Module #2: Parts of the Whole

This is the one remaining module that I either posted elsewhere, or it got lost in the ether. I neither know, nor particularly care how or why it happened.

As is noted in other portions of this blog, the architectural field has become so complicated that it is impossible for anyone to comprehend every possible aspect of the trade. As such, there is an incredible necessity to cooperate with other skilled trades in order to determine the appropriate course of action to complete the necessary task. Just as an example, there are so many diverse regulatory agencies involved that it requires a significantly diverse group of individuals just to navigate the requirements of the specific agency involved.

In order to become a functional professional in ANY FIELD, it is an absolute necessity to start being more specialized, than trying to be a journeyman with relatively limited skills. It is a brave new world, and we must adapt or perish…

Module #11: Urbanism and Context and Operations

While I currently live in an urban environment, I abhor cities. Unfortunately, they are the only functional future for humanity. Whether they reflect the slumish sprawl of Mexico City, or the lavishness of Doha, remains to be determined more by the political and ideological evolution of the species, than anything a professional designer would have sufficient authority to impose. If the standards are such that the powers-that-be continue to export jobs to whatever third-world locale they can damage, then the economic vitality of the Western world will continue to decline until there is virtually nothing left. There is some validity in the political film Zeitgeist Addendum, in the hopes that in the reasonably near future almost all of our needs have been automated, and humanity can transcend into a nearly utopian existence, where the sole interest is in finding something new to learn. I believe we can get there, but am not very optimistic as to the nature of the path there….

Module #9: Visit to P.G. & E. Center

EL_LB_Hero_Img_D2_01EL_LB_Body_Img_H_VisNavEL_LB_Body_Img_F_VisNavOf all the possible field trips available, I believe the visit to the P.G.&E. center was the most beneficial to the entire class. There are sufficient displays of technical apparatus to inspire the geekdom of anyone, and the access to tools and equipment for measurement of various energy related circumstances is crucial to any professional attempt to understand the best possible result for a customer. I was particularly fascinated by the lighting room and the tremendous number of displayed options available. This assists in the design of every portion of the home, office, retail, or industrial application of lighting.
While there was ample information about alternative energy sources, the primary focus was on lighting, and it showed an incredible depth of knowledge necessary for energy independence. The only hope is that more professionals utilize this resource and not just force-feed antiquated technology upon their consumers.

Module #1: What Architects Do?

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This was an interesting introduction to the course and helped provide some examples of what exactly architects and designers do in the modern world. Traditionally, most people think of an architect as a man who draws the plans for a building. Nothing much else is considered. Much the same, designers are theoretically women who like to buy fancy furnishings and provide some kind of artistic discipline to furnishing a building. These antiquated ideas may still be prevalent, but are so far from reality that it is similar to comparing riding a horse to driving a Lamborghini. They are still two ways of getting from point A to point B, but light-years different in technological requirements. 150 years ago, an architect could master all facets of his profession, and might rarely consult experts in esoteric features he did not commonly work with. Today, the architect must become specialized into a smaller aspect of the mission, simply because it is impossible to be an expert in so many diverse and complicated arts and sciences.
Similarly, designers must now specialize in specific attributes of their craft, because there are far too many diverse styles to be adept at each and every one. Some may be reasonably close, but with the huge disparity of such styles, it might require a Doctorate just to begin being considered competent.

Module #5: David Green, AIA and “Curtain Walls”

The primary concepts discussed in this module involved the artistic representation required to develop a new style of architecture where the outer walls are not of structural importance, other than for keeping the weather out and the occupants in. This involves a required recognition of the thermal comfort required for the occupants, the types of glass utilized, and quite often copper cladding. Also of great importance is the artistic relevance of these structures. Most of the depictions to follow are relatively old, but possess the same requisite features. These exterior walls are not load bearing, but serve as facades and an artistic way of placing a building into the general area without diminishing the value of the property (no Stalinesque styles!)               220px-Oriel_chambers