Course Archive

This site contains student blog posts and teaching materials related to ENG 1101: Composing Abstractions, which was taught at New York City College of Technology in Fall 2012 as part of a learning community with the Architecture Department. The content of the site is being left available as a record of our class and a resource for others who might be interested in the topics we covered. Please contact me if you have any questions about the material that appears on the site.

The final project for the course called for students to present a response to a single building, space, or structure in the four modes of architectural criticism that had been explored during the semester: formal, historical, experiential, activist. Below are two featured final projects from the course, with selections from the experiential portions of their analysis, which emphasizes the affective response produced by architectural spaces:

Carlos Mo Wu, St. Patrick’s Cathedral: A Gothic Revival building

“If you have not realized, the ribbed arches and spiky details point upwards to the sky to emphasize and make the believers feel closer to God.

“The moment I entered the cathedral, I felt I was being transported to the past because I had never witnessed such a design and decorations. The sizes of the columns and glasses almost made me feel like a mini guy. The scale of this cathedral can really make people feel like they are being dominated.”

Diego Vega, “The Riverside Church”
“As we know, overall, a church is a place where a person feels calm, happiness, inspiration, peace, sadness, etc. all these feeling are connected with the moment, but if we look at a church as critics we will feel something different for example, a feeling of admiration and gladness this is what I feel when I look at The Riverside Church. Even watching this church from far you can notice the amazing design of what this church is made of, and feel the desire and eagerness to see more. Once you enter to The Riverside Church many types of feelings run through your body, you can feel amazement and respect toward the church because there no such beauteous and very well maintained place as The Riverside Church.”

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