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.