"Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air and deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves; the echo of a distant time came willowing across the sand and everything is green and submarine"

Pink Floyd

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Point: Theories

There are various ways to interpret architecture. Each way must have a foundation and reasoning to base the opinion. Throughout history mankind has used every resource available to construct habitable structures. These structures may vary in use and purpose but all impact the delight able response of the inhabitant. The period in time has great influence upon architecture. Specifically the resources available to the builder have influence. Before the industrial revolution living spaces were restricted and condensed. These issues were caused by a restraint in transportation. The builders had to use the resources within a limited space to construct the structure. These characteristics became the vernacular characteristics of different regions around the world. As time progressed and technology evolved high style became the modern goal of architecture. The symbolism of high style is that of hierarchy between social classes. The higher social class would design in the forefront to demonstrate greater wealth and power. This fact should be considered as a designer. To bridge the gap between high style and vernacular characteristics should be the goal of any designer with successful motivations. When contemplating on the design of a structure one should also consider firmness and the effect upon the inhabitant. The first concern should be the resident’s safety. Given this in mind an architect should change the visual perception of firmness into a pleasing delight. Structure can be shown and emphasized; or hidden and camouflaged. Either way must be in natural proportion to the aedicule. The definition of space is another defining characteristic on the perception of the inhabitant. Each aedicule must make architectural sense. They must be well balanced and join together functionality with a delight able experience. Each functional aedicule must transition into other spaces and work together as a unit with an intelligent momentum. This is the ideology of functional architecture. The linkage between high style and vernacular characteristics is that of useable space. If the parameters of an aedicule are defined by vernacular characteristics they can be expanded through high style. ADA standards, for example, make small livable spaces easier to traverse. The vernacular characteristics being those of limited space in certain areas then through high style the space becomes more accessible. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design also demonstrates this theory in the sustainable sites category. Traveling distance to frequented locations is of prime concern as efficiency has become the high style in the modern age. They also remain vernacular in that all material must be obtained within a 500 mile radius of the constructed site. Delight ability is still speculative as they also give credit for innovative design in the rating process. Overall this chapter has emphasized the importance of understanding the semiotics within every structures design cycle and those that have not yet been speculated. Architecture has many different interpretations and most of them are correct. It is the responsibility of the architect to guide the interpreter into the right deduction. All architecture can have double meaning but only the architect can mold the correct interpretation.

Clackamas High School in Oregon
LEED compliant interior


  1. Well written and interesting, though it lacks some organization in paragraph breaks.
    Great understanding of the elements and principles of design without blatantly spelling them out.
    Powerful final statement.
    Not much is given regarding the image's relation to the writing other than its sustainability.

  2. I think your understanding of the theories unit is on point. However I would have to agree with Carlos and say that organization could be a little better. I wouldn't make it so wordy but maybe simplify some things because at some places I almost got lost. Overall, you have a good word count and I would have liked if you talked about the image more. There is definitely great potential here. =]

  3. Good read..
    Insight on architectural language as it relates to vernacular,high style,and aedicule.
    Over stated assumption of architecture but offering insight into sustainable practices
    No correlation between image and text.

  4. You did a well job articulating your thoughts. I agree with earlier statements on organization, especially because of your wording it would have helped in understanding. I loved how you not only took Sir Wotten’s theory but you demonstrated how these characteristics affect and correlate with each other. You were one point on the word count. I also agree with previous statements on relating your image to your writing. It’s a wonderful picture but it would have helped your writing even more if you had incorporated it.

  5. I appreciate how you touched on the fact that the time period has a huge impact on how a space is designed. People did not have as many belongings, so to speak, so they needed less room to keep what we have. Nowadays, I feel as though we have so many extra or unwanted things and "need" more space for them. Our furniture is also bigger because over time, people have gotten taller. All have factors to our differences in space over time.