Thanks to J (鄭嘉元) and his girlfriend (彬彬), we visit Getty Center and Getty Villa today. Cathy (王家宏's girlfriend) gives me a ride to J 's apartment in Culver City first, and then 彬彬 drives us (J, Cathy and me) to Getty Center and Getty Villa . Getty Center founded by J. Paul Getty is located the foothills of Santa Monica Mountains. The complex for art exhibitions is designed by Richard Meier. Basically, the complex is composed with the 9 different geometric buildings along an axial linear court. The court not only integrates the 8 buildings, but also is traversed by the different voids within these buildings. These void spaces provides the different good views to the sourrounding areas, such as downtown LA, the Central Garden, etc. As a whole, I like the setting of Getty Center rather than the individual buildings.
In addition, the Central Garden (like a botanical garden) designed by the artist Rober Irwin is delicately attached this complex. In the garden, people can indulge in many different kinds of plants (trees, flowers, grasses, etc), a linear stream and odd rocks through following a zigzag path. Furthermore, there are lots of elegent construction details to look at. These works are very related to his idea "a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art". I should say that I like the garden better than Huntington Botanical Gardens.
After having the "quick" lunch near the UCLA campus, we then go to Getty Villa before 2:30. Before visiting the villa located in Malibu city, all the vistors should make the reservations on line first. People always make the reservations before one month ago. We are so lucky to get the reservations. Getty Villa is home to an extensive collection of Greek, Roma, and Etruscan antiquities, one of America' finest holdings of ancient art. J. Paul Getty was very interested in the ancient Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum. Thus the villa is built based on the idea "home as museum" in ancient Roma and spatial composition of the ancient Villa. Besides,I am impressed very much in the new addition of the villa (from 1997 to 2005). The architects are Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti. The addition not only provides new programs for the villa, but also make a good connection between the sourrounding landscape and the original villa. In addition, the architectural details (construction, material, landscape, etc) are very elegant and systematic. These details seem to be inspired from the ideas of Carlo Scapa.
Before coming back to Alhambra, we also go to two community parks in Santa Monica to look at the projects by 王家宏, who works in URBANUS (都市實踐) now. Different sculpture-like objects (providing different simple functions) with free-form surfaces and random openings are distributed in the two parks. BTW, Prof. Sarah and J (鄭嘉元) are the classmates when they studied their graduated program in SCI-ARC. The world is really small.
Due to Prof. Sasha is not in the campus for a week, I am asked for helping him to take care part of his students for their thesis desings in this week. Unfortunately, students (Ben and Eason) do not finish their design works that I asked them before. I really worry about their working schedule and design quality. Honestly, I think that it is not proper for the students who have thesis designs to join the exchange program in the next year. In my opinion, the thesis design plays the most important role in their design career. Students should pay most of time and lots of energy to work. This is the reason why judging a student's ability in the architecture design always depends on his/her thesis design.
Dean Hanna invites us (me and students) and several sponsor (support the exchange program) to have a dinner tonight. Janice takes us with her to the restaurant (Black's) which is about 15 mins from the campus. The foods are very delicious and gorgeous. Each has the beverage, antipasto, entree (steak or salmon) and desserts (cake and coffee or tea). We have the nice talk with each other. In addition, Dean Hanna prepares some gifts (Cal Poly Pomona hats) for each student. I really appreciate her. By the way, I am invited by Prof. Alex to join their final reviews in 203 (second year design studio) and 303 (third year design studio) on May, 30 and June, 1 respectively.
Due to there are no classes today, I spend lots of time to make a plan to visit LA downtown in this weekend. Thanks to Dean Hanna's book " DOWNTOWN LOS ANGLES: A WALKING GUIDE", I can use this book to select several good destinations for sightseeing by walking besides the meetings. I will plan to teach SketchUP 6 instead of FormZ in my "Computer Drawing" course in the next year. Thus, I start to learn the application of SketchUP 6 by following the English instruction on line. I think that FormZ integreated with other 3D software (MAYA, 3D MAX, etc ) will be applied in the other CAAD course " Digital Design". This course more focus on the theory thinking, manipulation and fabrication in digital design besides 3D modelling techniques. By the way, my roommate Anthony bakes some chickens and French breads for treating me to dinner.
I am happy to know that Jesse gets the good grade in his school. I hope that he can keep this grade in order to enter the top three high school. After taking Prof. Wu classes, I go to the department office to get three ordered books from Amazon. Then, I go to the gallery in the College of Environmental Design to look at the exhibition. This exhibition displays the students' design projects which dynamically integrate 2 design studios with some selective courses including robot and kinetic construction, sustainable architecture and interactive computation. The three selective courses are instructed by three professors in different domains. It inspires me to think about how to design an effective and creative curriculum in the architecture design (especially in digital architecture design). I really appreciate this curriculum and learn much from it.
After having the lunch in the Panda Express, I go to IDC to have meetings with CYUT students for their design projects. I think that each student has a good concept already. Right now the only thing that they should do is to do their best to accomplish and finish it. In addition, I confirm Prof. Alex to make sure their review schedules in the 10th week.
In order to pushing the working schedule of CYUT students' (Ben and Eason) thesis designs, I ask them to have the reviews in my apartment at different time today. There are less than 20 days for them to prepare their design works (including the site model, the building model, analysis drawings, design drawings, 3D computer models, etc). I think that their current situations should make lots of efferts to work. By the way, I am very glad to hear that Crane Sushi has the good selling for its lunch boxes.
I wait up early in order to take Prof. Luis's class in time. I think that the lecture today is the last one in this quarter. The topic of the lecture is "Urban Pattern" which includes the different concepts of unban theories as well as the different organizations of urban pattern (grid and organic). I really appreciate the topic today. I am very happy that Luis gives me a copy (CD) of today lecture. Due to my roommate (Kyle) made the loud voice overnight, I can not sleep well. This makes me get the serious headache. After discussing with Joyce and Jason for their research papers (Luis's lecture assignment), I take a rest in my apartment instead of going to IDC afternoon. I am very out of luck to have such kind of roommate. Such situation disturbs me very often. By the way, students will visit Las Vagas in this weekend. I hope that they can have a good trip for not only to earn lots of money but also to see lots of illusory architecture (in my opinion). I look forward to visiting it again.
It is a really small world. I run into 石千泓, who was my TKU student 6 years ago, around Crane Sushi in Alhambra. He also studied his graduated program in NCTU while I studied my Ph.D program there. Now he works in Disney Company for designing the playing facilities in the theme parks.
After having a meeting in LA downtown, I and Kristina start our walking tour which follows the map that I arranged before accoroding to the book " DOWNTOWN LOS ANGLES: A WALKING GUIDE" and Google Map. The walk tour mainly focues on visiting several famous design projects in the different districts of LA downtown. They are Cathedral of Our Lady of tht Angel in Civic Center district, Walt Disney Conert Hall and MOCA (Museum of Comtemporary Art) in Bunker Hill and Pershing Square in Broadway and Jewelry District. These design projects are designed by famous architects in the world. Following the the project list I mentioned above, these architects are Rafael Moneo, Frank Gehry, Isozaki Arata and Ricardo Legoretta respectively.
In Walt Disney Conert Hall, its free-form (like flower or fish) architectural organization creates the dynamic interior and outdoor spaces. Interestingly, people can follow its flow terraces to enjoy the skyline of LA downtown.Cathedral of Our Lady of tht Angel is a religious complex with a huge internal urban square which not only provide space for religious activities but also integrate other related facilities. In addition,it creates a surprising landmak on passing the highways in LA downtown. Even though I do not like the postmodern style and rigid geometry in MOCA, its sunken plaza like a pocket park provides a friendly urban space along the main street (Grand Ave.).
Contrastingly, Pershing Square privides a large urban space for people in the commerical area. Its colorful sculpture-like elements integrated the landscape (water, green, etc) creates different urban atmospheres and activities from other LA buildings. Unfortunately, there are many homeless in the square. This situation makes vistors uncomfortable. In addition, there are several interesting urban spaces distributed in this area, such as Two Calfornia Plaza, Seven Market Place. By the way, Kristina shows their first restaurant (Calfornia Roll and Sushi Fish) in downtown (Flower and Seventh St.) two years ago.
Thanks to Bob, he drives us to visit Hollywood at night. We first visit the famous street named Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Bob says that many stars often appear in this street. Unfortunately we do not see them. Then we visit Hollywood Boulevard through walking. In this street, there are several gorgeous and famous theaters along this street, such as Grauman's Chinese Theater, Kodak Theater, etc. Kodak Theater has been the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremonies ("The Oscars") form 2002. In addition, some people wear costumes to disguise film characters(such as Bat man, Fraddy, Jason, etc) on the sidewalks. Certainly, people should pay money to have the pictures with them. I really enjoy such urban lives in this street.