Thomas Hardy’s career in architecture prior to his work as an author
undoubtedly influenced his novels. This thesis explores how Hardy’s work in restoration caused him to adopt preservationist views, which are present thematically in Far from the Madding Crowd, Under the Greenwood Tree, and The Woodlanders.
The Victorian debate between preservation and restoration revolved around how best to care for historical buildings. Restorationists believed that a building’s style should be restricted to one particular moment, which meant eliminating all conflicting styles. They also prized a building’s function over its history or human connections and remade a building’s failing parts in fresh materials. Preservationists, on the other hand, like Hardy, believed that a building should remain in as close to an unaltered condition as possible because of the history and human connections attached to the space. Throughout his career as an architect, Hardy helped restore many medieval churches, which he later came to regret. His firsthand experience with the negative effects of restoration is presumably what turned him against the practice and toward preservation. Hardy’s 1906 “Memories of Church Restoration,” which he presented to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (a preservationist group of which he was a member), presents his definition of preservation as a moral duty to maintain the human associations contained within an architectural space or risk emotional distress. Hardy’s novels exemplify and complicate this definition. While Far from the Madding Crowd and Under the Greenwood Tree straightforwardly present Hardy’s vision of preservation, The Woodlanders demonstrates the limits of humanity’s valuing the past too highly., 2017, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1788, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Usdan, Samuel Colin (Samuel Colin Usdan) (Author), (Joseph Siry) (Thesis advisor)
Relative to older museum types, the contemporary art museum is unique as it has yet to reach maturity. In the 1960s, the relation between artist and medium began to change, resulting in an expansion beyond the traditional media of painting and sculpture. Works in non-traditional media such as large-scale installations, performances, conceptual pieces, or audiovisual presentations were rejected by Modern art museums, prompting the creation of alternative exhibition venues. In the 1980s, curators began to recognize the cultural value of these works, and started to design museum programs to accommodate them. This essay will examine the development of the contemporary art museum through a rigorous analysis of the history, design, planning, execution, and curatorial life of two built examples; the Wexner Center for the Arts (Peter Eisenman, Columbus, 1989) and the Institute of Contemporary Art (Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Boston, 2006).
The Wexner Center was built on the campus of Ohio State University and was intended to inspire the creation of new art while facilitating the exhibition of existing works. Its architecture is inspired by the site’s history as an armory building, expressed by the fractured brick turrets that compose its southern elevation, as well as an urban planning error between the campus and city, articulated by two sets of grids that structure its volumes and permeate its spaces.
The ICA, constructed as a new museum facility for an existing institution, is cantilevered over the Boston Harbor. Intended for exhibition, its transparent glass fa’ade frames views of the harbor, allowing the museum to enter into a dialogue with its environment rather than isolating its visitors from its surroundings. Its gallery spaces, however, are shielded from distraction and aesthetically mimic those of Modern art museums.
Contemporary art looks outwards by relying on content derived from societal conditions. To create an appropriate environment for contemporary art exhibition, contemporary art museums must look outwards as well. The architecture of both the Wexner and the ICA instill an awareness of architectural and historical context in the visitor as they circulate through the museum spaces. My objective is to examine how art, architecture, culture, and curatorship influenced the creation of the contemporary museum for contemporary art., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1478, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Wolf, Gavriella Mara (Gavriella Mara Wolf) (Author), (Joseph Siry) (Thesis advisor)
Fashion and architecture are two design practices that today cross paths, overlap, work in dialogue, and are occasionally conflated as creative strategies dependent on branding, presentation, and emergent technologies. This thesis investigates the contemporary relationship between fashion and architecture, and how the relationship between the two media has become more fluid due to the work of certain designers in each field. I sought out to understand the enabling strategies and motivations behind this complex relationship.
The first chapter returns to the mid-nineteenth and turn of the twentieth century to explore the historical relationship between fashion and architecture. Beginning with ideas of dress reform and anti-fashion, artists maintained diverse opinions as to what fashion was and, in contrast, what they imagined it could be. Architects so vehemently opposed mainstream fashion that they designed fashions of their own, translating an artistic aesthetic into the applied arts of both fashion and architecture. Vestiges of this early modern period persist in the architectural and fashion industries today. In this early modern period, fashion was a concept, not an industry, and certainly not an art form. The design and production of garments, however, offered opportunities of art and dress coalescing, delivering a new platform for aesthetic ideas to be carried into everyday life.
The second chapter looks at the work of key architects who have expanded their brand to the design of more than architecture, and who have become icons in their own right, deemed “starchitects.” My choice example is Zaha Hadid, who has transformed from a successful architect known for her daring architectural style as well as her bold fashion sense, to a designer of fashions of her own. Comparisons can be drawn between her fashion designs and her buildings, demonstrating an awareness of the shared formal properties between fashion and architecture, and Hadid’s ability to translate her trademark style into different artistic media. Hadid’s expansion of her own brand from an architect to a starchitect designer of fashion conveys a keen awareness for marketing and self-presentation not ordinarily identified in the architecture industry. The third chapter delves into the fashion industry to examine the work of unconventional fashion designers, regarded as avant-garde artists, who strategically incorporate architectural properties and techniques into their garments. Fashion designers have credited architecture for inspiring their work and artistic processes, but have made no public attempts at becoming architects of anything other than their own clothing. Issey Miyake and Hussein Chalayan are two fashion designers with very different aesthetics and approaches, but both utilize technology to incorporate architectural forms and surface strategies into their designs.
Technological practices have enabled the crossovers between these industries, as the artists explored in this thesis use digital fabrication to experiment with surface of building or garment, blurring the boundary between fashion and architecture. Zaha Hadid, Issey Miyake, and Hussein Chalayan are all standouts because they have forged this communication with other media. Each of these artists has different reasons for their personal interest in the opposite industries of architecture or fashion, but they have found this crossover dialogue to be paramount to the achievement of an avant-garde brand. As each seeks unique strategies of fabrication as well as presentation, they strive to make the conventions of their media unconventional, turning to the opposite practices of fashion or architecture to do so., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1346, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis uses three case studies of Chinese villages--Liangjia, Huaxi, and Wencun--to assess different approaches of China's rural modernization after industrialization. Parts of this thesis trace the history of development of these villages before Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening Up. The thesis introduces transitions of architectural styles, impositions of planning schemes, and a variety of types of patronage. When analyzing villages, this thesis focuses on villages' topographic, economic, political, and transportational contexts. Administrative structures, selections of architects, popular reactions of the architecture, and the ideology that drove design processes are explained. Ultimately, villagers' (or governments') efforts to modernize these villages ended up creating social inequality and nostalgic futurity. Shen Juntai's thesis provides a narrative for the possibilities of Chinese rural modernization through the lens of architecture and planning., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1968, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
The Viceroy's House, the culminating architectural monument to the highly planned city of New Delhi, was erected as a full expression of British Imperial power in India. As an expression of empire, New Delhi gave physical form to the ideology of the British Raj. Its synthesis of indian stylistic motifs onto a frame mostly classical reflects in architectural form the self-identity of late British imperial rule. As a functioning monument, the Viceroy's House remained during the late Raj a clear a symbol of ultimate British authority. And yet the building was functionally and symbolically transformed to Rashtrapati Bhavan, or the President's House, with the creation of the Republic of India on January 26th, 1950. As an architectural symbol, it was reconfigured through strategic alterations of ceremonial behavior and the placement of objects to function as the architectural head of the Indian nation. Largely a ceremonial monument, this transformation of the building from the seat of Viceregal authority to housing the head of state of India was driven by a synthesis of nationalist ideologies developed in the struggle for independence. Rashtrapati Bhavan, like any postcolonial monument, bears a mixed legacy. Faltering and discontinuous, the transformations of the building through objects, behaviors, and interpretive histories have solidifed it as a proud monument to India appropriate to house the head of state. As a living monument, the postcolonial identity of India is consolidated in Rashtrapati Bhavan. A dichotomous symbol of freedom and oppression, the symbolic structure of the building and greater New Delhi interacts with Indian nationalism today in a somewhat contradictory way. As a flashpoint of critique and national pride Rashtrapati Bhavan reflects India's identity, defining a nation through its multiplicitous and contradictory legacies., 2007, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/14, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
How did museums turn from period rooms to white boxes? In this thesis, the Met Cloisters is taken as a case study in the rapid move from revivalism, in all its forms, to modernism in the late 1920s and early 1930s. By using contemporary architectural and museum theory, I argue that the Cloisters' contradictions offer lost ways of thinking about museums., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2083, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Snyder, Penny Victoria (Penny Victoria Snyder) (Author), (Joseph Siry) (Thesis advisor)
This thesis examines the Guggenheim Bilbao (1991-1997) designed by Frank Gehry and the Hamilton Addition to the Denver Art Museum designed by Daniel Libeskind (1999-2006) with respect to their role in neoliberal urban revitalization plans. Considering the Guggenheim Bilbao as the first and most famous example of this phenomenon as my point of departure, I focus on the Hamilton Addition as an case study of the proliferation of this neoliberal museum building model. To situate the Hamilton Addition, I examine the chronology of Denver’s neoliberal urban and cultural policy before and after the construction of the museum, and examine the museum building and its public spaces in relation to urban landscape. Because these buildings are generally considered for their architects’ style, I offer a new look at neoliberal art museums in context of urban planning, urban landscape, and public space. As a prominent museum building model in the 21st century, this thesis’ contextualization of art museum architecture and critical examination of public spaces is helpful for understanding this newest manifestation of the art museum and the public to which it addresses itself., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1609, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
deBoer, Anne Elizabeth (Anne Elizabeth deBoer) (Author), (Joseph Siry) (Thesis advisor)
A critical analysis of the literature on sustainable architecture through Sir Norman Foster's use of water technologies., 2012, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/810, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
de Verteuil, Louise Magdalene (Louise Magdalene de Verteuil) (Author), (Joseph Siry) (Thesis advisor)
In recent years, Italy has relied on private sponsors, particularly those in the fashion industry, to preserve its cultural heritage. In 2015, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan participated in this tradition when Prada, Versace, Feltrinelli, and Alessandro Rosso offered to sponsor its restoration in preparation of the world’s fair that was held that same year. This thesis contends that a better explanation of the Galleria’s current cultural meaning and the significance of its most recent renovation in 2015, might be achieved through an understanding of the cultural contributions of the Milanese exhibition tradition.
In my first chapter, I would like present the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II as a product of the Milanese exposition that took place in 2015. This will be done through a comparison of Turinese and Milanese exhibition practices in order to establish the origins and distinctive qualities of Milanese modernity. This historical background will then allow for a more meaningful analysis of the planning of the 2015 Expo. This chapter will conclude with an evaluation of the event and how it drew upon and echoed the values and history of the Galleria. In my second chapter, I will study the Galleria’s restoration process as a reflection of Milanese modernity, that is of Milanese craft. This chapter will begin with a discussion of art conservation practices in Italy and their development over time. This will be followed by a second discussion concerning the impact of private sponsorship on restoration and will argue that the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is an example of how the two forces, conservation and sponsorship, can be successfully combined. This combination of the Galleria’s restoration methods and supporting sponsorship will thus be presented as the reasons for the project’s success. In my third and final chapter, I will discuss the marketing strategy that accompanied the restoration and the ways in which the curation of the space participated in the revival of this Milanese civic identity. This will be achieved through an examination of the different levels of patronage that the Galleria attracts, national, municipal, and local, and the site’s ability to curate to each. This thesis ultimately proves that the Galleria’s restoration successfully revived the arcade’s status as a historical monument to Milanese civic identity and, in so doing, promoted a new Milanese tradition concerning for fashion and art conservation., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1554, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)