DOC78/9405 - Plan of Minerva Medica, RomeI was not until I started teaching Architectural Technology, that I had time to give some serious thought to the use of the Structural Grid in Architecture. Why use it, and how, were the two basic questions I asked.

Taking a look back in time, its very clear most of the major builders, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, had a notion for a grid, just look at the plans of some of the old building, the pantheon rome for example, its clear a grid was used to set out, the long line of columns show this.

So first question, Why now, do we still use a grid, I suppose the first answer is to set out the structure, location of major columns and help navigation about a large building, Second how, well for me using Vectorworks I have two options, using the built in grid tool, or, my preferred method is to set up my grid on a separate sheet at the bottom of the stack and alway have it switched on, for me its the only way. I also like to follow convention and have the grid numbers along one side and lettered along the other, for a sure grid this works. for circular and other off beat grids, then its a case of what will fit, I have done circular buildings and gone clockwise with numbers, I have having to use AA after the alphabet runs out. Oh and yes I do not use I or O, so only 24 letters.

Next is colour, here its really as personal taste, but for meI like to use a blue, simply because it stands out and is easy to define, although when printing it is so often is black and white, but hey on the design sheet it works. Below I have included some interesting further reading on the subject,

My presentation to my students is coming on and will be released as soon as I can.

Plus these sites:

AA
Grids in design & CAD
Vectorwork Grid
A Grid Model - This is a little deeper, and has some good links to papers.

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iphone_picThe book “A History of Architecture” by Sir Banister Fletcher, is perhaps a book that needs a status of REQUIRED READING. The version I have is a loaned copy from Gloucester College Library and I have it for a few more weeks, before I have to give it back,  although the last time it was taken out was March 2011. Ebay and Amazon have copies available and it’s not going to be long before I purchase my own copy, but for now its my library version.

This is the history of English Architecture, not the complete history, but dam near it. the version I have is the 18th Edition, printed first in 1975, now in its 20th edition, its not cheap, but so worth getting a copy. there were editions and written by both his and his father, but the major revisions with the 6th edition in 1921, when much of the text was rewritten by Fletcher and his first wife seems to me as the real first edition.

I started reading this book as I am researching the old operative Master Masons and their involvement in the design, construction innovation and general site organisation of construction in and around the 1100′s.

Already, I have had to make so many notes away from my core research, just because I found the book so interesting, there is not so much construction detail, but a lot on the history, why and how the various designs came into being, and evolved.

As a Technologist, my training only skimmed this at college, all those years ago, we tended to concentrate on construction, drawing technique and presenting information to the client and contracting team and very little on Architecture , but like all, we learned Architecture by just being with Architects. So slowly the ways and why of being an Architect have slowly sunk in. Now I can’t stay away from it, I like the history and feel, these lost master mason might hold a lot to the way we travelled along the path of  design.

So although I stray a little, my core is research into people like William of SensMaurice the EngineerLalys – an Architect from Palestine, and James of St George, the influence of the crusades on castle design and how battle and siege techniques helped evolve there design.

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Small scaleThis excellent article on the “Life of an Architect” or should it read Life of a Technologist,  or perhaps “Sketch & Draw like a Pro” is well worth a read. it’s all about sketching, and doodling, something I am very keen to teach student, my other blogs on the Moleskin and water colours is also worth catching up on. The 10″ role should be a major part of any Technologists kit, the sketch, up details or trial details before they are committed to the CAD. So to are a small set of coloured pens, just to identify certain areas or detail, I think, red green blue and black will go a long way to achieving a good standard, so to will a small set of broad tip marker pens.

So good is this article, I have make a presentation up using this as a template, but adding my own thoughts and techniques. I hear what is said about the role travelling on it’s own, and squashing it prevents this, I tried this a long time ago, and found that the role when new was impossible to squash, and when I did manage kit, the paper had a wave it I did not like, so read and try, but beware.

Most decent large manufacturers have scales to hand out, all you have to do is attend one of their seminars for a CPD event, its well worth the effort, and you might just learn something.

 

 

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malta clockWe are taught that there are 5 basic senses, sight, smell, touch, sound, taste , and so often we use the sixth sense when we use intuition,  but there is a seventh sense that is so often ignored, that of time.

All of these six basic senses rely on time, even intuition, how different is sound, when a note is only half a second long to that of one 2 seconds long, look at ,smell, a slight single whiff of no more than second, has different meaning to that of a long lingering intake of air. Yet time can and does exist as a sense all on it’s own.

We as technologists detail and build using all the six senses, even taste, when we introduce paints that we can taste, and smell as we enter a room, but time is a sense we should also use, such as say light coming from a sign, should it flash and for how long, to how long it will take for a lift to arrive, to the opening of a lift door, time is certainly a sense we so often ignore, yet it is a primary sense.

Can we teach this seventh sense, of course we can, take the Doppler effect, without time it does not exist, or the way we touch say a sensor button on my iPad, a long press brings up Siri, yet a short press ends the program, and a long continued press, shuts the item down.

Time can and does have an effect on our detailing, look at the way a door closer operates, if it closes to quick then we don’t have time to clear the door, to slow and the door remain open to long, a potential heat loss, and security risk. Even as we approach an automatic door, how quickly should it open.

The earth spins at a constant rate, well more or less, but at our level, looking at the rate of shadow generation, it is constant, how long the sun shines on any surface and at what angle, can have a huge impact of the way we perceive colour, shape and relationship, even performance. Navigation is a function of time, Harrison the creator of the time piece that changes the way we navigate, showed this.

So the question, “should we teach time” is a no brainer, of course we should.

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Architectural Technologist – I’m Back with a little BIM & Site Security

28 March 2014

ok, so work, life and a load of other perimeters have kept me away from my blogging, the fact that some one found a way to hack my site, forced me back into reality and spend some time cleaning out the site, plus I am afraid to say, disabling the comments section. I did not […]

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Architectural Technologist – Double glazing and condensation with a little hacking

27 March 2014

I am away with friends this weekend, and it’s alway fun to stand back and look at the local houses, the different Architectural styles and how trees are used to mask and camaflage. But it’s not what this blog is all about today, it’s more on the way a double glazed window gets the classic […]

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Architectural Technologist – The Architectural Grid

17 March 2014

I am pulling together a presentation on the use of the Architectural Grid. It’s one of those projects that has been stumbling about on my Blog, to do list for a while, well ever since I needed to get some of my students to grid up their designs recently. So I have been looking back […]

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Architectural Technologist – More on google Docs

16 March 2014

Following on from my articles on google docs, I found this nice little video for accessing and using google docs away from you main laptop or desk top machine, and on your iPad. Unfortunatly Google presentations are available to view but not to generate them, bit of a bummer for me, but the doc and […]

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Architectural Technologist – More on google Docs

16 March 2014

Following on from my articles on google docs, I found this nice little video for accessing and using google docs away from you main laptop or desk top machine, and on your iPad. Unfortunatly Google presentations are available to view but not to generate them, bit of a bummer for me, but the doc and […]

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Architectural Technologist – Google Docs introduces Add Ons

14 March 2014

I am a massive user of google Doc's, for sharing it beats almost any other offering, I recently advised one client to drop the old and to be honest very troublesome server, and go whole sale to google! there was a little adverse feedback! but once they were into it! after a week of uploading […]

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