Introduction to Architectural Concepts
Students begin to familiarize themselves with some of the general concepts of architecture.
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
page 23 "You must learn to understand--and it has been proved by all authorities--that everything beautiful in architecture has been done already. There is a treasure mine in every style of the past. We can only choose from the great masters. Who are we to improve upon them? We can only attempt, respectfully, to repeat."
page 24 "No two materials are alike. No two sites on earth are alike. No two buildings have the same purpose. The purpose, the site, the material determine the shape. Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it's made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose. A man doesn't borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn't borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window and stairway to express it."
page 27 "Architecture, my friends, is a great Art based on two cosmic principles: Beauty and Utility. In a broader sense, these are but part of the three eternal entities: Truth, Love, and Beauty. Truth--to the traditions of our Art, Love--for our fellow men whom we are to serve, Beauty--ah, Beauty is a compelling goddess to all artists, be it in the shape of a lovely woman or a building...In conclusion, I should like to say to you, who are about to embark upon your careers in architecture, that you are now the custodians of a sacred heritage...So, go forth into the world...armed with courage and vision, loyal to the standards this great school has represented for many years. May you all serve faithfully, neither as slaves to the past nor as those parvenus who preach originality for its own sake, which attitude is only ignorant vanity. May you all have many rich, active years before you and leave, as you depart from this world, your mark on the sands of time!"
page 34 "I want to practice architecture...not talk about it!"
page 81 "He had forgotten his first building, and the fear and doubt of its birth. He had learned that it was so simple. His clients would accept anything, so long as he gave them an imposing facade, a majestic entrance and a regal drawing room, with which to astound their guests. Keating did not care so long as his clients were impressed, the clients did not care so long as their guests were impressed, and the guests did not care anyway."
Conway, H. and Roenisch, R. (1994). Understanding architecture: An introduction to architecture and architectural history. London: Routledge.
Brief history of architecture, with the attitude that the past helps us understand the present.
Thomsen, C. W. (1994). Visionary architecture: From Babylon to virtual reality. Munich: Restel-Verlag.
Fascinating book chronicling the history of architecture and outlining the world of computer-augmented architecture. Contains fabulous pictures and diagrams.
Winters, N. B. (1986). Architecture is elementary: Visual thinking through architectural concepts. Salt Lake City, UT: Peregrine Smith Books.
Provides a range of lessons from the very simple (eg: shapes and sizes of objects used in architecture) to the very complex (eg: city planning). Helps students begin to appreciate the value of architecture by helping them exercise their visual literacy skills.
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