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Notebook

Notebook, 1993-

ELEMENTS

Measure

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Known . . . . Proportion . . . . Extent . . . . Dimension . . . . Comparison . . . . Standard . . . . The Quantity, Size, Capacity, Unit, System, Estimation, Judgment, Degree . . . . Boundary, Limit . . . . Procedure . . . . Rhythmical movement . . . . Arrangement


Measure - National Institute of Standards & Technology


C  O  N  S  I  D  E  R  A  T  I  O  N  S
Basis or Standard of comparision . . . . Adequate or due portion, Moderate degree, Temperance, Fixed or Suitable limit, Bounds, Cautious restraint, Regulation, Government . . . . Dimensions, Capacity, Standard, Amount, Degree, Unit, Allotment, Appraise, Apportionment, System . . . . An Estimate of what is to be expected . . . . Melody, Tune, Rhythmic Structure or Movement . . . . Cadence, Meter . . . . Regular, Deliberate, Calculated . . . . Marked by due Proportion . . . . A Step [planned or taken as a means to an end] . . . .To Travel Over: Traverse




R  E  F  E  R  E  N  C  E  S
Webster's Dictionary:
1 Measure n [ME mesure, fr. OF, fr. L, mensura, fr. mensus, pp. of metiri to measure; akin to OE mūth measure, Gk metron] [13c] 1a [1]: an adequate or due portion [2]: a moderate degree; also: Moderation, Temperance [3]: a fixed or suitable limit: Bounds [rich beyond __] b: the dimensions, capacity, or amount of something ascertained by measuring c: an estimate of what is to be expected [as of a person or situation] d [1]: a measured quantity [2]: amount, Degree 2a: an instrument or utensil for measuring b [1]: a standard or unit of measurement -see Weight table [2]: a system of standard units of measure [metric __] 3: the act or process of measuring 4a [1]: Melody, Tune [2]: Dance; esp: a slow and stately dance b: rhythmic structure or movement: Cadence as [1]: poetic rhythm measured by temporal quantity or accent; specif: Meter [2]: musical time c [1]: a grouping of a specified number of musical beats located between two consecutive vertical lines on a staff [2]: a metrical unit: Foot 5: an exact divisor of a number 6: a basis or standard of comparision [wealth is not a __ of happiness] 7: a step planned or taken as a means to an end; specif: a proposed legislative act -for good measure: in addition to the minimum required: as an extra

2 measure vb measured; measuring vt [14c] 1a: to choose or control with cautious restraint: Regulate [__ his acts] b: to regulate by a standard: Govern 2: to allot or apportion in measured amounts [__ out 3 cups] 3: to lay off by making measurements 4: to ascertain the measurements of 5: to estimate or appraise by a criterion [__s his skill against his rival] 6 archaic: to travel over: Traverse 7: to serve as a means of measuring [a thermometer __s temperature] -vi 1: to take or make a measurement 32: to have a specified measurement

measured adj [14c] 1: marked by due proportion 2a: marked by rhythm: regularly recurrent [a __ gait] b: Metrical 3: Deliberate, Calculated [a __ response]

measureless adj [14c] 1: having no observable limit: Immeasurable [the __ universe] 2: very great [had __ energy]

measurement n [1751] 1: the act or process of measuuring 2: a figure, extent, or amount obtained by measuring: Dimension 3: Measure 2b

[Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. Springfield, MA, USA: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1995.]



Random House Dictionary:
Measure
. 1. the act or process of ascertaining the extent, dimensions, quantity, etc. of something, esp. by comparison with a standard; measurement. 2. size, dimensions, quantity, etc., as thus ascertained. 3. an instrument, as a graduated rod or a vessel of standard capacity, for measuring. 4. a unit or standard of measurement. 5. a definite or known quantity measured out: to drink a measure of wine. 6. a system of measurement. 7. any standard of comparison, estimation, or judgment. 8. a quantity, degree, or proportion. 9. a moderate amount. 10. reasonable bounds or limits: to know no measure. 11. a legislative bill or enactment. 12. Usually, measures, actions or procedures intended as a means to an end: to take measures to avert suspicion. 13. a short rhythmical movement or arrangement, as in poetry or music. 14. a particular kind of such arrangement. 15. a metrical unit. 16. the music contained between two bar lines; bar. 17. a slow, dignified dance. 18. measures, geol. beds; strata. 19. for good measure, as an extra. [more] [Urdang, Laurence, ed. Random House Dictionary of The English Language. New York: Random House,1968.]



Analysis of Rational Shape- "As long as the analysis of rational shape remains a tool of the fully developed mind it can help to make perceived order explicit. When it replaces vision and stifles expression it becomes a game in vacuo...." [Arnheim, "A Review of Proportion." In Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm [Vision and Value Series] New York: Braziller, 1965. p. 230]



Absolute Proportion/Relative Proportion- Measure must be understood, first of all, not in terms of arithmetic, but in terms of the dimensions and the practical, functional energy of the human body. Pure geometry can exist without considerations of size or measure, since it deals only with absolute proportion. Art and architecture must deal with relative proportion, and this presupposes a unit of measure that is very human in origin. [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]



English Foot Rule- It should be natural to suppose that this unit of measure was taken from some portion of the human body at some unrecorded moment in the distant past. This would appear to be true if one considers that, while being a unit of length, it was also a unit of energy. The prime Egyptian unit, the ^cubit, was the length of the forearm from elbow to the middle finger extended, and we can assume that it was chosen because it was/is the preeminent working unit of the body. Similarly, the English foot rule is not merely the length of the average foot, but the distance between the rungs of a ladder; as such, it relates sensibly to the amount of energy required by both legs and arms in the act of climbing. The yard is the distance from the center of the body (the tip of the nose pointing forward) to the tip of the outwardly extended arm and thumb and is (or was) associated intimately with the measuring of cloth or rope. [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]



French Metric System & The Rule of Thumb - Until the invention of the metric system in France at the end of the eighteenth century, all measurements of length, plane surfaces, weights, volumes, and time were related to human functions and capacities, to belief, concept and theory, invention and commerce. We refer to some of these casually but not incorrectly as measurement by "rule of thumb."

The fiercely rationalistic spirit of the French Revolution was so pervasive that even the foot-and-inch system, the old anthropocentric measures, were deemed inadequate, and scientific measurements were adopted. In 1799 a decision was taken as to the length of the meter. In the same year, the value of the meter and the kilogram, the weight of a liter of water, became law. The metric system is now obligatory in most non-English-Speaking countries. There are, then, two radically opposing systems of measure in use in this age of science-technology, world trade, and communication. Clearly each system has its own merits.[Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]



Anglo-Saxon inch-Foot-and-Yard System-The metric system is a masterpiece of mathematical absurdity, the meter being the one ten-millionth part of a meridional quadrant of the earth, but it is remarkable in its clarity, unity, and versatility. By comparison, the Anglo-Saxon inch-foot-and-yard system is awkward and dated--yet, because of it relation to the human body and human imaging, it remains a far better visual measure than the indifferent meter. According to some authorities, this explains why reasonably good proportions in the designing of architecture and furniture have prevailed in countries where the old system has been kept, and why poorer proportions are sometimes observed in countries where the metric system is used exclusively and mechanically.... [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]



[Japanese] System of Proportioning in all Things that Pertain to Practical, Everyday Use/The Tatami- ....[Japanese] system of proportioning in all things that pertain to practical, everyday use, such as household objects. Their traditional houses for living are constructed on an ancient module that is very much to the measure of man in a congested world. It is embodied most clearly in the tatami, the thick durable straw mat, measuring approximately 3 x 6 feet, so many units of which are used to cover the entire floor, and are both for walking upon (with special house slippers) and sleeping upon. The dimensions of all rooms in the traditional Japanese house are a multiple of this replaceable mat... [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]



Modular- Scholarly inquiry and analysis have determined that all important architecture of the ancient world was modular in plan and construction. Architecture was a priestly art or an art practiced by a few men who, while being artists of the highest order, were also initiates into the mysteries of mathematics and secret harmonies. It was also clearly related to sculpture, in that form and mass often assumed greater importance than space. The great sacred buildings of the Egyptians and Greeks were intended as shrines or sanctuaries, not as general places of worship for large numbers of people. Their spaces were small and dominated by thick walls and great cylindrical columns. Therefore, it is reasonable that the module should have been one of solid physical substance rather than of space. It would also seem logical that the one circular element of the plan, the column, deriving undoubtedly from the trunk of a tree in the case of Greek architecture, should have contained the basic unit for each temple. The column was the one element of structure with which the human individual could identify immediately by sight, touch, and embrace. He or she could, in more than a mathematical sense, "take its measure" and appreciate the scale and rhythmic unity of the whole building . As Rasmussen explains it: "The basic unit was the diameter of the column and from that were derived the dimensions not only of shaft, base, and capital but also of all the details of the entablature above the columns and the distances between them.... Where small columns were used, everything was correspondingly small; when the columns were large, everything else was large too." [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]



The Column-This provides an excellent clue to the marvelously human scale of the temples of the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Erectheum and, conversely, to the overpowering, superhuman size of many buildings erected during the Roman period and again after the Renaissance--railway stations, government buildings, banks, and churches--where columns in "large orders" were used for grandiose effects. [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]




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