Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Architectural grids concepts

I have generated the ones above, but the ones below are works on pictures I took myself. They are part of my explorations on architectural grids concepts, lights and shadows through grids.

There is also the next one, a picture I have taken at Sherman Gardens and Library. The place is covered by trellis that give different shadows patterns on plants.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Succulents and cactus gardens

Rancho Los Alamitos

These are some pictures I have taken this year, at the Historical Gardens of Rancho Los Alamitos, at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, at Rancho Dominguez, at the Sherman Gardens and Library in Newport Beach. All the places in California.
Do not reproduce without my permission.

Rancho Los Alamitos

Sherman Gardens

San Juan Capistrano

Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Dominguez

Rancho Domínguez

Creative Commons License
Succulents and cactus gardens by Myriam B. Mahiques is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Philadelphia´s Magic Gardens

I didn´t know about the existence of this place, until I shared a picture from Pinterest. Whoever pinned it, left little information about the picture, and the reference was ¨Philly¨ what I figured out Philadelphia???
But the artist´s name, Isaiah Zagar, showed up immediately in Google.
I was moved by the story of the place, more than the folk art, and it´s funny but not so intellectual-artistic from my point of view.
Here, an excerpt from the web page and pictures that I´ve selected:

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (PMG) is a mosaicked visionary art environment, gallery, and community arts center that preserves, interprets, and provides access to Isaiah Zagar's unique mosaic art environment and his public murals. The Magic Gardens site, Zagar's largest artwork, includes a fully tiled indoor space and a massive outdoor mosaic sculpture garden that spans half a block on Philadelphia's famous South Street. Inside, visitors can view folk art statues, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, Zagar's hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The installation pays tribute to Zagar's artistic influences, along with community and personal experiences.
Open to visitors daily, PMG has become a unique Philadelphia destination, hosting year-round, low-cost public programs within its own distinctive venue and the surrounding community. PMG, a nonprofit organization, inspires creativity and community engagement by educating the public about folk, mosaic, and visionary art. (....)

Zagar has devoted himself to beautifying the South Street neighborhood since the late 1960s, when he moved to the area with his wife Julia. The couple helped spur the revitalization of the area by purchasing and renovating derelict buildings, often adding colorful mosaics on both their private and public walls. (...)

In 2002, the Boston-based owner of the once-vacant lot located at 1022-1026 South Street decided to sell the land in response to rising South Street property values. Unwilling to witness the destruction of Zagar's neighborhood art environment, the community rushed to support the artist. His creation, newly titled Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, became incorporated as a nonprofit organization with the intention of preserving and promoting Zagar's works at the site of the Magic Gardens and throughout the South Street region. 

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is now a permanent art institution that is open to visitors throughout the year. Trained guides are available to lead tours of the Magic Gardens and Zagar's surrounding public murals. In addition, PMG offers monthly mosaic workshops led by Zagar himself, and regularly hosts concerts, dance performances, and other public events.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My bright surrealistic landscapes

I've been in all the places shown here, and except for the third photo of the Wetlands in Huntington Beach, that I've taken with my cell phone, from my car, the other are screen shots from Google street view. I didn't use my own pictures because the sun effects were better in Google and inspired me to create these surrealistic landscapes.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Different concepts of maps

Map of the River Nile Estuary by Piri Reis, a 16th century Ottoman Admiral famous for his maps and charts collected in his Kitab-ı Bahriye (Book of Navigation)

When I was kid, I enjoyed copying two maps of the Nile Estuary from an archaeology book, an edition for kids and teenagers. I loved to make them in India (we called it China) ink, depicting the Egyptian monuments that were part of the map. And the river meanders, ah, they were so beautiful!
Apart from these two maps, I hated maps and geography in general. Why was it? I blame it on my professors, though good ones for those years, it was so easy for them to say ¨buy this map.... with this projection at the kiosk. Then paint in color the provinces of....¨ , or ¨study from page....... to page¨ and all explanations were given in those old huge school maps on the blackboard. Boring, absolutely boring; they are currently sold as ¨vintage.¨ 

Old school maps. Picture from

My school mates and me had never seen a National Geographic magazine in class, I suppose they were not imported to Argentina, we were missing banks of information, pictures, and what we saw on TV, was the old family programs and movies. Nothing cultural that I remember. And in the 60´s we could never have imagined computers at home, and Internet, we began to ¨navigate¨ in 1997, as far as I remember, with the first emails to companies.
Many years after, a colleague of mine was taking courses with me, I was researching on urban morphology and she was analyzing maps. I thought then, what an architect could find in maps. And she opened my eyes, explaining about the different projections, representations, and the philosophical theory implied on them. And I realized how much I was missing in my learning.

Molly Dilworth, Naked City 1, Naked City 2, 2008; acrylic on paper. Dilworth transposed satellite maps of the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles with communications patterns from telecommunications networks and other invisible forces. From

A map from Joseph and James Churchman's 1833 volume "Rudiments of National Knowledge, Presented To The Youth Of The United States, And To Enquiring Foreigners" (David Rumsey/DPLA). Oh the Places You'll Go: 38,000 Historical Maps to Explore at New Online Library 

A map of a city. My screen shot from ¨A walk through H¨

A map of ancient ruins depicted in a dove. My screen shot from ¨A walk through H¨

When I began this blog, I´ve also read about psychogeography and their own maps, representing the ¨driftings¨, street wanderings, some of them induced by opium. And I learnt about the artistic side of them. The concepts were reinforced when I was contacted by Phil Smith, founder of Mythogeography; a map can also contain history, mythology, it can have a world of meanings. Finally, I was absolutely delighted to watch the short film ¨A walk through H¨, directed and written by Peter Greenaway, where the maps are paintings, even a pigeon shows the archaeological remains of one of the cities.
At this point, the old school geography teachings were out of my mind and I gave maps a second opportunity. 

Jerry Gretzinger´s imaginary map of Ukrania. 

Jerry Gretzinger´s imaginary map of Ukrania. 

Today, after years of enjoying different maps representations (or projections), something weird happened to me, and it reminded me all I´ve read about new meanings assigned to objects out of context. I was pinning maps in my Pinterest and in one of the repins, I saw a thumbnail of one of Kevin Lynch´s maps. I began reading the brief reference, the well known story of people creating their own maps of Boston, etc. on their ways to home, to their jobs, etc, walking, always walking.  

¨To study the form of cities, Kevin Lynch asked dozens of people to draw the features and neighborhoods of Boston. He then aggregated the drawings to form a composite map, yielding an archetypical representation of how people view the city.¨

But what I saw at first was a map represented in a ¨shoe¨, let´s say a ¨tennis shoe¨ or ¨zapatilla¨, a model to walk.  And I thought, ¨that is bright! Kevin Lynch has depicted a map of Boston in a shoe, where the borders are the laces, and the red color the design of the modern walking shoes!¨ 
And of course I´ve read and have in my library Lynch´s The Image of the City and Good City Form. And suddenly, it came to me that Lynch hasn´t published any map in the shape of a shoe, that it was all in my imagination, that the Image of the City was from 1960, and it was not Lynch´s intention to play with the maps morphology in an artistic sense, but to analyze the city through them.
Anyway, I leave the idea to my readers, I still see the shoe........


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