Monday, March 2, 2009



time: passage
The Egyptian culture was one of the first civilizations that we know of to create massive structure to honor the deceased. " Unlike the civilizations of the twentieth century Western civilization, who believe in progress, in things getting progressively better through the application of human ingenuity, the ancient Egyptians had no such concept. To them, things were never as good as they had been at the time of creation."(Roth, pg. 190) To me this quote really defines the Egyptian design. It makes perfect sense that they created pyramids  and temples that honor their deceased. They created these immaculate structures because they wanted to recreate the splendor like at the time of creation. 
Male : Female
While the Egyptian civilization neared its close, the Greek civilization came to rise.  The Greek civilization made the columns that the Egyptians created even better. They were really inspired from the idea of incorporating a column in their architecture. However, the Greeks used the columns as a sign of dominance and importance. For example, the Ionic column that they developed  is a more masculine column rather than a Doric column that is considered to be more feminine. The Greeks really wanted to display in their society what was feminine  and masculinity. They wanted to show social orders. So if the building was for someone of the up most importance a Ionic column would have definitely been used. The columns were a definite architectural element that was a prime way of defining social order between masculinity and femininity.
Local: International
"The dome of Hagia Sophia  was not there to mark an object of veneration, as domes did in martyria... the thought of crowning Hagia Sophia with a dome related to the sanctity of the whole building as an earthly analogue to heaven. the visible universe was concretized in the Byzantine mind as a cube surmounted by a dome."(Spiro Kostof, A  History of Architecture, 1985) This quote really is a summation of what was really important within the Byzantine empire.  The Roman life focused on temporal comforts and pleasures. Which in turn, is why they designed the Baths. The Baths were the shopping mall of that time. The Baths just like the shopping mall were to serve needs of the people; which happens to be very similar to a shopping mall. "The bath was designed to serve the needs of the body in its pools and exercise gardens, to feed the mind in its libraries, and to reward the eyes in its vast molded spaces lined in multicolored marble brought from the far corners of the Roman Empire."(Roth,pg.275) So as you can see they really were the shopping malls, because malls have books stores, music stores, clothing stores, and also food stores. However, aside from how much the Byzantine Empire catered to their people, they began to reach heavenward and use light and shadow to capture heaven. 

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