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Category: AESTHETICS


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The Beauty of Everyday Things

The Beauty of Everyday Things
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The Beauty of Everyday Things is a book of essays written by Soetsu Yanagi between 1920 and 1959. The title essay is not as well known as In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki, first published in Japanese in 1933 and first translated into English in 1977. I initially had doubts about why another book […]

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Full House

Full House
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It’s only recent history but, before the use of image datasets became commonplace, architects used language prompts to tell an AI system what they wanted. The problem was that computers and people don’t speak the same language. If you say to an AI system “Design me a beautiful building!” it won’t know what you mean […]

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1970s French Furniture Design

1970s French Furniture Design
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The Architect Statement Chair Chairs designed by architects are notoriously uncomfortable – a statement probably first uttered with respect to chairs designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was probably his Origami Chair they were referring too, but the clinical chair for Price Tower is discomforting to even look at. FLW’s low cost designs for his Usonian […]

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Nature Trail

Nature Trail
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The Dynamics of Delight: Architecture and AestheticsPeter F. Smith, Routeledge, London 2003 Last week I was looking for an article on that 1990s phenomenon, design coding in order to add something to a post with the working title of Pattern. I didn’t find it but, in folders within folders I did discover a stash of […]

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Inhabitation

Inhabitation
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For some time now I’ve been fascinated by buildings and spaces not being used the way they were designed to be used. 1979, December (Kyoto, Japan) The first instance I can remember is from 1979. I’d only just arrived in Japan a couple of months earlier and though I was attending a language school in […]

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Featurism

Featurism
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This introduction follows on last week’s post and segues into this one because I continued to think about why that particular treatment of old buildings so disturbed me. If you remember, I preferred the treatment given to these buildings. I think it has something to do with setting rather than context even though both can […]

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Split Systems

Split Systems
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Now, when energy is either scarce or expensive, it’s worth remembering that air conditioning accounts for one fifth of all electricity used by buildings. It’s also worth remembering that air conditioning really only means heating air or cooling air because, if you want your air filtered, purified, humidified or dehumidified, then what you need is […]

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The Art Extension

The Art Extension
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Buildings around the world are being extended all the time but the challenges are more visible with art museums and any deficiencies less forgivable. Art museum extensions are over-represented in the media landscape. This could be because art museums are usually prestigious commissions to begin within so art museum extensions must be too. Or, art […]

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Wearable Architecture

Wearable Architecture
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The walls are closing in. Around 1900 it suddenly dawned upon architects that the market for Palladian knock-off mansions in picturesque countryside was getting smaller and smaller. There simply weren’t enough landed gentry to go around. A crop of newly rich industrialists brought about a short-lived rebound in the late-19th century but sooner or later new […]

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Notes on Scale

Notes on Scale
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In class last Tuesday I showed some images I thought would help students understand the concept of scale. I explained that the buildings in the image on the left below are of different size but the same scale and the one on the corner in the right image on the right is of the same […]