art and secrets
me: why yes, yes it is.
great, lets see it with a scale figure in it
me: oh, ok
make it at 6'
me: actually, how bout i make it at 5'6"
umm, NO. how about you make it at 6'
me: well, i'm not 6'. are you?
me: why would i base this building off of how a 6' person perceives the space.
because its convention. thats how a building is judged. if you put a different size person in it it will throw the WHOLE thing off.
me: but i'm trying to subvert convention to reflect real people. what is that convention based on?
i do want you to pursue alternatives in design, but there is also a point in which you must use convention to study it. i think architecture and design is hard enough when you are investigating alternatives without changing the conventions to explain them. it's like writing a book or something to investigate new and very complicated issues that are difficult in themselves to understand and then adding a layer of a different language on that or for that matter making up a new language. it really becomes difficult and can cloud how good the idea truly is.
as architects we use scale as a convention and it is amazing how quickly that can change your perspective and many times do a disservice to your design. it's fine to change scale after you know what a normal condition may be......and occasionally you may stumble on something new by doing it first.
me: ok. makes sense (for the purposes of neatly ending this right now)
but really, this whole discussion reminds me of hansy's thesis from cornell which from what i remember was all about changing architectural conventions/scales based on a female form comparative to the stereotypical ideal male and i think it is an interesting issue both theoretically and practically... i wonder what others think about this.
these are the kind of things i want to explore in the class, i hope to design as a part of the huckabay teaching fellowship . i'm (fingers crossed) working on designing a course on gender and architecture and other critical perspectives on space. more on that later as i get the application together.
after this visit, i was thinking how much i liked the scale of that project. and how i'm really enjoying the scale of the residential project i'm designing for studio. kind of made me feel like i'd just like to have a practice completely centered around small (one story 500-2000 sq.ft.) buildings. the economy of size and materials is very comfortable. because its more intimate, it seems to have more power to me. upon deciding to study architecture, i had initally thought any professional practice i might be involved in would have to be institutional...in order to address 'public interest' issues, i'd mostly be involved in firms that design public buildings...libraries, schools, homeless shelters etc. i am still interested in serving those populations but i think i realize that i would have to work at more of a community scale...like, a 'branch' library or....i dunno something like that. i cant see getting all wrapped up in the bureaucracy of humongous civic buildings. maybe affordable single family housing or something. but the trick i suppose is finding funding for something a little more individual, and innovative. though there are some great affordable work like the homes that come out of rural studio , usually affordable translates to cookie cutter and ugly for cost efficiency.