Mies van der Rohe said, "Less is more."

In a response, Robert Venturi replied, "More is not less... less is a bore." Such ostensibly oppositional statements, taken as a whole, paints a reality that gives importance to both. Similarly, the statements "Form follows function" and "function follows form" are also not as clear cut. Form and function are interdependant; not temporally separated, but rather, contemporaneous and co-existing at once. The form of the site chosen for this project parallels the form/design of the bridge system proposed, which in turn parallels the function of the system.


Early on in the process, the idea of modular design took hold of our interest; a design that is interactive and multi-functional. A Japanese design that incorporated a "staircase/chair/storage modules" interested us. The design process lead us to the development of our "L-shaped" module. Once we reached this stage, we decided to try designing different variations of the module, and test it out on different specific pool areas within the larger pool "system."

Reflections on a new book by Karsten Harries: "Ethical Functions of Architecture"(MIT Press, 1997)

...the pitting of the modern aesthetic "decorated shed"(from "Learning from Las Vegas", Venturi, Brown, Izenour) vs. a postmodern, humanistic, "ethical" view of architecture....

"Postmodern architecture (as practiced) has not been a humanistic response to Modernism, but a mere aesthetic response, born out of boredom, seeking relief in cultivation of the 'interesting'... this presupposes that to remain interesting, one needs to always stay one step ahead of current expectations, though little actual thought needs to be given as to a direction,... the pursuit of the 'interesting' is akin to fashion design."
Heidegger: "The relationship between man and space is none other than space ... 'dwelling' requires both establishment of place and temporal situation."

Based on Remo's lectures on the 'body' as 'dwelling', suppose that we grant that we must know how to dwell if we are to build successfully (which becomes equivalent to knowing the self in depth), the philosophical question to ask is: What kind of dwelling appropo for our age?

Our dwelling is alwasy a dwelling with others; the problem of architecture is also a problem of community.



In order to give an honest personal reflection on the visit, the process may be well served by separation of parts:

IDEAS: Numerous ideas that peaked curiosity were presented, among them "water as public terrain", "floating buildings/detacheble program vessels", "light beams as bridge", "superimposition on NYC's grid pattern with an overlapping pattern", "biocompatibility" concepts, etc. It was interesting to note that numerous finalists were those who addressed some of the ecological conditions of the city. Perhaps this is indicative of firstly, a reward system that values functionality over pure ideas, but also just as importantly, reflect design concepts that meet social needs. These are certainly not mutually exclusive, but probably are slight shifts in critical position.


After the visit, the opinion was unanimous that there was a lot of material to assimilate and the question of attention to ergonomic details came up. Perhaps the individual panels could have been positioned to allow the viewers to stay engaged for the necessary duration. More significantly to the EID111 class, the modes of presentation raised the question of succinct and lucid manners of presentation of essential information that combines the visual and the didactic/written (and other?) aids. The limitations of a two-dimensional presentation was obvious at the Van Allen show. These considerations will obviously affect the EID111 Final Presentation.