One way to approach design is based on our own bodily experiences of places. Our senses and emotions, as well as our mental capacities, all come into play whenever we experience a particular landscape; when we stroll through a garden or jog along a park path, or picnic at the seashore, or even when we drive on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. In all these cases we constantly have feelings and thoughts about the environment that we are immersed within.
The usual way of communicating about our experiences within the landscape is to speak about them. Each of us has our own particular way of telling a story about landscapes that we have experienced. So, you could say, each of us has developed our own language for describing landscape.
Professional designers also have a language for describing the landscape. The aim of this assignment is for you to create a bridge that connects the ordinary language that you already have with the design language that professionals use to talk about, plan, and manipulate the landscape.
Another way to state the aim of this assignment is to list the challenges that you will face:
(1) to understand your personal experiences of a place,
(2) to express your personal feelings by using a professional design language,
(3) to learn about design concepts or metaphors through the use of various forms of art, and
(4) to create a design through concepts and metaphors.
Lets start from transforming your experience of your favorite place into a piece of music, dance, photo, poem, etc. Before we move on, please keep in mind this assignment will lead to the design of your next project.
How do we experience a place, a landscape, or daily environments and transform our feelings about this place into material expressions? Speaking and drawing are just two of the ways (two of the tools) that enable us to document our bodily experiences of landscapes. There are many other ways of describing the landscape.
If you think about the landscape as a living environment composed of inter-related elements, it is easy to think that the landscape is similar to us, as biological human beings. Like human beings, the landscape has its rhythms, its cycles, and its heartbeats. The rhythm of the landscapes and place (like seasonal changes or even daily changes that happen between sunset and sunrise) can be metaphorically understood as being similar to the daily flow of human emotion, or even the changes that we go through as we pass from one phase of our life into another.
You will be challenged to experience the rhythm of a particular landscape and create a story of how you interact with this place by making use of art forms and of a design language.
First, you have to go to your favorite place on Campus. Pay attention to how you are experiencing this favorite place: observe, contemplate and feel the heart beat of the place. Then, sketch and document the things that you are interested in. Perhaps what captures your attention is the nearby traffic, the sunlight washing the landscape, or the wind dancing with the nearby trees, or the people or the buildings in the area. It could be the smells, the sounds, or the memories evoked by the landscape.
Second, choose a piece of art that represents the feeling you have of this place. The form of the art can be any type of art, i.e., music (a rock-n-roll song, classical, whatever), dance, photo, poem, video, collage, etc. You can also create your own sounds or body movements that represents your feeling, if you are not satisfied with any existing art forms. After you pick (or create) a form of art, you have to explain why the song as a mode of expressing transformed your feeling of the place into a real material creation. Then, you have to name this transformation.
Third, create a 3-dimension model to represent the transformation that you named. You can choose any material that you like to build the model. Be sure that the model carries on the theme of the transformation of your favorite place on campus.
Dates: 9/2, 3, 4 (define a favorite place)
9/8-16 (reading discussion, in-class exercise, desk crit)
9/17, 18 (presentation)
1) the art piece representing your favorite campus place,
2) creative models of the place with your own interpretation,
3) a statement of how you name this transformation.
Presentation process: creating a story telling way that integrates the art piece and your sketches.
Depth of analysis 30%