pg. 72 – Allen Quotes Paul Virilio’s Pure War:
“There again it’s the same illusory ideology that when the world is reduced to nothing and we have everything at hand, we’ll be infinitely happy. I believe it’s just the opposite—and this has already been proven—that we’ll be infinitely unhappy because we will have lost the very place of freedom, which is expanse.”
I very much believe that we are loosing our place of freedom in architecture. The profession is largely digitized and the world is at our fingertips with the click of a mouse. We can zoom to street views, obtain photographs, and place our creations within our contexts without even leaving our offices. We should be, within our own rights, infinitely happy…we have it all!
Yet, if 15 students are asked to design a building in a studio, how many of them immediately turn on the computer and start messing around in digital space? How many of them will return to the site more than the required preliminary site visit? Will they turn to their sketchbooks and jot down notes and ideas whenever they pop into their heads, or will their wait until they are back at their computer to make the changes instead of consider them in the heat of the moment?
I think there is an intrinsic loss of thought when a computer is the primary means to design. The ability to formulate and construct ideas on a piece of paper creates some of the most elaborate and well thought out designs, I believe. Frank Lloyd Wright always designed by hand, granted the technology wasn’t there yet, but even so. How would his designs have changed as a result?
I want to ask that if students were to design similar buildings through two studios, one working solely in 3d space, and the other exclusively through hand drafting and model building, which would create the more architecturally superior creations? Why would this be so, and how could one out-design the other as far as schematic design and design development? Which group of students would be infinitely happier?
pg. 75 – Allen Quotes Brian Eno:
“I ask myself, What is pissing me off about this thing? What’s pissing me off is that it uses so little of the body. You’re just sitting there, and it’s quite boring. You’ve got this stupid little mouse that requires one hand, and your eyes. That’s it.”
Is it safe to say that one is more involved with a design if it is hand drafted? To go off of Eno’s quote, we tend to move around more and do more elaborate actions and things when we hand-draft as opposed to sitting in once place for an extended amount of time. Could we go so far as to say that this active engagement with the drawing(s) and the tools can produce better designs, or does it merely seem coincidental? Why or why not?
pg. 81 – Allen speaks on Giambattista Nolli:
The power of the Nolli map and the figure/ground diagram comes from its stark contrasting abilities. Allen mentions how the maps and diagrams are absent of actual urbanism and life-like qualities such as “block structure, height, typology, land ownership, infrastructure, program, etc.” How detrimental is this absence of life in the diagram and how does it hinder our understanding of the formation of true urbanism compared to a total simplicity of the Nolli map?
pg. 86 – Allen speaks on computers as a cult in the 80’s and 90’s:
Allen explains the fascination of architects and computers in the 80’s and 90’s as a cult. It had rituals, members, leaders, and everything that a cult could have. It was something to be skeptical of, but also very exciting. As architecture has grown to accept and love computers, the cult-ship treatment of it has gone down and the “old way” of doing things has become more cultish. But within the field of computers, are programs becoming the new cults as they start to define how structures are designed and built? SketchUp buildings differ greatly from Revit buildings, structures based in 3dMax versus those in AutoCAD, and even down to Rhino versus programs like VectorWorks, MicroStation, and ArchiCAD. Do the limitations of programs actually shape and define how architecture looks so much as to limit and persuade a designer into a digital pitfall? If so, is it a fatal blow to the profession or a means of clarity? Does this provide clients with a notion of “you get what you pay for,” or false expectations of so-called “industry standards” of design?
Picon + Ponte///
Just as 19th century architecture was bettered by the borrowing of ideas from science and technology--ergo shaping how we think about architecture in our current age through structure and open expressions. Instead of borrowing from sciences like the medical field, how could architecture be redefined through other areas of study? ie: dentistry, space travel / colonization, classic opera, digitized media, acid rain, over-population, vinyl record re-popularity, etc...
Picon + Ponte///
On virtual reality:
As the reading states, virtual reality is a reality--a potential one. Going off of this notion, if VR is technically a reality, could we see a shift in design that completely envelopes designers within a 3D world to be free to roam around and design whatever? Similar to VR glasses and immersive sensory worlds, will the profession stay with the, now conservative, style of a keyboard and mouse? Or will the profession shift to a more "futuristic" approach to design through something completely intangible? Could neurological design, where impulses and instincts control a computer in a "Matrix-like" world, enter into the profession or even be possible?
Picon + Ponte///
On structure and architecture:
Knowing that structure comes from the realm of biology and the skeletal system within our bodies, does the idea that we are creating structurally expressive buildings upset us? If we were to have children that were "structurally expressive" and not have any skin on their bodies would that upset us? Then why are we designing buildings that follow this same notion and what is our fascination with wanting to rip our own skin off...of buildings? Compared to the architecture of old where ornamentation was crucial to the design, why are we now compelled to forfeit this "aesthetic" in favor of an architecture that is so rebellious of skin and in favor of savage nakedness?