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Seth van der Linden

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CICLAVIA was extremely memorable experience for me, but unlike others, it was probably more-so for the wrong reasons. The day began missing the train to get to Union Station and thus being forced to utilize our cars and own gas to reach Los Angles. Shortly after reaching the station and preparing ourselves for our extended bicycle voyage, my back tire decided to divorce the rest of the bike, leaving me with nothing but a unicycle. And so the day began.

 

The great event was about to start and I was left traveling bipedally. In a little bit of a panic, the group that I was with traveled with me to various stores in an effort to find a bike to aid me in my travels. However, due to my unusual height as well as not having a pocket as deep as the Pacific, there was no luck. Eventually I felt bad as CICLAVIA was already on its way, and I sent my group on there way to enjoy the event. I told them that I would eventually find them along the route and hopefully be riding something. And so I began the second part, alone.

 

After some intense and strenuous googling, I found a single bicycle shop roughly ten blocks from my current location and set out to find my ride. I got the honor of experiencing some very interesting parts of Los Angles on my short voyage, but eventually found myself at my goal. Sadly, despite my haggling skills, I walked out $300 poorer and roughly 8 miles from where the CICLAVIA route and the rest of the group was. However, I had a plan.

 

I began to ride to what I deemed as the estimated converging point, and shortly realized that I stood no chance in catching up. So, in desperation, I phoned a friend of mine who attends USC and she was able to save me from the streets and deposit me to the route.  Hours later and I was finally reunited with the thousands on the road and begin my experience of CICLAVIA.

 

CICLAVIA was a wonderful experience that I plan to attend every year if I can. The environment, energy, and pure mass of people made it an exciting and social gathering that lasted most of the day. However, I don’t think that any other CICLAVIA experience will quite match the adventure that I was bestowed upon me on my first time.

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Rudolph Schindler is a famous architect who’s work includes that of the Schindler House, which he almost could not even construct in the first place. It took much work on Schindler’s behalf to convince the local planning authorities to approve of his plans and designs, as they were not on board with his new method of construction. However eventually permission was granted in a temporary permit, which meant the authorities could halt construction at any given time.

 

One of the reasons why the house was considered to be such an innovative design and had steered planning authorities away from it was because the house lacked a conventional loving room, dining room, and bedrooms. The house was essentially two “L” shaped apartments that are interlocking and made to accompany two young families. The design was rather foreign and concept was rather foreign at the time and came to Schindler as he was on vacation with his wife in Yosemite. He arrived back determined to create a house where multiple families would share a common living area, much like a camp fire.

 

Schindler had familiarized himself very well with the work of Irving Gill’s tilt up slab work, and this is what he used in the construction of the house. Tilt up slabs are concrete forms which are poured onto the foundation. Upon completion of the house with fellow friend Clyde Chace, both the Chase family and Schindler family lived in the house from 1922 until 1924.

 

Urban Lounge

 

Urban Lounge, by Carlos Martinez and Pipilotti Rist, 2005

Source: Urban Landscape Architecture, Loft Publications

This landscape takes an otherwise normal space and renvisions it. The designers layered what looks like a red blanket over a normal court yard to reveal the various new open spaces for personal engagement.

Court Press Courtyard

 

Court Press Courtyard, Landworks Studio, 2003

Source: Urban Landscape, John Lotz and Associates

The designer used conflicting elements to contrast to the viewer’s eyes, such as light and dark, and rough and smooth textures. The fragmented design of the pathway prevents the user from visually being able to see where the end of the path is, making every turn a new reveal.

Vinaros Microcoast

Vinaros Microcoasts, Guallart Architects, 2006

Source: Urban Landscape, John Lotz and Associates

This beach was previously not used as a lounging beach, but was only done so once the “mini-islands” were added, made out of wood. These structures were made to echo the look and feel of islands in the middle of the sea. According to the designers, it was created to reveal the feeling of an immense sea compared to a relatively smaller coast.

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.