Title page for ETD etd-12102004-005051

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Suzuki, Akiko
URN etd-12102004-005051
Title Signs in Architecture: Beauty in the Ordinary
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Emmons, Paul F. Committee Chair
Frascari, Marco Committee Member
Holt, Jaan Committee Member
Piedmont-Palladino, Susan C. Committee Member
  • ordinary
  • sign
  • bank
Date of Defense 2004-05-12
Availability unrestricted
In Japan, the basics of living are described as three main elements; clothing, food, and shelter. These elements involve simple daily activities such as changing clothes in the morning, eating lunch, and sleeping at night. It may easily become a mundane topic since they are woven into our daily routines. Nevertheless, a moment in one's day may become joyful when we reconsider and play with the ordinary.

The first trace of a dwelling in Japan is a pit shelter. People dug a circular pit in the ground, placed sticks vertically at the perimeter of the pit, and covered it with straws to make a roof. The dwelling protected people from the weather, animals and other tribes. The function of architecture may be as simple as that. Today, the purpose of making architecture is not dramatically different from the ancient times, yet the technology in our profession as well as in our daily routines have developed over thousands of years and changed the way of life.

Today, one may easily get trapped in the graphical or stylish looks of architecture and ignore the fundamental reason to make architecture. Making architecture is quite an ordinary act. My intention for this thesis is to examine my daily activities and concerns and extract the essence of the Architecture that beautifully fulfills the function. I believe Architecture strongly influences people's experiences and feelings, and goal as a designer is to orchestrate spaces which will make one's ordinary day into an extraordinary one.

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