Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Unit Summary #1

Diagram of Stonehenge

 View of Individual Parts

In the beginning of time people modeled things after the world around them and in doing so created the basis for all design principles we have today. These object spaces buildings and places were inspired by the cosmos and things they encountered in everyday life . Stonehenge was built to align perfectly with the constellations, equinox, and solstices. People in early civilizations understood the patterns of light and dark. By this important structure we can start to understand more about their culture. The center of a circle is sacred as they placed an alter at that spot. The circle itself represents equality and unity and there is a social status to consider whether people were inside or outside of the structure itself. However, all parts of Stonehenge rely on one another to create the structure. This shows that the society relied on all parts to create a whole community.

Pyramids of Giza

 Another great structure from the past is the the Pyramids at Giza which have a vertical axis reaching toward the heavens. It is known as the city of the sun. The pyramids also act as a compass arrow on the landscape of Egypt. The pyramids have four sides which face accordingly with north, south, east ,and west. This shows how they value the sun in their society, making it apparent that they rely on the sun as they are a farming society centered on the Nile River. The placement of the pyramids at the center of the culture show the sacred characteristic of the center point itself, just like the structure which was built in Stonehenge. A new element of design is added with the Pyramids at Giza. This would be the idea of stacking. The stacks of the material used for the pyramid, also echoes the layers in the society between the Pharaoh and the common-folk. They believed he was the reincarnate of the sun god Rah, and the base of the structure is symbolic toward the slaves, which made society functioning possibly. These pyramids acted as a vertical element that direct peoples attention to a higher power and creates a sense of power of the Pharaoh.

Parthenon (Doric Temple)
As time moved on building form evolved but still maintained the same elements that was present in those of the past. Circles stacks and groves were represented by columns in Ancient Greece by projecting the circle form upward and also by the stacks of decorative carving on the caps of the columns. The columns also represent groves of trees in their upward orientation which demonstrate the importance of a higher power. The use of upward object shows the importance of a higher power as well as a sense of ritual which goes hand in hand with their environment. The way people in Greece chose to build temples changed and this meant there were several Prototypes which then was modified into Archetypes and in between the two types were hybrids combining the best of both types making a overall style of building all over Greece. These buildings were made up of many repetitive elements which allowed for contrast/emphasis, unity/harmony, and balance/proportion.

Plan View of Typical Buildings

This new way to build things had 3 different styles Dorian Ionian and Aeolian and in all building there was a porch (entering space) a court (receiving space) and a hearth(warm center). However in this new style of building there was the reality and the ideal part of the building the buildings looked like they were perfect and all the columns were the same but the reality was they were slightly curved so the roof wouldn't fall in. This idea of reality vs. ideal transfers into the political system of what was Greece and what would later be the roman Empire.

The Collosseum

The Roman empire was one of commodity, firmness, and delight making structures with great purpose in society.  The Roman Society also borrowed ideas about design from earlier cultures like the types of orders from the Greek temples that they meshed and added to the Colosseum removing all the importance to them since they just placed them all together. The Colosseum also was made up of arches which allowed them to build higher and have multiple layers to the structure. The town surrounding the Colosseum was made up of roads that created a grid to divide the space as well as to add balance to the city structure.  The Roman city plan can be understood by looking at Pompeii which has a temple, bath, forum, basilica, amphitheater and a gym.  Throughout history building have been adapted from previous cultures and improvements made as cultures grow and adapt tot he environment and change their rituals but the basics stay the same.


1 comment:

  1. so what links all of these weeks...and societies...and buildings together? where's the connective tissue required from the prompt for the unit summary?