24 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2016
    1. The study of vernacular architecture

      "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project," by Tasnim Shamma, Summary: The article starts with the ground breaking of MARTA’s “‘transit-oriented developments'" (Shamma) at Edgewood-Candler Park. The project was sponsored by a private developer who poured 40$ million dollars into the project; MARTA did not have to pay a single cent. The development will feature apartments, restaurants and even a theater; basically a living complex that centers around MARTA’s Edgewood-Candler Park station, for ease of access. The article then introduces a native to Edgewood, Eric Kronberg, and his interactions with his neighbors on ideas for the area, a vision they have been working on for well over a decade. The ground breaking has left him speechless, he described it as a kind of thing "...you don't even wish for because you don't believe it's possible." (Shamma) The development hopes to increase density capacity so that it can accommodate new ridership. Ridership, compared to last year statistics, is low. General manager Keith Parker however, expects things to pick up again describing it as only a "matter of time" (Shamma).

      This development anticipates the return of old members, as well as new patrons; an outcome MARTA is pretty confident in. With the building where it is, and the function it serves, people will be "'...right here to ride our services '" (Shamma). Expected to finish by the end of 2017, Amanda Rhein, senior director of the transit-oriented development, focuses on the other 5 locations where such developments will take place; for a total of 6. The article then briefly mentions the other location and their readability for work. According to Rhein, there are still a lot to figure out, but they have contact with a development partner they wish to work with, and have a good grasp on the projects.

      Shamma, Tasnim. "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project." 90.1 FM WABE –<br> Atlanta's NPR Station. NPR, 23 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

    2. Vernacular architecture research implies a marriage of sources: oral history written documents, and the buildings themselves.

      Word and physical image must come together in an interplay of information so that we can get the perfect grasp on what it is we want to learn from the building. Lets then take a look at the MARTA transit buildings. Image Credit: (“SpokeEdgewoodCandlerPark.jpg (JPEG Image, 2400 × 1078 Pixels) - Scaled (53%).” N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2016.)

      Looking at just the building itself (or how it is supposed to look when finished), a researcher wouldn't be able to tell that it was a building meant for ease of transportation. Without some inkling of a background, this building just resembles an apartment complex. This is where the article, "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project" comes into play. In the article, it is revealed that these structures are "'transit-oriented developments'" (Shamma), with this information, the entire view of the structure, and all its connection to this concept of transit, comes to life. For example, the apartments we see, their purpose serves more than just housing, they provide ease of access to those who wish to live closer to their bus stops. Without the accompany of text, vernacular research can not commence, because what is needed is both the physical, as well as the abstract.

    3. Maps, blueprints, historic photo­graphs, and paintings can also reveal information about vernacular architecture.

      Perfectly complies with the "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project" article by Tasnim Shamma. The building is not complete, all there is are rendered images, floor plans, and blueprints, yet, with just that, the meaning of the building and its purpose can already be assessed.

    4. people need things— objects, artifacts, however they are referred to— to live in the world, and we make those things, not randomly or by chance, but systematically and intentionally through our culture.

      The things we make/use contain our cultural upbringing/views; we can then use the artifacts to reconstruct the past and get a more in depth view of the people who lived in and used those objects.

    5. questions about time, form, context, and ultimately function are necessary to a dec iphering of tbe building’s content

      You have to look at a whole lot of aspects in order to properly analyze a building.

    6. tell us about human behavior both past and present.

      Lets apply this idea to the developments Tasnim Shamma talks about in the article "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project". Vernacular studies can give insights into human behavior, both from the past, as well as the present. Then looking at the rendered image of the building, along with the text of course (mentioned before that vernacular studies incorporates both physical and written) can the past and present be told? Yes. The past: hundred of thousands of people ride MARTA on a daily basis, the building is to make it easier for commuters, as they can now live near the station. The present: MARTA is promoting the use of it's transportation by providing these structures.

    7. Material culture m aybe defined, following Deetz, as “that segment of [the human] physical environment which is purposely shaped . . . according to culturally dictated plans

      I agree with Harry (Mr_Jenius), the physical change we experience in our environment is the direct result of our change in culture. Harry brought up the change in roadways in the article "The morbid and mortal toll of sprawl", I also read the article, and it talks about the change in roadway construction from the 50's and how it actually causes more death then pre-50's constructions; cities who adopted a new road plan, compared to those who kept the same form since the 50's,have much higher traffic death rates. Harry mentioned the reason for this change; the MARTA transit oriented buildings, in the article "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project", are also the result of cultural change. They are built to accommodate those who wish to live closer to the bus stops, so they do not have to travel far, to do more traveling. We are physically changing our environment to better fit our everyday needs.

    8. Mark Gottdiener, “possesses the dual characteristics of being both a product of social relations and a producer of social relations.”1

      In simpler words, buildings are made due to social interaction, which then causes more interaction to occur; its a cycle. The MARTA transit buildings possess such traits/characteristics. The building is a direct consequence of the interaction between transportation personnel, and the working class who use said transportation; in this case, MARTA. "'Once you build these types of developments...people will be right here to ride our services.'" (Shmma), these transit oriented buildings play the role of product, as well as producer.

    9. discovei highly complex meanings in even the simplest of forms.

      Essentially, a very in depth, close reading.

    10. such as class differences— rarely talked about in the United States— that becom e evident in the architectural landscape.

      Buildings represents culture. How we build them, their functions, everything about a building, is built based upon our perception; and what is our perception if not a cultural construct? Take for example, in the article "'MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project'" Within the article, there is a section where they talk about the housing plans "'MARTA expects to allocate about 20 percent of the apartment units as affordable housing – for those who make less than 80 percent of the area median income.'" (Shamma), why did they include this? Because there's class difference, and they want it to be known. Not the developers per se, but rather the whole of our society. Class difference is something that prevails throughout history, and will continue to prevail, because it is so ingrained upon our culture as human beings. So much so, that it appears in our "'architectural landscape'" (Carter, Cromley, 10) We may not talk about the existence of classes, but we don't have too, the things we make speak volumes. That is why vernacular studies has such a profound effect on understanding history.

    11. To understand how people bring beauty to their lives, one must study the buildings themselves

      I find this to be true while reading the article "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project" by Tasnim Shamma. Space allocation of a building speaks volumes about what holds precedence over another; for example, in relation to this reading, the MARTA article talks about an entire hall "...dedicated..." (Shamma) to a educational dance group. Reading into the design of such a hall could quite possibly lead to the idea that, this is one way that beauty is brought into the architecture. Giving credence to the previous sentence that "...Objects are essential in the study and understanding of the artfulness of a culture" (Carter, Cromley, 10).

    12. If culture determines behavior, and we can see such behavior in the things people make, it is logical that we can also move in the opposite direction, working back from the object in an attempt to explain the ideas, values, and beliefs— the culture— that caused that object to com e into being.1

      Reiterates previous remark on the use of artifacts/objects as tools to reconstruct cultural views; essentially, the essence of the article. The reading "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project" provides and excellent example. By reading the text, we already know why the buildings are being made, but lets say we don't. Then, from a vernacular study of these "'transit-oriented developments'"(Shamma), we can probably find out that these buildings were complex, incorporating both living and entertainment, and were built around MARTA stations. If such a building was centered around a transport station, well, that explains itself.

    13. figure out when and under what circum­stances buildings and landscapes become the best documents for answering particular kinds of historical questions,

      Vernacular architecture is not an all the time kind of thing, sometimes its actually best not to use vernacular studies in answering historical question. Like how math is not the answer to everything, we have to determine whether or not it is plausible to use buildings as the tool to historical understanding; if its the best way.

    14. watch and observe how people behave in various archi­tectural environments.

      Observing the interactions of people around a building will help determine the place in which the building holds in society.

    15. There is a great deal to learn about studying buildings for meaning.

      In "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project", the idea behind the development of these buildings lie with the nature of urban sprawl. Transportation plays a huge role in our identity, as such, we as a community, go to great lengths to provide said transportation. It could be said then, that the development of these buildings, projects our views and encompasses our cultural presence. "'Our hopes have been exceeded greatly'" (Shamma) Hope in itself holds our dreams, dreams come from our perception of society, and society comes from culture. So, a simple building of a transit oriented complex can have insights into the workings of our world.

    16. Sometimes, in studying contemporary buildings, you may find the people who made or used the buildings speaking about bow they were used or what they meant.

      The purpose of a building lies in its use, and it is through that use that vernacular studies can try and interpret the cultural meaning of the building, and what it represents. in "MARTA Breaks Ground On First Transit-Development Project", there is a section of the article where Erick Kronberg talks about how much the development means to him and his community. Stating that his "'...hopes have been exceeded greatly'" (Shamma). The building, he says, will "'...help pay for things..." (Shamma), this would give insights into economic activity during the time, as well as a key function to the building. This further complementing the notion that we build things not by chance, but through culture. An aspect of our collective culture is that we are movers, we like to move around, from point A to point B. So, with a building solely dedicated to the ease and access for those who seek transit, we can see its cultural importance, and people in the distant future, were they to stumble upon these transit buildings and perform some vernacular readings, will find that we were a culture fixated on the notion of movement.

    17. We would not suggest that the study of buildings is some kind of academic panacea.

      Not some sort of "end all" to the endeavor to understand human culture, just another way of looking at things.

    18. We have to be careful to reconstruct the proper per­centages of houses in each economic level in the past and not to take the standing evi­dence for granted (

      Reconstructing history is a very powerful ability, therefore, it is crucial that the one reconstructing these histories be scrupulous in there work; or else history may be interperated wrongly.

    19. uneven rate of survival of building

      Vernacular studies deal with buildings and artifacts, so when you use vernacular studies to determine history, it may be difficult due to the fact that, a lot of the buildings, during whatever time period you're studying, are probably gone. That is when, in the aforementioned text, we reconstruct them through records and accounts; going into the written to rebuild the physical; all very abstract.

    20. The physical properties of the room, so constructed, ensure that these values are enforced and that those who use the room adhere to them as well.

      Great example of how our values are projected through the layout of buildings/rooms. Not only that, through this projection, we add a sense of...purpose into the room, we give it substance. It is this substance that almost makes the room/building alive; representing values and enforcing them onto whoever uses the building/room.

    21. best reason for studying buildings is the poten­tial they hold for helping us in the humanistic endeavor of better understanding who we -are and why we have done the things that we have.

      Unlike some animals in the wild, we are a species driven by our sense of community; take that away and it all crumbles. That's why we have so many laws and regulations that governs us as a whole, instead of laws for individuals. This humanistic quality that practically defines us as a species, can be seen not only through our interactions with one another, but also in the architecture that we have built over the years; architecture that binds us together into communities.

    22. the study o f thosehuman actions and behaviors that are manifest in commonplace architecture.

      Definition of vernacular Architecture.

    23. find meaning in buildings

      When we try to find meaning in buildings, we are are deconstructing the physical materials and turning them into words. Incorporating both word and image, something we talked about in our graphic novels class.

    24. We apply the known to the unknown, saying that “the house is significant because it is associated with such and such person or this or that event,” but we still have not studied the materiality of the building

      When analyzing a building, you have to analyze the building itself, not the events that took place there. You have to look at the style, why was that style chosen? what were the materials, the plan?; everything that made that building must be looked at so that we may get a glimpse to the human behavior during the time of construction.