Monday, November 8, 2010

Point Essay reflections

As we reflect back into the past we often wonder how quickly the past comes, and how much we long to get to the future.  When we reach that future, it has already become a thing of the past.  As trends come and go we tend to place them in box.  We set boundaries around them.  We do not overlook the details, but on the contrary we try to follow those details to the point in which we copy someone else’s design.  Until one day someone gets tired of being a mere copy of someone else, and starts a revolution, and the circle, the recurring sense of events ends, only to start a new one, a world changing one that will change the view of the world.  When the problem is found it gives birth to the reform, or change for the better, and this in turn is a renaissance.  Many times new materials and new methods of building, inspire a revolution, and this is exactly what happened when glass and iron made the grand entrance, and met face to face with classical Architecture.  A new genre was born; a whole new set of grand buildings, such as the Crystal Palace.  I also want to mention the Galleria Vittoria Emmanuele in Milan, by Mengony.  This building is one of my favorite buildings because it is simply perfect.  The ways that the classic meets the new innovative materials in such an elegant way is truly worthy of praises.  In my opinion, very few buildings are as beautiful and successful as this one in bringing together the old with the new, into a seamless dance of shadows and lights, moving among the heavy stone walls.  With wide open spaces expanding beyond what man could imagine possible.  Not only free open spaces, but also showered in natural light.  Life size sculptures began to immerge such as the Eiffel Tower, that until now is such an important monument, that not only represents a whole city, but in fact a whole country.  Who could have predicted that a single revolutionary material would have changed the course of history in such a great way?  However, things continue to change.  We go from revolution to revolution when the modern becomes obsolete.  The United States has often undergone revolutionary times, not only in politics, but also in Architecture.  We have gone from direct English influence from wonderful Architects, such as Robert Adams who influenced not only Architecture, but also furniture and ornaments.  What can we say about Greek revival?  It is a more pure way to think about how buildings are laid out.  This not only inspired a new genre, but also a whole new set of national monuments, such as the Virginia Capitol Building, the North Carolina State Capitol Building, and the Tennessee State Capitol building just to name a few.   As we study history we can see there are many definitions of “modern”, and they all coexist, and one thing is for certain, imported goods and travels have a strong influence on current trends.  As we can see in the Royal Pavilion in London, this building  is a direct influence from an Indian building, and it is a true reminder that sometimes during certain style times and periods the world goes crazy trying to find its way, and everything goes.  When this happens people begin to talk, and wise men arise just as Superman to the rescue, and they try to bring composure to a chaotic world, just as in this quote John Ruskin states “respecting all ornaments is simply this: was it done with enjoyment.”  As we move into the arts and crafts movement which is also a revolution from Victorian clutter a clean more organic palette is born, but in this time, and as society changes technology emerges and creates a new dilemma.  This time man and machine are placed, and controversy begins between, is craftsmanship better than mass produced items?  Or are mass produced items better than handmade items because people can actually afford these items now.  As my father often said, there is not a first without a second, and we do not under estimate anyone because we might need them one day.  This was the philosophy that was adopted during the arts and crafts movement, and beautifully said by Charles Ashby, “we do not reject the machine, we welcome it, but we desire to see it mastered.”