Friday, February 27, 2009

Chapter 6 Corners

In chapter, Bachelard speaks about how corners are a consciousness of peace a refuge and allow a sense of safety. It is a haven for children and the dreamer in each of us. Although we are left questioning when discussing corners, “why is it worse for us to say that an angle is cold and a curve warm? That the angle is masculine and the curve feminine? [A] curved corner inhabits geometry. p. 146” We find comfort in corners as hid away from the outside world. The corner in this way becomes as soft and cozy as any curve could offer to us. We are able to daydream in this niche and lose ourselves with “little sensation of time, great void of eternity! All infinity can be contained in this stone corner… p. 142” The world around us seems to become intently larger and minute in the same moment. “The dreamer would appear to enjoy the repose that divides being and non-being p.145” Where they can feel safe snuggled in their corner but allowed to explore the great abyss of space and images of existence.

Composted: Sara Gray

Jackie Mascarella's Reflections on Poetics of Space: Chapter Five

Taken as a whole, with both its hard covering and its sentient organism, the shell, for the Ancients, was the symbol of the human being in its entirety, body and soul.  (Bachelard, page 116)  To paraphrase, the shell is symbolic of the human body, which is a protective envelope for the soul (the mollusk).  A shell grows from within.  Some shells form chambers as they grow and produce walls that conceal through the imitation of surfaces. (Bachelard, page 130)  The shell, which comes in so many shapes and sizes, can be a house, a cave, a fortress city, and a place of withdrawal or concealment.  Therefore, the imagination can produce all sorts of fantastical imagery about these mysterious forms because we are curious about what the interior looks like and what creature lives inside.

Bachelard says, on page 120, nests and shells are refuges in which life is concentrated, prepared, and transformed.  Like shells, homes can take a variety of forms and purposes.  In an ideal first home, a child is nurtured, loved, educated and protected with the purpose of forming a well-rounded individual.  Therefore, a shell, for a person with an ideal childhood, will evoke warm and happy memories – a place they want to go back to.  On the contrary, someone who did not have an ideal childhood will not wish to evoke those memories.

A shell is formed from within.  To me, this means that we define our own interior spaces based on our personal history and experiences, our personalities, needs and idea of comfort and safety.  Over the stages of our lives, these can be different things.  For example, a child might mold the living room into an imaginary fortress by tying sheets between two chairs and enjoy dramatic play beneath it for days.  They are shaping home to their scale.  On the other hand, a teenager or young couple will form their interior spaces in completely different ways than an “empty nester.”Home means different things to different people depending on their early experiences.  Were they loved and nurtured?  Was their home comfortable, safe and warm?  What does home need to be to them?


Chapter Four "Nests"

"...Men can do everything except build a bird's nest." Bachelard is referencing the proverb Ambroise Pare's work: "The enterprise and skill with which animals make their nest is so efficient that it is not possible to do better, so entirely do they surpass all masons, carpenters, and builders; for their is not a man who would be able to make a house better suited to himself and to his children than these little animals build for themselves." In this chapter Bachelard talks about the sophistication of the way birds create and make their nests. Men, with all their wisdom, tools, and power are incapable of building a nest. ("According to Michelet, a bird is a worker without tools." p. 100) Bachelard mentions Thoreau's theory of the tree becoming a nest for daydreamers to hide away and be able to dream and make memories. ("A tree becomes a nest the moment a great dreamer hides in it." p.97) Confidence is introduced as a means to build a shelter. Bachelard poses the question," Would a bird build its nest if it did not have its instinct for confidence in the world", p.103. The act of daydreaming builds confidence because in a daydream you can be whoever you want to be. In dreams we are able to be fearless, as the birds are. People who have low self confidence might live out a life of confidence through their dreams. ("A rhythm that reaches back across the years and, through the dream, combats all absence", p.99) He is talking about the function of inhabitant a space through dreams. ("For not only do we come back to it, but we dream of coming back to it," p.99). We always bring old experiences with us, which form our present state of mind.

"Mankind's nest, like his world, is never finished. And imagination helps us to continue," p.104).

Composted by: Jovana Nikolic, Sara Gray, Emily Davis
Imafe courtesy of:

Poetics of Space Chapter 5 "Shells"

 "Snails build a little house which they carry about with them,"so" they are always at home in whatever country they travel." (pg 121) This quote helps describe the thoughts of Bachelard in dealing with natural dwellings, shelters and the charm that they take on as individual units. The mystery of these homes is in their creation not the actual form of the structure.
 Bachelard speaks of J.B Robinets opinion that states that the creation of life is the creation of form, life brings about living form. He also believes that much like fossils, shells become the natural endeavor to create human form. The shell is a important representation of the human body which in turn protects the soul. Without a creature the shell is empty and void of life, the same goes for human life, when the soul leaves the body it becomes an empty vessel. 
"I have simply wanted to show that whenever life seeks to shelter, protect, cover or hide itself, the imagination sympathizes with the being that inhabits the protected space." (pg 132) To conclude Bachelard speaks of the fact that a shell has a direct correlation between the user and the actual space in which they dwell. Every detail of a shell is related to its overall design and this follows suite with human characteristics and the spaces that they inhabit. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

the tentative schedule for the beta project.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What I Have Learned So Far This Semester . . .

So far this semester I have already learned so much. I have researched and learned many different styles of learning, and in studying them I have tried to understand what style of learning I use. I try to apply these lessons into my everyday style of work. I've tried to step back and think more, and be more creative in my design approach. Something else I have learned is that because there are so many different styles of learning that everyone learns in a different way. Working with so many people in studio you get to expereience all these different styles, and see who you work best with. I want to try and apply different ideas and styles towards my work in studio. I feel like I need to shake things up and try new things. Sometimes in school we all get into a routine, and things can become dull or static, I feel the best way to succeed is to stay dynamic and keep things interesting. I want to try more sketching and conceptual work this semester, and hopefully this change will affect my work in a positive way.

Jessica Shupe

This Semester

This semester, thus far, I have learned quite a bit. Starting with the ways of learning, I knew what they were and how they work. But to actually putting them into action is something different. This semester is also different from the others because we are reading the Poetics of Space, which is a hard book to read but has a great meaning and quite a few lessons in the book for us, dealing with design and the different ways of looking at the world as a whole. When we had the chance to critique the 1st years, we were supposed to be helping them but it also helped me as well. It made me realize how much I have learned so far and forced me to realize the different ways of designing and learning the skills from others by their teaching.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What I have learned so far....

This semester has been much different from last semester already. I am learning that things don't always have to be refined and finished right away. Sketching is good and the more you do it (which i wasn't doing there for a while) the more ideas you start getting. It's always good to take a step back in time and try to go back to a sort of innocence when trying to think creatively. Children are uninhibited by all of the stresses and insecurities that people have the older they get. I want to continue to try to let my imagination run wild and think the way I did when I was young. The older I get the more I feel like I'm losing my creativity. I use to love to draw all the time and sketch just anything but the more that I look at it as something I "have" to do the less I actually do it. I want to get back to that feeling I use to have of loving to draw so much. I think the way to do that is to try to think like a child does (to a certain extent).


reflecting over the semester thus far has brought to my attention that teamwork definitely makes the world go round. consulting with peers and kind of building a design "team-force" will allow for you to tackle more than life assignments and somehow...."getter all done" 

after that relief, going on to meatier portions of our studio...perceptual styles of learning encompass individual lives on a grander scale than institutional design alone. just from reading Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind, i see the similarities drawn from certain successes based on certain skills, very intriguing that tricky thing of ours the brain! either way psychology and design work hand-in-hand, side-by-side...strengthening the other for the development of successful and functional spaces. 

and specifications....budgets....they are actually great! perhaps that's my obsessive compulsive side emerging but they truly help you to learn your f.f.&e. as the old saying goes "reading is fundamental"....and one of my goals for this semester was to expand my vocab, and wow! the knowledge I am obtaining through reading nowadays. time management is an assignment all in itself and the remaining of the semester I am definitely watching with a steadily eye....... no bang without a boom  rite?....hmmmmmm......

what i have learned

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 have also realized how important it is to write and recollect your thoughts before...during...and after. This is important in documenting your work and it allows you to look back and remember or realize why you did what you did.

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

The Biggest/best tool thus far...

The biggest tool I have gained thus far into the semester is the utilization of my sketchbook, a pen and simply my hand. Sketching has never been my strong point in my design career, but this semester I vowed to my class and to myself that I would work harder at hand sketching and taking the time to put my design ideas down onto paper so that I can reflect back, and further my design easier. My sketchbook has now become my journal, my idea space, something i always carry with me, and looking back at the work i have done in it thus far, I feel so far i have come a long way within this semester with my drawing skills. I may never be a great sketcher, but I want to be able to portray my ideas better on paper, and with that, comes my sketchbook. 

What I have learned that I have a problem of get really stressed out when things don’t go just like I want.  Group work in geranial seems to multiply these feelings by and extraordinary amount, because things never go like you wish the first time around.  My figuring on the matter is my life is very chaotic and a mess in general so in this way I’ve figured out ways to be very originated in this way, so that everything that needs to get done does in the timeliest way possible.  


The best part of studying in this field thus far, I’ve really found a way to branch out, creatively.  All throughout my life up to this point when studying the fine arts either in classes or individual instruction I drew and work very much in the realm of reality.  I drew what I see exactly to the best of my ability not distorting the image in anyway.  After being challenged and pushed in first year and years since I’m able to think and draw more and more abstractly.  The difficulty that I seem to still face is bringing the two worlds together in a way that makes sense to my audients.  My hope is with all the charettes and studies that will be going on this semester I will be able to pull together these characteristics.  

Sara Gray

Back to your roots

What I have learned thus far

Blogger isn't uploading pictures for me on this website......I have my picture picked out and as soon as it will take it, the picture will be up!

I have a lot this semester through the charettes, talk with first year, and most definitely my group project.  Through the charettes, I have learned that to get good work you sometimes have to let your inner self out and just create what's in your heart.  For example, this past charette that we did with all the drawings, allowed me to have fun but also created drawings through textures, different media, and different scales.  Sometimes in this major you forget how to let go of the familiarities that you design with and try and recreate what you used to do in 1st year.  Most of the time your best work comes out when you let go and have fun.  Secondly, when talking to the first years, I realized that I had learned a lot and was confident in the advice that I was giving them.  I felt strong about my reasonings and gave them a positive outlook on what they had already created but pushed them further to try something different.  I know that experiencing new things in design can be hard but your final outcome will show you that the experimenting was worth it.   Finally, the group work is what my image relates too.  In my past years I have had great ideas but were afraid to state them because I didn't feel that my ideas were that great when I explained them.  For many years I have stayed quite, letting others influencing me to change my ideas or not even say what I was thinking due to pride or low self esteem.  Here recently my two team mates told me I was smart and that I really good ideas, I just needed to state them and let people see who I was as a designer.   I couldn't believe that other people saw this in me, but I am thankful that they did say something because I probably wouldn't have ever changed my ways, which would have lead me to being miserable throughout my design life.  So thank you both for letting me in and I am doing everything in my power to come out of my shell and voice my opinions.  

My image represents that when you state your ideas and do things just because others suggests things that in a way you are allowing them to control you.

Stand up for yourself and most of all believe in your self.  You as a designer knows whats best for you.  Thanks Rachel and Shannon!

Multitude of Disciplines

throughout this semester i have challenged myself to reflect. the past four years have been packed with process. i have learned that i have a desire to connect everything that i have experienced and merge them into another process. i want to find unity in design with sculpture, sustainability, diagrams, painting, drawing, furniture selection, texture, color, and shape. there is SOOO MUCH! but throughout the past four years in iarc i have been layering and layering these disciplines. but now i am truly trying to weave them together so that they can become a language that speaks vibrantly and vividly to the user. additionally to all of these disciplines i must incorporate the human element which is critical to the experience. however, with practice, which often brings mistakes, i have learned that each design strategy is important to challenge yourself as a designer. i only hope that i can continue my endeavors, so that i can continue to grow.

Jackie Mascarella: What I Have Learned This Semester

I have learned this semester that I have learned a lot since First Year in IAR.  Talking with the first year students last week really opened my eyes to this fact as was an immediate confidence booster.  This semester has really been poignant to me since I look at it as being my last traditional style studio in the program.  I appreciate the amount of reading and research that Patrick has required because the net effect is that our designs will be better.  Also, examining learning theories and the way students learn has caused me to be more conscious and considerate of the way that I learn.  Consequently, this dialogue has also come up during group collaboration and helped define our strategy for getting work done efficiently.  I  believe I will carry this learning experience with me when I reenter the work force.  Last week's exercise was fun and really got the creative juices flowing.  It will be nice if that momentum carries over into the next phase of studio.  Reading Poetics of Space, while a very tedious book in some ways if I am being totally honest, has added a new dimension to the way I  think about architecture and design and is helping me to learn how architecture can evoke emotions and shape the lives of the inhabitants.

The baby in the photo is my mother.  I chose this photo because of the dramatic shadows and light on such a vulnerable subject sitting in her little bath by a window.

What I have learned this semester thus far....

Rachel Pound: I would have to say the idea of getting back into charettes has been difficult and trying at times. Gathering ideas and getting them onto different kinds of media has been an interesting process as well. Also making sure to sketch more in my sketch book and WRITE to help gather new ideas and perspectives has been difficult because i am not a writer a lot of times and i need to strengthen that this semester. Blogging on a regular basis is fairly new to me and so getting the hang of that has been a helpful learning process. Also reading Bachelard has helped bring new light to spaces and the idea that space can be very poetic. I think all these things are going to help bring about a successful semester in studio 412.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

10 Tips for Creating a 21st Century Classroom Experience

I found this in "Metropolis" magazine's February 2009 issue and thought it would be good to pass along to the class.  There are also "Eight Examples of Outstanding Approaches to Reshaping the Classroom."  I have a copy of the Feb. issue at my desk is someone wants to look at it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Team Statistics - Hemimetabolism

I apologize for the discoloration of the team statistics blog post.   ...still new to this!  :)

Team Statistics - Hemimetabolism

After struggling to stick to one concept, we finally decided on the concept of Hemimetabolism.  Basically, this is the idea of an organism that is ever-changing and never staying in the same form.  This is the basis of which our idea for room 204 came from.  We wanted to make sure that the room - as well as the lectern - was made to be flexible and moveable for multi-use.  Our lectern was made to be ADA compliant since at it's full height it reaches 3'8" for average stature, but when adjusted for handicap use, it is 3'-0".  By using large tack-able panels in front of the windows, we have provided not only space to pin up projects, but a sun-blocking/allowing mechanism and projection space.  We have specified tables that are attached to the ceilings by a cable system that can be raised or lowered depending on the use of the space at any given time.  In between the two tables is what is called a "Softwall" by Molo Design.  This is a versatile, textile wall that can be collapsed, moved, and propped anywhere in the room to create separated spaces for any use.  What use to be two storage closets has now been made into one smaller closet and a small "break-out" room for group meetings and discussions.  In the break-out room there is a Smartboard attached to two panels.  One facing into the small room, and one facing outward into the larger classroom area.  These are boards that can be projected on, written on, and interact digitally many different ways.  
Through exploration of mobility, flexibility, and adaptability we worked to propose a space that is more fitting for an interactive learning environment.  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Integration Charette

"You can have the weekend off!"

Beginning with the alpha charrette, which entailed a series of phases to explore the depth of learning within the Gatewood Studio Arts Building and branching from the School of Athens, our eyes have been opened to various theories of learning and education. This process has lead to a better understanding of the importance of collaboration and the formality of pieces creating a whole.

 As a class we have taken on the re-design of 204, divided into small groups of two[s] and three[s] working intensely throughout this week long charrette, the final challenge was to trade with another group, analyzing their proposals and viewing 204 with new eyes.  Armed with each groups’ initial design, we were given the opportunity to pull out the strengths and reconnect any weaknesses that were found in our classmates’ group work.  Each group has undertaken the recreation of the other groups’ projects in different ways. Incorporating theories of learning [auditory + kinesthetic + visual] helped to guide our designs in a process to connect with each sense for a dynamic classroom experience. The common factor that ties the overall designs together was a similar goal to create a space that is functional and flexible.  With The School of Wisdom as a basis for learning, and our studio arts building layered with diverse learning styles, the shell that is Gatewood accommodates each perceptual view and style of learning, providing the foundation for the beta charrette. 

A main focus for the revisions of our classmates’ design work was to honor what had been done and celebrate the new additions incorporated within the old.  Taking a journey through our installation shows the modifications for each design, providing base analysis of the space, sketches, and renderings to portray the new proposals under way. The end result of each project implements a better design approach to satisfy various learning styles and promote diversity within teaching styles alike.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Calculus Group: Concept of Constructivism

Our group's strategy for Gatewood Room 204 was based on the concept of Constructivism, meaning that each of the components of the space have a dual function that will facilitate active learning in the space by offering flexibility and a multitude of options.   

1. The electronic window panes on the South and West walls, made of photochromatic glass, (each pane) can be turned on (translucent) or off (tinted) according to the need of the users.  The windows can be used as a projector screen or a dry erase marker board.  In addition, the glass will add an additional layer of thermal resistance. 

 2. On the North and East walls are 6 Fabricork boards with wood shelves beneath.  The shelves can be kept in the closed position when not in use.  There are two 1'-8" deep shelves per 2'x3'8" Fabricork board.  The shelves will facilitate student's displays of their work because they will be above to show scale models adjacent to their work.

3. A mobile lectern, the control center for the window, A/V, lights and temperature of the room, has a touch screen and remote.  The remote serves the same function as the lectern so the user has the option to work from the lectern or not use the lectern.

4.  The SeatTable offers flexibility in the configuration of the desks, depending on the learning activity.  It also offers the option to free up space in the room by storing the SeatTables in the storage area adjacent to the room.

Calculus Group: The SeatTable

Calculus Group: The Lectern

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

emily and i really worked hard to discuss the needs of 204 and everyone that enters that space. we also worked on learning the different "learning styles" so that we could specifically design for learning needs. i feel that we could have integrated texture into the space as well as know and understand the codes and requirements of 204, because those requirements will be implemented within the professional environment. we have had a great start, but need to figure out the details...

Team Trigonometry

Team Trigonometry Presentation 

Review for team Geometry

Team Geometry:

review by rachel pound


I felt like the presentation was clear in some parts but hazy in others. I’m still confused by the need for carpet tiles I feel like the flooring should be one material keeping with the concept of something that was seamless or the wall continued down onto the floor. I was also confused about the ceiling tiles I felt like they did ass color and shape as well as texture but they I felt like it didn’t go along with the concept and that the walls could some how continue onto the ceiling. I was also still wondering about the curved wall for the presenter I feel like it limits you to present on that one wall because that was where its supposed to be but I feel like if the louvers were some how translated to that wall then the space could be more flexible and adaptable. I really enjoyed the use of the Magnetic pain on the walls and thought that that was very successful. I also think your desk and chair are a great design and really work well for your concept I also think that the touching of the doors and louvers and having them spring out is a really interesting idea and could be really great in the space! I think over all you really applied your concept to the space and it helped you make important decisions regarding the interiors.