2:00 PM: You are on your way to class in Todd. On your way there you admire the observatory and Uranidrome. You pass Jones Hall and KOM. Now, seeing as we are still pretty new to the whole college scene, we can remember back to our MTSU college tour. (This also applies to you all who get waves of realization sporadically. Personally, I find myself in this latter!) As you make your way to class you admire the campus, and architecture. With all the construction occurring right now, it is not difficult to admire the structures coming together. At the same time, we have the neoclassical designs of the KOM and Jones Hall.
Observing all of these well-designed buildings may be cause to contemplate Architecture. Alain de Botton discussed this topic in Philosophy Bites. The basis for his discussion centered around the philosophical thoughts and ideas architecture can induce. The designing of a building is quite remarkable. When you think about it deeper (as philosophical prodigies ought to) architects are both artists and scientists. There is a point in the novel that I disagree with de Botton said “the most intelligent and most privileged in our society will hesitate to say that building Y is better than building Z even if it is utterly obvious.” Well, just contemplate this: how much does the exterior or a building REALLY decide the overall appeal of a structure? Contrary to timeless teachings and de Botton’s statement, we DO judge books from their covers (or in this case, buildings by their façade). Anyone will ignore a run of the mill suburban home, but spotting a southern plantation- esque or Mediterranean inspired home turns heads. Those are the types of buildings that grace the pages of “Your Dream Home” magazines. “Well okay,” you may be thinking, “ how are architects scientists?” Let’s think of some factors they must take into account…
Architects must choose their materials to suit the project at hand. Is it a memorial? Is it in an area that will be weathered and beaten by ocean waves? When constructing their designs, they must draw up a plan of action that most efficiently puts the project on track. They must adjust accordingly. They have to be social scientists in that they must be able to communicate with their contractor or clients to see what their needs are and make suggestions accordingly. Experimenting with different possibilities to garner the result they desire- a satisfied client. As we peruse around campus or drive home, we should take the opportunity to admire the levels of complexity observed in the making of building.
This applies to every college student. As a gen ed requirement we have to have 6 hours of “art like” classes. MT offers a lot of options for you to fulfill these credits, but at the same time they limit you. As Erin said “art is diverse- people are diverse.” Art is a creative outlet that differs to each person. Some may religiously keep a diary or a portfolio of rudimentary sketches. Some may create web designs or gifs. Some might enjoy poetry or speaking. Some may enjoy photography, music or building models. Art is a way to convey anything! Emotions, views, ideas- nothing is off limits! And although MTSU does indeed offer many ways to complete your credits, it does not take into account all of the disciplinaries that art includes and by doing so they dictate what qualifies as art and what doesn’t.
In some people’s opinions X may not be art, but perhaps what they REALLY mean by their statement is that they don’t understand art. When artists cannot understand every movement that has occurred in the art world (Dada or abstracts) or musicians cannot understand the appeal of every genre (Techno and scream), but they, the experts, (mostly) agree that it is in fact art or music then who are we to dictate what fits the guidelines? Do schools have that right? Or should they allow students to present their case to why they believe x or y class should count towards that credit. I understand that would be a laborious process, but it would be the best way to justly represent art.