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Jorge Concepcion ARCH 769 HYBRID MEDIA PRESENTATION Winter 2013 Professor A. Thagne


Assignment 01: Draw an Idea, Make an Idea Reading/Essay 1: Body in Space Assignment 02: Body in Space Reading/Essay 2: Ode to Place Assignment 03: Objective Chance + Genius Loci Reading/Essay 3: On Rigor Assignment 04A: Exquisite Diagram

Assignment 04B: Spectre Site : Spectral Building

Assignment 04C: Program and Prospect, Inhabitation Idea Embodied Gallery Exhibition

Course Description:

This course explores advanced architecture design expression and presentation. It examines the traditional methods of architectural graphics and visual communication and the new digital era of computer aided architectural design. This course includes traditional design presentation techniques and advanced digital presentation with different media.

Assignment 01: Draw an Idea, Make an Idea

• Utilize the vast resources of the Jen Library to find a written passage or phrase relating to an architectural idea that impresses you in a profound way—either sympathetically or antipathetically. Write a 200 word (approx.) essay defining in your own words what this passage means to you. Document the source; don’t forget that you are making a visual art and can utilize images, photocopies, photographs, etc., in your documentation. Look to great architects and architectural philosophers (sometimes one in the same person) • For instance: Steven Holl, Louis Kahn, Rem Koolhaas, Kenneth Frampton, Christian NorbergSchultz, etc. • Include the quote and its author(s) in your work as a graphic element. • Include the essay you have written also as a graphic element in your art work, this should not be the extent of its inclusion, it should inform your creative decision-making and convey itself through your work. • Slow down, think, ponder; this is the opposite of the quick sketch, you are making art; this is the opposite of technology, this is a human act of intent—make your art intentional, make your art beautiful, rigorous, sublime—but most of all just do… there really isn’t a wrong way to approach this so long as you are making and thinking in the moment. • Remember that making is thinking—the ideas are the things you make, they are not entities that float around in the atmosphere waiting for you to grab them. You do not need a preconceived notion.

“A strong architectural experience always produces a sense of loneliness and silence irrespective of the actual number of people there or noise. Experience art is a private dialogue between the work and the person experiencing it which excludes all other interaction.” Juhani Pallasmaa “The Geometry of Feeling: A Look at the Phenomenology of Architecture” Solitude is a feeling that in a way has a meaningful impact in our daily lives. Sometimes as people we get too caught up with problems from a past and have insignificant thoughts which could cause a distraction to what really matters which is the present. In relation to architecture, few places can achieve this kind of intimate level of experience of this nature. One way to describe that is when your attention is drawn towards the object that may be a curious work of art or even a window. When

you look onto the world may it be through any kind of opening, it could cause this ruminating state in which makes a person realize where they are. Another example relating to this sense of loneliness

could be seen when entering an atrium like space. An atrium though a significant highly used congregating space, has a quality in which one could understand their location. The high the natural light and the acoustics are some of the spatial qualities that are associative although the atrium’s centrality within the design induces you to realize one’s location. It is this state of realization that impacts our understanding of the present.

Reading/Essay 1: Body in Space

• Find an article, passage, or chapter from your individual Studio’s list of Required Texts that addresses phenomena or sensual perception in some way As in Assignment 1, look to great architects and architectural philosophers (sometimes one in the same person): Merleau-Ponti, Pallasmaa, Bloomer, Moore, Bachelard, Kahn, Holl, to name a few. • Write a brief essay about the article as it relates to both your studio project and how the human body relates to its environment (space)

“The Geometry of Feeling: A look at the Phenomenology of Architecture” This essay has in way informed greatly with the ideas that are explored in the thesis. Pallasmaa is known to be someone who has kept challenging the human imagination with ideas concerning human sense and how we could understand our surroundings through them. In this essay he starts by questioning this idea of meaning in relation to symbols and how modernism constantly imposed it on their buildings with any regards on the interpretation of the human experience, just an intellectual agenda of thoughts. Being this so, he stressed clearly on the fundamental feelings architecture introduces by bringing the emotional intuitive response within those spaces not so much

Memory, imagery and imagination are some of the themes he mentions as way to relate the human body an interpreter of meaning and place. The body is a vehicle for understanding an intellectual jargon.

ourselves and our surroundings, a means of realization of the present. I would consider that most contemporary architects don’t give this opportunity to explore these ideas of the multisensory experience within design. Society itself has subsided to a fast paced environment usually ruled by commodity. This is seen as how we, architects, have striped our buildings to commercial artifacts which don’t speak of a more meaningful intent within their designs. The body and the mind are crucial in the way that it is the fundamental understanding of our environment. The narrative within those any place are related to our interpretation which is subjective to our emotional response to the design. Architecture should explore this narrative which in its essence is what impacts our daily lives.

Assignment 02: Body in Space

• Create (2) multimedia works that address your project site and the human body in the environment—in the space or spaces your are intuiting from your endeavor. • One of these will concentrate more on the site and one will concentrate more on the body (think 75/25) o Consider scale and phenomena very carefully o Consider the human body itself o Consider how we move and define our space o Consider how people will experience your intention, your idea, the ambiguity that is your future building • Allow the Reading/Essay 1 assignment to give you a point of departure—you may end up in a very different place, as it is within the process of doing that you will inch towards comprehension.

Series of observations of the define axis of the capitol building within the site in San Juan, Puerto Rico, describe to some degree the phenomena of the area. The series are organized with how the human body perceives not space but the symbols that are embedded within the site.

Reading/Essay 2: Ode to Place

• Read section 1, entitled, The Phenomenon of Place, in the Christian Norberg-Schulz document located on your class Blackboard. • Write an original poem that is specific to your site. • Construct a critical breakdown of your poem’s elements similarly to Norberg-Schulz’ breakdown of the passage’s poem, o Start by describing the concrete images (things and qualities both specific and general)

“Seeing the days pass with ease I wait for them to be of bore Those afternoons filled with breeze Hearing the echo of waves no more It is true that they want change For only a few millions of course They want your enchantment But your image never before�

The place that the poem describes is a place of change in which memories merge with experience that help relate what this place was. This idea of understanding place is explored to a manner that relates to how the qualities of an experience can tell us an interpretation of a specific site. The intention with this poem was to commemorate the site with its civic value but in reality it is being utilize in a superficial manner which is neglecting its people. This interpretation of civic value and presence could related to how we place a lot of meaning to an object without regarding how it is being utilize and how it being placed. This goes to the poem where it mentions how we can relate what is actually happening to an alternate crude reality that is affecting that essence of that place. Also going back to Schulz text about place, this idea about how phenomena is the means of understanding an emotional impact is of high value in order to achieve this ideal of presence and understanding. Being conscience about how we understand a space being with a specific memory or impact could initially make us value a certain place. This value is subjective which transforms through our understanding of our daily lives.

Assignment 03: Objective Chance + Genius Loci

• Research the terms Objective Chance (relating to Surrealism) and Genius Loci. o Write a 200 word (approx.) essay defining in your own words these concepts and how they relate to each other. • From the site, choose an object (tangible or intangible). o Using the object or representations of it (photographs, photocopies, photo-transfers, tracings, drawings, etc.) make an art that uses your object in juxtaposition with your site, program or concept. Include the Genius Loci of your site in your art making—your essay and poem should inform your creative decision-making and be conveyed through your work. o You will produce (3) independent works using the same object but using completely different materials in each USE A NEW SET OF MEDIA FOR EACH WORK • If possible, go to the project site and spend some time there. Walk around, sketch and take photographs. Record sounds both natural and man-made. PLAY. Experience the place. Can video become a part of your media library? • Utilize all the technologies available to you to better understand the physical presence of the site and its context. o Do not neglect the historical, social, and political. According to Surrealist theory, the most powerful imagery was that which caused the greatest surprise. In order to create marvelous images, Surrealist poets juxtaposed two terms that appeared to conflict with each other but were secretly related. The power of the resulting imagery was directly proportional to their apparent dissimilarity.

Architectural theorist, such as Christopher Norberg-Schulz, stress in their works clearly not to disregard this idea about place and its significance, “A concrete term for environment is place. It is a common usage to say that acts and occurrences take place; In fact it is meaningless to imagine any happening without reference to a locality. Place is evidently and integral part of existence.� Architecture expressing a sense of locality gives certain significance not just to the design itself but to the people. The spirit of a place or as it is described as representing a certain sense of locality is an idea that should be explored in order to have a certain dialogue of what the design is intended to be. In relation with the idea of objective chance, an object related to the certain place could clearly bring a relationship of discovery, of interpretation. The object could be abstracted to an idea that is then transmitted to how we can understand an interpretation of thought. Choosing a tangible or an intangible object brings us to understand in a clearer manner specific elements that helps us understand the complex and abstracted interpretations of a place.

The object chosen for this interpretation of place was a GATEWAY , an element that represents the civic value of this capitol district which serves as a transition area toward the walled city, Old San Juan.

This gate way brings into thought this idea of these two institutions, the binary opposite of the house of power meaning a place for religion. How can this piece, create a certain dialogue of procession between these two elements.

piece 1 (newsprint,graphite, transfer, acrylic,vellum)

piece 2 (basswood,mahogony,graphite, transfer, acrylic glass)

piece 3 (mylar,graphite)

the two institutions

piece 4 (mylar,graphite)

Place is a subject of thought that is being presented here, place as not the actual representation but the idea of it. Through the investigations and discussions on this subject, the idea about place has been thought through in several forms, for example of how we consider place not being an actual physical setting but more of the actual interpretations and experiences we can relate it with.

the two conditions

piece 5 (mylar,graphite,collage,vellum,ink)

This notion of arbitrariness is being expressed by illustrating a crane like structure, within one of the ports of the current construction, carrying a box of what it seems to be images of what is considered and recognized as civic architecture within the area. Current civic structures adjacent to the capitol building were used to relate how the government is still trying to impose some kind of hierarchical importance to this place other than just being the capitol district.

piece 6 (mylar,graphite,collage,vellum,ink) This illustration demonstrates how these flying volumes are being placed within the landscape in order to impose some kind of significance; a meaning that again does not go beyond a certain depth rather it describes our dependence on a greater power.

Reading/Essay 3: On Rigor

• Write a brief essay defining rigor as it applies to a creative act or thing. • Include within your essay, the studio project you’re focusing on, your concept, and a description of your process in terms of the three constructs we discussed in class Monday: o PLACE∞IDEA∞USE (SITE∞CONCEPT∞PROGRAM) • Choose a passage from a source on design rigor to reinforce your arguments.

The word rigor at a certain level means roughness which could be considered as a quality. Rigor, in this case if used as a noun, translates as a harsh, inflexible state that it is hard to break. It can be considered as the process that as a designer one goes through by painstakingly editing one’s wok as objectively as possible. It is how we as designers or architects take in consideration an extensive process in which of course by the nature of “doing” one can understand and begin addressing the specifics. Within the design process, specifically to architecture, one can generate and develop the idea by the “making” and how this then could be describe as an investigative process a dialogue with your thoughts and the medium. Essentially it comes down in the way we re-interpret certain elements and how then this is part of the whole process of understanding. I would describe the design process as a continuous endeavor of not inner aesthetic satisfaction, but more of a deep understanding of one self and how then we began to address intangible elements.


Assignment 04A: Exquisite Diagram

Perhaps at its most basic understanding, to diagram is to delineate. It is a symbolic representation of information. However, the architect must not merely be capable of diagramming information on several levels from the basic quantitative and qualitative to the complex computative resolutions typical of a large project, the architect must also be adept at conveying and developing idea, the conceptual, through and with the diagram. (The representational and the communicative.) The diagram is a powerful communicative tool, but it is also and perhaps more importantly a profound mental exercise, a beginning for understanding—the understanding we must achieve in order to turn an idea into a building; the conversion of the intellectual into the physical; the data into the thing. • Diagram your studio project concept (idea). Use the following three elements: o Site Use actual and specific images from your site • Satellite imagery, for instance. o Origin How or where did your concept originate? o Development How has your concept developed? • Your diagram must include images of your site and of people using it (or doing the tasks your building program suggests) • The Exquisite Corpse is the decorated body: a tradition of artists and writers to decorate a beautiful naked person over the course of an evening, each artist adding another element and building upon what is already there, and using no doubt the beauty of the body as the initial inspiration. o Your Exquisite Diagram should be similar in that you will carefully build upon the elements indicated above, allowing the body of your project to help you make decisions. • Your Exquisite Diagram should be the greatest art work you’ve ever created—being both sublime or beautiful AND meaningful. Remember that every mark takes on significance in a diagram, and this diagram is no exception.

These two institutions, religious and politics, are shown to have a certain dialogue in within what is believed to be the “ideal “place for this sacred place. This diagram proves this relationship by how we then try to depict the way we experience this dialogue based on our own interpretations, on our own judgments.

An image is not only seen by its physical reality but what lies beyond the actual physical object, it brings us to understand its purpose in different manners.

Assignment 04B: Spectre Site - Spectral Building

You have been immersed in your project and site through careful and thorough site analysis, precedent studies, hand-studies and communicative art. Because of this, whatever you design will inherently be connected to this. We do not design or exist in a bubble; as artists/architects we must immerse ourselves and trust our intuition. • Create three “analytiques” of your building in its site. Take care to build upon the materiality and style of your previous assignment the Exquisite Diagram. o Analytique: a method of graphically analyzing the organizing and formal principals a particular building or space. Using superimposed and overlapped measured drawings at multiple scales within a montage of text and perspective vignettes, the analytique constructs a narrative, revealing the work’s underlying order in ways purely visual representation cannot. It requires not only looking, but also analysis and comprehension. o These works will be the second part of a (modified) triptych and should continue the thread of thought begun in the Exquisite Diagram. • Pick a chapter in the book, Drawing: The Motive Force of Architecture, by Peter Cook. This was a required summer reading text, so you should have it. If you do not, you may use any text in which you have found a relevant discussion of ideation through making with visual examples. o Write a brief essay defending your creative process based on the chapter.  This can be included as a graphic element in your works o Find the work you admire most and emulate some aspect of it while maintaining adherence to your current choice of media and methodology

Christine Hawley, Peckham House, London, UK, 1982

“Sections are out of fashion at the moment, but due for revival. That most delightful of drawing types, they are able to offer both ‘picture’ and ‘organization’. After all, a plan serves to deal with organization and an elevation gives a picture. Both of these can be total as far as they go. Various types of three- dimensional drawing can give a picture, but however evocative, it is biased- a directional-view. The section is the aficionado’s choice. Buildings can be infinitely debated through the forensic analysis of a section. The virtuoso manipulator will recognize in another’s section his wit and her architectural literacy.” Peter Cook Drawing the Motive Force of Architecture

From Reading the chapter titled Beyond Drawing- Beyond Reality, there is a part within the text that talks about the value of a section drawing. It is somewhat interesting to really analysis the nature of the section in which I would consider it as an emotive drawing. A section then starts to show the clarity of the dialogue of spaces that enhances the viewer’s interpretation of the spaces that as mentioned it isn’t a biased view. Within the architectural process the section although its importance is only but a piece that isn’t independent but completely reliable to the other drawings of course. So the drawings begin to have a certain “dialogue”, a manner of narrating the idea of the design. Although being located in another chapter of the book, Christine Hawley’s drawing titled Peckham House, in my opinion describes the values and qualities a section portrays. It is a narration of spaces that in some manner invite the imagination to be described by showing these layers of information: the bright color elements, the burned down materiality, the expressive line work that demonstrates the character of her intent.

The design process is complex in its essential nature. Initiating the intuitive process at hand and providing thoughtfulness is a challenge. Although this being true, different interpretations of one idea could lead into different areas of explorations. This is one of the reason within why I chose to work in different mediums although similar but slightly different. For example in the way one could draw in different surfaces not just the digital and the physical but in other surfaces rather than consistently in paper, brings opportunity to other means and ways.

Within the design studio, overlaying information isn’t only an aesthetic choice but to understand certain relationships within the layers. This use of layers is in relation to how I’m approaching this idea of portraying the design relationship to the site by providing a section cut of this, by bringing these two ideas in play which is the “ideal” and the “reality” of the intention of the project.

Assignment 04C: Program and Prospect, Inhabitation

So far you have created works based on site and concept. The third construct of a thoughtful architectural process is Program (Place-Idea-Program). While program is typically considered of a very practical nature, one more aligned with solving the problems of use, it is and should also be considered as a primary method of expressing your concept. It is the stuff of the primary experience of the final user of your building, the inhabitor. The program and the concept is best expressed (best experienced), simply put, in the circulation. In other words, the inhabitor of your building will typically recognize your idea within the context of movement through and around it. So, from the first sight to the approach, entry, and use of your building, the concept should be expressed. In this sense, Prospect, Procession, and Threshold become another essential set of constructs in the design of a building. There is the greater sense from the scale of the city or even larger, to the ever smaller cycle: literally passing through the entry door... The Threshold is often blurry and subjective; once crossed, another cycle of Prospect, Procession and Threshold emerge. These repeat again and again in great architecture to resolve at some designated moment of use. The architect as conductor of experience. Continuing where you left off in the previous Assignments 4A and 4B, build upon your ideas, your language, your use of materials (remember the technique of the Exquisite Corpse), and create a design vehicle that presents an understanding of Prospect, Procession, and Threshold within your specific site and your specific program. • While this is not necessarily a triptych this should be considered as the third part of a series defining your concept, site, and program.

Three thematic elements are placed in order to have an understanding of what is the essential nature of this sacred institution.



Path, congregation, and reflection are chosen to describe these spaces within a spatial dialogue that makes use of the immediate context as the reinterpretation of what is considered a sacred symbol.



To Professor Thagne and the class, Thank you all for your time and patience, for being a great group of individuals who cherish the value of this class even though its challenges. I learned much from each and every one of you whom I humbly respect your approach and vision of art. It proves how it is critical to hone these skills as a designer to be as thorough and simple in order to bring a certain uniqueness alive. Again than you all, I really enjoyed this class from beginning to end. Jorge


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