Architectural Education Session 2

In last night’s architectural training we learned about Greece, Rome and Classical architecture. We also learned about the development of the Greek agora into the Roman Forum. The former characterized by figural object buildings on an open field, the latter by figural spaces carved out of the urban fabric. This shift is referred to as a figure-ground reversal and best illustrated by Rubin’s Face-Vase optical puzzle or the well known woodcut by M.C. Escher, “Sky and Water I.” These images play with how the eye uses edges to perceive shapes; an effect first studied by Gestalt (G. “puzzle,” or “pattern”) psychologists at the beginning of the 20th century.

In the 3-D world of architecture buildings can be perceived as objects or as background, and sometimes as one then the other. Our friends at KlingStubbins wanted to create a decorative element for Autodesk’s Waltham headquarters that would oscillate between states as desired. The above M.C. Escher image was used in the design inspiration for the millwork ceiling in the lobby, Customer Briefing Center and atrium space.

©2009 Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

©2009 Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

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