Friday, January 27, 2012

Tombstone Project

Justify Full"Master Builders of Lancaster," my methods seminar on architectural history had its second meeting. Last week, we spent sometime in Lancaster's cemetery, where students took measurements of assigned graves. Using their measurements, they were required to build a 3D-model of their tombstone. The exercise was intended to teach students basic tools of documentation (measuremnt), as well as, to learn Google Sketchup. The results were amazing. One thing I've learned about my students is that if you give them practical tasks, they make great leaps. Here is an example of a 3D model. Students with no previous training in 3D modeling, learned how to use the software and construct virtual realities.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Urban Exercise

Every Spring semester, I teach a hands-on architectural history seminar on the buildings of Lancaster. During the last couple of yeas, the subject of my course has been Lancaster: The Architecture of Faith, focusing on over 100 historical churches and synagogs. The seminar explored issues of identity, class, and ethnicity in the dynamic urban landscape. Wishing to turn my students' attention to the physicality of buildings and the design process. I've changed my Lancaster seminar this semester. It focuses on the work of two major Lancaster architects, C. Emlen Urban and Henry Shaub. I'm calling the class Master Builders of Lancaster.

During our first seminar meeting, I threw my students in the realities of architectural documentation. Each student was assigned a bloc in the downtown and asked to create a quick record of the architectural record. They only had 20 minutes to their disposal. No cameras. The exercise was inspired by Kevin Lynch's mental maps. I attach a few examples of what the students did. Very few of the students have ever drawn anything before. Their first field assignment will serve as a foundation for our next discussion on the logic of drawings, following James O'Gorman's ABC of Architecture.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Peschke in Lancaster

Lancaster news begins the publicity of "Colors of Greece: The Art and Archaeology of Georg von Peschke" that I curated at the Phillips Museum at Franklin & Marshall. I hope this show will put Peschke in the art-historical ranks that he belongs. Thanks to all the lenders and museum staff and students that made this possible:

Jane Holahan, "Phillips Museum Reopens with a New Look and Four New Shows," Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era (Jan. 13, 2012)

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States