An Insight into See Yourself X by Madeline Schwartzman

By Manuela Hiches

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Second volume of a series

Image courtesy of Manuela Hiches

I’ve had Madeline Schwartzman, a professor in the Barnard + Columbia Architecture Department, for two of my architecture classes at Barnard, and my only wish is that I could take even more. She is quite an inspiring person even if everything she says doesn’t always make sense to you. But that’s the beauty of it. She pulls you into a world that you may have never experienced before or even thought of. See Yourself X  is a perfect example of this. This is the second volume of a series which looks at human perception and the sensory apparatus. See Yourself X focuses in on the human head and how we can extend ourselves physically into space.Read More »

My Trip to 대한민국 (Korea)

By Manuela Hiches

This past summer I had the privilege of traveling to South Korea for an independent research project for my architecture major. I have always loved South Korean culture and its language; you can imagine my excitement when I realized I would be able to make the trip of my dreams. It was made possible by the Tow Summer Research Fellowship offered to Barnard juniors (juniors-go apply!).

After moving into my small but cozy apartment in Seoul, I began my journey. It still felt quite surreal — even contacting my mother back home felt like an everyday thing. I felt like I belonged there and wondered why I hadn’t made this trip before! The only problem was the heat! I thought New York was bad but summer in South Korea was crazy. Of course, I decided to follow the trend and bought myself a small electric fan to carry around my neck — 80% of women walk around with these things! If they didn’t have the small fan, they carried umbrellas or hand fans.

Honestly one of my biggest worries was the food, but that turned out not to be a big deal. I can be quite picky and America, of course, has Asian food but we all know how “authentic” it can be. Breakfast was truly the easiest meal to find because there are coffee shops literally everywhere! Aside from that, their dishes are absolutely amazing.

 

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Image courtesy of Manuela Hiches

 

 

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Image courtesy of Manuela Hiches

 

I won’t go into the details of everything I did for my project, but essentially, I looked closely at traditional and modern homes in Seoul. It was fascinating to see traditional architecture in South Korea so well preserved. I even got the chance to enter some homes and experience the living space of those who lived during the last dynasty of Korea. The traditional Korean home, or Hanok, is truly amazing. It is meant to harmonize with its surrounding nature. It is not simply a representation; the decisions made during  its construction truly show the respect that the Korean people have for nature. Like in the picture below, the mountain in the background doesn’t symmetrically align with the gate. Instead, the outline of the mountain seems to seamlessly flow into the roof of the gate. All throughout my analysis of Korean architecture I was able to see how much architecture and nature blend together, almost like they are always there together.

 

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Image courtesy of Manuela Hiches

 

The kindness of the people in the area was a bonus to this experience. There was even an elderly woman who gave me ice cream, free of charge! South Korea is the place to visit. This small article can’t do the justice it deserves. You’ll just have to see it for yourself!

 

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Image courtesy of Manuela Hiches

 

Opportunities like this one are only possible by looking and applying for them. Don’t shy away from applications because the results might just blow you away!

Manuela Hiches is a senior at Barnard and Vice President/Treasurer for Barnard Bite.

The Stairs: A Dance in our Space

By Manuela Hiches

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The sounds of gasping roared throughout the space. The dancers’ hands slapped against the walls and floors, making me wonder how they could continue despite their quite possibly throbbing hands. The odd yet satisfying combination of sounds consumed me while I was captivated by the movements unfolding before me. I tried to watch it all while focusing on just one dancer. I took a brief glance away as more and more people joined the ‘stage’ as an audience member. It made me wonder why this place was chosen as the “stage” to begin with. How could a flight of stairs be so beautiful?Read More »

Architecture Lecture: Kate Orff, SCAPE Core Series

by Manuela Hiches

Petrochemical America (Kate Orff, SCAPE)

Kate Orff is the director of the Urban Studies Program at GSAPP, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, as well as the founder of SCAPE, a landscape architecture firm. The lecture served to give an overview of the projects that SCAPE has been involved with.

The first project that caught my attention was Petrochemical America which looks into the “economic ecologies along 150 miles of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, an area of intense chemical production” (SCAPE). This project is not only fascinating in what was done in itself but also about how the information found was displayed. SCAPE made a point to portray data in their drawings that immediately captivates the viewers. What could have been simple graphs and pie charts turns into elaborate layers of data compacted into one complex drawings, that isn’t too hard to understand. For more information on the project, visit this link.

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