Wentworth Architecture review
Wentworth Architecture review is an independent student publication that presents the rich culture of Wentworth design students.
Wentworth Architecture review: James White Sam Altieri Sam Partington Sam Walusimbi Liem Than
Nate Gove Kate Bujalski Danielle Gray Ryan Kahen
Wentworth Architecture review Wentworth Architecture review would not be possible without the help of: Jared Steinmark, Jesse BaiataNicolai, Ryan Philbin, Rob Trumbour, Russ Pinizzotto, Ds Graphics, Wentworth Student Government, Wentworth Office of Student Leadership, Wentworth Architecture Department All rights revert back to original artists or writers. The pieces contained herein were created to fulfil either assigned or personal projects and are intended for display purposes only. Elements or portions of featured pieces may contain borrowed materials. It is not the intention of WAr to infringe upon the rights of the original artists or the sources of materialâ€™s origin.
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Allegory of Architecture
Kevin Driscoll | MArch Make an image of our aesthetics in their intoxication and want of intoxication. Now see human beings as though they are prisoners, confined to a cave, with a long entrance that reveals only a glimpse of light from outside. Imagine these people are exposed only to the saturated images of a contemporary city; a city that is masked by the depthless obsession of appearance. This is an obsession where there is no feeling, no reveal, no experience; everything is reduced to the surface for the purpose of seduction. And if seduction is a purely visual enchantment that prevents any deeper level of inquiry, has architecture lost its sense of reality? Now consider, one of these human beings confined to the cave, is told of an architecture that relates us to our own being as it projects meaning about its design and its architectural moments. He is told that architecture can become an experience beyond a visual gaze in which we experience both the spaces and ourselves as transcendent beings. It is no surprise, the prisoner will not believe something can evoke such emotion from within him. It is true to him that architecture is but an image. And it is no surprise he does not see the spaces that fall behind the image, for the over-saturation distorts his sense of depth, therefore he has forgotten it exists. What then if he was dragged up the long entrance of the cave and thrown out, into the light? Among this new architecture that looks to evoke emotion, the prisoner’s eyes would be unable to make out forms at first, but slowly as his eyes begin to adjust to the light he is confronted with an architecture in which he has never noticed. And as this man becomes accustomed to the light, he slowly moves through the spaces, each turn revealing a new architectural detail, each space evoking a new emotion: views are given, residual spaces offer interaction, materials create new textures and an architectural experience is created. The first space he encounters is that of complete seclusion. For a short moment he loses his sense of direction, consumed entirely by a sense of privacy within such openness. His eyes have just about adjusted to the light as he slips into an adjacent space. It is at this moment where the man experiences his first ecstasy. He is forced into an environment much the opposite of the last. There is an abundance of people, some quickly passing by in an orderly freedom while most others are scattered throughout the space indulging in various activities. As one may assume, this space is overwhelming for a man of the architectural cave into which he was thrust. Hesitantly, he moves into the pedestrian flow towards the threshold on the far end of the space.
Imagine his reaction as he finds himself back in another quiet space, nothing as tranquil as the first, but a relief from the second space. As his nerves calm, he is drawn to the extremities of the space where he becomes engulfed by embarrassment. He is looking into the first space, there his feelings of utmost seclusion and privacy are interrupted. Was he possibly being watched. What did he look like? What was he doing? He scours his brain for answers but can’t seem to remember. Not surprising, the spatial experience had overtaken him for those brief moments. Accepting his defeat to the space, the man exits the last space and finds himself standing above the cave’s entrance. Suppose he then returns to the cave to share his knowledge with the rest of the prisoners. What will they say? This man can now see ten thousand times better than the people of the cave because of his new heightened awareness. Among the abundance of peripheral information, he has experienced architecture beyond its visual mask. Is that not finding truth? The prisoner now recognizes this persuasion as it is presented to him within his cave and its pursuit appears as the best; a perversion of the truth that relies on the seduction of the image. And what now of every building that has competed to be the newest, the biggest, the most sustainable in the city? In this aesthetic pursuit, architecture has turned its back on experience and instead is relying on the image to create the illusion of something that is “real,” has “meaning,” and presents “truth.” With such an aesthetic fetish, architecture becomes judged and analyzed by its surface appearance, with no attention paid to its deeper meaning. With no appreciation of depth, perspective, or relief, imagery instead promotes a gaze as an anti-analytical tool for viewing architecture. So now imagine this reaction against the image that begins to re-introduce architecture as something that is experienced, analyzed and understood.
The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas endowed with energy - Ezra Pound
Kevin Driscoll | MArch
Stephen Skolas | MArch
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF A GOOD
IMAGE? Adam Parsons | 2nd Year
Good imagery lies in the framework; that is to say that the human eye is only able to take brief snapshots of an image and later the mind assembles them into one cohesive whole. The goal of a good image is to reveal within each snapshot enough information to speak towards the reading of a common language, hopefully not overwhelming the viewer. It comes down to a balance of foreground and background, contrast of color tones, and the balance of the composition of the image as a whole.
Danielle Gray | 3rd year
Vanessa Rubio | MArch
Ximena Cruz | 2nd Year
Craig Zygmund | 3rd year
Siobhan Pearson, Ali DaLuz, Carli Cabana | 2nd year
Rick Pignataro, Teresa Le, Chris Battaglia | 2nd year
Siobhan Pearson, Ali DaLuz, Carli Cabana | 2nd year
Heather Morse, J.T. Breda, Dan Zarkadas | 2nd year
Whether or not Euclid led the show, along the line, the parallels had the same agenda; race to infinity, they each entered a different corridor… What happened in the books is not just filed behind a page number as there’s more to the vision than what lays in front of the retina; risky enough to challenge the mind to bow. Where do you start building the world of tomorrow? Any tips from the Genesis? Or from Steve Jobs’ data? rest easy, it all comes down to an apple… a bitten one, if you’d prefer. Word of mouth, the end is near although 2012 leaves enough tomorrows to make yesterday a past era realize soon enough the parallels have continued to grow Will they meet somewhere, somehow? All in all, the nonsense has created a harmonious panorama rapid judgment won’t go past the first meter When all it takes is a little bit of abstract thinking and humor and a little bit of brain too maybe… Mea Culpa Reflection should be part of it too… Did you just realize how?
Stéphane Pierre Louis | 3rd year
What is in a name? Shakespeare asked this question in his famous story of Romeo and Juliet. Most commonly the answer is everything. If we assume for a moment that everything is in the name, then what is in the image? When someone says to you that a building was built by Frank Lloyd Wright, most architects have a general feeling of what the building will look and feel like before they even see it. This remains true for a number of architects, such as Frank Gehry, Richard Meier or Steven Holl. I feel that if everything is in the name, then eliminate it and let the architecture speak for itself. The only way to eliminate any prior thoughts about someoneâ€™s work is to eliminate the constant. One must attempt to take inspiration from context and create completely unique projects that have no relation to previous work. This does not mean to forget the past but rather understand it to create something new.
Anonymous | 3rd year
Sam Buckens | MArch
WHAT IS THE
IMAGE? Sean Owen | MArch
The image is what brings life to your thoughts, a way of conveying what you believe, no longer through language and words, but through a physical manifestation. The mind has the ability to wonder as it wades through thoughts or listens to its peers trying to elucidate their ideas. The image can bring clarity and specificity to the voiced ideas, allowing for a clear understanding to what the individual is trying to communicate. The image brings the idea to life, for an idea that is able to be seen or touched has the ability to strike greater emotion in the individual than through an auditory explanation. The image can take many forms and be produced through varying mediums, dependent upon the ideas that are being articulated. The textural quality of a painting, formed from the strokes of the brush and the splashing of the paint, can allow the viewer to step into the body of its creator, feelings the emotions that spilled from the artistâ€™s hands onto the canvas. The texture brings a humanistic quality to the image, in which the viewer can relate - for their eyes become their hands and feel what they cannot touch. As for digitized imagery, it is developed through a machine and then printed for the individual to view. It allows for alterations to be made and because of this characteristic, the image can be rendered until the desired expression is achieved. In addition, the digital image can be produced to create an idealistic representation of the individualâ€™s ideas and therefore can contain unrealistic qualities. The image is the vehicle by which we transport our thoughts and ideas to the rest of society.
The image can bring clarity and specificity to voiced ideas allowing for a clear understanding to what the individual is tr ying to communicate.
Andrew Potter | 4th year
Bryan Premont | MArch
WHAT IS THE
IN REGARD TO THE INDIVIDUAL? Anonymous | 3rd year
The male student with construction boots, jeans, and a hoodie, equals Construction Management student. The female with vintage boots, skinny jeans, and a leather jacket, equals Fine Arts student. The male student with blocky framed glasses, a notebook, and black clothing, equals Architecture student. The stereotypes presented above are not true for every person wearing the mentioned articles of clothing. However, all these people have presented an image to the public, consciously or not, which the public then interprets. The image we form for the students above are stereotypes that we understand in a cultural context. The students present their outer self as an image and use it to mold the understanding of strangers. This image may only briefly define the students, but within the rapid interactions of a busy intersection, all stereotypes are taken at face value. A presented image, regardless of the truth or meaning behind it, has a profound effect on the viewer. In China, the urban construction work force, which accounts for 120 million people, has adopted Woodlands Camouflage as their unofficial uniform. This camouflage pattern was originally developed by the U.S. Army in 1940. The pattern uses a translation of the Tennessee woodlands designed to distort the wearer. Because of this, the image that the construction work force presents is one of irony and confusion. Why is the workforce that is building the Chinese economy wearing an image of the American deep south? In the cultural context of where the construction population works, what image does this present?
That China’s construction work force wears camouflage is not as perplexing as it might seem at first thought. These workers have no home, they move from worksite to worksite, sleeping within the shells of buildings they are creating. They are the outliers of China’s domination in the global eye; they’re hammering a constant background noise to the confusion, overcrowding and congestion that defines China’s cities. As the workers congregate at work sites wearing the ubiquitous camouflage, their presence is blurred into the landscape that surrounds them. However the Tennessee woodlands pattern the workers wear is strange and unfamiliar to them. It was the presented image of Tennessee Woodlands Camouflage that prompted BASELine_Camouflage to be created. BASELine_Camouflage allows the Chinese workers to wear an image native to their surroundings. Debris was chosen as the medium to depict the camouflage, recycling an unused material strewn around construction sites, into an appealing pattern.
Why is the workforce that is building up the Chinese economy wearing an image of the American deep south?
Kevin Conant | 3rd year
IMAGE Bryan Premont | MArch
The image is one of the most powerful tools in the development of human communication, and as a communicative tool, its power is subject to the will of its creator. This raw power has been utilized extensively through out contemporary society. The amount of images a human is exposed to daily has dramatically increased exponentially in the last century. Today, television, internet, and advertising all contribute to the delirious amount of images presented to us, to the point where there is a tendency to forget just how powerful a single image can really be. Through its ability to communicate to a viewer, an image has the capacity to transmit ideas or messages, implicit or explicit, from its creator. Looking at an image triggers a response; some responses are more severe than others, but any response is a positive feedback in the communicative dialogue. The severity of the response is correlated to the depth in which an image hits the viewer. Is the image something you have seen before, or is it entirely new? Images do not necessarily correspond to reality, as they have the ability to be completely fabricated or constructed. This enables images to become a simulacrum of a new reality, or a transfiguration of a current reality, allowing the creator to express a vision bound only by the level of representational ability. Ultra-photorealistic renderings allow the creator to tactfully control what clients see, having the ability to communicate otherwise unexplainable ideas, while also hiding aspects that the creator does not want seen. The duality of this power to show and hide reveals the ability of an image to act as a medium of deception. One implication of the concept of the image is that what is being depicted is only a piece of a larger picture. This implication also suggests an ephemerality that the image occurs for a split second and is gone. This deception also works with manâ€™s attention to aesthetics to create the potential for hiding something in the beauty of an image.
Francesco Stumpo | 1st year
Travis Lombardi | 2nd Year
Kevin Driscoll | MArch
Lucy Brown | 3rd Year
Francesco Stumpo | 1st Year
Finding relief in Times Squareâ€Śwait, what? Over-saturation distorts societyâ€™s sense of depth. People have forgotten what exists beyond the gaze which they use to view the built environment. We have forgotten how to inhabit and explore space.
Blinders act as a filter, a filter of light, of language, of perspective. Without blinders the world can be viewed with a grand perspective, even accepting the possibilities of the unknown or non-existent. Imagining up the world is something for which every architect has a passion. Put the blinders up and architecture is a series of spaces created with walls and a ceiling, but in the grand scheme of things, architecture, space, must not always have walls. It must have a heart.
We can easily conclude that an image is simply nothing, but it is everything. It defines us as individuals and reflects how we perceive our surroundings, how we express ourselves to the world. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. These days, images are part of our lives more than ever. From the clothes we wear, to the colors we like, even our Facebook profiles. We live in a time where everything is visual. Creating a simple good image is key.
MUSIC + ARCHITECTURE A CONVERSATION WITH JUNG MI LEE AND JON SAKATA Jung Mi Lee and Jon Sakata are concert pianists based in Boston that are active in Europe, Asia, South and North America. They recieved their graduate and doctoral studies in Boston (Lee at New England Conservatory and then Boston University; Sakata at New England Conservatory, where he also taught on the piano and graduate theoretical studies faculty from 1997-2004) and both teach at Phillips Exeter Academy (Lee since 1996 and Sakata from 1994). Jung Mi and Jon met in Los Angeles, while getting their undergraduate Piano Performance degrees at California State University-Northridge. Since 2009, they have been collaborating with John Ellis (Chair of WIT’s graduate architecture program), exploring the relationship between music and architecture and they have just returned from a concert tour – collaborating with Ellis, Rolf Backmann (WIT’s Director of Term Abroad for architecture students), and thirty 4th-year students from WIT’s architecture program who studied in Berlin during the 2011 fall semester – in which they performed at a number of significant architectural spaces: Oslo (Sverre Fehn National Museum of Architecture), Stockholm (Petra Gipp Färgfabriken), Tallinn (Great Guild Hall of the Estonian National Museum), Helsinki-Vantaa (Juha Leiviskä Myyrmäki Church), and Berlin (Gerhard Spangenberg Radialsystem V). Their programs involved different “assemblages” of solo and duo piano music by J. S. Bach, Robert Schumann, and Robert Cogan.
Music + Architecture
Space + Music
WAr: We saw a music + video assemblage that you called Impercept which consisted of your performance of Cogan’s Contexts/Memories: Version C for two pianos together with a series of unusual visual images. Can you share with us your notion of Music + Image?
WAr: Throughout your concerts in Scandinavia and Estonia you suggested to audience members to move around in the space of the performance, what is your thinking behind this?
JML + JS: We would perhaps slightly adjust this conjunction from Music + Image to Sound + Image. What we are engaged with now concerning Sound + Image is no doubt impacted by, for example, cinematic problematizations over the past 90 years, in the works of Sergei Eisenstein, then Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet, the Straubs, Jean-Luc Godard. What kinds of new relations, connections can be arrived upon when the relationship of Sound and Image is not limited to those of linking through parallel association, communication, unified (or contrasting) expression; but where a heterogeneous mix of materials, sonic and visual images, forces and energies of all types, are dissociated, collided, presented out-of-sync (but not necessarily arbitrarily so), resisting a certain automation of taste and togetherness. Where optical and aural experiences do not have to match in affect, spatiality, temporality, gesture, figurality, energy (redundancy). We find resonance in what Godard and Mieville say in one of their 1970s films which addresses the manufacturing of images: “an uninterrupted chain of images…whose slaves we are.” If nothing else, shouldn’t (our) creative work try, to whatever degree possible, to emancipate a way of living from such chains? Perhaps this is what thoroughly stimulates our engagement with both Cogan’s works (e.g., Contexts/Memories for two pianos and Algebra and Mornings for solo piano) and the projected images that your colleagues from WIT created for the Radialsystem V-Berlin concert. A multiplicary array of musics and visualities exist heautonomously, are experienced and perhaps remembered as a destabilizing encounter, not trying to harmonize or unify, to match or smooth out difference; but to unfold and unleash things so a certain violence is done to our habitually conditioned, commodified, insidiously shaped patterns of what (should) go(es) with what, to vitalize and complicate perception, to open up new kinds of relations, new types of expressions, and yes, constantly challenge our held notions of association toward the ever wider, ever richer. In other words, where one experiences, as Eisenstein would say – thought.
Are there certain architects who exceed in understanding the relationship of Space and Music? JML + JS: The French psychoanalyst, social theorist, and activist, Felix Guattari, used to say that his only notion of identity was to “experiment on oneself”: the self constantly undergoing movement and mutation (by chance or force). And no doubt, when each of us seriously listens to music in, say, a concert hall or at home, motionless, we do move in our own minds. But, just as an experiment, together with our colleagues John Ellis and Rolf Backmann, we wondered what types of new awarenesses, complications, interferences, sudden and sustained punctuations to thought and feeling might arise when sound currents and body currents, moving at differential rates of speed, energy, intensity, encountered one another in vastly different, singular spaces. Yes, “to hear a sound is to see its space” (Kahn), but we are also interested in how the swirls of sounds and constellations of audience members in movement through singular spaces, enrich and problematize “communication,” to see and hear, physically and emotionally feel, with focused and peripheral senses and activations…a chance liaison of a slice of light, a sonic sensation, and a joint fastening concrete and wood frame… As we often stated throughout the tour, the instrument, for us, is not the piano per se, but the space itself vibrating; as one goes from place to place in a hall or room, the “instrument” (performance space) is undergoing constant transformation and variation. In a sense, just like a Bach work, a Schumann, in Cogan’s works, that we were performing; but in another way, it is also the Bach, Schumann, Cogan works interfering, complicating, enriching, problematizing the “instrument” as well. We have the sense that the audiences began to experience what it might be like to have a mobile ear, and something akin to a haptic vision but through the ear, to be able to touch sounds and spaces via the ear (as well as the eye); that even an open, empty space (like in the Fehn National Architecture Museum Pavilion or Gipp Färgfabriken) is most definitely not uniform but something far more heterogeneous, variable, (strangely) labyrinthine from step-to-step as (musical and acoustical) sound and one’s positioning and directionality change. To carry out such experimentation was only
possible, though, because WIT is so fortunate to have individuals like John Ellis and Rolf Backmann. They have the openness, passion, expertise, grace, and courage to imagine and conceive of such a tour and to make it happen with such professional and thoughtful attention to detail, tempo, creative process and adventure. The entire tour, at least to us as outsiders to the architectural world, was like a work of (living) architecture. The immense admiration and respect we have for John and Rolf is beyond words. One of the aspects we have really enjoyed in collaborating with them is that we can experience together such notions as Space, Time, Movement, Sound and Memory, and never have to stake out what any of these things mean to each of us or for one another, to have to define for ourselves individually or collectively what something is, but rather, we are all free to just go; to experience new (and familiar) spaces and sounds as an ongoing unfurling of lived landscape, mindscape, soundscape; our nervous system is constantly undergoing thrilling mutation, complication, interference.
Image + Performance WAr: You play Bach’s and Cogan’s music together quite often. What is the relationship between the music of the two composers? JML + JS: We do not understand the desire, or need, to segregate between, say, music and architecture, fashion design and music, or even so-called “classical” and “contemporary” musics: this is not to say that there are no differentiations or territorial domains and tenets; but rather, we’re much more focused on inhabiting a zone of contamination, the interstice where “a force of contact” (Rauschenberg) can be experienced, created, sounded. We really do not feel that there is “classical” and “contemporary” music: the division of, say, Bach from Cogan, or Monteverdi from Schoenberg, is an impediment (stemming from the “accepted” and “taught” construct of a historical periodization scheme); but rather our practice is one of exploring what particular creative problems each involved themselves with; how they come upon such satisfying, perplexing, richly stimulating and moving responses, sensations so fine and overwhelming, to these problems, to the impossibilities they (and thus we) by choice, obsession, fate, come upon, and are populated by. With both Bach and Cogan, we find that these are composers who are engaging with “multiplicity” in very powerful ways. What is it to express the co-existent, mobile filiation and relations between multiplicities; how they resonate, complicate, transform, intensify, multiply each other? Where polyphony is understood not only in terms of multiple voices or streams in confluence with one another; but entire regions and arrays of Time (temporal senses) and Space co-existing, shaping, empowering, propelling, alighting, one another. Every moment in their works is like a “node in a network of complexification” (Foucault). This is, for us, in the “Spinoza-ist” sense of the term, Joy.
Musica Fabrica WAr: Jung Mi, I understand you make some of your performance clothes; can you speak a little about this? JML: We live amidst diverse sonic fabrics: not only at home or on stage at the piano, listening to recordings or at the cinema; but the daily textures of sounds we are saturated with. We live right near the Mass. Pike as it passes under Mass. Ave: to hear the ghostly comings and goings of cars (amplified by the tunnel), streams of appearances and disappearances, it is a polyphony of “natural” sonic shapings, contours, air currents. This is something like a fugue, albeit without a composer consciously harnessing or shaping it; but such texturalization of air currents is something quite resonant for us. In another way, when we visited Aalto’s Villa Mairea – you know how they are very strict that visitors do not touch anything in the house – but somehow it was OK, because even without touching anything, there is such an haptic orgy at play. Aalto’s polyphony of materials, how they are juxtaposed, how they “touch,” how they resonate with one another, through one another, this is a poetry which I desire to respond to in multiple media: be it in music, fashion design, word art, video. When I see certain dresses of Ralph Rucci, I feel this is a kind of musica fabrica: designs of such compositional complexity and finesse and yet such lightness and “air”; the exquisite layering of, and sensitivity to, materiality; a polyphony of fabrics which balances intricacy with grace, staggering craftsmanship with imaginative vision, textures become music, music alighted and touchable…what it must be like to wear such music? What I make for myself is a just an expression of living with the above. Nothing less and nothing more. Or perhaps, how did Venturi put it? Less and more…
The Image of a Single Hand WAr: Jon, in your last performance in Berlin you played a piece with only one hand [Brahms’ arrangement of Bach’s violin Chaconne for left hand alone]. It seemed to me through talking with the other viewers in the audience that this piece was especially capturing and moving. What is the significance of playing with one hand? Are there visual aspects of playing with one hand that can be dynamic? Is there a presented image for the viewers of your performance that says something? JS: Brahms said that he wanted to emulate the difficulties of the original violin work (which are staggering) for the piano, and so he arranged it for a single hand to capture such a challenge. The problem I see is that the performance
tradition of this work has been “enclosed” in the idea of a single hand trying to “imitate” the violin. In living with both the Bach and Brahms versions, but especially the former, I wonder if, rather, one might look at the violin version and ask: what was Bach trying to have the violin itself become? To become so many “others.” And thus with the Brahms version at the piano, it became an exploration of what other things a single hand might become. Rather than only trying to imitate a violin, might a single hand undergo a becoming-guitar, or a lute, a choir, a choir of French horns, an orchestra, a stream, even a becoming-fluvial, a becoming-maritime and a becoming-celestial? All to say, a single hand as multiplicity. And the Chaconne – which is a type of variation form – truly a process of musical ideas, figurations constantly transforming, “varying,” morphing, through the conduit of such a heard – and as you asked about, viewed – agency of mutation, becoming, involution.
Architecture and Music WAr: Can you share with us any current projects in which you further explore the relationship between architecture and music or collaborations between architects and yourselves? JML + JS: We are currently (and it seems, perennially) consumed with Louis Kahn. We are collaborating right now with members of the WIT faculty (and some recent WIT students as well) – John Ellis, Rob Trumbour, Bruce McNelly, Ryan Schicker, and Jared Steinmark – on an event up at where we teach, Phillips Exeter Academy. This November is the 40th anniversary of the opening of the iconic Kahn-designed Class of 1945 Library. So the Academy’s principal, Tom Hassan, has asked us to give an event sharing our recent work exploring music and architecture. We are performing a concert of Bach and Cogan and our colleagues are designing an installation engaging with this most inspired building. What a wonderfully immense challenge to create in sound and sight a sharedgift for such an auspicious occasion and work. One of the things we’ve been exploring together is the idea that the building is a great inversion: no accident that when entering the library one cannot but help notice that the “ground” floor is the periodical room, and that it is upon this level, going up the contoured staircase, that the formal main floor of Rockefeller Hall is actually “floating” upon. As one’s gaze ascends up the concrete structure toward the ceiling, with the immense articulated geometric openings, one finally comes upon the massive X-shaped concrete overhanging. From floating floor up through the concrete geometries to the suspended massive overhead, it is the opposite of, say, a gothic cathedral. How does Kahn achieve such monumentality and yet openness, such a sense of permanence and yet weightless wonderment? In considering what to play for the event, we immediately thought of Bach’s Art of Fugue, with its principal subject appearing on/in all types of scales of temporality and registral space in both its original and inverted (upside-down) forms. So how can the installation give expression to Kahn’s great inversion? An inversion of the inversion? We’ll see. But the idea of bringing together Bach’s Art of Fugue and Kahn carries on something of what the recent tour in northern Europe explored: how architecture and music enter into a circuitry
...part of the nature of this event is to respond to notions of Memory that are active...Memory not as souvenir or nostalgia; but as a force of destabilization. where design (architectural and musical), movement, the optical and aural, tactile and spatial, begin to touch one another in ways quite mysterious, vital, elusive, invigorating. Is the contact between architecture and music something that literally happens, can be felt, in the air? Even more, part of the nature of this event (performance and installation) is to respond to notions of Memory that are active in the pieces being performed (Cogan’s Contexts/Memories and our original arrangement for piano four hands of selections from Bach’s Art of Fugue). The former was inspired by a poetic fragment by Borges: “Memory, itself: where a glimpse makes men dizzy.” Memory not as souvenir or nostalgia; but as a force of destabilization. In a space such as the Exeter Library, which has such strong sense of permanence, the Cogan in this “context” seems to be, on one register at least, a fascinating “confrontation”; but on another register, with how various architectural elements in the library are “broken” (sometimes on grand scales and other times very subtly) and what we mentioned a minute ago about its great inversion, perhaps there can be a really potent dialogue between them. In the Bach, just to echo, a single subject (and its varied incarnations) keeps reappearing throughout the cycle of movements, in a sense like an image or memory being constantly recalled. As this takes place, other materials (often derived from the subject) are going through constant transformation, variation, and remembrance of their own. It is as if there are parallel unfoldings and evolutions of subject and non-subject materials, and that their relation to each other, as they are “remembered,” are a kind of mobile poly-logue of procedural and profoundly expressive renewal, (re-) activation, reveal, regeneration, force…hmm… Kahn’s library: a generator of wonderment, inspiration, knowledges, lights and memories for generations, indeed.
ARTFORMING Exeter Library Participants: Jung Mi Lee Jon Sakata John Stephen Ellis Bruce MacNelly Rob Trumbour Stephanie Rogowski Ryan Schicker Jared Steinmark
Erblin Bucaliu Alex Cabral Trisha Cleplik Steve Lemanski Patrick Schultz Tyler Wilcox Fernando Rodrigues Adam Parsons
MUSIC & ARCHITECTURE Liem Than | 3rd year
Image is a mode of translation. It is the process of analyzing,
conceptualizing, and visualizing an entity in a different medium. Whether it is translating space into a two-dimensional graphic or vice versa, image points out qualities unique to each realm in a way that helps us understand the same thing through different perspectives. Image in this diagram is the visual representation of the relationship between two modes of human expression: music and architecture. The intent is to solve the problem of how someone could graphically depict the connection between these two art forms, which both have concrete methodology yet obscure textural qualities. How does one recognize the ambiguity of a space in the same dimension as music theory and its machine-like operative system? Music and architecture connect on a fundamental level that provides a clearer solution to this problem.
Music is generated in different ways. A composer’s orchestral symphony can have the same musical value as a toddler beating on pans with wooden spoons. The end result in both cases is a contradiction between technical articulation and pure human expression. The fundamental relationship between music and architecture is based on the compromise of the two ends of the creative spectrum; human expression versus mathematics. This collage overlays the elegance of architecture with the fluidity of musical arrangements. The abstract nature of this graphic is not to create direct conceptual relationships, but to depict a developing idea. Not only does it emphasize music’s artistic quality but also allows for historical and cultural context. Seen as a composition, the image shows layers of information relevant to the synthesis of music and architecture, presenting them as one entity. It is translating conceptual ideas into a two-dimensional picture that unfolds the façade of “image” and reveals the motives behind the composition.
MUSIC & ARCHITECTURE STUDY ABROAD - SCANDINAVIA Nate Gove| 4th year Music and architecture. Two different compositions, two entirely unique mediums. Or are they different? Yes, one cannot disagree that they consist of different elements; music being an arrangement of sound and architecture existing as an organized series of physical pieces and space. One is tangible, one is not. Architecture can be experienced through multiple senses, music only by what one hears. Yet what happens when a relationship is established between these two different art forms? Can music then be experienced through sight and touch. Can architecture then be experienced by means of sound? Is one dependent of the other, or when brought together do they have the capability of producing a collaborative composition that enhances the overall experience in time? Music is not dependent upon architecture. Music can be heard anywhere regardless of where it is being played. It is a movement of air, so provided that this element is present, music can always exist. Architecture functions in the same way, it does not need music to be effective. A space can be composed without any regard to sound and still present itself as a breathtaking sight. However, when music and architecture collaborate, something happens. You don’t simply hear music, you feel it and relate it to the space. It is as if you are witnessing the space being formed as you listen. Music tends to reenact the performance of the space. It helps explain and confirm the structural and spatial relationships within the architecture. Music gives meaning to significant elements that might otherwise go unnoticed. Sound contributes another sense to the experience; one that I feel is rich and undervalued. Think about someone who is blind and cannot access the sense of sight. They can only experience a performance or a space based upon what they hear, smell, or touch. This enables them to trust their senses. It allows them a
unique opportunity to experience something in a much different way than someone who possesses sight. Sometimes I feel as if sight is a disadvantage to the experience of something. We rely so heavily on what we can see that we take for granted most of what is available to experience, therefore never fully capturing the essence of what is present. We don’t smell, we don’t touch, we don’t interact…we just take that which our eyes reveal. The addition of sound provides the opportunity to experience a space with a full range of senses, enabling the viewer to draw more from that experience. The journey to explore music and architecture has been more influential than any of my academic experiences. It was never intended to provide answers or solutions to the mystery between sound and space. However, it was intended to facilitate the opportunity for me to feel, and to perhaps capture the essence of space and time. It has the capability to produce memories and feelings that evoke something special, something I find intriguing. Though words might never be capable of defining the experience, it exists somewhere in time between space and sound. It is this place, this undefined product of two passions, where in some way, one can draw inspiration and overall peace. Though I don’t fully comprehend it, I trust my feelings towards it.
PERCEPTION OF AN
IMAGE Barry Gosnell | MArch
The dynamic interrelationship of lines, shapes, points, and areas on a background is the physical basis for bringing the individual pieces of an image to a collective whole. In a three-dimensional field, an image embodies spatial qualities based on the perception of the viewer. The differences in visual perception of an image are affected by the viewerâ€™s relative position among the viewing surface. The qualities achieved by arranging geometry in a way that gives a 3D quality to a 2D surface are determined by the negative space in the collective whole and the eyeâ€™s organization of the white space in relation to the black space. Black is only black because of the visual comparison the mind makes against white. Perception of an individual image cannot exist by itself until the individual image leads beyond itself to imply a larger whole.
THESIS: CITY SPACE AS PLAY SPACE SITE: SEATTLE THESIS ABSTRACT: TO RECONCEPTUALIZE THE NOTION OF ARCHITECTURE WITHOUT PROGRAM TO INITIATE MEANINGFUL SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL ENGAGEMENT WITHIN THE URBAN CONTEXT
CLUSTER 3 SITE 11: EXISTING PROGRAM SITE SITE 12: EXISTING PROGRAM SITE SITE 13: PROGRAM SITE SITE 14: EXISTING PROGRAM SITE
CLUSTER 2 SITE 5: PROGRAM SITE SITE 6: EXISTING PROGRAM SITE SITE 7: EXISTING PROGRAM SITE SITE 8: PROGRAM SITE SITE 9: PROGRAM SITE
CLUSTER 1: SITE 1: EXISTING PROGRAM SITE SITE 2: PROGRAM SITE SITE 3: PROGRAM SITE SITE 4: PROGRAM SITE
SITE 4 CONTEXT
SITE 3 CONTEXT
SITE 2 CONTEXT
SITE 1 CONTEXT
Michelle Terpstra | MArch
Sam Altieri & Casey Galante| 3rd year
Chelsea Vollmer & Deirdre Horan | 3rd year
Steven Hien & Michael Clancy | 3rd year
Steven Hien & Michael Clancy | 3rd year
Joe Meucci & Kate Bujalski | 3rd year
Atlantic Wharf, Boston, MA
Participants: Rob Trumbour Alex Cabral Jake Bienkiewicz Chad Carr Kyle Gagne James Jarzyniecki Mandy Johnson Ben Iebel Rebecca Leclerc Steve Lemanski
Sarah Raymond Amanda Schiffer Patrick Schulz Casey Stotz Tyler Wilcox
THE MEANING OF THE WORD
AESTHETIC Joseph Barbato | MArch
Some people write, some talk, some compose, sculpt, run, laugh, or cry; I draw. I draw as much as I can for every reason I can. The movement from mind to paper to eyes and back to mind again weaves my thoughts with the world around me. Our world gives an incredible amount and asks for something in return; perhaps the most valuable thing we have to give is something that is truly of ourselves. We all fight to understand our thoughts and look for answers.
Ximena Cruz | 2nd Year
PHENOMENOLOGY AND ARCHITECTURE Sam Walusimbi | 3rd year
When I walk around, watch television, listen to the radio, or read a magazine, I can’t help but notice the incessant fascination and admiration for “appearances” in our culture. It seems that what is most important in contemporary society is “image” - One fleeting image after another. As a student, I am disappointed with the current situation of architecture, which tends to also espouse the “image” above all else. This frustration led me to search for and try to understand architecture not only as surface, but also for what it could be, an art form for humanity. Image, whose meaning is directly related to that of the word Form, should be investigated more closely. The etymology of the word “image” – an artificial representation that looks like a person or thing, from the Latin word imaginem (nom. Imago), which literally means to copy or to imitate, is important when trying to understand the argument. If image is nothing but a mere imitation of a thing, and not the thing itself, it can be concluded that dependence on image alone is shallow, deficient and incomplete in terms of trying to understand the significance of architecture. A search for any meaning in architecture should step away from the obsession of interesting forms, however geometrically sophisticated they may be, and look at a holistic almost primordial perspective that goes beyond architecture itself by also integrating the human experience. A term known as “architectural Phenomenology” becomes a viable instrument in trying to resist the hegemony of “image” in the 21st century. Phenomenology is a broad philosophical movement that emphasizes the study of experiences (Robert, 2005). In this
context, Phenomenology of architecture must deliberately evoke a sense of awareness with how humans experience a building and gain a sense of belonging and meaning in the world. If architects move away from the fetishism of “image” that is crippling the profession and focus more on the human experience that embodies the tactile senses of touch, smell, sound and taste as well as sight, architecture could once again be a profession that positively affects future generations.
IMAGE Contemporary life focuses itself unequivocally on appearances. In the predominantly materialistic society that we live, first impressions are overwhelmingly a determinant of how others perceive us. The cars we drive, the clothes we wear or the groups of people we interact with all play an important role in creating a social mirror that reduces us to the notion that we are nothing but our public image. Such an oversimplified approach to life often sedates our human capacity to reflect inward upon our lives. We end up indulging in the frivolities of the surface. This myopic view unfortunately also plagues present architecture where buildings have been reduced to instant seductive images meant to please the insatiable desires of a hedonistic culture. Surface architecture has not only led to a deluge of visual imagery of “picture perfect” buildings devoid of human experience, but has also created a distracting architecture that feeds off the short-term satisfaction and immediate gratification of a consumerism modern society. An example is evident in the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, by Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron. Technological devices are used to manipulate the stadium’s skin by use of color meant to lure and entertain the observer.
Architecture has become so intensively a kind of game with form (image), that the reality of how a building is experienced has been overlooked....The artistic dimension of a work of art does not lie in the actual physical thing; it exists only in the consciousness of the person experiencing it. Juhani Pallasmaa This bias towards the visual image can be traced back in Greek philosophy that regarded sight or vision as the noblest of all senses. “The eyes,” Heraclitus wrote, “are more exact witnesses than the ears.” (Pallasmaa, 2005) In other words, sight was given superiority over all other senses. Advances in technology today have readily propelled the hegemony of vision. Through myriad media advertisements on gigantic electronic billboards that show us images of celebrities, thirty-second commercials and quick fix treatments, we are persuaded to buy the advertized products impulsively. In a way contemporary architecture has subordinated itself into some sort of commodity that can be sold quickly. We can see such “billboard architecture” in the new Neiman Marcus department store outside Boston by Elkus Manfredi Architects whose skin has the ability to change images. It is to such decadence that the Austrian novelist Hermann Broch (Seamon, 1993) suggested reading the essence of an age from its architectural façades.
Juhani Pallasmaa, an avid critic of visually-oriented architecture, expresses that “architecture has adopted the psychological strategy of advertising and instant persuasion, which has turned buildings into image products detached from existential depth and sincerity,” and adds that “architecture has become an art of the printed image fixed by the hurried eye of the camera.” Susan Sontag also argues that “the reality has come to seem more and more what we are shown by the camera… photography makes us feel that the world is more available than it really is.”(Pallasmaa, 2005) But is architecture to be understood and viewed in this way - simply as an advertisement of instant seductive photography? Visual-centric architecture also has the problem of the ethos that it communicates to us, which is flat and one-dimensional. It loses the plasticity that can engage all our senses, rendering us as outsiders. We often interact with such architecture as spectators and never as participators. In fact Pallasmaa strongly believes that “vision separates us from the world whereas other senses unite us with it.”(Pallasmaa, 2005)
Looking outside of architecture into other art forms can perhaps be helpful in understanding certain viewpoints. Strong paintings, which too are visual forms of representation, address us as participants. They trigger various experiences familiar to our emotions, imaginations, desires, volition, actions and so on. Italo Calvino tells us in his Lezioni Americane about the Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi who saw the beauty of works or objects of art that move us as; “multifaceted; (with) numerous… layers of meaning that overlap, and can change as we change our angle of observation.”(Zumthor, 2006) We tend to experience such paintings rather than merely looking at them.“In the experience of art,” Pallasmaa states,“a peculiar exchange takes place; I lend my emotions and associations to the space and the space lends me its aura, which entices and emancipates my perceptions and thoughts.” (Pallasmaa, 2005) Paintings of Edward Hopper come to mind upon reading such statements. His images that capture banal moments pique an imagination that transcends the paintings themselves. They have a sense of suspense that we can always interpret in various ways. One favorite is of the lady in the movie theater. The expression on her face is inexplicable. She could simply be listening in to the movie playing at the other end of the wall, or she might be in a deep thought thinking about the evacuation notice that was left at her doorstep that morning. A certain tension in that painting awakens our imaginations. Humans feel through their senses. Even though we can never physically inhabit the spaces created for us in paintings, they do present interesting avenues from which architecture can borrow. They engage our experiential awareness of the world we live in by the use of what Pallasmaa calls peripheral or unfocused vision, an endeavor to resist the sharp focused vision. According to him, “Peripheral vision integrates us with space, while focused vision pushes us out of the space and makes us observers.” (Pallasmaa 2006) We can all relate with certain heightened emotional states where we end up closing our eyes when listening to music. In such moments, we negate the objectifying sense of vision that distances us from the experience of listening.
PHENOMENOLOGY Phenomenology, a philosophical method attached most closely to Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger is implicitly introspective. Unlike the exteriority connotation that images present, Phenomenology strives to get to the consciousness of things or what Christian Norberg Schulz calls a “return to things,” as opposed to abstractions and mental constructions. (Nesbitt, 1996) Conscious experience is the starting point of Phenomenology. Husserl, its fountainhead, perceived Phenomenology as a dualism between mind and body, with mind playing a dominant role because of its implied equivalence to knowledge. In his Ideas I (Husserl, 1963) he states that, “our first key result is the observation that each act of consciousness is a consciousness of something that is intentional.” The meaning of intentional here should not be confused with the common use of the word, but rather with the root word, in-tension – a sort of stretching directed towards something. His student Heidegger advanced the method of Phenomenology by introducing the word “Dasein” with a literal meaning of “Beingthere” to explain his proposal. According to Heidegger, we are in the world not as a mind (consciousness), nor as a person (body) but simply as being in the world. (Heidegger, 1962) Our experiences take place in a concrete world with concrete entities such as people, animals, stones, trees, flowers, sun, moon, together with intangible entities like emotions, thoughts, etc. They don’t take place in abstractions such as numbers, geometries, atoms and other kinds of data intended or directed from the mind to the world. It is Heidegger’s approach of Phenomenology, based on the experience of our body and its significance in our activities, which scholars and practitioners of architecture look at as a viable way out of the hegemony of vision. Everyday experiences of life such as walking, caressing a lover’s hand, or simply looking out a window, orient and give identity to our lives. But these experiences can only take place in a concrete world that has material substance, shape, texture, and color. Our “being” is manifested in the world through our daily interaction with it. Our body remembers these lived activities and
begins to put meaning to them over time. Architectural historian Christian Norberg Schulz writes “We only recognize the fact that man is an integral part of the environment, and that it can only lead to human alienation and environmental disruption if he forgets that.”(Nesbitt, 1996) One of our earliest forms of interaction on earth is the one we have as infants with our mother’s gentle touch. Even before we start to cognitively understand what we see with our eyes, we have some sense of what feels hot, warm or cold and we can also differentiate certain familiar sounds. Those early childhood days are our first intimate moments with the world and are the beginnings of our sense of belonging to the world. Ashley Montagu, the anthropologist, regards touch, which is associated to the largest human organ, the skin, as the “mother of the senses”. (Montagu, 1971) Juhani Pallasmaa also explains that, “All the senses, including vision, are extensions of the tactile sense; the senses are specializations of skin tissue, and all sensory experiences are modes of touching and thus related to tactility.”(Pallasmaa, 2005) Whereas other disciplines have endeavored to resist the hegemony of vision, architecture has been all too hesitant. The paintings of the impressionists like Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne, the Cubists like Matisse and Picasso all challenged perspectival vision that focuses on the eye. Even sculptors like Richard Serra use scale, materials and tactile qualities to evoke an experiential relationship between the human body and object. Noteworthy architecture resists the splendor of forms and tries to speak to the human experience in the concrete world that harbors our senses. The works of Peter Zumthor, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, David Chipperfield, and a few others attest to this notion.
ARCHITECTURE Criticism of decorative architecture is based on the simple fact that it is often just a trend, a fashion and style. Just like many trends in our social culture that are transitory and soon forgotten, contemporary architecture has followed
the same trajectory because it too has focused much on embellishing the surface, inevitably suppressing human essentials vital in the concrete world. The solution for many decades has been to offer more avant-garde, and creative ways to solve the problem of image. The post-modernists most recently tried by borrowing from former classical styles and even though they were successful in certain aspects, they too suffered from the illusion of iconography, symbolism, and imagery, which didn’t offer anything more than image itself. The AT&T (currently Sony Tower) building in Manhattan, New York, by Philip Johnson & John Burgee is the epitome of the postmodern movement. In a society that celebrates the inessential, architecture can take its stand against such trends. Significant architecture must produce places that are physically, emotionally and practically comfortable to human life. Architecture’s purpose, Norberg Schulz suggests, is to help man to dwell. (Nesbitt, 1996) We all have childhood memories of the places we grew up. If we close our eyes, it is only natural to remember such places with things like the smell of the garden flowers, the sensuous touch of the soft breeze against our skin as it shook the leaves off the trees in our back yard or the crunchy sound of gravel under our feet. Seldom do we recall these places as forms but we certainly recall the feelings attached to them. We carry these memories through out our entire lives and when architecture averts such experiences that give meaning to our existence in its quest to make interesting forms, it misses its purpose of helping man to dwell. We live in a day and age where societal and economic forces are suffocating architecture and allocating it the role of aesthetics because architects have so long espoused the image. Inevitably this approach has and is still crippling the profession. As a student, individual and dweller of the earth, my responsibility lies in not only asking questions and being critical about architecture. It also lies in accepting the fact that architecture inherently works and revolves around the concrete human world. By concentrating on forms and images, we become apathetic and secluded to our human race. We cannot be complacent in this matter.
Edward Hopper New York Movie
References: Nesbitt, 1996. Theorizing a new agenda for architecture - An introduction of architectural theory. 1965-1995. Kate Nesbitt. Pallasmaa, 2005. Eyes of The Skin. Juhani Pallasma. Montagu, 1971. Touching: The Human Significance of the skin. Harper & Row, New York 1968. Ashley Montagu. Seamon, 1993. Dwelling, Seeing and Designing -Toward a Phenomenological Ecology. Edited by David Seamon. Husserl, 1963. Ideas: A General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. Trans. W. R. Boyce Gibson. New York: Collier Books. From the German original of 1913, originally titled Ideas pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy, First Book. Newly translated with the full title by Fred Kersten. Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1983. Known as Ideas I.
Heidegger, 1962. Being and Time, Trans. by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper & Row. From the German original of 1927. Zumthor, 2006. (Thinking Architecture) pg.17 Peter Zumthor.
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