What Shapes Architecture

Reaction Paper: What Shapes Architecture
by: Bea C.

            In evaluating the different architectural movements that have flooded Europe, one will get a rich picture of the localities that comprise the continent—the history, culture, and residents of an area. As demonstrated in the video documentaries, the architectural styles (Baroque, Renaissance, Rococo, Gothic) of Europe did not simply spring out of an individual’s mind; rather, these styles were shaped by unique realities of the region. Architecture, while a beautiful creation of man, is also a statement. Each style carries with itself a distinct personality ingrained with its history.

The dramatic and occasionally gruesome Baroque architecture, for example, blurs the lines between art and the onlooker; between the imaginary and reality. It is a physical manifestation of the Protestant movement’s effect on the church at that time—dark and edgy, after having turned away from the Catholic rule. Baroque architecture seems to pull onlookers into itself instead of taking a passive role. Continue reading “What Shapes Architecture”


Sometimes, before I look outside the window, I forget about my house being mounted on solid, unmovable earth. Through the jelly legs that I stand on, I can feel the rhythmic humming of the ocean; each imaginary wave crashing into my slippers. I’d remember, suddenly and with stark certainty, that the view from my bedroom will never change—not in the way I’d momentarily assumed it would. Such realities, unremarkable they may be, pave the way for one to get used to the world again after having lived in the middle of the ocean for a week or so.

The Mariner from a distance

Twenty-four hours ago, I was in the airport, trying to get as much sleep as I could before my next flight. Twenty-four hours before that, I was in a cruise ship—the Royal Caribbean, Mariner of the Seas. A huge one, undeniably. Life in a boat is as fun as you’d expect it to be. You climb in, get to feel a bit more pampered and luxurious than usual, then tour exotic islands when you disembark. It’s like a tiny village or city, or nation—whatever—floating in the sea, existing idly by. Continue reading “Cruising”