Architecture Affecting Mood
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INTERVIEW

 Richard Rauso: Landscape Architect

 

1.) Do you use or consider Feng Shui when landscaping an area?

 

Yes, he uses it to a small degree.  He thinks about how people may react when their in that space or walking through it when he’s designing it.  The biggest factor that affects a person’s reactions is everything you put into the space such as walls, walks, paving, planting or fountains that the area may contain.

 

2.) What types of things do you look for when working on an area?

 

A main thing he looks at is colors.  If the room is lighter you should use darker colors to contrast it and help the room have a sense of balance.  Lighter colors will make the area seem brighter and more reflective, while darker colors will make it more subdued.  Also darker colors are more absorbent, so if the area is in a sunny spot, darker colors will make the area warmer. 

 

3.) How did you decide to become a landscape architect?

 

He first learned about landscape architecture in a research paper in 7th grade on what he wanted to be when he grew up.  Through research he found that this job held all of his interests such as drawing, nature, the environment, & water.  The whole idea of preserving the environment and working with things that preserve natural things and design something with nature appealed to him giving him a successful career choice.

 

4.) Do you believe the color scheme of an area can change a person’s mood?

 

Yes, he believes that different colors have different effects on people.  If a space has a lot of greens or blues it is going to be more serene, however if you use warmer colors such as red and orange people tend to be more stimulated.  This same concept also applies to plant material.  If you design something with lots of flowers that are red and orange, it has a whole different feeling then whites, pinks, purples or any cooler more calming colors.  Another calming element to an area is water.  The sound of water is typically identified as soothing or calming.  You can also use water to mask out other sounds such as traffic or other noises from outside of that area by adding a waterfall feature.  This will in turn both calm people down as well as mask the noise so you don’t notice the unwanted sounds as much.  Another benefit to water is that it acts like a natural air conditioner by reducing the room temperature in a normally warm area.

 

5.) Do you have a favorite “style” of architecture?

 

Yes, his favorite style of architecture is a Modern Style, but likes the Classic English Style also.  Modern Style of architecture includes the use of a lot of steel, water, concrete and stainless steel.  This style is very clean and simple looking.

 

6.) Do you think a lot of the concepts you use are specific to a landscape architect, or all architects bas their work off of the same concepts?

 

All landscape architects and architects go through the same design process, but how they arrive at the solution is a little bit different.  The one thing he always remembers when designing something is his saying Form Follows Function.  All that this means is that the form of something in your design is dictated by what your function is.  For example, take someone designing a sidewalk.  Now if that sidewalk was in the city it would probably need to be about 12 feet wide because lots of people would be using it.  However, if you are designing a sidewalk from your driveway to your front door it only needs to be about 3 feet wide because you only have one person walking.  So the form of something follows whatever function it serves and a good design not only looks good but fits whatever function is required.

 

7.) How has the industry changed since you’ve been in it?

 

The main thing that had changed for him was the use of computers.  First of all, when doing drawings it is much easier to edit and change things using AutoCAD, which is a computer animated drafting/design program.  Before this program all of your drawings were done by hand and in order to change something you had to erase it.  Another way computers have changed things is they made it easier to study a 3d model of your design using a program called SketchUp.  This also makes it easier to show your clients since most don’t read plans very well but can easily identify with a 3d pictorial representation.  Before SketchUp, architects would have to do a perspective sketch which would take much longer to set up accurately.  However some things haven’t changed much, such as your need to be able to draw.  This is because when you are designing something it is still easiest and fastest and you tend to get a much better result when you draw your idea by hand first.  Once your concept is on paper, you can then put it into the computer to study and refine it further.  One thing he noted was that no matter how much technology continues to progress, architects will always have to be able to draw. 

 

8.) What part of your job gives you the most satisfaction/ your favorite part?

 

His favorite part of his job is being able to have a design go from his head to paper.  Then after giving away his drawings to a contractor, they design and build his creation which he gets to drive by and see.  Rauso claims, “That’s the best part of my job, seeing something that I designed and created built.”

 

9.) What places have you designed?

He has designed many places such as West Monroeville Community Park, The Kaufman Center Plaza at the Hill House Center in the Hill District which even won an award, The Promenade in Pittsburgh Mechanicalist Center which also won an award, Heritage Park in Monroeville, Level Green Elementary School Park, The Elliot Building corporate center headquarters, The Yough River Ability Garden which is a handicap garden along the Youghiogheny River, Penn-Township Municipal Park which is currently under construction.  They are going to add in a dog park, walking trail, and make the pond bigger. Other places he has done around the country include the Missouri Botanic Garden, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden in Virginia, the Rancho Santa Ana botanic garden in Claremont, California, a Boy Scout camp on Catalina Island, California called Camp Emerald Bay and Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

10.) What is the benefit of being self employed?

He believes that the main benefit of being self employed is having the freedom to design and work on projects you want to and you get to be your own boss. 

11.) Do you have other people that work with you at all?

Yes, he teams up on projects with other landscape architects as well as architects and engineers.  He does very few projects by himself and is usually part of a team.  For example, if somebody wants to build a new hotel the architect will be in charge of the design, or what the hotel looks like while the landscape architect will have to do the outside work.  This includes designing how the building fits on the site with the grading of the land and sun angles, adding walls, walks, paving, fountains, plants, trees, parking, and lighting.  This way both can use their specialties to ensure the best possible design for the building.

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Walt Bechtell's comment, March 11, 2013 12:43 PM
Excellent!
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The Feng Shui Handbook: How To Create A Healthier Living & Working Environment (Henry Holt Reference Book): Lam Kam Chuen: 9780805042153: Amazon.com: Books

The Feng Shui Handbook: How To Create A Healthier Living & Working Environment (Henry Holt Reference Book) [Lam Kam Chuen] on Amazon.com. *FREE* super saver shipping on qualifying offers.
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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 8:25 PM
In a house, it is important to have a flow of energy while still have a feeling of comfort. Leaving doors in your house open and have seating with your back to them can leave you feeling exposed to other energies and give you a sense of uneasiness. To prevent this, make sure you can see doorways from places where people typically sit in a general room. This way, if the doorway is in front of you, a person will tend to feel more comfortable with a particular room.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:47 PM
Thoughts
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Amazon.com: Using Feng Shui: Easy Ways to Use the Ancient Chinese Art of Placement for Happiness and Prosperity (9781551923116): Antonia Beattie: Books

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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 8:21 PM
Improving your work life is very important if you want a successful career. One way to help this is to decorate your work space harmoniously. Make sure during the day you are not constantly facing any blank walls, or people’s backs. It is also important to keep your work area uncluttered and clean. Just pushing stuff into a drawer or out of sight does not help either. But working at a cleaned work space will help you get through your work faster and you will be more relaxed while doing it.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:49 PM
Behaviors
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What is Feng Shui?

What is Feng Shui? | Architecture Affecting Mood | Scoop.it
What is Feng Shui? Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of Space Arrangement that uses universal principles and the laws of nature to determine how to organize your environment in order to be happy, healthy, prosperous and free.
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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 8:14 PM
Feng Shui used to deal solely with nature, but now also includes the surrounding, colors, materials, and landscaping of a building as well as its interior. This can help make for a happier, healthier, and more prosperous life or a more successful business. The way furniture is arranged in a room can also change your mood. For example if your bed or chairs in your rooms are at a position in which you can see the door without being in the path of the door, you will feel like you have more control which will make you more relaxed and productive.
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How much does the variety of colors affect your mind and body? - Home & Food - Home & Family - Catholic Online

How much does the variety of colors affect your mind and body? - Home & Food - Home & Family - Catholic Online | Architecture Affecting Mood | Scoop.it
Find Home & Family news on family activities, marriage, weddings, kids, teens, faith, parenting, home and food.
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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 25, 2013 11:04 AM
Every color promotes a different reaction or feeling from people. Depending on the mood you want to express in a given room you need to pay attention to the color schemes you use. Black can be used to show strength, power and confidence. However to much black can make a person feel depressed or lonely. Violet is a peaceful color that tends to make you sleepy and not as hungry. However too much purple can be overwhelming and make a person feel unbalanced or discombobulated. Blue is a calming and relaxing color. On the other hand, too much blue can make a person feel cold, bitter or sorrowful.
Ashley Mandich's comment, February 25, 2013 11:54 AM
The color green helps you relax mentally as well as physically. It allows you to feel calm and sit back. Headaches or other joint aches could occur if you are around too much green. Yellow advocates activity and drive, it inspires you to be more productive, improves your memory and increases your appetite. An over abundance of yellow can make a person irritable. Orange is a healing color. It can improve your mood or even increase your appetite. Too much orange can have the opposite affect and make people feel more nervous or disturbed feeling. The color red helps to increase blood flow therefore stimulating brain activity causing you to be more productive. An excess of red can make people quarrelsome or destructive. Finally the color pink makes you feel relaxed and eliminates your appetite. Too much pink could make a person tired.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:55 PM
Thoughts/ Feelings & Emotions/ Thoughts/ Thoughts
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What is Feng Shui

What is Feng Shui | Architecture Affecting Mood | Scoop.it
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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 8:08 PM
Feng Shui is the idea that your surroundings have a flow of energy known as chi, which also therefore flows through you. Energy is dormant or unmoving incluttered places; in long dark hallways or stairs energy tends to move more rapidly; finally when energy is barricaded, such as misplaced walls or trees an unbalance in chi will occur. This can cause a decline in one's health, arguments within one's household or even debt.
Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 8:15 PM
Feng Shui was started over a 4,000 year period in China with the intention of keeping people from braking into their homes or tombs. As this practice evolved people started to consider landscaping and the placement of furniture and other items throughout their homes such as fireplaces, windows and doors.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:56 PM
Behaviors
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A check-in at KUEE Architects (Architecture, Interior Design, Feng Shui)

A check-in at KUEE Architects (Architecture, Interior Design, Feng Shui) | Architecture Affecting Mood | Scoop.it
Office in Ipoh, Perak (Kerjs kerja (@ KUEE Architects (Architecture, Interior Design, Feng Shui)) http://t.co/3GTCD16v)
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Healthiest Plants for Your Home | Yahoo! Health

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Chemicals from building materials, furniture, and even air fresheners can make indoor air toxic, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Plants can help combat that problem.
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Ashley Mandich's comment, March 6, 2013 5:07 PM
You might think air fresheners, would clean up any harmful things in your air, however they just add more by spraying chemicals into the air. The best way to eliminated harmful chemicals is with house plants. This is due to the fact that plants provide fresh clean oxygen in your home. The presence of plants in your home can help reduce asthma and reduce your chance of getting cancer, or respiratory and neurological problems. The top five plants claimed to make you breathe easier are English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, Peach Lily, Lady Palm, and a Rubber Plant.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:41 PM
Feelings & Emotions
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Feng Shui

Feng Shui | Architecture Affecting Mood | Scoop.it
Emphasizing balance--between yin and yang, as well as comfort and style--in every environment, the ancient Chinese art of feng shui demonstrates how to arrange your home to enhance your fortune, health, and happiness.
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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 8:23 PM
Your bedroom is one of the most important rooms in a house since about one third of a person’s life is spent there. If your bed is misplaced you may have trouble sleeping and become restless. In order to prevent this it is important to not have anything directly in line with the door way. This will help energy flow more easily into your room. Another important factor is not having your head in line with the door. This way if someone walks into your room won’t feel as vulnerable or exposed. Also not having your bed near a window is important to avoid if possible because chi, which is your body’s energy, escapes out your windows at night when you are sleeping. This could cause you to feel more tired in the morning even if you have gotten a significant amount of sleep. Finally it is important not to place your bed under a low or slanted ceiling or under exposed beams. These can cause confused thinking, headaches, or illness. The best place to put your bed is diagonally opposite your room’s doorway. This will keep a positive flow of energy through your room while keeping our unwanted distractions, interruptions or drafts coming from the door.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:44 PM
Feelings & Emotions
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Feng Shui for Your Home by Sarah Shurety: Rider 9780712671026 Hardback - Final Chapter Books

Feng Shui for Your Home by Sarah Shurety: Rider 9780712671026 Hardback - Final Chapter Books | Architecture Affecting Mood | Scoop.it
AbeBooks.com: Feng Shui for Your Home: Very good / very good. Very good condition large hardback book with no marks or inscriptions internally - dustjacket is very good with light edge wear - illustrated - very good reading / reference copy.
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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 9:32 PM
In a living room, a television should be kept in a tv stand or somewhere where you can block it off occasionaly from the rest of the room. This is important because the tv can be a big distraction. When the tv is closed off it becomes easier to have conversations and play games.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:44 PM
Behaviors
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Hanson_01.pdf

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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 8:47 PM
Most people don't realize that all places use architecture to try and reflecta certain mood. Courtrooms and courthouses are no different in this respect. The idea of the courtroom setup is to form a sense of hierarchy and order between the judge, jury, prosecutor, defense attorney, defendants and the public.
Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 9:16 PM
The Supreme Court in particular tries to emphasize it's power using its building structure. First of all it has large columns lining the front of the building with a large set of stairs leading up to it. This makes the building more intimidating and feel large-than-life because people have to walk upwards to get to it and the large columns make people feel small in comparison. In addition to the pillars the Supreme Court also has many statues around it made of marble and stone which are powerful materials that promote a more important status.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:46 PM
Thoughts
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FENG SHUI and YOUR HEALTH

FENG SHUI and YOUR HEALTH | Architecture Affecting Mood | Scoop.it
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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 24, 2013 7:31 PM
Feng Shui can improve the health of one's environment due to its focus on the flow of energy in a particular place. Physical health of an individual is directly related to their environment. Pollutants such as an unwanted noise or an excessive amoung of electromagnetic fields can have harmful effects on health. The answer to fixing this problem is to balance wood, fire, earth, metal and water; which are the elements in every area.
Ashley Mandich's comment, February 25, 2013 10:54 AM
Feng Shui is not a new concept and was developed over 8,000 years ago in ancient China. Feng Shui literally translates into wind-water and it's purpose is to allow people to recognize things going on in their environment and work with it instead of disrupting it. A person's mental and physical energy is important to keep healthy by positively decorating your inside and outside with space, light, sounds, smells and furniture placement that works with the given space.
Ashley Mandich's comment, March 13, 2013 8:49 PM
Feelings & Emotions
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Feng shui for modern living - by Irini Kotroni - Helium

To help bring a sense of peace and harmony into one’s life, simple changes can be made to incorporate Feng Shui into ‘modern living&rs..., Irini Kotroni (Feng Shui - Feng Shui for modern living http://t.co/szXGUKnu)...
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Ashley Mandich's comment, February 25, 2013 8:18 AM
The purpose of Feng Shui is to bring a sense of balance or calmness into ones life throught the flow of chi or qi. This is the positive energy in a person's home. You must have balance with all aspects of your home similarly to the ying and yang symbol. You must have a equal amount of light and darkness.