3rd year AA HTS students,

This page is a stage. Let’s use it to propose, debate and develop your ideas. Specifically, let’s get all your Term 1 essay Abstracts up here so everyone across the seminar groups can inquire and comment on the diverse range of topics. Thanks,

Braden Engel

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2 Responses to Welcome…

  1. Antonis Romao Papamichael says:


    The image at the front is an aerial photograph of the opposing trenches and no-man’s land between Loos and Hulluch in Artois, France, taken at 7.15 pm, 22 July 1917. German trenches are at the right and bottom, British trenches are at the top left. The vertical line to the left of centre indicates the course of a pre-war road or track.

    I am arguing FOR the architecture of trench warfare, I believe that there is architecture in this type of warfare. Using the battle of Loos in 1915 between the British and the Germans, I will expose the architecture within trenches and the trench warfare as a whole (starting from the architecture of a specific trench and then moving on to the architecture of the conversation between two trenches; from the simplicity of the British trenches to the complexity of the German trenches and their conversation/tension between them through no man’s land).

    I am arguing for the architecture of trenches because there are intriguing elements in the spatial qualities of a trench, as well as the infrastructure and its differently purposed channels. I also believe that there are analogies between no man’s land and public spaces, as well as between private spaces and the trenches. Public space could mean death in the case of no man’s land while private space could mean survival in the case of the trench. In addition the trench can be seen as a skin or a “boundary”.
    More specifically, some of the obvious spatial qualities of trenches include the appreciation of viewpoints and working with specific parameters. In addition, there is the specific depth of the trench, so that the soldier will not be seen.
    Finally, as seen in the picture, the trenches appear to be in a deliberate zig-zag manner, therefore breaking a continuous line; through this, the design of the trench does not allow a bullet or the enemy’s eyesight to travel across the trench more than 10 meters in the case of the trench being breached. These examples are mentioned in order to expose the fact that there is complete understanding and utilization of space in the construction of a functional trench.

    In order to expose the architecture in trench warfare, I will use a building and its architecture as a reference to move back and forth between the characteristics of a trench and the analogy of a specific architectural building. This building will have similar concepts embedded in the design such as meeting parameters and complete spatial understanding, as well as very obvious boundaries that create tension and conversation between two different groups of users, public and private space.


  2. Win Assakul says:

    Win Assakul Unit 2

    Had Ornament in fact been replaced by sheer Size?

    To approach this essay, it is necessary to understand that the skyscraper did not materialise to fill a void created by ornament nor was it created to replace ornament. The skyscraper came to be due to a number of reasons, all of which are perhaps almost irrelevant to ornament. However, once gelled, these reasons may perhaps point to Size and its role in the decline of Ornament.

    The emergence of new technology is often the primary suspect in these kind of questions, the invention of new materials and techniques are smouldering embers to light the fire of scale. Where there are new frontiers and possibilities, one can be sure that there will always be others willing to push the boundaries. Therefore, with new technology comes ever newer creations.
    Ornament is old. We can spend hours in the workshops, we can spend millions on the gilding but that is something that we have been doing for thousands of years. Humans can be relied on to become bored, to keep inventing and invent new technologies to be applied to ever newer projects. The elevator for one, becomes integral to the rise of the skyscraper. It “has been the great emancipator of all horizontal surfaces above the ground floor”. Coupled with the development of new steel framework, “any given site can now be multiplied ad infinitum to produce the proliferation of floor space called skyscraper”. “In this branch of Utopian real estate, architecture is no longer the art of designing buildings so much as the brutal skyward extension of whatever site the developer has managed to assemble.”

    More of often than not, desperation and need is the greatest catalyst in the ability of Man to create. Manhattan’s financial district is a prime example and with rivers on either side forbidding lateral expansion, it has encouraged architects and engineers “to find room for the vast interests that demand office space in the heart of the New World”. In other words, “Manhattan has no choice but the skyward extrusion of the Grid itself; only the skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky”. While Scale is enjoying the attention of Man, lauded and praised as the saviour of the New World, Ornament takes a back seat. There is little desperation for ornament, The very nature of ornament is the absence of desperation. There is no need. There is only luxury. To actually need ornament would be a very peculiar thing. Therefore, the development of Scale blazes past that of Ornament who had previously held the rapture of Man for the last few Millennium.

    As stated before, Size was never brought in to directly compete with Ornament. It was never the intention. Indeed, we can even see many examples where the concept of ornament is applied to scale. This is especially the case in the earlier skyscrapers. The Flatiron (Fuller) building is a perfect example of this medley. Renaissance palazzo meets 20th century technology in this fantastic amalgamation of space restriction, new technology and the old ideals of ornament. However, Although the skyscraper grew up hand in hand with ornament, It quickly stole the limelight. Man began to notice the power of Size on the environment and it rapidly became the star of the show. Businesses and Corporations poured money into the construction of these “cities within cities”, Behemoths of domination, each competing to be the best. Like body builders pumping iron, The skyscraper became bigger and bigger, Its shadow spreading like a virus, reducing the value of each plot of land it touches.

    All the while Ornament stands aside, it’s previous admirers lost in the excitement of Size. Size was never competing with Ornament, It was competing with itself and whipped up such a frenzy that poor Ornament was left behind in a New World dominated by Size.

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