All things TOEFL iBT

Discuss options for redesigning a college visitor center. Which model should be followed: Victorian design or the philosophy of feng shui?

Notes from the Reading passage

Victorian Design:
Filled spaces – bareness is a sign of poor taste; fill spaces with as many objects as possible; (Peninsula hotel) ornate wood furniture; tabletops, walls adorned with decorative objects, art; size, number of elements give it impressive, elegant atmosphere

Use of rich fabrics: cloth is a primary material in Victorian rooms; thick, rich, drapery compensates for lack of light; fabric on furniture; plush carpets, rugs; (Peninsula Hotel) thick draperies on windows

Decoration of walls: (Peninsula Hotel) molding, wallpaper, paint; moldings add texture, depth to already complicated interiors; results – rooms that overflow with decorative, elegant elements

The two main concepts of Feng shui: Balance and Energy Flow

Make notes on the lecture about how Feng shui has influenced Frank Lloyd Wright

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Comments on: "Victorian design or Feng shui" (3)

  1. Leonardo Leão said:

    Two styles of interior designs are so popular around the World and at the same time so different, the Victorian style and feng shui concept. The former was named for Queen Victoria of England and became famous in the late 1800s. The later is based on the eastern philosophy and integrate not only beauty but also healthiness.
    According to the Victorian style, bareness in a room shows poor taste. For that reason, interior spaces must be filled with as many objects as possible, including decorative objects and arts. Another feature of this style is the use of rich, brightly colored fabrics. Decoration of wall and ceiling is something that is taken into consideration in this British style.
    The other famous style is feng shui, a two thousand year-old philosophy created in Asia. Although the age of this style it became popular in the west recently. The principles of feng shui comprise the balance in energy flow, yin and yan, and the five Chinese elements. Brightness and empty space are aspects that are taken into account in a room feng shui decorated. It’s also common to use an artificial waterfall at rear of the room and materials like stone, wood and glass.

  2. To redesign a visitor center, i would choose the feng shui style because a place which is going to be visited for many people everyday should have a balance of energy to be comfortable, adequate for the different type of visit.

    In the psychology of colors, spaces and designs. It recommends for hospitals and libraries, soft colors and empty spaces so the visitors would feel peaceful while they are waiting.

    For example, the feng shui style believes in simple interiors, what I think is the best for a place that would receive an amount of person daily. The visitors will not feel tired form a place where he/she might have to wait for others.

    In other hand, feng shui style also believes that windows and bright spaces contributes with the flow of energy. This point is exact what a visitor center might need for incoming persons, whom we do not know the energy or in the mood the person is. If the center has a victorian style the quantity of furniture and elegant atmosphere would not help to make visitors feel comfortable like home.

  3. Nowadays there are many different colleges. Each of them follows a different philosophy and concept. Design and Architecture are tools that these institutions have to reaffirm their methods and concepts. Specially when we are discussing about redesigning a college visitor center, it’s important to take care of which model to follow.

    The Victorian Design and Feng Shui are very different models and will depend a lot on which kind of message is the college trying to send to their future students and also its context. For example, a Western school such as Harvard or Stanford, if they were the ones to redesign their visitor center they would probably choose a Victorian Design, because they are traditional and have a lot of experience on teaching. Also, because they are wealthy institutions and they probably would like to transmit this message.

    In the other hand, if there is a new western school with new methods of teaching, and that wants to pass for their students a calm and balanced ambience with a lot of energy and good vibrations.

    This is why it’s important to know what is the philosophy of the school first. There are many architectural possibilities and a lot of information in it.

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