[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: Anime Architecture Exhibit

Hello fellow anibloggers and friends!  I have a special piece of news/anecdote for you this week! Since I decided to do this new segment, I’ve been diving back into the world of architecture and found this little gem.

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In August, London’s The House of Illustration, launched an exhibit called Anime Architecture, in which art from famous Anime films is on display. Films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell are featured in this exhibit. Art done by Takashi Watabe, Mamoru Oshii and Atsushi Takeuchi are also featured in the gallery. The exhibit was until September 10, 2017. Damn, this post came a bit late. I had meant to publish this sooner, but you know…life…

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The City of No. 6

Welcome back to Fantasy Friday. Where I feature fantastical architecture that’s been featured in anime. Maybe you noticed it, maybe you didn’t, but I’m always looking at the buildings that character inhabit and the environment they interact with. Last week I looked at the wild colors featured in Nanbaka.

I’ve started taking screenshots of anime’s. I don’t know if anyone really noticed, but I had started tweeting out buildings while I was watching this show in particular. I’m trying to integrate this series more into my tweets, but I’ve been lagging as of late.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be bringing you a glimpse into the world of No. 6. Continue reading

[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: Thom Mayne

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Thom Mayne, of the firm Morphosis, is one of the Architect’s that is a key component in the what Architecture has become in the modern era. He is what we would call a “starchitect”, a famous Architect that’s recognized outside of the realm of Architecture. Basically on the same level as a Hollywood celebrity. There are very few “starchitects” who have a heavy influence and presence in the scene.

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The Wild Architecture of Nanbaka

Greetings and welcome back to Fantasy Friday! As you saw last week, I’m trying to revive this series and have a bit more fun with it. So I figured, what better way than to kick it off with one of the more crazier pieces of architecture that I’ve seen so far, and that comes from the anime Nanbaka. 

If you have no idea what Nanbaka is:

Four men are assigned to Nanba, the world’s most formidable prison. Jyugo, a man who attempted to break out of prison and ended up extending his jail time; Uno, a man who likes to gamble with women; Rock, a man who likes to get into fights; and Nico, a man who likes anime. A super exciting action comedy about the daily lives of the prison’s inmates and guards 

-Crunchyroll

 

6B6DD7A5-C2AB-4E33-9FE1-83C535A6376B-1614-000003981F3731A2.jpegThe name of this prison that houses all the inmates is Nanba Prision, and it’s located off the coast of Japan.  It’s supposed to rival the security of Alcatraz. The prison is highly rated due to it’s security as it’s virtually inescapable (except for one person).

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There are 13 buildings that create this massive complex, and there was actually an episode that helped lay that out. It’s also relatively big enough that it has it’s own tram system to get prison guards around easily. Needless to say, the Japanese temple motif is used quite heavily in all the the architecture represented in this particular anime. I couldn’t extract any particular reason for them to rely so heavily on using this style except to poke fun at the traditional architecture by using all kinds of crazy colors and also exaggerating the size and details or ornamentation on each of them.

 

Images of the interior are few and far in between, but I was able to snag a few screenshots of the warden’s office, hidden interior garden, and their coliseum.

Nanbaka is full of color: whether it be in their architecture or in their character design.  It’s just got such wildly exaggerated aesthetics that I can’t help but love what an absolute mess it is.


Hope you guys enjoyed the revival post of the series! What do you think of the architecture of Nanbaka? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

[Fantasy Friday]: The Revival

Hey guys, it’s been a really, really, really long time since I posted for my Fantasy Friday series. To be honest, I put this on hold because I began to feel stressed about this series. I know that sounds silly, but hear me out! I had started off really strong I know; but then I started getting too caught up in my architectural thought processes that I forgot why I started this series to begin with. So, I went back to my initial post to remind myself of what I had written as my original intent:

 These posts will probably vary on length depending on if and what I am able to pinpoint as relevant as well as what I find myself drawn to. This will mostly be Architecture Eye Candy. As someone that’s been trained in design, theory and as someone that loves history and research; sometimes I find it easy to find a precedence or correlation from the anime to something that’s real and tangible.

What I love about architecture in anime or any kind of animation or CGI scene is that there are no limits to what can be created; things can be overly exaggerated which makes it so fantastical – like you’re in a dream world. And I’m all about outrageous designs!

– (excerpt from the original Fantasy Friday post)

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[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: Blurring the Boundary

Hello! So this is a bit of a new section on the blog. I originally wanted it to be part of my Take Two! posts, but I felt like they would get lost in the sea of anime. This segment is similar to Take Two! the difference is the content. I’ll be showing articles on art, architecture and design. I figure it’d be a great way to introduce you guys to a bit of my world outside of anime. I hope you enjoy it! Continue reading

[Architecture] Queen of the Curve: In Memoriam & Reflection

Author’s Note: I’m still technically on my break, but it was important for me to at least write this piece today

My full Architectural side is bound to come out from time to time. With that being said, today serves as a great reflection of the career path I’ve chosen and the field of work that I’m so absolutely passionate about and love.

It’s hard to believe that today marks a full year since we lost one of the most influential Architect’s of this generation. She wasn’t just influential in terms of design; but as a woman holding her own in a very much still male-dominated profession. I looked up to her because of her avant garde way of thinking of architecture: the active use of emerging technologies, parametric design strategies and the use of the curve to create such eye-stimulating architecture.

There are several things I want to talk about in this post, and I’ll designate them as such, as I go. I’d like to appologize in advance for any archi-speak (architecture jargon) that may arise from this post that could possibly fly over anyone’s head.

The Architect & The Woman

Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, an Iraqi born British Architect was the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. Elizabeth II, gave her the title Dame for her services in architecture as well. She’s won many other awards in the UK, and was the first woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Zaha is often hailed as the “Queen of the Curve” due to her expressive use of curves in her designs. When she won the Pritzker prize one of the jury member’s had this to say about Zaha:

At the same time as her theoretical and academic work, as a practicing architect, Zaha Hadid has been unswerving in her commitment to modernism. Always inventive, she’s moved away from existing typology, from high tech, and has shifted the geometry of buildings
– Lord Rothschild

She wasn’t acknowledged right off the bat. Her career mostly focused on her lectures and her colorful and radical early designs that she presented as paintings. Her work was featured and published in many architectural journals and mostly remain unbuilt.

However, despite that, Zaha has a full body of work that has spanned from 1991 – present. Before she had died she still has a number of projects that she had a hand it that are still under construction. Zaha’s work is all over the world. A few of her works include: the aquatic center of the 2012  London Olympics, Guangzhou Opera House in China and the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Reflection

“I think about architecture all the time. That’s the problem. But I’ve always been like that. I dream it sometimes.” – Zaha Hadid

The above quote is one that has resonated with me a lot. Mostly because if you know me and have spoken to me quite extensively I can get pretty geeky, obsessive, passionate about Architecture. I think about things architecturally and that’s just something that comes hand in hand when you love this field. My strengths in architecture rely on analysis, research, theory and history. If you present me an idea or a project I’d probably be able to direct you to a theory or a project that flows along the same idea or path.  During the summer I’m a teaching assistant at a local community college for an architectural model making class and in the fall I teach a Digital Tools class to help students put together portfolios for college applications. Whenever a student shows me their rough sketch model of put together objects or even a simple drawing, my first instinct as I start critiquing their work is to pull out my phone and start showing them architect’s that have a similar aesthetic or similar design concept to what they have in mind, at least they can understand what that architect attempted to do and use that as a basis for understanding with what they’re trying to convey with their building.

I love finding the links between architectural styles and architects. The commonalities of thinking that each of us possess as there are no longer “original” ideas when it comes to architecture. Now it’s about taking those ideas and expanding them, and those possibilities can be infinite. One’s interpretation of a specific theory or idea always leads to you down several paths, and you can see that in any architecture student’s thesis project. My thesis was looking at the “hard edge” of a building, or a corner. Buildings are defined by lines and hard edges, 90 degree corners. What I aimed to do was to create architecture that wasn’t so definitive in those terms. Ethereal architecture, a building without edges, sounds crazy right? You’d be surprised by the amount of case studies I’d gone through that explored that idea! Or another beloved topic of mine that I love to talk research and read up on is masculine and feminine characteristics expressed in architecture whether that be through material or actual building design

By the way, if your’e every interested in knowing more about my thesis or anything else of my architectural world I’d be more than happy to tell you, or if you guys like I could post more about it!  Just let me know in the comments below!

The State of Women in Architecture

While I reflect on what Zaha has done for the profession in advancing design; I couldn’t help but remember the negativity that is also attached to her name. I remember in school, we would often talk about how she was overrated with her designs. We also had the tendency to talk badly about her personality, that she was somehow “bitchy” because of her overwhelmingly strong headed personality. But when I think about these things, something hit me like a ton of bricks. Why are women in this profession so bent on tearing one another down versus helping each other out? I’m not saying ALL women are like this, but there’s fair amount of them, based on my experience.

Would they call me a diva if I were a guy? – Zaha Hadid

Zaha poses a great point in this quote. Just because she’s a strong independent woman she’s considered a Diva or a bitch. But if you were to attribute that to a male? There would be no name-calling. I often feel like femininity is often called into question when you’re in a male dominated profession. A lack of feminitity could label you as butch or even question your sexual orientation and that could actually possibly help you because then you’d be like one of the guys right? But what if you like to express your femininity whether it be make-up, fashion, hair, I feel that if you’re worried about your looks, they won’t take you seriously. A 2016 survey had this to report:

“Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of women worldwide say they have experienced sexual discrimination, harassment or victimisation during their career in architecture” 1

These thoughts instigated me to talk to my partner in crime/future business partner about the topic and had quite the animated discussion about what it means to be a woman in this field. The discussion brought me to express my discontent of the seemingly lack of unity I’ve felt from fellow women while I was a student in this school. While at school, I had the privilege of having some pretty kick ass women professors that I admire. But, there were a handful of women teachers that frustrate the heck out of me when I think about them still. They were unapporachable and unwilling to really talk to majority of the female students.

Women are always told, ‘You’re not going to make it, its too difficult, you can’t do that, don’t enter this competition, you’ll never win it,’ – they need confidence in themselves and people around them to help them to get on. – Zaha Hadid

I’m not saying that they should give us special treatement because we were women, but the fact that there was no support from them really infuriated me; they were more condescending than helpful. I feel that they as educators and as women that has already dealt with the hardships of the struggle that we already face in this field that they should be more empowering to their students.  But as my friend put it, “it’s because we were taught to fight for our positions in this field. We didn’t have the freedom of men who always get support in different positions. They think that by becoming mean that it’ll help other women stronger.” I get it, the tough love aspect, but I’m not asking for sympathy or to be treated special because of my sex. I had expected to find a mentor in these women; women I could look up to and ask for advice when faced with a situation but instead was met with women who were only out for themselves.

I used to not like being called a ‘woman architect.’ I’m an architect, not just a woman architect. The guys used to tap me on the head and say ‘you’re OK for a girl.’ But I see an incredible amount of need from other women for reassurance that it can be done, so I don’t mind anymore. – Zaha Hadid

The same study shows that worldwide, more than one in five women would not recommend a career in architecture to other women.1 To be honest, I’m not entirely surprised. It’s hard to be a woman in this field. I can’t tell you how awkard it is to go on a site visit and be one of the only females there or what it’s like to sit in on meetings with consultants and be surrounded again by men. Part of you will always feel like they won’t take you seriously. It’s a daily struggle, but it’s something that won’t ever deter me from accomplishing my goals.

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You would be surprised at the alarming amount of gender inequality that women are faced with in architecture. It’s an ongoing discussion and it’s hard to say if there will be any changes. Especially when a study a few years ago showed that there was a drop of women in the field. The above infographic depicts the that 3 of 20 licensed Architect are women. That’s such a low number. It’s not easy to be licensed, as someone that’s about to start her journey into the realm of licensure, it’s no easy task. A lot of the women at my office have gone through the testing and are so close to being done, and yet their not. Why you ask? Life happens; the ladies at work had to suspend that aspect of their career because they chose to have family and kids first. I applaud them for being able to balance work/life with the type of work that we do. But because they paused at that point, it’s been hard for them to get back on track to accomplish the one thing we’re all striving for: our license and stamp.

I may never reach starchitect status like Zaha, but I will fight for my place in this field. And as such a struggle as it is, I would always encourage women to follow and fight for the things they want; there are women out there that have the exact same goals as you. So if and when I become a licensed Architect and an educator, I will always strive to push my students and empower them the way I would’ve wanted to be.

The world needs more women architects. Actually, the world needs to ACKNOWLEDGE more women architects. But I think I may have to save that topic for another day.

Thanks for reading! Any comments? Questions? Let me know in the comments!


1. Results of the 2016 Women in Architecture Survey revealed

Thrymheim Dungeon, Jotunheimer

Finally, I’m trying to breathe back some life into my Architectural posts.

This is the last post concluding my SAO themed week. This week I’m looking at Season 2’s Excalibur Arc for it’s architectural aspects. You might have seen my analysis of ALO’s City of Arun in a previous post. ALO is specifically named after one of the races in Norse Mythology, Alfheim, the race of the light fairies.  Other races found in ALO are not as specific to Norse Mythology.

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After doing some research, I think it’s really interesting how ALO over all is based on Norse Mythology.  I also, like how well it’s been depicted. In the ALO verison of Thrymheim, it is a floating inverted pyramid that is located underneath the base of the world tree, in another world called,Jotunheimer, the land of giants.

Thrymheim_FloorsThrymheim is divided into 4 levels. Each riddled with an array of varying passages and rooms carved out of the ice pyramid. The fourth floor is mostly the boss dungeon.

 

 

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The forming of Thrymheim

 

The mythology of Thrymheim according to ALO:

Once upon a time, the king of the frost giants in Niflheimr, named Thrym, transformed into a wolf and infiltrated Jötunheimr. He then stole the Holy Sword Excalibur, forged by the blacksmith god Völundr, and threw it into Urðr’s Spring at the center of Jötunheimr. The sword severed the thick roots of the World Tree in the spring and, at that moment, Jötunheimr lost the blessings of the World Tree, becoming a desolate world of frost. The water of the Urðr’s Spring froze, as it was pulled up by the shrinking roots, thus forming a bottomless pit, the Great Void, where Urðr’s Spring once was, while the frozen water became a huge mass of ice, with Excalibur stuck at the bottom-most part of the ice mass, and half pierced into the crust of ALfheim.

Thrymheim translates to “Thunder-home,” a castle that was located in the highest mountain peaks of Jotunheim where the snow never melted; it was considered to be one of the few strongholds of the world, and owned by a giant by the name of Thiazi. The castle is the only building in the kingdom of Thrymheim that is made solely out of ice, which is probably why in ALO it’s a crystal pyramid.

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artistic rendering of Thrymheim

From what I’ve read, the entire excalibur arc is based on a particular story found in Norse Mythology. However, SAO has jumbled two stories together and I think this was done purposely in order for the viewers to be able to relate to the content a little more. The story goes as follows:

Story 1:

Thiazi once abducted the goddess Idun, and in Thrymheim, he held her captive, causing the gods to age until her rescue, in turn resulting in the death of Thiazi.

Story 2:

Thrym was king of the jotnar. In one legend, he stole Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer to extort the gods into giving him Freyja as his wife.

Thrym was foiled in his scheme by the gracefulness of Heimdall, the cunning of Loki, and the sheer violence of Thor, who later killed Thrym, his sister, and all of the jotnar kin that had been present at the wedding reception.

In the excalibur arc, we saw that the final boss was Thrym, who was holding Freya captive (like Thiazi to Idun), while also being in possession of Mjolnir. But when Freyja touches Mjolnir, she turns into Thor to kill Thrym. This all happens in Thrymheim, which is not Thrym’s home at all. It’s a bit confusing, but thats the how mixed up the mythologies became!

That about does it. This was relatively short; but don’t worry I’ll be back with even better content! I kind of wanted to just use images for this one.


That concludes unofficial SAO week here at Archi-Anime! As always, thanks for reading! Did you like what you saw? Have any other comments or questions? Also, if you have any think you’d like to me to look into architecturally in an anime I’m more than willing to take suggestions! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

[ANI-Reality]: Scepter 4 Headquarters

This post originally started off as an Fantasy Friday post, but as I continued to research it, it showed up to be based on an existing government building in Japan, forcing me to shift it to an ANI-Reality post.

There’s a few things about K or K: Project that I really love. Animation is probably at the top of the list because of it’s use of color and ephemeral qualities induced by the color palette. Story is kind of iffy but enjoyable nonetheless. Sound is great too, and the character’s are pretty awesome. Especially Munakata Reisi: The Blue King, which leads me to today’s topic ANI-Reality feature: Munakata’s domain, Scepter 4 Headquarters. 

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