Saturday, February 21, 2009

what have i learned thus far this semester?

I have learned that even though we know that spaces effect the user ( because that's why we design spaces), we can look to research of particualr cases and methods to see how to either promote a certain type of learning or promote a certain teaching style. So not only will we help bring people into the space but their learning and skills will be enhanced because of that. I have learned that (or maybe it has just been brought back up and highlighted more than recently learned) that however long you are estimating being in studio to finish a project or task...multiply that by at least 3! I have learned that although it is not on my list of favorite things to do ( just being honest : ) ) reading does help in the design process. This book we are reading together as a class, " The Poetics of Space" has brought up many memories and has helped me relate many of my childhood experiences and memories to design methods and reasoning.

I look forward to all the things I will be learning in the remaining portion of this iarc semester.

Bachelard Poetics of Space [ch.2+3]

chapter two:

In chapter two of Poetics of Space, House and Universe, Bachelard makes a great connection alluded to previously in chapter one about "reading a space" because spaces such as houses or rooms are psychological diagrams. He speaks of the designers as the "writers" of these readings.

On pages 46-47 Bachelard speaks of the relationship between the house and the universe ( in the form of weather). He relates the house to a human body and how a house reacts to the storm with resistance by bracing itself against the winds, even bowing if necessary. A particular favorite quote I have from this section is on the bottom of page 46, " It is an instrument with which to confront the cosmos." Continuing onto page 47 with this dialogue of storm vs. structure he metions that "inhabited space transcends geometrial space.." This sense of a fortress, a safe place of refuge is a very comforting thought. In the tradition of Bachelard, it makes me think back to when I was a little girl and we had tornados come through in Memphis. We didnt have a basement but still I felt safe and more then anything thankful for the house that we had. Still to this day I think about my home in that same sense. It truly is a instrument that we can use for our safety, a refuge of comfort and warmth, and a place we can feel at ease at ourselves no matter the troubles we may face.

chapter three:

In chapter three, Drawers, Chests, and Wardrobes, the title alone starts to bring back the fuzzy warm memeories of scavenger hunting through my mom and memaw's treasures when I was a little girl. He refers to these places as "hiding places" ( p.74). I think of course these are hiding places but there is also a correlation between these places and places not so secret and the owners of the two contrasting lifestyles of products. For instance, many people who have lots of drawers and chests filled with trinkets, papers, and memories of the past might be considered a "packrat", holding on to the past. Many times older people are like this because it has to do with their life growing up ( if they went through the depression) and were taught not to waste. But now many people want a simpliflied, clutter free life. Their furniture reflects this and everything is minimal, streamlined and clutter free. Or are they just hiding their secrets under a facade?
He alludes to metephors between these objects, comparing drawers to concepts of knowledge, but goes on to say that really any metephor is dangerous and an accident of expression (p. 77).
He makes an interesting point on page 85 about the actual act of human interaction with the object of a chest. Because a chest is an object that has to be opened to be utilized ( differently then a drawer because a drawer is a piece of a whole). Chests symbolize curiosity and surprise. " When a casket is closed, it is returned to the general community of objects; it takes its place in exterior space. But it opens!" This is interesting because he is comparing the functionality and form of this item. When it is closed there is a solidity about it and its function is changed in its space. But the fact that it can still be utilized as storage, and a hiding place brings about the discussion of inside vs. outside.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

looking back

As I mentioned in class today I went to a very small school. I went there from kindergarten to my senior year. There was about 350 in the entire school. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Tucker. She was my kindergarten teacher, my art teacher from fourth grade to tenth grade and also my nutrition teacher. Art and nurtrition were my favorite classes. Its kind of interesting because she was my first impression of the school and basically got me ready for this life of school Id be facing for the next twenty years. Then she became my art teacher which made another huge impact that will be apart of me forever. The nutrition class she taught led me to declare nutrition as my first major which somewhat led me to uncg in the first place. Then I switched to art and now Im in Iarc! So Mrs. Tucker definately played a large role in shaping me into the person I am today.

I brought in "models" and a "piggy bank" in as my artifacts because I felt that school serves as a model for how we should study and apply ourselves in the real world and the bank stands for the safe place I felt my school represented.

My favorite quote from Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of Space for the reading last week:
"We are never historians, but we are always poets"...I even read this section to my boyfriend because I think it is so true! This sounds redundant but even this phrase is so poetic! When looking back our memories are always poeticaly looking through rose colored glasses and remembering "the good old days" even if sometimes they werent so good. I guess the past seems easier to grip then the present's struggles.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

special relativity|matrix

Back to the drawing board.  Janel and I decided to focus on the room and get away from the idea and form that the lecturn had become in our minds and in our sketches.  After developing the concept of "MATRIX" by looking deeper into learning systems and theories and the term special relativity ( our group name ) we felt that this idea relayed many interesting connections that could be related back to our goals for the space.

The lectern's new form has less mass ( mass + energy idea relates back special relativity.), is mobile, and versatile.  We felt like making this piece so modular that it really opened up the space to the user's specification and allowed the room to be set up in the most favorable way for that day. 

Graphic Programming.....................................................................................................

East Elevation
West Elevation
North Elevation

South elevation

Sunday, February 1, 2009

lectern development

Saturday I met with Janel to brainstorm on our lectern design. We took both our designs we had for our friday deadline and took the most positive elements from each and created a piece that we believe can be very successful in this space.
Here are some of my skeches from saturday.

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