Monday, December 31, 2007

for Marc and Dan

notes ?

did anyone take notes for me during my final presentation? If any of you recall, Marc explicitly told me not to take notes, and had asked someone from the class to take them for me. I would like my notes posted on blogger before the start of the new year so that I can have enough time before the start of the semi to continue my research.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


For those of you that received a failing (incomplete) grade:
Please check your email (the one you registered with the blog) for further instruction.
Marc and Dan


can someone post the notes of my final crit. thank you

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

notes from the final critique

site is already mazelike
maybe too dense?
Open space vs. dense space or open vs closed
the drama of the open space to the tight closed space fo the maze
ex. Brooklyn whole foods

question of site location?
NJ subdivision? acts like it landed from outerspace (Red Hook IKEA)
openess as seen in Aycock's project
a connection of the program to different elements (restaurants, bars, pastry shops, etc.)

codification of maze techniques

what is the blurred edge?
so far it is only graphic quality. what is the materiality? play with transparencies
Bejing Library wall example, filling in the wall changes the space
Glass Blocks
Japanese shades
light vs. dark

Patterns of Arrangement - Foucault
Borges - how things are grouped
Benjamin - department store and arcades

critique of the market, look more critically
diagram how the maze works, different techniques and how they work in the supermarket. diagram different layouts (ex. gondolas, aisles)

Path and Deadend
Pepe LaMoco (movie) of Morrocan bazaar (John Gabanza actor in it)

purpose of maze


grows from inside out

project goes in two directions
1. history
2. idea of maze / supermarket

maze looks at light, texture, and the time (it takes to walk through)

should do a hedge maze

site film

sorry for the late post. I will post my notes also, soon as i receive them.

what day is our final critique?

i was trying to figure out the schedule, but i need to know the ending. i think want to start with the smaller pieces of furniture/joint and work my way up. a maze is a complex and a complex is a group thats composed of smaller similar elements. ill post more on my thoughts, notes, and schedule later tonight.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

on seminar and own position after crit

i would like to take the time to write what i have to say about my own work and a kind of suggestion for next year's thesis seminar by the end so please read on.

as for the booklet, i have not received any comments from anyone though Dan B. did mention to me that i should include my thoughts on Plato's Allegory of the Cave in my precis.

i'm actually very worried to a certain degree now that i really think of it. not because of handing in a final booklet based on what i think is missing in the thesis, but quite honestly, i agree very much so with the critics from yesterday: what i say and what i've written in my booklet are all a given. as aspiring architects, it is simply the vision to become responsible in all of what i find a concern - even sustainable or green design. at this rate, i don't have a thesis - it isn't one to be maintained against any objection and it certainly doesn't bring in a new dimension of meaning. what i have done are all essays. at this point, i don't even see my work passing by the thesis assessment committee for approval.

having said that, i find myself caught in what i think personally, is a good situation for my learning and really narrowing down into a thesis for good research that can carry to what i think i can have a good project by the end of next semester with enough investment of time into my work, upon hearing someone really tell me at face-value, that this is all a given which is why i was quite upset at midterm knowing what i got out of it was something more like, that i have a good film.

sure i may have a statement in my midterm film. the power of light and darkness over our unconscious and the shadow to reveal our position in space to allow us to ponder about ourselves for self-awareness.
now i find myself really looking into what it means to live in the absence of light - even more specific, considering what it really is to be living in manhattan with all those skyscrapers and tall buildings and how they affect people's lives - looking into day light studies in nyc and zoning laws - urban issues.
this can come from ideas of looking at what it is about shadows that are perceived differently in many cultures around the world as an example that marc had mentioned - in reading Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows - considering i have lived in japan all my life before coming here for college, i understand exactly what he is talking about and it makes me think of the regulations that are set in the city of kyoto on heights of buildings in the small towns with old temples so that the emphasis of these older shelters and their richness are not to be lost in the shadows of the taller and newer buildings as an example.

i had chosen the mixing of programs to allow me the flexibility for exploration of shadow techniques and areas where i can learn to understand the positions of light and form in space or light as form by being sensitive to shadows. the mixing of programs is also my critique on our cultural values in our social living conditions where the elders are always left behind and shoved out of society even by our own families because there are others who will do the job to take care of them. but who am i to be saying what is right or wrong in this kind of context? like one of the critics mentioned, that i am targetting at our sympathy for these values, these are all decisions i should make in my design and not to be brought to attention as thesis. i had a gut feeling about this from the beginning of the semester. my ambitious drive for what i find will be a long long future into the practice of architecture for the long run is to constantly critique my own ability to find if space can be moral than to take the given that it is not, and obviously no matter how hard i work in this one year to explore shapes and materials and their qualities of the senses and how we live and inhabit in them to create what i find to be good values, it doesn't give me a thesis because in the end, all of this is subjective.

at this point i find that perhaps i should have brought some provocative ideas to both of you prior to taking thesis or at the beginning where i could have interjected what i wanted to do from exploring what would be considered a performative technique in one that i have a good understanding of and can perform. i had this very idea of taking the turntable device and through the new art of music and technique employed in music of deejaying by scratching the needle onto the record, i could explore the notations of scratching onto an already notated and designed layering of digitized and natural sounds as music. these drawings would be generative because for one, there are no notes of a musical scale to scratching meaning all is done to rhythm and what intuitively sounds good like poetry which is interesting because what is being produced then is constantly something new and can't be traced into notes but mere pitches, volumes, etc and secondly, i have been practicing this art of music since i was 13 years old and am pretty competent in it knowing i have been in competitions of this type of music. it is further more interesting, because i would be exploring the relationship between sound, music, space, and the turntable as an instrument much like (Matt finds the piano) and really using the instrument to be generative of my ideas. now having said this, i find it a missed opportunity on my part to have not brought this to attention.

but this is my one critique to the seminar and having thesis as a class guided with a performative technique coming out of our research and sketch problem. but i stuck to it, and made a film and even have gained a broader knowledge to an area i have never explored and most certainly, the film is a great technique but i find the area of researching into a film and the installation was way too dominate in playing the role as thesis when really, some students don't even find much interest in. i found what a lot of students including myself to be drawn to this seminar specifically was the idea of synaesthesia and looking at installations because it employs the real experience of being in space. this is probably why many of the projects lean towards memory than anything else because designing from inside out requires that kind of understanding and being aware to the memory rather than building great facades or things from the outside to inside by techniques that students especially in first and second year are much better at. i won't go into what my colleagues and i find on a critique of our education here at Pratt or any of that kind, but i am saying that there are reasons why we had chosen the two of you professors as our guides knowing we find the two of you to be very knowledgeable and both demanding and understanding. but mainly we had taken it thinking we would be building and making and the first part of watching film and installation and making a film as a kind of first exercise to be apple to employ the film as another way to show an intention as gaining another ability for performing. but this kind of undermines the creativeness and skills that students already have and have been practicing whether in college or prior to it. what i am saying is we should play to our strengths and apply the film as the technique to further demonstrate the strength of skills to become generative for a thesis. for example, i for one cannot draw well but with enough practice or investing time into it, i can definitely make something well. therefore, i liked the idea of the film because it leaned more towards cutting and editing much like i have always been doing with my own music in deejaying through scratching.

having said this, i find it to be an appropriate time to be bringing this up to the both of you since guiding a class is always experimental in the first place but perhaps my suggestion can be of use from a student's point of view. thus, i found some students who wanted to raise a voice during our class time through the semester about desk critiques and so on to be very important. there are always those that have had ideas prior to coming to thesis as a seminar and haven't said anything about their ideas. for one, i hadn't mentioned it because at some point during the beginning of the thesis, i began to think that what i was exploring into was something way too big of a scale which i was worried about, but then now that i am able to look back, i find that i really would have had more research than anything else which was the main critique that was coming out of every presentation - where is the STUFF? the one line during mike toste's critique said it best, “where is the bucket of water? and cracked pipes in frozen water. “

the class needs to be about material and having taken Prof.Bucsescu for summer design, i have to say i thought it was maybe this investigation into the joint with materials i did in his class that may be carried into a building of an installation but found that what we had done was make film. obviously it was further emphasized that we must make drawings constantly, but even that needs to be considered because seriously, how would we draw anything to experience if we don't even know where to bring about our sources from besides our memory and reading of experience. what i am saying is that, if we had just explored hands-on, we could really have put something back into the film where we can really intervene into the sites.

i will end here by saying that at this point, my vision of anything i have covered is something i will carry onto next semester so that in the end, i will have a film to show which will be about an experience. but in terms of the research, i just had to tell you from a first experience of being in this seminar as i find it appropriate now on what i hope the seminar can address next year. the synaesthesia is great. but it is only a statement. And lastly, I write on this blog the very thing students find it difficult or sometimes timid to express their ideas.

At any rate, I’m quite sure we will start next semester with a big bang and high rate of production.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Really good description of synaesthesia

Dan and Marc, I just found this video last night: It is a TED lecture by Vilayanur Ramachandran that was recently posted on their website, and I thought that what he was talking about was exactly related to our studio. Vilayanur is the author of "Phantoms in the Brain," which I have been reading at the recommendation of Dan Silver. The last section of the lecture is about synaesthesia, and how it relates to metaphor and creativity. If you get a chance to watch it before tomorrow morning (I know this is short notice), I thought maybe it could be played as a forward to the class. It is short and succinct and very interesting. Here is the link:

In any event, I'll see you guys tomorrow.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Dec 9, 2007

Dear All:

This is in response to the question about PP in your final review. We have a little more time than we had at midterm review because the review will take the whole day. That does not mean that we have too much time. Each of you should figure that you have about +/- 15 minutes (rehearse your verbal presentation). Half of it should be dedicated to the new work since the midterm. That is your Program and Site as well as any “original drawings and /or analytical diagrams” related to your project done the entire semester. These should be on the wall in the room.

The new work done since the midterm should be 50% of your presentation. That means that the bulk of the discussion should be about your definition of the degree project which you will be doing next semester. Your presentation should trigger such a discussion and be helpful to your ability to focus and define your goals for the degree project. This is the point of Marc’s dissertation entry to the blog.

On the other hand the other 50% of your presentation should give the sources of your particular ideas about architectural experience (synaestesia) and strategies (preformative techniques= method) of architectural design as informed by the whole semester research into art installations and film preformative techniques.

So, the (1)PP presentation(the early precedent research)the first (2) 2 min film you did and your (3) 2 min site film) sould take about 6 o 8 minutes. The other 8 minutes should be dedicated to presenting your project, program and site and end with questions you might have.

Allow me to say the same thing again, repeating the dissertation definition in other words: each degree project student must organize their work in such a way that it combines (1)the general theoretical frame of the studio (you know it), as delivered through the particular readings and lectures given by the studio faculty, (2) with your own research and (art installation and film techniques) and your (3) selection of a program and site.
It is your task to weave these three lines of thought into an architectural design that represents these theoretical and methodological strategies.


dissertation: a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

for kwang mi, but others should have a look too

quote from...

"In his Notebooks of'Malte Laurids Brigge', Rainer Maria Rilke gives a powerful description of the marks of intimacy, the lives in a house that had already been demolished but which could still he seen in traces left on the wall of its neighbouring building. These traces of life enabled Brigge to recreate his own past. Rilke describes with staggering force how life penetrates dead matter; the history of life can he traced in the minutest fragment of the dwelling.
"But the walls themselves were the most unforgettable. The stubborn life of these rooms had not allowed itself to be trampled out. It was still there; it clung to the nails that had been left in the walls; it found a resting-place on the remaining handbreadth of flooring; it squatted beneath the corner beams where a little bit of space remained. One could see it in the colours which it had slowly changed, year by year: blue into a mouldy green, green into grey, and yellow into a stale, drab, weary white. But it was also in the places that had kept fresher, behind the mirrors, the pictures, and the wardrobes; for it bad outlined their contours over and over again, and had been with cobwebs and dust even in these hidden retreats that now lay uncovered. It was in every bare, flayed streak of surface, it was in the blisters the dampness had raised at the edges of the wallpapers; it floated in the torn-off shreds, and sweated out of the long-standing spots of filth. And from these walls once blue, and green and yellow, framed by the tracks of the disturbed partitions, the breath of these lives came forth - the clammy, stuggish, fusty breath, which no wind had yet scattered. There were the midday meals and the sicknesses and the exhalations and the smoke of years, and the stale breath of mouths, and the oily odour of perspiring feet. There were the pungent tang of urine and the stench of burning soot and the grey reek on potatoes, and the heavy, sickly fumes of rancid grease. The sweetish, lingering smell of neglected infants was there, and the smell of frightened children who go to school, and the stuffiness of the beds of nubile youths. 13"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

final presenation

for the final, are we pinning up the 18x18 sheets or are we doing powerpoint?

What was the name of the library that you spoke of last class? The Breuter Library?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


1: beside : alongside of : beyond : aside from

instrument or means of measurement.

source from m-w online dictionary

Monday, November 26, 2007

missing class on 11-27-07

Dan and Marc- I will not make it to class tomorrow due to an emergency. Please comment with Marc's email address so I can explain in private if necessary.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Harvey Chart on Space

Dear All:

While at it I might as well post the chart on space (an after thought on my part)
This also seems to me that it might help you organize your thoughts ....

Harvey Chart on Time

Dear All:

It occured to that this chart form David Harvey's book on " The Condition of Postmodernity" could be very useful to all. I find it so. Given the conversations we have had in class with Matt when Marc sugested a day timeline of activities of a trader with a watch maker, and Derick's discussion of a department store during the day and night(these are only the most recent) and given that the time dimensuion is always present this chart should be of use.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Copying Beethoven

thought it would be nice to share; great part of the movie "Copying Beethoven"(2006)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

For Liz - Gold Souk

Hi Liz. I think I did spell souk wrong...but here is a link to the souk in Dubai although there are a lot of bazaars and souks in places like Iran.

Unfortunately I can't get you video footage until sometime after next week, but I will try to get it to you as soon as possible.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Site for Open Source Museum

Open Source Museum:
People Comes and interact with other traces that people who were there before made and display their own memory.

Personal memory- Not like normal exhibition that are valuable to whole mass of viewer, personal memory is only valuable to individual; it could be worthless thing for others = Trash

The personal extracted memory that are left in the museum will form a mass when they come together and also be a exhibition for others to see but it would evolve while others appreciate the piles of other peoples memory and keep interacting with it.

There will be sources that can be helpful for people to awake their memory, like unique texture of surface, smell, sounds, visuals, and others extracted memory before them.

Dumbo Brooklyn NY
This neighborhood got developed a lot in last 10 to 15 years and still growing large. Lots of different culture is imbedded already; New and old are often mixed together in terms of building, road, park, and people. Since I want a place where lots of people can come and interact, this site has intensity of people and different features that are shown, like high rise building, old house with history, edge water condition, and bridges that are one of big scene.
However I am want to find intimate condition for visitors too so there will be a calm in chaos.


Both the film and the book are due on Tuesday, is this correct?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

program and site: derik


abandoned subway stations

heres a link i found of abandoned subway stations. i know a couple of people were throwing around those ideas in class today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Note on Site

My thesis overall is trying to solve two problems- that of the program at hand (the orphanage/displacement center with synaesthesia) as well as that of formal issues and questions that I pose upon myself and how synaesthesia comes into play then. See comment for my site rebuttal.

Site Diagrams and Program Statement

Site Diagrams - aerial shots and side views

Monday, November 12, 2007

For Dionysios

This reading has a lot of relevant points to what you were talking about with me the other day. You can find it on if you are logged into the pratt wireless. This author was recommended by Michael Eng during the midterm review.

Unbinding Vision - Jonathan Crary

"Thus perceptual modalities are in a constant state of transformation or, it might be said, in a state of crisis."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Midterm Notes for Matt Standeven from Mike Toaste

• Must be clear as to the contrast in which the metaphor is derived.
• Disintention / Intention
• Metaphor: Is the piano mechanism a metaphor?
• Opening of the Film was good but it went too long
• Trying to suspend two opposite emotions / ideas.
• Quote should be some aspect of contemporary thought: Two opposite ideas can be suspended against on-another
Toward the end:
• Imposing opposite program upon an already programmed space
• Confused about what the piano is supposed to do
• Interior of theater superimposed on object / ruin
• Nature of frame in ruins
• Demolition as performance
• Issue of play, in busses, piano vs. function or work
• Touch of piano vs. touch of demolition
• Theater and factory
• Again: Typewriter vs. piano. Touch, work, play
• Functional / Disfunctional
• Look at Matta-Clarke
• But there is something “interestingly different”
• Ruin is symbol, but is not an interior view
• Position outside an object vs. inside.
Notes: To what degree is the object unfunctional? Interior functional?”
• Piano is too literal
• Piano note is connecting metaphor between empty theater and ruin
• Mechanism of piano is an object but the sound is interiority
• Factories and leisure vessels
• Say less in simpler language

time frame

i hope you all have read dan's earlier post about timeframe and expectations...if not...scroll down now...

Friday, November 09, 2007

shadow film - updated midterm kj

midterm presentation - kj

Presentation and Note

Note From Presentation
-Problem with word Memory- Not metaphor for Memory but For the past anf life lived.
-Framing a possibility for holding light architecturally
-Nature changes- Memory of nature changes
-No begining and No end
-Program: Interactive Museum, Trace of human being there- traces, leaving your mark
-Focus on Experience of Body
-Juxtoposition of Waste & Nature: In program- What is waste/ unvaluable becomes meaningful and valuable. Example: Graffiti
-Explore idea of Value
-Use better model than Cornell's work
-Nebleson: City corp Building- Caple

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Site Ideas

Here are some sites that I have been considering with my reasoning for them:
1.Smith/9th st. stop and Gowanus Canal:
I like the idea of the verticality of the station (its shear height), crossing over the canal, which is a kind of remnent of the old city...Also, and this goes for a few of the sites I have considered, I would like my site to be a place where many people may pass through, but is also related or in proximity to a body of water.

2. L.I.C. New Town Creek railyards:
SImilar to the proposal above, but the massive railyards which lay adjacent to the creek are only crossed by one road at its widest point, creating a huge tear in the urban fabric of this part of the city.

3. Roosevelt Island, southern tip:
I have considered this site for a while, even though recently a Kahn designed FDR memorial (proposed back in the 70s) has been approved for construction. The site is sort of surreal because when there, you feel both isolated and surrounded: Isolated by the barrenness and openness to the river, and surrounded by high rises on either bank of the river. The shape of this tip of the island is almost streamlined, evidence of the constant rush of water wearing away its coast. Perhaps too isolated, though...

4. Jacob Riis Park/Fort Tilden:
Jacob Riis is a massive public beach facility in the Rockaways which has a massive parking lot, and several abandoned buildings, including what I believe was a hospital, adjacent to it. Fort Tilden is an abandoned military base that was meant to defend against foriegn armies landing in NYC. It is now part of Gateway National Rec. Area and is one of my favorite places in the city due to its isolation and history: you don't really feel like you're in NYC. Again, perhaps too isolated.

I have some other Ideas, but they are more or less related to or similar in quality to those listed above.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Class Notes

Here are the notes that I took. I am working on getting other students' notes.

Lex Braes_

Piano could be a metaphor
Film too long
Desperate Opposites
Lost Opposites
Suspension of opposite ideas
Use modern quote
Suspension of opposite ideas of same time
Too many theoretical works

Dave Gilesda_

Got somewhere in the beginning
End was confusing
Imposition of opposites
Ruins is a good place to see it invade space
With a new theoretical program
Doesn’t understand piano
Theater has an absolute program and ruin is waiting for a program
Cut metaphor and develop idea

Marc Shaut_

Empty field > Demo site
Connecting nature of site
Demolition as performance
Play condition of piano and play condition of bus scene
Play as opposed to work
How would a pianist take apart a building?
Typewriter – instruments relative to touch
Work > typewriter
Play > piano
Function > Disfunction

Dave Gilesda_

Research Gordon Matta Clarke
What slightest incision can I make to alter purpose

Dan Buscecu_

Many pieces
Quotes don’t hang together
Relationship of mechanics possibly not there
Symbol of unfunctional object
Interiority is subjective
Placing self outside and just reading meaning
Explained metaphor is not a metaphor
Physical experience of space separates architecture from forms of art
Metaphor of sound of piano, not piano itself

Empty theater to destructive building must connect note to sound
Do not explain film

Marc Schaut_

Leisure boats amongst functional boats in channel in film
Stop hiding behind words
Explain at the fourth grade level
Say less
Resonation as a word
Serial killers can be identified by the missing letter on the typewriter they use to type the note to the police.


I am developing this further from the class comments but this is what I have condensed to date.

My précis is a space that will provide the experiential possibility for the audience/occupant to become the creator. The first means of investigation will be into how the human perceives. The second will be into understanding the devices that exist that will connect the human to their creation or the language of their creation. The third will be an analysis of an existing site that will be the space where this intervention will exist. The fourth will be an abstraction of the qualities of the three structures and how this new construct will function experientially within its site.

Existing programs used as points of departure:
1. Wall Street. A Performance space on the trading floor
2. Theater/school build into the ruins of a demolished building
3. Treehouse - the woods being the wilderness amongst the suburbs that suspends societal influence and allows for the development of multiple identities within the same individual
4. Urban alcoves - physical gaps between structures in urban environments


Mid-term notes

Very strong connection with the sculpture because the sculpture let the sculpture speak for itself.
Illusionistic space
dealing with perception-the perceived field
showing a way to see more minimalism
Great reflections let the piece be about itself
the program link is a little weak try and deal with something that you are interested in
let artists work allow something to happen.
way you're dealing with reflecton is very effective enhancing the field
Everyday architecture-reflections of interior light
nice coincidences -utilize them
how is what you're going to do (What you've found) any different from Barcelona Pavillion.
Abstract expressionist manner (with relation to the film)
new perceived reality was created when you filmed the hallway.
Drop the word surreal-the dream
This thing can't just exist in the mind
you're entirely priviledging the retinal experience
deal with the concrete spatiality
However perception isn't entirely visual
You've made a cylinder without a from- great
Walter de Maria- W. Broadway-Broken kilometer
The eye symbolic - what was your intention there?
reflection is confusion?
Surrealism could actually be very clear- chaos after the world wars

Artist- program is a problem because:
don't want to walk into a condition, a set one artists want to walk into nature.
program- port authority?
a normative program
the subject of the program should no be art
There is a need for internal logic.
Taking fragments of an existing typology.


Dear All:

I am happy to see that you are, as Mark reminded you all, begining to post
notes from the class crit. I thought that the review was very useful to all and thatv the guest critics made very valuable comments again.

Now we have to turn our attention immidiately to the work left in front of us until the final review on December 11.

Regardless how clear or set you may or maynot be at this point in zooming in on a program for your degree project I hope that you all will choose one for now. The reason for this request is that while you are looking for a site you must have some schematic idea of what kind of construction , what size and for what purpose you
are choosing the site for. You must do this this week and video tape it as

Bellow is a updated project schedule for your use.

UPDATED Nov 7, 2007

Pratt Institute School of Architecture
Undergraduate Architecture Program
Course Syllabus

Arch 484P Degree Project Research
Fall 2007

Marc Schaut / Dan Bucsescu

STUDIO SCOPE OF WORK for the SECOND HALF of the semester
Application of the studio "material practice" or in other words, "how do students go about in starting the project.

The studio directed research has established the following:

(1) a theoretical frame : that is an approach to the question of “form and meaning” and the notion of
“ Interiority” under theme of "the metaphors we live by” and “synaestesia”
(2) a material practice : that is a skill, a tool, a method, that is to make a film, edit and draw in it an installation
(3) a start in developing a program.

As part of our studio’s approach to material practice and in the service of the theoretical frame we have in the first half of the research seminar used analysis of art installations and films. We also learned how to shoot and edit a short film. These tools will be used again to start the design process of the degree project in the sedcond half of the fall semester. We will begin by making a film about the chosen/found or given real world site.

Nov 6- Nov 13

A The students should refine their program in three ways:

1: A statement of the social and cultural vision/mission of their program.
This is a statement of its values and purpose in a larger sense (half a page)

2. A qualitative "description" of certain architectural spatial/tactile/sound etc. that they feel would support (metaphorically) the mission of the program. This should be related to their first film.

3. The student must also in addition, develop a quantitative program: What functions/activities are included in the program to fulfill its mission: how may people and what they do there and physical requirements.

Date Due : Nov 6

B. During the same week they must choose a site in New York and it's vicinity.

Nov 13 - Nov 20


Once a site is selected and documented (palns, sections,history etc) the students proceed to MAKE A FILM OF THE SITEB AND DRAW IN IT. These sketches are for the purpose of asking themselves such questions as:

1. How do I enter and move through the site? Jour nay on the land.
2. What are the sensorial attributes of the site (views,smells, sounds, light etc)
3. Where would I build my program?
4. Select important stills and collage into them . Wrte a short paragraph about each
5. The film should also have plans and sections inserted in the film

These are to my mind part of site analysis and will establish the signature material practice of our studio.

Nov 20 – Nov 27


Nov 27 – Dec 11



In the remaining time they should make a very preliminary “gestural” design proposal for the final review. In other words a method of starting the design which is not conventional in the sense of starting in 2 D site analysis or plan geometry or any other method they have learned in the past.. It also does not start with a functional program although that must be in the student’s mind as they work on the film. The film offers us an almost "synaesthetic” approach with interiority, movement and sound.

All students are REQUIRED TO START the design THIS WAY !!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


My jumpdrive went missing in class today and I am wondering if anyone has seen it. It is a 1 gig PNY attache named LARGE MARGE. Any inquiries would be much appreciated.



A few slides and notes from presentation - Leslie

Notes from presentation in comments

notes from midterm

Here are the notes I got from my presentation.

Explain the relation of fear, contemplation and frustration a bit more wtih regard to the sense list. Have you considered an emotion list?? Also look at contemplation in regards to the installation piece.

Both installation and lodge in The Shining are buildings in landscape.

literature/research on color/symbolism of color - color theory, look at Gurter (spelling??)

Is order a higher priority then chaos?

color codes are not irrelevant. is color coding subjective? also culture dependant

Maybe opened up a lot more then I need to.

Point of verticality in installation becomes lost.

Borges - time, existing - splitting time.

I'm illustrating the actual metaphor, the market maybe too literal as a maze. Should let it be w/o color coding (painting of overlaying mazes)

Walk through the park is good. Split screen provides many possibilties. Junctions are a strong point. Need to be more ambiguous. Don't explain too much because then you lose the metaphor.

History of Fort Greene park, it used t have a prison, hell is below. A landfill also used to be at the park. It was a British prison for Americans (a book came out about this, about 6 months ago)

Concentration vs. confusion - MRI on brain, when you really focus, the dot activity reduced to nothing and very concentrated. When relaxed, the dot activity is loose and all over the place.

Lots of emotion is picked up in film - danger, sadness, fear, peacefulness

Hell and Heaven aren't really emotion in nature, they are mythological and conventional.

The movie maze is central/circular, they is no way out - refers to minatour

Work by Mona Hatoum

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Class Schedualing For Next Semester

Nov. 12th i believe online registration is accessible for scheduling classes for next semester. I want to confirm what time we will be conducting the studio section for thesis next semester as it greatly effects our choices for other classes. The office mentioned we are listed as 2-6 mon. and thurs., can this be confirmed? Also i would like to open the comments as a forum from professors, critiques and/or students on a discussion or recommendation of related electives to the studio that may be of interest. Both architectural and all institute elective that may assist us in formulating a concise and relative ending to our time at pratt in Thesis. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO RESPOND, I THINK ITS AN IMPORTANT FORUM WE CAN ESTABLISH TO HELP US PREPARE FOR NEXT SEMESTER. THANK YOU!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Notes for Ahmet

Dear Ahmet:

I am sorry for responding so late. I know you were eager to hear some response from us. You did in fact hear my lengthy comments at the end of the previous week.

I have watched your film again and find it really rich and beautiful including the main word you chose.....


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abyss may mean:
Sciences and philosophy
· Abyssal zone, the deepest extent of the sea.
· Abyssal plain, a flat area on the ocean floor.
· Abyss (religion), is a bottomless depth.
· Abyss (Thelema), a spiritual principle within the system of Thelema.
· The Abyss (novel), historical novel by Marguerite Yourcenar,
alternatively know as Zeno of Bruges.
· The Abyss, horror novel (1989) by U.S. writer Steve Vance.
· The People of the Abyss by Jack London
· The Abyss, the deepest parts of the Timeless Halls in J. R. R. Tolkien's

I wander why you feel the need to jump so far away from the topic of your film that of Abyss. From it you can choose to move to spiritual and religious issues as found in Wikipedia see the Abyss (religion), is a bottomless depth., Abyss (Thelema), a spiritual principle within the system of Thelema.,.

Although there are no hard rules in this game of metaphoric constructions, tighter connections are desired. ambiguity and complexity are part of it, but confusion and anything goes attitutde do not help.

I would not leave the forest if I where you. Going to Hollywood , is cool and funny,
and a stage set is siteless.....At least you are in Holly- woods…....a forest of of a kind…...the simulated happiness (holly or not) of gambling on the American that what you intended to say. I don’t quite get the connection to the Berlin wall and/or to you spiritual interest in Islam, which I admire, but by itself does not seem to me to be an architectural question for a degree project (as I said last week).

I hope this triggers a focused and productive discussion that would lead you, very soon, to a concrete program and site selection. All of this does not mean that you could not capture the spatial, visual, tactile, audio qualities of a mosque as you develop a program, but I did not see you yet, deal with those sensorial attributes as you think about your degree project. Politics and symbolism seemed to dominate your approach. Again, just to make sure that I am not missunderstood: I am not saying that those aspects of architecture are not important or real, but they are not the focus of our studio’s pedagogical startegy.

Notes for Matt

Dear Matt:

I love your title. It is a perfect expression of interiority.
Here is not Everywhere.

I was finally able to see your film and read your last post on the blog. I have some reactions but would prefer to say it face to face for speed and dialogue. I would have liked to hear your personal verbal explanation of everything. The reason for this is the fact that most of the staff presented is in a collection of quotes, photos and drawings and a description of the functions of a piano. It is like your film (as you said ion the blog), a bit jumpy, it fills like a series of stills. That makes it seem that you atre always outside the subject not inside even when you look at the interior of the theater. You are looking at a ruin from outside, as an symbol. The piano is also a symbol of a connection between the finger and the sound. (as you once explained in class, I believe). I would have preferred to listen to a piece of music ..that would have been more of an interior experience so to speak.

More importantly, your film lacks “interiority” and direct experience of space, which was the main purpose of making a film towards capturing an architectural experience. Your film is flat and informational not visually sensual.

Hot Ashes for Trees said...
Video is jumpy. Boo.
8:21 AM, October 15, 2007
Hot Ashes for Trees said...
Balcony space attached to high rise
Urban Alcove
9:04 PM, October 16, 2007
Hot Ashes for Trees said...
Matt Standeven
Angels – Spiritual human being connecting to the empirical human

Weight – The anticipated consequence of consciousness creates the impulse of function

Allow me some general comments about your entire presentation to date.
We will need to talk in class on Tu after you present it more fully. Mark and I hope to have some other critics.

I must confess that I do not quite understand the connections between ideas (as presented in the quotes), images, drawings, programs etc. Yes one can make a collage of unrelated items but still we have an obligation to
explain those choices, their order and the inner logic of association when put together.. They are not self-explanatory. I will wait for your verbal presentation of explaining each quote, image and choice of program.

This jumpy, disjointed quality of al the items lacks overall coherence.
While that may be said about other students work it is more so in your case. But if one looks at them, as they are in the film and in the slides, they all have common quality: you always look at the object from outside.(as I said above about your film. Somehow the same quality is carried to your quotes and your last drawing . While the drawing is seductive (you are talented),it does not respond to our request for a notational drawing of your film.

That drawing is a conventional 2D schematic design section (made to imitate a piano organization). It is not only premature to preconceive the design at this point (no fully developed program or site), it also does not follow the studio theoretical frame work that biases an interior approach to design as opposed from conceiving of form from outside. Of course we should do both at all times, but in this particular pedagogical strategy that we have established for the studio, the interior experience of space should be the trigger of the project.

More about that later. I hope this is helpful in starting a discussion.

I love your title. It is a perfect expression of interiority.
Here is not Everywhere.

Can we make your project live up to this title?

Friday, November 02, 2007


for derik lee

camera as ominous embodiment of space
observed in so many ways - unsettled space
camera looking at me - what is looking at me?

suspense - listen acutely - something coming at you - spatial physiological things arise
places to be seen - solicit that surveillance

Adolf Loos - Michaelerplatz house 1918
- department store -not conventional - wasn't wide open
idea of European arcades

American dept. store - inverted the European Arcade - purely looking in.

further analysis of precedents?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Notational Drawing & Comments from the Review

Notes from Mid-review


Centered on the issues of voyeurism:
Consider the difference between the Lucasian Gaze and the Sartrian Gaze or “Regarde.” The difference being that Sartre spoke of the gaze as always involving another person, as opposed to the gaze of any object.

Look at:
Blow-Up, Antoinioni
Knut Asdam “Heterotopias”

It was commented that the film was “very analytical,” at the same time you need to do more investigation into the workings of the film.


Consider using not light as an editor of space, but notions of geometry and material as an editor of light/space.

It was said that we tend to focus only what happens in film, instead of focussing on how it was constructed. In this way, how does the “shot” (“frame,” maybe) incluence the structure of architecture?

As a general comment: Things my be lost in translation between media, but there also can be something gained. Concept of the “artifact.”

Consider the concept of the blindspot, and more specifically, how the brain lies to fill in the blindspot.

To what degree does this also lead to “internal censorship,” in which the mind makes an decision of what information is valuable and what is not?

Turn to physiology in studying vision: “Techniques of the Observer.”

What different aspects of the screen are present?

In this way, it is more about desgning the “lens” than the light itself...What are the colors/qualities/textures of light that you wish to filter or expose?

The Mary Miss piece could be considered in that it will cause people to respond to nature more in the way that she does, so the question is: why did Mary Miss make the decisions she did, not only in the veil itself but in the structure around it. In what ways do these things influence the experience of the piece?

Look at:
Thomas Kumem (sp?): Light as Paradigm.
James Turrell...although Eng is not a fan, it is still worth looking at.
Kristof Wodiczko, runs MIT media lab.
Alberti’s works on perspective. (Movie and Miss: “Alberti-esque” pictures of the world)
Jonathan Crary: “Techniques of the Observer”
Foucault: Disciplinary aspects of perception

Mirror and the role of person in Antonioni,

It was said that the more we appropriate context, the more we can get into poetics.

In regards to program choice, what if you could connect a war memorial with an orphanage, or make some kind of a displacement center. If this is an option, how do you get people to find each other quickly after a disaster or displacement? An embassy could also have a displacement function.

“Sophistication of the game is in the rules”

As a general note, consider thesis as a “top down” process, in which an idea comes first, then program, site, etc. can be considered through the lens of the idea: It can be dangerous to become pinned down by all of the associations and notions connected to a particular place, program, etc.

Critics liked the way that you switched back and forth between the computer and hand drawings.

How does the “state” reflect itself in US culture (by state, I believe that foreign countries and their cultures was meant).

Unfortunately, I did not have my notebook in hand as Derrick presented...sorry about that.

SYNAESTESIA Time-Space of Perceptional Memory

This is the the discussion of precedent relative to the framework established in the first post and comments.

SYNAESTESIA Time-Space of Perceptional Memory

Dionysios Neofitidis
Synaestesia is the inter-sensory perception of the mind, which Thesis seeks to codify as the premise to an Architectural Paradigm. This condition of cross-sensory perception is the cognitive process of memory in the mind. Phenomenological Strategies correlate perception as cross-modal thematic of the individual’s Conception of Physical Causalities and the Metaphorical Structure of personal memory. Interfaces of Perception are concepts of a fluid time and space, Time-Space.

Visual Music

Time is Stationary (mid-review)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


each of you that presented yesterday are responsible for getting your notes up asap. i made this clear during class. do this immediately. i hope i dont need to remind you who you are. thanks.

from aline concerning media

Please communicate to the students that they are welcome (and encouraged) to test their laptops with the projector in that classroom ahead of time and that if any problems arise to please let MMS know ASAP. In this particularcase, since I was unable to determine the problem, it may behoove thestudents to try using it again following these steps:
1. fully shut down computer
2. connect to the projector
3. turn on projector4.
turn the computer on
5. If image does not appear immediately, try utilizing function keysfor toggling second monitor on/off.
If it still doesn't work, ask Academic Computing to suggest possiblesolutions for their specific make/model display settings.Please let me know if there are any further questions.
Thank you,
Aline Fader
Coordinator of Equipment & Loan Services
Multi-Media ServicesPratt Institute Libraries

Reflection and stillness vs. motion

Midterm Class Notes

Sartian Look vs. Lacanian Gaze
Architectural screen or lens to clor sensor or screen what you want other to see
That else is being informed through your film
James Turell
What is editing / cut / shot
How do we isolate the parts of the film and how do they translate into architecture
What is the moment of translation
What are we allowed to see? Society
What should be veiled in society?
Could you tie into the idea as a blind spot
The brain will fill in the blind spot with memory
Relation of mechanism of perception to discover
Optics of the eye
Camera obscura
Vision subjectivity
Write down the verb of what each word is doing and define them in relation to what they are affecting in the rest of the composition
How can you make your shopping experience?
Architecture gives us our context
With hold the loose ephemeral quality of life within architecture
Piers show that there is a constantly shifting datum
How are abstractions articulated and used
Good that scale is not clear. A landscape condition can emerge from this
Give existential meanings to materials so that the viewer appreciates the space but is not sure why
Possible an orphanage that occurs after a disaster
Memories and current facts could drive the chess game that will be your program
Best thesis projects discover something
Set strong parameters to test
See the sight at different times/ seasons

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