Friday, May 8, 2009

The Sculptured House

Sitting nestled on top of Genesee Mountain in Colorado, is Charles Deaton’s Sculptured House. The house is anything but a cookie-cutter house. People have called the house a “clamshell”, “spaceship,” “mushroom,” “eyeball,” and “taco” Charles Deaton however, preferred sculptured. After all, that is how the house was originally made. Deaton knew when he began the plaster sculpture that it would eventually end up as a house that he himself would live in. He did not want to “simply wrap a shell around a floor plan” He did not even choose a scale until the sculpture was completed. Deaton was a naturalist and found the naturally occurring curves and shapes to be fascinating. It is no wonder he chose such a curvilinear house to be his own.
Deaton designed the house in 1963 as the “sculpture you could live in”. The house was Deaton’s only residential project that he would create in his lifetime. His motto was always “People aren’t angular so why should they live in rectangles?” This motto makes me believe that he was really after something with this notion. Unlike Frank Lloyd Wright, another architect in the same period of time, the same lines and angles are missing in Deaton’s Sculpture House. His house has not a single straight wall. This would be tricky for an ordinary designer, but luckily for Deaton his daughter overtook the interiors, designing the furniture as art pieces. Thus, the house is an art piece, with art pieces inside. When asked the question if architecture is art, the Sculptured House is full proof that it is. The only difference in art and architecture is that architecture can be contained. The containment of people is what makes this house fascinating. The way that it is not a perfect clamshell is unique. It is curved, so that the main glass fa├žade is facing the most light. During the day the house is exposed to many different highlights. The bedrooms are along different sides of the house, and have different effects on the mood of the room. The master bedroom gets streaks of light throughout the day onto the floor and bed and makes the house become part of the bedroom. The same happens with the other bedroom on the opposite side of the house. The light shines onto the bed and the shadow on the curved wall spotlight the bed to look like it is a work of art. The light and shadow effects throughout the house make it easy to see why Deaton wanted this work of art to be his own. Unfortunately due to debt, Deaton never lived in the home. He never was able to see the interior finished. His daughter Charlee was commissioned to take over the interior project in 2000.
The house sits proud on top of Genesee mountain showing off its beauty to the world. Charles Deaton would be proud to look at his residential masterpiece and the changes it went through to be standing here today

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Coming Full Circle


Design is very important when it comes to community. The Disney Concert Hall is a great example of this. The building was very innovative being made out of titanium, yet they did not think of the community. The reflection off of the building created a heat island effect on the adjacent condominiums and caused the temperature to rise 15 degrees in some cases. Disney having the money and resources made the titanium more abrasive and dull. Since the incident, the concert hall has received much praise and made the city, “A major attractant and a cultural magnet for downtown Los Angeles” (Roth 600). The community has benefited from the concert hall and shows how one building can change many things.


Frank Gehry was very innovative when it came to designing the Guggenheim Museum. The government of Basque wanted a building that would “bring tourists and cultural venues to the heart of the city” (Roth 600). Gehry and his team usual used copper sheets, but due to health concerns had to come up with a new similar material. The result was the highly expensive but rare and durable titanium. The skin was applied to the building that “they fluttered and shimmered in the wind, contributing a special luster to the museum.” (Roth 600). The titanium although costly was very innovative in the design sense allowing for a new direction in design. The look received much popular acclaim and soon everyone wanted their own titanium covered Guggenheim.


A steward is someone who is actively concerned with the direction of the affairs of an organization . That to me can not only be someone but an element that is THE direction of the affairs of organization. In our studio project, we had to make a meditative/celebrative space for 9 graduate assistants. That room had to have organization and purpose. In all of the first years designs there was an element that brought organization and purpose to the room. In mine it rice paper removable panels that brought everything together. The panels gave direction into what was public and what was private. They gave light direction as well. During the day the panels would shine onto the floor and move the light into the private space, making the graduate student more curious to see what was over there. Design is all about organization of ideas, and one element can be the steward of design.


This word resounds with me deeply. All throughout my life, I have wanted to be authentic, as soon as something became popular or well known, suddenly it did not have much meaning to me as before. I never wanted my ideas to be like someone else’s. That is something that I feel has sat with me as being a first year designer, we were to look at precedents for all our work. The final product, the viewer would not even know was supposed to be the precedent. I never wanted my project to resemble anything anyone else had done before. I wanted all my ideas to be original and me; even if it received criticism at least it was mine and no one else’s. The deconstructvisim movement in design is very authentic. They moved away from previous thinking “suggesting that fundamentally a building exists as an isolated abstract phenomenon.” (Roth 600) The movement was “Described by one reviewer “They’ve tossed out every orderly precept of architecture since the Greeks and have prompted the most basic questions, starting with which end is up” (Roth quoting Cathleen McGuigan). The designs were new and they showed the structure as it was. Sometimes, it came down to that they were unable to make the building due to the computer aided designs. Either way, every designer has to come up with a design that is authentic and makes them different from everyone out there. Otherwise, we will all be stuck with the crap in the suburbs the plain, repetitive, unoriginal designs.
Coming Full Circle

Throughout this year we have gone all the way from the beginning of design into history until precent day. We have gone back to the past to create new things for the future, and we have discarded the past in order to design for the future. These phenomenons have happened over and over again, and will probably continue until the end of time. As designers we have to know what makes us innovative and authentic enough to be a good designer. We are all stewards working in a specific community to make it a better designed world.

Unit Summary- Explorations

My sister Jeanette
Told me that sometimes the things that you want most are the things that are the hardest. IARC is proof. Without her encouragement I wouldn't be the person I am.

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

This building made me realize I really wanted to be a designer. Hearing the architect talk passionately about the building and changing the Dubai as we knew it, made me see how much of an impact one person can do with design. Its iconic, simple, and so techical, that I hope I can do the same in my design future

Down Comforter

Comfortable and Classic---need i say more?

Marquise Cut Solitare Diamond

3/4 carat

My Mom proudly wears this on her finger and her and my dad have been married for 31 years. I am mesmerized by the shape and sparkle. Just like their marrige:Beautiful.

Ford Mustang

An American tradition; sleek, curving, streamlined

Tampa Bay, Flordia

Everytime I go back to where I was born I feel at home, the water and sun reflecting off the buildings is magical. This is my happy place.

Birds Nest Bejing

Complex and beautiful

The Acropolis, Rome

They were far ahead of their time in everything, and this city is proof. Simple, Elegant, and yet powerful

Sydney Music Hall

Iconic and Rythmic