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Monthly Archives: February 2013

P1060600Blog Post # 4

Galleries in most of museums are in rooms with four walls made of material that are not transparent and have no windows. But a designer can change these settings and incorporate outdoor surroundings into the indoor area. I went to San Diego Museum of Art and did not expect to see art galleries that would be different from the usual ones.

Three galleries were normal and how I expected. The museum’s outdoor area had enchanting plants, a huge sculpture made of canoes and one side of it was the ocean. This area itself could be considered as an outdoor gallery; a gallery that has no traditional walls. The last gallery I visited was the one that I spent more time looking at it. This gallery was very unique compare to regular art galleries.

Two of its walls had large size windows that almost covered the whole walls. The windows were facing the ocean with graceful scenery. The view and large windows were not the only elements that made the gallery exceptional but there was something else. There was something on the window that when one looked at it suddenly felt a different quality of seeing. That was a square shape cut out from the window glass. The lack of glass changed the texture of surface and created a new visual experience for me. I stayed there and watch the view through the squares for several minutes and so did many of other visitors. The thoughtful and creative design of this gallery made it an art work by itself with no need to display any other works. Among what I saw in the museum I enjoyed the last gallery the most and will never forget its design.

Blog Post # 3

I entered into a room. It had the view of the ocean on two sides. There was a narrow curved road next to it with some rocks and palm trees along its path. The scenery  was beautiful. My eyes were moving over the view and were caught into gracefulness of water but suddenly some thing changed. I could see the same view hundred times better and strangely with a different quality. It seemed that the texture of what I was seeing the view through it changed. The scenery and its elements were the same. The way I saw them though, it was not the same. I went closer. Then I understood what made that change. It was the lack of glass. A square shape was cut out from the glass wall. It created an empty square form on the wall. Even though the glass itself was transparent, but the section of it that was missing, created a magnificent change to the experience of seeing the view through it. This encounter was worth driving for one hundred thirty miles and coming back the same day. This was in San Diego Museum of Art located in La Jolla area and the person who designed it was Robert Irwin.

Blog #3 UCLA

Blog Post #4

I was always impressed by the photos and experiences that I’ve heard about the campus of UCLA, and so when I was given the chance to explore the space with a new eye, I was nothing short of excited to see what I would find.

Architecturally, the buildings of UCLA are very impressive. The school utilizes a lot of stonework and brick in the design of such well known buildings on campus such as Royce Hall and the College Library in Powell. Most of the predominant and older buildings on campus echo not only the red brick and stone, but large stone arches and vaulted ceilings. However, some other buildings such as the athletic and ticketing center focus on a glass and metal build.

The way the buildings are orientated was also a very strong aspect that I found on the campus. It left much of the campus an open space to allow for very easy public access and to emphasize on a very well constructed landscape. It seemed like each building was easy to access and were never to far from each other, it either was or it just seemed like it because the landscape distracts you as you walk.

Another aspect of the campus that I noticed while on my visit was the overall scale of the school. Not necessarily it’s actual size in acres, but rather the size of the items that filled the space. The buildings for the most part were rather large, from oversized entryways to large doors. Not only were the buildings large but so were the courtyards and trees, as my above photo shows. This photo was taken after walking up what many students referred to as the steps, which are a very long set of steps that lead up the hill, and once you arrive to the top it opens up to this yard.

Blog Post #3

For my alternate space to visit I chose to visit UCLA. It was a gorgeous campus and we spent several hours there mesmerized by the campus’ overwhelming beauty. We were able to explore just outside as well as the inside of the campus looking for the right shots and examples to use for our figure ground studies. The day was cold with a slight wind, but didn’t detract from the experience. For the most part the campus was teeming with life and extremely welcoming. We made our way further into the campus and passed various sections of the school, including their athletic departments. My ears were filled with the sounds of tennis, golf, and track practices preparing for their future competitions. Afterwards we found our way in front of UCLA’s iconic Bruin statue, where we were greeted with a gorgeous fountain as well as an intimidating landscape. At this point the campus was still alive and school activities were everywhere as students moved about heading to and from class. We noticed some steps in the distance and decided to talk towards them, and it turned out that there was an extremely long set up stairs that led to what looked like a plateau. We climbed the set of stairs and when we reached the top it, it appeared that the quad just continued, an endless vanishing point. The use of space was great, and it balanced extremely well with the trees planted on either side. The entire quad just drew your eyes to the flag pole in the middle of the grass. Overall I was very impressed with the campus of UCLA, but was most impressed with this particular spot on campus atop the stairs and peering across the quad.

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For my field trip alternative assignment I headed down to San Pedro where I took a trip seeing various landmarks.  One distinct landmark apart from the ports and Victorian buildings of San Pedro was a monument that stood out on the cliff side. It was 8 in the morning when I stepped out of the car and walked up the pathway leading to the structure housing the bell. The setting was very quiet with the sound of distant waves crashing the earth. There were only a few people walking along the beach and walking theire dogs.  The mood became more sober as I encroached southward towards the main monument.  Well kept plants were aligned along the path showing perfect symmetry with the landscape and the building.  Then all of a sudden I was dazzled by bright colors of decorated rooftops and at the center was a massive immovable metal dome.  At an angle the protruding rafters on the rooftop were colorful, yet intimidating.  This reminds me of a time when I visited the pagoda near Hacienda Hacienda heights.  I remembered looking upward tall red columns with intricate artwork along the ceilings.  There were more stone slabs with foreign symbols written on them.  I really didn’t know whether it is was a list of names commemorating people or writing that shows Korea’s friendship with the United Sates.  All I know was that this was a place to pay homage to. Its tranquil, yet sober theme was splendid due to its site and orientation with coast.

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REVISED:

Blog Post #3:

Chronological:

For my figure ground study, I chose to go to San Pedro to observe the Korean Friendship bell.  This particular landmark interests me because of its location and architectural features. At 8 am I headed out to the San Pedro peninsula.   The early sunshine gave just the right amount of light for taking pictures.   As I pulled into Angel Gate Park, I realized that the weather was more cloudy and windy than I expected, which made it more difficult to get a good shot.  Still, I admired the tranquil surrounding around me.  That’s why I was compelled to explore the surroundings as part of my study.

I then began to approach southward to the concrete pavement that led directly to the interior of the monument.  Along the walk I noticed how the shrubs bushes and the pillars are set to be axial to one another.  It immediately made me think of symmetry as a fitting lexicon theme.   I snapped a photo and walked towards the main structure.  I stopped short of the steps at about ten feet away and was dazzled by the sight of warm colors of the pillars and rafters contrasted by the pale sky.  A massive metal bell stood at the center about 8 feet high.  It was amazing to see its intricate casting and I wondered how they managed to attach the piece on top of the ceiling joists.  I took a series of pictures of the interior and exterior of the monument including some of the plaques that lay on the ground.  The back entry led straight to the beach where I managed to capture a panoramic view of the coastal cliff side.  I concluded my visit at about 9 am with a walk along the beach.

Blog Post #4

Thematic:

For my figure ground study, I decided to visit a well-known landmark in San Pedro, the Korean Friendship Bell.  While there are other museums and landmark in San Pedro, I think the open landscape of the site reveals more of the beauty of the coastal peninsula.  Upon entering the port city, I can say that that there is a big difference in the weather.  The cloudy morning skies and chilly breezes made it harder to capture pictures though I took it as an advantage in capturing the Friendship bell in a different light.

The Korean Frienship Bell is actually stationed at Angel Gate Park.  I was taken in at the tranquil, remote setting where sounds of ocean waves and seagulls crying brought back memories of walking by the beachside.  The pathway towards the steps of the monument included bright flowers and neatly sculpted bushes in symmetry of the walk path.  A lexicon word that came to my mind of this theme was symmetry, a feature well applied in Oriental architecture and landscaping.  The pictures I captured included a walkway and a panoramic view of the coast.

The monument was even more magnificent closer up.  The interior was much more ‘showy’ than the exterior of the structure.  While it is located in a pastoral setting, vibrant colors on the painted wood provided a steep contrast with the gray sky.  Visitors, I believe, are supposed to walk around the bell and look at the intricate works of the pillars and ceiling which were adorned with animals and inscriptions. An observation I found was that there are 12 pillars surrounding the structure, each with its unique artwork.  It would make reasonable sense that the concept of this building is attributed to astrology.  In any case, I regretted not being able to read Korean Language but what made the trip worthwhile was to have a taste of Korean architecture while enjoying the serene landscape.

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#4

From my experience on Tijuana River National Estuarine I learned that being in a real scene is a whole lot different than looking at an image of a scene. I felt intimidated not only by the giant fence, built to keep me in or out, but the police as well because of their constant presence. Overall, the trip to the estuarine was a great one time experience.

In order to enter the beach, I had to follow a winding concrete and dirt path. The only way I was able to tell whether we reached the beach was by the changing texture of the ground. Sands started to crunch under me feet as I got closer and the sound of wildly blowing wind and waves crashed around me. I felt relaxed and the only thing I wanted to do was to sit and calmly look at the horizon while the flocks of birds were flying and chasing waves.

As the class moved towards the fence, I noticed the tall height and length of the fence. The long narrow lines were as tall as a 2 or 3 story building. It looked impossible to climb and the fence formed a line, a form of division, between Mexico and the U.S. I felt like I was being caged in and constantly being watched or spied on, but by just facing away from the fence and towards the ocean, a sensation of being free and open rushed over me. It’s amazing how looking at two different direction could give two very different sensations.

Tijuana River National Estuarine is place where one can sense different views at the same time. Not only do I experience the physical form of the land change drastically I felt the change in environment and atmosphere. It was interesting how there were buildings on the Mexico side of the fence and on the U,S, side was just the hill, ocean, and sand.

#3

Tijuana river national estuarine is an area of physical and cultural separation of The U.S. and Mexico. This was one of the sites that impacted me the most. At first the site meant nothing until I met the final path, the border of U.S., that I experienced the strength and restriction a space can hold.

On my arrival to Tijuana River National Estuarine, the beach was nowhere in sight and all around me  were rocky dirt roads and parking lot, trees, shrubs, grass, metal fence, etc. The area was open and flat and everyone was waiting for the trip to the estuarine to begin. Surprisingly, a worker there warned us about contaminated water/ mud that flowed down from Tijuana, explaining how toxic some areas were and what harms might come to us if we were not careful.

Every careful step was leading me closer to the beach. It was really interesting how the dirt road or path drastically changed into sand in just a few steps. As soon as the view of the ocean was visible to my eyes, I couldn’t look away. The sky was clear, the waves were strong, the cool blowing winds, and the soft sand added texture to the scene. Although it wasn’t comfortable to walk across and litters were everywhere, just the view of the ocean was enjoyable.

The walk continued on until the fence, the barrier, was in front of me and everyone. An attempt to touch the fence was impossible since the policemen drove down just to warn us not to. It scared me a bit and I even felt the policemen watch from above, on a hilltop, watching our every move. Lots of pictures were taken and lots of topics were discussed and at the end we walked back.

On my path back to the parking lot I noticed a river that was flowing right through the path to the parking lot. I am assuming the channel of water flowed down from Tijuana, Mexico to San Diego, U.S. It’s just amazing how nature has no boundary while people always bind and divide ourselves with rules, laws, morals, culture, religion, etc.

#3

Tijuana river national estuarine is an area of physical and cultural separation of The U.S. and Mexico by political and physical force. This was one of sites that impacted me the most. The landscape emitted an atmosphere of oppression, power, fear, and irony. At first the site meant nothing until I met the final path, the end of U.S., that I experienced the strength that a space can hold.

On my arrival to Tijuana River National Estuarine, the beach was nowhere in sight and all around me were rocky dirt roads and parking lot, trees, shrubs, grass, metal fence, etc. The area was open and flat and everyone was waiting for the trip to the estuarine to begin. Surprisingly, a worker there warned us about contaminated water/ mud that flowed down from Tijuana, making my expectation to lessen.

Every step was leading me closer to the beach. It was really interesting how the dirt road or path drastically changed into sand in just a few steps. As soon as the view of the ocean was visible to my eyes, I couldn’t look away. The sky was clear, the waves were strong, the cool blowing winds, and the soft sand added texture to the scene.

The walk continued on until the fence, the barrier, was in front of me and everyone. An attempt to touch the fence was impossible since the policemen drove down just to warn us not to. It scared me a bit and I even felt the policemen watch from above, on a hilltop, watching our every move. Lots of pictures were taken and lots of topics were discussed and at the end we walked back.

On my path back to the parking lot I noticed a river that was flowing right through the path. I am assuming the channel of water flowed down from Tijuana, Mexico to San Diego, U.S. It’s just amazing how mature has no boundary.

Heading up to the fallen star you first notice that it looks just like any other small suburban home, it’s inviting and colorful and has a tiny white door. As you start to walk towards the house you notice that it is slightly off balance. You don’t think much of it at first until you enter into the inside of it. Once I was inside of the house I noticed that everything looked just like it would in any other cozy home. Nice couch, family photos, and even a fireplace are there to put you at ease.  I began to walk around the house in order to get a better look at the things inside of it and was all of a sudden overcome with the feeling of confusion and disorientation. For some reason everything should have been very soothing but when I looked out the window and realized that I was no longer on the ground I felt trapped then when I turned around and looked back at the inside of the house I felt dizzy. I then took a step outside and felt grounded. When heading out of the original building I looked up at the house again and discovered that the falling star is not my home and I found it to be a bizarre but interesting experience. While walking towards the fallen star you are overcome with a sense of home. You feel like you are exactly where you should be. You are consumed with simple garden flowers, lovely green grass, inviting lawn chairs, and an inviting house. The minute the door opens you instantly feel a sense of off balance. When you walk into the house you instantly feel disoriented almost like you cannot get a grasp on yourself and your feelings. You feel like you are home but there is still a sense of confusion and misjudgment. There is also a large sense of distortion when standing in the house because it is not completely on balance and there are several things that just look off balance. The number one thing that really caught my attention was the light fixture hanging in the center of the homes living room. It is the only thing in the entire house that is completely straight and on balance. When you look at it almost feels like it is more off balance than anything else in the house. The entire house in itself is completely deceiving. There are different places you can stand and look taller or shorter based on what you are standing next to and which way you are looking. When you leave the house you feel almost a sense of relief because you have been brought back to a center. You can focus yet again and you do not feel overwhelmed with emotion and confusion. When you look back at the house you are yet again reminded of home then remember the sense of insecurity you feel when you are heading back there.