Art Sevada is a bona fide Renaissance man, recognized for his many talents and pioneering endeavors. Today, as the CEO of GRIGOCORP and President of Sevada Productions, both based in Los Angeles, he continues to build on a diverse body of work, as an award-winning artist and entrepreneur.
Art Sevada was born in 1972 into a family of renowned artists, in the city of Abovyan, Kotayk Region, Armenia. Inspiration was all around him as he grew up in a household steeped in creativity. By the time he graduated from high school, Art had already mastered several musical instruments, and cultivated a profound appreciation for visual esthetics.
After he and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1990, Art studied music composition and visual arts at California State University, Northridge. His formal training would propel him into a flurry of creative work in the ensuing years.
Between 1995 and 2000, Art released three albums of original music, including “Palpitation of Soul,” “Years of Solitude,” and “Disconnected.” Apart from composing the lush, melodically-driven material, he had also played all of the instruments and arranged the music. All three recordings have garnered critical praise.
In the late 1990s, Art established Sevada Productions, a firm specializing in a broad range of creative work, from graphic and web design to television commercials and software development. Sevada Productions continues to grow, and is widely recognized for landmark projects that push the envelope in terms of content and design alike.
Throughout the 2000s, Art also pursued his passion for filmmaking, by writing, directing, and producing a series of intensely personal films that are also noted for their universal appeal. His credits include his trilogy, comprising “As a Beginning,” “Mikosh,” and “The Rope,” as well as “Three Colors in Black and White” — all of which have receivedcritical acclaim in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere.
In 2015, Art founded GRIGOCORP, a consortium of entertainment and consumer-product companies, with the goal of developing and marketing a diverse range of inventions. Today, cutting-edge products being made or developed by various GRIGOCORP enterprises range from eyewear, modern gadgets, and electric cars to next-generation apps and devices including SFNX, the world’s first artificial intelligence psychologist.
Vitruvius’ Fundamental Concepts of Architecture
Vitruvius was a Roman author, architect and civil engineer during the 1st Century BC, best known for his multi-volume work entitled De Architectura, known today as, The Ten Books on Architecture. It is a treatise written in Latin and Ancient Greek on architecture, dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus, as a guide for building projects. Probably written around 15 BC, it is the only contemporary source on classical architecture to have survived. Divided into ten sections or “books”, it covers almost every aspect of Roman architecture.
Vitruvius, like many Roman architects, was skilled in engineering, art and craftsmanship. He covered a wide variety of subjects he saw as touching on architecture. These included many aspects that may seem irrelevant to modern eyes, ranging from mathematics to astronomy, music, meteorology and medicine. In the Roman conception, architecture needed to take into account everything touching on the physical and intellectual life of man and his surroundings. Vitruvius thus deals with many theoretical issues concerning architecture.
In this paper, I have summarized various topics from the books which I personally found interesting, mainly from books I, II and VI. Book I talks about architecture or civil engineering in general, and the qualifications required of an architect. Book II and VI deal with building materials, and domestic buildings respectively.
Education of an Architect
The architect should be equipped with knowledge of many different fields of study. It is by his judgement that all work done by other arts is put out to test. This knowledge should be theoretical as well as practical. He should be educated, skillful with pencil, know the opinions of jurists, and possess knowledge on various fields such as geometry, history, philosophy, music, medicine and astronomy.
The architect must possess drawing skills so that he can readily make sketches to show the appearance of the project which he proposes. Geometry is also of much assistance in architecture, as it teaches the use of ruler and compass. This especially helps in preparing plans of buildings. Although, it is by arithmetic that the total cost of buildings is calculated, and measurements are computed, geometry helps in solving questions about symmetry.
The architect should also acquire knowledge about medicine, on account of the questions of climate, air, the healthiness of sites, and the use of different waters. Without these considerations, the healthiness of a dwelling cannot be assured. In terms of principles of law, he should know those which are necessary for constructing party walls, laws about drains, windows, and water supply.
Fundamental Principles of Architecture
Architecture depends on Order, Arrangement, Eurhythmy, Symmetry, Propriety, and Economy. Order gives due measure to the members of a work and symmetrical arrangement to the proportions of the whole. Arrangement includes the putting of things in their proper places. Its forms of expression are these: ground plan, elevation and perspective. A ground plan is made by the use of compass and ruler, through which we get outlines for the plane surfaces of buildings. An elevation is the picture of the front of a building, set upright and properly drawn in its proportions. Perspective is the method of sketching a front with the sides withdrawing into the background. All three come of reflection and invention. These are departments belonging under arrangement.
Eurhythmy is the harmony of proportion. It is the beauty in the adjustment of members. This is achieved when the members are of a height suited to their breadth and of a breadth suited to their length. In other words, they all correspond symmetrically. Symmetry is the proper agreement between the members of the work itself, as well as the relation to the whole general scheme, having a certain part selected as standard.
Propriety is the perfection of style that comes when a work is authoritatively constructed on approved principles. It arises from prescription, usage, or from nature. It arises from usage, for example, when a building with magnificent interiors is provided with elegant entrance-courts to relate. There will be natural propriety in using an eastern light for bedrooms and libraries, a western light in winter for baths, and a northern light for studios or other places where a steady light is required.
Economy denotes the proper management of materials, as well as the careful balancing of costs. A second stage of economy is when we have to plan the different kinds of dwellings suitable for ordinary householders, for wealthy clients, or for statesmen in high positions. Therefore, the proper form of economy must be observed in building houses for each and every class.
The Departments of Architecture
There are basically three departments of architecture: the art of building, the making of timepieces, and the construction of machinery. Building is, in turn, divided into two parts. The first is the construction of fortified towns and of works for general use in public places. The second is the construction of domestic buildings for private individuals.
There are three classes of public buildings: for defense, religious buildings, and utilitarian buildings. Under defense comes the planning of city walls. Under religious buildings come the construction of temples, and under utility comes the provision of public meeting places such as theaters.
All these must be built with due reference to durability, convenience, and beauty. Durability will be assured when the foundations are carried down to the solid ground and materials are used wisely. Convenience is assured when the arrangements of the apartments presents no hindrance to use. Beauty is achieved when the appearance of the work is pleasing and of good taste, and when the members are in proportion.
The directions of the streets: with remarks on the winds
The streets will be properly laid out if precaution is taken to shut out the winds from the alleys. Wind is a flowing wave of air, produced when heat meets moisture, the rush of heat generating a mighty current of air.
By shutting out the winds from our dwellings, we will make the place healthier for all its dwellers. The directions of streets and alleys should be laid down on the lines of division between the quarters of two winds. On this principle of arrangement, the force of the winds will be shut out from dwellings and lines of houses. However, if the streets run full in the face of the winds, their constant blasts rushing in from the open country, and then confined by narrow alleys, will sweep through the houses with great violence. Therefore, the lines of houses must be directed away from the quarters from which the winds blow, so as they come in they may strike against the angels of the blocks, greatly breaking their force. In this way, by turning the directions of rows of houses and the streets away from the full force of the wind, we may avoid unhealthy blasts.
The Sites for Public Buildings
The sites for temples, the forum, and all other public places, are chosen on the basis of general convenience and utility. If the city is on the sea, we should choose a ground close to the harbour as the site for building the forum. On the other hand, if it is inland, the forum should be built in the middle of the town. For the temples, the sites should be on the very highest points, commanding a view of the greater part of the city.
On the Primordial Substance According to Physicists
Water, fire, atoms, air, and earth were thought to be the primordial substances. Atoms were termed by writers as “bodies that cannot be cut up”. These elements when taken by themselves cannot be harmed or cut up into parts, nor are they prone to dissolution, but throughout time they remain the same and retain an infinite solidity. All things therefore appear to be produced by the combination of these elements. Hence, they have been distributed by nature among an infinite number and different kinds of things.
Bricks should not be made of sandy or pebbly clay, or of fine gravel. When made of these kinds, they will be heavy in the first place. Secondly, when washed by the rain as they stand in walls, they go to pieces and break up. They should instead be made of white and chalky or of red clay, or even of coarse grained gravelly clay. These materials are smooth and durable. They are not heavy to work with and are readily laid.
Bricks should be made in spring or autumn, so that they dry uniformly. Those made in summer are defective, as the fierce heat of the sun bakes their surface and makes the brick seem dry while inside it is not. The shrinking, which follows as they dry, causes cracks in the parts that were dried earlier. These cracks make the brick weak. Bricks will be most effective if made two years before use, as they cannot dry thoroughly in lesser time.
There are three kinds of bricks. The first one, called Greek Lydian, is a foot and a half long and one foot wide. The other two kinds are used by the Greeks in their buildings. Of these, one is called pentadoron, and the other tetradoron. Public buildings are constructed of the former, and private buildings of the latter. With these bricks there are also half bricks. When these are used in a wall, a course of bricks is laid on one face, and a course of half bricks on the other, and they are bedded to the line on each face. The walls are bonded by alternate courses of the two different kinds, since the bricks are always laid so as to break joints. This provides strength as well as attractiveness to both sides of such walls.
There are bricks that when finished and dried will float on water. Their clay is like pumice stone. Therefore, it is light, and after being hardened by exposure to air, does not absorb liquid. Such bricks, being of this light and porous quality, and allowing no moisture into their texture, must therefore float on water, like pumice. These have great advantages in building, as they are not heavy and not spoiled by bad weather.
In walls of masonry, sand must be fit to mix into mortar and have no dirt in it. The kinds of pitsand are: black, grey, red, and, carbuncular. Of these, the best kind is the one that crackles when rubbed in the hand, whereas that which has much dirt in it will not be sharp enough.
Sand sifted out from river beds, sea beach or from gravel has defects when used in masonry. Firstly, it dries slowly. Secondly, the wall cannot be built up without interruption, and such a wall cannot carry vaultings. Moreover, when sea sand is used in walls and these are coated with stucco, a salty efflorescence is produced which spoils the surface. But pitsand used in masonry dries quickly, the stucco coating is permanent, and the walls can support vaultings.
The sand used should be fresh from the sandpits. If left unused for too long once it is taken out, it is disintegrated by exposure to sun, frost etc. and becomes earthy. This sand when mixed is masonry will have no binding power on the rubble and consequently settles. This puts too much load on the walls, which it can no longer support. On the other hand, fresh pitsand although efficient in concrete structures, is not equally useful in stucco, the richness of which will cause it to crack as it dries. River sand however, becomes perfectly solid in stucco when thoroughly worked by means of polishing instruments.
Lime must be burned from a stone which, whether hard or soft, must be white. Lime made of coarse grained stone of the harder sort will be good in structural parts. Lime of porous stone is used in stucco. After it is slaked, mortar is mixed, if pitsand is used, in the proportions of three parts of sand to one of lime. These will be the right proportions for the preparation of the mixture. In using river or sea sand, the addition of a third part composed of burnt brick, pounded up and sifted, will make the mortar of a better composition for use.
The stone in quarries is found to be of different and unlike qualities. In some it is soft, in others it is medium, and in still others it is hard. There are also numerous other kinds, such as red and black tufa, white tufa which can be cut with a toothed saw, like wood. All these soft kinds can be easily worked as soon as they have been taken from the quarries. When left open and exposed, the frost and rime make them crumble. They cannot stand great heat either.
Travertine and all stones of that class can withstand injury, whether from a heavy load laid upon it or from weather. However, it cannot stand exposure to fire, and it splits and cracks to pieces at once. This is because, in its natural composition, there is a great deal of air and fire, but little moisture and earth. There are also several quarries called Anician, the stone being the color of peperino. This stone has various good qualities. Neither the season of frost, nor exposure to fire can harm it. It remains solid and lasts for long, as there is only little air and fire in its natural composition, but a moderate amount of moisture, and a great deal of earth.
The stone should be taken from the quarry two years in prior to building, and not in winter, but in summer. Then it should be let it lie exposed in an open place. Such stone, which has been damaged by two years of exposure, should be used in the foundations. The rest, which remains unhurt, will be efficient in those parts of the building that are above ground. This precaution should be observed not only with dimension stone, but also with the rubble that is to be used in walls.
Symmetry & Modifications
An architect should give thought to the proportions of his building with reference to a certain part selected as the standard. After the standard of symmetry has been determined and the proportionate dimensions adjusted, the next task is to consider the nature of the site, or questions regarding utility or attractiveness, and modify the plan by reductions or additions, is such a manner that these additions in the symmetrical relations are on correcting principles.
Therefore, the first thing to settle is the standard of symmetry, from which we may not hesitate to vary. The next task is to lay out the ground lines of the length and breadth of the proposed work. Once its size is determined, the construction should follow with due regard to beauty of proportion.
Proportions of the Principal Rooms
Cavaedium is the Latin name for the central hall or court within a Roman house. There are five different types of cavaedium, termed according to their construction as follows: Tuscan, Corinthian, tetrastlye, displuviate, testudinate.
In the Tuscan, the girders that cross the breadth of the atrium have crossbeams on them. A girder is a support beam used in construction. In the Corinthian, the girders and roof-opening are constructed on these same principles, but the girders run in from the side walls, and are supported all around by columns. In the tetrastyle, the girders are supported at the angles by columns. This arrangement relieves and supports the girders, and thus they have themselves no great span to support, neither are they loaded down by the cross-beams. In the displuviate, there are beams that slope outwards, supporting the roof, and throwing the rainwater off. This style is ideal in winter residences, due to its roof opening.
The testudinate is provided where the span is not great, and where large rooms are provided in upper floors. An atrium is an open-roofed entrance hall or central court in an ancient Roman house. Atriums are of three kinds based on length and width. For the first one, the length to width ratio is 5:3, and the second is 3:2. The third is laid out by using the width to describe a square figure and drawing a diagonal in the square. The atrium is given the length of the diagonal line. The height up to the girders should be one fourth less than their width. The rest is the proportion assigned to the ceiling and the roof above the girders.
Dining rooms should have a length twice their width. The heights of all oblong rooms are calculated by adding together their measured length and width and using one half of that sum as the height.
Foundations & Substructures
If underground rooms and vaults are to be built in the house, their foundations should be thicker than the walls which are to be constructed in the upper part of the house. Their walls, piers, and columns should be set perpendicularly over the middle of the foundation walls below, so that they have a solid bearing. If the load of the walls or columns rests on the middle of spans, they may have no permanent durability.
It will also help to insert posts between lintels and sills, where there are piers or antae. Piers or antae are upright supports for a structure. A post is a vertical element used to support walls or horizontal beams. All of these are designed to sustain vertical pressure. Where lintels and beams have received the load of the walls, they may sag in the middle, and gradually undermine the walls. Therefore, posts set up underneath prevent the beams from damaging such walls.
We can also release the load of the walls by using arches composed of voussoirs with joints radiating to the centre. A voussoir is a wedge-shaped element, typically a stone, used to construct an arch or a vault. This way, if the wood becomes defective in course of time, it can be easily replaced without the construction of shoring. Shoring is the process of supporting a structure in order to prevent collapse, so that construction can proceed.
In houses where piers are used in the construction, when there are arches composed of voussoirs, the outermost piers at these points must be broader than the others. This makes it more durable. We must also ensure that all walls are perfectly vertical, and that they do not lean forward anywhere.
The kind of material to be used does not depend on the architect, as all kinds of materials are not found everywhere alike. It also depends on the owner, whether he likes to build in brick, rubble, or dimension stone. Not only architects, but all kinds of people can recognize a good piece of work. However, the difference between laymen and architects is that laymen cannot tell how it is going to look without seeing the work finished. Whereas, the architect, as soon as he has finished the conception and before he begins the work, he already has a definite idea about the beauty, utility, and the propriety that will distinguish it.
Influence of Classical Architecture in 21st Century Buildings
Numerous structures that surround us daily have features, details and foundations of classical architecture. Classical architecture is deliberately derived from the principles of Greek and Roman architecture of classical antiquity, unambiguously from the works of Vitruvius. According to the websites “looking at buildings”, they say classical architecture is considered by a variety of conventional forms, whose roots are orders or types of columns, each with its proportions and fixed ornaments (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian). As stated by Neoclassicism.us, the use of the Greek and Roman aspects for symbolic and functional purposes was an incessant and dominant trend in Western art for a century after 1750. The Neoclassicisms was a movement where the revival of many styles and the spirit of ancient times were directly inspired in the classical period. In the United States, this movement influenced the civil government, the ideas, literature and arts of the eras of Thomas Jefferson in 1743 to 1826, who designed the state capitol of Virginia, The Rotunda (University of Virginia) and Monticello, at age 26 after inheriting land from his father.
Neoclassicism was characterized by symmetry, elegance and sobriety, the use of a single order (Doric, Ionic or Corinthian, rather than baroque overlay); In addition, neoclassical buildings have clean and elegant lines, neat appearance, massive buildings, by scale grandeur, simplicity of geometric shapes, dramatic use of columns and a preference for blank walls. As stated by worldofleveldesign.com, the columns were used to carry the weight of the structure of the buildings. But then they got to used it as a graphic element. The roof is usually flat and horizontal and is often visible from the ground. The exterior was built in such a way that it represents classical perfection. The doors and windows were built to represent that perfection. The new taste for ancient simplicity represented a general reaction to the excesses of the Rococo style. What makes the difference between classical and neoclassical architecture is that classicism refers to art produced in antiquity; Meanwhile, Neoclassicism refers to art produced later but inspired by antiquity.
An example of the influence of classical architecture is the University of Virginia roundabout, which is the most emblematic building, which stands as the centerpiece of the Thomas Jefferson academic village. According to Grove Art Online, the Rotunda is seen as a lasting symbol of Jefferson’s belief in the separation of church and education, as well as his lifelong dedication to both education and architecture. Jefferson based it on the Pantheon in Rome with its proportions reduced by one half.
This magnificent and domed building, with two tiers of windows behind the six-columned portico and pediment, faces the lawn, with a view of the distant mountains. Jefferson subtly emphasized the view by gradually increasing the spaces between the pavilions, thus falsifying the perspective and increasing the apparent length of the lawn. Jefferson designed and proposed his design to the visitors ‘ board in 1821. The construction began in 1822 and was completed in 1826, although the steps that led to the portico were not built until 1832. The Rotunda has been restored several times since the fire, even in 1976 for the Bicentennial celebration. The most recent restoration work began in 2012 and was completed at 2016. The Rotunda represents the “authority of nature and the power of Reason” and was inspired by the pantheon of Rome. The grounds of the new university were unique because they surrounded a library instead of a church, as was common in other universities.
The Rotunda is considered a lasting symbol of Jefferson’s belief in the separation of church and education, as well as his lifelong dedication to education and architecture. Based on the pantheon of Agrippa of Roman times, its central structure is circular and is preceded by a architrave architecture with a large tympanum similar to the facades of Greek temples, its columns are Corinthian order with the smooth axis , the materials in the columns and in other parts of the building are marble, while the walls are brick, the building suffered a big fire in 1895, after rescuing everything that could be inside, like a library, began its reconstruction and due The deterioration of the building is currently in restoration.
The changes were many and yet architecture had an influence on the reflection of its policies and the need to build new buildings that were in line with the new government policies arose.
Due to the influence they had with the European countries, they brought the neoclassical to their new projects, but representing more Greek styles and as a symbol of power projected their great cupolas, of Roman origin, since in their majority the style and the form It coincided with old buildings that we can admire in the Greco architecture and the Palladian style.
The constructions, mostly of marble, speak of how much they are interested in the aesthetics in their buildings and also the style in their decorative columns, which creates a allusive power and a great beauty, so they took their references from the old constructions of the Acropolis of Athens carried out each project, but without leaving aside the style of architect who was at the height of its splendor. The political and economic power that denotes the United States is reflected in its architectural style. Its architecture represents power at its highest magnificence, at the same time as the greatness of the American people.
The Government’s Attitude
Policy and financial constraints have also changed, which put even more pressure on the design industry. The contemporary architect has been required not only to be skilled and confident in design, but also has ability to conceive and implement effective community engagement strategies. The European and the USA governments have already made participation a necessary part of regeneration and public architecture. On 13 December 2010, in order to enhance communication between the architects and the user, the UK government has introduced the Decentralization and Localism Bill. The key policy proposals include the end user’s duty to consult, the community’s right to build and buy. In general, it has delegated authority to the local resident and also provided them the opportunity to communicate with the architect before the project starts. These all show how much they attach importance to community engagement in architecture design process.
This paper has tried to explain the necessity of community engagement through the nature of architecture, the user thinking and the government’s attitude. The significance of participation in contemporary architecture is demonstrated through describing three positive and negative case studies and at the end the UK government’s Decentralization and Localism Bill in 2010 further proves its importance in today’s society. To conclude, it is complex and inconvenient to make non-professional local residents collaborate with the architect, however, as long as it has reflected their opinion and requirement, it can guarantee that end user’s degree of satisfaction of the final results.
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