Category Archives: Contemporary Architecture

Mu Qiao: The Game of Sunshine

The wire pole in the sea. Photographed in Key West, the southernmost place of United States.

The wire pole in the sea. Photographed in Key West, the southernmost place of United States.

 

Photography, Text and Video by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

.

THE GAME OF SUNSHINE

.

I like to travel to places with water and sunshine. Miami, Key West and Cancun are all ideal destinations. For a traveler, the sunshine brings us bright scenery and a good mood. For a photographer, the abundant sunlight allows us to pay more attention to the composition of a picture and the object itself. In the “The Game of Sunshine” series, I tried to apply different perspectives, places, distances and compositions to record the traces of sunlight. In these photos facing the sky, the objects were relatively planar, such as masts, cities and sea levels, but the clouds increased the sense of depth in the picture. Moreover, Water and glass can create excellent effects of light and shadow, and there are distinct differences between spot sources and surface sources. In addition, the interior space with a curved wall can create a soft and smooth light and shade experience. Including sky, sea, building and people, the sunshine is creating its own photography all the time. The interesting and meaningful thing that we can do is to find a special perspective and capture the fleeting moments. 

.

2_Mu_Qiao_travel_Photography_Miami_Key_West_Florida_

I was lying on a boat near Miami beach, watching the mast above, and an airplane was flying through the blue sky.

.

3_Mu_Qiao_travel_Photography_Miami_Key_West_Florida_exotic_fish

Looking up from the bottom of the Aquarium World in Cancun. The sunshine above and a big glass wall create a fantastic light effect.

.

4_Mu_Qiao_travel_Photography_Miami_Key_West_Florida_modern_skylight

The blue glass roof of a commercial street in Miami. Photographed at noon.

.

5_Mu_Qiao_travel_Photography_Miami_Key_West_Florida_boat_dock

The city of Miami and the yacht bay.

.

6_Mu_Qiao_travel_Photography_Miami_Key_West_Florida_Geary_architecture

Photographed at the “New World Center” building in Miami, which is designed by Frank Gehry.

.

7_Mu_Qiao_travel_Photography_Miami_Key_West_Florida_boy_swimming

Photographed in Key Largo beach, an island near Key West. A boy is stretching himself under sunshine.

.

8_Mu_Qiao_travel_Photography_Miami_Key_West_Florida_girlfriend

A lizard is standing on the historical ruins of Maya Civilization, raising its head and enjoy the sunshine. Photographed in Cancun, Mexico.

.

A lizard is standing on the historical ruins of Maya Civilization, raising its head and enjoy the sunshine. Photographed in Cancun, Mexico.

My girlfriend and I were waiting for a dolphin show in an aquarium. She turned her head, looked at the sunset and I took this picture.

.

.

About The Author: Mu Qiao is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Mu Qiao, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mu-qiao-what-is-love/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, Travel, UPenn Photography, Video

Wenjia Guo: Travel Friends

.

 

 

Photography and Text by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

.

TRAVEL FRIENDS

.

With increasingly people getting involved in my life, especially after a change to an English environment, I found myself more use for the word friend. Even chat with some strangers they may call you my friend. However, in Chinese environment, we seldom use the word friend, instead we call others the handsome or pretty, feeling that the word friend is kind of old fashioned. Then I asked myself, do I become more tolerant of friend’ s by definition? Do I cherish my new friends at Penn as well as my former friends? Then I find this closeness is more of a social ritual for me, to those real friends I may seldom express my love to.

A recent travel week for me was a huge opportunity to tell if my classmates are my friends. To me, they are much more like comrade-in-arms, study at Penn is a war, you fight with time, you fight with easy life, you fight with tiredness. Study is kind of the only past communication between us, since the studio almost took all of our lives. I know they are hardworking, they are smart, but those are not the most important characters of me as a friend. I want my friends to be kind and honest, which is the ingrained rule I set for myself. So, during the trip to Miami, I paid more attention to people around me than the wonderful beach views. We almost drank and smoked a Huka every day, we shared our stress, our dreams, our love stories and our fears. These people became much more vivid and they really participated in my life. Now I can say, people in my camera world are my friends.

This travel week was so unreal, we spent a week in Miami’s summer while Philadelphia was still covered with snow. We had a party on yacht without any stressful academic pressure. I may forget that week and feel like it was a dream, but I will always remember my friends.

.

.

About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-mini-fab-lab/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Wenjia Guo: Mini Fab Lab

.

 

 

Photography, Text and Video by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

.

MINI FAB LAB

.

Recently I have spent almost my whole week in the fabrication lab to build a one to one scale physical model. After several days I became familiar with most of the machines and tools. I could tell which kind of abrasive paper is for wood and which is for metal. I know which size of drill matches the nails I need, and which saw needs a board to reduce shaking. Then things became much more interesting when we developed more functions of the tools depending on the characteristics of them. We folded the metal sheets with the machine for cutting by using the pressing part. At this moment, I realized that I could look at these tools in the form of elements —— screw threads for increasing friction, parallel wrench for limiting the angle, even a dust mask has ropes for ears and cloths for the face. I chose this microcosmic perspective to record tools in the fabrication lab, trying to redirect our attention to these deconstruction elements.

Tools already have its mechanical power and order, the details of them always follow some kind of geometric aesthetic.  An array of drills divided the picture vertically and at the same time showed the upward spiral. A row of high and low wrenches reflected the rhythm of strong power with a beautiful curvature. The different scale of numbers on the ruler embody an equidistant accuracy. The weave of the elastic band gave expression to the elegance of a complex order.

This mini fabrication lab just like every environment we are familiar with, it has its regular character and scene, but when you learn the intrinsic quality of these tools, it will lead you to a huge potential. The microcosmic perspective is just a way to see the world, but throw it we could experience the progress of setting the focus and selection of elements, it may just introduce the same methods we could use to analyze other problems as well.

.

.

About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-architectural-gift/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Documentary, Engineering, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students, Video, Women

Wenjia Guo: Architectural Gift

WENJIA_GUO_BOOK REVIEW_ARCHITECTURAL_GIFT

Photo: Wenjia Guo

 

Photography and Text by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

.

Book Review

.

John Szarkowski:  Looking at Photographs

.

When I first got this book, I was wondering why we need to look at such a “history” book to learn photography. The book I rented from Cornell University first surprised me with its date due list, whose first reader rented it in 1984, ten years before I was born. This magical feeling seemed to have nothing to do with photography technique, but related to the most important thing I absorbed from the book — the historical significance of photo selection, which I understand as real important.

The first time I read Looking at Photographs, I just focused on the pictures without tasting the articles, the first time, portraitures mainly caught my eye. The eye contact, the hairstyles, the clothes, even the gestures showed the harmony with the environmental background of the time. But after reading each picture’s introduction, I found even gestures are more vivid, needless to say landscape photography, architecture photography and other genres have come to my awareness. The historical background is quite charming. When you see a man with his hands crossed holding his head chatting with others, the situation that farmers in those those years with not much work to do, instead had plenty of time for conversation is reasonable but a little bit surprising. 

However, what inspired me most in the book is the staircase photo, which was created by Tina Modotti when she lived in Mexico in the years 1923 through 1926. Pictures of architecture definitely shows the combination of materials, the wood, the metal, the concrete all have diverse brightness, and even it is a picture of black and white, I could feel the different temperature when sun light heated them. What’s more, the powerful straight lines created a wonderful geometric pattern, the perspective of the stairs as well as the handrail created a spiral of beauty.

The light in this picture that I created is also attractive, it comes from the back and forms a different kind of depth. So, during my travel week in Miami, I paid a lot of attention when I visited different buildings, trying to find some contemporary characteristics of architecture and how the light and materials played in the view. When I stood in the hall of New World Center by Frank Gehry, I see the flow curvature, the prefabrication technique, the slowly rising stairs, the elegant boundary of windows and walls, as well as the light gently irradiated from a particular distance. 

.

About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-emotional-change/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Book Reviews, Current Events, Engineering, Environment, Health Care, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students, Women

Mu Qiao: Builder

book_review_Mu_Qiao_UPenn_architecture_school_graduate_student

Montage: Mu Qiao

 

Montage and Text by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

.

Book Reviews

.

Jerry Uelsmann’s “Poets House” and John Szarkowski’s “Looking at Photographs”

.

After reading JERRY UELSMANN’s “Poet’s House”, which is in the book of “LOOKING AT PHOTOGRAPHS”, I am quickly drawn into the idea of ​​synthesized photographs. I really appreciate the point that photographs can be constructed to produce an assembled effect, which the photographer wants the audience to see instead of showing the audience purely realistic photography, which may mis -convey the photographer’s points of view.

One of the examples that I used most for the synthesized photographs is montage.

Montage is a manifestation of freedom. Making good use of montages or collages, in the early stages of design, we architects can get many ideas and inspiration. The essence of collage is the creation of relationship between things. This relationship is not just a juxtaposition of two nearby elements, but also a spatial affiliation. In composition, the height of each collage element, before and after cover, material color, size and so on all related to their hierarchy in the entire collage works. A good collage or montage can portray a less clear story.

For example, Richard Hamilton’s very famous pop art collage “Just What Is It that Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?” (1956). This work is composed of images tailored from American magazines. There are many representatives of elements such as the explosion of multimedia information and the popularization of electrical appliances at that time. The elements create interest and conflict while expressing the author’s ideas. For example, the photo of the earth at the top of the room was taken from the cover of Life Magazine. Although it appears on the ceiling as an irrational phenomenon, it is indeed the result of the development of science and technology at that time. This shows that collages are often humorous.

In the procedure of synthesized photographs, there are many tips. Collage is to construct an order, what is new, what is old, what is important, what is secondary, and what is the role played by people in the scene character of. This information is generated by, but also the audience need to think about.

Appropriate to add some lines to help collage to form a complete space. Simply use the background pattern and white space to distinguish space outside. Another common practice is to use a natural scene or material texture as a material to create a silhouette of people or things. Such silhouettes will carry the emotions and atmosphere of the pictures they contain or reflect some of the characters.

The montage also breaks the perspective and combines the building with a flat map. The two parts interact to show the geographical orientation and at the same time add a visual texture to the map area.

In the model, people are used to represent the scale, while people in the collage can increase the sense of substitution and let the audience see the content of the painting from his perspective.

For the “Builder”, I used several photos of famous architects, who are working at a table. The table becomes the connection and also the center of that scene. Taking the photo of New York city view as the background creates the sense of space. The whole picture then presents a fantasy scene that architects are working together and designing the world.

.

About The Author: Mu Qiao is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Mu Qiao, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mu-qiao-left-or-right/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Art, Book Reviews, Engineering, Environment, History, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students