Friday, July 23, 2010

fantastic buildings

Architects have a daunting job. They have to plan out a building that must operate and function the way that the client needs it to and they need to come up with something that is visually interesting as well. They need to strike a balance between form and function. Some buildings serve their function very well, but their design doesn't engage a person in an interesting way. Some veer towards the opposite end, and are so visually different or elaborate that any supposed function gets lost or difficult. What would you want to do if it was up to you to design a building?

This one gets students using line in 2 different ways. They use it to decorate the surfaces present in their drawing by using a variety of patterns and they use it to make the the building in their drawing look 3d.

To begin, I show the classes different buildings from around the world. I emphasize the variety in materials,   decoration, and balance.  I talk about how a lot of public and religious architecture uses symmetry to create a stable, strong vibe in the building because those are attributes that the patron wants the public to feel about them. Asymmetry in building design can bring a different type of energy to the building.


Narita Temple, Japan


the Crooked House by Jan Marcin Szancer and Per Dahlberg


Some of the examples have natural shapes included that give a building a different, looser feel than one made of the traditional geometric shapes of triangles, rectangles, squares, and circles.
Hundertwasser's Waldspirale

We also discuss how architects need to make their drawings look 3d for their clients, so they use diagonal lines that slant back in a uniform way to create the sides of the buildings in the drawings. I don't get into one point linear perspective here. I just want them to get a basic understanding of it so they can apply it to their elaborate building designs.


As I do an example for students I have them volunteer important elements of a functional building and I add these to my example.

1. Students must decide if they will create a horizontal or vertical building that has either symmetry or asymmetry. They draw it out in pencil.
2. Add diagonal lines to any points that need them on one side of the shapes included in the building design. draw a parallel lines that these diagonals run into, so we can see where the back edge of the building begins.
3. With a couple different width black markers, they then add patterns to their building and trace around the contours of the building and its features. They add variety by using thick & think lines in their patterns.
4. i discuss analogous colors and students use one set of them in crayon to create a blended background that goes from dark to light on a separate sheet of paper. this adds a sunset/sunrise feeling to the finished image and it makes the building stand out since that part is only in black and white.
5. students cut out their building design and glue it in place on top of the color background sheet


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