ARC 331 discussion board: TOPIC 02 (Due Monday, February 5 at 11:59 AM CST)

TOPIC 02: Nineteenth-Century Theory in the Twenty-first-Century Studio

Post: Each of the three theorists you have read (Pugin, Viollet-le-Duc, and Walter), were highly self-conscious of the modernity of the age in which they lived, especially as it was defined by stylistic diversity and technological innovation (both in material advantages and communication strategies). Our age is not much different. Consider how each of them addressed the basic issues of architectural design and, in a short paragraph of about 100 words (and assuming that time travel is a possibility), explain which one of  them you would most want to have as a studio crit.

Follow-up (due Weds., Feb. 7 at 11:59 AM CST): Respond to two colleagues’ posts, (1.) choosing people with whom you agree and with whom you disagree, and explaining why, (2.) and as the first, second, or third response only on any one person’s post.

64 Comments

  1. Reply
    Davis Burchett February 3, 2018

    I would most want to have Pugin as a studio critic. His emphasis on decoration and beauty as an outgrowth of the construction of the building is extremely interesting to me. His two principles in his 1841 essay most resound with me: 1) There should be not features which are not necessary for “convenience, construction, or propriety” & 2)“that all ornament should consist of enrichment of the essential construction of the building. “ I think this approach could result in an inherently honest architecture, one that is beautiful for what it actually is, not for what it pretends to be.

    • Reply
      Deyglis Castillo February 4, 2018

      I do think that his two principles are very interesting, about unnecessary features in a building and that ornaments should enrich the structure of a building. I have often wondered of the functions of certain elements in a building and most times pictured the building without that particular feature. However, I would not want him as a critic for my current studio project, because he may not agree with it and may not be beneficial to me or my project since I am giving a material the appearance of a different material and he insisted on honesty of structural expression. “Wood should not be disguised to look like stone. Rather, it should be used according to its own inherent properties.” And I do not see anything wrong with this, I think its artistic, creative, and original as to the different possibilities that this can have.

    • Reply
      Deyglis castillo February 5, 2018

      I do think that his two principles are very interesting, about unnecessary features in a building and that ornaments should enrich the structure of a building. I have often wondered of the functions of certain elements in a building and most times pictured the building without that particular feature. However, I would not want him as a critic for my current studio project, because he may not agree with it and may not be beneficial to me or my project since I am giving a material the appearance of a different material and he insisted on honesty of structural expression. “Wood should not be disguised to look like stone. Rather, it should be used according to its own inherent properties.” And I do not see anything wrong with this, I think its artistic, creative, and original as to the different possibilities that this can have

    • Reply
      Randy Renteria February 5, 2018

      I agree with you Davis, Pugin emphasizes the idea of designing with a purpose. The architecture should not have unnecessary features, this ruins the design. I also agree that beauty will be more successful with honest Architecture. Like Pugin states, the construction can be used as the ornament which helps make the building even more meaningful and honest.

    • Reply
      Eddy Kalinda February 6, 2018

      I definitely agree with you, and I do believe that Pugin principles provided certainty and clearness, but I do not agree with his belief stating that Roman Catholicism was the only faith worthy of Gothic architecture. In the late 18 century the british built Anglican churches using a Gothic architecture style. So if We agree with Pugin, it will be saying that no other denomination is actually worthy to be constructed with this style.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      Davis, does something have to be revealed to be “honest”? Can buildings really achieve that human trait? How does a person know when the “decoration” overwhelms the structure and begins to be capricious?

  2. Reply
    Deyglis Castillo February 4, 2018

    I think it would be very interesting to have all three as a studio crit at the same time. But I would most want Thomas Ustick Walter for a couple of reasons. He was considered one of the most influential Greek Revivalist and said to have managed to fit a number of building types from houses to colleges into historically correct Greek temples and it would interesting to find out from him what a correct Greek temple looks like vs. a not-correct one. Also he remodeled the State Capitol and his design was from Italian Renaissance precedents and since he it was successful I think it would be beneficial to have him as a studio crit now since my current project is based on Italian architecture.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      So, expertise in style is the #1 thing for you?

      • Reply
        Randy Renteria February 7, 2018

        I agree Thomas Ustick Walter would make an excellent studio critic for you. However, I would not choose him as my critic as Walter has a great appreciation of ancient and traditional architecture. It is not bad to appreciate this style, but it would not benefit me significantly as I am in a contemporary studio which incorporates new architecture ideas. Being said this is one factor to why chose Pugin as my critic as he is in favor of seeking new ideas of Architecture.

    • Reply
      Daniel Becker February 7, 2018

      Deyglis, I understand where you are coming from with connection to your current project. Personally, I would want someone like Pugin to critic my work as he emphasizes purpose and function. Beauty is a very important aspect of architecture however, I personally believe without the right function and attention to context/program a building designed only on style/beauty starts to fall apart.

    • Reply
      McKenna Kritsch February 7, 2018

      While it would be intriguing to have Walter as a studio critic because of his expert knowledge of Greek revival architecture, would this pose as a handicap as well? Though his designs and “retrofitting” was successful, I would be concerned that this might cause him to be narrow minded. The architecture that Americans engage with today involve so many different stylistic qualities, all with their own pros and cons, but they exhibit our humanity so well. Walter might consider this the very thing that goes against “architecture as an art that must be understood to be enjoyed” because of it’s complex diversity.

    • Reply
      Parker Done February 7, 2018

      This also stood out to me about Walter. His appreciation for ancient architecture is quite thorough. He mentions that the proportions seen in Grecian architecture are ideal and should set a precedent for modern architecture.

  3. Reply
    Randy Renteria February 5, 2018

    Out of the three theorists I would have Pugin to be my studio critic. I admire how he views the design of a building; it should be influenced by the purpose and function. He states “Architectural beauty is the fitness of the design to the purposes for which it is intended, and that the style of a building should so correspond with its use that the spectator may at once perceive the purpose for which it was erected.” In my opinion architecture should follow this statement by Pugin as it gives the architecture a story to how it was designed, and so that it relates not only to its purpose but also its context.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      I think you’re imposing your own views, at least a little bit, on Pugin. He doesn’t say anything about context; he is true to one style and one style alone. Does that make a difference to you? Also wondering about your idea that his process identifies with a “story.” Not following you there.

    • Reply
      Connor Brown February 7, 2018

      I agree with you Randy and I believe purposeful architecture is important in design. Inefficient structural functionality can be seen as a waste on resources. Optimizing the design to just be simpler and fit the function sometimes works out to be more beautiful as well.

  4. Reply
    Parker Done February 5, 2018

    If I had the option, I would prefer to have a studio crit from Walter. What I appreciate most about Walter’s approach to architecture is his consciousness of both classical architecture and modern architecture. Whether it is intentional or not, most critics tend to lean heavily towards either the modern or the classical. Hearing Walter’s perspective however was refreshing. He recognized the significance of the developing modernist styles, but at the same time he highly praised classical architecture for setting the standard for both beauty and function.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      What do you think he defined as “modern” in 1840?

  5. Reply
    Rebekah Matson February 5, 2018

    If I could choose one of the three theorists to have at a crit, I would want Walter. I liked his statement, “Architecture is an art that must be understood.” He also mentions that you must study architecture to understand the beauty of it. That is not to say that people who do not study it don’t find architecture beautiful. But rather, that they cannot fully grasp the magnificence of the elements. I know personally, before studying architecture I enjoyed it, but now that I have a better understanding of how it all works together, I find architecture fascinating.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      Do you think there’s anything he could do for you besides teach appreciation?

    • Reply
      Kate Davenport February 7, 2018

      I definitely understand where you are coming from when you say that you appreciate architecture and architectural details more after you have studied it. It would be interesting to see side by side comments from trained architects and those who have not background in architecture on various pieces of known buildings.

    • Reply
      Morgan Dykema February 7, 2018

      I understand why you choice Walter as the person you would want in studio, because of his appreciation to past architecture. However I chose Pugin because of his appreciation of forms and materials. I also think that we need to be constantly innovating architecture.

    • Reply
      Deyglis Castillo February 7, 2018

      I am with you Rebekah. I don’t believe that you have to study architecture in order to appreciate and find it beautiful. This is the reason we are studying it now because there was something about it that caught our attention that made us want to study in it more in depth so that one day we may be able to produce the same kind of art. It is definitely after we start to acquire more knowledge of it that we really start to not only understand it even more and appreciate it even more and find it even more fascinating and more beautiful.

  6. Reply
    Eunice Slanwa February 5, 2018

    I would most want to have Viollet-le-Duc as a studio critic. He believes that the primary principles in architecture are: being true in respect of the program, and being true in respect of the constructive process. Other principles in regards to art, symmetry and external form are also important, but they are secondary to these two principles. It is important that a building first fulfills its function, and that the materials used “indicate their function by the form we give them” (Lecture X, 1872). With his way of thinking, buildings will be efficient, both spatially and in use of materials.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      Why is “efficiency” the main thing? Are you arguing in favor of something like Meijer stores as great architecture because they are, first and foremost, fantastic applications of that principle?

      • Reply
        Sam Barber February 6, 2018

        I agree with this opinion as I also chose Viollet-le-Duc to be a studio critic. It makes sense that the most important responsibility of a building is to fulfill its function properly. When a building does not function properly, it greatly detracts from the rest of the design. It is also a good point that a materials function should be indicated by its form. I also liked what he said about generating new styles of architecture, based on successful existing styles. This seems to promote a continuous search for more functional and aesthetic buildings.

      • Reply
        Kate Davenport February 7, 2018

        Eunice, it is interesting that you highlight Viollet-le-Duc’s idea of focusing on programming and construction efficiency. I too believe that those are important to the over all design and should be focussed on at the beginning, but do you think that there is a point at which a building is so efficient in its function and material choice that it no longer relates to the human experience?

    • Reply
      McKenna Kritsch February 7, 2018

      I also chose Viollet-le-Duc, but it was in light of his perspective of materials. His respect for the function that each material has to offer was an especially intriguing idea for me to consider. In a critique, I would be interested in what he knowledge he would have to offer regarding the integrity of my building based on how I chose to use certain materials. His excerpt on iron is a good example of how he thought materials should be complimentary to one another, not necessarily taking over the functions of another (i.e. iron becoming a pillar when masonry can do the job better). A building that contains a kit of parts that compliments one another, is a building that compliments the history of it’s materials, style, etc.

    • Reply
      Ryan Ayres February 7, 2018

      I agree with your choice of studio critic. Villet-de-Duc has some interesting theories when talking about architecture. I think it is important when designing to keep in mind the reality of how it is built and keeping the design real and possible. I also like how he talks about the forms of materials following the way they are meant to be rather than using them in a way that does not follow their qualities.

  7. Reply
    Kyle Drenth February 5, 2018

    I would prefer Pugin as a studio crit because he is all about originality and a design that speaks for its time. He argues for design that embodies a designer’s “belief(s) and manners”. Pugin is passionate about architecture that speaks for its time and not a replication of a time period that has no relevance to the present. I have been taught and believe that all designs should be dependent on context. Not only does this involve site considerations but also time period. He also talks about how certain styles don’t “fit” well with religious buildings. I agree with this since the style of every building should speak to the program and activity that it is housing.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      I think you need to reconsider Pugin. Do his actual buildings live up to your expectations of “originality”? Also, I don’t think any physical/site context would dissuade him from his preferred style. Is that a problem?

  8. Reply
    Kate Davenport February 5, 2018

    Of the three theorists, T.U. Walter captivated my interest the most. He explains that everyone, both architecturally trained and novice, should be able to understand and enjoy architecture. Architecture plays an important role in everyone’s day to day life and they should be able to understand “its historical associations, and of the general laws that govern it, as a fine art […].” I would like him as a studio critic because of his recognition that all modern architecture is tied back to historic precedents. The precedents that still appear in modern architecture were iterated to perfection, and if everyone has knowledge of these basics, then they will be able to appreciate and recognize the beautiful architecture they encounter.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      I also find it inspiring that he was basically arguing for public education in the principles of architecture (appreciation, if not design) in an era where there weren’t even many high schools. He would appreciate your appreciation of the past. Would he recognize it in your design work?

      • Reply
        Rebekah Matson February 7, 2018

        I agree with you Kate, I think it would be interesting to Walter come to a studio crit. I also liked his theory on how all modern buildings are derived from past examples. Do you think he would be pleased with the changes architecture has made in recent years?

    • Reply
      Parker Done February 7, 2018

      I also appreciate the way he made a distinction between architecture as fine art and functional art. This is essential to in being able to recognize the beauty of architecture around us. Architects who have this mindset will be more equipped in designing.

    • Reply
      Joanna Daniyam February 8, 2018

      Even though out of the three I chose Pugin, I appreciate Walter’s point that we should all be able to understand and enjoy architecture. I agree that architecture is essential in day to day life and especially now that I’m studying it, being able to connect present day architecture with that of the past is fascinating.

  9. Reply
    Morgan Dykema February 5, 2018

    I think I would want Pugin as a studio critic if I had to choose among the three. Pugin talks about how styles are now adopted instead of generated and ornament is adapted to, instead of originated by. He claims that all architecture now is just taken from ideas that have been created in the past. Pugin says that we should be creating new architecture instead of constantly taking from the old because the uses of the buildings are changing from what they are historically created to be. It is ok to look back in history for inspiration when creating new architecture but it should not be exact copies of what has already been done.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      How does your assessment match his own architectural design? What do you make of his own modern architecture?

      • Reply
        Ryan Pickhardt February 7, 2018

        I agree with you because I as well chose Pugin for similar reasons. I am curious as to what would his design look like now if he were alive today. Though he wanted designs to be original, would the desings today stray too far away from “Christian Architecture”? I cannot even imagine his facial expression walking into Willow or Harvest.

      • Reply
        Kyle Drenth February 7, 2018

        I like how you pointed out Pugin’s desire for architecture that responds to its intended purpose and not just replicating the past without reason. I agree that we should always have a good understanding of architectural precedents but we should use that knowledge in a way that challenges the current style and brings innovative design. Instead of using copies of architectural elements in your designs, would you consider honoring the past through the use of the same proportions of old buildings?

    • Reply
      Eunice Slanwa February 6, 2018

      The like the idea of creating new architecture, however I would not want to have him as my current studio critic. I think if you want to design classically, it is important to have certain ornaments as they have been done in the past, or it just looks “wrong,” or incomplete, especially to those who know where the idea is coming from.

    • Reply
      Rebekah Matson February 7, 2018

      I agree with your reasoning. We should look to the past for inspiration but not replicate the work. I chose Walter, because he also thought that looking at historical architecture was important. However, I liked how Walter added that we needed to be educated on architecture in order to understand it’s beauty.

  10. Reply
    Ryan Ayres February 5, 2018

    I think that I would want to have Viollet-de-Duc as a studio crit. The article of his was interesting to me me because he talked about the materials and using them in a way that most makes sense to its form. When discussing this, he mentions the different materials that were available at certain times which called for the materials and design to be a certain way. One example he gives states that medieval architecture designs would look and be formed differently if they had the metal materials we have today. I think with this, it would be interesting to learn from Viollet-le-Duc the design process while using materials that make sense to its form and the way they are “meant” to be used.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      That is one of the big questions for the 19th century (and any other): do materials “want” to be a certain form, or is that up to the creative person to decide how to achieve their vision with whatever they can direct their builders to get their hands on?

    • Reply
      Davis Burchett February 7, 2018

      Yes. Just yes. Viollet-le-Duc’s insistence on building in ways that make sense for the materials used is inspiring, and I think highly compliments Pugin’s insistence that a building’s decoration flow naturally from the functional design and construction methods. I think a combination of their two ideas could create a truly incredible architecture.

    • Reply
      Daniel Becker February 7, 2018

      Ryan, I agree with your chose of Viollet-de-Duc. I too am fascinated by material choices in architecture and would love to get a crit from Viollet-de-Duc to see this thought on a most likely new material pallet for him. I think it would be very interesting also to hear how he might change past projects due to newly invented materials.

  11. Reply
    Daniel Bitner February 5, 2018

    I would prefer Viollet-Le-Duc to be a studio critic. The essay from 1872 describes his passion for programmatic success over everything. The form of the building is to react to the required program and the constructive processes. Also, allowing the materials to be used according to their qualities and properties respects the materials to be used as logically as possible. I side with this type of thinking in most of my studio work and I agree that art, symmetry, and external form shall come after good programmatic design. I think that having Viollet-Le-Duc as a critic would keep my focus on program and not distracted by the art and beauty until the design was perfect in function.

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      But you must admit that there are a lot of variations possible in a “perfectly” functioning plan; so, what are the limits to this approach and where do you go from it as a basis for all the other decisions that must be made in a design?

    • Reply
      Eunice Slanwa February 6, 2018

      Daniel, I agree with you that focusing on the program is more important especially at the beginning of a project. However, from experience in my previous studios and even currently, I know that having a “perfectly” worked out plan does not guarantee a beautiful building. When you begin to consider the secondary principles, such as symmetry and the external form, some changes may need to made to the spaces. But regardless of the changes, the building should still fulfill its requirements, so you do not end up with a building that is “beautiful,” but not very functional.

    • Reply
      Ryan Ayres February 7, 2018

      I agree with your choice of Viollet-le-Duc as studio critic. I like what he said when talking about certain materials which you mention above. The form and design of a material should be used according to its qualities. He believes that the forms of certain materials should follow the way they are meant to be. It is an interesting way of thinking, and I think it is a good theory especially in our type of studio this semester.

    • Reply
      Kyle Drenth February 7, 2018

      I acknowledge that programmatic design is extremely important but the form should be very captivating to start with. From this, I slightly disagree with the hierarchy of what is important with a design. You mentioned that Viollet-Le-Duc stated that materials should be respected with their properties. With this in mind, I think that it is extremely interesting when materials are stretched beyond their previous conventional implementations.

  12. Reply
    McKenna Kritsch February 6, 2018

    I would want Viollet-le-Duc as a studio critic because of his perspective on the way materials can “interest the public by [a] constant endeavor to give every object the form that befits its nature”. My design process, over the course of my time at Judson, has developed into one that enjoys the study of materials and how they can bring a building to life. Honest exposure of these elements includes “employ[ing] the materials according to their qualities and properties”. I understand the way Viollet-le-Duc explains that truth in architecture “is not sufficient to render a work excellent; it is necessary to give to truth a beautiful or at least appropriate form” as I have seen this to be true in my own projects.

    • Reply
      Ryan Pickhardt February 7, 2018

      Watching your designs evolve over the years, Viollet-le-Duc is the perfect person to critique your projects. Every one of your projects is heavily based on the affect of its surroundings whether that be how it physically affects the area or how it emotionally affects the person in/around the space. He may be a person to research further with your similar ideals in not lying about the forms and materials employed in design.

  13. Reply
    Joanna Daniyam February 6, 2018

    I would choose Pugin as a studio critic. I like his idea that “in pure architecture the smallest detail should have a meaning or serve a purpose.” I think of this as being very intentional with our designs. As his first rule says, “there should be no features about a building which are not necessary for convenience, construction, or propriety.” Again, when designing, even the smallest things are taken into consideration and should have a reason for being used. In this same way, we choose material that works with the design and can be efficiently used. Lastly, he says, “better is it to do a little substantially and consistently with truth, than to produce a great but fictitious effect.” In essence, trusting the overall process of constructing a building should be evident in the time and effort put in as opposed to just the end result.

  14. Reply
    Daniel Becker February 6, 2018

    My ideal choice for a studio critic would be Viollet-le-Duc. His work with restoration architecture really intreated me as he not only restored some of the most well know monuments but also made small improvements in material usage and design. Using historical facts while making his own tweaks and improvements makes Viollet-le-duc a pioneer in his time. One of biggest architectural challenges is blending the historical architecture with evolving times and technology. Viollet-le-duc did just that and that is why I would want him as my studio critic. I could see him being a very good critic as he can see the importance of history while implementing subtle improvements in design and structure.

    • Reply
      Sam Barber February 6, 2018

      I agree. I think that Viollet-le-Duc would be a great studio critic. As said in this post, he was an architect that was very skilled in restoring architecture, but it seems as though he was not simply concerned with making designs that were in perfect alignment with a certain style. Instead he was very competent with different styles, but he seems to have constantly been asking if there was a way to make something even better. I think that this is a very important question to ask when designing, adding to an existing design.

    • Reply
      Connor Brown February 7, 2018

      Viollet-le-Duc would be an excellent choice because as you said, he knows how to make those subtle improvements while balancing historical importance. Learning to adapt to the changing architecture style is a vital skill that would make him relevant in any time period. It is inspiring to see his methods in restoration of historical monuments.

  15. Reply
    Eddy Kalinda February 6, 2018

    I would most want to have Pugin as well.Pugin offered his readers an entire social programme, one which redefined architecture as a moral force, imbued with political and religious meaning. In his essay,he describes the architectural beauty as a functional design buidling achieving it’s purpose. And that resonate with me, because you don’t have to be a genius to visualize building from the exterior façade to the interior walls and be not be able to describe it’s function. I believe Pugin wanted to bring a certain purpose, and quality to the concept of designing. Which building types expresses different functionality nowadays. He brought a good understanding of designing something with a purpose , and without uneccessary ornaments.

  16. Reply
    Sam Barber February 6, 2018

    Viollet-le-Duc is the architect that I would most likely want to come to a critique. Viollet-le-Duc seems to have liked gothic architecture, however, it seems as though he was not convinced that this style was the only style that should ever be constructed. Instead he suggested that gothic architecture was valuable, but it could be analyzed structurally in order to see why it is considered to be such a successful style of architecture. He said that once the reason for the success of gothic architecture was discovered, new styles could be generated from it. I think that this kind of thinking would be helpful to gain insight from in a critique.

  17. Reply
    Ryan Pickhardt February 6, 2018

    I would want Pugin to critique me most out of the three theorists. His passion in his writings about architectural style, sets him apart. Architecture should not stay in the past, but instead use what has been learned to better our current designs. Pugin’s analogy about copying old things and being equal to modern pagans, resonated with me on a spiritual level. Though the ancient architects had great ideas, keeping pagan ideas seems backwards in my personal religious views. Not only is it not innovative, buildings purposes are confused with symbols from the past that do not correlate.

    (I am postive I submited this last night. I guess that it did not get to you to be approved.)

    • Reply
      JhenniferAmundson February 6, 2018

      I’m willing to blame the ghost of Viollet-le-Duc for this flukiness.

    • Reply
      Davis Burchett February 7, 2018

      I both agree, and disagree with you, Ryan. While I too chose Pugin, his insistence that only his “pointed” style is the only true Christian architecture turned me off a little bit. The argument against Classical buildings for churches seems logical, like you say, the symbols and associations don’t make sense usually. However, I think that applying his detestation for all styles that aren’t Gothic to all buildings could significantly weaken the richness of the architectural landscape when it comes to style.

    • Reply
      Morgan Dykema February 7, 2018

      I agree on your thoughts about having Pugin in studio. He is definitely set apart from the other theorists. Unlike Walter, Pugin is saying that we shouldn’t be relying on past architecture to design for the future. We can look for inspiration but shouldn’t be copying work that has already been done.

    • Reply
      Joanna Daniyam February 8, 2018

      I also chose Pugin and I agree that we should implement new ideas into architecture today. However, I also believe that we can look at historic precedents and draw inspiration from that of the past. It is not about imitating the exact style, but taking past designs and improving the architectural design.

  18. Reply
    Connor Brown February 7, 2018

    I would choose Viollet-de-Duc as a studio critic because of his knowledge in building materials usage. In the text, he states that building function is also more important than the beauty side of it which I agree with. To be able to fulfill it’s purpose is one of the primary principles, “Being true in the respect of the program.” It is also our job to use the materials in the building as efficiently as possible according to their properties. Saving on building costs can be beautiful as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php