Study Period 3 - Architecture

Slight delay in getting this blog together considering it is now Study Period 1 of 2015 & it's nearing completion but that shows just how busy we have been with Uni & Work in the office this last 6 months. It's been quite a wild ride in that time with a lot of ups & downs but here we are writing about Study Period 3 of 2014 whilst completing study period 1 of 2015. So what did i study in period 3? Well i studied two classes both of which i found very intriguing and informative, they were BAS220 - Architectural Histories of Illusion, Power and Imagination and BAS130 - Architecture and Culture.

BAS220 - Architectural Histories of Illusion, Power and Imagination

So what exactly is BAS220..... Well the Open Uni website suggests it is the following "Introduction to the major historical periods of architecture from the ancient world up to the twentieth century, including the wider cultural, political and social aspects that invest the stylistic and spatial conditions of architecture and urban space. Development of skills in research, theoretical analysis and critique." or put simply it's the study of architectural periods through time. The  assessments in this class were varied and scope to focus on our preferred era was made available through the assessment options which allowed me to put all my energies into the modernist and mid century periods.

There were 3 major assessments in this class, the first a presentation and the following two were research essays. You've likely read those essays on this website in the form of blogs on modernism.

Assessment 1 focused on "Industrialisation ands its advantages for the modern world" where i spoke about the impact industrialisation had on our current world. I focussed my presentation on "The Crystal Palace" and the "Chicago School" as well as specific quotes from Le Corbusier regarding industrialisation. It was an interesting project and one that led well into the second assessment.

Assessment 2 was the first of the research essays and the topic selected related around the design aesthetics and function of a design based upon the clients needs and wants. A topic that i feel is one of the more important factors we need to consider when designing for clients. Focussing on the "Farnsworth House" i drew examples from the client/architect relationship and noted where both had worked well together and failed each other through the design and construction process. Whilst there were notable issues in the end result the overall design was one of high quality. The blog on this can be found here (Blog) and is worth a read.

From there it was onto Assessment 3 which centred on mid century modernism and a lack of heritage consideration surrounding the architecture of the period. As you can tell from the title of the essay it's also now one of my blogs which can be read here (blog). The main premise of the essay revolved around the lack of understanding from the public and from planning officers regarding mid century architecture. It is unfortunately still seen as being to "young" to be considered heritage and we are sadly losing many great pieces to over development where they should be offered protection. 

All in all this was one of the more exciting classes for me, one i really enjoyed based on the topics of choice i had to work on, because lets face it... we all know i'm slightly obsessed with modernist architecture and in particular the Case Study House program and post war architecture. Anyway that was BAS220 completed, however running in conjunction was BAS130.

BAS130 - Architecture and Culture.

BAS130 was another interesting class. Not so exciting as BAS220 but interesting nonetheless. Three more Essays for this one... it seems study period 3 was all about writing... and lots of it. Assessment 1A was a simple reading summary of a piece that made absolutely no sense at all. The article was about buildings having meaning and the guy who had written it made no sense at all... in fact if memory serves me right all the students agreed it was a confused piece and we all stated this in our reading summaries. 

Assessment 1B was much like Assessment 1A although instead of a reading summary it was a critical review piece in which we assessed the merits of an article in "On Site: Architectural Preoccupations" C.J Burns in which he discusses the Cleared site V's the constructed site. An interesting read and one that raised many questions surrounding these two varied site conditions. The end result however was again one of confusion as there was no clear determination as to what a "site" actually constituted and therefore left me with little evidence to show any support to his thoughts and suggestions. 

From there it was onto Assessment 2 and a topic that i am keenly interested in. The topic for my research essay was to discuss the "Advantages and Disadvantages of the  Open House concept" in which i used many examples from the mid century post war architectural period and in particular homes from the Case Study House project to discuss and argue for the advantages made available to us from open house design. Suffice to say i enjoyed writing this essay and i support the notion of open house design.

Assessment 3 was about reflection of the class and the Assessments within and was quite therapeutic as a way of understanding where the class was aiming to take our thoughts.

With BAS130 & BAS220 now out of the way and christmas approaching you'd be forgiven for thinking i was going to take a summer break.... but that's where you're wrong... i didn't & i studied two more classes over this period, both of which you can read about in the Study Period 4 Architecture blog.