25 March 2014

STAN ALLEN - Notations + Diagrams: Mapping the Intangible
Matt Lathrum
1. Allen says (middle of page 48) that, ". . . technique is never neutral, and the means of representation, the working methods of the architect, will always condition the results." How do you think the 'methods' could 'condition the results?' Can you think of any examples?
2. 'Process-based' design work (e.g.: utilizing trace and projection) is contrasted with the use of notation and diagram (top of page 49.) Allen states that, in the former, "the meaningfulness of the object is understood to reside in information that has been inscribed through the process of design;" whereas, in the latter, ". . . giving up ideas of depth, authorship and intent" are traded for "immediacy and presence." Do you agreed with these claims?
3. The merits of 'diagram architecture' are articulated on page 54. "Meaning is located on the surface of things . . . What is lost in depth is gained in immediacy. Diagram architecture looks for effects on the surface, but by layering surface on surface, a new kind of depth effect is created. A diagram architecture does not justify itself on the basis of embedded content, but by its ability to multiply effects and scenarios." Do you think embedded content/meaning is important? Do you see more value in the results of diagram architecture?
4. Five working definitions of notations are given on pages 64-66. Can you think of any examples of these principles at work in an urban project?

Matt Lathrum
1. After learning what Arnheim has to say about the perception of movement, how might one apply these dynamics to architecture?
2. Would it make sense to apply these principles of the perception of movement to architecture in two-dimensional images (on paper or screen,) to actual built architecture,  or in video form?
3. Do you see as more applicable to the practice of architecture the perception of movement of objects, or the perception of movement of people?

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