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.