I think nobody can really understand a work of art other than the artist himself. Also, nobody can really understand an architecture other than architect himself. Even we feel beauty from the work, we still have different understands among different people and between different period time. The way we perceive will change accompanying with the experience we gain. We know more, and we would have more angles to look at things. Also, when I am not familiar with “Architecture”, it is like the star in the dark night sky. I know it is beautiful, but unreachable. I started to search the mysterious world: the history of architecture, legends of architects, historical remains of buildings. I build up my understanding about architecture. Like I said in the beginning, we all have different understanding about architecture as well as architects themselves. No matter what they wanted to put into their elaborated designing, I think they all have their philosophy principles to follow. And mostly, architects are work for prevailing class which means they have to listen to their clients’ asking. However, their work only reflect minority’s will. Le Corbusier is one of an architects that I respect because he proposed that architectures should be built for majority. Houses should be built to satisfy people’s demand and affordable. Buildings should be built functionally because they are not just for watching and display in museum. Their essential value for human society are functions of buildings. Inventories are invented to be used in human society to make their lives better. Architectures are products of civilization. Their built is to reflect how the human cultures have been diverse and how mature of the process of civilization. The satisfactions people feel about their buildings or other demands in their daily life can be the evidence of the success society. The built of houses to live that is one of the most important demands of people.
“Built environment can contribute to the preservation of cultural values, and can also act as a physical instrument of cultural change”. I quote it from “Locating architecture, post-colonialism and culture: contextualisation in Algiers”. The article talks about the built environment in Algiers from fifteenth to twentieth centuries and how it changed under different historical context. During the period time of the author studies, Algiers has been through two different historical contexts. From fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, Algiers was under Ottoman rule, and had been invaded by French from nineteenth to twentieth centuries. I strongly agree with author’s opinion that architecture’s development is influenced by the broad culture elements such as politics, economics, and societies. Also, the building of architectures also influences the development of culture and society because how the building environment is devised and how the structure of the city is planned that is going to decide the pattern of its development. Architecture as a reflection of culture does not sound new actually because it was built to fulfill the demand of people. Getting a place to stay and keep safe and warm has been thousands years of appeal for human beings. And a building, or a house that become their home satisfy their feelings of belonging. And by the time of passing, what happens under the roof become memories of us, and when people memories be shared and spread in a certain range of area, their stories, conversations, interactions becomes the culture of that communities. I think it is how culture is formed. The built environment is the environment where the culture is born. Different environments give birth to different cultures. That is why throughout the world, there are diverse culture forms, and in homes of those culture, people have their unique aesthetic and perception about arts and architecture, especially, the buildings they built were essential used to follow their wills of living in daily life.
During reading materials about architecture, I found that every successful architect has their polar understanding and ideas of how to design and build architecture. One the critical points is architectures should be pure structural or artistic? A famous believes that just a structural building can only be treated as a building but not an architecture. An architecture must be artistic. When people see an architecture, they must be touched by its beauty. The building must make its audience feel pleasant. However, some architects’ ideal creation could just be present on papers. I think the structure is the essential considerations of architectures. Beside, pure structural ideas do not equal forgetting about artistic ideas. Sometimes, only the structure of a building or system would impress people. Sometimes, when we watch pure clean wall without mosaics, or columns without patterns, we feel boring. However, in MOMA, a paint which is just a white paper are exhibited as a masterpiece. Even more, when we watch a architecture, we are not only watching a wall or columns, but we also watching the combination of them. The complexity of those combinations are arts of structures—architectures. Architectures are complex. And sometimes complex, abstract, and things that are hard to understand are regard as works of art. In the other side, decorations and artistic elements adding also try to make architectures looks complex and abstract. Anyway, no matter what polar that architects choose, what style they prefer, or what materials they use, the architectures must be consistent. Last, I have something to say about Eclecticism in Architecture. Eclectic architects are mostly copying from historical architectures by parts, and then combine those parts to present a seemingly new architecture. However, I do not like this kind of designing. These architectures have no unique understand, position, or theory to support must be bound to disappear in culture.
“Iconic Architecture and the Culture-ideology of Consumerism” by Leslie Sklair is the main subject today. The article talks about a different position that architecture stands in today’s society, especially a globalized developing consumerism society. I think it is the cultures develop that cause the change of the concept of designing buildings. In my initial memory of architectures, churches are overall impressive impressions about architectures. It also means that in my mind, architectures are compositions of aesthetic and religious concepts. In perception of architectures, I always hold a admired way to understand these holy buildings. However, after reading this article, I realized that even though how beauty the architectures left me before, something has been changed. In the material and consumerism world, people are seeking maximum profit but not concerning the original artistically values of architectures and its remains. Another deploring perspective which is found in the article “Architecture is the same as advertising for communicating the brand” which reminds me that as a marketing method, architectures have been changed a lot. A lot of contemporary buildings are exaggerated built to attract consumers. However, I do not deny their creative associations of their shape, color, size, and details. They are beautiful. Yet, I feel that it has been much different from what I had in my impression. Also, I can not judge its good bad, because the change of forms and concepts of architecture accompanied with the development of society. In the time of secular people are the mostly educated fellows, and power are controlled by cathedrals. Architectures are built in the will of priests or pops. Like now, architectures are built by the will of consumerism. However, I think there are too many weights having been put on the marketing value for architectures. People become more and more focus substantive than artistic values. Anyway, we do not know how the later people is going to judge and examine contemporary methods of using architectures, but I hope there will be a pure space remain for architecture and its cultural and artistic values.
It is another day to submit the blog. I figured out that my topic is a little bit tough while I was doing my research. I tried to find some resources that talk about cultural characteristics of modern architectures or postmodern architectures. However, I found little things that I can use to fill into my blog. Architecture is a broad topic, and even I have decided to focus on the cultural characteristics, it is still hard to really write something. During the development, the word architecture has been given more and more definitions. It is much more complicated. From the very beginning of churches to nowadays distinct systems of buildings, we can just simply extract a part of the world to talk about without any background. If we want to write something, we must have some sufficient knowledge the topic. However, I feel like architecture is still a very unfamiliar area no matter how eager to find out what is going there. I imagine that I was an architect, so how would I design the structures of my essay; what materials would I use to build up this essay; what point would I make to make my “architecture” stands out differently?
Above are my feelings of the process of writing this blog and the future essay. The point is that behind my essay, or behind great architectures and other works of art, there must be many compelling and cultural issue happening. Because society is not simple, and the people who create the complicated society are much complicated and diversity, I believe that I would find out much more information in the world of architecture. Please be patient. Not a great work can be done easily, especially costly architectures. Compare with architectures, what effort would be countless. Therefore, I will make it happen.
If we look around, we will realize that we live in a world made of real materials. Especially spaces when are staying in for daily, they were piled with bricks and support by concrete beams. However, if someone is working on build a virtual system for enhancing social interaction, what you think about? I think it’s amazing. A research “A DESIGN PATTERN OF VIRTUAL ARCHITECTURE FOR SOCIAL INTERACTION IN IRAN CASE STUDY: IRANIAN ARCHITECTURE SOCIETY” talks about it. While cultural and social communication become more and more important to us, people realize we need to create a better platform for communication. It is the reason and intension. Also, because the success of internet, engineers, scientist, and architects come up with building a virtual system which totally different from traditional architectures. This kind of architectures are designed and built by information architects which is consistent to contemporary’s society situation. Today is an information age, and everything is going to be informational because information is fast spreading, large volumes, and easy to get. Not like previous communication methods, like phones, TVs, or Radio, which are very important but still have limits, the virtual architecture offers a brand new environment for an amount of people to communicate like in an office without real stone, brick, or concrete. It is the transition of spatial and material architecture to time and immaterial architecture. It is also a good solution for increasing population and limited earth space. I think it is a great project which can bring us to a new world of architecture. While the time is changing, the concept of architecture has been changed and adjusted to fit into society and people’s understanding. As far as I know, it is the most sufficient idea in the history of architecture, and I hope it will become true soon.
“Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art.” When I saw the sentence, I realized that a huge world of architecture about art, cultures and many other things has been presenting. I just need to walk in, take a look, and think. This is a very good start because when we find a topic, we have the direction which we can go. After that, we just need to experience, and then let people know what we learned.
I start to do some search on architecture today. The concept of architecture is not single, but it has various meanings and explanations. Just because the variety of architecture, we would have many useful things to learn. I believe every architect must deeply love their designing. When crew tried to paint his car again and again to be perfect, architect must also demonstrate on drawing by holding their magic pencils. Every line they outlined contains their wishes for themselves, for cities, and for society. They are designing a building or a system that look forward to tell stories of the place it stands. They want their designing to be symbols. They want to people remember them. Like the Empire State in New York City, Sydney Opera House in Sydney, or Great Wall in Beijing. Three architectures above represent different cultures, and they have different stories. That is what I really want to explore in the architecture world now – cultural reflections.
It is my first blog post. It is my first look at the world of architecture. Before today, I was only thinking, guessing, imaging the world of architecture, and how it is related to culture. I will keep up and find out more valuable and interesting cultural reflections of architecture, especially modern and postmodern architectures to let you, my reader, know more about my feeling, opinions, ideas and discoveries on architectures.