101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

When I was skimming over the books in the bookstore I found this funny book on the shelf. It is a kind of a pocket book and it includes so many brief but very usefull informations. We can call them experiences of Metthew Frederick. He points out that there are few things that are definite in architecture school. And he knows that architectural education is a disorienting major, especially for the freshmen year. Also he states that this education includes lots of exceptions. That is he thing that makes it complicated for the students. He points out these by the help of his experiences in the earlier years of his architectural life.

When I read the book I can say that it relaxed me a lot. Because I was feeling  a little bit nervous. However, he identifies exactly the same things that I feel. Also, he thouches upon the thoughts of the instructors too. It is another positive thing.

The book approaches to make a good basis to architecture students in studios. It includes design ideas, sketches and presentation techniques. Because he claims that these are the things that are the hardest ones for the students. He approaches to clarify these complexities. I think he reaches that.

Another thing is that, his lanuage is a little bit informal. It is because the content of the book. He aims to reach student’s minds and he uses less fancy language. So that, he reduces architectural language into a little bit informal language. I really loved this book. I recommend this book to every new architect.

Discovering Loos’ World View

After I read the Adolf Loos’ book’s chapter of “Ornament & Crime”, I found his language very strong and straightforward. He is writing his opinions just the way they are. His language is unadorned as his non-ornamented architectural works. I think it is the thing which has impressed me most about the book. Because I think I am more into the books which are more unembellished. At that moment, I decided to go over further on the book.

I read the chapter which has named “Arcitecture(1910)”. Initially, he starts his writing with thouching upon the responsibilities of architects to the environment. He points out that the products of architects should be in a rapport with the environment that that product has. He says that “Whether an architect is good or bad in his/her job, he/she should respect the holiness of a lake”. With this way, he expresses his ideas about how an architect should be. Another thing which is worth mentioning is that, he is seriously against ornament as I read at “Ornament & Crime”. The thing which has made me a little bit suprised is that he is advocating his ideas about ornament most parts of the book. In this chapter of book, he claims that ornament makes our culture destroy. Some people may claim that  ornament is the thing that makes our culture pernament. They have points to think like that. Because the only objects that have survived from the past to present are the ones with lot of ornament. Whereas, there is a point that is unnoticed. They have ramained because they were out of functionality, because they were so fancy. So that, they were not wear off to melt away. That’s why they have survived to present. Loos evaluate this by saying “missunderstanding the past and the culture”.

Another noteworthy thing is that he alleges that graphical arts and architecture are contrast and very different from eachother. In other words, in those days the most well-paid architects were the ones whose projects were nice looking on the paper, not the ones who were good at building. Nevertheless, Loos points out that a good architect might be bad at thecnical sketching and in contrast, a bad architect can be a good sketcher. I think that was the thing which is surprising that I have just learned and stayed in my mind. He supports that a product cannot be succesful at  branch at the same time. For instance, a novel cannot be a succesfull one in terms of both theatre and novel categories. It is same with the condition of graphical arts and architectural works.

These were the things that has made me think and realize some points that I was ot aware of. Shall I recommend this book to new architects? Yes, I would. Because of his simple and straightforward language and also the world view of Adolf Loos. I think he made me gained a different look to the architecture. Next plan: Read the whole book!

 

Ornament & Crime

This week of the Intorduction to Architecture course we assigned to read the Adolf Loos’ book’s one chapter which is called “Ornament and Crime”. Adolf Loos is a functionalist architect which is obviously recognizable in the book. He specificly give importance to functions of the buildings and the daily life items. And thats the reason of he is against using ornament because he thinks that using ornament makes an item less usefull and makes it out of trend more fast. On the other hand Loos see ornament as a waste of time and craftsmanship. Because he supports this idea by giving an example that a labour who spends his 20 hour while making a shoe with lots of ornament and for good craftsmanship. Whereas, a labour who is making a non-ornament shoe spends his only 8 hour. But unfortunately both labourers earnes equal money. That why he thinks ornament is a waste of time and energy.
He does not want to identify the non-ornament objects as cheap ones. Even though his products does not have any ornament they are expensive enough because of their funcionalities. So that, he is not against luxury.
He is making a strong argument that  ornament is not our cultures natural product but a corruption which is so visable. As you can understand from the title, he is makimg strong and brave arguments while advocating his ideas.

Regulating Lines

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In this 5 days holiday, I had a chance to read previous assigned chapters of Towards an Architecture.  I’ve gone over those chapters because I wanted to make everything crystal clear. At the very last I’ve read the “Regulating Lines”, in other words “construction lines”. In this chapter Le Corbusier lays emphasis on significance of layout of an construction. That is the thing that I’ve always been heard but never gave importace to. Whereas, I’ve learned that regulating lines makes us avoid arbitrary results. But they can still give us great satisfactory.

The thing which was riveting for me was the use of regulating lines even in the earlier eras. After primitive humans settled to a place which is optimum for their needs, they started to build new habitat. But they did not started doing it randomly. They were planning everything even though they did not have a tool to help them measure anything. They used their legs, fingers, steps to measure things. So that they did not take planning for granted. It was so surprising for me because even they didn’t have units of measurements they used regulating lines.

I have realized that regulating lines provides the compatible compositions of the proportions, lines and the colours. And they awaken us to see senseful and coherent relations clearly. Namely, we should use regulating lines as a tool to help us but not for a solution.

Posterizing the Text and the Video

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Initially, I read the text which was a part of “Towards an Architecture” written by Le Corbusier and I watched the video of Leonard Bernstein’s “What Does Music mean?”. And then, I started deciding on the key words which  I was going to use in my poster. After that I ordered my key words according to their number of letters. So that, I could place them in my poster with making a triangle gap in the middle. So I created a geometrical shape by my own.  I attached importance to the colours too. Because those are things that makes a poster more remarkable.

Towards a New Architecture / Vers une Architecture

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Towards a New Architecture is written by Le Corbusier who was a well known Swiss-French architect. It has published in 1923 in France. The book is compilation of his essays. Also he wrote about any other topics too such as urban design and painting. He was so into Cubism and Purism. So, he used these in his so many master pieces.

The book’s aim is trying to break common known terms about architecture and build brand new knowledge. Actually, the original title is “Towards an Architecture (Vers une Achitecture)”. However, it has translated into English as “Towards a New Architecture”. Though, he is criticising his era’s architecture, he is giving samples from earlier constructions to express how architecture should be like. He is also giving advises to future’s architects too in his book.

In this book, Le Corbusier is trying to inform people that the Endustrial Revolution has over and a new architecture has born. But the things that the book is considering is not just about arcitects, it has oriented to eveyone. So that, its language fluent and intelligible for everyone.

What is Music and Architecture all about?

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By referencing the video “Leonard Bernstein: Young People’s Concerts – What Does Music Mean?” Bernstein wants to break all common thoughts about music and its meaning. He claims that music is about nothing, music is never about anything. Music just is. Music is notes which are put together such a way that we get pleasure of listening and hearing. When someone states a sentence we would have lots of ideas that came to our mind. But what about music? What ideas does it make us have? Notes does not tell you any ideas or stories. None of them about anything but music. They aren’t like words at all. Notes just have musical meanings. He demonstrates his ideas with an example. He plays a song which has made everyone think that its about Wild West, cowboys, horses and stuff. But that song is composed by an Italian who called Rossini that never heard about Wild West nor cowboys. And Bernstein adds that music is just written for musical reasons, no other reasons. It has written to be excited.

Additionaly, Le Corbusier depicts his ideas which are about what does architecture about and what should architects acquire, in Pure Creation of the Mind and Towards a New Architecture. Like Bernstein, Corbusier alleges that architecture does not have to be inspired by
or based on something. Architecture is about art. It doesn’t have to be practical like all engineers do. On the contrary, architects analyses  compositions, relations and harmonies of the elements. They make emotions aroused when art enters in.

I think Leonard Bernstein uses music and Le Corbusier uses a plastic art to mention same things. Both architecture and music have their own meaning whithin them. There doesn’t have to be anything else to be inspired by.

Studios Handbook

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When I read the handbook of studios I realised that studio environment is the main and the crucial part of our architectural education. It is the place that we can work with and share our ideas, experiences and considerations with our colleagues. It is way too important for us to look from another perspective. These are the things that we cannot learn from a textbook. Also the studio courses are based on making, doing and producing. It means that these courses are not ”learn it in the course and apply it in your occupation life” courses. You should put the things that you learned on action immediately. And another thing which has made me think was learning on process. The point is that you should learn by doing on producing, not from product. A successfull producing process requires many researches.

Another step is attending actively to the critiques. Its a good way of listening the comments and the advises of other peers’ works. In addition, architecture is not a major like ”study before the exam from the textbook and answer the exact same questions”. It has its own juries who are going to listen our presentations and grade our projects. These are the things that were significant for me.