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.