Future - Visions

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[Himmen Design]

Posted by carinasong1990 on January 17, 2015 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (179)

[Himmen Design] Daily wear shoes assortment stand / flexible in open angle/ adjustable size/ wood+cable+ bolts/ perfect protection of shoes/ hanging your heels like wine glass/ 






random - graphic novel?

Posted by carinasong1990 on November 23, 2014 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Just went through a comic story and the original piece was in Chinese, I felt like to translate it, and here it goes


Posted by carinasong1990 on November 17, 2014 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

WEEKLY self retrospect:


2 tremendous life changing events: one interview from a property company ; and the other, a bbq @ one of my professor's place.


redundant details are not repeated here, but, ( from what I have been asked, told and got from the conversations)


things that to be changed as follows:


1. the difference between male and female in career is an excuse for the failure, as when a female is doing well , the aura of being a FEMALE will add more values to her story of being a successful being.


2. there does exist limits and learn not to hit it with your head..


3. follow your hear and do your best

set designer?

Posted by carinasong1990 on August 27, 2014 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

A famous 80's  Russian show will be react by UCLA CSA...and...I am lucky to be the stage designer..

below is a scratch design process showing the nuanced yet intriguing relationship between stage cavas' volumn/position and the light.

light formed space.


Posted by carinasong1990 on August 26, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

In the digital world 

we hallucinates illusions

who is incharging?


made something fun[on fire]

Posted by carinasong1990 on May 31, 2014 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Posted by carinasong1990 on May 27, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Years ago when I read about Koolhass' statement of ' in this age of communication, I insist on....' I wasn't quite sure about what he's on about that ' communication.'

Here is an essay by Charle Jencks the death of modern architecture, the language of post modern architecture, that to some extend makes it clear to me what is that communication.

By the start of the essay, Charles illustrates that modern architecture has undergone 3 phases of development from private to public to developer. At the first stage, design is customized specially for users and there are strong links between designers and users, meaning and form when architectural production is at small scale that's easily to be controlled . Later when architecture was high-rised, bureaucratized, capitalized, gigantisied and the industry was controlled by developers, the work is becoming too big to be controlled by one person. Clichéd buildings are produced for profits . From the above observations, Charles states 2 causes for the crisis of modern architecture:

1,modern architecture has limited architecture on the level of form

2, modern architecture suffers from the level of content that is it's not clear of its social goals for which is actually built.

In other words, from my understanding, is that architects built aimlessly by focusing on small pits of a large project that is beyond the control of one single person. There is weak connection between the designers and users, that architects build boxes without a second thinking of whether this is what the users wanted and why they are building in this way.  What if we reside in an office building while the office building must be constructed in steel. 

Also inregards to the first question he pointed out. It resonates another essay by Frampton in Towards a critical regionalism : 6 points for an architecture of resistance.

Several conflictions between modern urban form/architecture and their prime forms were proposed by Frampton as


1.modern building is now universally conditioned and the focus of architecture design is shifted into either 'high tech' which is limited by products or 'facade' that covers the universal condition that is behind it.

2, civilizations and culture can no longer afford to control the shape of the urban fabric when urban fabrics are overlaid by two symbolic instruments of megalpolitan development- the freeway and high-rise building, and the possibilities of creating unique urban fabrics is restricted by the universal modern development. Now any struggles to make a change of urban form is limited to meeting the needs of production and maintenance of social control.

Frampton quoted Paul Ricoeur's concerns about the predicament generated between universalization and the deconstruction of the ethical and mythical nucleus of human civilization that has been built in the past. By the time when human steps into a consumer culture, a modern civilization, we are abandoning our whole culture past in scientific technical political rationality level. 'how to become modern and to return to sources when the ground when the nucleus of a society is rooted has been eroded by the rapacity of development ?' asked both by Frampton and Ricoeur.  Frampton finally in his essay proposed the solution that critical regionalism with the jointly play of tactile and tectonic will have the ability to transcend the mere appearance of technical in modern architecture so as to create a place-form to resist the onslaught of global modernization on architecture and urban design.


Back to Jenck, he points out that the mis-communication between popular and elite groups can be seen in examples of Mies, Aldo Rossi, Peter Smithson: Steel, I beams, brick walls, the use of patterns are all categorizing the function of the building, while architect like Aldo Rossi was trying to revive classical architecture tradition without any historical references, it cannot escape the fate of being criticized as recalling the image of palace of Italian civilization. Also seen in Smithson's Robin Hood Garden, where Smithson argues for a sense of 'place, identity, personality, home coming' but the truth is that the space is not used as how the architect's imagines. The contradictions between statement and result is significant in modern architecture. This implies a gap between the readings of form and the function that form was supposed to suggest. If modern architecture is limted to the level of form, then the misunderstanding problem can be significantly severe.

Based on this observations, Charles states that we need to establish a system of architectural language that could be understood and communicated universally in both group of elites and public.

Peter Eisenman also argues that architecture should be understood as a system of language. But do they bear the same ideas in regard to the ' language system' and ' communication idea'?

This post is just trying to detangle the thoughts on communication ideology in the post modernism era.



[note: After a chronological analysis of the two stances of avant-garde architects from Enlightenment to post modernism, Frampton states that architecture can only be sustained today as in a arriere-garde position that neither trusts in the optimization of advanced technology nor regressing into nostalgic historicism. It is only the arriere-agarde that are able to build an identity-giving culture while being selected to universal techniques. He qualified arriere-garde as something that is often associated with populism and regionalism that holds both individuals and local values in architectonic features. It is against universal influences but involves critical self consciousness. It has to deconstruct the world culture in order to withdraw itself from being universal and at the same time borrowing the universal techniques. In terms of urban design, critical regionalism addresses itself to provide a place- form that strengthen the density of architecture of resistance. Frampton also argues that the play of light and topography can exerts significant effects on making a sense of place so as to reduce the placeless practice and give back the aura of a work. While later he argues that the autonomy in architecture resides in the tectonic rather than the secnographic which is directly revealed in the form of the structure which explicitly illustrated the action of gravity on the structure. Here he opens up a potential to play with architecture's bone structure instead of just focusing on presenting facades and high tech products. Also with Alva Aalto's example, he states that 'critical regionalism seeks to complement our normative visual experiences by readdressing the tactile range of human perceptions.']

organic architecture? future or has passed

Posted by carinasong1990 on May 16, 2014 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

What I gain from Wright and his organic architecture

Even in the 20th centuries, organic architecture, as a term proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright dating back to 10 decades ago, is always being put forward to the frontline of architecture style war. Parametrism mentions about organic for its movement and spatial arrangements, sustainable building systems refers to organic for its environmental benign, Alvaro Aalto used organic to include his use of natural materials and vernacular constriction methods. People who hold different architectural doctrines all want an ‘organic architecture’. Then, what is organic architecture?

In responds to the readings this week, I would say ‘organic architecture’ is a total work of art that does not separate building from its settings, both exteriors and interiors; its furnishings including utilities, decorations, furnitures; its owners and the emotions that its owners cast towards the building. Be true to materials and respect human’s five senses. That is, ‘exalting the simple laws of common sense or of super-sense if you prefer determining form by way of the nature of materials“, claimed by Wright in 1950s. It is an intergraded design approach that combines both the physical with the intangible feelings. It is a term that indicates building as a part of nature and everything within the building is a unity.

1. let the material speaks

His use of vernacular materials and construction methods in his early ‘OAK Park’ period( 1890s-1910s), represented by the shingle claddings, the pitched roof, and the arches all strengthened the horizontality which is also a respond to the flat vast Prairie landscape in Illinios. His later moving to California informs his design into a more monumental building type which is a respond to California’s metropolitan urban patterns and its filming culture background. During which period( 1910-1940) he chose to use concrete as a major construction material that sometimes make contrasts with rough stone claddings. In his later work in his hometown Wisconsin, we see his shift of interest to curves. But his designs throughout his life stays true to the settings they located at and I see his change of style is just various responds to the changing site conditions.

His belief in materials reminded me of many of the modern architects since 1900s, such as Alvar Aalto who is famous for his use of vernacular wood materials in decorating and construction the house. Aalto’s designs also take responsibilities to the landscape that surrounds the building. And Louis Khan is the second architect I think of when I was thinking about this topic. I remembered that in the film: ‘architect, a son’s journey,’ in which Khan was teaching his student in a design studio:’ If you want to make something using a brick, then ask the brick, what do you want to be? Then the brick says: I want to be an arch! Then you say, no, arch is too expensive for the massive production, I can make you into a spandrel or something to make it cheaper. Then the brick says, I want to be an arch!’ It is a very interesting episode that I want to share. At least, this tells that architects must stay true to the materials and see what the materials want to be in certain circumstances.

Wright chose vernacular material that suits its surrounds while he seemed never hides them. This makes me think of a fundamental architectural tenet: ‘true to material’. Being true to material can leave many expressive potential to designs. One can visually feel the texture, the volume, the temperature, the expression of a material upon seeing the structure.


2. A total work of art-----An insist on proportions, and balance

Strongly influenced by Sullivan and Japanese architecture, Wright’s building represents harmonious repetitions of geometries of rectangles. He has his own order yet still can find reference to the classical antiquity. His uses of horizontal lines, decorations of arch and modular panels, had become a basic design language of his. These basic ordering principles continue to repeat throughout the building as a whole, which I assume the design process counts for an organic integrated architecture. I appreciate in that time of transition when most of the architects were seeking for ‘movements’ and ‘speed’, he insist on his taste of classical orders and principles and continue to implement the order in his whole design process. Thinking in retrospect, this might inform me that even in this ear of digital architecture, I should still insist on my belief in classical orders and proportions. Rather than abandon the ‘beauty of orders’ and trying to make funky, crazy shaped buildings, I should think of how to make the classical orders and principles need the visual needs of contemporary people.

3. At last, are Wright’s work count for ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’?

He designs furniture to suit his building. He chooses every decoration for the finishings. He concerns the design process as a whole. For 20years ahead Germanys proposed the idea of ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, does Wrights’ work count for a total work of art?

Then what is the difference between the ‘organic architecture’ with a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’?



In summary, I think what Wright has informed me by so far, was not only his architecture theories of separating functions, served and serving areas, but his idea of treating architecture as something that had its own soul and could be felt. That everything around it, inside it , attached to it, passed it, would somehow reflected on and by it.


from movie to electric age, entertainment to retrospect

Posted by carinasong1990 on May 15, 2014 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Recently there are many amazing films on air, the amazing Spiderman and the transcendence are the two movies that amazed me in terms of their interpretation of what will take clout in the future.

In transcendent, human can upload his conscious in the form of electrical wave to the satellite and when the man dies he is not actually dead but transformed in the electric pulse that can transport everywhere he wants wherever there is electrics and internet.

In the amazing Spiderman, the scene when the electric man ( the blue man) sucks all the electricity in NYC and the city suddenly turns out to be a dead city without electric shocks me.

The formal reveals what Mc Luhan argues in the past 5 decades that human has extended themselves extensively to infinite space through electrics and nerve systems. And the second movie just reminds us how heavily we are relying on electrics right now: computers, machines. Yes, we are stepping from the mechanical age to an electric age.


This suddenly reminds me of a lyric in the ‘young and beautiful’: your electric sound. I wasn’t quite sure of what it meant but now it does ring a bell.



What is the content of electric age? I presume is information. Human nerve is kind of a system that can be refer to the information network. It extends through internet and all sort of daily communication methods. Information flows through this network. See,I do assume what matters in this century is information.


The ability to collect information and filter the huge amount of excessive information in order to get what’s really useful is the true point to make a success in this electrical age.


reading responds to Mc Luhan's new environment , Banham's a house is not a home and some thinkings

Posted by carinasong1990 on May 15, 2014 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

In his ‘this invisible environment: the future of an erosion’, Marshall McLuhan argues that a phase of technology will create a new environment while the environment is the container that it’s invisible unless be presented as a content in the anti-environment in the next stage. He first pointed out the imperceptibility of new environment that we are living in, and that what is perceptible is the old environment. Later he moved on to argue the essence of the new medium will be visible only when it’s presented in a new medium by suggesting that he Romantic Movement was a product and content of the mechanical age, while this is the same as how machine’s become art form when electric technology took over the mechanical world. The contents or the arts in the past can be taken as probes to explore the current anti – environment. He also proposed that the pre-electric age patterns were invisible because changes occur slowly. It is artists’, the anti-environment creators that are not brain washed, role to be aware of the way we presence the environment. He argues that we entered from the Neolithic age to Electric age where we step from the extension of human limbs to the extension of whole nervous system. He took newspaper as example, arguing that we are the producers who bridge and recreate all of the information and the effect of electric age is organic and decentralised. Also the example of xerography brings about the question of authorship, readership and the loop of creating a new environment with one phase of technology while create an anti-environment with the next.

In the further of architecture, Peter Cook examines projects that revolve around the day to day living and cultural manifestation. He requests a retrospect of interface between man and machine and the possibility that responses environment may not stop outside the body but machine responds to psychological demands that’s affected by nerve system. His discussion of machine and technology and the environment it belongs to finally lead him to a conclusion that the future of architecture lies in the explosion of architecture.

In a home is not a house, Banham argues for an all American un house that is exemplifies by the concepts of cleanliness, the light weight shell, the mechanical services, the informality and indifference to monumental architectural values, the passion for the outdoor. He first expressed a traditionally understanding of the house: a hollow shell that is an inefficient heat barrier, from which he reasserts the concept of the American domestic architecture: large single volumes wrapped in flimsy shells that needs to be lighted and hearted generously that is different from European cubicular interiors . Then he used cars and inflated airdome to illustrate his idea of non-architectural anti- building that is standard – of – living package. The environment bubble, a transparent plastic bubble dome that is inflated by air conditioning output, was described explicitly to goes against to the present trends in domestic mechanization that appear to be ever- more- flimsy. He even argues that this living style is an extension of Wright’s dream of clean countryside and the destruction of the box( which implies anti- architecture as what Banham suggests).

In architecture culture 1943-1968, the text demonstrates a strong influence by Mc Luhan’s idea of invisible technology environment. He states at the start of his essay that the environment as a whole is the goal of our activities and the extension of human body is going far through the media of its determination. Architecture is a medium to bridge human needs with the environments he creates. Technology improvements, developments in new materials and methods as well as intangible means for spatial determination will also be developed to accompany the evolution of architecture history. Ockman argues that architects must crease to think only in terms of buildings.

It seems like all the four readings are arguing for a broader discourse of architecture and trying to break the traditionally understanding of architecture (whether monumental, European international style of rigid interior partitions at the moment, the image of ranch- style house as argues in Banham’s reading) and coining the concept of ‘environment’ in a certain period of time. Both Banham and Mc Luhan mentioned about controlling environments. Do the ubiquitous ideas and experiments of inflatable structures in the 60s have something to do with this trend? ( controlling environment?) Also at the turn of electric age should we read the roles of cars, as the content of the mechanical age, in a different way? What is the content of mechanical age? Machines? Cars? Then how do we know what is the content of electric age? What about the overlapping parts?