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SELF-INTRODUCTION My name is Muqiu Wang, a girl from south part of China. Now I am a third year student of the University of Melbourne, majoring in architecture. I studied VCE in China, however, becouse of the limited educational resources, there was no elective subjects provided to be chosen such as visua communications etc. From the time in primary school, I showed interest in drawing and painting but did not keep it during the later school time. Besides that, I always paid a lot of attention to the buildings and interior decorations in daily life. But actually, after finishing VCE exam I was still struggling which way I should choose in the future. As I was interested in art and design, parents suggested Architecture for me which leading me to a brand new world that I have never touched before. It was the first semester I got into the university life made me realized the subject was a big challenge for me. I chose Virtual Environments which made me struggling in ideas as well as softwares during the whole semester. Although the result was not that satisfied, the process of making model and dicussing with tutor or group members was still interesting and impressing which persuaded myself keep going on Architecture. I have used several design softwares in virtual environments, studio earth and water, and also visual communications. However, to be honest, my experiences of using those digital resourcs were still unsatisfactory. To use 1-5 grade each software, Indesign and Photoshop is 3 but Rhino is 2 because of grasshopper. Studio Air is a great opputonity for me to get familiar with Rhino and parametric design approach. I know there is no boundary in the area of Architecture.

A 1.0. ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE “the imagery that a building generates as an extension of its own functions ot formal relationships is never as interesting as the ideas it can absorb from the outside. an edifice should be like an environmental sponge, soaking up the most interesting gragments of social and psychological information form its context. in this way, a structure can be seen a ‘filtering zone’ -- as the nucleus of an assimilative process -- which can transform the entire definition of architecutre into a new form of public art.” ---- taschen verlag, 2000 The design approach of architecture can be seen in different lenses. In common sense, I think, also even myself before touching this area, architecture is just to be regarded as a building for people to live and work. However, from architects and also artists view of architecture, it can be designed as artwork or monument, expressing symbolism and context. From that point of view, architecture is no longer a refuge that protecting users from rain, wind or etc., but a segment of surrounding environments. The idea of architectural discouse was first introduced to me in virtual environments that we needed to convert the abstract natural process into the representational design form. That was a strange idea for me at that time but this approach is indeed a common sense for most of architects now and can be told from their works. By comparison with acient architecture, for example, the architectural style of Classicism and Renaissance who tended to applied fabulous ornaments and motifs on builidngs, modern architects paid more attention on function and form as well as the harmonized relationship between building and nature. “An architect is a drawer of dreams”, said author Grace Mcgarvie, an architect’s dream are shapes and surfaces defining a fantastic world born from the perceptions and suggestions of the real one. Like the concept of Archigram architecture, their idea of individual living space and moving city is a smart conceive dealing the problem of over-population and achieving efficient life in fast-developing society. Architecture was not isolated but also linking with social, environemntal and techinical contexts.

figure 1 left : landmark on lusatian lakeland right: staircases

LUSATIAN LAKELAND, GERMANY This giant landmark on Lusatian Lakeland was created in 2010 by Architektur & Landschaft Stefan Giers, Susanne Gabriel in eastern Germany as a part of an international builidng exhibition. The whole structure was built in a triangular plan representing a symbol of the region where characterized by decades of coal mining. The remained deep big mining holes at this time will be saved and then supply to new uses as big lakes. The building rises with different faces on both sides on triangular floors. While opening to the landside with sculptural stairways, to the lake the landmark presents itself as a oversized stele. The material used for this observation tower is weatherproof steel which showing the redbrown patina after weathering. Even thought the environments of the lakeland will be recreated into idyllic lakes with verdant banks, the rusty surface of the landmark will still tell the past history to visitors.

This structure catched my eyes at the time I saw it on magazine. I think it fully digests the idea of architectural discourse that making the building itself tells people its history and design purpose. The formation and organisation of details were constructed by the search of the greastest simplicity in continous materials. The raw untreated surfaces bring an impression of production of structure to visitors. Maybe some people will question the role it will play in the future beautiful rebuilt lakeland. But I think the exitence of the distinct contrast between the steel construction and lakelands will produce an amazing experience of history and nowadays.

figure 2 : landmark on lustian lakeland


figure 3 : nakagin capsule tower The Nakagin Capsule Tower was the first capsule architectural design by Kisho Kurokawa in 1972 consisting of two concrete buildings with 11 and 13 stories high. The 140 cubes designing as the individual living space rotating in varing angles are fixed onto the two concrete core columns by highstrengh bolt.

The intention of module was inspired by housing traveling businessmen that worked in central Tokyo. It is a prototype for architecture of sustainability as well as recycleability, as each module can be plugged in to the central core and replaced or exchanged by the new one if necessary. The interior of the module is about 4*2.5 metres which only allow one person to live confortably. However, the designer made the module can be manipulated enabling the capsule can be connected with others to meet family use. The unique idea and design of capule tower is a prime example of the Metabolism architecture movement, known for it’s focus on adaptable, growing and interchangeable building designs. In addition, the building also conveys a idea of short lifespan of architecture which enables architects keep upgrade their ideas of comtemporary architectural form. This idea is kind of similar with the concept of Archigram that makes people live in individual space which impoving the life efficiency. The architectural discourse that they conveyed was a dynamic, sustainable and recycleable life of the modern society. figure 4 above : nakagin capsule tower left : archigram right : interior of capsule tower

Studio air _ Jo Wang_week 1  
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