10 December 2010

i know were kinda done for the semester, but my friend just sent me this link. its a pretty rad breakdown of metal. check it out.


09 December 2010

12/9/2010 Questions


Pg. 160 “Another way to break free of low-resolution temporal comparisons is to show multiple slides, several images at once within the common view. Spatial parallelism takes advantage of our notable capacity to reason about multiple images that appear simultaneously within our eyespan.”

*How would this method of presentation be helpful? Is it always possible (can there be an overload of information) ?

Pg. 161 “Especially disturbing is the introduction of Power Point into schools. Instead of writing a report using sentences, children learn how to decorate client pitches and infomercials” “Student PP exercises show a total of 80 words for a week worth of work”

*How should formatting presentations be taught in school? Should it be? He suggests an illustrated essay explaining something as an alternative to PP. What are other alternatives?

Pg. 169 “For serious presentations, it will be useful to replace PP slides with paper handouts showing words, numbers, data graphics, and images together. High-resolution handouts allow viewers to contextualize, compare, narrate, and recast evidence”

*Typically for a presentation people suggest not to give too much to the audience to read because it will distract them from what the presenter is saying. Tufte suggests several times to give out hardcopies of presentations or note slides to the audience. Would this be a success fulmethod? How would using hardcopies during a presentation compare to using programs such as Word, ID, Illustrator, etc. (digital alone or with a hardcopy)

*Tufte suggests that writing sentences forces presenters to be smarter and it will make consumers smarter as well, after all we can read “3x faster than presenters can talk”. Does having sentences/too many words distract the audience, and how can we find a happy-medium?

*How can Tufte's explanation of how art historians “reason about the causes of visual presentations” influence us/our presentation methods? (art history textbooks are written as a narrative of “distinctive, clearly identifiable styles)


Pg. 167 “What representation represents is another representation in a chain of signifiers that circulate from one medium to another all the while believing or letting us believe, that there is a direct referent”

*How does this relate to Agrest's interpretation of Allen's view on representation?
*How can we make sense of the “mediated character of representation itself”?

Pg. 173-Photography of Eugene Atget (Paris-urban readings) vs. Allen's opinion on the “legibility of the modern city” (representing the contemporary city)

*How do they compare in relationship to “representation”?
*How does “the narrative” come into play?

24 November 2010


just another neat graphic.  ryzome kinda thing.  

18 November 2010

interesting mapping diagram

some guy tried to map out who owns his mortgage.  interesting map and idea.  not the best ever, but interesting.



For those of whom have not seen this video yet, this is the third and the seventh that was made using vray renderings. I believe everything is computer except for the photographer that shows up who is the guy who made the film. It's interesting how realistic these images get.

17 November 2010

Week 12 Questions: Movement

Rudolph Arnheim: Art and Visual Perception. Ch. 8-Movement

1. “At any particular moment we may not know what will come next, but we must not dismiss from our consciousness what we have heard or seen before.” Pg. 374
How does this relate to architecture? Mental maps? Viewing details of buildings?

2. “The activity of a climbing plant does not appear merely as a displacement in space. We see the vine searching around, fumbling, reaching, and finally taking hold of a suitable support with exactly the kind of motion indicative of anxiety, desire, and happy fulfillment.” Pg. 385
How can we use this notion of time-lapsing to our advantage as designers, to observe otherwise static tendencies and track their nature in time and space? How can we use this knowledge to understand human behavior dynamically in process, using this as a tool to understanding motivational efforts of the people who inhabit?

3. “When we watch a man exploring a cave, his progress is experienced as a happening in space. New aspects of the cave reveal themselves I succession. Such an event, in which a physical setting provides the framework, is not really different in principle from others in which no such framework exists.” Pg. 374
How can we more readily define this succession, thus defining the mental framework for the spaces we design? Just as the dancer utilizes the entire performance to inherit a sense of emotion, how can we achieve this through spatial discovery?

4. Pg. ¬407 “The dynamic nature of kinesthetic experience is the key to the surprising correspondence between what the dancer creates by his muscular sensations and the image of ¬¬¬¬¬his body seen by the audience.”
Can this relate to the way we create architecture? We are the dancer, the dance is our architecture we create, and the audience is the user?
There are different perspectives from the dancer and the audience. Is there a way we can come to a similar conclusion of our designs? Or is that an illusion? Do we want that to happen?

Stan Allen- Notations + Diagrams

1. Crossing the line between Notation and Diagramming. First, what are they and what are the differences between them? What are some examples of each? Where does architecture fall? How does it straddle the line of notation and diagramming?

2. What is diagram architecture? “It is an architecture that takes pleasure in the immediacy and directness of procedures that often short-circuit conventional design processes.” Is this an effective way to design?

3. What is lost, if anything, when using diagram architecture? “a diagram architecture is part of a new sensibility characterized by a lack of interest in critique or the production of meaning, preferring instead immediacy, simple forms, direct accommodation of program, and the pleasures of the literal.” Pg. 53 how does this compare to the other forms of design?

4. Pg. 51 “The diagram may be the channel through which any communication with architecture’s outside must travel, but the flow of information along these channels will never be smooth. The resistance of each medium needs to be taken into account.”
Graphically, how can we begin to use diagrams as a transfer of information from other fields to incorporate their knowledge into the wider perspective of architecture, through a language that we as designers are used to?
-“Architects should work with other cultural fields, poets, musicians, sculptors.”
Juhani Pallasmaa

5. Pg. 60 “To propose a new attentiveness to notation in architectural representation is not to propose another paradigm shift…..but rather a proposal to enlarge the catalog of techniques available to the architect working in the city.” “New maps and diagrams might begin to suggest new ways of working with the complex dynamics of the contemporary city.”
How can we begin to open the catalog of techniques available to the architect, and would the world of architecture be subject to change to a new world of mediation and expressive technique? Would it be beneficial for the culture in its use [diagramming and graphical techniques]? Would they be used primarily for the designer or could the client read into them more clearly as well?

6. According to the reading, the five working definitions of notation are under the categories: anticipation, invisible, time, collective, and digital diagrams. (Pg 65-66) did these definitions help clarify the rest of the reading?

13 November 2010

site un-seen ARCH 836 Spring 2011

What if we were unable to visit a site? -- For example, for a design competition or other critical exploration. This studio will look at three different places and propose tactical interventions. These interventions are intended to enhance, amplify and raise awareness of their context. They are speculative in nature and intended to work in network with one another.

The three places that will be examined are Rome, New York and Milwaukee. Two of these we are unable to visit and one we can (Milwaukee's Inner Harbor). This studio will utilize deep analysis of these places and require students to synthesize that analysis into provocative artifacts (models and graphics). Students will engage site analysis in an active, creative way as opposed to being a distant observer or drive-by shooter. The studio will utilize indexical mapping and data visualization tools to render visible their findings.

11 November 2010

Official Google SketchUp Blog: Slicer3: Make physical site models fast

Official Google SketchUp Blog: Slicer3: Make physical site models fast

This looks like it could be a great tool. It is similar to Rhino's 'Contour' command. Creating contours of more than topo seems promising.

Week 11 Questions


1.) How should we handle the theories, often relevant, from history during times of Change in which they may no longer respond or apply? Creating off a basis or Completely new understanding?

2.) “…there are tactical practices- nomad practices of writing, thinking or acting- that are capable of manipulating and reforming theory’s proscriptive spaces…opaque and blind mobility” inserted into the clear text of the readable city..”

Tactical Practices: How can such tactical practices be more readily achieved in Architecture, thus incorporating diverse fields of knowledge that expand at more than the surface level of inspection?

3.) Can we, as designers, create meaning in architecture? Or can only the user attach meaning?

4.) Is it possible to eventually refine a design to accommodate the ‘unruly’ usage of spaces?


5.) “They are extraordinary. They seem to have come fast and furious from his hands, almost torn from a fevered soul.”

How can this freedom of exploration be beneficial for us as designers? Used to generate greater outcomes? What does it liberate?

6.) “Like the fictional Poliphilo, Piranesi’s world attempted to construct meaning out of ruinous fabrics of an antiquated architecture.”

If applied to architecture, what would serve to be these ruinous fragments? How would we begin to piece them together?

7.) Are ‘memory theaters’ architecture? Are designers better at processing information this way? What other value does imagined space hold?

8.) How can drawings like on page 17 be used in design? Is it just a way to express ideas that are not strictly spatial? What is expressed in this image?


9.) “Because governments and corporations cannot be expected to take the initiative in establishing new and multilayered societies, the impetus for their creation must come from below, from people who begin to build directly, without the sanction of any institutionalized authority.”

What advantages can be achieved that may not be readily achieved otherwise when you build from below, from the placement of the common man and collective knowledge of the citizens, versus a top down approach, oriented from public policy or political dignitaries?

10.) “Who owns free-spaces? Those who make them their own. Those whose lives, day to day, consecrate space with their own densities of meaning.”

How can we accommodate and learn from the people who utilize the free-spaces, even as it applies to our studio project? How can spaces be used to alleviate deterministic control and inhabit the wills of the free-space user, allowing them to make their own “densities of meaning”? Or is this even possible from a top down approach? Will anything we build be construed differently by those who use it?

11.) By allowing space to evolve based on users, outside the control of an overarching design, would programming and creating purposeful space become obsolete? In other words, can there be too much freedom in the built environment?

12.) Are the twenty tactics at the end of the article well balanced in their approach to design, or do they lean toward a more top or bottom heavy approach to design policy? What are your opinions on how a new practice should be handled?

10 November 2010

Exercise 04 - Chicago 2010

Your final exercise of the semester is a personal research topic. This topic may be related to your current/past studios, Master's project topic or other topic that you would like to graphically research for this course. Your topic may be directly related, tangentially related or reciprocal to architecture(al) thought. You may critique conventions, processes or projects. You may also decide to explore phenomena that is not directly related to architecture, in that, it is not a building, drawing or other.

For 12.02 you must present your topic. A 500-word written explanation of your topic must be included. Within your presentation you must clearly state the topic as a thesis of inquiry, your methodology for research and your expected out comes. Keep in mind, this topic must be formatted to fit the final document per the syllabus.

Please post any questions as comments to this post so that the entire class may benefit.

08 November 2010

3D imaging

OMA's Plan for Hong Kong West Kowloon Cultural District

OMA's plan for Hong Kong West Kowloon Cultural District from OMA on Vimeo.

This is an excellent hybrid of fly-through and renderings of specific elements/spaces that are being described. The places of focus are always put into context by seeing the whole plan each time. The camera flies to a specific place and we are shown a rendering of it. In one particular portion, we see four renderings of North, South, East and West elements together on the screen.  Seeing things in comparison is a better cognitive method of communication.

The renderings are done well because they do not suggest that they are complete photo realistic images of an imagined place. They emphasize distinct elements and movement=emphasis (ala Ken Burns).

Perhaps the only (slightly) pretentious part is the use of Rem as the main character.

28 October 2010

How Drawing Boosts Your Brain

 How Handwriting Boosts the Brain - WSJ

OK, This article is about how handwriting boosts the brain, but one could easily apply the same for hand drawing. There is a clear cognitive link between the hand and the brain that is activated by drawing/writing. Interfacing with a computer through a keyboard or mouse does not tap into that cognitive link. This is not to say that one should supplant the other, but it does suggest that our digital visual communication may be enhanced by better spatial understanding gained through hand drawing.

27 October 2010

Wk 9 Questions

Picon & Ponte


What is meant by scientific metaphors in architecture?


How do you define virtual reality?


According to the article virtual reality is potential awaiting full actualization, when does this potential begin as a virtual reality?  Sketch? CAD? Or just an idea?


Brunelleschi designed structure, as well as, the machines and processes that enable its realization.  Does this process occur in architecture today?  Should it?


Do you ever consider the processes and machines required to actualize your designs into a real building?


In the article, it states that structure becomes synonymous with program, is this the same as the idea of form and function?


The article mentions Peter Galison showing the notion of Aufbau, and states that it was clearly imbued with an architectural meaning.  What is Aufbau and how is it imbued with architectural meaning?


This article asks, “How are we to judge the beauty of the blobs and all the other creatures that appear on our computer screen?”  My question is how is it any different than judging our designs when they are hand drawn?  Modeled?


According to the article, one of the disconcerning features of virtual reality is its high degree of arbitrariness?  What is meant by this?


The article goes on to say “nothing can now guarantee the designer that his project is the result of the best possible choice”  what could guarantee that before?  Wouldn’t the use of virtual reality help the design to find the best possible choice?







How does the research of suicidal cats “falling” out windows relate to the rest of the article?  To architecture?


How do we stay conscious of the abstraction caused by using tools such as computers?


“Time, event, and program cannot be addressed through techniques of visualization”  do you agree with this statement?  Why/not?

“I ask myself, what is pissing me off about this?  What’s pissing me off is that it uses so little of my body.  You’re just sitting there, and its quite boring.  You’ve got this stupid little mouse that requires one hand, and your eyes.  That’s it!”  Do you the interactive techniques apple have put forth into the iphone and ipad and Nintendo put forth into the wii can eventually be applied to design programs?  Would it help us design better if it required us moving?  Do we even need to move, when we sketch we just move a pencil with our hand, how’s that different than a mouse?


Does the digitalization of information into general binary code really affect your design?  What could actually be lost through this process?


In reference to computers, this article mentions “the field of freedom shrinks with speed”  Is it not the other way around?  Should the field of freedom not expand with the speed of the computer?

21 October 2010

Visualizing Data

This is a very interesting follow up lecture on Chris' previous discussion about what we can do with numbers. McCandless really got his start as a journalist, but has since migrated over to the analysis of data. The relevance of this talk is pretty obvious so i'll keep this one short and sweet! Cheers.

19 October 2010

Above Leadbeater discusses the "radicality" of ideas and that traditionally the most radical ideas are the strongest. These outlandish ideas are usually created without a conception of how the idea will be applied. On the whole, the harder it is to determine how to apply the idea, the stronger that idea is! Later, Charles discusses how corporate structures can benefit from taking advantage of both institutional and community based models.

17 October 2010

Narrative Mapping-Ulysses


Stumbled upon this interesting post from bldgblog which touches on the use of a narrative being used as a blueprint for 3d space. In this particular case, Dublin, and how its described in Joyce's Ulysses.

13 October 2010

Week 7_Questions

Visual Explanations: Parallelism: Repetition and Change, Comparison and Surprise

  1. In the Edward Gibbon excerpt, what are the layers of parallelism used?
  2. How is Gibbon’s message portrayed? Is the tone of the piece clear?
  3. In the Notation of Movement on page 82, are Margaret Morris’ symbols effective or is the juxtaposition of photo and title page the only reason any comprehension occurs? Is this an effective method of symbolic representation?
  4. Are parallelism-in-space relationships more effective than parallelism-in-time? Does it depend on the subject of comparison?
  5. How do the messages differ between space and time parallelism?
  6. Referring to the Peter Apian diagrams on page 86; What advantages and disadvantages does graphic simplification hold for investigation of phenomena?
  7. When you add many layers of data analysis do you lose the experiential quality of the subject you’re analyzing?

Beautiful Evidence: Sparklines

  1. Should sparklines support the text or should the text support the sparkline?
  2. Can sparklines stand on their own without text?
  3. What are the positive and negative effects in technology of producing data graphics?
  4. What is the best way to analyze graphics representing data for their validity? Is there any way to reduce bias in data representation?
  5. Is the usefulness lost with the density of data in a diagram such as the DNA graphic on the bottom of page 52?

07 October 2010

better than your average walkthrough


takes a minute to get goin, but pretty rad.

06 October 2010




1. Are storyboards limited to design proposals? Can we learn more by doing them after a building has been built? How do storyboards and film differ?

2. What does David Hockney mean states, “There are so many relationships created by juxtaposing each photo, and the permutations of these relationships seem so numerous, that you continue gazing at it, and seeing it in many different ways.” Do you think this is true?

3. Are storyboards still relevant as a media in architecture given the ease of creating virtual walkthroughs? What are the pros/cons of using storyboard vs film?

4. Storyboards can “challenge perceptions about the representation of architecture beyond eye-level”, such as from the point of view of a cat. What do we actually learn from them?

5. In respect to our studio project, how can storyboards be used to enhance design? Presentation?



1. How do we begin to design with descriptive emotion? Should we?

2. Vidler states, “Of all the arts, however, it is architecture that has had the most privileged and difficult relationship to film” (p.2 of pdf), how is this so?

3. When Vidler speaks of ‘spaces of horror’ what is he referring to?

4. What does Panofsky mean when he states, “To prestylize reality prior to tackling it amounts to dodging the problem…The problem is to manipulate and shoot unstylized reality in such a way that the result has style”.

5. Where in some of the films for our first exercise do you see the background being used as a tool to enhance the mood/theme of a scene?

6. Attention, Memory, Imagination, Emotion are the “forms of the inner world”, how are they used in modern design? Your designs?



1. How would you define the icon?

2. Why does McCloud present himself in such a cartoon-y way as oppose to articulating his face and physical demeanor? Do see this same idea in architecture projects?

3. Can design be abstracted too far? At or past the point of cartoon? How do you decide which level of abstraction is appropriate for your process?

4. What does McCloud mean when he says that inanimate objects become extensions of ourselves? Examples?

5. Why are protagonists often more abstract in cartoon/comics such as tin-tin, while the background or the antagonist is often very descriptive/articulated?

6. How do we separate the message from the messenger in architecture?

7. Is there a way to bridge the realm of the concept with the realm of the senses?

02 October 2010

Understanding Comics - Scott McCloud

This TED video of Scott McCloud gives an overview of his book and is helpful in understanding this week's reading (which is now on d2L). This is of great significance if we think about how to represent an architectural experience. There are a number of devices to be utilized by architects. Not that our presentations would be mistaken for comics, but the presence of space, time and sequence in those presentations can give a deeper understanding of your work.

27 September 2010

TED Video embeded

Idea Origination

I found this video on TED, which I feel completely aligns with our current studio design problem. Check it out! The overall message is that ideas are not spontaneously conceived, but instead are the resultant of a number of disparate issues, which the individual is continuously mulling over and refining. Specifically, the speaker uses the example of Darwin's discovery of the theory of evolution. In his journal Darwin actually had all the information for his theory four months before making his discovery. What does this mean for our question about ideation and collaboration?

22 September 2010

Notes on the Index by: Rosalind Krauss Post by:
Megan Lomas and Richie Hands
1. How is an index different than a symbol or an icon?

2. What are some examples of indeces from last week's lecture?

3. From Roger Brown's artwork?

4. Does an index always have to be visual?

5. Would an echo be considered an index?

6. A scent?

7. Is an index made stronger by adding a caption?

Andre Bazin states "The photographic image is the object itself, the object
freed from the conditions of time and space that govern it."

8. Who agrees with a photograph as an index?

9. Is it possible to abstract a picture? For example with use of framing,
extending shutter time, etc?

10. Would you consider a painting an index?

11. Which would be a stronger index? -a photograph or painting?

12. Why did Krauss place so much emphasis on the shifter, or referrential

13. Are pronouns a type of index?

14. What do you think Duchamp intended when titling works with plays on
words? Ex. Tu m', Rrose Selavy

15 September 2010

Week 3 Readings:

Kelli Kaspar and Richie Hands

Mapped Pictures: Edward Tuft

  1. What was your overall sense of this reading?
  2. What made the slave shop diagram so effective? Did it convey its purpose effectively?
  3. Do the diagrams of the Cezanne paintings help the viewer understand how the painter viewed the world?
  4. Sculptures: is it truth or just an anomaly? Does it affect the mapping process since its off a 2-D, not 3-D object?
  5. What makes the ski diagrams or line dancing diagrams so effective?
  6. Rock, Braque, and Picasso: Does adding the scale in the 2 artist renditions make the map legible?
  7. “Mappings help tell why the image matters.” –Do you agree with this?

The Agency of Mapping: James Corner

  1. How do you define mapping? Since Corner gave so many examples of what it is.
  2. Does mapping actually help find new things?
  3. How do we use mapping in our projects in school?
  4. Is there anything that can’t be mapped?
  5. Does every map have an effect?
  6. What is site? How does it relate to mapping?
  7. 3 essentials in mapping: creation of the field, extraction/isolate data, and plotting. Are these the only ways to create a map?
  8. Do you believe young architects are bringing mapping back into the design world? Do you feel mapping should be brought to the forefront of design?
  9. 4 themes of mapping: Drift, Layering, Game Board, Rhizome. Which do you feel you use the most? Which is the most interesting to you? Which seems to be the most useful?
  10. Napoleon Diagram: do you feel this complies with any of the 4 above themes of mapping?

13 September 2010

A different way of looking at the globe that I thought was interesting...this first link is an animation showing income/day, you can click other categories to see animate by clicking the npr link.


if the flash doesn't work for you, you can see the different categories from the npr article I found it from:


09 September 2010

Exercise 01 - a film

Vertigo - Lomas, Murphy, Heikkinen, Lattimore
Being John Malkovich - Hands, Hosler
The Fall - Francis, Kaspar, Pletz, Donald

08 September 2010

Lomas, Hosler, & Murphy

Arnheim. Visual Thinking

1. What leads one to the process of abstraction?

2. What are some pros and some cons

3. Arnheim bases his thesis on the premise: One cannot have perception without thinking or thinking without perception therefore every level involves abstraction and must be examined with care.

Do you agree with this?

Is it possible to simply take something in without analyzing, dissecting, categorizing, or relating it to something else

Can you discuss an idea without picturing it or relating it to something concrete?

4. Rene Pellet says: "Abstraction is an organization of the mind that passes beyond the concrete and has freed itself from it."

5. Is it possible to completely free a thought of concrete influence? In either respect is this necessary to constitute abstraction?

6. In your own words, how would you define abstraction?

7. What do you or how would you classify home?

8. Where did you last see an example of an abstraction?

Tufte. Beautiful Evidence

1. How do the idifferences between the physical and social sciences change the way we take/measure data?

2. What are the qualities of human nature or behavior that change the way we think or understand?

3.How is Minard's Russian Campaign poster anti-war and why does he intentionally not mention Napoleon's name?

4. Why would anyone logically want to limit themselves at the very initial stages of compiling data? And how would someone layer multiple pieces of information with analytical design?

5. Why is Documentation such an important part of analytical design?

6. What questions should someone ask themselves when trying to copile data?

7. How are principles of design derived in relation to human behavior?

03 September 2010

2010 Chicago - Discussion Leaders

Week 02 - Lomas, Hosler
Week 03 - Kaspar, Hands
Week 04 - Lomas, Hands
Week 06 - Murphy, Francis
Week 07 - Pletz, Heikkinen
Week 09 - Russell, Francis, Donald
Week 11 - Lattimore, Heikkinen
Week 12 - Pletz, Kaspar, Lattimore
Week 15 - Donald, Hosler

Because of the smaller class size, please email two dates you would like to lead. Every week should have two leaders and some will have three.

01 July 2010

Mariano Rivera's Cutter

This is an incredible video explanation of Mariano Rivera's signature pitch, the cutter. As a baseball fan (but a Yankee hater) I found the video compelling. As a connoisseur of infographics, I was really struck by how well they explain what he does, how it differs from other pitches and how they explain what he is doing to the ball from both the hitter's and pitcher's point-of-view.



03 May 2010

Final Doc Crits

I will see you in pairs for 20 minutes. Please email your selection for both dates.

6:30 Lima, Arteaga
6:50 Hoctor, Rad
7:10 Monese, Carlucci
7:30 Seniuk, Landin
7:50 Bartsch,Villwock
8:10 Petermann, Wold
8:30 Dhimal, Biwer

6:30 Lima, Seniuk
6:50 Petermann, Arteaga
7:10 Hoctor, Rad
7:30 Landin, Monese
7:50 Bartsch, Villwock
8:10 Wold, Carlucci
8:30 Dhimal, Biwer

Please bring a hardcopy of your document progress for critique.

26 April 2010

04.27 Discussion Questions

Agrest Questions:

Tufte Reading
The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint

1) How can we improve our presentations?

2) What does Tufte describe as corruption of evidence and analysis? What should consumers of PowerPoint presentations look out for?

3) What is PowerPoint Phfluff?

4) While Tufte states on pg 169 that PowerPoint slides that accompany talks have much lower rates of information transmission than conversation, can Power points be used by the middle 80% of user in a constructive presentation?

5) Why are bullet lists unsuccessful?

1) According to Agrest, is it architectural representation or built architecture in which ideological changes (renaissance, baroque, and modernism) manifest themselves?  Why? (pg.165)

2) According to Agrest, representation "works as a shifter that allows codes of one system (science, geometry, mathematics, or physics) to be switched to another (culture, painting, or architecture)."  Because of this "there is rarely representation of a 'reality,' or even of an idea or a belief. What representation represents is another representation in a chain of signifiers that circulates from one medium to another..."  What does Agrest mean by this and whose definition of beauty does he use to explain this? (pg.167)

3) During what time period was there a distinguish made between architectural practice and theory?  Why? (pg.168)

4) What is the most pertinent form of media to be used when representing the contemporary city?  Why? (pg. 174 & 175)

5) What 2 paradoxical situations have resulted from the use of the computer in architecture?  Where is the impact of these situations the greatest?  Why?  (pg.176)

19 April 2010

LOST character web from Wired

Any lost fans? Probably not since our class is during the show time, but Wired Magazine had a great character web from all 6 seasons.

The key for the colors is on the linked page.

Getting Lost-Wired

12 April 2010

Discussion Questions for 04.13 (Week 12)

Allen, "Plotting Traces: On Process"

1. Does Allen's underlying argument that architecture and its context is temporal suggest that buildings should be more flexible in their conception?


2. Does the notion of narrative progression rely on the existence of fixed expressions (relics of time and place) as something for new principles to be built upon?

3.How does Allen's argument for a more illusionary architecture support his goal of discovering new theories and strategies for design? Is he simply encouraging experimentation?

Bonus: Allen writes that the lack of consistency in site program and client is offset by a tendency to repeat known solutions and too often contemporary practice is stuck oscillating between mechanical repetition and shallow novelty. How does one discover new principles and theories without falling into the latter category?

Allen, “Practice vs. Project”

1. What is "techne" and how does it play into Allen's reading? Does the topic produce 'better' architecture in your mind?

2. The quote from paragraph 2 on page 3 of the pdf: "Architecture apparently needs a grand narrative in order not to be entirely consumed by these small narratives of opportunity and constraint." What is Allen afraid will happen should this 'grand narrative' not be present?

3. With regards to successful practice, why does Allen believe that such practice cannot be devoid of theory? Why are the two commonly seen as competing abstractions?

4. Surrounding the topic of Architecture, can the medium of writing aid in the design process? Does writing have the potential to reinforce any of the subjects mentioned by Allen in this reading, or potentially benefit the Architect in other ways?

Bonus: How do we as architecture students and theory readers “constantly on the lookout for new techniques” differentiate between project and process; taking a precedent and studying not what it is formally, or means theoretically, but what it does and how it operates in the world?

06 April 2010

exercise 4.0_individual research

Your final exercise of the semester is a personal research topic. This topic may be related to your current/past studios, Master's project topic or other topic that you would like to graphically research for this course. Your topic may be directly related, tangentially related or reciprocal to architectural thought. You may critique conventions, processes or projects. You may also decide to explore phenomena that is not directly related to architecture, in that, it is not a building, drawing or other.

On 04.20 you must present your topic. A 500-word written explanation of your topic must be included. Within your presentation you must clearly state the topic as a thesis of inquiry, your methodology for research and your expected out comes. Keep in mind, this topic must be formated to fit the final document per the syllabus.

29 March 2010

03.30 Discussion Questions

III_Terminal Velocities
[The Computer in the Design Studio]
Stan Allen

1. Do you believe that the introduction of computers in the design studio has resulted in better architecture and/or more efficient work methods as advertised, or has it created a greater disconnect between the designer and the architecture?

2. Allen talks a lot about the instrumentality of the computer and its function as a tool in the field of architecture. Do you feel that the computer is more of a tool or a hindrance in your design work? (p. 72-73)

3. Allen states that new “techniques of visualization ignore what has traditionally given architectural representation its particular power of conceptualization – its necessary degree of abstraction.” What is it about abstraction that allows an architect to visually communicate more effectively and why are computers often incapable of achieving this? (p. 75)

4. According to Allen, architecture and planning have traditionally been committed to control separation and unitary thinking. How do you think viewing the city as an information landscape can create more transparent, shared, and unified city? (p. 80-83)

5. Allen points out that well known designers like Greg Lynn and Preston Scott Cohen were already interested in “formal complexity and descriptive geometry” before they had access to computers, and as a result their prior research helped guide/inform their digital design techniques. Does this suggest that the training of a young architect should still begin with the development of manual design skills, or should we begin with computer aided design training? (p. 85)

Picon Questions:
1. How do new computer techniques differ from older ones? Can they both be considered virtual reality?
2. When do architects figure out the best possible solution? Can it ever happen?
3. Should textures be used in digital models?
4. What do you think is the future of technology in architecture? How can it improve the field?
5. "The aim of the architect is no longer to propose an alternative, and allegedly better, world but to take the world as it is, to contribute to the further actualization of its potential rather than bring about the advent of remote utopia." (p.307) Do renderings help to create this alternative world?

13 March 2010

Added New Links Section

I have added a new section to the links portion of the blog labeled "tools/software." These are online or stand-alone software that may be utilized for data visualization or other related media. I have tried a few of these, not all. I have also taken out some of the "useful/inspirational links" and moved them to this new section where appropriate. Enjoy!

08 March 2010

Discussion for March 09

1. The most common data display is a noun accompanied by a number. How can Sparklines increase their visual effectiveness?

2.Tufte gives some examples of Sparklines used in a linear fashion ..... medical monitorings, Baseball wins and losses, and Mouse neurons. How can Sparklines be used in non-linear way?

3. Why the construction of Sparklines require thinking about their design and production?

4. How does Parallelism connect visual elements? How are visual elements disconnected by parallelism?

5. In What ways can parallelism be experiential? Interpretive?

6. How can Parallelism increase the visual effectiveness in Mapping?

7.How can faulty Parallelism lead to misinterpretations?

8.How can we integrate Sparklines and Parallelism into architecture? What are the possibilities and benefits?

By. Blake & Umesh

05 March 2010

Great Moments in Sports Diagrams

I love these! There are a series of them here:

Cassius Clay
Pete Rose
Michael Jordan
Bjorn Borg
Walter Payton

While these are done with a tongue-in-cheek approach, I do believe they are great examples of the dynamic diagram that Arnheim speaks of in his essay "What Abstraction Is" from the week 2 readings.

04 March 2010

Exercise Two - Paintings

El Lissitzky - Landin, Lima, Arteaga, Biwer, Petermann
Le Corbusier - Seniuk, Bartsch
Malevich - Villwock, Carlucci, Dhimal, Wold, Hoctor

01 March 2010

Discussion Questions for 3-2-10

Part 1:

1. If an index is the connection piece between a real object and the symbol we use to represent it in language, do the meanings of pronouns become ambiguous if the index does not reference one thing? Does this ambiguity add confusion or interest?

2. In Duchamp’s works "Tu m’" and "Rrose Se`lavy and I" is it the play on words that makes the piece interesting or the graphic interpretation of the play on words?

3. Andre Bazin describes painting as an "inferior way of making likeness" and an "ersatz of the process of reproduction" and says the photograph is always a reproduction of a model. Is this true of all photography?
Follow up: With new digital photography and editing techniques, do you think Bazin would still stick to his original statement that photographs are always just reproductions?

4. Explain the "verbal doubling" in Duchamp's With my Tongue in My Cheek

Part 2

5. What is your understanding of this statement? (Page 5 (216 in actual text)) “Paintings are understood, instead, as shifters, empty signs (like the word this) that are filled with meaning only when physically juxtaposed with an external referent, or object.”

6. How do indices relate to mapping?

7. In the sense of mapping versus tracing is photography a form of mapping or tracing?

8. In comparison of a traditional dancer and a photograph, why does Krauss call the photograph a message without a code?

9. Consider cinematography: Why were the first silent movies successful as a narrative while photos have a need to link text and image through a caption?

-Dave and Wekeana

09 February 2010

02.09 Class Cancelled

The university has canceled classes starting at 4:30 and later. This week's readings will be discussed next week. Your film diagrams will now be due 02.23. I will make changes to the syllabus to accommodate this cancellation. Stay tuned...

08 February 2010

Discussion for Feb 09

Beautiful evidence
1. Which map strikes you as the most successful and why?

2. Which map strikes you as the least successful?

3. Compare and contrast the Maps " The Vigilante" Page no 22 & 23 with Ernst Mossel's mappings of the artworks.
Page no 29 & 30

The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention
4. Philosophers Gilles Deuze and Flix Guattari quoted: " Make a map not a tracing!". In your opinion, What is the difference between Mapping and Tracing?

5 Discuss the different Mapping Techniques

6.How can Mapping be helpful in your Design work/ as Designer?

7. In your opinion is technology helpful in Mapping? and why?

03 February 2010

Charting The Beatles

Charting The Beatles

This is a very interesting set of graphics that visualize the music of the Beatles. Because the subject matter is time-based media, you can use these as inspiration for your film diagrams.

01 February 2010

Discussion questions for Feb. 2nd

Discussion leaders: Arteaga & Carlucci

Beautiful Evidence. Tufte
What are the six analytical design principles Tufte cites in reference to Charles Joseph Minard's data map?

The purpose of the analytical diagram is to aid in thinking and provoke reasoning among the consumer, how is this presentation more or less effective than other organizations of information such as an essay?

What graphic elements are used to describe the content of the diagram? What role does visual heirarchy play?

Visual Thinking. Arnheim
Can and how does abstraction bridge the notions of perception and thinking?

According to John Locke, "abstraction is an organization of the mind that passes beyond the concrete and has freed itself from it." In this case, are inracerebral perceptions (memories, feelings) abstractions?

What is the relationship between grouping/classification/generalization and abstraction? How does each feed into the other?

How is perception limited and how does abstraction aid in a more specific understanding?

Describe the difference between a container concept and a type?

28 January 2010

Spring 2010 Discussion Leaders

Week 02 Adriana Arteaga, Alison Carlucci

Week 03 Mary Biwer, Umesh Dhimal

Week 05 Wekeana Monese, David Landin

Week 07 Blake Villwock

Week 10 James Lima, Kelly Senuik

Week 12 Ted Peterman,Alan Wold, Ryan Bartsch

Week 14 Patrick Hoctor, Ehson Rad

12 January 2010

Art of Architecture Exhibit

January 15 - February 14

2246 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
Milwaukee WI 53207


Gallery Hours:

Thursday: 1-5pm
Friday: 1-5pm
Saturday: 1-5pm
Sunday: 1-5pm

Come see some of the work of SARUP students and faculty.