Arch 121 Report 6 – ‘ Experiencing Architecture ‘

This week, Rasmussen’s Experiencing Architecture book’s first chapter assigned to us. I have read some parts of this book before I started my architectural education. I must say that Rasmussen tells architecture and concepts of architecture simply, fluently and by giving explanatory examples so a person who is not an architect can easily read and perceive this book.

At the beginning of the chapter he defines architect and architect’s arts by comparing the sculptor and painter with architect. He says that the architect works with form and mass like a sculptor and works with colour like a painter but the architect’s work is more functional and utile for people and he also defines architecture, he says that it borders the space to live in and it creates the framework that surround our lives. He also says that architects have some difficulties in their works and permanence is one of these difficulties so he advises that the architect’s building should keep ahead of its time so that it will not lose validity as long as it stands. He also tells architects as nameless heroes, as anonymous and he draws an analogy between architect and composer who compose the music which others will play. In other words, the architect has own plan drawings and typewritten specifications that there will be no doubt for the craftsmen who construct his buildings. Also he clarifies and exemplifies that some concepts have not their real meaning in architecture and he says that by using pear-shaped cup by Wedgwood example, after firing, the cup is hard but we also know that while it was shaping, it is soft so we can say that it is an example of a soft form in a hard material.

Rasmussen’s examples from cup to tennis racquets related to our life and experiences, these are some kinds of observation such as lightness, softness, roughness, hardness etc. He suggests that some observations come from childhood. These observations and the child’s play are continued in the grown-up’s creation just as man proceeds from simple blocks to the most refined implements, he proceeds from the cave game to more and more refined methods of enclosing space. This is what architects do.

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