Wednesday, March 18, 2009

P Week [opus 7]


Periphery refers to the outer limits or edge of an area or object, or a boundary. A gate, for example, serves as a good periphery, or outer edge, to a city or a building. The periphery of an object or a space is used to define what that object or space is.


Perspective is the art of drawings objects on a two-dimensional surface in which all measurements are proportional to each other. It can also be defined as a point of view. In the English Renaissance, Sir Henry Wotton “advocated elimination of excessive ornamentation; orientation of rooms according to points of the compass; adjacencies of rooms of related function… and changed to correct the weakness of the room arrangement whereby the innermost room could be accessed only by going through all the other rooms” (BLAKEMORE 131).

In the era of the Italian Baroque, Harold Osborne commented on the Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power that “This…is a triumph of ILLUSIONISM for the centre of the ceiling appears open to the sky and the figures seen from below appear to come down into the room as well as soar out of it” (BLAKEMORE 154). This idea of an optical illusion is a good example of perspective because of how real the painting looks to its audience.

One point perspective

Two point perspective

An example of a building drawn in two point perspective

In a more literal sense of the word, perspective was used in spatial relationships and designs. In the Palazzo Barbernini during the Italian Baroque, “The surrounds of the third floor windows are in feigned perspective” (BLAKEMORE 155).


A process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. In the transitional phases of the French Renaissance “modifications to the floor plan were least affected by the advent of the Renaissance. Gradually, emphasis was given to symmetry, rectangular plans, and uniform spacing” (BLAKEMORE 114). Also in the French Renaissance, “Decorative processes included marquetry, inlay, carving, and polychrome enhancement” (BLAKEMORE 121).


A professional is thought of as someone who is engaged in a specific activity as their paid occupation rather than a pastime. Last week, we had the pleasure of attending the Design, Art, and Technology Symposium at High Point University where we heard Alexander Julian talk about his professional life.

Alexander Julian


A portfolio is an encasement for a set of drawings, papers, or other types of loose document. It can be a physical case, like the one drawn below, or it can be a digital portfolio.

Rather than a simple collection of every piece of work done by an artist, a designer's portfolio contains a set of well-crafted and revised projects, drawings, and other work that can be used to illustrate the designer's full potential.


This week’s opus, entitled “P-week” brings together the ideas of periphery, portfolio, process, professional, perspective, and portfolio. The idea of proportion, however, fits with this week’s words as well. In the French Renaissance period, “proportionate relationship between form and decorative detail” was a key factor in furniture design (BLAKEMORE 121). In the English Renaissance, “the precise tenets [of design] revolved around order and proportion” (BLAKEMORE 130). During the Italian Baroque, “grand proportions of rooms were typical of Baroque interiors” (BLAKEMORE 157). All of these words together can be used to describe what we should be thinking about upon obtaining a professional career.

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