, one in which will be subject to change as the city develops its new identity?

5) Should architects design with the intent to last forever? To be able to survive and transform through wars, social problems, and nature? Is it even possible?

09 December 2015


1 Why does SNAFU stand for what it does now?

2 From the tactics section I was wondering about our own creative opportunities and methods that operate within the gaps and slips of conventional thought and the patterns of everyday. How do we push it in our projects? ... What pushes us?

3 What’s more important - Form or function? Is it mostly just based on societal needs at the time?

4 Is it true that the standards and practices we are using to make architecture are defining the work for us and our concepts driven by social pushes and codes, and standards?

5 Since a bomb shelter could be a digestible aspect of everyday life what are other functions or conventions that are being pushed in the world, or could be? Is it helpful to life – the radical architecture or hindering?

6 What role does speculative architecture play in the future of architecture?


03 December 2015

Presenting your work

    representation as articulation between theory and practice

    1. “Representation as part of the production of architecture is one of the most important operations that articulates theory and practice” Is Representation needed to create “good architecture”?

    2. Architecture and other practices – Architecture can encompass a variety of different practices, making “representation a crucial field in the understanding of architecture as the mediated character of representation itself” Do you think this process has been lost in the discipline today? Where is the line between the representation being natural/superficial?

    3. “Representation has become a part of the process of production of architecture and that the development of the techniques of drawing and design have an impact as important, if not more, as building techniques themselves” Is this the case for architecture in both academia and professional practice? Should the process of representation be just as important in practice as it is in theory?

    4. “two paradoxical situations have resulted form the use of the computer in architecture: one is that of the resurgence of perspective, facilitated by computer programs; the other, and more important, is the reunification of the process of representation in the production of design and the process of construction” Agrest mentions that design and fabrication are linked together. Why is the linkage lost between academia and practice today? Will there be a day where the linkage follows through professional practice?

    5. As mentioned in the course, Revit, the software most common in practice, can manipulate the design process, inevitably hurting architecture. Do you believe it is due to the limitations of the computer? The transition between technology? Or merely, the quality of work produced?

    the cognitive style of powerpoint

    6. What is the most effective software or tools to translate and present architecture today? What other software should be taught, instead of PP?

    7. With technology on the rise, Do you think architecture is more effectively presented digitally rather than a physical pin-up presentation? What do you prefer, and why?

    8. Will PP always be the most common used software in other practices due to the convenience of the software?