Computer Architects. (Architecture in the Art Room)(Cover Story)

By Betts, Janelle Lyon | Arts & Activities, December 2001 | Go to article overview

Computer Architects. (Architecture in the Art Room)(Cover Story)


Betts, Janelle Lyon, Arts & Activities


Architecture on the computer is a captivating assignment for all students. While they do not need a fancy computer program to make the gingerbread on the houses, Appleworks or Claris Works paint program can easily make intricate houses for my high school students.

They become so involved in the project that they can spend almost a week in a block class designing their house and then creating a "painted lady," or painted house. Parents and students are amazed that this detailed project is done on such a basic computer program.

The students are shown different styles of architecture: Federal (1775-1820), Greek Revival (1820-1860), Gothic Revival (1840-1870), Italianate (1840-1875), Second Empire (1850-1875) and Queen Anne (1876-1900).

Then, different architectural facets are pointed out and terms are discussed. These terms include keystones, cupola, fanlight, mansard roof, pediment, tower, sidelights, gingerbread decorations, gables, portico, dormer, foundation, bay window and eaves.

Pictures of homes in their vicinity are studied. Sometimes field trips are taken to not only see the outside of a home, but the inside too.

Through a series of basic assignments, students master the basic computer drawing and painting tools and commands: cut-copy-paste, paintbrush size, flip horizontally/vertically, fill/spray paint, rotate, shapes, resize, straight line tool, patterns, erase, gradients and, perhaps most important, "save as you work."

With these basics, the students are ready to start creating their houses. They first choose an architectural style they wish to portray, and then collect several pictures of the housing style to use for reference. …

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