Friday, April 27, 2012

Unit Summary 3

As the turn of the century approached, the world was becoming more one place, not a lot of places that could have nothing to do with one another. As this change was coming into being, the world wanted to showcase this possibility of community with one another. This led to a long series of what were known as World’s Fairs. The World’s Fairs were a gathering and a showcase of what each nation had accomplished in the worlds of technology and architecture, mostly.
This was a time of great experimentation in the world of architecture. The architects that were commissioned to do the work for the World’s Fairs knew that whatever they built was going to be temporary for the use of the Fair, and that it would come back down once it was over. Since it was going to come back down, it didn’t need to be a permanent structure. In the realms of commodity, firmness, and delight, it really only needed to fulfill delight, and a little bit of commodity. Firmness was, at this point in the game, obsolete.
Since they could build with no holds barred, it left a desire to see these buildings actually be constructed and useful. As technology caught up, more of these types of buildings were being seen.
As we were really pushing the limits of commodity, firmness, and delight, we also discovered the need for what came to be known as “good design for all.” For design to be good for all, there had to be a lot that lined up. And it did. Technology and materials were up to the challenge, and the architects were also.
Skyscrapers became something that were possible, and as technology progressed, they got taller and taller. This really made good design for all a great possibility – apartment homes were built that had communities within them so that the habitants didn’t even have to go anywhere to get anything that they needed. This became a more and more common concept as it spread into places of business as well.
The scale of everything that was being built continued to grow, and as the scale grew, so did the scope. People, and designers of places that people were, were beginning to go global. This globalization made trade more possible, it made the world more of a place of one, rather than a place of many that could only somewhat interact. As technology became more and more advanced, it allowed for improved communications, and design was a conversation that was had almost as commonly as trade around the world.
All of what has happened in the past century, however, is somewhat muddled. It isn’t exactly clear whether or not it is modernism, postmodernism, or some other form thereof. We have come back to the beginning of design – who does it? Why is it done? What is it useful for? Why is it useful? All of these things are things that are very important to the conversation, but they ultimately only define where we are, a place that we only know too well, as we are here. 

An Object, Space, Building, and Place to Finish Out the Year - Final Blog Post

The DeWalt 18V Impact Driver is an object that has shaped my everyday life more than I would have ever thought that it could. When I was first getting into construction, I would use a drill to drive screws. When I got into construction more, I used an impact that a friend had, and found that it makes my life much easier as well as efficient. As soon as I had the money, I went out and purchased one of my own. 
The Taylor Scene Shop of UNCG Theatre is a space that has shaped me into who I am. As a BFA Undergrad in the UNCG Theatre Program, I have spent a whole lot of time in this shop. It is to the point now that for me to be anywhere other than the scene shop really kind of feels weird. If I go a day without walking in, I typically will make sure to make a trip by there later just so that I'm not out of touch. 
The Santa Fe Opera is a building that changed me. I was a Stage Crew Apprentice out there in the summer of 2011. I learned a lot, spent 14 weeks away from home in a place I knew nothing about, and worked more hours than I can ever get back in my life. It was hard work, it was a long summer, but I was a part of some of the largest productions that I have ever seen put on anywhere in one of the most majestic buildings in the desert, and that is something that will shape me forever. 
The city of Charlotte is a place that has made me who I am today. I was born and raised there, and that is where I plan to live in the foreseeable future. I learned who I am, was shaped, and will always have a place in my heart for that place that made my heart. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Modernism - A Modern Marvel As Best We Can Describe It.

The word modern means something different every day, since yesterday was in the past, and the day before, etc. The future does not stay that way always. So, modern incorporates the past, present, and future, but does so in a way that is as up to date as possible, sometimes even futuristic.
But, there are some places that still say classical in their design and use. There are also many places that say modern in every way. I would say that the Beatles Love Theatre by Cirque du Soleil in the Mirage is an example of a place that is modern.
It incorporates the past by using a space that was used for Siegfried and Roy's show, but was upfitted. Cirque did a great job modernizing the space - every seat gets 5 speakers, the GrandMA light board uses 30/32 universes of it's capabilities, and the Rigging is incredible. It is amazing to see a space that was once purposed one way used for something else, which is an idea that is in and of itself, modern. The idea of recycling rather than building fresh is one that is pretty recent in the grand scheme of things.
The picture I chose is outside the theatre by the box office on the way in. It incorporates the show pretty well - the whole show is like this. People are flying, lights are going, there is no shortage of things to look at or pay attention to. It truly is a modern take on some classic music in an older space.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Musical Reverberations - Unit Summary 2


Music is within our absolute souls. For many of us, it drives us. It is the passion that leads many men to their greatest achievements. It is also a part of architecture. It is a part of what the architect desires, hears deep within.
Music reflects the surfaces that the architect decides to use to convey the music that is inside of him. It is intertwined with it all.
But, all of this is not a steadfast rule – none of them are. Even as the rules are becoming realized and are being made, we are setting out to break them from day to day. The rule that music is what it is to architecture will change overnight, and the next decision will be arbitrary.
Even with things being arbitrary now, however, everything is still interconnected. As we progress forward and make new rules and find new things, we are still making connections everyday to the things of the past. Everything goes back to the classical. Every time.
But this is only really the story in the west. We are really the only ones that have such an intense desire to bend and break the rules – we are the only ones who want to make everything that has been before, not be again. In the east, there is absolutely no push to bend or break any rules. In the east, there are really no rules at all. They have decided to stick with what they know works. And it has continued to work.
As time goes on, the world is growing. Europeans are moving west, and America is found and founded. And the whole reason for coming west was to become independent. However, up until then, the basic rule for design that had not been broken yet was that we were still looking at the classical and using it for the “modern.”
This presented it’s own set of issues. We couldn’t follow the classical style directly without maintaining the European ways. So we, as Americans, had to figure out how much of the classical style we could get away with using, and how much we had to add to it and modernize it in order for it to become our own.
With the American Revolution comes some more revolutions, all of which make us question the architecture and design that we have known.
Revolution changes everything, even the music. And this is where the reverberations bring us back around in a full circle. The reverberations of design have been going on and on for many, many years now. The music of then has a great influence on the design of now. The designs of then inspire the music of the now. Everywhere we go, it is all intertwined, the reverberations are still happening, and we are forever learning from what has happened, and making the best of it for the learning of tomorrow. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blog Post 12 - Good Design For ALL

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte is a place that I consider to have been designed well for all.

As a person who is a concert goer, I have been in the space many times on the public end of it, and marvel at how well put together it is. However, I also marvel at the backstage part of the space as someone who has done many load ins and load outs on that stage for many shows. Although the space is set for many many people to walk around, it's also set up to be useful to those of us who have to do other things in the space. I have parked multiple 26' box trucks in the space to walk around so that we could set up merchandise, unload food into booths, etc. There is ample dock space for 5 trucks to be, a grid that means that hanging points doesn't require tons of bridles on the high steel... All of these things that just make it a space that crew, performers, and attenders can genuinely appreciate.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blog Post 11 - Modernism

Design is almost always looking forward. Unless the obvious is that it's looking back. But, at the beginning of the 20th century, there was a brand new push to be modern. We as a people wanted to be looking forward rather than back. There were some calls to the past with the designs that were being made, but for the most part, as technology improved especially, we were looking forward.

I was recently in Long Beach, California for a conference, and while I was there, we were in the Long Beach Convention Center. It is a building that really does take a stab at a "Modern" look. However, it was a modern look when it was first designed however many years ago. As you look at it now, it is a little less modern looking... But, this is because as we have come into the 21st century, the push to be modern has remained, thus putting us into a postmodern look, making the modern look classical.

This need to be modern stems from our need to always outdo our previous generation - and is something that we can say that we are doing well. But, in our need to be modern, we are promptly forgetting the classical, and even some of the modern - something that we as designers especially need to be careful of.