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AESTETA: Formalism

Report by: SR
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
School of Design & Arts
Architecture Program
3rd Term S.Y. 2016-17
July 2017

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AESTETA: Formalism

  1. 1. FORMALISM AESTETA 3T SY 2016-17
  2. 2. Quick RundownMay 8 – 11 Questions (PLATE # 4 soon) May 15 – 5 Metaphysical Projects of Western Architecture May 22 – PLATE # 1 (A Question of Aggragation) May 29 – Architectural Determinism June 5 – Kantian Philosophy - PLATE # 2 (Concept vs. Experience) June 19 – POST DESIGN RATIONALIZATION (Romanticism vs Factality) July 3 – Hegelian Dialectics July 31 – Formalism - PLATE # 3 (Mathematician’s House) CONCEPT August 4 - PLATE # 3 (Scale Mode)
  3. 3. Formalism The term formalism describes an emphasis on form over content or meaning in the arts, literature, or philosophy.
  4. 4. Formalism (Art) In art history, formalism is the study of art by analysing and comparing form and style—the way objects are made and their purely visual aspects.
  5. 5. The context for the work, including the reason for its creation, the historical background, and the life of the artist, that is, its conceptual aspect is considered to be of secondary importance.
  6. 6. Formalism (Literature) • It is the study of a text without taking into account any outside influence.
  7. 7. Formalism (Philosophy) Formalists within a discipline are completely concerned with "the rules of the game," as there is no other external truth that can be achieved beyond those given rules.
  8. 8. How does Formalism in architecture being “controlled”?
  9. 9. Construction Lines
  10. 10. EARLY EXAMPLES Ad Triangulum in Gothic Architecture
  11. 11. Construction Lines • Hidden Lines • Guide lines • Xlines • Construction lines are temporary linework entities that can be used as references when creating and positioning other objects or linework.
  12. 12. VILLA LA ROTONDA by Andrea Palladio
  13. 13. Why is this important? Their purpose is to instigate a personal investigation of architectural design based on a particular assumption: Without denying individual creativity and innovation, there is ample evidence of a canon of fundamental design strategies shared by architects worldwide;
  14. 14. Why is this important? A close examination of the work of greatest architects – Michaelangelo and Le Corbusier, for example – reveals that much of their success was due to their ability to interpret these design strategies in fresh ways that made them seem new.
  15. 15. Contemporary students of architecture tend to assume that the dramatic technological advances of the recent past and the present place them in an entirely different world of ideas than the one of their predecessors.
  16. 16. [Hanlon] Argue that despite differences in appearance and in methods of construction, at the conceptual level of composition little has changed over thousand of year of formal exploration.
  17. 17. Architectural Design is essentially – PATTERN MAKING.
  18. 18. Are you ready to learn basics of Formalism?
  19. 19. Five Formal Properties • Number • Geometry • Proportion • Hierarchy • Orientation
  21. 21. 2 Geometry Division by 45 degrees
  22. 22. 3 Proportion 2:√3 rectangle
  23. 23. 4 Hierarchy Primary veins Secondary veins Tertiary veins Primary Secondary Tertiary
  24. 24. 5 Orientation Horizontal axes Vertical axes
  25. 25. Maple Leaf Analogy What is most fascinating about this rigorous system is that among the countless maple leaves nature has produced, no two leaves are ever exactly alike. The underlying rules of a maple leaf pattern (number, geometry, proportion, hierarchy, and orientation) ensure consistency without uniformity.
  26. 26. 1 Number Three major lobes Two minor lobes
  27. 27. 1 Number Number is the fundamental property. They assume that all physical phenomena are in essence numerical. Some structures are relatively easy to discern whereas others, such as chaotic structures of weather systems, are extremely complex.
  28. 28. 1 Number Common feature of space and time as we ordinarily experience them in architecture such as rhythm and cadence, are numerical progressions. House in Bangalore
  29. 29. 2 Geometry Division by 45 degrees
  30. 30. 2 Geometry Geometry is the shape of number. Like numbers, geometries in nature vary widely in complexity. Geometry is an underlying ordering mechanism that establishes a consistent language of form for a given phenomenon. Each geometric figure has intrinsic qualities.
  31. 31. 2 Geometry The square, for example, is defined by its four equal sides and right angles. In architectural design, the relation of geometric figures is a visual language that is central to our reading of pattern.
  32. 32. House Plan by Frank Lloyd Wright
  33. 33. 3 Proportion 2:√3 rectangle
  34. 34. 3 Proportion Proportion is the ratio of numbers with a geometric figure or among parts of a larger composition. Le Modulor by Le Corbusier
  35. 35. 4 Hierarchy Primary veins Secondary veins Tertiary veins Primary Secondary Tertiary
  36. 36. 4 Hierarchy Hierarchy indicates the relative importance of the parts of a composition and is dependent on number, geometry, and proportion, since each of these attributes to the identity of each part and its position relative to others. Nature avoids uniformity because forms in nature respond directly to the distribution and collection of energy.
  37. 37. 4 Hierarchy Since sources of energy are concentrated or intermittent, not uniform, forms must organize themselves hierarchically to produce structures that mediate between places of high concentration of energy and those of low concentrations.
  38. 38. 4 Hierarchy Analogously, in architectural patterns, not all parts are of the same significance. We can consider them in respect to energy as well – literally in respect to natural light, but also figuratively to their visual, emotional, and spiritual energy. The Cathedral of Christ the Light by SOM
  39. 39. 5 Orientation Horizontal axes Vertical axes
  40. 40. 5 Orientation Orientation operates in two ways in patterns: externally and internally. All natural phenomena are oriented in space in some way, in response to forces around them, such as sunlight or magnetic field.
  41. 41. 5 Orientation • They may be oriented externally toward patterns outside themselves, such as the sun or a direction of movement. • They are also oriented internally by virtue of an organization of their parts (e.g., the axis of symmetry that controls the position of the head, thorax, and abdomen of a beetle indicates its direction and movement).
  42. 42. 5 Orientation Likewise, in an architectural design, we find buildings oriented externally toward distant objects, such as the Kaaba in Mecca for mosques or the polestar for some Anasazi Kivas. Internally, orientation may take the form of an axis of symmetry, but there also may be a series of changing orientation in a choreographed movement though linked segments of space.
  43. 43. 15 minute break
  44. 44. 1 Number Number’s role in architectural composition The designer arranges parts of a composition in some way – sequentially or repetitively producing RHYTHM. RHYTHM is not REPETITION
  45. 45. 1 Number Number’s role in architectural composition The designer arranges parts of a composition in some way – sequentially or repetitively producing RHYTHM. RHYTHM is not REPETITION
  46. 46. 2 Geometry The geometric conception dominates the form. The crossings are square in plan, The dimensions of this square produced the planning module for the entire church Church of saint Michael, Hildesheim Germany
  47. 47. It is a tour de force of elemental three dimensional forms; Cubes Cylinders Pyramids Cones Church of saint Michael, Hildesheim Germany
  48. 48. 3 Proportions Schroder house by Gerrit Rietveld
  49. 49. 3 Proportions Despite the complexity of design, Rietveld relied on a traditional proportion for the building as a whole: the golden section is the basis for both the plan and the section.
  50. 50. 3 Proportions The rationale for the use of an abstract ratio such as the golden section has two theoretical bases; First, since much of the natural world appears to be ordered by the golden section (including our own bodies), humans are presumably predisposed to find it aesthetically pleasing.
  51. 51. 3 Proportions The second theory is that because it can be subdivided systematically to produce identical Ratios at different scales, its use Achieves a harmonic relation Among the parts of a composition. HARMONY
  52. 52. 4-5 Hierarchy & Orientation Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul Turkey By Mimar Siman
  53. 53. The center of this large complex of buildings is a mosque. Sinan perfected the compositional system, derived from Byzantine precedents, by which relatively small domes, half domes, monumental arches, and buttresses supported a fully hierarchical composition that produces a cascade of volumes from the center to the periphery.
  54. 54. A formal orientation of a building, as distinct from a processional orientation, fixes internal elements of a plan to an external phenomenon – for example, a cardinal direction, another bldg, or a view. As with all mosques, in this case it is a distant referent, the Kaaba in Mecca.