In constructing this model, I focused on design details and aimed to realize and resolve craft challenges. One of the first issues I discovered with that the bottom does not always hang directly below the top piece. This was especially true when the top was not hung evenly. Not realizing this problem ahead of time, I drilled two holes for the hanging rope without measuring exactly where they should go. This resulted in the birdhouse handing as if it were sketched in an “exploded view.”
I quickly resolved this by looping the hanging line around the entire top. However, the base still does not alway hang as I intended. Peter Brue, head of our workshop, recommended I crisscross the lines to help secure the base. During our discussion, Pete pointed out some other ways I could improve the design.
I feel like the multiple strings around the “hole” detract from the design and thus, in my next model, I plan on using a single string through the side of the piece. With such a simple design, Pete stressed the importance of craftsmanship and urged I cut off the excess fishing line and ensured my planes were smooth and even.
“Titmouse is cheerful, a bird of truth whose gifts include mysteries of the mind, joy. Titmouse can help you heal, balance and open your perceptions. He teaches about voicing impressions and expressions. Titmouse teaches to use our voice and the immense power of small things and with small ideas. Titmouse teaches courage and empowerment along with being bold with discernment. A natural curiosity awakens your senses and surroundings. Pay attention to social settings. He teaches the art of flexibility. Are you sharing your thoughts and opinions right now? Titmouse can show how to express ideals with timing.”
“regarded as the keeper of knowledge and a mystic creature.”
“People with a titmouse totem are naturally curious, they want to explore and know everything, and they are born inventors and have a gift to recreate things in their own way.”
Upon seeing my wooden “negative space birdhouse” model, Maria quickly identified the piece as an example of post-modern design. To get a better grasp and understanding of post-modern architecture, I conducted some research from Saylor.org and About.com. Key points from my reading are listed below.
“Combining new ideas with traditional forms, postmodernist buildings may startle, surprise, and even amuse. Familiar shapes and details are used in unexpected ways. Buildings may incorporate symbols to make a statement or simply to delight the viewer.”
“The functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist style are replaced by diverse aesthetics: styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake, and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound.”
“modernism is rooted in minimal and true use of material as well as absence of ornament, while postmodernism is a rejection of strict rules set by the early modernists and seeks meaning and expression in the use of building techniques, forms, and stylistic references.”
“One building form that typifies the explorations of Postmodernism is the traditional gable roof, in place of the iconic flat roof of modernism.”
“A vivid example of this new approach was that Postmodernism saw the comeback of columns and other elements of premodern designs, sometimes adapting classical Greek and Roman examples (but not simply recreating them, as was done in neoclassical architecture).”
“Another return was that of the “wit, ornament and reference” seen in older buildings in terra cotta decorative façades and bronze or stainless steel embellishments of the Beaux-Arts and Art Deco periods. In Postmodern structures this was often achieved by placing contradictory quotes of previous building styles alongside each other, and even incorporating furniture stylistic references at a huge scale.”
“The aims of Postmodernism or Late-modernism begin with its reaction to Modernism; it tries to address the limitations of its predecessor. The list of aims is extended to include communicating ideas with the public often in a then humorous or witty way. Often, the communication is done by quoting extensively from past architectural styles, often many at once. In breaking away from modernism, it also strives to produce buildings that are sensitive to the context within which they are built.”
“In response [to modernism], architects sought to reintroduce ornament, color, decoration and human scale to buildings. Form was no longer to be defined solely by its functional requirements or minimal appearance.”
“Venturi stresses the importance of the building communicating a meaning to the public, a value shared by postmodernists in general. This communication however is not intended to be a direct narration of the meaning. Venturi goes on to explain that it is rather intended to be a communication that could be interpreted in many ways. Each interpretation is more or less true for its moment because work of such quality will have many dimensions and layers of meaning.”
“Postmodernism with its diversity possesses sensitivity to the building’s context and history, and the client’s requirements. The postmodernist architects often considered the general requirements of the urban buildings and their surroundings during the building’s design.”
“The characteristics of postmodernism allow its aim to be expressed in diverse ways. These characteristics include the use of sculptural forms, ornaments, anthropomorphism and materials which perform trompe l’oeil. These physical characteristics are combined with conceptual characteristics of meaning. These characteristics of meaning include pluralism, double coding, flying buttresses and high ceilings, irony and paradox, and contextualism.”
“The sculptural forms, not necessarily organic, were created with much ardor.”
“Postmodern buildings sometimes utilize trompe l’oeil, creating the illusion of space or depths where none actually exist, as has been done by painters since the Romans.”
“The characteristics of Postmodernism were rather unified given their diverse appearances. The most notable among their characteristics is their playfully extravagant forms and the humour of the meanings the buildings conveyed.”