Archive for December, 2011


Life Planning

Chronological Timeline of your life; from birth to old age.

(include period titles, notes, ages, years in decades, etc)

– year by year –

* * * *

Definitive Paragraphs

(write about each subject to self define the terms)

Life Goals, Values, and Vision

Happiness  – what makes you most content or joyous

Success  – economic, sustainability, achievements

Income  – live within, or below your means

Bills  –  reduce the amount of bills, or increase?

Savings  –  live in the now, or save?

Dependents (pets, kids, etc)

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Current Schedule

Living Arrangements (renting, owning, shelter etc)

Apartment Rental Location (dont live near alcoholics if you are an alcoholic)

Area Ideas (list state, county, city, town, and subdivision options)

Look in Newspapers, Craigslist, Google, and use Real Estate Agents

Financial Management Ideas – reduce bills, and live within means

Micro-Loans are best loans because there is more of a chance to pay them off.

List Mirco-Loan options in case you need them during hard times.

Borrowing, Collaterals, Cosigners, ways to pay off monthly payments

Draw Area Maps for driving tours and networking communication and transportation etc.

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REMEMBER TO FOLLOW IT BY RE-READING WHAT YOU WRITE!

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Turn of the Century House

Published in a local paper

By Walton Stowell Sr.

 

One of the greatest minds to influence much of 20th century architecture was that of Swiss-born Le Corbusier (1887-1965). He had this to say about architecture and architects: “Architecture is an attitude of mind and not a profession.”

Corbu said it is the architect’s duty to “give themselves so passionately to the study of reason for things, that architecture will rise as a spontaneous consequence”; and that “by its inherent radiance, gaiety, and grace; architects will bring joy, and not merely efficiency to men of the new machine civilization.”

Twentieth-century architecture in the United States has seen several separate movements of major creative activity. Radical theoretical pronouncements usually heralded these inventive moments, and distinction was achieved primarily through looks of the buildings that resulted together with use of new building technologies.

The first few years of the new century saw the last gasp of the romantic, eclectic, monumental Beaux Arts style with Bernard Maybeck’s Palace of Fine Arts at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915: and McKim, Mead, and White’s waiting room of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in New York City modeled after the ancient Roman Bath of Caracalla.

 

Since the 20th century is the century of so-called ‘modern architecture’, the first milestone occurred about 1907, with the works of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. Sullivan had already refined a vertical expression for the Chicago skyscraper, that most distinguishable of American symbols. Wright was promoting his low horizontal land-hugging prairie houses which was later to be developed into what he called an “organic architecture” (see Maddox House).

Both men believed in the axiom that “form follows function”, or perhaps more significantly that “form and function are one”. Ornament became integral with their architecture, not designs pasted or stuck on as an after-thought. For both of these architects, ornament was emotional in nature. If the ornamentation was well conceived, not only the poetry, but the character of structure was enhanced. The building’s plan and elevations spring forth from a well-ordered program based on human needs. These in turn must be appropriate to the materials chosen for construction and the site. Landscape was important to Wright, and he built into a hillside or beside it, never on top.

A little later into the century, architects were trying to establish an urban architecture. How to build in the big city. The office was a new space to deal with, as well as cultural institutions. Raymond Hood won the Chicago Tribune Tower Competition of 1922, and contributed to the vast and complicated designs for Rockefeller Center of 1932. Using roof areas for gardens was one of his ideas.

The third climatic period of modern architecture occurred at the mid-century when the building boom of post World War II converged with the genius of men like Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. Both men had left Nazi Germany to start anew in the United States. Gropius was founder of the Bauhaus, or the so called ‘international school of art and architecture’ in Germany in the 1920’s. He had assumed a major role in the Architects Collaborative’s most important and challenging projects – the Harvard Graduate Center – in 1949. Here a series of individual brick dormitories linked by covered walks, formed quadrangles that sought to conform the spatial sequence and scale of Harvard Yard.

The second and third floor sometimes seem to float about the lawn, resting on simple cylinder columns which provide better ventilation and shade in the enclosed spaces.

At about the same time, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was designing elegant steel and glass boxes and towers in Chicago. Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Farnesworth House in Plano, Illinois represented an idea of paramount importance that Mies had been developing since the early 1940’s – the principal of Universal Space. It heralded a break with a singular concern for function. Contrary to Luis Sullivan’s idea that “form follows function”. Mies said that while form cannot change, function does: “We do not let the function dictate the plan. Instead, let us make room enough for any function.” This might seem to cover all the bases.

Van der Rohe’s buildings are an under-statement in simple elegance and detail, which prompted the axiom, “Less is more”.

A fourth climax came about the mid-1960’s and is manifest in the projects of Louis I. Kahn and Eero Saarinen. Kahn brought a sunloving solid geometry and pure poetry back to architecture. The catch-phrase “servant spaces and served spaces” is expressed in his Richards Building at the University of Pennsylvania. The exhaust and stair towers, the central utility tower, and deep tresses are the “servant spaces”, and the laboratories are the “served spaces”. The mechanical services such as air conditioning, artificial ventilation, and heating needed in a building today are numerous and complex. To Kahn, these services must be made a part of the order of the structure. They must give “shape and light” to the served spaces. The served spaces themselves, raison d’etre of the building, must emerge gracefully. Kahn had no use for the conventional skyscraper. He called them vertical boxes wearing girdles. There was no reason, save economy, that they should go straight up. He made a study featuring a city tower whose plan was a hexagonal shape which shifted its position as it rose at intervals of 33 feet. It combined tetrahedron and octahedron space frames. The helical structure was designed to allow varying uses and positions to exist within its triangular growth. The result was a futuristic looking zig-zag Tinkertoy construction.

Eero Saarinen’s commitment to basics, to certain easily grasped, fundamental design forms, showed itself not only in his finished work but in his design process. Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC is as flamboyant a form as he created. The attempt to evolve a monumental style of architecture appropriate to the ceremony of air travel succeeds here in a way that it has not at any other airport. The system of ‘mobile lounges’ to move the passengers from terminal to plane was not as successful as the building, but if nothing else, it stands as evidence of Saarinen’s deep commitment to programming. He offered a new kind of airport operation.

The remainder of the century will be divided architecturally. There are the ‘high-techs’ led by Richard Meier and Helmut Jahn, inheritors a refined international style incorporating a sleeker, shinier machine technology and detailing. Meier’s Atheneum in New Harmony, Indiana and Jahn’s Illinois State Office Building in Chicago, are good examples of high-tech modern architecture.

The other camp is known as the Post-Modernists. They also are inheritors of the international style, but they capitalize on a more simple (often forced) symmetrical geometry with more pop-art, neo-classical, and Beaux Arts overtones. Michael Graves’ design for the Public Service Building in Portland, Oregon has a sense of humor – there is a classical swag, or gigantic ribbon, tied around the top. Robert Venturi’s  mother’s house in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania is an abstract fragment derived from the monumental facade of Blenheim Palace in England. With our renewed interest in historicism and post-modern mannerism, architecture may have come full cycle in the past 100 years.

Kip” Stowell is a Harpers Ferry architect who, together with his partner, Daniel Hart, prepared the recently completed historical survey on McMurran Hall. Photos of skyscrapers are from the collection of Walton Danforth Stowell (Kip).

– From a local newspaper article (or arts magazine in newsprint) page 11

Point of View – Evalina Manucy

Art Education 413

Mr. Sutton

May 6, 1968

 

Structure of Learning

 

In our present educational system most emphasis has been placed upon the learning of actual information. To a great extent the passing or failing of an examination, course, or grade depends upon the mastery or memorization of certain bits of information that are already known to the instructor (or accessible to them). The function of the school system would then seem to be to produce people who can file away bits of information, and then repeat these at a given signal.

Once the student has achieved a certain competency at producing the proper bits at the correct time, they are considered right for passing and eventually graduating from school. What is the most disturbing is that the skill required for repeating bits of information may have very little to do with being a contributing, well-adjusted member of society.

I do not want to give the impression that by merely having good art programs in public schools, human civilization is saved; but the creative values that are meaningful in a developed art program are those which may be basic to the development of a new image, philosophy, or structure. More and more people are recognizing that the ability to learn differs from age to age, and from person to person. Also this ability to learn involves not only an intellectual capacity, but also social, emotional, perceptual, physical, and psychological factors. Learning is very complex, so there is no single best teaching method.

Goals in teaching can be judged only in terms of significance and inclusiveness of anticipated outcomes. Learning experiences are evaluated in the light of learning which apparently is taking place. Goals are realized by evaluation of human behavior concerning specific tasks.

There are two general approaches to the understanding of human behavior. The first approach says this: How people behave is a result of the forces exerted upon them. The individual’s behavior is ascribed to the forces that are observed to be operating upon them at a particular time. It would seem then that the answer to our problems of human relations must be a matter of the manipulation of the forces exerted upon people. This method of dealing with human problems is based upon fencing people in and is found everywhere in our society. When we try to use this method of dealing with people, we are often frustrated and distressed at the “uncooperative attitudes” of the people we try to deal with.

There are other interesting implications of this ‘manipulation-of-forces’ method. For example, in order to use this method effectively, somebody must know where the people should go. Carried to its ultimate extreme, such a point of view can only end in a dictatorship.

The concept of leadership which grows out of this conception of the nature of behavior, moreover, calls for a leader who is a kind of superman, skilled in the manipulation of forces to get people to behave in ways desired by the knowing few.

Stated in this way, such a view of dealing with people seems highly distasteful to those of us who are deeply concerned with democratic practices. Nevertheless, this is the method of dealing with people to be found most commonly everywhere in our society. In spite of ourselves, whenever we find ourselves saying “How can I make them behave?” We are illustrating this point of view about people.

The difficulty with this idea is not that it is wrong. The idea of talented or natural leadership is partly correct. People do behave, in part, because of forces which are exerted upon them. It seems people tend to behave in terms of the way those forces seem to affect them.

The second approach to human behavior: the idea that behavior is the result of how things seem to the person. Behavior is seen, not as a question of the stimuli or the forces to which the person is exposed, but rather as the product of the perceptions and concepts formed exist for the individual at the moment of their behavior.

People’s meanings or perceptions lie inside people and cannot be directly affected. This means that the ultimate control and direction of behavior lies always within the personality, rather than in the external forces exerted upon them. The approach to dealing with people calls for an emphasis upon the processes. Perception cannot be changed directly, it can only be utilized, encouraged, and assisted. This method emphasizes growth and development from within rather than forces and fencing in from outside. It requires that we learn to deal with people as we do with all other living things. This requires leaders who are understanding of others, skilled in the creation of healing relationships, and capable of assisting and encouraging the student in processes of personal exploration and discovery.

Learning, in this view, becomes a problem of helping people to perceive differently. I believe emphasis upon classroom atmosphere, activity learning, pacing of materials, group discussion methods, problem-solving approaches, and the like are fundamentally consistent with this conception of human behavior.

A group of students can become involved in goal planning. From goal planning, students will make faster progress, friends will be made, and a wider variety of materials can be used. Social skills are important for artists who want their work to become known in their lifetime.

Another strategy of learning is getting a pupil to want to ask questions. The ability to question, to seek answers, to find form, to develop order, to rethink, to restructure, and to find new relationships are qualities that are not generally taught; but are important. In fact these abilities seem to be frowned upon in our present educational system.

We learn through our senses. Our abilities to see, hear, smell, and taste provide us the means by which an interaction with our environment can take place. The more our senses are involved in problem solving, the more likely we are to become aware of the worth of the issue, and perhaps realize better ways of solving problems. We can realize that past conceptions and experiences can be used to foster present and future human potential. When we relate our present perceptions to our past experiences, this evaluation lets us learn, mature, and become more human.

An individual can learn well when they perceive or realize that their actions or behaviors of the past and present, are inadequate for the future. We are challenged by new problems or ideas, because it can give us new goals. We become curious and motivated towards these ends. We start to define our problems by considering various ways of behaving that might enable us to problem solve or reach goals. Perhaps we seek to balance the equilibrium of our lives, or create a catalyst for change.

A person may become fearful or upset by doubt, conflict, or confusion. They may feel insecure, threatened, and desire to withdraw. They are now unable to sense and perceive socially. They shut down recognition of problem solving importance. This means they cannot learn as well, and may develop negative concepts of themselves and others.

We learn best when we feel cared for, respected, understood and feel responsibility for self and others. We are less likely to learn when other people do not care, lack respect, are bossy or are apathetic. One of the basic abilities that should be taught is the ability to discover, to search for answers, instead of passively waiting for answers, and directions from the teacher.

We know too well that factual learning and retention, if it cannot be used by a free and flexible mind, will benefit neither the individual nor society. Education has often neglected these attributes of growth that are responsible for the development of the individual’s sensibilities, and for their ability to live cooperatively in a society. In a well-balanced education system, in which the development of the total being is stressed, each individual’s thinking, feeling and perceiving must be equally developed in order that their potential creative abilities can unfold.

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Structure of Society

By looking around us today, we can see great material gains in society. But serious questions can be raised about how much we have educated ourselves beyond purchasing and consuming commercial products. Have we in our educational system really put emphasis upon the human? Or have we been so blinded by material awards that we have failed to recognize where the real values of a democracy lie, which is in the individual?

Our society is based on a democratic system where man is able to develop his potentials. Society is constantly being changed. Democracy supposedly has no discrimination against classes, and should teach responsibility  to all through our institutions. The growing number of emotional and mental illnesses in this nation (which is the large), as well as our inability to accept human beings regardless of nationality, religion, race, creed, or color is a frightening sign and vividly points out that our society has failed in a very significant aim.

While our high achievements in specialized fields, particularly in the sciences, have improved, our material standards for living have diverted our society from those values that are responsible for our emotional and spiritual needs. They have introduced a false set of values, which neglect the inner most needs of an individual. An individual is the most important element in a democratic society. The members of the society and / or the various classes or status groups within it, have to behave in such a way as to be able to function in accordance with the social system.  Humans had to be molded into people eager to spend most of their energy on work for others. In order to do this a discipline of willpower was needed. This discipline would be present itself as order and punctuality.

Our society consumes, as we produce, without any solid relativity to nature as a whole or respect for material objects. We live in a world of artificial ‘things’, and our only connection with them is that we know how to manipulate or consume them. Our rate and system of consumption necessarily results in the fact that we are never satisfied. Our society has developed an ever-increasing need for more things, and more consumption. It is also true that there is a legitimate need for more consumption as humans continue to multiply, and industry progresses. But our craving has lost all connection with the real needs of humanity. Originally, the idea of consuming more and more things was meant to give us a happier, more satisfied life. Success has been equated with mass consumption for too long. The constant increase of insatiable hunger makes us dependent on this system, and on the people and institutions by whose help we maintain the spinning balloon that is ever inflating.

Our society is based on these materials, and including the money to buy them. Recently the love of exchange has replaced by the love of possession. Each person strives to exchange their monetary value for the best goods attainable. We live in a society where sociability has a cash value.

Cordiality is taught and cultivated as a necessity in almost any career. The child is trained to respond with a “please” and “thank you”. Television commercials, clerks, and salesmen show an unending flash of smiles, and friendly appeals. While much of this outward show of friendliness is phony, it none-the-less surrounds us with an atmosphere of sociability which probably leaves some residue.

Our society forces people to develop an acute time consciousness, since nearly everything is done on a time schedule ‘according to the clock’. We live in a culture permeated by change and expectations of change. We base our future plans on the changes which we expect to have taken place by the time our plans mature.

Complex societies have numerous sub-cultures, each developing its own characteristic personalities, and reducing the overall uniformity of the masses. Even in simple societies, there is no complete uniformity in characteristics. Complex societies tend to have greater variation in diversity.

Five basic institutions which are found in our most complex societies are the family, church, state, school, and economic system.  Our institutions are centered around major human needs. In our society laws are a means of regulating many kinds of behaviors which are not clearly covered by the mores. Mores are ethics, morality, or codes of correct behavior in a society. These ethics are taught to our ethnic youth, and serve as beliefs in the rightness or wrongness of actions. Laws usually serve to reinforce mores or ethics.

Our society is progressive and ethnocentric. Ethnocentrism is a view of things in which one’s own group is the center of everything, and all the others are scaled and rated with reference to it. Stated less formally, it is the tendency for each group to take for granted the superiority of its culture and mores.

The influence of our society on its individuals cannot be underestimated. Our modern period is like a building with a ruined foundation, that keeps getting bigger and bigger despite the structural problems. So too, an individual can lose connection with their spiritual growth or purpose in life, and escape into a world of meaningless stereotyped patterns. Often to help us face a new situation, we try to find refuge in the repetition of conventional patterns for comfort.

This disunity between art and society, between education and environment, represents one of the factors that our present time suffers from. On the other side, this disunity is clearly expressed by an art expression that because of its extreme individualistic character, almost loses its communicative meaning. Thus, two extreme antipodes can be found within one culture: conventional traditional patterns; and radical individual expression. Obviously no single individual can be made responsible for the lack of integration between our culture (society), scientific achievements, and art. These important characteristics of our time have to be understood, especially by those who guide our youth. It is only when we see these discrepancies that we find the urge to change them.

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Nature of People

An individual is born into this world without knowledge or wisdom, and they are removed from it again often without consent or will. In this respect, we are not any different from other animals, or plants, or even inanimate objects.

If only humans use symbols; only our communication reaches beyond the level of exchanging very simple feelings and intentions. With symbolic communication we can exchange detailed directions, share discoveries, and organize elaborate activities. Without it, we would quickly revert to caves and tree-tops again.

Language is so intimately tied up with culture that every new addition to the group’s cultural heritage involves additions to the language. In order to know a group we must learn their language. Special groups within a society (such as hobos, soldiers, railroad workers, and teenagers) have their own vocabulary, and sometimes their own dialect (or sub-language). We can express more than other animals seem to be able to, so in effect the more we express ourselves the more human we are.

Humanity’s greatest problem today is how to adjust ourselves and our social arrangements to the speed of a changing environment and culture. Culture is an organized system of behavior, together with its supporting ideas and values. How does the culture of a society function to control and direct the life of individuals?

Culture defines situations for all of us. For instance, suppose someone approaches you with right hand outstretched at waist level. They wish to shake hands in a friendly greeting. But in another place or time it could mean hostility or warning.

Culture defines attitudes, values, and goals. A person learns from their culture what is good, true, and beautiful. An individual learns attitudes, values, and goals unconsciously. These are probably the most important part of any culture. Humans are goal seeking, able to believe in values, and have faith in an idea. The individual may develop, modify, or oppose the trends of culture, but they always have some relationship to the framework of society and culture. Humans are creatures of habit. We learn to the patterns of society, to use them as we see fit. We are often very adaptable, within set conditions. Inherent in our nature are needs for happiness, harmony, love, and freedom. These are dynamic factors though, which if frustrated tend to arouse psychic reactions.

The structure of society and the function of the individual in the social structure, both can be considered in determining the content of our social character. Families may be considered the communicative agency of society and individuals; and educational institutions have the function of transmitting the requirements of society to children.

If humans are to be happy, there must be courage. It takes wit, interest, willpower, and energy to be happy. Humans must become interesting to themselves, and actually expressive somewhat to be happy (I think). None of us are devoid of the possibility of happiness; but many have not had enough interest in finding their real selves. Once we are aware of the road we are on, we can begin being content within, despite possible diversions that may lead in the opposite direction.

It is foolish to believe we have arrived at the end of our road, so long as we are still alive. The world is not yet done with us. We can still have hope of an even brighter future.

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Behavior Goals

Goals in this part are objectives or aims which can be achieved by people through art experiences. These behaviors are of two types:

1. Covert – inner, hidden, behaviors and responses which can lead to observable or perceivable acts. Such hidden behaviors are: thinking, feeling, attitudes, etc…

2.  Overt – behaviors and responses often perceived, observed or measured with man-made devices.

The best way to define a goal is to describe what a person does when they achieve that goal.

1. Perceives acute visual and tactile designs

2. Solves art problems creatively

3. Makes aesthetic responses and judgments

4. Expresses visually personal ideas

5. Understands visual expressions of others (past/present children, peers, professionals)

6. Expresses and communicates self adequately to others

*

1. Perceives acute visual and tactile designs:  describes, points out, and/or uses in production…

A. LINE forces: direction (movement, size (width, length, etc), implied dark-light, Q

B. SHAPE forces: contour, inner direction, positive-negative, size relation, Q

C. TEXTURE forces: actual, illusory (looks rough, smooth, fluffy, warm, etc.), Q

D. VOLUME forces: contour, inner direction, positive-negative, size relationships, Q

E. SPACIAL forces: depth, distance, perspective (advancing/receding), baseline, overlapping, Q

F. COLOR forces:  hue (primary, secondary, etc.), shade value (light-dark, brightness, tone), tint intensity (hue saturation), psychological associations (warmness, coolness, passion, calmness, sickness, health, newness, oldness), Q

G. Guiding Principles of Harmony and Aesthetic Quality:  emphasis, proportion, repetition, dominance, shifting, alteration, tension, Q

H. Interprets from monotony in production, Q

I. Names, personal images, and subject matter, Q

* Q = overt behavior

2. Solves art problems creatively

A. Is fluent B. Is flexible C. Is original

3. Makes aesthetic responses and judgments

A. Expresses in some manner (verbal dialogue, gestures with hands or body, facial expression, audible sounds, etc.) how the total phenomenon makes one feel

B. Continues to have empathy and views the object from various distances, and all possible sides. Touches object if permissible.

C. Realizes that aesthetic judgments are made between two or more objects.

D. Responds qualitatively, intuitively, and emotionally the essence of the total object.

4. Expresses visually personal ideas

A. suggests and makes numerous personal images and symbols

B. uses overt behavior with visual forces

C. experiments and explores with numerous symbols or subjects before choosing.

5. Understands visual expressions of others (past/present children, peers, professionals)

children, peers, professionals, past / present

A. Expresses opinions and critiques of others freely

B. Makes aesthetic judgments and responses

C. As a critic can question and suggest related to tool processes

D. Asks self and others questions as to what is felt in relation to forces

6. Expresses and communicates self adequately to others

A. Questions and seeks answers to find or understand forms, orders, and meanings

B. Rethinks, restructures, and finds new relationships in groups or classes

C. Uses as many senses as they can to learn or solve a problem: listens, sees, smells, touches, verbalizes, and expresses feelings

D. Identifies with self, artwork, and others (covert and overt).

E. Cooperates with others (overt)