Thursday, April 15, 2010

Welcome Back to the Interwebs, Michael

So it's been about two weeks since my last post, and boy, am I glad to be getting back to the blogs today. We had our studio final presentation a few days ago, so I have been living the life an architect (no sleep, caffein, long nights, lots of drawing, and... no sleep) which is something that although I strangely enjoy, eventually wears me out. At any rate here's some of the work I've done this semester if anyone out there is interested.

But now that I've made it through the other 16 hours of coursework that I decided to undertake on top of being thrown into a completely new cultural and living environment thousands of miles from home, I'm excited to get to the fun stuff: blogging about my experiences, so look for a lot of stuff coming your way, CLAMers as I try to put 5 months into 3 short videos. To start off however, I'd like to do a little something I call Rhetorical Analysis Part II. Rather than analyzing images I've found, I would instead like to analyze a few of the visuals that I myself, along with the help of my partner, produced for the semester long project we designed.

First up is a final rendering that I produced in Rhino, a 3D modeling program, and then edited in Adobe Photoshop.
I was really glad of the lessons that I learned from the CLAM class and of the fact that I was able to incorporate so much of what I have learned into this document. The first step in making this picture was choosing the view from which to capture the rendering of the building which I designed. The program works just like a virtual camera, giving me options of lens size, zooming capabilities, and where to aim the camera. I was also able to incorporate lighting elements and what to include in the frame. These decisions all factored into what I was able to relay about the design of the building in one image. By making these decisions I was given a great deal of control over the information relayed to the viewers, or to the jury as it was in this case. I then manipulated pictures of my friends to incorporate into the image with Photoshop to bring the space to life and relay to the jury what the intended use of the space was. Here I incorporated what I learned about composition of digital photography, making visual lines of sight from the foreground and background through composition. Using the rule of thirds, emphasis is placed on areas that I want the judges attention to be focused upon. By using differently scaled people in different places I was able to generate a better sense of the size and character of the space. This image gives the jury a much better idea of the realization of the building than a schematic diagrams might.

In addition to the renderings of the building, I was able to incorporate what I have learned of rhetoric into the layout and design of the final boards (1 of 3 shown above). From what I learned of RGB and CMYK color theory I was able to choose a visually complimentary color scheme for the project that helped give a sense of cohesion between each drawing and graphic. As this was a competition, grabbing the judges attention visually was a huge component of the competition. The mix of diagrams, renderings, sections and plans, might be confusing were it not for the cohesiveness given by the graphic styles incorporated in the board. The layout was also greatly considered, set up in a way that moves the eye down and across the board from rendering, to diagram, to scheme in a fluid manner.

Lastly, we created a graphic logo for our project. Though it is quite simple, it is effective at relaying the overall concept of the project and is much more complex graphically than it may first appear. The graphic is seen below:
The driving concept of the project was the idea of creating an architecture based on one's visual perception. We therefore named the project FOCUS, an acronym which stood for Focusing Optics to Create Urban Spaces. The project uses a series of vertical panels that vary in size and gap between panels. We therefore used the same idea in the design of the logo. The offsetting of the letters with the vertical lines creates a shift in focus that creates that same sensibility that drove the project design. The letters and the vertical lines seem to separate, each tugging at the attention of the viewer. The letters do this with their bold solid forms while the delicate lines create a void space to achieve the same.

I'd love some comments from other CLAMers or any of my other followers about my rhetorical analysis of my own work, and whether or not I achieved the certain level of visual relationships that I was shooting for. Also any comments about the work itself are of course welcome.

This will be a busy week blogging for me so look for another update in a few hours on my progress for the final projects, but first I've got to go get some of that great Catalan cuisine!

1 comment:

  1. Good to see some of your own work being analyzed here! This blog is a good example of how a written piece can complement a visual work. (You know, like what we will need to do for final projects? Hmmm.)