Category Archives: Engineering

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, Contemporary Architecture, Documentary, 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, Contemporary Architecture, Current Events, 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, Contemporary Architecture, Environment, History, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students

Alberto Jimenez: Immortality

Alberto_Jimenez_lost_cousin_early_passings_immortality

Cousins

.

 

Photography and Text by Alberto Jimenez, Copyright 2018

.

Book Review

.

What stood out to me in Susan Sontag’s On Photography was her message on the infinite power and authority photography has in modern society. Sontag explains how being photographed gives us a sense of being real because photography is capturing reality by freezing it. It is a way to make reality tangible because you can hold a photograph. She also mentions how photography is not only to preserve the past but also to deal with the present.

This image reminds me of photography preserving the past to deal with the present because I recently lost my cousin (female on the right) to cancer. I have a lot of wonderful memories with her, but I do not possess images of all memories; therefore, those memories that I have photographed does make reality tangible. To mourn the death of a loved one, I believe, I need to remember the good times. Seeing pictures like this one have the power to take me back to that point in time and remember the tastes, the smells, the love, and my cousin. It reinforces the fact that she was real and that the love I have for her is real.

Sontag explains that photography is so powerful that it gives us a glimpse of the unknown. It allows us to see something before experiencing it. Which, in turn, enables us to formulate a bias about an event or mirrored reality even before experiencing it. Photography pulls us into that event by activating our sense of sight. Once we have that, we can imagine what we could possibly hear, see, touch, and taste. With my image, although I experienced that event years ago, it still has the power to give me the ability to remember that experience. Sontag explains what I would define as pre-experience where by seeing an image, we can imagine the experience we would have in the reality portrayed by that image. I would add that a photograph also allows for a post-experience where unlike pre-experience where you imagine what an experience would be like, you remember the experience.

Overall, Susan Sontag’s On Photography is very informative. I learned a lot about photography and its history with being considered an art or not and photography’s difference with paintings. At times, it felt as Susan Sontag was taking me on a tour of an exhibit as she explains Arbus’s work. I feel like her explanation equipped me with the knowledge to truly appreciate a photograph. It opened my mind to the type of questions I should ask myself when inspecting a photograph. For example, when initially looking at Arbus’s work, I did not exactly understand the images. I knew they were portraits, but I did not think about any meaning behind this. As Sontag explains Arbus’s work as “reactive—reactive against gentility, against what is approved” (pg 44), I understood that explanation when reevaluating the portraits. Ultimately, On Photography allowed me to understand the immortality of images and the power photography holds. 

.

About The Author: Alberto Jiminez is a Senior enrolled in the School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Alberto Jimenez, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/alberto-jimenez-robotics-2/

 

Also posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Documentary, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Science, Student Life, UPenn Photography

Alberto Jimenez: Robotics

 

Photography and Text by Alberto Jimenez, Copyright 2018

.

ROBOTICS

.

As a student in Robotics, I appreciate the changes technology brings to society. I have seen the world change as we continuously develop new ways to get things done. One of my favorite time periods in history is the Industrial Revolution, because I believe it was the most pivotal. It amazes me how the introduction of machinery dramatically changed every aspect of human life and lifestyles. From human development to impact on natural resources, the effects have been profound. I believe we are now in a new revolution where robotics will cause a turning point in life just like the Industrial Revolution did.

Robotics is the beautiful combination of my favorite three subject: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I spent most of my undergraduate time mastering the art of mechanical fabrication. From machining, laser cutting, and 3D printing to welding and casting, I have created various projects that showcase what I have learned. I sub-matriculated into the Robotics program my junior year in college and that is when I was exposed to the integration of the three subjects. I started building circuits and writing code that integrated with my mechanical systems. My portfolio follows my trajectory from building inanimate mechanical objects to building smart robots.

.

About The Author: Alberto Jiminez is a Senior enrolled in the School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Alberto Jimenez, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/alberto-jimenez-whats-now-2017/

 

Also posted in Art, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography