Saturday, 30 October 2010

Hierarchy: Francis D. K. Ching

This is what F. D. K. Ching had to say in his book, Architecture: Form, Space & Order.

On page 333 he states, on Hierarchy...
''The articulation of the importance or significance of a from or space by its size, shape, or placement, relative to the other forms and spaces of the organization.''

Subsequent pages 350, 351 & 353 have been scanned in with good textual and diagrammatic explanations.

Hierarchy, an exploration

This is an interesting term with many meanings and applications. There are some definitions with particular significance to our study site, Jubilee Gardens, London, SE1. 

Source -

hi·er·ar·chy  [hahy-uh-rahr-kee, hahy-rahr-] 
1. any system of persons or things ranked one above another. 
2. government by ecclesiastical rulers.

3. the power or dominion of a hierarch.
4. an organized body of ecclesiastical officials in successive ranks or orders: the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

Source -

hierarchy (Greek: hierarchia (ἱεραρχία), from hierarches, "leader of sacred rites") is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another. Abstractly, a hierarchy is simply an ordered set or an acyclic graph. A hierarchy, can link entities either directly or indirectly, and either vertically or horizontally.
We can even look to Maslow's hierarchy of needs's_hierarchy_of_needs
File:Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.svg
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the largest and most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom, and the need for self-actualization at the top. The most fundamental and basic four layers of the pyramid contain what Maslow called "deficiency needs" or "d-needs": esteem, friendship and love, security, and physical needs. With the exception of the most fundamental (physiological) needs, if these "deficiency needs" are not met, the body gives no physical indication but the individual feels anxious and tense. Maslow's theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs.

In my view some important hierarchical elements to the Jubilee Gardens website includes the River Thames, London Waterloo, the London Eye, Hungerford Bridge, Royal Festival Hall, The County Hall, Shell Centre Building, and Lambeth's Unitary Development Plan (for an intangible example).

Interesting stuff!

Sunday, 24 October 2010


Is this a depiction of 'harmony'; of colours, sizes, space? The photo below shows 3 coloured pieces of different sized paper placed on an A4 sized white piece of paper. This is my depiction of 'harmony'. There is a reason why we place things in certain we like things orderly? based on a grid? do we like abstract forms? Yes it's very subjective but based on a conscious decision for everyone. This exercise was meant to help us understand ourselves...why we do the thing we do. That sounds like the title from a Michael Bolton song :) The journey will continue for those of us that aren't sure.

Photoshop image from sketch outline

Another good practice exercise in Photoshop from our lecturer Jamie. From a 2 minute sketch a few weeks ago of Jamie around the University campus we had to make an outline trace of it. This was then scanned and built up in Photoshop to produce a composite image. For those experienced at Photoshop this would have been a simple exercise - for me it was a good learning experience again. The practice continues...see the result below.

                                                                 From this: Sketch outline
                                                                 To this: Photoshop image

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Inspirational-simple sketches - so important

I came across this architectural work from Zaha Hadid recently in the ES magazine. Her work in the field of architecture is fascinating but what really struck me was the relationship between some of her simple sketches, models and the finished product. The concept and initial idea of the sketch can really be developed into something meaningful and tangible. I scanned the page in my sketch book with clippings from the article.

Lesson 1: Don't doubt the power of the sketch

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Model development & Photoshop

Gratification! I spent several hours...about 4-5 hrs on Saturday working at Photoshop and Adobe InDesign - both of them applications that I hadn't previously used. I felt like I had conquered the world when I completed it as I had never created a digital image in A1 before without scanning my personal A1 drawing. Though simple for some, those two new skills learnt really gave me a lift. I hope to practice and learn even more. I'm excitedly looking fwd to the next Photoshop exercise. 

Check out the results below...1st the photographed model and then the resulting Photoshop'ed' photos; then the image as it got printed in A1. I march on!

Model making

In our lecture on 04/10/10 we made some models in class in mere minutes and later photographed are the results. Luckily they look a lot better when photographed :) There were some good models on display that afternoon however for me there is always room for improvement. 

My next blog will show another model; a chosen one taken to develop further - examining human and real life scale and its application in Photoshop. I haven't really used Photoshop before so it'll be good to improve this skill set. Let the creativity flow!

Thursday, 7 October 2010


The walk to the tube station in my neighbourhood is always a pleasure at this time of the year. On the main path is a crimson coloured woody vine, the Thicket Creeper or False Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus vitacea). Similar, and related to the Virginia Creeper, the main difference lies in the fact that there are no sticky pads like those found on the tendrils of the Virginia Creeper, but tendrils that twine itself. Leaves have already starting falling which proves that it really is one of the earliest to change colour in autumn. I’ll enjoy the brilliant red on the walk while it lasts.