What Makes A Good Architect Cultural Studies Essay

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The Beaux-Arts training emphasized the mainstream examples of Imperial Roman architecture between Augustus and the Severan emperors, Italian Renaissance, and French and Italian Baroque models especially. American architects of the Beaux-Arts generation often returned to Greek models, which had a strong local history in the American Greek Revival of the early 19th century.

Beaux-Arts training emphasized the production of quick conceptual sketches, highly finished perspective presentation drawings, close attention to the program, and knowledgeable detailing. Site considerations tended toward social and urbane contexts.

Beaux-Arts architecture depended on sculptural decoration along conservative modern lines, employing French and Italian Baroque and Rococo formulas combined with an impressionistic finish and realism.

University of Notre Dame and the Beaux-Arts Atelier are some of the very few classical architecture schools left other than architectural history units.

Modern movement

Schools like the Bauhaus were they combined crafts and the fine arts.

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The Bauhaus had this idea of creating a "total" work of art in which all arts, including architecture, would eventually be brought together. The Bauhaus had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography. Bauhaus was entirely apolitical and flowed the influence of the 19th century English designer William Morris, who had argued that art should meet the needs of society and that there should be no distinction between form and function.[3]

Academic or craft based

The Hand of the Craftsman

The studios of architects who have an exploratory attitude towards their architectural craft usually express the personality of the architect as well as the maker's devotion to and respect' for his/her work.

The tradition of craftsmanship is gaining increasing value and appreciation in today's reality of the technological world, mechanical production, and the regrettable loss of the touch of the human hand in our mechanically mass-produced products and environments.

The work of the craftsman requres collaboration with his material. lnstead of imposing a preconceived idea or shape, he needs to listen to his material. A crafts man must also be deeply concerned with the innate properties of materials something that he cannot achieve through reading, one must bend melt, hit, feel the differentiation in tactile affects brought on by the change of session on the material.

Mastering one craft then helps the designer and architect to understand the nuances of other crafts and to respect the skill and experience of the craftsman executing his design.

The architectural profession was traditionally regarded as a craft, or close to the notion of craft. Architectural ideas were created in close interaction with the actual physical construction at the site, and drawings did not emerge as means of conceiving architecture until the Renaissance period.l2 Prior to that, architecture was seen as a manual occupation along with painting and sculpture. ln order to raise these manual and mechanical arts to the level of the 'liberal arts' of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music that formed the quadrivium of the mathematical arts, these practices had to be given a firm theoretical foundation, The essence of architecture was largely in technical practicalities as conveyed, for instance, by Vitruvius's (84-14 ec) seminal treatise De architectura libri decem (The Ten Books on Architecture).

lt should also be remembered that the master architects of the Renaissance were usually painters and sculptors as well.

ln some countries an alternative path to the profession of the architect has traditionally existed through some of the building crafts, such as bricklaying, carpentry, or cabinet-making.

During the post-war decades, the intellectual emphasis in architectural education, and the growing practical as well as mental distance between the architect's studio and the construction site have, however, decisively weakened the craft essence of the architect's work. Today the architect usually works from the distance of the architectural studio through drawings and verbal specifications, much like a lawyer, instead of being directly immersed in the material and physical processes of making. In addition,

The increasing specialization and division of labor within the architectural practice itself has fragmented the traditional entity of the architect's self- identity, working process, and end result. Finally, the use of the computer has broken the sensual and tactile connection between imagination and the object of design.

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a wise architect today searches deep personal friendships with craftsmen, artisans and artists in order to reconnect his/her intellectualized world and thinking with the real world of materiality.

In his first book, Vitruvius emphasises the importance of setting manual skill alongside a theoretical foundation: 'so architects who without culture aim at manual skill cannot gain a prestige corresponding to their labours, while those who trust to theory and literature obviously follow a shadow and not reality. But those who have mastered both, like men equipped in full armor, soon acquire influence and attain their purpose.,16

The self taught masters

Mies played a significant role as an educator, believing his architectural language could be learned, then applied to design any type of modern building. He set up a new education that replaced the traditional Ecole des Beaux-Art curriculum at the department of architecture of the Illinois Institute of Technology with a three-step-education beginning with crafts of drawing and construction leading to planning skills and finishing with theory of architecture

Mies made a dramatic modernist debut with his competition proposal for the all glass skyscraper in 1921

he joined the German avant-garde, working with the design magazine G which started in July 1923. He became the architectural director of the Werkbund. He was also one of the founders of the architectural association Der Ring. He joined the Bauhaus design school as its last director.

Mies was very bold, was not afraid of taking the best of other styles that he liked and putting them together in a poetic way.

Mies pursued an ambitious lifelong mission to create a new architectural language that could be used to represent the new era of technology and production.

The self-educated Mies painstakingly studied the great philosophers and thinkers, past and present, to enhance his own understanding of the character and essential qualities of the technological times he lived in. Mies' architecture was guided by principles at a high level of abstraction, and his own generalized descriptions of those principles intentionally leave much room for interpretation. Yet his buildings are executed as objects of beauty in craftsmanship, and seem very direct and simple. He believed that god was in the detail This further supports my comment about the idea being beyond the intelligence of the average viewer yet the form is easily visually absorbed, this makes me think that perhaps this underlying intelligent idea is just to misdirect and puzzle the intellectuals in to thinking that there is a higher meaning when in fact its all just bricks and mortar (or steel and glass).

Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright was the leader of the Prairie School movement, developed the concept of the Usonian home, and authored 20 books and many articles and a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well known during his lifetime and is recognized by the American Institute of Architects as "the greatest American architect of all time."[1]

Wright changed his middle name from Lincoln to Lloyd in honour of his mother's family, the Lloyd Joneses. As the only male left in the family, Wright assumed financial responsibility for his mother and two sisters.

In 1886 Wright attended a Madison high school, but there is no evidence he ever graduated.[4] That same year Wright went straight in to architectural drafting work with Joseph Lyman Silsbee then Adler & Sullivan as an official apprentice.[13]

"Sullivan took [Wright] under his wing and gave him great design responsibility."

Wright conceived virtually every detail of both the external design and the internal fixtures, including furniture, carpets, windows, doors, tables and chairs, light fittings and decorative elements.

Wright strongly believed in individualism and did not affiliate with the American Institute of Architects during his career

this is so similar to the caractor rock in an rands book.

Le Corbusier

(October 6, 1887 - August 27, 1965), was an architect, designer, urbanist, writer His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout Europe, India and America.

Le Corbusier studied visual arts at the La-Chaux-de-Fonds Art School.

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He travelled and worked extensively around Europe from About 1907 without any formal architecture education, he developed the five points of architecture the Modular system produced Furniture and urban design based on apolitical societal values

Unfortunately in some cases his modernist urge to use advanced technologies got the better of him.

Technological historian and architecture critic Lewis Mumford wrote in Yesterday's City of Tomorrow that the extravagant heights of Le Corbusier's skyscrapers had no reason for existence apart from the fact that they had become technological possibilities. The open spaces in his central areas had no reason for existence either, Mumford wrote, since on the scale he imagined there was no motive during the business day for pedestrian circulation in the office quarter. By "mating utilitarian and financial image of the skyscraper city to the romantic image of the organic environment, Le Corbusier had, in fact, produced a sterile hybrid."

The public housing projects influenced by his ideas are seen by some as having had the effect of isolating poor communities in monolithic high-rises and breaking the social ties integral to a community's development.

Philip Johnson

Philip Johnson has commented on the same topic, saying;

The first rule of architecture is be born rich, failing that second is to marry wealthy and thirdly or be a genius like frank Lloyd wright.

Mies, Corb and Wright, were granted genius Statius perhaps because of a time now called the Heroic Period as did Brunelleschi and Michelangelo of the Renaissance.

Frank never got over the idea that there were only to architects that ever lived Michelangelo and himself" Philip Johnson

Mies was convinced that he was the greatest architect in the world when he was young 'Philip Johnson"

The heroic period

This was bought on now doubt by the vastly changing world at the time, climaxing of the Heroic Age of World War and Antarctic Exploration was an era beginning at the end of the 19th century and closing 1945, the end of the World War 2

Their perspectives were shaped by the temper of the times that sought to cast the conflict adversity as a great victory and the war to end all wars

When one is closely associated with the war it is very easy to fall into the trap of seeing almost everything as unique, more heroic, or more successful.

Sunupsuss of the masters

The impression you get from reading the lives of the great masters is that of blind arrogance in the case of Mies and frank who unwaveringly thought of them selves as the best architects that ever lived.

They lived through extraordinary times of upheaval (1494 the Medici were expelled from Florence as the result of the rise of Savonarola. Michelangelo left the city before the end of the political upheaval) family troubles and war, thou were most likely helped through these times by being lucky enough to be born in to relatively well off families or established enough already so as not to be sent to the front line. They started out early and with talent that would catch the attention of leaders of the field.

Having hardship in some form or another such as frank taking on the responsibility for providing for his family after his father was told to leave for not providing. No doughty encourage him to not be like his father. They seemed to have relatively little schooling and where they did, showed little interest in subjects other than the arts

And of coarse large amounts of commissions

Being thrown in the deep end as (He was asked by the consuls of the Guild of Wool to complete an unfinished project begun 40 years earlier a colossal statue portraying David as a symbol of Florentine freedom, Michelangelo responded by completing his most famous work, the Statue of David, in 1504.) and frank"Sullivan took [Wright] under his wing and gave him great design responsibility."

Plus if you design over 500 building then one of them is bound to get recognized.

Come up with a catch phrase

Ayn Rand's interpretation of the ideal Architect

Howard Roark is an individualistic young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. The book (The Fountain head) follows his battle to practice modern architecture, which he believes to be superior, despite an establishment centred on tradition-worship. Roark is Rand's embodiment of the human spirit, and his struggle represents the triumph of individualism over collectivism.

Ayn Rand new little of the world of Architecture therefore, she did extensive research to develop plot and character ideas. This included reading numerous biographies and books about architecture,[2] and working as an unpaid typist in the office of architect Ely Jacques Kahn. (3)

Howard Roark

Roark is an aspiring architect who firmly believes that a person must be a "prime mover" to achieve pure art, not mitigated by others, as opposed to councils or committees of individuals which lead to compromise and mediocrity and a "watering down" of a prime mover's completed vision. He represents the triumph of individualism over the slow stagnation of collectivism. Bowing to no one, Roark rises from an unknown architect who was kicked out of school for "drawing outside of the lines". Roark goes on to design many landmark buildings, and rails against convention.

The character of Roark was at least partly inspired by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Rand described the inspiration as limited to "some of his architectural ideas [and] the pattern of his career".[17] She denied that Wright had anything to do with the philosophy expressed by Roark [18][19

Rand indicated that the primary theme of The Fountainhead was "individualism versus collectivism, not in politics but within a man's soul."[36] As historian James Baker described it, "The Fountainhead hardly mentions politics or economics, despite the fact that it was born in the 1930s. Nor does it deal with world affairs, although it was written during World War II.

It provided an appropriate vehicle to concretize her beliefs that the individual is of supreme value, the "fountainhead" of creativity, and that selfishness, properly understood as ethical egoism, is a virtue.

Peter Keating and Howard Roark are character foils. Keating practices in the historical eclectic and neo-classic mold, even when the building's typology is a skyscraper. He follows and pays respect to old traditions. He accommodates the changes suggested by others, mirroring the eclectic directions, and willingness to adapt, current at the turn of the twentieth century. Roark searches for truth and honesty and expresses them in his work. He is uncompromising when changes are suggested, mirroring modern architecture's trajectory from dissatisfaction with earlier design trends to emphasizing individual creativity. Roark's individuality eulogizes modern architects as uncompromising and heroic.

Would finding out ruin it for everyone

Artistic work is always a collaboration on several levels.

The artistic experience is a collaborative effort of the writer and the reader, the painter and the viewer the architect and the occupant' As Sartre argues:

'lt is the joint effort of author and reader which brings upon the scene that concrete and imaginary object which is the work of the mind. There is no art except for and by others.'l

Therefore if the art or the architecture idea is to complicated for the viewer, the viewer cannot process the scene into a visual imaginary thought to be appreciated and appraised or judged. So architecture with a high level of theory is therefore only for the intellectual, for self gratitude and acceptance among his/her pears, an architecture for the architect, an architecture for a single client that the public should not then have to see (not an architecture for the city)

This is therefore a direct reflection of this obsessively materialist consumer world.

This would explain the popularity of Steve Jobs perhaps as our new night in shining armor, the master craftsman of our area.

we lost the dimensions in our culture and personal lives that could be worthy of glorification

Architectural thought arises from given conditions, but it always aspires to an ideal. Hence, the loss of the ideal dimension of life implies the disappearance of architecture.

Finally, the architect needs his/her heart in order to imagine situations of real life and to feel compassion for the human destiny. In my view, the gift of heart is most underestimated as a prerequisite for architecture in our times of self- centredness and false self-assurance.