Monday, February 27, 2012

design autobiography 2

you might not give a lot of thought to something as simple and as common as a pair of shoes, but this routine object carries global implications as well as a vast history.  #3 demonstrates one of the earliest forms of shoes, the sandal.  it was created by the egyptians, first used by the pharaoh, but then spread down the pyramid of power all the way to the workers.  it changed form, due to what function they would be used for and what terrain they would encounter.  since these early times, the shoe has greatly evolved, and now include styles like heels, flats, boots, and many more.
this evolution has lead us to the creation of toms shoes.  the idea was first thought up when blake mycoskie befriended children in argentina and realized that they didn't have shoes to protect their feet from the terrain or bacteria and diseases.  while early people started out with no protection on their feet, it seems that we have digressed back to these ways, not due to lack of innovation, but rather to lack of wealth and poor circumstances.  people in a variety of counties now wear toms shoes, which act as a subtle representation that that person cares about this digression and want to help make an impact.  this simple idea has rippled all around the world.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

sketch : photo : blog

on wednesday, we gathered in the alumni house for a special presentation linked to the honor's college FOOD FOR THOUGHT series. during that session, i presented drawings in five of my sketchbooks to students. in addition to looking at florence through my own lens, i asked fourth year students, REBECCA LADD and DANIELLE WAYE, to also share their views of florence.

rebecca's gorgeous blog and danielle's beautiful photography certainly showed all in attendance the importance of recording and remembering the places we visit.

Friday, February 24, 2012


The wing chair is a chair that was a symbol of status, especially in the late 17th century in Great Britain. They were reserved for only the highest levels of aristocracy. The designs for the first few centuries boxy and in current day the designs of them have become more feminine and sleek. The wing chair also creates emotional security, which in design is extremely suspect. Moreover, refinement and advancement considers itself to be obliged towards rational intellect. The more modern counter part of the wing chair is expressed most notably in other more modern designers advancements of the wing back chair. For example, my object featured is the Victoria Hagan Wainscot Wing Chair (2009). The wing chair however, in my opinion all began with the design of the sultan’s chair from Egyptian culture. And then transpired into later cultures especially in the area in and around Great Britain.

Monday, February 13, 2012

chair card showdown

our chair card czar, brian peck, prepared this "throwdown" for students in iar221 today.

working to gain a bonus point for their groups by identifying the four chairs in question, brian called forward top chair card students laura belding, tereasa douglas, claire drug, matt wallace, monica clendenin, cat wilson, + april johnson (some pictured here) to identify the chairs on the screen.

week 5 in 140

image from :

eyes dance across surface, music enfolds, light washes from above. worship spaces stand as tangible expressions of faith in glass and stone.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

evolution of early churches


a pendentive is "any of several spandrels, in the form of spherical triangles, forming a transition between the circular plan of a dome and the polygonal plan of the supporting masonry." -

this unique feature of architecture is a further development of churches, expanding on the early idea of the basilica.  during this time period, there was an idea of religion as an institution, where people would go to churches and visually read what the architecture provided.  this created a visual language, that is demonstrated in early and present day churches.

the pendentive is used in many churches, including the Hagia Sophia, which was the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture.  the dome sits at the center of the building, and is 102 feet in diameter and 182 feet in height.  

another religious structure that uses the pendentive is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, located in istanbul, turkey.  it is more commonly known as the Blue Mosque, due to the blue tiles that cover its interior walls.  the design of this mosque draws from a combination of Byzantine architecture and Ottoman architecture.  the interior is lined with over 20,000 handmade tiles in more than 50 different designs.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

music+design. TEAM ORANGE

A haiku about the World Trade Center Memorial Design:

Blue-colored light beams
Balanced above the city
Contrast the night sky

by Beth Lowder

Violet Group Architecture and Frozen Music

In circuitous motion and color,
plastic animals to be your caller.
Each layer it beams
a different value it seems.
Won't stop till you pay a dollar.

poem by Joylyn Waegerie


design+music: green team

The cadence of the banister marks the rhythm of this piece;
As we climb, the repetition echoes from our feet.
There's balance in the spirals, harmony between each layer;
The emphasis on finale, ascending high into the air. 
alexander bissinger

music + architecture: team blue

cardiff car park in wales, via: flicker 
ride the harmony wave
music sets the path to pave.
let the rhythm flow free
and order and structure will come you’ll see.
i can hear the music with my eyes
layers upon layers are no surprise.
by claire druga

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Poem on the connection of a picture and music : Red Group

Journeys end
Step by step, you get closer
Uncertain whats to come, you approach the structure which looms over you
Its infinite layers beckoning you closer
What lies on the other side? Where will this journey take you?
With your faith at its pinnacle, you step inside
Lights! Colorful lights, dancing around to a rhythm of their own
Step by step, you move further, deeper
Time seeming to stand still, you discover new things with each step
“What glorious things await me next?”
Each layer bringing forth new information to digest
Enveloped by all the wonders around you, you notice a threshold
You begin to realize the end is nearing
Anxiety begins to take hold, the uncertainty of the future causing pause in your steps
What lies on the other side? Where will this journey take you?
You reach the end, the knowledge during your journey filling your head and heart
Your on a path, leading to a new structure, a new journey
And you realize, that the journey never truly ends.

By: Michael Lewis

Design and Music--Down to a Simple Art---

design + music: "Down to a Simple Art"

This poem is by Tania Miron: I thought it evoked a lot of emotion regarding how the image made her feel.

Down to a Simple Art

Color the rain drops,
Sing an unknown harmony,
To form our new love.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Violet Checking in

The violet group proposes the following preponderance......

Since our university started as a woman's college, were there specific ideals utilized in the construction and layout of the university.  If our university had started as a co-ed or all male institution how would these construction and layout ideals have been different......

campus walk : 03 february 2012

as we considered circles + axes from class this week, we took to the walks of campus to observe them in our everyday environment. lane ellison's funky photo shows us as we conclude the field session in the undercroft of the music building. just as he looked through his lens, we looked around and recorded our thoughts. in sum: rome is still very much with us.

Connections between axis and hierarchy

In class on Friday, we looked at examples throughout the campus of how buildings are designed on an axis, and how the interiors of these buildings have their own axis. The colosseum in Rome was in a way an axis for the city. It was the main focus where many events were held and people gathered. The building itself has an axis from front to back where people can look over from the second floor and watch performances below.

This same idea of axis is repeat
ed in the structural aspects of the buildings as well. The colosseum is a circular building, so it has an emphasized center point. The arches of roman architecture are also a repetition of the circular shaped structures because of their symm
etry and rounded top. The idea of an axis represents the main center path or focus. Another example of an axis, or an important focus of ancient rome is the aqueduct. The ability of transporting water into the city makes water a very important aspect of the civilization, so it becomes a main focus of the city. When we were walking around campus on Friday, we looked at interiors that focused on a strong center point, and we also talked about how certain buildings were the main focus of the campus because of their purpose.
UNCG was mainly a school of education and music, which is why these two buildings are the main focus of the most prominent axis on campus, similar to how water was a very important aspect to the ancient roman civilization, as well as the colosseum.

Monday, February 6, 2012

a question from team blue:

After wandering the campus on Friday, learning about all of the axes on campus, we were wondering if you knew how many axes there are on campus? And if you do, is there any significant meaning to that number?

Music on a Landscape...

Structure in Kansas City, MO

The repitition of its material and form
reflects the many times of its being reborn

Each and every grey tone
making the form look like one big bone

The harmony and rhythm in each layer
adds to its scale making it not so bare

From pianissimo to fortae
it surely rises up high above the bay

... each and everyday.

Question from the Yellow Group

Following Friday's tour of the campus, our group started wondering how architects arrived at where axes are placed. Our question was: do architects and designers consider axes before they design a building? Is this usually out of necessity or is it typically a more aesthetic decision?

As a group, we were really interested in the importance of axes. Some expressed how they didn't notice all of the different crossing points on campus until this class. We talked about how small differences such as the placement of axes these can make a big difference in how people perceive their environments.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Red Group Stump Question

After our journey around campus the red group came up with a question to try to stump Patrick. We decided that since the campus is spread out like it is, and College Ave. isn't truly the center of campus anymore, is there still that great of an impact of an axis, or has it lost most of it's true impact on the campus' landscape?

a question from the green group...

while on our journey around campus, many of us noticed that there were a lot of "woo-woos"...
we were curious why there were no "opposite-of-a-woo-woo" around the grounds?? (especially since uncg was originally a womans college)

TEAM ORANGE questions.

If all the towers around campus are wu-wus, then are all the moments of negative space comparable to a woman's hee-hoo?

 Example: The entrance to McIver features negative space just before its entrance.  It is a perfect instance where stacking can be shown to include the immaterial, as well as the material (negative and positive space).

How Greensboro relates to the Roman city

Like the Roman city, Greensboro today has a similar city grid. In Roman times, there were two main streets that ran perpendicular to one another marking the center point. These streets helped one navigate throughout the city and know where they were. A great help in marking the landscape was seen in the Roman Coliseum. Though not within the city grid and off to the side, it alone would help one know where they were in relation to things around it. Today in our own city of Greensboro, we can see this same effect. Though the Greensboro Coliseum is not within our downtown city grid, it is still on the perimeter, making understanding the landscape and ones location in relation to it easy to understand and communicate with others. So, take a look around to the city's of today and just how many pull from the Romans ideas?

Roman City Grid

Greensboro City Grid

Friday, February 3, 2012

[Questions About Todays Journey]

These are our questions for you Patrick=) ???

1- If Ionic columns are male, why were they placed on a predominantly women's college?

2- What would Patrick design differently about the campus?

3- Why is the quad not anywhere near the center of campus? And why is it residential(private) and not public?

week four in 140

image from

diverse building types abound in the west. empires stand tall throughout the world. trade routes bring people, gooeds + ideas into proximity.

McDonald's Golden Arches: Why Do They Impact Us So?

It is a symbol known throughout the world, the golden arches of McDonald's. You can travel the world and find them in most countries. It is symbol that crosses many languages, cultures, and politics... Yet it is something that has left an impression on people's minds, so much to the point McDonald's does not even need to use words anymore, only this symbol to be recognized by the general public of the world.

My question is, why does this symbol hold so much power? Granted, McDonald's has done a pretty good job of cramming the logo down our throats for decades now... no pun intended. I think it has something to do with the history of architecture.We have learned in class the Romans used the arch in their buildings, and were very fond of it's shape eventually using them wherever you could place one.

The arch is a hybrid in design. It is the idea of the scared circle and the groves of columns coming together to create a whole new shape. I think in this description lies the idea of why it is such a powerful logo those golden arches. They have taken two of the earliest forms of human thought and design and combined them together. We already know that these circles and columns in antiquity were a global thing. They were found throughout the globe. So they already were a symbol recognized by most. I believe that is why the arch was able to develop like it did, and also become such a simple, yet powerful logo for the McDonald's corporation.

Now these golden arches can be found all over the planet, but I think their original history stems as far back as the first buildings humans ever decided to construct. The Romans gave us the arch, but they did not get there alone. It may be a pop culture icon now, but I think it has been in culture all along, and that I think lies the power behind the golden arches of McDonald's.

all photos from

blog post for 06 feb 2012

of all the spaces we visited on campus during the field visit on friday, 03 february 2012, justify the single space or moment where you believe commodity, firmness, and delight are at their highest achievement. use details about materials, light, color, experience, and understanding of the principles + elements of design in your response. in that we understand circles (and their corresponding 3D forms) as marking sacred spots, explain whether or not the space or moment you selected achieves this approach to design. in other words, does the space or moment mark something of significance or value in our understanding of the campus and who we are as a university? as a final gesture of connection and understanding, dial on to the designcosmology blog and look at the many posts of 2012 from your teaching assistants. make at least ONE meaningful connection from the single space or moment you selected and link back to the post on designcosmology blog.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

inscriptions of heaven + the world

the pantheon:  inscriptions of heaven + the world

the pantheon, not to be confused with the parthenon, sits in rome, italy.  as we learned in class, there is an idea of the world and the heavens being depicted in the interior, opposed to the exterior of this building.  thinking about the things that are entailed around the notions of the world and heaven, it is interesting to note that the italian artist Raphael was buried in the Pantheon at his request, along with several italian rulers.  this just further shows how important this "temple" was, and still is today.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

some words on authenticity...

[image from]

The creative artist does not work in a vacuum of intuitive genius; he is grounded in the craft. His duty is to get so fine an education, to be so versed in the chosen science or craft in which he works, that Intuition and Inspiration may plant their foothold in his heart. -- Sophy Burnham