31 March 2010

Charlottesville Updates

It has been an interesting week in Charlottesville.  Although I haven't exactly gotten much work done on my Thesis, there have been some other happenings worth reviewing.

Last week was the admitted student open house for the entire A-School.  I think all the prospective students had a good time.  I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture by Professor Ed Ford and the dinner at the Biltmore Restaurant [yummy burger with bleu-cheese].  Professor Ford's lecture was interesting, in that it combined a quick overview of his design and teaching theory with a walk through of several of his architectural designs [both built and unbuilt].  His books also look like a good read.  His lecture also brought up an interesting point - do we spend to much time "reading" buildings and focusing on the effects of signs and symbols, rather than trying to understand the building itself as a whole product of an individuals thought process?  Professor Ford's argument was definitely sound, and has really made me thing about the way I look at buildings, which I think may help me see some new angles on my thesis.  Also, I have a new building that I really must visit:  The Vienna State Library.  I wish I could find a pic of the handrail that he created for his house, lets just say that it rates up there with the Kahn handrail from the Kimbell in Fort Worth, TX.

 State Hall, Vienna National Library

There were also two other interesting public lectures last week, one about the role and transformation of Modern Urban Art in China during the last two decades and one about 3-D reconstructions of an ancient roman house in Antioch.  Both of these were brilliant, and were very visually striking.  In other 3-D reconstruction news - the Urban Simulation Team at UCLA have some excellent videos on youtube for various recreations.  The one below is of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago:

 Also, here is a really nice recreation of the processional route through the Temple at Karnak, Egypt

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