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Benjamin Remington Architecture 20 / Mid-term Learning Portfolio

Architecture 20

has been an interesting experience for me thus far. I’ve entered into the class with a bit more experience as an architecture student than many of my classmates. However, the majority of the material I too am encountering for the first time. Ideas I had previously encountered in other classes are now becoming concrete for me. These ideas have found their way into my daily view of life as well as influencing the pursuit of knowledge in my other architectural classes. For instance, concepts of proportion and perspective now influence the way I visualize designs and plans. My ability to express my own designs has also been positively impacted by the ability to represent two-dimensionally what previously had only existed in my head. I’m now able to augment the iterative process of my designs with plans and sketches where previously I would have had to rely on photographs or threedimensional representations. It’s a skill set that is bound to create significant savings of time, effort, and money for me in the future as well as enriching my ability to think and make effectively.

Body Drawing At the outset of the body drawing exercise I was a bit dubious of the connection between the assignment and the subject matter of a class I assumed to be primarily about manual drafting techniques. However, knowing the instructor, I should have seen it coming. As I began considering the way the relationship we all share with the world is based on its scale relative to our own bodies more connections began to form. As a gateway to the study of architecture the idea seemed perfectly natural. I was reminded of an old book in my collection that referenced Man’s unique position in the scale of the universe. The book stated that with our bodies comfortably centered somewhere near the mid-point between stars and atoms in size, we were given equal perspective on both. I’m not sure if more recent research into the infinitesimally small or the unimaginably gargantuan has skewed the scale one direction or another, but the idea has stayed with me.

So too, it would seem is architecture experienced in that same familiar human scale. Phrases which refer to the size and capacity of our bodies like “Arm’s length”, “Eye level” or “A stone’s throw” now seem more relevant to me than “3 feet” or “10 yards” when describing a place. The numbers ultimately become meaningless without the physical experience they represent. In architecture, as in quantum physics, it’s all relative.

In less abstract terms, the multiple iterations of the body drawing taught me various valuable skills pertaining to line quality and hierarchy, use of the architect’s scale, and dimensioning.

By the third iteration of the scaled body drawing (and several iterations of the border) ideas about line weight and quality had begun to become clearer and my technique improved considerably. Additionally, the amount of time required to finish a border that I was happy with had been noticeably cut down. My lettering, though far from perfect, was also clearly improved by applying what I learned in an in-class demonstration on using the t-square and triangle for the vertical strokes.

Perspective Drawing

During the portions of the class dealing with the various forms of perspective, a number of concepts I was already familiar with began to solidify in a usable way in my mind. The ideas of vanishing points and foreshortening weren’t new concepts. However, I had only applied them to planar rectilinear shapes of a limited range. What was striking as I engaged further with the techniques was the inevitable precision with which all of the involved angles converged and the surety with which the angles of surfaces always met their respective vanishing points. The renderings of perspective that had once seemed to me an impenetrable art, attained only through extensive practice, were now revealed as being reached through a tool of mathematical certainty. As such, the tool was available to me to employ. Not only was the discovery of another layer of order in human perception satisfying on a purely intellectual level but it also provided me with a higher level of confidence in my ability to express myself visually.

2 Point perspective views and orthographic projections - 3rd iteration - February 28

2 Point perspective views and orthographic projections - 3rd iteration - February 28

The portion of the class dealing with orthographic projections provided an opportunity to reinforce the connections between three-dimensional objects and their two-dimensional representations. I found myself forced to clearly visualize an object of my own design from multiple perspectives; a skill which has been lacking in the past and often led to unpleasant surprises. Furthermore, the ability to clearly communicate the form of my creation was greatly enhanced by this portion of the class.

One point perspective – 2nd iteration – 3/5

Freehand one point perspective with multiple vanishing points – 1st iteration – 3/6 (with instructor alterations)

Title Interior 1 point perspective with geometric objects – 3rd iteration – 3/08

As the class evolved, ideas of multiple vanishing points, circular shapes in perspective, and the construction of geometric solids began to crystallize. Drawings that once would have required a great deal of trial and error to create a level of accuracy necessary for believability were now easily constructed. This allowed me the freedom from time constraints to experiment with multiple arrangements and iterations.


Reflecting on the past half of the semester I am excited for what lies ahead. I feel that a lot of concepts have been clarified for me that had been a source of frustration and reluctance in the past. As each segment of the class is unveiled it’s as if a new mystery has been explained. My perspective as a more experienced architecture student at City College allows me to fully recognize the value of what I’m being taught. The skills are often ones that I use on a daily basis in my other studio classes. Many additionally can be applied in the future, regardless of the field I choose to pursue because they are universal in nature. Because of the heuristic instruction in the class, it’s good to know that years from now, even if I forget the rules of two point perspective, I can always take a dry-erase marker to my living room window and it’ll all come back to me.

Benjamin Remington - Architecture 20 - Midterm Learning Portfolio  

Benjamin Remington - Mid-Term Learning Porfolio - Architecture 20 - Spring Semester - City College of San Francisco

Benjamin Remington - Architecture 20 - Midterm Learning Portfolio  

Benjamin Remington - Mid-Term Learning Porfolio - Architecture 20 - Spring Semester - City College of San Francisco