My view of Contemporary architecture

After spending a semester on contemporary architecture, I have my own definition of Contemporary Architecture.  In my mind contemporary architecture can defined as creations that possess certain architectural beauty that can attract people and make people think and address social issues. The shape and design of the architecture have to be aesthetic and this beauty should be easily understood by normal people. The aesthetic can be expressed by the way the architecture is designed, the color it uses, the space it spans, the ideology it reflects, etc. Contemporary architecture should not only be a creation, it should also be a lively object that leads people to think inside of it. By looking at a contemporary architecture, one should feel like to judge what it reflects. The contemporary architecture serves as a fuel to make people aware of the issues the architecture is addressing. For example, when one looks at the Blur Building of Swiss Expo 02, the Blur Building immediately makes people realize universality is the theme for this architecture. Contemporary architecture should also solve certain problems. For instance, the recreation center at University of Cincinnati is a nexus that integrates the whole campus and attracts students to do exercise.  Without the recreation center, the campus seems to be broken pieces spilling around.

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My Take on Architecture

The core intention of architecture is to question the use of space and material, and there are some core elements that achieve this goal. Today’s architect should bring fresh ideas into a space and shape materials to perform new functions. Architecture should be designed to provide a functional universality. That is to say the space is designed with a common sense of use or function. The structure should also have aesthetic integrity. There should be purpose to the design of the structure, design elements flowing through the building, and guiding you naturally though, providing natural highlights through the space.

Whether the design is pleasing, abrupt, or somewhere in the middle, there needs to be a intended effect in the space. The worst thing that could happen is the client not fully understanding the artist intent in a work of art. The architect is an artist, and the art is crafted through materials. An artist is only limited through the means by which the art is created, and questioning and taking these materials and the space takes the art to new level, forever innovating and creating new possibilities that impact the entire world.



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Analyze YOUR space

Contemporary architecture is an analysis and interpretation of space and the world around us. A contemporary architect renders buildings and objects that hold meaning to him or her, but may not be the same to another person. Contemporary architecture is a mastery of interpretation and demonstration; in order to excel as a contemporary architect, a person cannot place boundaries upon what is to be interpreted. For example, a grove of trees in contemporary architecture may take on many different interpretations, whether it be the view of the leaves, the space between the trees, the sky view, or the tree trunks. Each represents something that can be defined, but contemporary architecture places a limit or definable confine on a portion of space.

Contemporary architecture is a open and flexible art form, where the only right answer is the one that you can defend. A box made out of twigs may be contemporary architecture if the architect of the twig box has a meaning or purpose for the box.

There is an ongoing purpose to create something brand new with contemporary architecture and it is shaped by a competitive world. This brings about new views of architecture, and new interpretations. That is the greatest thing about contemporary architecture: Newness.

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Contemporary Architecture Manifesto- Shijie Guo

Architecture gives people hope. The architects either give people a roof or export a theory. In the past architecture probably meant to make some buildings that have certain functions, however, contemporary architecture may have to think about cost and efficiency. Therefore people would not only thank them for the physical things, but also for the mentally gain. The contemporary architecture conveys more duties than it ever does. Architects may take environment into their consideration: materials, structure, technology, and ideology, everything that may be eco-friendly. From the goal, which to bring a roof and comfort to people, to the purpose to create or keep harmony between people and nature, the contemporary architecture may focus on the whole ecosystem.


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Tianren Wang’s Manifesto

As my studying ART210 for architecture till now, I have learned many knowledge of contemporary architecture and had my own understanding of it. I think that the two of main streams of contemporary architecture we focused on this course are Modern architecture and Postmodern architecture.

The first characteristic of Modern architecture is flowing space, which creates the feeling of wide space by simplicity and elimination of complex details; secondly, the sign of modern architecture is the utopian expression of structure, visualizing the freedom of design; the another distinctive feature is that the concept of architecture is more close to the nature or the natural appearance of original structural materials.

The characteristics of Postmodern architecture are abstract shape, asymmetry of design, and contradiction. The abstract shape means that Postmodern architectures mostly apply conceptual geometrical exterior. However, by destroying the beauty of symmetry of geometry, Postmodern buildings always uses asymmetry. For example, the ancient western castles with gardens follow the rigor aesthetics of symmetry: the number of columns in one side must be equal to the number of columns in the other side, but this phenomenon hardly detects in the Postmodern architecture, so in my opinion, this style sometimes can bring surprise and intimacy to the visitors. Due to the feature of asymmetry, there are lots of structural contradiction in Postmodern buildings such as lines and curves, dots and space and etc.

Nowadays, no matter from living and working, the modern architectures undertake the responsibility to provide better living and working conditions for whole society, so they possess the beautiful surface and also the practical functionality. Meanwhile, more and more architects evoke the realization of social responsibility: not only focusing on development of urban areas, but also caring about the improvement of architectures in rural places.


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Tyler Koch Contemporary Architecture Manifesto

Contemporary architecture conveys a sense of meaning, purpose, and beauty through the construction, functionality, and art of the building. Architecture is pushing the envelope of what we know and finding new memory through visual lines and curves. Architecture is rapidly becoming long breathed in the world of green and promptly changing with technology. The space of the architecture is important. Contemporary architecture requires a programmed space for human activity. A cloud can be contemporary architecture if it has a program and is built by an architect. We can imagine the world as the product of a contemporary architect. It is through the observation and involvement with the architecture that we can find the meaning, which is often not always understood or appreciated.  Contemporary architecture is the mastery of space and geometry.  The world is becoming more efficient with its resources and contemporary architecture meets the changing efficiency with its design for the area defined. Modernism in architecture is an attempt to frame nature and limit the functionality to become more utopian like and contemporary is a way to frame the human function and allow for more personal customization of the defined space while pushing the envelope of artistic design.

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Contemporary Architecture and the Liberal Arts

Relating sensory space to physical space, contemporary architecture relates the tangible purpose of material to the human perception of the world. Adapting the mental perception of material cannot change the fact that architecture is the construction of space. Contemporary architecture attempts to redefine space through the adaptation of material while remaining true to the tangible properties that are intrinsic. Construction need not be hidden, but celebrated, and contemporary architecture brings that to the forefront. Enclosed space is not necessary for the creation of architectural masterpiece. Contemporary architecture appeals to the idea that separation of space is significant, without materials creating boundaries.

Approaching a scope of work, not as a limitation, the contemporary architect sees client’s wishes as an opportunity to reinvent the purpose of design. Collaboration between architect and client defines the contemporary horizon that the profession is approaching. Reconnecting artistic desires to functionality defines the movement in the modern world of technological advancement. As Wabash focuses on the liberal arts, contemporary architecture forces the mind to approach the construction process as a whole system, and not simply a design project. Contemporary architecture thinks critically about invention of feeling, and remains true to the work that creating a structure entails.

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Daniel Ranschaert Manifesto

Like many of my classmates have already pointed out, Contemporary Architecture utilizes aesthetics and functionality to provide a solution for a client, society, or personal issues.  We can see how architecture has changed over time, going from designing a building that “looks good” but does not serve much of a function other than being a building to things like the Dallas theatre that was both a building but served many functions.  The functionality of a building or design can be as important, if not more important, than the aesthetics during the design process.   Also, Contemporary Architecture does not limit itself to buildings.  For example, Professor Bricker’s work for PUP is a model of Contemporary Architecture.  Though he does not necessarily design buildings for that project, he and his colleagues design functional items that serve more purpose than to just “look good”.  Styles will always change, but the idea of having both aesthetic and functional aspects to solutions may not.  This suggests that Contemporary Architecture is not a style of architecture, but rather it is a way in which people think about how to solve certain issues at hand.


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Contemporary Architecture as a Philosophy of Problem Solving

Contemporary Architecture must embrace aesthetics and functionality to provide a solution to the problem. The problem can be either complex or simple and posed by the client or created by society, but without a solution that is aesthetically pleasing and functional, the resulting space will not be a work of Contemporary Architecture.

While this definition leaves the style of Contemporary Architecture open to a wide range of buildings and styles, this openness will allow for innovation and experimentation to solve problems that will likely not be the same in the United States as those problems in Europe, Asia, or South America.

A prime example of this new approach using aesthetics and functionality can be seen in the Wyly Theatre, which took the exciting approach to redefining the typical theater experience through the extensive use of technology and to ensure the functionality that the clients desired.

Contemporary Architecture may be less of a style and more of a philosophy of problem solving that will continue to press architects to find new and innovative ways to meet the needs of society and their clients.


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Tony Couch’s Manifesto

This is Tony Couch’s Manifest, the password has not been working to log me in!


Contemporary architecture is a type of architecture that survives because of its functionality, along with its aestheticism.  By functionality, I mean that without function the building is art.  In Contemporary art, it is important to have function, as we saw in some of the works that we saw.  In the Farnsworth house, there was not much function, there was freedom for the owner to do whatever she wanted, and as we saw, the owner was not very pleased with the work of the architect.  However, when we moved to a more contemporary architecture style, there became functionality where the was a set function for the building.  Along with this it was used based off of its function, whether it was to be a house or a museum.  Along with this, without aestheticism the work is simply an object.

Architecture matters because we need our buildings to be built with a certain function in mind.  As we saw in the TED talk by Joshua Prince Ramus, it is time for architecture to do things, not represent things.  We need architecture to be very functional and versatile.  A problem in the past is that architects knew what they wanted to build, but they did not know how to execute it.  The importance of architecture is everlasting, we need architecture as I said earlier, to give meaning to the building.  Architecture is important today because it directs the way we use the building, and how we interact with each other!


Tony Couch


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