Before school begins [next week] i wanted to briefly sum up some observations about some trips i took late this summer. I went to Japan, road tripped to new orleans, & flew down to the pacific northwest; vancouver island, seattle, portland. All very different places to say the least.
Japan, clearly and obviously stood out the most. The society itself is based off of age-old traditions and values leading to a formal quality in both the architecture and the overall demeanor of the people. I primarily stayed in and explored tokyo. There are the more obvious Ando buildings, H de M's Prada store and countless other "famous" architectural feats in tokyo. However, as interesting as these buildings were they did not have as much of an impact on me as the buildings that made up the smaller-scale, denser areas of tokyo. The two and three story buildings, due to the limited space, must essentially take the form of simple cubes. This in of itself is not very interesting at all. However to counter this simple geometric "box," japanese architects use various cladding methods. They are masters of using elements such as screens, skins and louvers to open up and spice up these spaces. The use of these exterior components is complimented by the fact that the interiors are designed like cabinets. Every square foot is analyzed and taken full advantage of (ex. shelving under stairs)
I will write about all of the U.S. cities i visited and post pictures next week. (im currently away on the west coast- portland)
On another note im looking forward to writing about next semester as writing has always been a large and integral component of my design process.
Enjoy the rest of your summer dudes.