31 March 2015

Week 10 Allen: Notations and Diagrams

Jacob Beck's Questions:

1. Allen says that architectural is clearly neither allographic nor autographic. However if we considered a building solely as a freestanding designed object as it exists in the built world is architecture an autographic or allographic art? Or possibly some mix of the two?

2. Architectural graphics become notational when they include numerical and textual information along with their visual components. Is it possible to make a graphic which is notational but not overtly technical? Could we produce drawings that convey data and experience as accurately as a plan or map without using explicit annotation?

3. Allen states that "since nothing can enter architecture without having been first converted into graphic form, the actual mechanism of graphic conversion is fundamental. Is this always true? What about cases of vernacular architecture, and could impromptu construction happen without a graphic design process?

4. On page 53. Allen describes diagram architecture. In this type of design the process of conversion is minimized, there is no effort to transform material, and designs become frank and direct in their process. Does this representational method then convey experiential quality equally as well as notational methods, and as a design methodology does diagrammatic design then lead to more accessible and identifiable architecture?

5. Allen states that technique is never neutral and makes the argument that diagrammatic design leads to buildings constructed as artifacts rather than effective and interconnected spaces. He proposes a new focus on notation in architectural representation, believing it will lead to processes better suited for design in contemporary cities. Do you think his assessment is correct? Is contemporary architecture that has been designed diagrammatically (for example BIG's work) too focused on form and too introverted?

6. Allen believes that “the dream of a perfect fit between object and its representation needs to be abandoned” and says that we must accept “the impossibility of a transparent communication between architect and public”. As designers and students of architecture are you comfortable accepting this disconnect between representation and product? Are the techniques and technologies used to produce graphical representation progressing to a point where there is no longer any real gap?

Week 10 Muybridge and Movement

Movement is often attributed to being perceived uniquely by both observer and the designer. How does architecture imply movement differently/similarly to these two groups? (ie spaces, structure, dynamics, etc)

Movement can require two or more objects to interact with each other; spatially and physically. How does architecture interact with people? How does it interact with other architecture? With the surroundings?

Sometimes what is necessary to create movement is a framework and an object. (ie a dancer on stage. The stage is the frame and the dancer is the object) What situations place architecture as the framework? What situations place architecture as the object? Can it simultaneously be both?

The use of hand-cranked cameras allowed us to play short and long spans of time back at more human-appropriate speeds to view movement in new ways. (ie. a time lapse of a flower making it grow quickly, or the dropping and shattering of a glass spanning minutes) How could altering the speed which we perceive architecture allow us to see its movement differently?

Succession v. Order "Everything that came before is constantly modified by what comes later." How important is the succession of experiencing architecture? Does the order which we experience architecture always matter?

(Regarding paintings) "The observer scans the various areas of the picture in succession because neither the eye not the mind is capable of taking in everything simultaneously, but the order in which the exploration occurs does not matter" In this case, the observer must explore the entire picture before being able to fully comprehend its value. Must the observer fully explore architecture to understand it as well?

Often the object of movement has predetermined attributes. Large objects move slowly, Small move quickly. Fast objects are strong/fierce, Slow objects are weak/shy. Does architecture have similar attributes?

11 March 2015

week 7: the form of data

How can we apply sparklines to the processes of design?

“Wordlike sparklines should often be embedded in text and tables, which provide a helpful context for interpreting otherwise free-floating sparklines”, for designers would one want a free-floating sparkline?

“Sparklines effectively display and narrate binary data”, what are some binary data of architecture that we could apply sparklines to?

Professor Alex Kandel, Univeristy of Notre Dame, constructed a 3-D scatter-plot where all 3-D points lie on the surface of a hyperbolic paraboloid. What are your thoughts of the visual representation of the data?

How can sparklines and parallelism be combined together?

How did Christopher Wilmarth achieve parallelism in “The True Story of Gift of the Bridge”?

Catrich’s The Origin of the Serif and Repton’s architectural before/after were similarly compared, what are other examples of how this can be applied to architecture?

03 March 2015

Week 6 - Narrative Armature

1. How has the format of Understanding Comics contribute or hinder your understanding of the content? How does it differ from Storyboards with its textual presentation?

2. What is the relationship between icon and idea? What are the limits of ideation imposed by iconography?

3. In the McCloud reading he says, "The vehicle becomes an extension of our body. It absorbs our sense of identity. We become the car." Where is this phenomenon possible in architecture? Are we able to expand our identity into the entirety of a building? When?

4. McCloud claims that the efficacy of comics comes from the ability of the reader to project themselves into the characters presented. Do human forms in architectural drawings possess the same projective qualities? In what ways can that effect be heightened?

5. McCloud closes by calling comics "sequential art." Davids begins the conclusion by calling storyboards sequential narratives. What is the distinction between these concepts?

6. Is the relationship between the subject and time within a storyboard always linear? At what point is it to our advantage to depart from linear narrative?

7. Davids says, "the structure of the storyboard does not preclude alternatives [to a linear reading]: vertical or diagonal readings, skipping or revisiting frames." The narrative between frames remains fluid and undefined. What are the limits of that narrative? Or, what are the conceptual boundaries of the storyboard?

8. How is this narrative fluidity best applied to architectural (conceptual or realized) space?

9. Is our "increasingly symbol-oriented culture" (McCloud) inevitable through the function of mass communication? How would comics and storyboarding be changed in a less symbol saturated environment? Would they be as effective, or even possible?

10. Davids says, "The frame establishes the boundaries between inside and outside: what is inside anticipates the outside. The frame itself can be the subject." What is the relationship between subject, frame, and narrative? Or, how does the frame become pivotal in the reading of the narrative?