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Ohoud Kamal  

{The Typical  course  Aims}     Introducing  the   primary  

elements of  

design/ “ingredients”  of   any  form.  

Outdoor/ indoor


Establish a  good   understanding  of  


percepAon/ arAculaAon

Experience of   spaces/meanings/ purpose.  

2D/3D creaAon   of  spaces  

Be able  to  address   architectural  

space quali9es  

{The Typical  course  Aims}    

Understand the  

no9on of   space/place.  

Tackle the  

ordering principles    


Micro +   Macro:  the  city  

The added   Value?  

{The added  value}     Cri9cal   understanding   of  the  built   environment  

Adding Amman   and  Jordan  into   the  equaAon  of   understanding  the   built  environment.  


Mul9-­‐ disciplinary

understanding of   the  built   environment  

Understanding the   context  and  


behind design  and   the  built   environment.   .  

Equipping students  with   proper  


Equipping students   with  tools  of   transferring  mental   images  onto  paper.  




> Class  discussions  

> Assignments  

> Projects  

+ > Lectures  

> Exploratory:  Film  

Project I  

PROJECT I:! Perception of Place Understanding the spatial qualities of a space you like

Description In this project you will learn how to unfold and deconstruct the building of your choice into its basic elements/components and understand how it is composed. Your understanding will involve its plan, elevation, site plan and its 3D composition. Ching’s Form, space and order will be your principle book of guidance. The different chapters of the book are showcasing how built environments come to be and how you can compose it. Be guided by it through your analysis. Primary elements, form, form and space, ordering principle like a grid…etc. Look at your lecture notes and how the different buildings were analyzed. i.e.: 1. Collision of form (illustrate how your plan is a collision of a circle and a square for example) 2. At the right hand side you can see an example of how a building is sketched then how the outline of it was drawn without surface articulation, the basic shapes that made it, the different texture of the surface…etc.

Choosing your building/built environment This project will be a group project. You will be provided with a list of buildings of which you can choose. Let this project be your tool to understand the physicality of it and how it came to be.


Required documents and data 1. Location of the Building/ Built environment 2. Architect of the Building/ Built environment 3. Concept/idea/meaning of the Building/ Built environment 4. Function of the Building/ Built environment (is it an office?a house?a cultural center?) 5. Site plan (Google maps or if you can find a map with the building and its relation to the surrounding, like topography, lake? sea? other buildings? street? Garden? Park?) 6. Plans (To analyze the form and circulation) 7. 3D's or pictures of the buildings (Various) 8. Elevations (to analyze the surface articulation).

Deliverables •

Four A3’s/ two A2’s/ one A1.

Deliverables • • • •

Four A3’s/ two A2’s/ one A1. Pencil only , NO COLORS Practice of rendering and lines. Please use proper lettering, if you are not too fond of lettering please use the lettering tablet. Presentation is of major importance to bring out the best of your work visually. Please use supporting text to narrate your understanding. (Use the sketches on this handout to guide you)

Inspiration Have a look at Visual Notes for Architects and Designers by Laseau.


Project II  



The$notion$of$translating$mental$images$created$by$imagination$is$an$exercise$ each$architect$has$to$go$through.$$ $ This$project$is$about$translating$your$mental$images$and$stimulating$methods$ of$spatial$production$of$Abd$Al:Rahman’s$novel$“The$story$of$a$city”$into$a$ series$of$drawings$(Storyboard)$which$should$show$your$understanding$and$ analysis$of$the$articulation$of$the$built$environment,$the$evoked$meanings,$ the$created$spaces$and$understanding$the$underlying$forces.$In$contrast$to$ Project$1$where$you$had$to$unfold$how$the$built$environment$was$ constructed,$this$project$is$about$creating$your$own$visual$notes$that$depict$ the$spaces/places$that$underwent$the$different$experiences$that$the$novelist$ narrates.$$

$ The$storyboard$becomes$a$visual$interpretation$of$Muneef’s$interpretational$narrative$of$Amman.$It$is$an$ opportunity$to$unfold$your$imagination$onto$paper.$$ % It$is$as$Tschunmi$stated$in$his$book$“The%Manhattan%transcript”%an%architectural%transcript%of%reality;%it% encompasses%the%complex%relationships%between%spaces%and%their%use,%between%objects%and%events.$ %


encompasses%the%complex%relationships%between%spaces%and%their%use,%between%objects%and%events.$ %

Deliverables*and*requirements* You$are$required$to$deliver$a$storyboard$that$visually$translates$the$narratives$in$which$Muneef$describes$ his$childhood$in$Amman$at$the$beginning$of$the$1940s$when$it$was$little$more$than$a$village.$* $ 1. Three$A2$sized$boards.$ $ 2. Each$A2$will$be$laid$out$as$a$grid.$Each$ square$of$the$grid$translates$an$ important$scene/event/place..etc.$ $ 3. You$will$be$using$PENCIL$only.$You$are$ free$to$use$your$technical$or$free$hand$ skills.$Make$sure$to$know$your$points$ of$strength$and$utilize$them.$ $ 4. You$are$required$to$verbally$represent$ your$storyboard$at$submission$yet$you$ are$also$required$to$write$beneath$ your$grids$the$text$from$which$you$translated$your$visual$notes.$$$ %

Assignment 1+2   Places  &  spaces  of  Jabal  Amman  

A. Reflect  on  places  and  spaces  of  Jabal   Amman.  Choose  a  place/space  that  had  an   influence  on  you.  Perhaps  you  had  a   parAcularly  happy  or  sad  experience  there,  or   you  felt  aQracted.  Examine  which  aspects,   characterisAcs,  properAes,  or  features  of  the   place  that  may  have  concurred  to  create   whatever  impression  they  did.     B.  A  place/  space  that  does  not  seem  to  aQract   you  or  you  feel  repelled  by  it,  found  it  boring   and  un-­‐involving.    

Students assignments  


Critical  analysis/feedback  from  instructor  

Excerpts were  taken  from  the  previously   outlined  students  assignment  and   reflected  upon  though  highlighAng  the   points  of  strength  in  descripAon,   conveying  of  experience  though  spaAal   understanding  and  visual  analysis.  

01 Personal  input  /    

Understanding the  typology  of  a   building  through  its  CONTEXT.  

When talking  about  a  library,  the  site  or  loca<on  of  the  building  must  be  quite,  and   somehow  isolated,  in  contradic>on,  the  choice  of  the  loca>on  in  this  case  is  the  absolute   opposite.  The  building  is  located  on  a  main  street.              

01 Personal  input  /    

Understanding the  typology  of  a   building  through  its  DETAILS.   1.  InterpretaAon  of  the  design   faults   2.  Giving  alternaAves  to  what   could  have  been  done.  

The windows  may  have  a  nice  simple  decora>on  surrounding  them  but  there  size   makes  no  sense.  How  could  windows  1.  in  that  size  pass  enough  sunshine  into   classrooms  to  provide  good  reading  and  energy?     Also,  we  could  see  that  there  is  no  entrance  or  maybe  we  should  say  (safe  entrance)  ,   the  only  thing  that  separate  the  street  from  the  school  is  the  door  that  has  also  no   enough  size,  and  this  door  leads  directly  into  the  2.  school    without  having  a  yard  or   open  space  in  front  of  it  .    

01 Personal  input  /    

Understanding the  typology  of  a   building  through  its  DETAILS.   1.  InterpretaAon  of  the  design   faults   2.  Giving  alternaAves  to  what   could  have  been  done.  

1. I  don’t  believe  that  the  tented  windows  are  a  bright  idea  because  you  already  added  the   linear  elements  and  they  provide  shade  or  sun-­‐blocking    somehow,  and  so  does  the  tented   windows.  That  intensified  the  darkness  and  shadow  on  the  building.  2.  Either  of  them  can   do,  but  not  both.     2.  The  building  should  not  be  as  plain,  since  it’s  on  the  main  street  and  is  a  semi-­‐front  of  a   bank  branch.  The  building  should  level  up  to  the  public’s  expecta>ons  and  its  usage.  A  liKle   greenery  wouldn’t  harm,  for  it  could  add  more  life  and  vibe  to  the  building.    

01 Personal  input  /    

Understanding the  typology  of  a   the  built  environment  through   EVOKED  EMOTIONS  

The back  street  of  Darat  Othman  Bdeir   which  is  considered  a  connec>ng  point   between  the  end  of  Jabal  Amman  and  the   down  town  is  not  one  of  my  favorite  places   in  Jabal  Amman.    

One  of  the  reasons  that  makes  me  dislike  this  place  is  that  it  makes  me  feel  gloomy  and   dispirited  this  is  due  to  the  two  tall  buildings  that  are  found  on  both  sides  of  the  street;  they   help  in  obscuring  the  sun  light  and  making  the  street  dim  and  cheerless  for  the  pedestrians.    

01 Personal  input  /    

Understanding the  typology  of  a   the  built  environment  through   EXPERIENCE  

The picture  depicted  above  is  of  an  entrance  hallway  of  a  social  space;  a  space  usually  known   for  a  crowding  of  people.       Crowds  are  usually  associated  with  wai>ng  >me  and  this  space  cures  it  impressively  with  a   wide  hallway  rather  than  slim,  with  a  beau>ful  ceiling  mosaic  and  side-­‐wall  artwork  to  please   the  eye  and  ease  the  mind  from  impa>ence  and  frustra>on,  and  finally,  a  couch  for  >red  legs   and  a  soothing  shade  of  brown  to  give  you  a  feeling  of  warmth,  comfort,  and  security:  things   you  usually  don’t  feel  if  your  personal-­‐space  is  being  compromised.    

01 Personal  input  /    

Understanding the  typology  of  a   the  built  environment  through  its   TYPOLOGY  


Regardless of  the  fact  that  no  parking  space  is  available,  the  restaurant  is  no  more  than  a   3x7m  box      The  linearity  of  how  the  stools  around  it  are  placed  deceives  one  to  thinking  that  it  may  lead   to  something  bigger  and  more  spacious,  but  they  only  find  that  their  special  percep>on  is   completely  blocked  by  a  huge  column.     One  will  definitely  collide  with  another  customer  or  staff  member  since  the  few  sea>ng   elements  found  within  the  narrow  space  are  placed  edge-­‐to-­‐edge,  barely  leaving  any  room  to   move.    

Lessons to  be   learned  

01 Terminology   02  Preciseness  in  descripAon   03  Avoid  Nostalgia  

Excerpts were  taken  from  the  previous   students  assignment  and  discussed  in  the   framework  of:  terminology,  preciseness   of  descripAon  and  the  noAon  of   nostalgia.  

01 Terminology   •  This  bugs  me   •  This  is  lame   •  As  we  all  see  this  building  is  old  and  useless  

02 Preciseness  in  descrip9on  

“The selected  photo  is  for  one  of  the  rela<vely   old  houses  in  Jabal  Amman”,       What  are  old  houses?  How  do  they  look  like?  Please  make   sure  to  do  your  research  before  indicaAng  such  a  statement.         One  could  look  up  the  start  of  Jabal  Amman  and  thus  idenAfy   a  period  when  the  construcAon  began  and  the  span  of  it  and   thus  idenAfy  a  period  or  reference  in  its  Ameline.  

“Now this  restaurant  and  many  other  buildings  in   this  street,  the  second  you  see  them  you  get   excited,  they  make  you  feel  like  warm  vibes  are   being  sent  to  you...  invi<ng  you  in”,  

Why do  they  get  you  excited?  The  arAculaAon  of  the  surface   though  certain  colors  that  makes  you  want  to  come  closer  and   have  a  more  detailed  look?     Why  do  you  feel  invited  in?  the  entrance  configuraAon?  Is  it  like   a  huge  gate  for  instance?  or  The  wide  windows?  The   transparency  of  the  building  which  makes  you  feel  that  the   differenAaAon  between  public  and  private  is  blurred?  

“This luxurious  hotel  has  always  been  one  of   my  favorites  in  Amman,  and  what  really   amazes  me  is  how  beau<ful  it  looks  at  night”.      

What's beauAful?  What  details  made  it  look  beauAful?  In   comparison  to  other  hotels  maybe?     And  what  made  it  precisely  look  beauAful  at  night?  Name  the   elements.  For  instance  the  lighAng  system  using  different  colors   at  different  Ame  frames.  Defeats  boredom  and  give  temporality?    

03 Nostalgia  

“I didn’t  use  to  believe  in  love  at  first  sight  un<l   I  saw  this  architectural  wonder.    I  immediately   fell  in  love  with  the  old  building  which  was  built   in  1923.    This  house  has  a  fascina<ng  history,   as  well  as  fascina<ng  visual  aRributes”.      


CriAcal understanding  of  William  H.  Whyte's   classic  film  “The  social  life  of  small  urban   spaces”  thought  submieng  a  paper  discussing   the  success/Failure    of  the  social  aspect  of  Al-­‐ Wakalat  street  though  perceiving  its  spaAal   qualiAes  

FILM: Understanding designed spaces William H. Whyte's classic film studying how people use urban space:

Understanding the Built Environment  

"Understanding the Built Environment" is a course taught at GJU (German Jordanian University). This publication was prepared by Ohoud Kamal...

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