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BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) IN ARCHITECTURE

THEORIES OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM


(ARC61303)
SYNOPSIS: REACTION PAPER (MARCH 2018)
Name: Angela Wee Kah Man ID No.: 0322970
Lecturer: Mr. Prince Favis Isip Tutorial Time: 11am-12pm

Reader/Text Title: In The Cause Of Architecture Synopsis No: 2


Author: Frank Lloyd Wright
Based on the article ‘In The Cause Of Architecture’ (1908) written by architect Frank Lloyd
Wright, he mentioned few of the issues regarding to the importance of nature in architecture by
saying that ‘‘there is no source so fertile, so suggestive so helpful aesthetically for the architect as
a comprehension of natural law."
Wright's thesis is clear, he suggest that we have to design using nature as our guide, rather
than cling to past practice without understanding the organic nature of the building, site, people,
and intended use. Other than that, he also questioning how sense of the organic is indispensable
to an architect. In order to answer all these questions, Wright apparently begin to learn of
Japanese and Asian architectures under Sullivan as he visit Japan numerous times before moving
there to construct houses .Through his study, he realize we are not sufficiently civilized to think
in deeper terms regarding nature, but architects must not only learn to think in such terms but also
learn to fashion his vocabulary for himself and furnish it in a comprehensive way with useful
words as significant as this one. He then come out with propositions that again emphasizes
architecture to be designed in an ‘‘organic’’ way which could express the truly essence of
architecture being combined with nature.
Besides that, Wright’s articulation of architecture is also through its every detail. Materiality,
walls, openings, decorations, scale, character and drawings should be all intimately associated to
create a true poetry of conception and exquisite subtleties.For instance, even Frank Gehry, one of
the Postmodern architects, who conferred about the architectural syntax, showing his architecture
has extensively utilized the linguistic pattern in order to give thought to the people and the
organic architecture that complements the nature or site.
In conclude, Wright sums up that the work in the future shall grow to be more truly simple,
more expressive in fewer lines, fewer forms, more articulate with less labour, more plastic, more
fluent, although more coherent and more organic.

Word Count: 343 Mark Grade


Assessed by: Date 23 MAY 2018 Page No. 1
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) IN ARCHITECTURE
THEORIES OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM
(ARC61303)
SYNOPSIS: REACTION PAPER (MARCH 2018)
Name: Angela Wee Kah Man ID No.: 0322970
Lecturer: Mr. Prince Favis Isip Tutorial Time: 11am - 12pm

Reader/Text Title: The Eyes Of The Skin Synopsis No: 3


Author: Steven Holl
The Eyes Of The Skin was written by Juhani Pallasmaa with regard to ‘Polemics’, on issues that were part of
the architecture discourse of the time .As suggested by the title, this piece of literature attempts to highlight the
importance of including all five senses in the art of shaping buildings.
In the chapter The Body In The Centre, one of the philosopher Merleau-Ponty makes the human body the
center of experiential world by saying that people body is just like the heart in the organism, which keeps the
visible spectacles constantly alive and breathes life into it and sustains it inwardly, hence forms a system.
Through the introduction of the notion of body image or body schema as the center of integration, our bodies
and movements are in constant interactions with the environment as the world and the self inform and refine
each other constantly.Hence turn the perception of the body and the image of the world into one single
continuous existential experience.
Speaking about senses, as I move through a spaces, the eyes collaborates with the body and the other senses,
and one’s sense of reality is strengthened and articulated by this constant interaction. Therefore, sight is my
dominant sense. We constantly rely on it as we study and categorize our surroundings.But experiencing the
world mainly through our eyes leaves us a distant observer. By watching something we create a distance
between ourselves and the object.By touching it we connect with it.All the senses, including vision, can be
regarded as extensions of the sense of touch – as specialization of the skin which they define the interface
between the skin and the environment – between opaque interiority of the body and the exteriority of the world.
Eyes give us control. We can close our eyes from what we do not want to look at. Distancing ourselves from an
unpleasant sound or odour is more difficult. But touch connects us to the world. The senses not only mediate
information for the judgement of the intellect, they are also a means of igniting the imagination and of
articulating sensory thought.
Lastly, a work of architecture incorporates and infuses both physical and mental structures. The visual
frontality of the architectural drawing is lost in the real experience of architecture. Hence, I have to accord with
Berkeley, Hegel whom claimed that the only sense which can give a sensation of spatial depth is touch, because
touch sense not only the weight, resistance, three dimensional shape of material bodies, and thus makes us
aware that things extend away from us in all directions. Every touching experience of architecture is multi-
sensory that are interacting and fuse into each other.

Word Count: 450 Mark Grade


Assessed by: Date 23 MAY 2018 Page No. 1
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) IN ARCHITECTURE
THEORIES OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM
(ARC61303)
SYNOPSIS: REACTION PAPER (MARCH 2018)
Name: Angela Wee Kah Man ID No.: 0322970
Lecturer: Mr Prince Favis Isip Tutorial Time: 11am- 12pm

Reader/Text Title: The Metropolis and Mental Synopsis No: 1


Life Author: Georg Simmel
Georg Simmel’s “The Metropolis and Mental Life” (1903) is an excellent depiction of the contrast
between urban versus rural communities and the influence of the culture within each of those
communities on the individual and relationships they develop. He begins “The Metropolis and Mental
Life” by discussing one of the most important ideas in the work, namely that urban conditions
necessitate the creation of a ‘‘protective organ.’’ And these ‘‘protective organ’’ actually affect human
behavior especially those who live in the urban.
Due to the intensification of external and internal sensual stimuli in the urban as compared to a
rural setting, the metropolis fosters a situation where one must buffer him or herself from a constantly
changing environment. This protection manifests itself in the rise of logic and intellect. In other
words, life becomes matter of fact, with little consideration to emotional concerns. This
intellectualism defines life in the city, and sharply contrasts with the emphasis on personal
relationships characteristic of smaller settings.
The development of a protective, rational barrier has a profound impact on individuals living in a
metropolis. In a word, they become indifferent,in the author’s own word, ‘‘blase ’’. This ‘’blasé
outlook’’ is the consequence of the constant bombardment of the intellect, and leads to the creation of
a populace that is largely apathetic. In additional of that, several other behaviors manifest themselves
in an urban setting, namely reservation and freedom. The social attitude of people living in cities can
often be designated as one of hesitation or reluctance–an unavoidable result of building a protective
organ in an effort to reduce the number of possible human interactions. Besides that, Simmel also
compared the relationship between the metro political economy with psychology.
In conclusion, as an individual that grew up and lived in a small town but now study in a city, I
can relate much to Simmel’s argument that the city psyche is very different from that of the small
town psyche.City life is not just too fast paced for people to have time for interaction or time to stop
and “smell the roses”. However, I find also merit in what Simmel is trying to reveal, that the blasé
attitude is a defense mechanism to help us preserve emotional energy.

Word Count: 404 Mark Grade


Assessed by: Date 23 MAY 2018 Page No. 1