‘Architecture is organised around emptiness.’
Jacques Lacan, Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960 (1992)
Hey guys! Ryan here. you probably don’t know me as i took a year out between 4th and final year. Hope everyone’s having a good summer (despite the weather). As you can see by the title i have become very interested in the urban development of Belfast. Belfast has experienced a development boom in the past 10 years since the ‘troubles’ ended to some extent and as a city was playing ‘catch up’ to the rest of the capital cities in the UK. There is a lot of development happening as we speak principally the Titanic Quarter which as you can probably tell is built on the site where the Titanic was constructed.
This development of Belfast is happening in pockets and there are some areas that are being overlooked. One of these areas is East Belfast an area that is home to the majority of my family. This area used to be home to the tens of thousands of workers in the Harland and Wolff shipyard and the area was a very animated place. But like many industrial cities in the world once the main industry has left the area becomes a shadow of what it once was. The Titanic Quarter development is situated very close to East Belfast and is set to take the commercial and financial side of Belfast to a new level. These two areas are separated by a dual carrigeway which is actually in rush hour the busiest road in europe. For my main research project i am going to look at how i can integrate this area that is full of history back into the city of Belfast by maybe creating a focal point piece of architecture to form a link between these two areas. I fear that if something is not done these two areas could end up drifting further apart in the economic scale.
For my summer project I have been looking at Belfasts most famous landmark the Harland and Wolff cranes. There is a lot of questions over what to do with these objects and i think a bit of lateral thinking is needed to really make these work as a landmark.
Hey everyone. I’ve a couple of ideas/projects that I’m interested in and have been pursuing, albeit without much intended direction.
A book that I found very interesting was Jack Kerouac’s ‘The Dharma Bums’ which considers aspects of belonging through the eyes of a 50s vagabond. Essentially it’s all about being happy and belonging wherever you find yourself. Strong ties with nature and the condition of relationships are important throughout the book and the idea of safety is frequently brought up.
I’ve become the Scottish Ecological Design Association student rep, which sounds grander than it is as it’s a very small organisation. I’m hoping to popularise their design guides (seda2.org, good stuff) and newsletters throughout the year and draw on their experience for ways in which ecological architecture can increase our connection to, and enjoyment of, space. Some of the members are more concerned with the science of eco architecture but I’m much more interested in the art of it. I hope to progress this throughout the year.
I’ve also bought a flat and have spent the last few weeks doing it up. Everything needs done and it’s a bit of a daunting project but I’ve been really enjoying making it mine. I’m finding this useful in terms of designing and close detailing as well as increasing my ownership of the space in the less literal sense.
The party’s at mine, I’ll let you know when….
After a great break and a fantastic trip experiencing alot of what America and Canada has to offer Im excited to be back in scotland.
Im quite interested in exploring the idea of space without space or physical boundaries after reading a book called “City of Bits” by William J Mitchell. It was about the way in which the internet and technology has has created a city within a city, with its own infrastructure and communications system.
I believe there is maybe a possibility of me maybe linking this to my further studies for the year and the summer with unclaimed space being everywhere in this virtual world. currently Im toying with the idea of purchasing land in second life or claiming a piece of space on google earth and taking the opportunity to design a dwelling/structure or community within this environment which would exist in the virtual world but not in the physical world.
All feed back would be more than welcome.
As a starting point for my ideas i have begun reading into the history of my home town, Armagh. Just as introduction i am uploading some images to begin with. It is technically classified as a city but is actually quite small (with a population of approx 15,000). Its significance therefore has been the focus of my research as i wished to understand the reasons behind the quality of architecture it exhibits. In particular it demonstrates an exemplary compilation of georgian stone buildings, although they appear more disjointed in fashion than that of major cities of the era (e.g. Bath).
Hows everyones summer going?, and How is every ones reading going?
I just finished a stewart home book (not the one on the list) “down and out in shoreditch and hoxton” and wow that was extreme: Rape, murder, prostitution, time traveling, narrative breakdown. Hard going in places, extremely odd and seemingly arbitrary in others.
Another book I thought some of you might be interested in is Fracesco Careri’s 2007 “Walkscapes”. It’s primarily about walking practices (a current interest of mine) but what might be of particular general interest is the definitions of two forms of architecture : “architecture seen as physical construction of space and form, as opposed to an architecture seen as perception and symbolic construction of space”
Just passing on this information, it might suit any of you if you happen to be working with a space/ building from the right period : 1660-1840.
>>> “Georgian Group” <email@example.com> 13/07/2008 21:47 >>>
LATEST: The drawing prize will be presented at The Ritz, London, on 26 November
by a very special guest of honour (details to be publicised nearer the time).
The winner will receive £1000 and a trophy designed by Quinlan Terry.
INVITATION TO ENTER
> In celebration of The Prince of Wales’s sixtieth birthday in November, The
> Georgian Group, in association with The Prince’s Drawing School and the
> Traditional Architecture Group of the Royal Institute of British Architects,
> is organising a prize competition for a measured drawing of a Georgian
> The aim of the competition, which is open to British, Commonwealth and US
> citizens under 40, is to promote and reward excellence in measured
> architectural drawing and to encourage close study and understanding of
> Georgian buildings. Work completed since 1 January 2007 is eligible.
> For the purposes of the competition, the term ‘Georgian building’ means any
> building completed in the period 1660-1840, whether in Britain or elsewhere.
> First prize is £1000, second prize is £750 and third prize is £500. Winning
> and shortlisted entries will be exhibited in London.
> Full details and an entry form are attached. They can also be downloaded from
> www.georgiangroup.org.uk. The deadline for entries is Friday 19 September
> Printed copies of the form and poster are available on request.
> BACKGROUND NOTE
> The Georgian Group, founded in 1937, is the British charity for the protection
> of Georgian buildings, townscapes, monuments, parks and gardens. It has a
> statutory role in advising English and Welsh planning authorities on proposals
> to alter or demolish listed Georgian buildings and handles around 6000 such
> applications every year. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is Patron of
> The Georgian Group.
> FURTHER INFORMATION
> Robert Bargery, Director, The Georgian Group
> 6 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 5DX, UNITED KINGDOM
> +44 (0)20 7529 8928
> 07766 690720
‘As Meninas’ (The Children), immediately brings to mind one of the justifiably noted works of Velasquez. The imagery shown in this picture demonstrates the painter’s pride in the palette and brushes he used and also in the Cross of St. James in his hands. The work, dated in 1656, shows us the intimacy of the painter and his patrons, King Phillip The Fourth and Queen Mariana of Austria and their daughter, the tiny Infanta (Princess) Margarida. The scene is relatively banal: the king and queen posing for Velasquez but we cannot see the completed work, it is still in course on the easel and the sovereigns seem to be only indistinct images in a small mirror.
The attention is drawn, overwhelmingly, to the Infanta Margarida , her children and her dwarfs. Velasquez seems to check every brushstroke, every detail; why does he slightly turn the head? A certain ambiguity is discernable in these unclear images in the mirror-of a mystery on the canvas which will never be revealed. The separation between the painting and the viewer is removed; The assumed position of the king and queen, ready and posed and also of the painter himself! It is, therefore, possible for us to consider the subject of ‘As Meninas’ (The Children) as being summed up as follows; ‘This representation can be considered as representation at its purest’.
YVES BOTTINEUA, VELASQUES, FLAMMARION, PARIS, 1969, PGS.5-9.
(Free Translation by Patricia Vieira)
In so much of his work, Rene Magritte wittily plays with these perceptions by adressing the problem laterally. In the Human Condition II, Magritte exemplifies the contraditions between the three-dimensional space and the limits of a two-dimensional canvas. More importantly the title refers to the relationship that humans have with those contraditions as part of the “the human condition”. As such Magritte continues the process of questioning the assumptions of Renaissance ideas of painting being a ‘Window on reality’, which had already begun to be debunked by Picasso and Braque in their cUBIST ‘laboratory’. For Picasso ‘reality was in the painting’, replacing trompe-l’oeil for what he called trompe-l’esprit.
The Human Condition II, was a variant of a painting executed in 1034, in which he began to explore the ideas around the theme of inside and outside. In the first version the painted canvas is placed in front of a glazed window. The second version adds another playful twist to the original, by siggesting that the viewer is already outside, looking through a trompe-l’oeil archway.
Michael Robinson & Donna Roberts; The World’s Greatest Art.
To introduce myself, I will start by giving my actual first name because no one in Scotland knows it; my first name is Neuza and the second is Patricia.
I decided to keep it simple went I first came to Dundee, as it might have been more difficult to say and spell my name to people … then, some people started calling me Miss Portugal J
I grew up in a really nice place, called Sesimbra, which is half an hour’s travel from Lisbon city centre. Sesimbra is a small tourist/fisherman’s village. Although, during the week, I always spent my days in Lisbon, I would always come back to Sesimbra at night and at weekends. Sesimbra is a nice relaxing place full of tourists all year round and most of the locals are very nice and friendly. The village has not changed too much throughout the ages and it still has medieval streets, which are picturesque and famous throughout southern Europe. What I like most about where I grew up is the fact that people are very respectful as regards the environment, the sea and the nature park behind the village. During the summer, for example, to avoid fires in the countryside, people volunteer and others offer money to pay locals or students to man lookout posts, in order to report any suspicious activity regarding fire-raising or anything else that might damage the environment.
The reasons for this do not relate to locals being entirely idealistic but more to the fact that the people depend on a good environment, in order to survive! Their businesses and their income come from the nature park or from the sea and from the tourists these attractions draw.
On the other hand, within half an hour we can be in the centre of Lisbon. For those who never been to Lisbon, you would love it… the place is full of history, traditions but also has an eclectic mixture of new and vibrant things that characterise modern times… you can be walking along a historic 500 year street or viewing an ancient building, yet, under your feet, there will be a glass floor, through which you can see evidence of the Roman Empire and one step on, you will see a big modern building.
Lisbon had to be rebuilt in the 18th Century.due to the big earthquake that destroyed almost the all of the city. The Marques do Pombal was the governor of the time and he was responsible for creating the new city urban development. He was a man of vision and even today, his concepts are still considered to be of value and pertinent, for example, the big avenue in the city centre, which, at the time was criticised as being too big, with 3 or 4 lanes in either direction. Today, this concept makes traffic circulation very much easier in the city centre. He basically created an epiphany of the glorious Portuguese Period of Discovery designing the city historicals square “Praca do Comercio” open to the sea.
The new urban peripheries of the Lisbon of the 18th Century were designed to run towards the river, reflecting the words of the famous Portuguese poet, Vasco da Gama, who wrote a book of poems celebrating the Portuguese conquests of the 15th Century. Not the most exciting part of a Portuguese pupil’s life!!
To resume, my background is full of contrasts and differences, all conflicting on a daily basis…I would take to hours to get to my preview at University and a further 2 hours to get home. I would pass the same places every day for years, yet, every day I would see something different “ If you can Look, see, If you can see, observe” (Portuguese saying). Every day, I would notice different things; a different detail on facades or windows, sculptures… Roman capitols and I would make quick sketches, reflecting my feelings and the things I had seen…sometimes I would write a poem … I was trying to digest the city in which I was born. The contradictions of places in a place such as Lisbon, are full of intensities, memories, intentions, good or bad. This makes me realise that in life, being different is not always easy, neither is it good or bad, it is simply different!
I hope, in my Unit Research, to develop a final product of a theoretical house for a “ Monster and a Midget”, on a sloping site adjacent to the old romantic “Se”or Cathedral, which acts as a circulation with 50 steps or more, typical of southern European countries. This site has an incline of 2.5m and is surrounded by possibly 17th or 18th Century buildings, which now provide residential accommodation.
The idea is to maintain the circulation between the two different streets, at the same time as creating an entrance for this unique house.
I WILL CLAIM THIS TERRYTORY AS MY OWN AND CREATE ON IT AN EPIPHANY OF THE RESUME OF MY EXPERIENCES IN MY CITY OF LISBON.
THE CONTRACTIDIONS … THE ERRORS … THE ATTITUDES … THE INTENTIONS … THE PAST … THE FUTURE … THE INTENSITIES OF BODIES … THE SEX … THE DRUGS … THE PEOPLE … THE DOGMAS … THE PRECONCEPTIONS … THE EXPERIENCES … THE LIFE … THE PEOPLE … THE NATURE … THE ENVIROMENT … THE PRESENT … THE SPACES … THE TENSION … THE BIG … THE SMALL … THE TIME … THE BETWEEN … THE HISTORY … THE MEMORIES … THE SMELL … THE NOISE … THE URBAN SPRAWL … THE FABLE OF THE …“MONSTER ….and the… MIDGET”…
…A CITY BUILT TO SCALE, TO FEET
MAYBE TO SOMEONE!