Monday, January 31, 2011

Yemen and Social Networking

Yemen is a small country in the Middle East who has just recently established national borders with Saudia Arabia.  Since 1990 Yemen states have been in turmol however in the last decade they have been unified as the Republic of Yemen.  Yemen is major population is Arabic people.  Although Yemen is a republic they are a Muslim country and are strongly influenced by surrounding countries and the Muslim law.

When looking at one of the biggest social networking sites worldwide, facebook it is interesting to see how the belief system of Yemen can play a huge part in how facebook works in this country.  For example, when comparing statistics the male to female ratio is 78% to 22%.  Males between the ages of 18 and 24 are the prodominat users.  This is an interesting observation that reflects the Muslium background of Yemen.  It was also interesting to find that Yemen has a lot of online dating sites for Muslims to join and find other respectable Muslims withing their community.  This is a modern way for the people of Yemen to meet and date.

As we see with Facebook and basic Muslim traditions, women do not have many of the advantages as men expecially with social networking.  Interestingly, Blogging is becoming a huge part of women's life in Yemen due to the fact that it gives them a voice and allows them to raise awareness. Workshops and training sessions are held specifically for women to learn how to work the internet and blog.

It is also interesting to see Yemen government using social networking as a way to discuss terrorism and their issues with Al Qaeda. They have been allies with the United States antiterroist policies and by posting web videos and news article on the web they are aloud to voice to the world issue and concerns with terrorism.

It is really interesting to to look at how a country like Yemen views social networking because we it is different from what we are use to.  It is easy just to think that the rest of the world is just as connected as we are but that is not the case.   The people of Yemen do have more freedom when it comes to modern social networking but it is still interesting to see how Muslim value systems greatly influence the usage of social networking and the demographic that uses social networking.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blog Post 2 : 10 Words

This week in class we looked at and compared the Acropolis and Xianyang palace.  To better gather our ideas and compare the too we looked at them through ten different perspectives: space, power, experience, principles, precedent, site, order, scale, technology, and surface. Using these perspectives and our walk across campus we can begin to see how these same ideas fit into UNCG campus.

When thinking about space at UNCG I think about the different types of buildings on campus and the layout of campus space.  Campus is a place to learn, live, and network. If one looks at the layout of campus space he/she can clearly see designated gathering of buildings for living, studying, learning, and socializing. The layout is very balanced and from this one can gather the idea of balance in life ans schedules.  There is a place and time to study, have fun, learn, and sleep.

I have highlighted with different colors living areas and areas to study. Living areas in Pink. Learning areas in Blue.  The space is  well organized and grouped off.
College aveune is the main path of campus and one of the main axis.  Many different buildings intended for different areas of study are right off college aveune. Areas of study and sleep are also right off college aveune.  As you stand in the middle of college aveune looking toward Spring Garden one sees the Curry building.  With this perspective it gives the building a sense of power and importance.  This image reflects the power of higher education that UNCG can offer.

Every college campus allows one to have different experiences centered around the ideals of education.  UNCG campus reflects the importance of education through groves and stacks. Buildings around campus are stacked showing heiarchy and giving one the feeling of obtaining a higher education at UNCG can allow for one to achieve higher goals. 

Most of the building are classical in style which can make one think of our capital buildings, law offices, etc. The principles of order, truth, and classical learning are all principles we as students live by every time we sign the UNCG Honor Code. Also, the icon of UNCG is Minerva the goddess of knowlege which is also a princple of UNCG and the ideals of a place to learn and grow.

When coming into the enterance gates of UNCG campus the change in arcitectual style and material is very apparent from campus' surrounding community.  It is like walking into another world, a world designed for the focus of education.  This was a precedent set by the designers of the campus so that people will always know that UNCG is a place of learning.  Also, most of the buildings are built of soild brick which hold all the history of past students.  These bricks endure the stability of UNCG campus so that it will be here as a place to learn well into the future.

Foust is one of the largest buildings on UNCG campus.  It has been the face of history.

Campus is on a flat surface with the main road of Spring Garden leading all the way through campus allowing for outside traffic to travel through campus daily.  Spring Garden helps to centralize the site of campus because it is a road the takes one from downtown all the way to wendover and on through Greensboro. Organized paths throughout campus lead one to different sites of campus.

On the site of campus the order of the buildings are well organized with pathways clearly leading us to different parts of campus.  This flow gives us order and easy understanding of what buildings are used for what. 

Campus is very spread out with buildings very large in scale compared to the average human.  It is a nice hike from one end to campus to the other but through grouping of buildings students usually do not have to travel far for their studies.  Also, the scale of buildings help to enphasize the heiarchy of higher education.  For example, Jackson Library stands tall and proud at 9 stories high and can see from outside of campus.  It is very large in scale and gives the impression that this place of studying is a very important building.

Living in the 21st century having wireless infastructure is a must, expecially on a college campus.  I like the fact that UNCG campus has designed buildings to where most buildings have places where students can access internet and surf the web in different enviroments.  Also, most buildings have computers that can be accessed by students.

I feel like the idea of surface encompasses many other ideas.  For example, the brick materials used, the usage of groves and stacks.  The surface of campus shows one history, hiearchy, and the importance of education.

Reading Response 3: Architectual Influence and Greek Columns : 1/31/11

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blog Post 1 : Stacks, Groups, and Circles. Ritual/Enviroment

For this weeks discussion in class we talked about human's first efforts in building.  Most of these first efforts reflected how people saw the enviroment in which they lived.  Many of the structures they created imulated nature and the natural order of things.  The concept of observing nature and using it in design was a concept we learned last semester in Studio and I find it interesting that this concept has been used for centuries.  In understanding this concept we went exploring around campus to gain a better understanding of how today we still use the ideas of circles, stacks, and groups to help build in our enviroments. 

The groups of colums represent vertial structures

Vertical structures showing the enterance of the Weatherspoon Art Museum

Enterance 1 into Stone Building

Enterance 2 into Stone Building

Vertial structures are classified into groups.  Groups of Colums such as the ones above are found all throughout UNCG campus.  Colums help to emphasize the center of buildings and  show the building's importance.  This is also the case of the elegant porches we discussed in class.  The tall vertical cluster of colums direct us to a certian area, making it feel more welcoming.  For example, I have two images of the Stone building off of college avenue.  Enterance one has a group of colums, letting one know that this is the main enterance.  Enterance two is a set of double stairs leading to a door.  Clearly enterance one is more astethicly pleasing, directing and guiding one easily to the enterance. Over all, a strategically placed group of objects in rows as trees or tall vertial elements help to guide us by giving one a clear and welcoming path. 


Arial of the Columed Enterance into the Music Building.

Fountian outside the Cafeteria

Circles are viewed as sacred spots.  Areas where people come to gather for ritual/social events.  The usage of the circle mimics the sun and the moon and how people viewed their importance.  Some examples I gathered around campus were the Music Building enterance and the famous Fountain.  The enterance to the Music Building is circular surrounded by tall vertical colums with twelve outside benches places around the circle.  When entering im sure most people just keep going, reaching the doors and entering the bulding however, the stucture of the outside enterance suggests differently.  It is a area where people can gather.  The circle has twelve symmetrically placed benches mimic that of a clock with twelve numbers. This is relevant to the concept of time and phases in life that circles  mimic. Throughout history we have seen many political halls set up this way.  I can picture a great leader standing in the middle, where everyone can hear him, see him, and with the slight turn he is able to easily see everyone.  In having this set up everyone can talk and discuss as equals.  They can participate in gatherings and rituals as equals. 

My other example of a cirlce is the fountain outside the cafeteria.  The fountian is set up in stacks that complete a cicle.  The center of the circle is a vertical fountian. The fountain is a very good example of a circle because this is a place where people gather.  In the spring and summer students stretch out in groups all across the fountain area.  Faternities, Sororities, Religious groups, and other clubs/organizations hold ceremonies or events at the fountain.  The gather people together for a common type of ceremonial event.  When discussing ancient cultures we looked at how most cultures were centered around water.  At the fountian we see many groups of people coming and gathering around the center of nature. 


The fountain at the cafeteria is also a good example of stacks.  Stacks help to show hiarchey in levels.  For example, standing on top of a mountian looking down gives one a sense of power and importance. The fountian is made up of stacks. 

Other examples of stacks:
The Library is different than the more classical architecture found throught UNCG campus.  It is a example of stacking because it is many levels and layers all serving a different purpose.

 The levels of stairs leading up to the Curry building gives it a sense of hiarchey.  It leads up to the center area of the buliding making it seem grand and a building of great importance.

The enterance to the MHRA is similar to Curry but with a different architectural style.  One can still see the importance if the building and also the difinity of the three different levels of the MHRA.

Window Stack represented in a residence hall.  Each window is exactly the same and placed right above the next.  Withing the building these specific areas serve the same purpose on each level.

When getting to the question, Do emviroments influence rituals or do rituals influence enviroments? I would have to say both. Through observing stacks, circles, and groups humans first learned how to build through observing the enviroment around them.  People developed their ritualistic practices around elements of nature.  As people began to build more and understand more about their enviroment, rituals and enviroments both began to change.  Peoples enviroments reflected their views and ritualistic practices.  Places such as stonehenge developed both representing the influence of ritual on enviroment through the change in enviroment and also enviroments influence on ritual through its resembulance to nature and the respect of nature.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reading Response 1

This is a very rough example of something I would do for a reading response.  I used a little creativity and freehanded all my drawings.  It is hard to see but I think that this is a technique that I could practice and work on and improve with several reasing responses in the future.  Within this response I focused on the Hongshan and Yanshoa cultures.  Within the Hongshan culture I talked about the importance of the Niuheliang Ritual Center in bringing the Hongshan culture together because the culture was big and spread. Withing the Yangshao culture I discussed the houses and community center.  I also talked about how pottery was a huge production.  All of my imformation and sources/images were from out textbook A Global History Of Architecture by Ching.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Introducing Yourself through Type

As with the beginning of Design Visualization 111, for our first assignment of 112 we were asked to design a label.  For this label we were asked to explain ourselves as a designer in a creative manner.  I do not know a lot about working with graphics on the computer so I stuck to drawing my label and adding font after.  I also choose to draw my label because drawing is not a strong point of mine, and something as a designer that I wish to improve. My design depics my my goals as a designer.  My love for historical architecture was my motivation to wanting to study architecture and desgin.  As a desinger I really want to combined some of the old world of design into the new world of modern design.