More Reflections……Again

Futurist Manifesto:

I’m surprised to find out that architects, believing themselves to be working towards a modern architecture during this time, were only taking varied elements from many different styles to create this ‘modern architecture’.  To me modern architecture should have been about innovations, technology, new materials and the development of new ideas, not the deployment of old ideas mixed into one large conglomeration.  The author seems to do a good job of pointing this out. 

I found the description of the house as a machine interesting also.  I wonder how the beliefs of what the house should be back then would have changed if the architects knew what they do now in regard to sustainability and green elements.  It seems that the detail of a lift being the only means of vertical circulation would not have withstood the test of sustainability or at the very least would have to be revisited to determine a way to ‘green’ the element. 

I feel, while these ideas were only a dream for the architects writing this, many of the ideas exhibited in the writing are similar to the architectural movements and directions that we, the architectural profession, are taking today.  The idea of technology playing a major role in architecture and the concept of, as the writing states, “The decorative must be abolished”, are both relevant in todays architectural circles.

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More Reflections…..

The Art and Craft of the Machine:

I found this writing a little bit difficult to read.  I would start to read it and concentrate and by the time I finished a couple of sentences my mind was wandering off to something else.  So I’m not sure how thorough and in depth my thoughts will be but I will try. 

It is interesting to read Frank Lloyd Wright’s comparison between the machine and architecture.  At one point, he seems to argue that the machine is not useful and only destructive to architecture but then elsewhere he seems to be championing the integration of both as one.

I can understand what he writes about the artists who hated and protested the development of the machine, feeling that it would change art and the life of the artist.  I can easily imagine a discipline that was so based in the use of the hand and the efforts of the human, fighting against the use of something that was so mechanical and so devoid of human intervention.  I think though, today, the artist as well as the architect has learned to embrace the new technologies and new ways of doing things that has been a development of the machine and of science.  Both artists and architects are beginning to realize the potential that the machine and that technology can offer.  There is so much to be done and so many new ways to create art and architecture that people used to only be able to dream of.  For architects specifically, technology opens up a whole new world of material development, ways to improve human life and ways to integrate the processes by which to create form.

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Tools of the Imagination:

It is interesting to see and think about the evolution of the tools of architecture and also to consider what tools we might use as we move into the future.  The new technology not only affects the tools we use to create the drawings and models for a building but also the design for the building.  New materials and uses for these materials are changing and being adapted based on the new technologies presented. 

The Invisible History of Erasing:

This writing is really interesting to me specifically because of experiences I have had with trying to use undo in real life.  Having worked in an architectural firm for a couple of years doing primarily computer drafting work, I got very used to being able to undo any mistakes that I made.  It became so common place for me to undo something I had drawn that when I would make a mistake or do something wrong in real life my initial reaction would be to undo it.  Obviously that doesn’t work but as silly as it sounds it has happened to me many times.  Therefore, I found the part of the writing that states “Designers know that it’s best to solve these problems before construction, because the real world has no ‘undo’ command” very entertaining. 

Interestingly enough, there seems to be such a history and effort put into creating and revising the design of the rubber eraser yet we, as architects, do not use it much anymore because so much is done on the computer. 

Retooling the Architecture Machine:

The writing states “Digital technologies are enabling a direct correlation between what can be designed and what can be built…”.  I think this statement is very true.  With today’s technology you no longer have to imagine what the building you are designing looks like.  There is software, like Revit and Rhino, that allows you to actually go inside of your building and see what the spaces look like.  Also, software, specifically like Revit, allows you to integrate all disciplines (mechanical, electrical, structural) into one model and when viewed you are not only able to see the architectural elements but the rest of the building components as well.  The building can be portrayed with almost complete accuracy.

From my experience in working at an architectural firm, I have learned the importance of communications between all disciplines working on a single project.  There is no substitute for communication.  I can only imagine, as the writing mentions, the importance of communication and collaboration that needs to take place between architects, manufacturers, fabricators, material suppliers, and contractors on these technologically advanced projects.  When using technology and machines that are so new to the world of architecture, a close collaboration of all individuals on the team is essential.

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