promoting architecture

promoting architecture

Postby garethace » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:35 pm

Things like Duncan Stewart, About the House and Archiseek are all part of a joint venture in my opinion - radical new approaches to dealing with the current fragmentation of issues, priorities, specialists and general gob-daws that exist in the creation of a built environment. Main thing is to get people listening and expressing in equal measure - no one ever said that would be a bed of roses, but it is a process that should have been enabled years ago, by other means, long, long, long before we had technology like internet and tv.

Soon I think About the house will be online, and be able to include much more content and extra features - bit like transition from VCR tapes to DVDs I suppose. Some thoughts of mine:

Does anyone think the architectural profession could do with some consolidation at the moment? I mean, the act of drawing is supposed to be this one sacred skill that keeps all things coherent for the architect, but allow me to elaborate.

(1) UCD and Bolton Street, separated for the sake of 50/40 students per year - how is that economical, and the fact the each one claims to have a different ethos etc, etc.

(2) Work Experience. Certain things aren't even done in architecture school, since you are supposed to get 'this experience training'.

(3) AAI in other countrys would be linked to the major architectural school of the city, and therefore properly included in the curriculum, or spirit and abiance of the educational place. In this country is it separated.

(4) Geography courses, are linked up with planning courses out in UCD and in turn linked up with civil service jobs to be a planner.

(5) Architectural technician - much more employment prospects - very business like way to doing work compared to architect per se. But totally disconnected from the Architectural course.

(6) Computer CAD use and so forth - a separate department again and something that has crept in - that all young architects are supposed to theoretically use and know etc.

(7) On line as in Archiseek etc or some version of that, not used to bring some more consolidation.

I could go on and on I suppose, but what it really boils down to is a total lack of consolidation of a profession. I honestly have no idea how any other profession could afford to carry on with this amount of fragmentation and disorganisation. You are supposed somehow as a young person undertaking to become an architect to negotiate this mess - a lot of the time, on your own steam, by wandering around from pillar to post.

Anyone else have any comments about this topic?
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby garethace » Sun Feb 22, 2004 7:08 pm

Another good point to make: total lack of a dedicated top class architectural exhibition place in the capital. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but preferably I think it should be located beside or as a part of the architectural school.

Opinions?

Have any of you favourite schools of architecture designed around the world? I am just thinking of the likes of Trinity who run a cottage industry out of importing foreign students/fee to their facilites. I wonder if we had top class facilities here in this country could we potentially attract the same?
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby phil » Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:05 pm

Originally posted by garethace


Have any of you favourite schools of architecture designed around the world? I am just thinking of the likes of Trinity who run a cottage industry out of importing foreign students/fee to their facilites. I wonder if we had top class facilities here in this country could we potentially attract the same?


Garethace,
Can you clarify what you are talking about here? I cannot decifer exactly what it is you are refferring to!
Thanks

Phil
phil
Old Master
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 12:32 pm

Postby garethace » Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:15 pm

Bit of a daft idea really, but down through the years, some very famous architects have indeed put their names to some very famous built schools of architecture. Alvar Alto I think designed the school in Finland, Mackintosh designed an art school in Glasgow, lately Bernard Tschumi, the dean of Columbia school of architecture over in New York did a lot of work there, to the school he taught in himself.

I was just hypothetically thinking about all the potential elements, i.e. Library space, exhibition space, AAI lecture theatre, perhaps UCD and Bolton Street courses located close together on a single campus - allowing better interaction of ideas and so forth - i.e. creating a good synergy about the place. Perhaps a jointly owned nice computer lab and so forth. Basically anything that would make the experience of doing architecture here in Dublin a more worthwhile one.

Perhaps even link it up with other courses in planning, landscape design, geography, who knows. But I think it could be a really internationally renounded centre - if some Getty or someone actually landed us all with a truck load of money in the morning! :) I can see loads of problems with this, but I am just playing around with the idea in my head, as to the possibilities etc, it would create.

BTW, I should mention, that schools of music, schools of art and schools of architecture often come up as exercises in school for architectural students to do - especially for architectural student competitions etc, etc, etc. But what Archiseek web site has done, for me, is highlight how many strands of education currently present now in Ireland, have no point of contact whatsoever, and seem to be living in increasing isolation from each other as time goes on. Archiseek is just a vision of what integration is all about I think.

I am just trying to think, what would be the ideal brief one could write for such a place. We often think of advertising our courses in commerce, accounting and law around the world, to places as distant as CHina etc. But for some reason, I don't think many would pay or want to come to Dublin to study architecture/planning/built environment subjects.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby FIN » Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:17 pm

that's cos we are a bit backward in those regards.
FIN
Senior Member
 
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: dublin

Postby phil » Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:20 pm

I think something close to what you are talking about exists already; it is the Urban Institute in UCD
phil
Old Master
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 12:32 pm

Postby garethace » Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:37 pm

Yet the larger element of the architectural student population has been based in Bolton Street for years, in their 'version' of a faculty for the built environment Phil. I mean, no student in BS ever benefits in any way from that development out in Richview. I don't know what politics is involved here, but it sure as s*** doesn't benefit the end user.

Just a side note, as professionals architects can be compared to women buying their wardrobe. A woman with a keen dress sense, will probably make here most expensive purchases in a very few 'timeless' kinds of items - long black coats, black skirts, shoes and hand bags. The thing about an architect is knowing were to put that little bit extra into some part of the design which will be timeless and repay the users every day of their lives.

While I think the BSt. emphasis has been very good at showing a potential architect how to identify areas of mis-expenditure and 'over' design, . . . . its sucess has not been matched, in identifying areas of a design where 'it is worth spending the money'. . . and standing by your instincts in such matters.

The 'budget' for the 'architectural' parts of a building or scheme is always finite, no matter what client you have got. But the architect has the responsibility to put funds in the right places. For example, a new speaker system or aircon system will become redundant, out-of-date or just wear out. Good architecture doesn't.

The problem with the Bolton Street course, is it is able to pin point areas of poor expenditure very well indeed, but not as good in suggesting ways money can be put to good use in architectural design terms. I dunno, how you coming from the geography background would respond to that, but I said I would scribble it down anyhow.

An example of money well spent in architectural terms can be observed by looking at any shop - sure it costs more to do a plate glass window - but potentially would will make more sales. But the same could be true of a very simple residential structure, which may have a nice garden which could be appreciated by the occupant more, if the opening was treated/handled as such - yes a bit more expenditure than 'an off the shelf window component' but money put in the right place, and it would be timeless.

I have to laugh now, when I see the way even commercial enterprise has grabbed onto this idea, in the form of conservatories and patio doors etc, etc. I just the Bolton Street course had been as enthuasiastic as these vellux's and so forth, in promoting ways to spend 'design money' more wisely. As well as highlighting ways it can be squandered - architectural education in this country still awaits it ying and yang perfect balance.

I like the way in which O'Donnell and Tuomey and others have understood the value of external patios or spaces in their designs. Derek Tynan Printworks apartments etc, etc will still be excellent pieces of design in 100 years time.

Brian O' Hanlon.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby helloinsane » Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:48 pm

I'm not sure you can really talk about a 'design' budget within an overall construction cost without being at risk of practising appliqué architecture. Much of what constitutes decent architecture isn't about pricey materials or judicious use of velux windows (!), surely.
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby garethace » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:07 pm

Well for a young architect starting out we can just say, I am going to wait for Getty to come along and give me a blank canvas to design on - which is basically what architects doing a lot of competitions are looking for.

On the other hand, the sucessful interpretation of a small house project, or other small building, could just hinge around the careful manipulation of one or two colours used effectively - and still squeeze itself within a restrictive budget.

The Bolton Street approach on the other hand, was I think to use the cynical view - that most buildings in Ireland are very ordinary kinds of affairs - cheap buildings - but those cheap buildings don't have to look cheap.

There is a certain deep pragmatism about the Bolton Street approach to 'design'. Like the way Mies van der Rohe would reduce everything do in its statement until eventually, it couldn't go far wrong. Of course, to follow the Mies van der Rohe route even takes a decent budget, just to get those details with clean lines and cool looking junctions/joints.

I am thinking here about Glenn Murcutt too, how did simple buildings, but spent the money well. Still I don't think the young designer starting off can hope for even a Glenn Murcutt house budget - I think Louis Kahn is an architect who is much more adaptable in this situation - since he built many small buildings, which with a little bit of careful consideration and pig-headedness in the right places, arrives at a design which does gain its strength from some very straightforward and basic architectural devices.

Light, view, space. . . things which never tend to wear out and never go totally out of fashion. The 'cringe' factor in certain 1970s work here in Dublin now is quite tangible - promoting a lot of message boards like this one, where the style police can go to work.

But I would much rather spend my time noticing and pointing out design attempts which have aged quite gracefully and style are enjoyed by all those you use them. I mean what is a window or an opening to a space - it is really intangible, but so strong and powerful all the same. Like those big circular openings in Chinesse Temple architecture which are centuries old.

I just use the example of openings, as they are very appropriate to the young architect starting out in life, just trying to do some architecture while having to deal with some very simple clients, with simple ideas and simple pockets. :)

I could go into other concepts - like the way the open spaces in Trinity are timeless and still every bit as functional and emotionally uplifting now as they were 50 years ago. It is great to see Abbey Street cleaned up today too, after being covered with LUAS crap for so long, It really makes you appreciate the fine architecture and streets we enjoy in this capital city.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby helloinsane » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:12 pm

Originally posted by garethace
Well for a young architect starting out we can just say, I am going to wait for Getty to come along and give me a blank canvas to design on - which is basically what architects doing a lot of competitions are looking for.

On the other hand, the sucessful interpretation of a small house project, or other small building, could just hinge around the careful manipulation of one or two colours used effectively - and still squeeze itself within a restrictive budget.

The Bolton Street approach on the other hand, was I think to use the cynical view - that most buildings in Ireland are very ordinary kinds of affairs - cheap buildings - but those cheap buildings don't have to look cheap.

There is a certain deep pragmatism about the Bolton Street approach to 'design'. Like the way Mies van der Rohe would reduce everything do in its statement until eventually, it couldn't go far wrong. Of course, to follow the Mies van der Rohe route even takes a decent budget, just to get those details with clean lines and cool looking junctions/joints.

I am thinking here about Glenn Murcutt too, how did simple buildings, but spent the money well. Still I don't think the young designer starting off can hope for even a Glenn Murcutt house budget - I think Louis Kahn is an architect who is much more adaptable in this situation - since he built many small buildings, which with a little bit of careful consideration and pig-headedness in the right places, arrives at a design which does gain its strength from some very straightforward and basic architectural devices.

Light, view, space. . . things which never tend to wear out and never go totally out of fashion. The 'cringe' factor in certain 1970s work here in Dublin now is quite tangible - promoting a lot of message boards like this one, where the style police can go to work.

But I would much rather spend my time noticing and pointing out design attempts which [b]have
aged quite gracefully and style are enjoyed by all those you use them. I mean what is a window or an opening to a space - it is really intangible, but so strong and powerful all the same. Like those big circular openings in Chinesse Temple architecture which are centuries old. [/B]


So you're saying less is more?
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby garethace » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:24 pm

Yes, exactly, but not how Bolton Street defined that statement. Less is more, doesn't have to necessairly mean cold, featureless, boring architecture like a STW building.

It could have an event of two to redeem it from going totally down that road - that event would be what is most important - be it a nice window in a small structure or an open space in a large institution. Like a lot of small houses have a nice window, which separates it as a design from something really banal.

Or an institutional building could have a nice forecourt or interior space, like Kahn's architecture too.

The problem with architectural education in my vast experience has been that students are encouraged to look for some really 'radio-friendly' jiggle or concept, whose only purpose is to grab staff's attention and thereby gain more marks, credit over other competing students work.

I would like in my own student work, to just work within the boundaries of simple design device - strong architectural devices - I would also like the criticism of my student work to bear in mind that approach and respect it.

In order to distinguish it from the student submission right beside mine, which probably used many more colours and went for some 'chart-topping' jiggle simply to attract attention.

As I said, in almost every case the budget for design elements is very finite and it is more about the potential architect learning to use a very few simple devices well, rather than searching for a whole new 'idea' every time one goes to design something.

It is a great pity that STW etc, have been allowed to monopolise this 'less is more' thing, as there is a way more in 'less is more' than STW have ever managed to wringe out of it in 50 years.

I think over his life time, the architect James Stirling developed his notion of space and the pedestrian route very well, over a couple of nice realised works. These buildings being built, must have had finite budgets and clients who were willing to go only so far.

I don't think that our current education really encourages the potential young architect to learn to manipulate and become a master in using a couple of very distinct, architectural devices - to cope with a huge variety of different circumstances.

Or even to appreciate and recognise that quality in other architects work - paper or built.

I am going to get accused here for making up a 'formula' or receipe for designing good architecture - but that is really not my attention - all of the good architects I know, bring that a stage further and develop a fond relationship with whatever few simple ideas they use and learn more about as they get older.

That process should in my humble opinion begin somehow at college level. I have never heard a thesis project, being criticised from this point of view, which says a lot in my opinion - i.e. what the given student managed to do within the confines of what design concepts he/she had grown to know, appreciate and develop a fond relationship with.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby helloinsane » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:32 pm

Originally posted by garethace
Yes, exactly, but not how Bolton Street defined that statement. Less is more, doesn't have to necessairly mean cold, featureless, boring architecture like a STW building.

It could have an event of two to redeem it from going totally down that road - that event would be what is most important - be it a nice window in a small structure or an open space in a large institution. Like a lot of small houses have a nice window, which separates it as a design from something really banal.

Or an institutional building could have a nice forecourt or interior space, like Kahn's architecture too.

The problem with architectural education in my vast experience has been that students are encouraged to look for some really 'radio-friendly' jiggle or concept, whose only purpose is to grab staff's attention and thereby gain more marks, credit over other competing students work.

I would like in my own student work, to just work within the boundaries of simple design device - strong architectural devices - I would also like the criticism of my student work to bear in mind that approach and respect it.

In order to distinguish it from the student submission right beside mine, which probably used many more colours and went for some 'chart-topping' jiggle simply to attract attention.

As I said, in almost every case the budget for design elements is very finite and it is more about the potential architect learning to use a very few simple devices well, rather than searching for a whole new 'idea' every time one goes to design something.

It is a great pity that STW etc, have been allowed to monopolise this 'less is more' thing, as there is a way more in 'less is more' than STW have ever managed to wringe out of it in 50 years.

I think over his life time, the architect James Stirling developed his notion of space and the pedestrian route very well, over a couple of nice realised works. These buildings being built, must have had finite budgets and clients who were willing to go only so far.

I don't think that our current education really encourages the potential young architect to learn to manipulate and become a master in using a couple of very distinct, architectural devices - to cope with a huge variety of different circumstances.

Or even to appreciate and recognise that quality in other architects work - paper or built.

I am going to get accused here for making up a 'formula' or receipe for designing good architecture - but that is really not my attention - all of the good architects I know, bring that a stage further and develop a fond relationship with whatever few simple ideas they use and learn more about as they get older.

That process should in my humble opinion begin somehow at college level. I have never heard a thesis project, being criticised from this point of view, which says a lot in my opinion - i.e. what the given student managed to do within the confines of what design concepts he/she had grown to know, appreciate and develop a fond relationship with.


So less *used* to be more, but the more it was used, the less it became?
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby garethace » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:42 pm

No, as I said, there was loads and loads more to 'wring' out of this concept of architecture than Mies or his imatators here in this country ever managed to do in years and years of practice.

There starting point, was a one, which would suit my intellect and design awareness/approach to a T.

But that still doesn't mean, there limited experiment and interpretation of this approach to architectural design is the total end of the matter, as far as I am concerned.

So, in the beginning you had this Mies guy, who used this approach, and brough it so far.

This Mies guy used this approach in a way, which was never designed to grow longer term, and it didn't grow longer term without a suitable father figure to keep the concept alive and constantly growing.

But that doesn't mean the original aspiration was flawed - it just means, that the world of architecture found other areas and approachs to get interested in, that is all.

A bit like the Renaissance guys understood classicism and re-invented after that 'whole middle ages thing' had happened inbetween.

Or Mies took parts of architecture from Arabia and China and sucessfully re-interpreted that in the Europe of early 20c.

I think 'Less is more' got used less, because it wasn't used enough, after key figures like Mies who could have breathed new life into it, just passed away.

I once heard a very true statement about Wright - that the Le Corbusier imatators in Europe are much better than the Wright imatators in USA - so the legacy of Kahn has been limited to just a few people today.

I mean, Kahn even borrowed parts of his architecture from Wright, while merging its organicism and earthiness with Beaux Art cosmic ideas.

Architecture is all about sucessful re-interpretations of pre-existing architecture - there are only a few good rules, the rest is only temporary distraction.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby helloinsane » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:46 pm

Originally posted by garethace
So, in the beginning you had this Mies guy, who used this approach, and brought it so far.


Mind if I get this put on a t-shirt?
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby garethace » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:50 pm

Null
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby helloinsane » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:46 pm

Null?
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby garethace » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:47 pm

Deleted the tatoo to your arse bit, hardly suitable for general consumption.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby helloinsane » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:48 pm

Originally posted by garethace
Deleted the tatoo to your arse bit, hardly suitable for general consumption.


Fair enough. I was being quoted ridiculous prices to get it done, anyway.
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby garethace » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:58 pm

Tatoo's have actually enjoyed a huge revival amongst the young people in dublin these days - how are they received over there?
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby helloinsane » Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:03 pm

Originally posted by garethace
Tatoo's have actually enjoyed a huge revival amongst the young people in dublin these days - how are they received over there?


With gay abandon. The most architectural one I've seen was a girl with the modulor man on her upper arm.
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby garethace » Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:05 pm

No way. Far out there.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby FIN » Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:25 pm

nothing wrong with tattoo's .. not gay either i hope. have a celtic ring on my arm
FIN
Senior Member
 
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: dublin

Postby garethace » Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:04 pm

You are scared for life now! :)
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby garethace » Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:26 pm

Typical 'less is more', statement of pure facts in a computer rendering exercise:

http://www.cgarchitect.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=next_topic;f=5;t=000169;go=older

Not at all over the top, I would say I could live with 'good design' like that if I had to.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland


Return to Ireland



cron