Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daniel Libeskind's Talk

I don’t know that much about the famous architects especially this certain guy who is Daniel Libeskind. The video we watched talked all about the works and manifesto of Daniel Libeskind. There been a time where Architecture showed in box form(modern architecture) and he is saying that we should explore more with space. He shared the words of Architecture that he believes in. He wants to innovate a new kind of Architecture because people nowadays copy an existing story which makes it banal. He wants to be expressive to be able to show a different form of Architecture. We have the same idea where he said that Architecture is like a story. He did show that statement when he designed the Jewish Museum. It showed the story of Jews during the holocaust and I think that this is the best way on how we can express ourselves in Architecture.  Then he likes radical because he wants to confront conservative. He tells us that Architecture is a language but it does not speak the common words we understand instead we should design a structure that is something inexplicable or something hard to understand. It is more important to introduce the actual architectural dimensions. Then he points out that drawing by hand is better than doing it in a computer. His hand drawn sketches were actually good. If we draw by hand we have more control but the only downfall is it takes a lot of time unlike when you do it in a computer it is faster. He also likes to design his structures complex rather simple because you can show more space if your building is complex. Space is more explored if your building is complex. He more in to raw which means that a structure that is untouched or a structure without decorations like painting. It shows more story to the structure and the true beauty of it. While most of the things he said made me awe and agree, there are thing/s that I disagree to. Of course not every word that a famous man is something we should always follow because we have our own ideas too. I disagree with risky versus safe. He preferred risky to show or explore on the space and the form. My personality is passive so I go to safety rather than his idea and I think we could still explore it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Compact House V.1

The first concept for the compact house that came in to my mind was a mouse. Then after some time I realized that designing a compact house with a concept of a mouse felt it was a solid concept and something that I could not really explore.

Then I came up with “magnet”. I am referring to any kind of magnet whether it is a cube or a sphere. I got this idea from a souvenir called “Magcube” from Japan my cousin gave to my Dad. Since he does not have time to use it, me and my brother tried it. It was amazing because you can shape it into any from but it is challenging.  It is something that I could play with its form. I think that this is also another opportunity to be more creative.

I would also like to focus more on the aspect of connection or the link between magnets and another property of a magnet where both poles are in contact which mostly likely counteract with each other(something that has to do with the force of gravity). It also gave me an idea where I could make an illusion that will make the structure look like it is levitating.

This the magcube that I am talking about   

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Manifesto on Architecture

I once knew Architecture is a simple thing where Architects design structures  to provide one specific need of a person. It is a shallow meaning that a kid could think of. My dad will watch this program about mega structures constructed in Dubai sometimes and the form of the structures caught my attention. It made me wonder if there were any deeper meaning of Architecture. It was also the reason why I took up this course. During my first year and half of the first term my understanding of Architecture did not change at all. Structures to me is something dull or just a shape that would provide a person shelter or a home. Then when the third term came, a lot of terms and meaning came in to my mind to redefine my meaning of Architecture. I thought to myself, think again, if you think Architecture is just any easy course where you have to think something simple/unique without a concept then you’re wrong. I learned that being an Architect is being serious in what you do and learning to put passion, dedication, and hard work in to your design. There is also a quote from my favourite game which is Final Fantasy where a guy says “unattainable dreams are the best kind” and the story ended where the main character reached his dream. It is kind of similar in reality and I would also think of this quote whenever I am giving up.

There are thousands of reasons, explanations, and terms that define Architecture and all of what I could think of before is the most basic definition and what most people define it. It didn’t felt unique like Architecture should be and I’m glad there are a lot of people in my course there to guide me. I don’t believe that anyone one can reach their dreams without the help of others because this why God created us for. You may be the Architect who designed that certain structure but behind it there are different professional people who helped you.
So far what I want to say is that “Architecture is an experience/emotion of the designer like any writer or painter” because it is like any other song/painting/poem it is just that in a form of a structure were we feel or understand when we look deeper in to its meaning. There are instances where we could see a replica of an old structure with few modifications and tell ourselves,” well it’s just copy, nothing is unique” but if we learn more about the designer we will know that it is very unique. This is what makes us designers unique and different to each other. Each of us had our own experience and emotion in to designing that building.
Architecture is  a connection or bond between things. It could be between you the designer and your client or it could be the connection of the structure to the client or the designer but it could be all that. Today from what I observed, Architecture is trying to further make structures that initiate social contact or possible social relationship with each other.  These structures are malls, condominiums, etc. If we also look in to the past we may not notice but there are similar structures with the same functions like these modern structures.
Architecture is innovation and evolution. This is something that came up to my mind when I took up my history of architecture classes. One good example would be renaissance period. They just improved the roman architecture which made it popular. We think that history is boring but actually it is where we also get our ideas from and we just improve it and add our own style in it. I want to be able to innovate architectural styles from the past and to mix a certain  part of myself to be able to achieve greatness.
These three meaning I gave is so far what I have observed or I would call it rather premature definition of Architecture because I am only at the beginning of the course and I have a lot of time to think, learn over,   to discover the true meaning and to give my real or improved answer to the question “What is  Architecture for me”.  For once I knew that finding a definition for something was very easy, Architecture taught me that it is very challenging and you have to have this experience to able to know him better hence defining Architecture.

As an architect, I want to design something that makes a relation between a person, the structure and nature.  There are not a lot of people who enjoy nature because there some designs that confine the person to the nature.I want to design a structure that brings the environment inside it. I think that it will add more beauty to the structure because nature itself is already beauty and what if I combine both structure and nature together.

I want to make it a habit to able to think outside of the box to able to impress people with my designs and to show them that is a unique design by me. I want to be able to continue learning to able to improve myself. Some successful Architects will say to you that Architecture is hard which is true and usually a way making you feel you want to quit.  Actually everything in life is hard because we make it hard but if we do the opposite by working hard enough, eventually it will become very rewarding just like in Architecture. If you also think you can excel in this field then keep on doing what you are doing right now which is to think of designs and to draw it.
We should  share our ideas with our fellow architects to able to improve ourselves. We should not shut ourselves from others because Architecture is an open language, we can speak through our buildings or houses we design.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Reaction Paper: Reports in AESTETA

 Every report on AESTETA where mostly about philosophers and their philosophy about aesthetics. The rule in our presentations was to place pictures only because it makes it more presentable and it helps us explain the information in our own words. The reporting was done in chronological order starting from Plato and Aristotle(Greek) to Manuel De Landa and Gilles Deleuze(Modern). Some of us used pictures only in the PowerPoint presentation while others added some texts to further support their presentation. During the course of these reports we were also asked to apply the philosophies in an output/project. The philosophers that were given to us are related to each other. How they are related to each other are by being influenced by one another. This how we should also apply in ourselves which is the whole purpose of the reporting of these philosophers.
The first report was about Plato and Aristotle. These were probably the most famous and familiar names to us because they were always mentioned in history/science subjects. I only knew them as just philosophers  until now. Also as we all know that the Greeks were famous because of their philosophers especially these two well known icons. They were also covered/reported by me(Steven) and Gemar. Plato was the teacher/mentor of Aristotle. As Aristotle grew older he had his own philosophy which is the opposite of Plato’s philosophy. Their philosophy talks mostly about form. Plato’s philosophy was that the beauty is seen in the original form where as Aristotle, he said that there is still beauty even if it is a copy or imitation of the original form. They also have arguments about the universe. We should have focused more on the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. One common thing I find in their philosophies is metaphysics which is the nature of being in the world. I’ve seen it used most of the succeeding philosophers probably the ones who were influenced. From the philosophers form the Greek period we move on to the Christian philosophers. Our report was the only familiar while the other reports are not new to me. All the next reports were really new to me. Out of the two Christians, I remember the most is Thomas Aquinas. He was more of a theologian rather philosopher. His philosophy focussed more on Transcendence where beauty is beyond something. The philosophy that made me remember him the most was the double effect whereas for example you have to protect yourself from a thief then you kill him for self defence. In a nut shell, you do something bad for something that is good. The philosophy was mostly used in our project where we made comics and used in animate objects to portray the characters or the background.  Another one was Augustine of Hippo or St. Augustine, he influenced Thomas Aquinas and he is also more of a theologian rather than a philosopher. Since both of them were Christians they’re philosophies or ideals were mainly focused/revolving around God himself. The next Philosopher that was reported was Immanuel Kant. The presentation was good because of the use of pictures and animations. Kant identified “sublime” as an aesthetic quality. For me sublime is an experience we can’t compare to any other. It is easy to define but challenging to express it. Another task was given to us where we make a music video about the Sublime Experience. The audience must also feel the this experience. The sublime word really got my attention thanks to Immanuel Kant. I think that this would greatly affect the design of our buildings because it’s another form of expression in a unique way. The next report was about a German philosopher,  Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, whose name is hard to pronounce. The name sounded familiar because I have played a game where there was a name Nietzsche. Anyway, his philosophy was more of the opposite of the Christian philosophers/theologians. He had a statement that god is dead which made other people think about him an Atheist. He also believed in eternal return which is for me like the saying where you are reincarnated as another being, this is how I see it. Knowing this I thought to myself that thinking really unique and out of the world gets you famous and you just need the confidence in sharing that to the world. Also, hearing form the reporters, this man is mostly the opposite of all the other philosophers but what inspired like what I said is his uniqueness. The report on Friedrich Nietzsche was presented almost the same way as Immanuel Kant.  The next report was about empiricism where knowledge is learned by experience. The opposite rationalism where we depend on the knowledge that is just given to us without experiencing it. Both of these are already known back then in the Greek period. My example for empiricism would be when tasting foods you know the taste when you experience unlike Rationalism where you just know the taste by text or information. These were also used by some famous philosophers like Immanuel Kant and Socrates who happens to be a Rationalist. The ones who believed in empiricism were the scientist because they are more logical. The report on this was entirely different from the previous reports because it’s like the combination of past reports. The reports had to research about different philosophers and their affiliation with Empiricism and Rationalism. The last two were modern philosophers. The first one was Gilles Deleuze, where his philosophy was about epistemology talking about the past philosophers like Aristotle that the image of thought found in them was unproblematic business. The next modern philosopher is Manuel De Landa. He happens to be a materialist and he also teaches philosophy today. We did not get to listen to all the reports because we lacked time.
For me the purpose of these reports were to influence us just like the new philosophers were influenced by the old philosophers. Even if our belief is different from theirs what matters is that philosophy describes us. This is what made them and the other Architects famous.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can Architecture engage directly to people's experience?

This year was the only time I realized and added meaning to the definition of Architecture.  Like what I’ve said in my previous essays I would always say that it is a form of art and something that we express like other forms of art but only through structures and buildings. When people look at a building/structure they would either stare at it for a few moments then look away, appreciate its beauty or rather remember something by just looking at it. No experience was engaged to a person if the form is not familiar to them or if they are un-interested.
For me, Architecture directly engages with our inner experience. As what I have said Architecture is just like any other art. It affects the our experience through the design and concept of the Architect.  Most of the part that would greatly affect us is the concept behind that structure. I’d like to give an example on what our professor said. He showed us an example of a building. That building was a museum. When random people looked at it they felt amazed and surprised. They liked the building but the question is did they really understand the true meaning behind it? It even won an award despite it’s unusual characteristics/elements in and out of it. It won because the clients felt connected to it. When the building was shown to some old jewish people they got emotional. It’s like the building connected to their emotions. The tight spaces of the building reminded them of caves they were hiding in from the Nazis. Hearing this, I was simply amazed and thought to myself “I never knew Architecture can let people feel what they have experienced”. I realized that I had this kind of experiences before. I also have this experienced but it is far more pleasant than what the jews experienced. Most of us have experienced nature when we were kids. My parents would take me and brother and walk at a park. The park was full of trees, birds and there was a pond. Then after two years since I saw the park, we went to Fort Bonifacio(back then there weren’t many buildings). I forgot what building we were in but it felt like nature because most of it is made out glass and you can see the outside. Just like the park all the elements are there. Unlike the the first example our professor has given us, mine was the use of glass of the building even if the architect did not shape/form the structure he managed to put a material(glass) that would bring elements of it’s surrounding.
The example our professor given to us explains that even if that building is different from the one they had experience it is the form that affects it. Unlike in most cases that when we see a structure then go back to it again then it engages to our experiences like our houses, offices, school, etc.
As time pass by , Architecture changes the way how they express and how they let people engage their experience in their structures. Nowadays architects go further in expressing their designs in their buildings with more abstract form.
More forms of structure like churches or chapels also engages on our experience but spiritually. Most churches have paintings/artworks on the windows or ceilings. Going inside an old gothic/renaissance church makes you feel you were back in the old century, These factors let us know feel/experience the spiritual part of Architecture. Most of the great works of Architect is inspired by their religion.
I think that this is the most important factor that we should put work into when we are designing our buildings. We must have a connection to our clients so that we could apply it and capture their attention. They usually can’t explain truly what designs the want so we need to befriend them or know more about them . As we understand this truly then we can move on the higher level where we our designs speak to world.  I think this is the most hardest part but it can be your greatest achievement.
I’m really glad that entering this course opened my eyes and let me know this kind of information.  If I were in a different course right now and it’s not related to arts then I would less appreciate the surrounding structures around me. I would like a normal person feeling the same as most people do. Learning this lesson in AESTHETA makes me more curios on what things I haven’t realize yet.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ways of Seeing

We were asked to watch a documentary style film called “ways of seeing” by John Berger who was a famous author and painter. “Ways of Seeing” was actually a book written also by John Berger. Generally it talks about the western Aesthetics. I also research about this before watching it and I read that it won award which made me interested in viewing it. Berger is an excellent speaker, he really delivers and believes in what he says which could be the factor that helped him won an award.
Before viewing this short film, I saw art and images just how they look. I they have meanings but I often misinterpret the meanings of the images. Sometimes for me they mean useless or nothing at all. Well, that is what we usually see things until you hear something from Berger or from an another artistic person.
The first episode was the most interesting episode for me because it talks about the meaning of paintings. It also talks about how the meaning of a painting changes when it is reproduced. He was saying that if you saw a picture of a painting in a newspaper the approach of it was different rather looking at the original painting. He said that when the image is reproduced then it’s meaning becomes many. He also talked about the different approaches and knowing the real meaning of the painting. For example you see a painting that is just still with no background sound you look at it with you own perspective. Then when you add sound another meaning adds to it.
I agree with Berger’s theory. He really constructed and defined on how to see an object.  Objects around us even ourselves should be given respect and we should show critical thinking in seeing.  He also has a point on how we should see Women. We should see them like what artist see them. I also agree with him that media is destroying the meaning of the original images but there is nothing really we can do about it. It’s like Berger is Plato who appreciates the original beauty of the object.
Watching this film made me realize a lot of things like how I should look at things in the past. It really changed my way of seeing things. We do not assume something quickly and we should always think deeply when seeing something. 
Example: Different contrast with different meaning

Pleasant Ville

I watched this movie twice, I watched the first one in HBO/Starmovie and the second one was in school.  Watching  this kind of movie always make me feel comfortable and excited because this kind of movie deals with teen social life and it is where I see beautiful sites like the houses with gardens which I don’t usually see it here in the Philippines. Most of the houses here are cover their whole front yard unlike in the other countries. It is also a kind of movie where we learn a really valuable lesson lke how to express ourselves. When I watched Pleasantville half or one fourth of the movie is in black and white. It’s black and white because obviously the PleasantVille is a 50’s show where the two sibling(David and Jennifer) got transported/teleported to.  Black and white for me means it is plain, fair, emotionless, or neutral basing it on what I saw on Pleasantville. As the story progress PleasantVille gains different colors like red, blue and yellow. These colours show different emotions like when some people made love to each other or when someone is angry or it is a form of expression because different colors have their own effects on us for example is art where a lot of different colors come in to play. Having colors greatly affected the town and I will explain why.
David and Jennifer, the two main protagonist of the movie
First David and Jennifer wanted to go back so badly. Since they can’t do anything yet about it, David decided to play along the story but Jennifer did what she likes. It all started with Jennifer where people started to have color. Jennifer taught other people how to make love on the place called Lover’s Lane to her boyfriend then eventually followed by her friends and their Boyfirends. She even taught her mom in PleasantVille how to pleasure herself. It turns out it when a person really love each other or someone that loves him/herself, other people started having color. The next thing that happened was when people noticed that books started to have contents like pictures and texts. This is an another factor that changed and made more people have color. People in Pleasantville began asking David about the books and they felt surprised and really excited because now that they now there is more to see.  There was a close of David who was passionate about painting and art. He was also one of the people who got interested books. Jennifer did no gain colors when she made love. She had colors when she read. It is something that she became passionate about and that is what she really liked. David gave him a book full of painting in art to express himself. He started painting the things he saw on the book and what gave that color to paintings and art he made was his happiness. He painted the windows of his store with really colourful colors. In the Later part of the story love and joy again is the reason why people kept on changing of color. One example would where Bud/David was having fun and being in love with Beth. Half of the town still felt empty or they haven’t felt their true feelings. The meaning and the reason of why people having colors were revealed near the end of the story. The Mayor and his affiliates tried to do something about this because people are being unpleasant anymore. It turns out that they cannot change what people really feel and it’s hard to make them change back. David showed everyone in the court that by freeing something that’s deep inside of them shows and gives them colors. He showed this first by talking to his dad and telling him “what do you really feel?, do you miss and love her so much?”. He agreed and started to cry then suddenly in front of their eyes, his dad gained colors. The mayor did not agree and David also challenged him to let his anger out. He also gained colors then eventually the whole town believed him which really proves that it is the expression of the person that shows colors. If it weren’t for the actions or the experience learned from David and Jennifer the whole town wound not know anything about freedom.
David was a nobody then became somebody when he came to PleasantVille because he knows a lot of different things that people on PleasantVille don’t know. He doesn’t also know how to express his feelings and emotion in the real world.  Unlike in the real world where he was a coward/shy in telling the girl that he loves her while in PleasantVille there was this girl that he freely expressed his feelings for her. He only got his freedom in the world that isn’t reality.
Art also played a big role in this film. Art is a form expression where one creates an image like the friend of David. People got mad at the Art which was painted in the glass windows of the shop because it showed really strong colors and nudity. They were so mad, they wrecked/thrased the whole place.  The near-end part of the movie where David and his friend tried to show other people that it is not bad to express their emotions and that art has more meaning in to it. Still people felt offended and they had confused emotions about Art.
In reality, the same thing applies. The emotion and the feeling inside us is what makes our world beautiful. Maybe this is also the reason why post-modern architects changed the rules in designing the building again. Colors that were present in the modern period were purely gray which is boring so the post-modern architects decided to change it. They started coloring their buildings and started putting curves to express themselves. Same thing with the design of the products and fashion. This how I see world, color brings meaning to our life and without colors life would be boring and emotionless.