Author(s)Garvey, Gregory Patrick
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Composition, in time and space is discussed as a general problem in graphics, music, film/video, landscape architecture and architecture. This discussion serves to introduce the primary sources which motivate the design of the labyrinth. These sources contribute to an interest in the definition of paths, pattern, and networks. This interest leads to the comparison between sequential composition and random access composition. The exploration of nonlinear composition is a primary motivation in the design and the construction of the labyrinth. The opposition between the romantic and classical (Rubenistes and Poussinistes) representation of space and treatment of light in Western painting is examined. The rational articulation of space is contrasted to the indefinite, 'irrational' depiction: the comprehensible with the incomprehensible. A brief survey of the present day and historical forms of labyrinths is followed by a discussion of the more salient artistic contributions, and then with a discussion of the labyrinth as a popular icon in media and in video games. The way in which the eye traces a composition in painting is compared to the path a stroller might take across a real landscape. The problem is the same for the graphic artist, the architect and the composer: how to break up space and time in order to maximize the interest in and the comprehension of the layout, environment or composition . The nature of this perception is explored in examples taken from graphic design, architecture, painting, urban landscaping, the networks of the Sewers of Paris, the catacombs, the configuration of paths and walkways, modular design and the role of change and variation in generating intrinsic interest in each. The Chinese Garden, recent playground design as "learning environments", the M.I.T. Architectural design studios and other examples are mentioned to show the convergence of a variety of intentions. Change ringing and serial music show too the interest in the use of combinatorial techniques to generate unity and variety. This interest in variation is shown to be an essential part of learning and play. In literature the metaphor of the labyrinth again contrasts the opposition between the rational and the irrational. Forms in nature, mathematical proportion and series, Artificial Intelligence, maze solving and generating algorithms are suggested as sources for design. The Thesis Labyrinth is discussed in detail as well as the formulations that led to it. Future speculations concerning the labyrinth as a sonic installation occupy the final section and the thesis concludes with Greg Bright's Caveat.
Thesis (M.S.V.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1982.MICROFICHE COPY AVAILABLE IN ARCHIVES AND ROTCH.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 133-140).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology