Posts Tagged ‘space
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Olafur Eliasson creates art from a palette of space, distance, color and light, his works tend to involve each viewer in his or her own unique experience. In this video he talks about an experiment in the nature of perception, it was recorded during his TED lecture. Click here to read comments (or translation subtitles provided by TED).
“There are many ways that architecture can stimulate us. We can be enthralled by theoretical concepts that intend to revolutionize how we interact with our buildings. We can be overcome by the metaphors underlying a project’s design. And, at times, we are able to separate ourselves from these more cerebral desires and draw intrigue based solely on our reactions to space and form. Personally, I’m interested in this last type. Reactions are what tie us back to our purely human instincts, to the universal senses which connect us all. Responding to space and material in an almost reptilian way, we absorb our surroundings from the beginning of our existence, internalizing our sensibility. Our past experiences shape our perception and, in turn, each new experience reshapes the next. Hence, it is that which makes us most human that ties us so intimately to architecture. Perhaps that’s what I’m most interested in – what makes us human.
Our perception defines our reality, and within our perceptions of space we’ve developed this idea of atmosphere. Though even the word itself seems mysterious and ephemeral, I believe it exists as much as anything else exists. Atmosphere is something felt, not thought, something taken in through emotional sensibility. It’s not always something we can define through words alone; rather it’s something that must be absorbed through the experience of the human body existing within it. Undoubtedly, this kind of perceptive ability has come through evolution – the ability to quickly interpret our surroundings and determine if it is hospitable or hazardous. In this way, our body is an instrument for measuring a specific architectural quality that no other device can determine.
What is atmosphere in this sense though? If I were to put it into words, I would say it’s the impression created by nothing more than our immediate, personal mental reaction to a specific space. To paraphrase Peter Zumthor it’s when the physical presence of architecture manages to move us.”
Introduction from Shawn Swisher’s text ‘What makes us human – Reactions to the Shelters for Roman Archaeological Site‘, read more
Space is open-ended, never existing on its own but only in relation to other elements. Defining space as a contained specific volume is difficult as it continuously flows through a building relative to the observer’s movements.
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Spaces are in a constant state of flux. The idealistic vision of the architect is in tension ‘with the exotic circus of real life’. The architect’s control over a design is terminated once it enters into the reality of the city, because spaces are never in isolation, but exist in relation to each other. Experiences of one space flow into the next. Edmund Bacon in one of his first essays ‘Awareness of Space as Experience‘ illustrates that ‘there is an intellectual parallel of deepening perception, which is based on becoming connected with larger and larger systems.’
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Finding it difficult to confine a space let us explore what contributions alter its perception. Space is informed by enclosure, light, approach, scale, time and position. Altering just one of these conditions transforms the observer’s dialogue with reality. Rafael Moneo said in ‘An intense life and consummate work’: ‘Any construction that has been able to survive the passage of time is by definition an ongoing transformation’
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Irrespective of the procession of time and centuries or a fleeting moment, how a space is perceived changes due to uncontrollable external factors conducted by the nature. The concept model begins to explore this theme. The space inside the model is constant, however its perception differs each time it is viewed. Each window into the space has a different scale, the light changes, the window size is different, as every space can be described in a series of different ways.
Edits from Brian Barber’s post to Space framed blog, that investigated the relationship between architecture and photography as an ongoing study at the School of Architecture UCD
Breathing Room III is a giant installation of connected cubic ‘space frames’, that not accidentally resemble the computer matrix landscape from the ’80s sci-fi film Tron. The installation exists of 15 interconnecting photo-luminescent rectangular frames. Every ten minutes the room is filled for 10 seconds with an intense burst of light to ‘re-energize’ the photo-luminescent frames, that give the viewer an intensive experience of the sculptured space.
Antony Gormley: “Homo sapiens is spending more and more of his time seated, looking at a computer monitor, interpreting the world and relating to it entirely in terms of meta-language. We spend more time relating to the material world through the digital culture we have surrounded ourselves with, than we do directly with the elemental world. These are all evocations of us now: you may not like them, you may resist them, you may feel this is just ugly, clumsy stuff and that it doesn’t touch you, but I am trying to find the objective correlative of us now and for me, this is it. (…) We are minds enclosed in bodies and our bodies are enclosed in architecture. The reconciliation of mind with artificial environment is exactly what this whole installation is about.”